STEPHENS VS. MAKOVSKY
by David Basch
Freeman Center For Strategic Studies
January 18, 2011
"Makovsky titillated the primarily religious,
right wing OU audience with seeming insider,
off-the-record, information that allegedly
showed that currently unelected Arab leaders
secretly want peace with Israel."
"I gathered from the session that peace for Israel
is difficult indeed since even Bret Stephens could
not chart a safe and secure path to such a future ..."
On Sunday, January 16, at the yearly OU convention, Bret Stephens, a
senior editor at Wall Street Journal, faced off against kippah wearing
David Makovsky, a former, journalist, now a member of some U.S.
affiliated, foreign policy think tank, on US policy concerning Israel.
(Makovsky would say his organization is independent but we know better
-- more about that later.)
Stephens was great. He presented in depth the why-s and wheres of
mistaken Obama policy on Israel. In general, Stephens observed that
the Arab side has over many prior decades shown no willingness to make
peace and isn't turning over a new leaf today; Israel should be wary
about letting its guard down since any tamping down of hostilities is
the result of Israeli actions and policies, not Arab; Obama yet
presses Israel to not build its communities on its lands beyond the
unofficial, so-called "green line" as somehow against peace; this
while the Arabs keep moving aggressively against Israel at every turn;
Predictably, David Makovsky, a confirmed peace-nik, looks at the same
3/4 empty glass as 1/2 full, and talked up Arab efforts to, step by
step, arrive at peace, despite Arab schools that openly preach
Israel's destruction and despite the Arabs breaking all their signed
promises to refrain from threats of force and to refrain from
terrorist and military action against Israel.
Makovsky titillated the primarily religious, right wing audience with
seeming insider, off-the-record, information that allegedly show that
currently unelected Arab leaders secretly want peace. That sort of
thing is vintage Makovsky, whose affable, disarming demeanor is
designed to do just that, to disarm effective action to keep Israel
strong against a very dangerous enemy that has not changed, but only
has gotten smarter and more effective.
I was first exposed to David Makovsky about 20 years ago, when he, as
a kippah wearing journalist, preached Israeli surrender of its
territories to the Arabs -- the kind of advice that helped lead to
bringing back Arafat and his terrorist army from exile in Tunisia to
become forever threats to central Israel and to cost Israel thousands
of lives and ten times more wounded and the loss of diplomatic
strength. I suspected then he was a US covert agent -- probably CIA,
like Walter Kronkhite. Makovsky was effective in giving the illusion
that a kippah wearer could still be for surrender of Jewish territory
-- territory not only promised by God but underwritten by the legal
action of the League of Nations to set aside that territory to the
Jewish people -- still in force, but not enforced.
I was later further confirmed in my hunch about CIA type agent
Makovsky when he left journalism and was rewarded by appointment to a
think tank where he could more effectively counsel step by step
Makovsky's pitch at the session was that Obama was more recently
learning that he can't overtly and strenuously force things on Israel
and that will now be more understanding and less pushy. In return,
Israel should recognize this "by working hard for peace with the
Arabs" by continuing tinier step by step surrenders to them since
"having things break out into a religious war would be no good for
either side." However, as we all know, since the Arabs will not make
concessions for peace, it is left to Israel to do the small
surrenders, which, by the way, eventually add up to grave dangers for
Israel -- about which Makovsky turns a blind eye and wishes to
similarly blind Jews and pro-Israel supporters.
In pursuit of this, I would note, Makovsky has teamed up with that
other careerist Jew, Dennis Ross -- also in-service to US
administrations and no doubt to the State Department too. They have
written a book about the Middle East afairs. I haven't read the book
but can predict that it is about the great virtue of Israeli
surrenders for peace to the very Arabs, who are, in reality, on a
perpetual parabolic curve heading for the line of peace with Israel
but destined never to quite get there.
If Israel takes counsel from these covert agents, it will allow Arab
forces to get stronger and stronger and will continue Israeli
surrenders territories from which the Arabs can ever more effectively
rocket Israeli cities, as we see happened when Arafat was allowed to
return to take over extensive West Bank areas and later happened
because of the surrendered strategic Gaza -- thanks to feeble minded
left-wing Israeli leaders following such counsels as the Siren songs
of the Makovskys and the Rosses.
I gathered from the session that peace for Israel is difficult indeed
since even Bret Stephens could not chart a safe and secure path to
such a future and the Makovsky types would be preaching the whittling
away of Israeli strength to appease US savage Arab allies on behalf of
a policy that meets Makovsky's phony version of "highest levels of
Jewish religious tradition" -- a dangerous policy that will lead to
Israel becoming the most righteous nation in the graveyard.
Stephens did counsel caution and wisdom and, more or less, advised
Israel to stand fast until the other side actually changed. It seemed,
he was unwilling to jump up to his neck into the fray and left such
policy fashioning to Israel's leaders. I was not as optimistic as he
was in his hope that a religious war could be averted, the war that
Makovsky alleged "no one wants." On this matter, Makovsky is wrong.
Someone does want that war. The Arabs do want that religious war when
they get a strong advantage over Israel, as many, many decades of Arab
and Muslim action proves.
The reality appears that there is no hope that the Muslim-Arab enemy
will make peace unless decisively defeated since it will not make
peace with an Israel it thinks it can defeat. What Israel should take
away from this situation facing a determined, implacable enemy is
that, given this downside, Israel must not give in to the Makovsky
type concessions but must remain strong and even look for ways to
improve Israel's situation whenever possible so that, when such a
religious war inevitably occurs, it will be Israel that emerges