Victor Davis Hanson: With Obama and his moral equivalence, Israel is hardly any better than Hamas or Hezbollah or the Palestinian Authority. I wonder, though, if they really believe that.
What if a Jew says he wants to live in Ramallah because itâ€™s a nice place? Arabs live in Nazareth and other places in Israel, so what if a Jew says he wants to be a Palestinian citizen?
Michael J. Totten: Thatâ€™s impossible.
VDH: Jews arenâ€™t allowed there.
MJT: Itâ€™s crazy, isnâ€™t it?
VDH: That fact all by itself should tell the Obama administration that thereâ€™s something weird about that place and thereâ€™s no moral equivalence.
VDHâ€™s implication â€” that Palestinians are free to move to Israel at will, while Israelis are not similarly free to move to the West Bank â€” is, to say the least, peculiar. Still, he has no need to worry. Any Jew who takes a fancy to the Ramallah area â€” whether or not theyâ€™ve so much as set foot in the region before â€” is free to move to any of the several settlements that surround the city, where he or she will enjoy tax breaks, cheap housing, and government subsidies. But what about the reverse? What if a Palestinian from Ramallah decides that he or she wants to live in Tel Aviv (â€œbecause itâ€™s a nice placeâ€)? More to the point, what if a Palestinian whose family was driven from the Nazareth area in 1948 wants to move to Nazareth? VDH settles for implying (rather than stating explicitly) that they are free to do so, because he clearly knows (but chooses not to dwell on) the fact that this would be impossible. To allow it would be to open the door to the right of return, and thus â€” as VDH would surely warn apocalyptically â€” the â€œdestruction of Israelâ€.
It should surprise no one that VDH displays an understanding of the issues at stake that is almost entirely backward. Still, itâ€™s revealing that he holds up this particular example as proof that â€œthereâ€™s no moral equivalenceâ€ in the conflict.
(For anyone who hasnâ€™t read it, now is as good a time as any to plug Chase Madarâ€™s brilliant VDH parody from last yearâ€™s American Conservative.)