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September 22, 2011

Newsweek Op-Ed: Claiming the Middle Ground Even Though You Lost the Vote

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In an op-ed titled, "With Friends Like These..." appearing in Newsweek (Sept. 26, 2011), Israeli professor Fania Oz-Salzberger employs an old trick of claiming the middle ground in order to marginalize politicians she disagrees with. She writes,

This insularity comes awith a strange self-assurance that many right-wing Israelis flaunt and many center-to-left israelis loathe. ... A sense of entitlement surrounds Likud and right-of-Likud politicians as they hammer on with their settlement-expansion and "no partner" mantra, in the face of Arabs, the peace-brokering international Quartet, and the global community.

Oz-Salzberger rails against Israel's "right-wing" government and its close friendship with American evangelical Christians. She deprecates Republican Presidential candidates, who in her view spout "Bible-fed political jargon." She disdains Texas governor Rick Perry "who doesn't seem able to tell his Gideon from his Armageddon."

For Ms. Oz-Sulzberger, Israel's "way of being a light unto the nations is through high-tech innovation and this summer's peaceful, sophisticated social reform movement."

Unfortunately, Ms. Oz-Salzberger is trapped in a fallacy. She claims to speak for "at least half the Israelis"... the "mainstream Israel, high-tech Israel, socially aware Israel, humanist-Zionist Israel." But the majority of Israelis voted for "Likud and right-of-Likud" politicians who to her dismay "cling to the rock offered by their evangelical-Christian friends" she so scorns.

Posted by SS at September 22, 2011 11:58 AM

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