Sunday, 15 August 2010

Saturday Times Fruitcake

Yesterday's Times served up a thick slice of past-its-best fruitcake in the form of an op-ed by senile author Margaret Atwood (also published in Haaretz).
Before this, the only link I can find between her and Israel is that in May she accepted a $1,000,000 literary award from Tel Aviv University despite calls from Gazans and the 'Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel' not to "accept prizes from Apartheid Israel". Judging from her Times article, accepting the money does seem to have been against her principles. (But then, until someone against my principles offers me a million dollars, I'm not really in a position to judge this dilemma!)
In the article, Margaret (I can't call her by her last name as it doesn't quite paint the picture of her as the batty old woman that she is), lists seven wacky future scenarios for Israel and the Palestinians, which Margaret seems to think are realistic possibilities.
The first is that Israel has been destroyed and all the Israelis killed - by who, she doesn't say, and she doesn't expand on what she thinks the consequences or reactions to this would be either. Instead she goes straight into the second future with no 'Palestine', all the Palestinians either "slaughtered or driven beyond it's borders", and Israel isolated, sanctioned and boycotted. With civilians losing their rights, "The moderate Israelis have emigrated, and live as exiles, in a state of bitterness over wasted opportunities and blighted dreams". 
The third and fourth futures are one-state, in one case in civil war but successful in the other. In the fifth all the Israelis and Palestinians have been killed by atomic bombs (again Margaret doesn't tell us who the culprit would be), and in the sixth "climate change has turned the area into a waterless desert". Margaret forgets that Israel already was a waterless desert, until the Jews developed it into the miraculously flourishing Middle East oasis it is now.
Margaret then gets to her seventh future, a working two-state solution. And how does she predict this would come about? "The impetus came from within Israel." See, and this whole time I thought it was the Palestinians wanting to kill us that was the problem, and that if Israel puts down its weapons and pulls down the fences it would be suicide (or suicide bombers, to be more precise.) But now Margaret has opened my eyes to the truth! If Israel puts down it's weapons and pulls down the fences, everything will just fall into place and Hamas will cross out the bit where it says kill all the Jews on their charter and replace it with the new Palestinian holiday "Hug A Jew Day". 
Margaret rambles on about everything Israel would need to do that would bring about peace, but doesn't address what the Palestinians need to do (let alone the rest of the Arab world, such as Iran and Hezbollah, or their ally, Syria), ignoring the thousands of rockets Hamas have fired into Israel since the disengagement from Gaza, and the hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombings and terror attacks on Israeli civilians before the security fence was built.
In Margaret Atwood's dream-world, she pictures "a shared Memorial Day, in which all those fallen in past wars were honoured." So she wants Israeli terror victims to mourn the Palestinian suicide bombers who killed their loved ones? And she expects Palestinian terrorists to mourn the Israeli civilians they killed? And what about the Palestinian civilians who died because Hamas used them as human shields, who's supposed to mourn them - Israel or the Palestinians?
Margaret Atwood clearly hasn't thought this fiction through. The truth is that there won't be peace as long as the Arabs and Palestinians don't want it. Everything else is just a fruitcake's fantasy.


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  2. This Jewish feminist and left Zionist thinks that you have a right to disagree with Margaret Atwood's views on Israel. However, she is not "batty" or "senile" and it does not advance your argument to use these negative labels. I think that there is an element of ageism and sexism in your use of them, and it detracts from the validity of your argument.
    -- Marion L.

  3. Noted. Maybe I should tone it down a bit. But although I don't mean to be disrespectful, I believe in what I wrote. I am not ageist or sexist, Margaret just doesn't seem to be all-there to me, she's living in a fantasy world.