Friday, March 24, 2006

...and you flank from the left

So oddly enough I agree with Youssef Massad. I am ashamed to admit it, but I do. I would probably not go so far as to say that "[The US] has pursued and continues to pursue policies that are inimical to the interests of most people in these countries and are only beneficial to its own interests and to the minority regimes in the region that serve those interests, including Israel." But I would probably support his intuition, that Israel falls roughly along the U.S.'s greater foreign policy trajectory.

I guess politics makes strange bed fellows. Kinda like David Duke and John Mearsheimer ;)

Update: And apparently I am not alone (see "Strange Bedfellows").

Is it at all possible that this article was written in light of my post (as I sit here and scratch my head)?


Anonymous said...

I fail to see how US policy is "inimical to the interests of most people in these [Middle Eastern]countries." It is not yet possible to evaluate the effect of the Iraq war. However, it is important to note that there have been marked increases in liberalization and democratization in the region. Thanks to the US invasion, everyone acknowledges that freedom of expression is at an all time high in Arab regimes. US policy is "inimical" only to corrupt, generally hereditary, dictatorial regimes. The people themselves seem to be benefiting from US policy. It should also be noted that the US contributes billions of dollars worth of aid each year to many countries in the region, not just Israel.

miriam said...

"US policy is "inimical" only to corrupt, generally hereditary, dictatorial regimes. "

Anonymous -
i don't exactly follow the news, nor will i claim to have an opinion as to whether US policy is "good for the arabs" (you) or "bad for the arabs" (zev, massad), but in all these discussions perhaps think less of iraq and more of saudi arabia, a country with as good a corrupt, hereditary, dictatorial "regime" as any. has the US pursued a policy that is "inimical" to the saudi government in favor of liberties for its people?

There is a lot more to say, but I'll refrain because this argument has been had many times and most people can and will fill-in both sides in their own heads, complete with moral indignation and heated temperments...

one more note, though:
"Thanks to the US invasion, everyone acknowledges that freedom of expression is at an all time high in Arab regimes.

As i said, i don't follow the news, but does "everyone" really aknowledge this?

I am reminded of a reading of esther 4:11 that I once heard from rabbi david silber. Esthers says "'All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law for him, that he be put to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live." Rabbi silber pointed out that, in fact, this is _not_ necessarily something that people who don't hang out in the palace know. Esther is placing herself "inside" the royal household and its ways of thinking, (and implicitly removed from the rest ofher people) by stating this so matter-of-factly. This fits with a whole reading of Esther as being about Jews in galut being inside/outside the gentile society in which we find ourselves, etc, which is probably more interesting that Iraq to me, but anyway...

Hapy Tuesday.

Sam said...

As tempting as it may be, I will say nothing about politics. But Zev, why did you write Joseph Massad's name as "Youssef"? On his web page, he goes by the English name Joseph. I make no pretense of speaking Arabic, but I found an article of his in al-Adab with his first name spelled jim-waw-zin-ye-fe ("Jozef")—check the "Falastin" link at

Zev said...

In answer to your Q, when I heard him speak at UofC a few years back, they introduced him as Youssef--chalk it up to whimsy, I guess. I could be off on the spelling, however.