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Monday, March 21, 2011

“Why are you apologizing all the time?”

With that single sentence made to her Israeli hosts, Sarah Palin demonstrated a greater understanding of the problems confronting Israel than the collective wisdom of all the J.D.'s, Ph.D's, and Masters of International Affairs in the Obama administration combined.

The question was profound, as simple as it were, because it addressed the narrative of perpetual Palestinian victimization and grievance.

First, it goes to the heart of Israel's right to exist.  The recent trend, including among American Jews, is to acquiesce in the leftist-academic and Islamist view of Israel as a mistake and an anomaly, something which deserves to exist -- if at all -- merely by reason of historical accident.  Palin refuses to succumb to such a narrative, recognizing that the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and Israel goes back over 3000 years.  For millennia Jews have prayed "next year in Jerusalem," something no other people had done until the 1967 war led to the creation of a Palestinian national identity.  The State of Israel as a Jewish nation owes no apology for its creation or continued existence.

Second, Palin recognizes that the reason there is no peace in the Middle East is not that Israel is unwilling to give up more land, but that Israel is not willing to give up completely.  Regardless of peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, Israel never has been accepted by the populations of either of those countries or elsewhere in the Middle East.  In Egypt recently over a million people in Tahrir Square chanted "To Jerusalem We go, for us to be the Martyrs of the Millions." In Tunisia, thousands chanted "death to the Jews" even though there are few Jews left in Tunisia.  When Lara Logan was brutally attacked the crowd chanted "Jew, Jew," and called her an Israeli agent. There will be no peace, regardless of how much land Israel gives up or how many times Israel apologizes, until there is a change in the hearts of Israel's neighbors.

Third, the specific issue to which Palin was reacting was the inability of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount out of fear of Muslim riots and violence.  Indeed, it was Ariel Sharon's entry onto the Temple Mount in 2000 which was the excuse used by Yassir Arafat to ignite the Second Intifada, which lasted roughly 5 years and killed thousands.  Respect is demanded for Muslim holy sites, but that respect is not reciprocated.  Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount repeatedly have thrown large stones down onto Jewish worshippers at the Wailing Wall, yet Jews do not riot and kill Muslims in response.  Showing respect for Muslim holy sites is the right thing to do, but refusing to insist upon reciprocal respect simply encourages more demands and more violence.

Of course, the beauty of Palin's question was that it applies just as well to Obama, who has launched apology tour after apology tour, who dwells on our imperfections, who refuses to lead, and who seems embarrassed by us.

“Why are you apologizing all the time?”

That is the question Israelis need to ask, and so do we.

[The "first" paragraph was corrected to reflect the 3000+ year old Jewish connection to Jerusalem.]

Related Posts:
When Will The Europeans Apologize To Us?
Obama's Olympic Apology Speech
Susan Rice's Illegitimate U.N. Folly

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  1. Another example of why this is such a great blog. Thank you, Professor.

  2. Sarah Palin is one of the smartest, most down to earth Americans I have ever heard or read about. That is what, I believe, scares the pants of the leftists. I was reading something this week from Poll Insider on her, and it asserts that she is both what they fear most, and the best possible candidate to beat Obama. Here is the link:


    Here is a snip:

    "...But what happens when 100 Million people tune into a debate between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin? What happens when she speaks freely and convincingly in that debate, as she did in a great interview with the Long Island Association? And then what happens when people realize that she isn’t the moron 'they' have attempted to portray her as? That she can speak without uhhh’s and ummm’s like someone else cannot? And when Palin releases, yes I will say it, Reaganesque commercials that are inspiring and uplifting, you know about America being that shining city on a something or another? How quickly will opinion change when people realize that Sarah Palin is not what the media have portrayed her as?

    And about those 'controversial' opinions she holds? What happens when Americans realize that it is those 'controversial' opinions that the majority of Americans agree with, often by wide margins. Well, that is a matter for Part 2 of Elite’s Way Off on Palin Electability."

    The next part(s) should prove interesting. She is the real thing, and would make a superb president, eclipsing our current "historic" embarrassment of a POTUS.

