The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, July 11, 2002  

JWR and the Palestinians

Below we have republished an excerpt from the daily e-mail blast sent this morning by the Jewish World Review.

[ T O D A Y I N H I S T O R Y ]

On this day in . . .

* 2000, peace talks between the “Palestinians” and the Israelis opened at Camp David, Md.


What’s with the scare quotes around the word Palestinians?

To us, they are evidence that the rightward shift of large numbers of Jewish Americans, particularly those of the soi-disant intellectual variety, has moved beyond political expediency to xenophobic fanaticism.

No, no, no, they insist, there is no such thing as the “Palestinian people.” They are the mythical creation of vengeful Arabs, or of the U.N., or of Parisian anti-Semites, or of the New York Times, or some other such ridiculous delusion.

It’s “little” things like this that make us wonder whether right-wing American Jews have any intention of supporting -- rather than sabotaging -- a meaningful effort toward establishing peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

This refusal even to acknowledge the existence of the Palestinians is not only despicable, it is dangerous.

We see evidence of this every day in the degrading and dehumanizing policies of the present Israeli government toward its own citizens (at least those who aren’t Jewish) and neighbors, policies that all too many American writers and politicians demand we support -- politically, financially, and emotionally -- without question or criticism.

We do not equate Zionism with racism, and the suicide attacks and other assaults on innocent Israelis are appalling, but things are starting to take on a familiar, and noxious, odor among certain quarters of the American right wing.

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