Hateful Academic Lets Rip at BibiMarch 5, 2012 14:29 by Simon Plosker
Syrian civilians are being murdered on a daily basis. Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons capability. The Middle East is undergoing a period of unprecedented uncertainty in the wake of the Arab Spring. But for Oxford academic Avi Shlaim, writing in The Independent, there is only one source for all the trouble in the region:
The main threat to regional stability is not Iran but the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. And the main source of hostility towards America throughout the Arab and Muslim lands is Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people and America’s complicity in this oppression.
In a commentary piece timed to coincide with President Obama’s appearance at AIPAC and his meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu, perhaps you would be looking for a cogent analysis of the situation. You certainly won’t find it here, however.
Avi Shlaim explodes with a hateful polemic against Benjamin Netanyahu in a manner not even reserved for the Mideast’s most brutal dictators.
Benjamin Netanyahu is a bellicose, right-wing Israeli nationalist, a rejectionist on the subject of Palestinian national rights, and a reactionary who is deeply wedded to the status quo. … he has a selective and self-righteous view of his own country’s history and he is driven by distrust and disdain, if not outright hatred towards the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular. This hostility towards Arabs is the central thread that runs through his public utterances, books, and policies as prime minister.
Shlaim attributes to Netanyahu an ideologically driven hatred of Arabs while terming the Israeli coalition government as “the most aggressively right-wing, diplomatically intransigent, and overtly racist government in Israel’s history” and accusing it of being “in danger of drifting towards fascism.” But the real object of Shlaim’s polemic is Netanyahu himself, the “relentless rejectionist” with an “expansionist agenda” who
knowingly and deliberately blocks progress on any of the other ‘permanent status issues’ such as borders and refugees. Netanyahu is not a peace-maker; he is a land-grabber who rides roughshod over Palestinian rights. It is he who has turned the so-called peace process into an exercise in futility. He is like a man who pretends to negotiate the division of a pizza while continuing to gobble it up.