Friday, November 12, 2004

JEWISH BLOOD IS NOT CHEAP

The election is over and Arafat is dead so perhaps we can be level-headed, for a change, about president Bill Clinton's legacy concerning Israel and the Palestinians.

My question: Who was "better" for Israel? George W. Bush or Bill Clinton

I propose answering this simple question using a simple formula. I propose that the president who caused fewer Jews to be murdered was the better president concerning Israel.

Using the information helpfully provided here, I've compiled a spreadsheet (available on request) and summed the number of victims of each attack.

The results:

Between 1994 and 2000: 167 Israelis were killed by terrorists
Between 2001 and 2004: 557 Israelis were killed by terrorists

For those of you who prefer poetry to math, that's about 5 times the number of deaths, in half the time.

My theory is that so long as Clinton made available a diplomatic channel the Arab street was quiet. The masses saw that they had a chance, via negotiations, (kept alive by Clinton) and the violence lessened. The moment the negotiations seemed to have reached a dead end (Camp David) the violence erupted again. It was virtually instantaneous. Later Bush isolated Arafat, eliminating any chance of a deal, and the violence got worse and worse

So to recap: When Clinton pushed Israel and Palestine to talk to one another, and insisted that diplomacy was an option, the violence abated. When Bush twiddled his thumbs and spouted nonsense about how resolute he was Jews died, and in obscene numbers.

The Bush-policy the right adores made it clear that negotiations were finished and Jews died, like night follows day.

Disclaimer: Of course there are many variables, and all sorts of ways to sift the data, but like the president, dovbear is a simple man, and this is a simple answer. Clinton's policy kept the hope of negotiations alive, and Jews enjoyed a relative calm. Bush's policy was a policy of no negotiations and Jewish bodies were stacked like cordwood.

UPDATE: (I don't endorse this comment's attack on MoChassid so I edited it (again, insulting the other j-bloggers is my shtick. Get your own.) but he deserves to be read:

MoChasid... You call this rediculous? Admitted its not state department level analysis, but the guy cares that Jews are dying, and he thinks Clinton did more to stop it than Bush did. Why can't you appreicate his love of Jews, and leave it at that? Is your Clinton hatred making it impossible for you to appreciate a guy who loves Jews and wants tham alive, rather than dead?

Yes, I also think Clinton-hatred, and Arab-hatred and other hatreds makes it hard to think about this rationally. I also admit: I didn't do the issue justice in the brief post. But I don't think its at all clear that Bush was good for Israel.

11 comments:

Texas Mensch said...

Another theory, the Pales believe that Clinton was good - would let them get away with things and would give in at the barganing table, so they kept the violence down so he (and not some hawkish Repub) would be relected and followed by Gore. However, Bush won and they are angry. Their only recourse (because they couldn't make a gesture like actually stopping terrorism) was to do bombings. So with Bush reelected, now they better mind their manners or GW will give Israel the support they need to ensure their safety. Not necessarily what I believe, but another viable explanation using the same data.

Can you tell us how many people have been killed since we invaded Iraq? I heard on NPR a guy talking about the decrease in bombings in Israel because Sadam is no longer paying $25,000 to the suicide bomber's family. That, my friend, we must credit to Bush - or at least to invading Iraq.

MoChassid said...

No offense, DB, but this is possibly the dopiest post I've ever read.

The negotiations didn't 'seem to reach a dead end". The terrorist murderer arafat (YS) walked away from a deal that would have given him statehood, Jerusalem and 90% of the west bank.

Then he ordered the murder of more Jews. That's what so-called negotiations and Oslo led to.

DovBear said...

Mench: Fair analysis. I don't claim to be infalliable.


MoC: Are you annoyed because I didn't call Arafat a terrorist murderer? Because, otherwise, I don't see how you said anything different from what I said. (For the record: I agree that Arafat was a terrorist murderer)

When the negotiations ended the violence began. So long as Clinton was able to keep them at the table, there was no violence. Bush didn't even try to bring the parties back to the table. He made it clear that there would be no more negotiations. He just sat and watched while the Jews and Palestenians killed each other.

Jack's Shack said...

I don't think that you can easily qualify this one way or another. One could argue that Clinton pushed too hard at Camp David and that he created the landscape for this environment.

Had he been less concerned about his legacy and paid more attention to the reality of the situation we might not be in the position we are now.

It was very clear that Arafat had done little to nothing to prepare his folks for what was offered at Camp David. His arm was twisted so he resumed doing what he did best.

DovBear said...

I don't disagree twith you Jack. But something about the numbers appeals to me.

DovBear said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MoChassid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DovBear said...

(whhops, I may have deleted this by mistake)
MoChassid said...
so, as long Israel kept giving up stuff in return for nothing, Arafat only killed a few Jews. But when he didn't get every single thing thing he wanted, including the right of return, he started killing more of us.

Yeah, that's a great legacy for Clinton.
----

And what's Bush's legacy? He twiddled his thumbs while Jews died.

Don't minimize Jewish lives. If some action from the most powerful person in the world could have saved even one life, Bush should be made to eat his twiddling thumbs.

Anonymous said...

MoChasid - when did you become an absolute jerk? You call this rediculous? Admitted its not state department level analysis, but the guy cares that Jews are dying, and he thinks Clinton did more to stop it than Bush did. Why can't you appreicate his love of Jews, and leave it at that? Is your Clinton hatred making it impossible for you to appreciate a guy who loves Jews and wants tham alive, rather than dead?

Why do you have to be an absolute snit??

Jack's Shack said...

I am curious, can you define "snit." I have heard about people throwing a snit or a snit fit, but have never heard someone called a snit.

Anonymous said...

A snit is a state of annoyance. Perhaps he meant the Mochassid's cold-heartedness created a snit? Or maybe he meant to call the Mo'ster a git, which is british slang for a contemptable person?