Monday, September 27, 2010

Israeli Ambassador Exonerates Prime Minister Netanyahu (By Praising Him Like A Fascist)

A couple posts back I put up the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Nazi Germany's propagandist Joseph Goebbels side-by-side. In retrospect, the comparison highlighted the differences between the two countries: Nazi Germany had a very coordinated effort to purge and censor innocent Jewish artists, while Israel's program was more of a knee-jerk punishment of innocent Jewish artists. And while Netanyahu and Goebbels both complained of the boycott that ensued from their country's actions, Goebbels was the only one with the opportunity to brag about cracking down on internal boycotts, claiming internal boycotts "had been made impossible" by his party's seizure of power.

The question becomes: would Israeli censorship resemble that of Nazi Germany if they had comparable power, and how does that factor into who wins the Joseph Goebbels lookalike contest? Maybe we can use the a recent article by Michael B. Oren, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States to settle this. Because when you can't force Israel to suddenly become Nazi Germany, the next best thing is to wait for peace talks and let the politicians brag about their power.

He cheered on Israel for its high-tech economy (yet does not credit it for the preservation of the "democratic system"), and spent some time early on contrasting the Good Guys with the Bad. "Bereaved mothers on Israeli television," he wrote, were "urging [Israeli] leaders to persist in their peace efforts" while "Palestinian mothers praised their martyred children and wished to sacrifice others for jihad." While Israel is so democratic that it allows Arabs to serve on the supreme court and in parliament, the Palestinians apparently can't even muster up enough votes to prove "enthusiasm for living side by side in peace,"  which Israelis strongly support despite the fact that if you were to imagine being an average Israeli you would have "fought in several wars, as have your parents and even your grandparents, ...you've seen rockets raining down on your neighborhood and have lost close family and friends to terrorist attacks." In summary: Israelis - a hardy and noble, yet desperate bunch.

Would Netanyahu find any of these factoids disagreeable? Perhaps not. So why am I so quick to shift the label from him to Oren? It's the second-to-last paragraph of the article, wherein he heaps praise upon his leader's glorious "yearning" for "a peace that will last for generations — our generation, our children's generation and the next" which he expresses despite having to put up with "great improvements in [Israeli] society." Or as Goebbels put it, "Our children and their children will erect monuments to their fathers and mothers for the pain they suffered, for the stoic steadfastness with which they bore all, for the bravery they showed, for the heroism with which they fought, for the loyalty with which they held to their F├╝hrer and his ideals in difficult times."

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