Sunday, January 05, 2014

Me, Or Your Lyin' Eyes?

This Jonathan Freedland column is just great, pushing as it does the suggestion that barring his stroke and subsequent coma, Ariel Sharon might just have been the man to bring about peace with the Palestinians.

The title - "Ariel Sharon's final mission might well have been peace" - is fantastic, whether Freedland chose it or not.  And indeed, if I'm hit by a bus tomorrow, then people could say that my final mission "might well have been teetotalism", without sounding any more ridiculous. 

Back in reality, Sharon's "final mission" was pretty obvious to everyone who cared to look - basically, unapologetically ripping off as much land as possible, then building a giant fuck-off fence around it and lobbing missiles at anything that looks vaguely threatening on the other side. 

Admittedly this could result in "peace" of a kind, although perhaps not in the way that Freedland means. JF's effort is fun, in a kind of we-all-know-this-is-bollocks-but-let's-say-it-anyway manner, but perhaps a tad misleading.

Bonus points are also due for the implication that Sharon's war record is a matter of highly-partisan debate, rather than long-established and well-documented fact.  It's also worth noting that if anything, Sharon seems like less of a violent headbanger these days because those who came after him were a good sight crazier.

I do quite like Jonathan Freedland, who seems to be a nice guy in that wet, terribly earnest Guardian way, but seriously - if the Israelis ever need to hide a few settlements in a hurry, they could do worse than shoving them up Freedland's backside, since it appears that you could actually stick several hundred large houses, retail outlets, sentry towers and heavily-armed soldiers up the man's arse without him noticing.


AHB said...

To me it reads like: Ooh I've been sent a new book which says what lots of other books already have, hence those tossers in the books section won't give me review space. Fuck 'em. So I'm going to review it anyway by wrapping it round with a few push-me-pull-you paragraphs about Sharon which, with a few minor changes, I could have written about any Israeli politician of the last few decades ("Was he a warmonger? Was he a peacemaker? Perhaps neither and both, who can say?") to give it some spurious timeliness. It's a masterpiece of pointlessness.

Phil said...

In which we learn that, while Sharon might look like an evil bastard - and actually that's because he was an evil bastard - he might actually have admitted to being an evil bastard, possibly, sort of, or been about to, and if he had done we would certainly have wanted to support him in his brave and honest attempts to Reckon with the Past, which might even have led some more evil bastards to admit to being evil bastards, sort of, in so many words, which would be a giant step forward for peace because it would. We certainly shouldn't just go around talking about him as if he was some sort of evil bastard, because that wouldn't be constructive and realistic and stuff. Greatest hope for peace my enemy's enemy only Nixon could go to China will this do.

Calling Sharon the last of the 'war generation' was telling - a bit disrespectful to Uri Avnery. But the story of an aggressive Zionist who becomes an anti-Zionist peace campaigner wouldn't fit Freedland's framework.