Friday, May 27, 2011

Craziest Republican of the Day: Allen West

He wasn't being crazy when he was criticizing Newt Gingrich for proposing the return of "poll tests," but he's generally one of the craziest and most extreme Republicans around, and he's been at the crazy again in recent days attacking President Obama over Israel:

In West's typical hyperbole, he said [Obama's] speech was the "beginning of the end" of Israel and mysteriously accused Obama of giving Islamists a "Pavlovian-style" reward. But in a statement quoted by the Broward County New Times [on Wednesday], West took things further than any Republican lawmaker yet, invoking Hitler and accusing Obama of "nefarious" intent toward Jews:

In reviewing history, I would say Sir Neville Chamberlain was naive in his negotiations with German Chancellor Adolph Hitler. However, when one examines the state of affairs in the Middle East, including the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation pact, increase of rocket/mortar attacks from Gaza, the definitive Hamas Charter statement vowing the destruction of Israel, and the Hamas condemnation of America for killing Osama bin Laden... I cannot attribute this incompetent statement to naivete, but rather to conscious, nefarious, and malicious intent.

Of course, this is "an ignorant or intentionally dishonest interpretation of Obama's speech and the facts of the Middle East situtation." (And, yes, he spells Hitler's name incorrectly.)

And it is simply ridiculous, if predictable from the likes of West, to suggest that Obama is anti-Israel, or that suggesting, as Obama did, that the pre-1967 borders be taking as a starting point for negotiations signals an opposition to Israel's very existence. As the New Times explains:

Obama never once said Israel ought to withdraw to its "pre-1967" borders. He said that the division of land between Israel and a future Palestinian state would take the 1967 borders as a template and would be modified by land swaps. The words "pre-1967" never passed his lips. (In his speech, Obama also roundly decried Fatah's association with Hamas. West doesn't mention this, presumably because it would tarnish Obama's new image as the Jew Killer In Chief.)

How Obama's cautious, conservative stance on Israel is "unconscionable" is anyone's guess. It's precisely the approach advocated by every American president for a generation. The only way Obama's prescription is "unconscionable" is if a two-party solution is itself "unconscionable" -- which West firmly believes. Yet, like Obama's statements of unyielding support for Israel's security and his condemnation of Hamas, this goes unmentioned in his remarks.

And so you see, West is anti-Obama but also anti-Palestinian, and so he's attacking Obama, and doing so by lying about what the president actually said and actually supports, for working towards a sustainable peace in the region that includes not just a secure Israel but a Palestinian state that is itself similarly secure in its territory -- and not just "peace" on Likudnik Israel's terms, a "peace" that would allow Israel to keep all the post-1967 land it occupies.

A genuine peace agreement will require concessions on both sides. Obama knows that. But West, like Netanyahu, and like many in the American pro-Israel lobby, refuses to compromise, or to concede anything at all, which he crazily likens to appeasing Hitler. And that means he opposes peace, or at least that he doesn't give a damn about the Palestinians. Given his history of scapegoating Muslims, it's hardly surprising that that's the case.

(photo - with more on West's craziness)

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