The Sydney Morning Herald's editorials on the subject of Palestine-Israel invariably plumb the depths of cliche-ridden, Israel-centric cluelessness.
Today's, on "Israel's rising political star" Tzipi Livni, was for the most part true to form: "For all its problems, Israel's turbulent democracy knows a good woman when it sees one. Golda Meir, who served as prime minister in the 1960's and '70s, used to be called 'the best man in the government'. Ms Livni will require some of that spirit if she is to prevail over her ambitious rivals, engage or defeat her nation's sworn enemies, and achieve what none of her predecessors have done by finding a durable peace that secures Israel's borders and future." (Tough tests for Israel's new PM)
There's the usual glib assumption that Israel is a democracy, the grotesque misrepresentation of the brutalised, occupied Palestinian people as some kind of existential threat, and the truly bizarre notion that Israel has been/is seeking anything other than the peace of the grave. Then there's the invocation of Golda Meir's "spirit" as some kind of example for Livni to follow. That's right, the same Golda Meir who was of the opinion that Israel's "sworn enemies" didn't even exist (See my 17/8/08 post, The Zionist La Passionara).
As I said - abysmal cluelessness. Which is why the following sentence, or part thereof, shook me to the core: "Palestinian leaders have responded positively to her ascent, and while her party remains wedded to the problematic idea that the Jewish majority must always dominate Israel, they are at least willing to concede land to the Palestinians in order to secure a Jewish state."
Let me run that bit past you again: "... the problematic idea that the Jewish majority must always dominate Israel... " Could it be any clearer? The core concept of political Zionism - that Israel should be a Jewish state, which is to say a state with a Jewish majority - is PROBLEMATIC! You bet it's problematic. As problematic as Israel's expulsion of 750,000 Palestinian Arabs so as to ensure an absolute Jewish majority in that part of Palestine (78%) overrun by Zionist forces in 1948. As the Palestinian Jewish community's then leader, David Ben-Gurion, had said in the immediate wake of the UN partition resolution of 29 November 1947, "Only a state with at least 80% Jews is a viable and stable state." (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Ilan Pappe, p 48) As problematic as any nation obsessed with cleansing its indigenous inhabitants to achieve the 'right' kind of demographic balance.
A slip of the pen? A dim but real awareness that the Zionist project in Palestine is fundamentally flawed? Can the Herald really be unaware of what it has unleashed here? Hell hath few furies like the Zionist lobby scorned. Furl the sails. Batten down the hatches. The Herald's surely in for stormy weather.