A reader writes:

You're just going to feed the furnaces of those attacking you for your Israel/Gaza stance if you keep channeling Jimmy Carter and making ridiculous comparisons between Israel and the Jim Crow South. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't remember any black people in the Southern states back in the 1950's and '60's strapping on suicide vests and blowing themselves up on buses full of white commuters or in soda shops full of teenagers. Y'know, which was exactly what the Palestinians were doing to Israeli civilians throughout the course of the last intifadah.

You're probably right that Avigdor Lieberman is going to be a major headache. But at least acknowledge one thing regarding the advancement of Lieberman into Israeli politics. The intifadeh and the incessant rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza are what laid the groundwork for Lieberman's success and also had the not insignificant result of effectively killed off the liberal peace camp within Israeli society. It wasn't a triumph of Israeli neo-conservatism or innate Jewish racism against Arabs or what have you. It was the fact that the Palestinians, or at least the groups who represent the Palestinians, through their intransigence and the willful malice of characters like Yassir Arafat wiped out the political credibility of anyone in Israel who wanted a final and peaceful settlement for both peoples.

The Palestinian side has indicated nothing to the Jews except that their endless ranting about wiping out Israel and killing every Jew on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean is not mere propaganda, it's what the Arab side wants and is going to work towards. Just because the Palestinians don't currently have the military/industrial capacity to make it an immediate reality doesn't mean that they're not serious. As such you should really re-evaluate some of things you've been saying lately on the subject and perhaps re-examine who you're choosing to blame.

My point was about Jewish Israeli attitudes toward Arab Israelis, as recorded in several recent polls. The conflation of all Arab Israelis with Palestinian terrorists does not undermine the worry. Emails confirm that no criticism of Israeli society is possible without being subjected to a torrent of abuse and accusations of anti-Semitism. This is part of the problem, not the solution.

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