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Andrew Sullivan’s Election Prediction

For those keeping score at home

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Andrew Sullivan(Screengrab)

No introduction necessary. Emphasis mine. From The Dish:

But the core battle between Western democracy and theo-political fundamentalism is as real as it is vital. In the US, thanks in large part to Obama and the younger generation, fundamentalism is losing the battle for hearts and minds for the time being, but remains dangerously irrational in its deep, panicked and bewildered hostility to modernity. In the Muslim world, it is waxing turbulently – from Pakistan to Egypt – and has killed thousands in its murderous wake. But it is also true that Greater Israel is, alas, an increasingly fundamentalist project, built on the most dangerous fusion there is: land and monotheism. All religions have the fundamentalist temptation, and Christianity has historically been one of the worst, but the point is not to single out any specific faith tradition, but to note this danger in all of them, and the distinction between a confident live-and-let-live faith and the neurotic need to enforce religious doctrine through civil law on others – a temptation that Jesus warned so often against.

Next week’s Israeli election will almost certainly mean the end of even the illusion of any two-state solution ever happening – and of a secular country able to make peace with its neighbors, let alone relent in its aggressive re-population of the occupied territories. It looks as if it will empower the fundamentalist, racist far right in ways we have not yet seen. Which is to say: If you fear a nuclear-armed theocracy emerging in the Middle East, Iran should not be your only worry. The slick and truly modern theo-fascism of a man like Naftali Bennett bears all the hallmarks of modern fundamentalism. Including its tendency toward violence when challenged.

Israel’s Fundamentalist Temptation [Daily Beast]

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Andrew’s argument against Jewish fundamentalists: Jesus said so.

Cool_Romeo says:

Very glad he does not have nukes.

ginzy1 says:

But Sullivan is an honorable man….

hg

herbcaen says:

why does this turd have any credibility?

Rich Ross says:

A typical load of BS from a Far Leftist utilizing all the mandatory buzzwords which are their common identifier.

Anyone who thinks that fundamentalist Islam is “waxing” smokes way too much pot.

Ian Thal says:

Sullivan isn’t a “Far Leftist.” He’s a centrist. Up until a decade or so ago, he identified as a moderate-Republican.

… that doesn’t mean he isn’t talking nonsense, of course.

Point being that he was wrong, not only his description of Israel’s electorate but also his prediction…

Rich Ross says:

Sullivan is a Jew and Israel-baiter who would be at home with any Far Leftist on the subject. You can call him whatever pleases you but the fact remains that when it comes to Israel, his views mirror exactly the most extreme elements of the worldwide anti-Israel Leftist community.

AriShavit says:

what the fuck does Andrew Sullivan know about Israel or Israelis?

julis123 says:

He’s not alone. Most of the Western press had the same predictions. As usual anything they write about Israel is wrong.

oaklandj says:

He might be a Jew-baiter and Israel-baiter, but that has nothing to do with right or left. I know way too many right-wingers who are both; if you can’t or don’t want to see them, then you’re just sticking your head in the sand.

Irrelevant question. He has thousands of online acolytes who view him as an iconoclastic truth-teller and treat his pronouncements as gospel, as well as a host of self-styled foreign policy analysts sympathetic to his hostility to Jews and Israel who retail his posts, lending them the appearance of credibility. Major news outlets have happily given him a platform to be a popular sideshow attraction, railing against the Semites from his cage, and Bibi Netanyahu has obligingly done little to bely Sullivan’s caricatures. It has helped erode support for Israel in America.

Ian Thal says:

Sullivan is a practicing Roman Catholic of Irish ancestry from England. He is a British ex-pat living in the U.S. He’s never voted in a U.S. election (he’s not a citizen,) but he’s always been associated with conservative politics.He only started stumping for Democratic candidates in the last decade because the Republicans turned to the far-right.

That doesn’t mean that his views on Israel aren’t wrong, but it certainly means that he’s neither a leftist nor a Jew.

Rich Ross says:

Who ever said he was a Jew? He’s a Jew-baiter and an Israel-baiter. Reread the sentence in its entirety.

Jim Johnson says:

Some good comments on the dangers of fundamentalism in all religions.
One can only hope that human beings will make it through this long, dangerous era of religion, beliefs and separation. This infatuation with myths, dogma and competition between beliefs and religions may turn out to be a dead end of constant confusion, delusion, wars and terrorism.

