But it's the visceral emotional core of this that is so offensive. It's about racism, religion and the risk of miscegenation. It's about the deep disgust of some Israeli Jews toward Arabs, upheld by the courts. It's a variant of the racial sexual panics of the Jim Crow South.Of course, we have since learned that such grotesque, deliberate linkage of Israel's justice system with the racial Jim Crow laws runs contrary to the facts of the case on which the connection was made. Yet, Sullivan refuses to accept that his vile characterization of a society he knows little to nothing about has been mugged by reality.
Andrew's stubborn, blind, deaf and dumb efforts at ignoring the story, which is now entering mainstream news sites and simply refuses to die, reflects poorly on his professional credibility, capacity for intellectual honesty and genuine self-reflection. And so, while Andrew, through his silence, declares "Mission Accomplished" and retires below deck of his sinking aircraft carrier, content that his continuing, bizarre dual efforts to defame the Jewish state and prove that Trig is not Sarah Palin's baby are bearing fruit, those of us still firmly rooted in reality and decency shake our heads and press on in the pursuit of truth and accountability.
The latest contribution comes from Cathy Young at Real Clear Politics: An Unusual Legal Case in Israel. Below are my comments on the piece, which I have communicated during an email exchange with the author. For reasons that I make obvious in the first sentence of my email to her, I strongly urge you to read the piece in full.
You've written perhaps the best, most balanced summation of the case, the initial reaction of the media and the recent blogger backlash that I've seen. I think, for many of us outside Israel who support the Jewish state, it is often exasperating to be on the receiving end of stories like this. We imagine ourselves handling the situation - this situation and others - differently, employing foresight to preempt international scrutiny: " Did no one pause to think that even appearing to send an Arab to prison for sex with a consenting Jewish woman was a public relations disaster?" Amen.
Yet, what local district attorney in Kansas City, Calgary, Manchester or Hamburg is asked to wake up each morning and perform his normal functions with an eye to how every plea bargain, any plea bargain, may be misinterpreted, on the basis of insufficient information, ignorance or cultural differences halfway around the world? We should challenge the intellectual and emotional basis for the self-asserted right to selective scrutiny and rush to opprobrium for one nation among two hundred. The contemptuous, chauvinistic attitude adopted towards Israel by those like Andrew Sullivan, which seemingly entitles them to disparage a nation of seven million people on the basis of ignorant misappraisals on the routine goings-on of a sovereign, democratic country is unacceptable - it is offensive to reason and conscience.
Anyway, thank you for your article.