Why Israel needs to keep the Palestinians under its heel

Steve Linde, editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, was master of ceremonies at a conference the newspaper hosted in New York City on Sunday. There were 1,200 attendees.

Caroline B. Glick, Post senior contributing editor, drew cheers from the crowd when she called for permanent Israeli control of Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], saying it was better to keep the Palestinians inside Israel rather than allow them to establish a “terror state.”

Have no doubt: neither Glick nor those cheering her believe that keeping Palestinians permanently inside Israel should lead to them acquiring equal rights as Israeli citizens. What she is advocating is quite simply the institutionalization of Jewish fascism in a Jewish apartheid state. But that was just an uncontroversial side note in the event.

This is how Haaretz described what Linde called “most dramatic moment in the conference”:

An embarrassing confrontation broke out … when former Mossad chief Meir Dagan accused Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan of lying, while Erdan replied that Dagan is sabotaging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to put a halt to Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

At the conference … the two also exchanged harsh words after Dagan warned Erdan over the so-called “Dagan law,” forbidding former security officials to issue open statements until a certain cooling period wears off.

“As in Germany, you know where you begin but you don’t know where you end,” Dagan told the audience.

The exchange erupted after Dagan was asked about statements made by former head of the Shin Bet security service Yuval Diskin. Diskin criticized Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday over their bellicose stance on Iran, as well as what he called the premier’s unwillingness to advance peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Dagan said that Diskin was his friend, and added that he “spoke his own truth.” “Diskin is a very serious man, a very talented man, he has a lot of experience in countering terrorism,” he said, adding that he “talked about a matter that is close to his heart.” Dagan also dismissed criticism of Diskin for not voicing his opinion to Netanyahu and Barak earlier. According to Dagan, Diskin had done so “in close quarters and on many occasions.”

“I have no doubt that the Israeli Air Force is able to destroy the infrastructure of Iran’s nuclear program – but five minutes later, Israel would find itself involved in a regional war, involving Hezbollah and possibly Syria,” the former Mossad chief said.

Dagan also said that an attack would bolster the support for the Iranian regime as opposed to the sanctions imposed by the international community which have been eroding its public support.

He added that a regional war would lead the superpowers to impose a settlement with the Palestinians on Israel – a settlement which he vehemently opposes.

Erdan replied that “if Diskin thinks things are so dangerous, he should not have stayed in his post for five years and agree to a sixth year. He should have resigned.” Dagan intervened at this point and countered that “I may be impolite, but I prefer the truth be told.”

Erdan then said he would prefer if “Mossad chiefs do not sabotage Netanyahu’s efforts to garner the world’s support against Iran. He also referred to Diskin’s description of Barak and Netanyahu’s “messianic tendencies,” and asked, “Is this how a serious man, as you describe him, speaks?”

The exchange between Erdan and Dagan clearly made the audience and American members of the panel uncomfortable.

The ever-eloquent Alan Dershowitz garnered a standing ovation from the crowd when he appealed to Israelis not to hang their dirty laundry in public, keep internal debates in Israel and, when on American soil, refrain from criticizing standing presidents such as Obama, who was essentially a friend of Israel.

For his part, Dershowitz focused his anger at what he called the almost eroticized delegitimization of Israel among certain intellectual elites, including Jews and Israelis.

This new form of anti-Semitism, he said, was as lethal as the rhetoric before the Holocaust, and he urged Israel and world Jewry to combat it effectively.

So let’s be sure I understand this correctly. Dershowitz would presumably see this post as one small part of the delegitimization effort — whether he would discern an almost eroticized element I have no idea. At the same time he apparently does not regard Caroline Glick’s promotion of Jewish fascism as in any way undermining the legitimacy of Israel. Fascism OK. Criticism not OK.

Maybe this explains why Linde was able to wrap up the event feeling deeply satisfied.

As I took a taxi to JFK, the Russian Jewish cabbie asked what I had done in New York. When I told him, he said: “Oh, I heard it was a big success.

“I gave a few of your people a ride to and from the airport.”

And at the airport, the El Al security employee remarked, “Wow, you guys created a big buzz. I’ve seen it on the news all over the place.”

With such glowing reviews (“the Zionist dream is alive and well, and the Jewish state has many more fans than foes,” says Linde), it makes you wonder why anyone’s worried about delegitimization.

Oh right, it’s because there’s another Holocaust lurking round the corner. How could I forget?

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