08 December 2014

Prof Alon Ben-Meir is angry or How to break wind in public with impudence

Dr. Alon Ben Meir: professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute
As you can see, prof Ben Meir is far from being nobody: a noted scientist, a double Senior Fellow in places that matter etc. So, opening his article you expect some measure of enlightenment to descend on you after reading it in full. At least that was my anticipation when I've seen his Daily Beast article titled Goodbye to Israel’s Lousy Government (Let’s Hope the Next One Isn’t Worse).

Well, of course one shouldn't expect any surprises from an article that starts with words "The collapse of the Netanyahu government was not a surprise...". And indeed, there ain't no surprises to speak of in this piece, dedicated solely to a litany of well known and obvious facts about our illustrious leaders. My brow twitched a bit reading this about Naftali Bennett: "He largely agreed with Lieberman but considered Netanyahu too timid towards the Palestinians." But even that twitch was only re the word "but" there in the middle of the sentence. Nothing major - could be a typo as well. Of course, it could be a hint at some future essay or summat, so we shall see.

Anyway - you would expect some penetrating analysis from such a distinguished scientist, wouldn't you. And here is what prof Ben Meir has to offer:
In the final analysis, however, only the people of Israel can send Netanyahu to a permanent retirement.
Yeah... I would dare venture an opinion on that: this is hardly a breakthrough in political science, the domain where our subject is such an expert.

But this is all besides the main point. And the main point of this post is the central sentence, which the on-line editor has chosen as a main excerpt from the whole text:

And no, I don't mind that "egomaniacal politician", which is in fact a tautology. Or "hypocrite", which is just another tautology when coupled with "politician". Nor do I mind the statement that Bibi "uses Israel’s national security as a cover for..." - it is even partly (but only partly) true. I don't even mind the phenomenally dirty language used by a man of high learning in this article (see also "Netanyahu and his bandits" further on in the text). Who knows, prof Ben Meir might have had a bad day when sitting down to write that hardly scientific opus.

What I do mind is, probably, less visually offensive to the reader, but highly unscientific and poisonous nevertheless. By rights it should be highlighted and discussed with Alon Ben-Meir - not Alon Ben-Meir the contributor to The Daily Beast, but prof Ben Meir the scientist, whose precision in such matters is one of the few measures of his scientific value. What I mean is his claim that Bibi "is committed to Greater Israel".

Between many things ascribed to Israelis in particular and Jews in general, the myth of so called "Greater Israel" is one of the more popular among Jew-haters, such as Hamas. The myth presents Israeli aspirations in this way:

For those unfamiliar with the map of the region: that smear of brownish color between Jordan and the Mediterranean - less the white splotches for West Bank from the East and Gaza Strip at the shore - is what is considered the current Israeli boundaries. So is it the map prof Ben Meir has in mind?

Possibly this is the one he was thinking about:

But it can't be: that one is almost smaller (territory-wise) than the current (officially recognized) territory of Israel. Something else then. But prof Ben Meir is not telling. And I am tired of guessing already.

One thing for sure: as far as scientific precision, objectivity and detachment goes, prof Ben Meir shouldn't get a passing mark even if he himself was grading this article - unless spreading Hamas' propaganda was his purpose when writing it. A very high mark for passion, though, and for dirtmouthing.

Poor show, Mr Ben Meir. Very poor show.

There is another point in prof Ben Meir's bio that bothers me now, after reading that piece:
Dr. Ben-Meir is an expert on Middle East politics and affairs, specializing in international negotiations and conflict resolution. In the past seventeen years, Ben-Meir has been directly involved in various negotiations between Israel and its neighboring countries and Turkey.
Seeing as how miserable our relationships with Turkey look today, should I venture a guess re "conflict resolution" skills of some people involved, based on this article? Nah... I think I better not.

To conclude and for the sake of full disclosure: I do not like our Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu. And of course, I consider the right to badmouth him to be my deity-assigned right, while using it properly and with exquisite taste and elegance. What is allowed to a blogger, is strictly verbotten to a professor, however. Surely I feel jealous seeing such an eruption of poorly thought through unscientific bile, especially when it comes from such high and mighty figure. Now you have it all.

So there.


Dick Stanley said...

A leftist professor at a leftist university in a leftist city. What do you expect?

Dick Stanley said...

I don't see any black-white fuss at all. Just a black-cops fuss that too often turns deadly. Fewer killer cops is what's needed. Then the Sharptons would be just about out of business.

peterthehungarian said...

Ben Meir and comrades are pushing the center and center left (c'est moi) to the right.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Well, some minimum amount of - how to call it - professorship?

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yes, but cops will be cops - no matter the color, nationality or whatever. On the other hand, their jobs are not that easy at all, and many of them are jumpy fo a good reason.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That true, unfortunately.

Dick Stanley said...

Jumpier than ever, from what I see, much more likely to kill now than just a few years ago, and I'd like to know why. Which is why these prosecutors convincing grand juries not to indict killer cops isn't doing anyone (except Sharpton) any good.

Dick Stanley said...

Look! A pair of boobs!-> (.Y.)

What do you call those things. Not emoticons, but....

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I agree, that behavior of prosecution is a shame. Causes harm to the cops themselves in the long run.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That too ;-)

BHCh said...

Spot on. Sometimes I wonder whether it was me writing this shit on your blog while sleepwalking. Your posts make way too much sense for someone who isn't me.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I don't know whether to take it as a compliment or as a confession of fatal laziness... you know what I mean.