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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 15, 2003

Comparison of Left's Reaction to Iraq and Oslo

There is a price to pay for self-delusion

I keep waiting for figures on the American Left perhaps an intellectual who marched against the war, or, barring that, a few Hollywood stars who made headlines invoking the deaths of thousands and an endless entanglement to stand up now and tell us what they see.

It is close to inconceivable that in moments such as these, in which the world is being transformed, the Left should have nothing to show for itself other than outbursts of protest followed by silence.

In this regard Israel should serve as an instructive example. The reason the venerable Labor Party has 19 seats today and Shinui, a cocky upstart with coherent center-right positions has 17, is not that Oslo fell. It is that when Oslo fell its architects failed to offer any explanations.

Does anyone remember Yossi Beilin or Shimon Peres standing up to their own public, the multitudes who voted for Oslo despite a terrible price, and like John F. Kennedy after the the Bay of Pigs saying "We are responsible. This is what happened. And this is what we propose to do now."

No. And they lost a generation of voters for it.