  3. She can be brilliant more times than not. I'm finally ready to back her with everything I have.

    Palin/Rubio 2012- screw the GOP

  4. Great quote...

    "Liberals love to insult Sarah Palin's intelligence. It's not a subject on which I have any particular opinion, except to note that, apparently by a remarkable coincidence, her judgment is correct on just about every subject."

    John Hinderaker, Power Line

  5. Maybe she isn't a rocket scientist. But who thinks rocket scientists would make good leaders?

    Give me someone with good, common sense, with a solid grasp on reality ... the opposite of the typical university professors (excluding Professor J. and some notable others) and their ilk who mock her obsessively.

    God bless her for standing firm with our ally, Israel.

  6. Another question that should also be posed:

    If Jews were to move out of Israel, would that cause Muslims to suddenly stop hating, threatening and dehumanizing them?

  7. An amazing thing about Sarah Palin is... she will say what she thinks. And not equivocate. How refreshing to see that quality in a politician. Of any stripe.

  8. OK, stand back now because the lame stream media and blogosphere are currently reloading more anti-Sarah vitriol in order to show how stupid she is for making such a classic gaffe. Of course the Israelis are guilty of something! Everybody they know knows that! What was that silly housewife thinking?

  9. Professor: Stipulating to 1967 as the birth of the Palestinian national identity is the Palestinian narrative, not the Israeli narrative; nor, in fact, is it true. The PLO was formed, with the express goal of eliminating Israel as a Jewish state, three years before--while Jordan still administered the West Bank (and refused to annex it), and Egypt controlled Gaza. Their movement, as they've proved time and again since '67, has never been about statehood; it's about one thing and one thing only: Jew hatred. The parable of the scorpion and the grasshopper applies utterly and completely.

  10. Truth and simplicity all at once. A true "the emperor has no clothes" moment for current American, European and UN policy. Jimmy Carter call your office.

  11. "Sarah Palin demonstrated a greater understanding of the problems confronting Israel than the collective wisdom of all the J.D.'s, Ph.D's, and Masters of International Affairs in the Obama administration combined."

    When you come right down to it, that's not really a high bar to clear.

  12. Palin is not afraid of the Left and their media, nor the elite GOP. She’s the warrior we need as president. She’ll hire the right people, to do the right jobs, and restore our country to the principles and practices that made it great in the first place.

    She has proven her fortitude over the last couple of years. Other presidential hopefuls can merely promise to become fortuitous.

  13. I must take issue with your statement about respecting the "holy sites" of Muslims. How can a political ideology have a holy site? Islam is politics with a side order of pagan idolatry.

    If I, a Christian, were to respect Islam, it would be as good as admitting that Islam is on a par with Judaeo-Christianity and has a God that is worthy of respect; therefore, I would respect its holy places. If I were to make such an admission, I will be blaspheming the name of the Only God because I would be saying He is a lie and a liar. It is not possible to do that and remain Judaeo-Christian. Therefore, I cannot, will not; therefore, no respect is due Islam or its pagan places.

  14. No, this can't be right, because the New York times, CNN, and all the intellectuals have assured me that she's just a perky ignoramus. After all, she says "darn sure" and "you betcha" a lot and her degree is from the --shudder-- University of Idaho.

    And by the way, it won't matter a bit to the liberal narrative what she says and does, in debates or elsewhere. Liberals, who lose no opportunity to tell you how open and tolerant they are, are impervious to new ideas and viciously scornful of anyone who doesn't accept their ideas.

    And if she wound up as president...well, I'd trust her advisers a hell of a lot more than I trust Obama's and as to her instincts, well, I'd trust them more than I trust Obama's. We know what his are and they're scary.

  15. "...until there is a change in the hearts of Israel's neighbors"

    Take the next step and ask yourself what will make that happen. To change their hearts will be a sad outcome, but is an existential decision for Israel.

  16. “Why are you apologizing all the time?”

    Because that's what decent, mature people do when they do something wrong.

    Of course, right-wingers don't understand simple human decency.

  17. "She’s the warrior we need as president."

    Like I said, she recalls Lakshmibai.

