Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do Absurd Statements About Israel Come In Threes? (Updated)

Whenever a celebrity passes away, a co-worker intones that it is a well-known but unexplainable fact that celebrities die in threes, though she is unclear whether this includes celebrities only in the US or worldwide. 

I'm wondering if a variation of that rule applies as well, that absurd statements about Israel come in threes.

Let's see:

Noah Pollak at Contentions writes about John Mearsheimer's latest rant:
The actual purpose [of Cast Lead] is connected to Israel’s long-term vision of how it intends to live with millions of Palestinians in its midst. It is part of a broader strategic goal: the creation of a “Greater Israel.” Specifically, Israel’s leaders remain determined to control all of what used to be known as Mandate Palestine, which includes Gaza and the West Bank.
I don't know--does Mearsheimer these days really require that much refutation? For instance, here is Mearsheimer defending his claim that Iran's killing of American troops is not really such a big deal:

For a second instance of this kind of stuff, we have the following courtesy of the Vatican:

In a move that many Jewish community officials said would cause relations between Jews and Catholics to further deteriorate, the Vatican on Saturday lifted an excommunication ban against Bishop Richard Williamson, one of four bishops who were banned in 1988 for taking on the office of bishop against the wishes of then-Pope John Paul II.

Williamson is a Holocaust denier, and has repeatedly said that the gas chambers did not exist and that no more than 300,000 Jews were killed during World War II, mostly of starvation. In addition, Williamson has declared that the Jews are plotting to take over the world, and that the U.S. and Israel were behind 9/11.
And of course, it only gets weirder:

Richardson advocates a return to the Middle Ages, with the Inquisition the preferred model of the Catholic relationship to Jews. “As Catholic faith goes up, so Jewish power goes down, while as Catholic faith goes down, so Jewish power goes up. In the Catholic Middle Ages, the Jews were relatively impotent to harm Christendom. But as Catholics have grown over the centuries weaker and weaker in the faith, especially since Vatican II, so the Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world dominion... When Spanish Catholics were truly Catholic, God granted them by 1492 to reconquer Spain from the Arabs, and then granted them to create a Catholic empire in the Americas.”

Yes, it's true...

What is the third example? I'm not sure yet--feel free to suggest your own.

Just keep in mind, George Mitchell is arriving in the Middle East on Wednesday...

UPDATE: I know this may come as a shock, but Mearsheimer's claim that Israel's interest in that whole "Greater Israel" thing just isn't backed up by the facts:
The Mattot Arim group announced Sunday that only 25% of the Likud candidates expressed their opposition to a Palestinian Authority state. The group asked candidates in each of the right wing parties if they are against establishing such a state.

The National Union party, the Jewish Home party, the Israel is Our Home party, and Shas all said they are against a Palestinian Authority state. On the other hand, only 17% of the United Torah Judaism candidates said they are against such a state.
I just can't imagine how Mearsheimer missed that...

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