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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Abourezk, part 5

More fun from the comments section of the California Literary Review:

  • Brad Brzezinski Says:

    My goodness! You’re all still at it. I salute your indefatigability.

    Mr. Abourezk’s mention of Camp David piqued my interest as this was the issue that led me to takes sides on the Israeli/Arab confab. Given that we had the Israelis and the Palestinians in failed negotiations, why would one simply believe either side? It seems reasonable to at least turn to the mediators for some understanding. In this case, the two chief functionaries were Clinton and Ross, both of whom categorically blamed Arafat.

    Given the enormous cachet that would have attached to solving this issue, it seems highly likely that the mediators did in fact seek a real solution and the balance of probability strongly suggests their accounts should be reliable.

    Even if not, even if the stories about how it was a bad deal are true, it was the best offer ever. (I know this because the media in general was quite adamant and even at that time when I paid less attention to world affairs, I knew the general media was hardly pro-Israel.) Given that Israel was bending so far, what on earth was the point of not only not negotiating further, but starting an Intifada? It speaks volumes.

  • James Abourezk Says:

    I’m given to wonder whether both Elder and Brzezinski are in touch with reality. When Dennis Ross left the government, he returned to a component of the Israeli Lobby to work. I guess it’s OK to identify Wolf Blitzer as a part of the Lobby, mostly because he worked for AIPAC. If these folks deny that AIPAC is part of the Lobby, then I find it impossible to continue this debate.

    And yes, I think Bill Clinton lied a lot about a lot of issues when he was president.

  • Brad Brzezinski Says:

    Fair enough Mr. Abourezk, but I offered an argument even if Clinton & Ross were wrong. You have not countered what I said for that case.

    It also strikes me that if someone working for “a component” of The Lobby is automatically disqualified from talking on this issue, then the same must apply to you on the other side for you have made your biases very plain.

  • Elder Says:

    I appreciate that Mr. Abourezk finally acknowledged a couple of my comments, even if they were extremely peripheral to the major points I was making. (Wolf Blitzer indeed edited an AIPAC newsletter some thirty years ago although he never lobbied for AIPAC, and Dennis Ross indeed works for a pro-Israel think tank now - although I am not aware of any earlier work he may have done for the “Lobby” that Mr. Abourezk implies from the word “returned.”)

    The implication that Mr. Abourezk is making, of course, is that anyone who is pro-Israel on any level is assumed to be a liar.

    While I gave specific reasons why the books written by Ilan Pappe and Clayton Swisher can be considered unreliable, from their own words and/or omissions as well as my own original research, the best that Mr. Abourezk can do to cast aspersions of Ross’ book is to mention that he now works for that evil “Lobby.” Using that logic, of course, would allow us to assume that Abourezk is equally suspect for being an uncompromising supporter of Arab causes. I prefer to stick with facts, not guilt by association, and any problems I have with Mr. Abourezk come from his own words, most specifically his praise for Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists that was mentioned earlier in this thread and that he has studiously ignored so far.

    In the end, the biggest flaw with Abourezk’s positions is that he consistently ascribes the best of intentions to Arab and Muslim countries and the worst of intentions to Israel and, often, the US. In one particularly hilarious paragraph in his review above he says that “both Iran and Syria have proposed a nuclear weapons free Middle East.” The reported events of recent weeks by British journalists who can hardly be considered pro-Israel indicate that not only did Syria have a clandestine nuclear weapons program, but also that there was a major chemical weapons accident this past summer killing dozens of Syrians and Iranian engineers with WMD that were meant to be placed on missiles. But Abourezk, quite willing to publicly assume that anybody who supports Israel is not trustworthy, has no such skepticism about the public pronouncements of dictators and the world’s worst human rights abusers.

    This, in a nutshell, is the problem with Mr. Abourezk’s positions on the Middle East and of the “Israel Lobby.”