    A nation's chief executive officer, regardless of title, should be a warrior above all else. A non-warrior can make only a mess of the role of C-i-C. There are warriors who are women. Sarah is the only warrior I see among persons contemplating to request the Republican nomination for C-i-C USA. GWB is a warrior.

    There hasn't been a C-i-C USA or candidate for that office from the Democratic party since President Kennedy, who was supported by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, a warrior and life-long Republican. Today, by design, the Democratic party is bereft of warriors above the pay grade of advisor. The trust fund oligarchs who control the Democratic party despise the "military-industrial complex" that funds their existence.

    Sarah Palin is a warrior. She fulfills the first qualification for C-i-C USA.

  18. I am a person that notices signs and symbols--some, it would seem, that only I can see. This may be in the later group.

    In the pictures posted here, I notice that Mr. Palin is present, alert, and apparently engaging, but in the background a little withdrawn--off-stage.

    Mrs. Netanyahu on the other hand is always stage-center next to Mrs. Palin and between Mrs. Paling and Mr. Netanyahu.--often speaking.

    At first sight, I though of the old "women together, talking about women's stuff while the men are in the front seat, keeping track of where they are going and how fast. But that fails.

    I note that the Palins have no official status, but that doesn't help.

    So I am left with a symbol-rich event, with little clue as to how "read" it.

    [I will likely post this comment elsewhere.(You can track the order of posting by counting the number of typo's corrected (or introduced).]

  19. CoolHnadLuke--
    "Maybe she isn't a rocket scientist. But who thinks rocket scientists would make good leaders?"

    Talk about a red herring! Or did you mean the degree of intellectual prowess/focus/agility required to be the President? If so, you vastly underestimate the demands of the job-- being as smart as a rocket scientist, committed, serious, passionate, measured, having spent one's life developing the ability to recognize, understand and navigate nuance in a disciplined way-- these are minimum qualifications for being a good leader in 2011/12. The AK Hocky Mom turned celebrity (i.e. being famous for being famous)doesn't have as much education as half of the people on this blog, she doesn't understand the world with nearly as much depth-- why on earth would anyone trust the fates of our children to such a person? What a slam to all our country has aspired to be. Don't you think the President has awesome responsibility?

  20. Jooba Doobia-- Your religous teaching is a bit on the superficial side. Investigating the historical context of the basic texts (biblical) will really give you an appreciation for how little is black and white, and how many of the references are historical. Start with Mark? It might tone down your arrogance just a bit.

  21. Laurie,

    you over-rate academic style and credentials and confuse them with the ability to lead and make sound decisions. No one ever confused FDR with an intellectual giant, but he was a hell of a President.

    I imagine you are a liberal, so I suggest you get David Halberstam's classic about how the US blundered into VietNam, "The Best and the Brightest," it should resonate with you.

    I also note how the intellectualoids of the Ivy League view Palin very much as their predecessors did Truman.

  22. Re: Israel


  23. I read this yesterday and am still in shock that there is someone in The People's Republic of Ithaca that is not a bean-eating Kool-Aid drinker...I think I like you.

  24. I read this yesterday and am still in shock to find that there is someone in The People's Republic of Ithaca who is not a bean-eating, Kool-Aid Drinker. I think I like you.

  25. This lady is indeed brilliant. Liberals please continue to underestimate her.

  26. Wonderful post. As much as people make her an idiot, she's smarter than all of us! She gets it! I never made the Obama connection that you pointed out. Obama and Israel have something in common. They are both apologists!

  27. My fellow Republicans have lost our collective minds of we think this woman has any potential to lead this great, but faltering, nation. She is no warrior, she could not fulfil her term as governor of Alaska, nor has she demonstrated in any meaningful way a capacity to comprehend or provide insight into the myrad domestic or international challenges facing this nation.

    If you do not have a combat MOS you are no warrior, and have no place sending people off to war. if you have not served, you have no right to call yourself anything but a warhawk wannabe. Take the Oath, go outside the wire, or STFU.

    When people are dying of thirst in the desert, they drink any type of liquid available, not because it's there, but because they don't care anymore. We as a nation are doomed under this charlatan's leadership.