I recently decided to make this my last year with Newsweek. It’s been a good run; I’ve spent 15 years worth of Tuesday afternoons with Conventional Wisdom (the up and down arrows section), Perspectives (the political cartoons), and The Last Word with George Will or Anna Quindlen. But after 2008, the political bias became too much, Fareed Zakaria became an expert on too many topics, their absurd world ranking system put the United States as #11, and their attitudes toward the free market and Israel became too similar to the European view. In short, I found Newsweek’s world view less and less compatible with mine, and I didn’t feel the need to pay for such frustration when I can easily find it online.
Whatever second thoughts I had were put to rest when I opened this week’s issue and read Dan Ephron’s column titled “Palestine Goes It Alone.”
Ephron suggests that the Palestinians try creating their own state without the cooperation of Israel because Israel has proven too slow and reluctant. Instead, he argues, the Palestinian government of the West Bank should use the political capital it has created as a result of its economic growth, rally the Palestinian people, and call on the U.N. for help.
This didn’t really sit right with me.
1) The Israelis have been too slow and reluctant? Israel has offered the Palestinians land and statehood numerous times, but the Palestinians have rejected it, casting doubt on whether statehood is really the ultimate goal of the Palestinian leadership. Here’s Charles Krauthammer’s on the subject:
“The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that Arabs have not accepted the presence of a Jewish state. That’s why every time they have been offered a compromise, they have turned it down: ’47, ’67, ’78, ’93. And although people don’t even talk about it, as if it never happened, there was also Camp David in 2000, an unbelievably generous self-sacrificial offer by Israel, which included the division of Jerusalem,” – Moment magazine.
2) Why would the U.N. be able to impose an agreement now? In 1948 the U.N. divided the territory and created the state of Israel, but nobody paid attention to that; it didn’t prevent all the surrounding nations from attacking Israel then. Fast forward to today: if Israel gave significant credence to the U.N. it would have already turned on itself for its supposedly evil nature as a world leader in human rights violations.
3) The West Bank government as an engine of economic growth? Slightly more than 30% of the GDP of the Palestinian territories comes from foreign aid. A good portion of this comes from Israel. Congratulations on not squandering it all and pouring it into terrorist weapons.
4) Most Palestinians want one government to rule over the West Bank and Gaza. That being the case, shouldn’t the issue of Hamas also be addressed when discussing obstacles to a Palestinian state?
Frustrating. But not surprising. Simply another straw on the camel’s back. Good riddance, Newsweek.