A Guest Post by E. Fink
Time Magazine's September 13th cover article is called "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace".
Unlike some other bloggers, I have actually read the article, not just the excerpt or the headline.
It is an unfortunate title for an article. Unfortunate because it has set off a firestorm of condemnation and consternation from Israel lovers everywhere. But even more unfortunate because the title is betrayed by the actual article.
The article is not about why Israel doesn't care about peace. The article is about why Israeli citizens are not obsessed with peace.
And that is a compliment.
That is a good thing.
The article blames the Palestinian leadership for failing to agree to several peace deals. The moderate Palestinians are praised but the article does not express hope that they will survive. The article justifies the "Wall" as a necessary security measure and the Gaza Incursion as a necessary military operation. These two controversial moves have borne fruit - no suicide attacks in over 2 years and until the August 31 shooting that killed 4 people, no deaths of more than 2 people from any attack in over 2 years. In short, Israel has successfully quashed the insurgence of violence that began with the second intifada.
What has happened as a result of the relative peace in Israel? Israelis have been industrious. They have been working hard and accumulating wealth. They have been inventing things and contributing to the world economy. They have been building families, taking vacations and enjoying life. They have been acting as if they don't live in a war-zone because for the last few years they haven't.
The article indicates that Israelis are happy with the way things are. And they should be.
The article assumes that if there were a peace partner that was willing to recognize Israel as a State and provide the same types of freedoms as Israel provides there would be more talk about peace. But as it stands now, Palestinians are led by politicians who don't want to negotiate with Israel seriously and since the violence is under control, there is no reason to discuss anything.
The article concludes the Palestinian issue by saying that Palestinians need to make themselves heard again. How? With violence? Absolutely not. By giving a voice to the moderates who want to talk to Israel. Who can argue with that?
There is no mention of a "Humanitarian Crisis" in Gaza. There is no mention of "War Crimes". There is no mention of "Disproportionate Response". No mention of "Illegal Settlements". The article is favorable to Israel. No question about it.
I have two and a half minor gripes with the article.
1) The article kind of glosses over the rocket attacks. Those are not negligible and the fear of attack is worth noting.
2) The article says almost no Palestinians are allowed into Israel. As far as I know that is inaccurate.
3) (only half a gripe) The title is provocative - but then again, headlines are meant to grab attention. This one grabbed everyone's attention. So maybe it was a good title.
But I have two major gripes with Israel friends who lambasted the article.
1) I always hear from Zionist friends that "It is so good here", "It's more dangerous in America", "The economy is booming", "Israel is a Western State", etc. And now, Time Magazine is reporting that yes, Israel is in fact a peaceful, productive place and somehow that is not allowed?! Talk about "Double Standard".
2) People should just read the darn thing before complaining about it! There are times where Israel is treated poorly in the court of popular opinion. This is NOT one of those times! We lose credibility if we cry "Wolf" any time we can sniff a trace of anti-Israel sentiment. Here, you'll need to sniff extra hard.
Search for more information about philo-semitism in the media at 4torah.com.