Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Lincoln as Jewish Settler
By Steven Plaut
An interesting trend has emerged in recent weeks. The Israeli
Left, along with most of the world's pseudo-intellectual classes, has
suddenly discovered Abraham Lincoln. Obviously it is thanks to the
new Hollywood movie. Leftists do not read books; they form their
moral evaluations mainly based on fashionable movies, like the
abominations that Israel sent to the Oscar ceremonies this year or
like the movies produced by Michael Moore.
The Israeli Left has embraced Lincoln because it is convinced that,
if Lincoln is regarded as a moral champion, clearly identification
with Lincoln must lead one to support the political agenda of the
Israeli Left. First and foremost this would mean supporting
Palestinian demands and aggression against Jews. And of course the
"social justice" economic and social bolshevism of the Left.
Take the column by Bradley Burston, the English-language columnist
for Haaretz, that Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, from a few
days ago. You can read it here:
The title pretty much tells you what you need to know:
'As Lincoln abolished slavery, Israel must abolish occupation."
Bradley opines: 'I realize now that I am an abolitionist and that
occupation is slavery. I also realize that I need to pay more
attention to Abraham Lincoln, in his ability to remind us all of the
wisdom hidden in the obvious.' If you have a strong stomach, read
the whole article.
Then today (March 5) we have a column in Haaretz by one Ithamar
Handelman Smith, who claims to be a writer and journalist, one who is
so anti-Israel that the Likud government is likely to grant him a
governmental subsidy to make some Bash-Israel flicks. His column is
It is titled ' What do you know of Lincoln, Ms. Livnat? He opines:
'The culture minister couldn't see the parallels between the Academy
Award-winning story she loved (Lincoln -- SP) and the stories behind
the Israeli documentaries she shunned.'
You will like this excerpt from Smith: 'Israel is a democracy to
be proud of? Maybe, if you're extremist-right-wing-Jewish settlers.
But everyone else Arabs, Haredim, African refugees, leftists live here
under one of the least democratic regimes in the Western world. And
no, a democracy doesn't get defensive about movies like "The
Gatekeepers" and "5 Broken Cameras." A democracy learns from films
like these about what's wrong with it and what can be fixed.'
Not of course from any books!
SO what do we make of this new "Lincoln as Leftist Pro-Palestinian
social democrat" campaign by Israel's Left and by Haaretz?
Well, even someone with only the shallowest familiarity with
American history would know that the two most important principles
represented by Lincoln would make him for all intents and purposes the
ethical analogue of the Jewish settler leaders in the West Bank.
Lincoln fought the American Civil War first and foremost in to
order to prevent the division of his homeland, and he was fully
prepared to use massive military force to achieve that goal. This
makes him the moral brother of every Jew in the world who is OPPOSED
to partition of the Land of Israel and carving out from it any
Palestinian state. Those proposing such a "two-state solution" are
the 21st century's copperheads.
Second, Lincoln had no reluctance about using the word "treason,"
and throughout the Civil War he made it clear that he considered the
Union war against the Confederacy and its supporters to be a campaign
against treason. Those who supported succession or the Confederacy
were consistently described by Lincoln as "traitors." Those who
opposed the Union's national interests were engaging in treason, not
academic freedom. Lincoln did not mollycoddle traitors in the name of
"understanding the Other." He did not insist that those opposing
national interests be allowed to control the universities and the
courts and the media. Lincoln's war against treason did not make him
a 19th century Haaretz columnist but rather the moral ally of all
those who despise Haaretz and who oppose the anti-Israel Left in
Aside from those two most obvious characteristics of Lincoln,
which make him the moral analogue of Jewish settler leaders in the
West Bank, Lincoln had a few other features that will make the Left
squirm. Lincoln abolished habeas corpus during wartime. He had
traitors executed and deported, and had no hesitation about the use of
capital punishment. Lincoln also imposed censorship on the press and
suppressed treasonous journalism. Want to ponder how Lincoln would
handle Haaretz? Then in Sherman's march to the sea, Lincoln
conducted war against CIVILIANS, explicitly targeting and attacking
the civilian population and its infrastructure to end rebellion and
treason. With no Betselem and no Supreme Court interference.
Perhaps most notably, Lincoln also imposed an uncompromising
blockade upon the Confederacy. The very same Israeli Leftists, who
insist that lifting the "embargo" of Gaza is the highest form of
humane morality so that the Hamas can more easily import weapons, will
have an interesting challenge explaining the blockade imposed by the
world's moral champion, Abraham Lincoln. Guess how Lincoln would
have dealt with "Gaza Flotilla" blockade runners. Honest Abe used
exactly the same tactic against the Confederacy over which the Israeli
bedwetting Left is now sobbing its eyes out! And frankly my dear I
don't give a damn!