Don’t miss this opportunity to explore Israel off the beaten track, feel the conflict first hand, understand the security issues and politic realities, and have an unforgettable trip!
The late Michael Kelly was a brilliant writer and editor (The New Republic, The Atlantic) who coincidentally happened to be an American patriot and a strong supporter of Israel – a combination not commonly found in the circles in which he traveled.
Kelly, who died six years ago this month covering the Iraq war in an accident unrelated to combat, was a liberal in the pre-1970’s sense (think Lyndon Johnson or Henry “Scoop” Jackson), another quality that separated him from the politically correct media herd.
The best way to remember Kelly is to review and absorb some of his more memorable insights.
In his column of Sept. 12, 2001, noting that Yasir Arafat had been quick to condemn the terrorist attacks on America the day before, Kelly wrote:
[T]his evil rose, with hideous logic, directly from the philosophy that the leaders and supporters of the Palestinian cause have long embraced and still embrace – a philosophy that accepts the murder of innocents as a legitimate expression of a legitimate struggle.
Later that month, sensing that the initial wave of outrage was already beginning to dissipate among certain influential Americans who now counseled restraint and understanding, Kelly took off after the peace-at-any-price crowd.
“Pacifists are not serious people, although they devoutly believe they are,” he wrote. Acknowledging there are some instances where pacifism might be justified, Kelly argued that this was not one of them:
But in the situation where one’s nation has been attacked – a situation such as we are now in – pacifism is, inescapably and profoundly, immoral. Indeed, in the case of this specific situation, pacifism is on the side of the murderers, and it is on the side of letting them murder again.
Citing a 1942 article by George Orwell which made the point that “pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist,” Kelly wrote:
England’s pacifists howled, but Orwell’s logic was implacable. The Nazis wished the British to not fight. If the British did not fight, the Nazis would conquer Britain. The British pacifists also wished the British to not fight. The British pacifists, therefore, were on the side of a Nazi victory over Britain. They were objectively pro-Fascist.
The same logic, Kelly continued, applied to America in the fall of 2001:
Organized terrorist groups have attacked America. These groups wish the Americans to not fight. The American pacifists wish the Americans to not fight. If the Americans do not fight, the terrorists will attack America again. And now we know such attacks can kill many thousands of Americans. The American pacifists, therefore, are on the side of future mass murders of Americans. They are objectively pro-terrorist…. That is the pacifists’ position, and it is evil.
Actually, as Kelly elaborated in a follow-up column, “much of what is passing for pacifism in this instance is not pacifism at all but only the latest tedious manifestation of a well-known pre-existing condition: the largely reactionary, largely incoherent, largely silly muddle of anti-American, anti-corporatist, anti-globalist sentiments that passes for the politics of the Left these days.”
Of Camp David Kelly wrote: [It] was a failure for Israel, for humanity and for the two feckless men, Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak, who brought it to pass. But it was not at all a failure for Arafat and his long-term strategy.”
Of the second Palestinian intifada he observed: “There was never any honest intent on the Palestinian part for peaceful coexistence with Israel…. What the Palestinians seek – what Arafat has encouraged them to seek – is, as is now beyond dispute, the defeat and surrender of Israel.”
Reacting to President Bush’s June 24, 2002 speech that placed Arafat on notice that he was persona non grata as far as the White House was concerned, Kelly exulted that “the United States…. is out of the old fraud game. From now on, we do business with people who do honest business with us. That is radical, and it will produce radical results.”
Michael Kelly left a void that won’t be filled.
Jason Maoz can be reached at email@example.com
About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Obama went to begin the Arab Spring in Egypt which is still his target; Israel is just the lever.
Qatar’s wealth and Turkey’s size should not preclude us from telling it as it is: Qatar and Turkey are among the worst villains in the Gaza tragedy.
New Delhi would do well to remain aware of the predicament of Israel today.
his Tisha B’Av, and this Tu B’Av, remember: Hashem will protect us if we unite and rally around Him
Israel’s morality is underscored by its unprecedented restraint and care for loss of life.
The Gazan octopus arm is a test case, as the rest of the arms are closely watching it.
Obama has chosen shaky ally on the way out over strong ally solidly in the American orbit.
World War I had sown chaos throughout the centuries-old Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.
The IDF pounding continued and it again seemed only a matter of time before Hamas would be forced to accept the Egyptian proposal.
Nothing is ever so clear in the complex and often brutal calculus of urban warfare.
These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.
What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.
With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.
As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.
George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.
Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/remembering-michael-kelly-2/2009/04/08/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: