The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

              The Fallacy of "Even-handedness"
Much has been made recently about the need for the US to be even-handed in its approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and to be an "honest broker". Serge Schmemman in his op/ed piece in the New York Times today that continues this argument. To say that the US has been even-handed shows ignorance of history; to say that the US should be even-handed shows moral relativism.

Historically, the US supported Israel (after 1967) for its own purposes; support for Israel was a counter-weight to Soviet support of the Arab states (regardless of the resistance of the Arabist US State Department). The Middle East was very much part of the proxy wars fought by the US and Soviet Union, and as such, Israel was very useful to the US. It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union that the US has been forced to assume a more even-handed stance.

On the moral side, US support for Israel is fairly obvious, especially in light of the Bush Doctrine. To not acknowledge that the US should support a democracy over corrupt, tyrannical regimes is moral idiocy.

Schmemman ends his article with the phrase that the "critical illusion of symmetry has become more elusive" in US dealings with the Palestinians. Maybe Schmemman should think of this "symmetry": September 12, 2001 was a day of national mourning in Israel, and a day of celebrations for Arabs.
|| Nudnik 10:17 AM
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