Sunday, September 3, 2006

Reading every last word

I wonder how many people read Saul Singer's latest opinion piece to the very end. I'm not embarrassed to say that I rarely do. Most weeks I give it a start, but less then a quarter through I decide that it's a waste of time.

For some strange reason, this week was an exception. Something was drawing me in, and I'm glad I stuck it out, since he ends up by saying:
THIS BRINGS US to another revolution that should be provoked by this war:
not only the junking of Olmert's unconditional unilateralist approach, but its
replacement with another strategy.
The recent war showed that we must not hand over territory that will become a launching pad for terrorism against us.
It showed that we must urgently work with the US to force Egypt to prevent the
smuggling of weaponry to Hamas in Gaza, which Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin has
repeated warned is now trying to emulate Hizbullah's buildup.
More fundamentally, we need to stop acting as if relinquishing territory is the core
and perhaps sole component of our strategy to achieve peace
. To do so feeds the
myth that "occupation" is the crux of the conflict, rather than the Islamist/Arab refusal to accept the right of the Jewish people to a state in our land.
The war demonstrated that the world's - and Israel's - basic notion of
an "Arab-Israeli" or "Palestinian-Israeli" conflict needs to be revised.
Hizbullah attacked, as Tony Blair put it, "not to fight for the coming into
being of a Palestinian state, but for the going out of being of an Israeli
We must lead in reenforcing the new realization that we are fighting
against an axis of Islamism that regards all of Israel as "occupied territory."
What is called a "conflict" is a genocidal quest for the destruction of a people
and its country.

Now, as a writer of "political and social commentary" myself, it seems surprising that such important statements are hidden close to the end of his long article. My guess is that he really didn't plan on saying such things. Many times more than once, I've started off with a "plan in my head" of what to say, and it develops a direction all its own, and suddenly I discover that I've written something quite unexpected.

If it's something important, the entire article can be re-written to give it more prominence, or at least I can allude to it in the title.

Why didn't Mr. Singer emphasize his final conclusions? Why didn't he re-write the article? Did it embarrass him that such statements came from his own fingers (and brain)? He sounds more like a Moshe Feiglin than a top Jerusalem Post writer.

Mr. Singer, you've finally written something really good. It's time to shout it from the roof tops!

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