Jonathan Tobin has written comedy gold over at Commentary for quite some time, unintentional of course. However his latest really is worth a look as he tries to attack this article by William Saletan. Tobin’s piece – Abbas Apologists Twist the Truth, in it he writes that by going to the UN seeking statehood, Abbas and the PA have ‘abandoned the peace process’. Not really, as the ‘peace process’ Tobin speaks of was basically a framework for allowing the Israeli occupation and annexation of Palestinian land to continue indefinitely.
In his article Tobin seeks to defend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the charge of being responsible for the failure of the Peace (settlements) Process. In this attempt, Tobin makes an utterly false claim.
‘Even during the 10 months when, at the behest of the Obama administration, Netanyahu froze building in the West Bank, Abbas wouldn’t talk with him.’
There was actually no freeze on building in the West Bank, as this article from the New York Times makes clear
‘He (Netanyahu) has called the stoppage “exceptional” and “extraordinary.” But an examination of the freeze after more than seven months suggests that it amounts to something less significant, at least on the ground. In many West Bank settlements, building is proceeding apace. Dozens of construction sites with scores of Palestinian workers are active.’
Furthermore when this supposed ‘freeze’ was announced ‘it came with the assertion that some 3,000 units were grandfathered in and would proceed during the moratorium. ‘
The article goes on to inform readers…
‘In addition, the statistics show, in the last quarter of 2009, more than 750 housing units were approved for West Bank settlements. That was double the number of each of the three previous quarters. So in the first half of 2010, when no more units were permitted, the pace of building remained largely unchanged.’
Quite obviously Abbas refused to enter talks until a full and complete halt to building had taken place, even though he was under intense pressure by the US to do so. One wonders why Tobin seeks to obscure these facts?
He continues further by insisting that Palestinians acquiesce to the Israeli government’s demand to be recognised as a ‘Jewish State’. If such a demand were met it would condemn the Palestinian citizens of Israel to perpetual second class status. And it doesn’t bear thinking what policies any Israeli govt might employ to remain so, democracy be damned. Aside from this demand being relatively new from any Israeli govt, its also ridiculous. Because foreign diplomatic relations are not predicated upon how states define other states with which they have diplomatic ties. Sorry Mr Tobin and Mr Netanyahu, Israel can define itself however it pleases, you cannot demand to enforce how others see it.
Tobin continues by referring to UN resolution 181 ‘that was categorically rejected by the Arab and Muslim worlds.’ Indeed, as they were perfectly entitled to both legally and morally reject, as i previously outlined here. Of course Tobin here makes no mention of the fact that Zionists merely saw partition as a first step to greater Israel, as first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion admitted. Why does Tobin leave that little nugget out?
Tobin continues his attack on Saletan…
Lastly, Saletan argues the reduction of terrorist attacks against Israelis in the West Bank in the past few years proves Abbas means what he says about peace. But lowering the toll of Jewish casualties had little or nothing to do with Abbas and everything to do with the security fence and the aggressive Israeli army patrols and checkpoints in the West Bank.
Unfortunately for Tobin, reality doesn’t agree with him and neither does Shin Bet ….
‘The Shin Bet’s statistics on terror attacks confirm the public perception that terrorist activity in 2005 dropped considerably compared to the previous four and a half years. The main reason for the sharp decline is the truce in the territories, the security service said yesterday.‘
‘The security fence is no longer mentioned as the major factor in preventing suicide bombings, mainly because the terrorists have found ways to bypass it.’
Obviously Tobin knowns more than Israel’s security establishment. Tobin finishes by criticizing Abbas for rejecting former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert’s offer of a state in 2008. But anyone who has read that offer, knows that what was on the table was not really a state.
The whole tone of Tobin’s falsehood laden screed, is one in defence of Bibi Netanyahu. The man who bragged on video* that the US can “easily moved to the right direction” and that he personally “stopped the Oslo Accord”. This man is the current leader of Israel, and according to Tobin, a peacemaker. Go figure…