Or, maybe human beings will grow-up, wake-up and renounce all of this nonsense and actually adopt some workable priorities, like: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It starts with knowing who you really are, not what religion you “belong” to.

BlueJoubert says:

Excuse me, but AIPAC and Israeli jews are doing far more to erode support for Israel in America than anything idiot Sullivan can say. After all, he has become a caricature of himself these days, and with his new “business model” we will thankfully be rid of his (nearly always wrong) prognostications.

BlueJoubert says:

Ian, so you are saying that the constant taking of land from the Palestinians and building of settlements on that stolen land (against international law,) along with the constant barrage of highly accurate missiles into Palestine, ignoring over 60 UN sanctions currently on record, and trying to use the US as big brother to protect them when they (eventually) illegally attack Iran, is morally justifiable in your hypocritical worldview. Fairness, Mr Thai, is neither left nor right, it is simply , , , fair.

As far as Sullivan goes, he didn’t stop stomping for Republicans because they turned too far right. He stopped because they lost the White House. And he’ll go back to being a republican when they take back the White House in 16 or 20 years. Simple, quite really. People in this thread give him far too much credibility than he has in the real world.

hawkny1 says:

Irishman know everything. Just ask one.

BlueJoubert says:

I agree Jim. No fundamentalism is healthy, regardless whether it is Muslim, Jewish, or Christian. All are equally guilty of causing rivers of blood to flow all over the globe for the last 2,000 years.

Maybe I’m too ignorant, but I can’t grasp the idea that someone who disagrees with me deserves death (ok, I admit, some of the crap the right wing pulls lately does make me cringe . . . but I am strong enough in my beliefs to allow others to hold their own as long as they don’t force their ideology on me.)

I’m more than ready for our current ‘age of enlightenment’ to fully take hold and sanity to prevail over humanity before the Armageddon all three of them lust for actually comes to fruition.

BlueJoubert says:

hehehe Time for a lager.

BlueJoubert says:

Parliamentary seats in the Knesset were split 60/60. If Israel were a democracy, there would be divided government and Bibi would have to move towards a centrist coalition to continue governance. However, since 30 of the seats were won by Arabs, who cannot vote for the leader, he will likely continue down the same disastrous path he has pursued for years and continue to fracture world support. Israel has never been a democracy. Why does the West continue to insist that it is?

BlueJoubert says:

He doesn’t, and hasn’t for more than a decade. He is a genius in his own mind, however.

Ian Thal says:

Your earlier use of words and punctuation could have been read as you having claimed that Andrew Sullivan was a Jew. This was after your erroneous claims that Sullivan was on the political left, when he clearly isn’t.

Ian Thal says:

I didn’t state any of those things that you attribute to me, so I don’t feel the need to debate the points.

Judaism is not “equally guilty of causing rivers of blood to flow all over the globe for the last 2,000 years,” BlueJoubert. Rather, much in those rivers of blood have come from entirely peaceable and harmless Jews, while they for their part have caused next to none of it. Please give a bit more thought to your anti-religious tirades. Not all sorts of religions are the same, nor even all fundamentalisms, for that matter, whether in the same religion or in all religions. It is not moral, BlueJoubert, as I am sure you will agree, to insist on even-handedness between perpetrators and victims, nor is it intelligent to homogenise very diverse phenomena in sweeping simplistic formulas and slogans. Too often, blind “even-handedness” requires its own necessary falsifications, shown most blatantly and typically in anti-Jewish distortions. If all religions, or all fundamentalisms, are bad, all endorsing violence, terror, etc., so there is nothing to choose between them, it follows that we can excuse Islam or fundamentalist Islam for being perfectly normal, while falsifying and demonizing Judaism and Jewish Orthodoxy and contrasting both to a fairy-tale secularism we favor. We see this sort of “even-handedness” again and again in determined ignorance of the facts and human decency in discussions about Israel and the Arab world, and I am allergic to it, as I am to all sweeping either-or generalizations.

Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that BlueJoubert’s assertions about Israel are simply false. Falsehoods repeated often enough take on a spurious aura of truth, especially if they are not countered every time they crop up. We should not let falsifiers get away with it. The truth is that the “settlements” in the West Bank and Gaza now take up less space than at the time of the Camp David peace talks in 2000 between Arafat, Barak and Clinton, not more. That is because Israel has withdrawn entirely from Gaza, and still occupies just about the same 1-2% of West Bank land it did in 2000. There is no “constant taking of land from the Palestinians.” That is a false libel.

