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Monday, March 20, 2006

One more "Lobby" paragraph - Israel the root of all terror

As I go through the larger paper demonizing the omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Israel Lobby that has the academics from Harvard and Chicago so frightened, I came across this classic:
More importantly, saying that Israel and the United States are united by a shared terrorist threat has the causal relationship backwards: rather, the United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel, not the other way around. U.S. support for Israel is not the only source of anti‐American terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on terror more difficult. There is no question, for example, that many al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, are motivated by Israel’s presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians. According to the U.S. 9/11 Commission, bin Laden explicitly sought to punish the United States for its policies in the Middle East, including its support for Israel, and he even tried to time the attacks to highlight this issue.
First of all, the statement "Israel and the United States are united by a shared terrorist threat" is not showing a causal relationship. It shows something that the two have in common. It is interesting that the academics do not seem to know what the word "causal" means.

But I suppose they had to resort to such sophistry because of the point they were really trying to make: "The United States has a terrorism problem in good part because it is so closely allied with Israel." They then qualify that absurd statement a bit: "U.S. support for Israel is not the only source of anti‐American terrorism, but it is an important one, and it makes winning the war on terror more difficult." And then the home run: "There is no question, for example, that many al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, are motivated by Israel’s presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians."

Notice the implication of that sentence, which clearly means to say that Israel is the primary motivation of Bin Laden and "many al Qaeda leaders." The authors are careful not to say that explicitly, because Bin Laden's own words show that his fatwa was mostly a reaction to US troops on holy Muslim lands, and his Zionist rhetoric was clearly just to pump up the fatwa.

Then the authors engage in the same sort of deception that occurs throughout the paper: "According to the U.S. 9/11 Commission, bin Laden explicitly sought to punish the United States for its policies in the Middle East, including its support for Israel, and he even tried to time the attacks to highlight this issue."

Now, what percentage of Bin Laden's actions were motivated by Israel and what part from other factors ("its (unnamed) policies in the Middle East")?

Reading this paragraph shows that the authors are trying hard to imply that Israel is the major reason for Arab terror, (notice "in good part") even as each individual sentence is technically accurate (except for the causal part.) It of course does the authors no good to mention that Muslim terror attacks in London, Madrid and Bali, which were the most similar attacks to 9/11, clearly had no Israel component. That would undermine their relentless attempts to demonize Israel.

Notice also that Saudi Arabia, which hosted the US troops that Bin Laden was so upset about, is also a terror target to al Qaeda. The authors' contention that being more pro-Arab would reduce terror against the US is utterly incompatible with the fact that terrorists target Arabs themselves. If being Arab cannot inoculate you from terror, how can being a more pro-Arab "crusader" help you?

Beyond that, there is the subtext that if there is a terror attack, it must be the West's fault. This is the typical academic Left's bigotry against Arabs, for like little children, they cannot be held responsible for their actions, and their attacks follow a logic that always leads back to the evil white Christian or Jew.

This is only one paragraph of a paper filled with such illogical premises, subtexts and implications. When you start off with the "fact" that Israel is a liability to the US, it is easy to find "proofs." (It is stated as a fact in the very first endnote.) It is especially easy when you decide to ignore any evidence that might disprove your premise.

This is today's Harvard.