Nor are the buildings on the Israeli-held land “against international law.” No court of international law has actually ruled Israel’s holding of the 67-won territories “illegal.” The subject has not been the focus of any international court proceedings, so the alleged “illegality” has not been proven in any international court. Different opinions can be held, but it is actually hard to see how any court could prove the supposed “illegality.”

The term presumes that the land was won illegally to start with, and/or that it is presently being held illegally.

Was the land won “illegally”? No, it was taken as a result of the 1967 war of self-defense, entirely legal and justified in itself, fought by Israel against the aggressors who held the West Bank and Gaza and who were threatening the very survival of the state.

Is it still held “illegally”? No, it is entirely legal in international law for a country that has fought in self-defense to hold territory won until the aggressors finalise peace terms that include boundary adjustments to meet the security needs and vital interests of the defending state. That is what UN Security Council Resolution 242 calls for. Egypt and Jordan handed over this issue to the Palestinians, who were also amongst the aggressors and who still declare themselves to be in a state of war, hot or cold, with Israel, so the onus of peace talks lies with them. The Palestinians refuse to enter into serious peace talks, and until those occur and are satisfactorily concluded, Israel has every right to hold the land.

BlueJoubert informs us that the UN has some 60 sanctions against Israel currently on record, which Israel ignores, as if this is really a serious indictment. That is the same UN that passed 22 anti-Israel resolutions just in this past General Assembly, compared to only four against all other countries in the world. This sort of proportion is typical of the UN. Almost all of the greatest violators of human rights are ignored, including some of those sitting on the Security Council itself, and also including horribly tyrannical regimes in the Middle East, while the only liberal democracy there, and the only one that takes human rights seriously, is loaded down with those condemnations. These double standards and demonizations also strip those resolutions of any credibility. How can such an imbalance and totally blind bias prevail in the UN? Perhaps the fact that there are some 56 nations in the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, representing a significant portion of the world’s population, and many other nations in Europe and elsewhere who for domestic and international economic and political reasons feel it advisable to curry favour with those Islamic nation with empty declamations, but only one single little Jewish state in the world representing only 0.2% of the world’s population, has something to do with it.

BlueJoubert, you again bend the truth. The split was 61/59, but it is entirely democratic to allocate the actual party numbers and develop whatever sort of coalition the electoral victors want. Netanyahu according to the most recent news will aim for a strong centrist-right coalition of 80-some seats. You say that 30 seats were won by Arab parties; that is also false: 13 were. 20% of Israeli Arabs votes went to Netanyahu or to others of the mainstream Zionist parties, in fact. So it is also not true that Israeli Arabs cannot vote for Netanyahu, whose actual surname it seems you cannot bring yourself to pronounce (the diminutive “Bibi” merely being a childish put-down).

Jim Johnson says:

The sooner we grow out of this childish obsession with religions and competition between them, the sooner we can leave behind all the hate, fear, confusion and separation inherent in all beliefs.

Better to really know oneself and not eagerly (or violently) defend the various adopted dogmas that try to explain who we are, what we should believe, and who the “others” are.

hawkny1 says:

Drop a shot of Jameson’s in! You will be amazed at how smart you feel after a few. :))

Tzur says:

Better by far that we seek solace in secularist Jacobinism (remember all the dead of the French Enlightenment Reign of Reason, which passed through the Reign of Terror into the Reign of Despotism and Murder, i.e., the Napoleonic Wars to save humanity, covering Europe with corpses). And let us not forget the later incarnations of this secularist tendency, Nazism and Communism, whose millions of dead testify to what freedom from religion does to humanity and its ethical values. Far more people have already been killed by secularist ideologies than by religion, even though those secularist ideologies have only been around for a few centuries.

It turns out that it is not so easy to abolish the need for meaning in life, even if the meaning after “religion” is outlawed turns out to be a skull and cross-bones.

Jim Johnson says:

Right you are. When the humans try to establish their own belief systems to “replace” religions, like: Communism, Nazism, Fascism, secularism… they often end up much worse and their conflicts and wars to promote their ideology are devestating. Just more nonsense.

Hopefully, human beings will get through this period of gods, religions, dogmas, beliefs, ideologies and nationalism. If we can’t, I’m afraid we will ultimately kill each other off to protect our beliefs. I am hopeful…

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Andrew Sullivan’s Election Prediction

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