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December 7, 2014 5:49 pm

Indyk’s Insidious Analysis on Israel

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Martin Indyk. Photo: Robert D. Ward via Wikimedia Commons.

The disbanding of the Israeli government this week is breathing new life into dead arguments from the American Left about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One example worth noting is Christiane Amanpour’s “interview” with Brookings Institution foreign policy director Martin Indyk on Wednesday. The reason for the quotation marks is that the exchange between the two celebrities, who owe their careers to the promotion of a twisted view of the Middle East, was more like a victory volley than a question-and-answer session on a serious topic about which each is touted as an expert.

It is hard enough for Israeli voters to stomach the internal scramble for Knesset seats that will dominate the public sphere for the next three months without the added cacophony from abroad.

That the noise from overseas is going to play into the hands of the Israeli Left, which is as adept at twisting the truth about the Jewish state as its international counterparts — makes it even more unbearable.

But it, like Indyk’s take on the situation, has its advantages.

Indeed, if anyone can serve as a negative gauge by which to measure a political climate, it is he. Oh, yes, and the think tank that has served as his cash-cow fallback whenever his peace-brokering between Israel and the Palestinians ends in abject failure. (You know, the research institute which receives most of its funding from Qatar, where it has its “Overseas Center.”)

One neat trick Indyk employs is referring to the peace camp in Israel as the “center.” This is not only false; it is also a complete misreading of the electorate. Just as the Democratic party in the United States was dealt a heavy blow in the mid-term elections due to utter disillusionment on the part of the public with the Obama administration, so too in Israel has the bloc to the left of Netanyahu disappointed the voters who believed they were opting for some better alternative that turned out not to exist.

In both countries, the fantasy that socialist policies (cloaked as a viable marriage of the free market and a welfare state) would cure economic ills, and that peace overtures would make the West safer from radical Islam than military might, was killed by reality. This is not to say that average voters in the U.S. or Israel have all shifted their support to the Right. On the contrary, many of them blame their plight on their leaders’ not going far enough.

It is this mind-frame that Indyk and his ilk possess.

He began his interview by calling Netanyahu’s firing of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday a “collapse in the ability of the government to function.”

That’s one thing he got right, but for all the wrong reasons.

Livni has been acting as Israel’s chief negotiator in talks with the Palestinian Authority. In spite of her kowtowing in every possible way to reach a two-state solution, she, like all her predecessors, was given the cold shoulder. Nevertheless, she holds Netanyahu — the person who appointed her to that job in the first place — responsible, rather than Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Lapid, with zero experience in politics and even less knowledge of economics, has been moving in a decidedly socialist direction. Both have been fighting Netanyahu on every issue brought to a cabinet vote.

Indyk’s analysis is that “the Right is enjoying a surge … which really started over the summer, I think as a result of the Gaza war.”

Ya think?

Of course, neither he nor Amanpour delve into that inconvenient detail. They just leave it hanging there, as though it is a shame that Israelis are wary of a two-state solution with an entity that is in a unity government with Hamas.

What Amanpour does raise, however, is the question of the Obama administration’s part in why “this [peace process] is not happening.”

“There was no lack of leadership on the part of the United States,” replied Indyk. “Secretary [John] Kerry, backed by President Obama, made every effort to move the parties towards a resolution. But American will and ingenuity and creativity on its own is not enough. … The two parties have to be committed to it.”

Aside from his omitting incessant Israeli efforts — including by every leader Indyk himself considers kosher politically — to reach a deal with the Arabs in the PA and the rest of the region, he resorted to the vile practice of creating moral equivalence between the sides.

“I think both … President Abbas … and Prime Minister Netanyahu … were looking over their shoulders at the more extreme parts of their polity — in the Palestinian case… Hamas, which is absolutely opposed to a two-state solution, and on the Israeli side, within Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own coalition, you had groups also adamantly opposed to a two-state solution,” he said. “In those circumstances, it takes very strong-willed leaders to be able to push through the kind of opposition they were facing and, frankly, a public on both sides that didn’t believe in a two-state solution anymore, because they didn’t believe that the other side actually wanted it. So a kind of distrust permeated the negotiations that was, in the end, impossible for us to overcome.”

Such insidious comparisons are evil.

Not only does equating a liberal democratic society with a terrorist-honoring Muslim-Arab entity provide the latter with a veil of legitimacy, but it removes the conflict from its global context, thereby perpetuating the lie that Israel is at fault for the entire war against the West.

It would be wise for sane Israelis to follow the winds blowing from Brookings when we head to the polls on March 17 — and go for the opposite.

Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.'” This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • Jack

    All this Hooey! about he left and the right! Ha!!!
    The truth is that despite the actions this summer to alleviate the indiscretions of Hamas nobody wants to admit the psychotic behaviors on the Palestinian side are not the result of Israeli military superiority, but the lack of any moral compass by the PA or Hamas.
    And face it, the reason the Knesset has so often been a coalition composite in order to form a majority of seats is because of the diverse nature of Israeli society.
    The fact that it has worked so well is a testament to the founders and leadership of Israel.
    That it is a flourishing democracy where there was nothing but colonialism is a gift to the region and the world.

  • Martin Bookspan

    Indyk is the Yiddish word for “turkey”. What a stomach-turning TURKEY this indyk is and has always been……..

  • Bernard

    So what has changed besides the time and the date? Quack quack Mr Indyk

  • Otto Waldmann

    A very satisfying account and articulate profile of someone, Indyk who, to be fair, has carved out for himself a most profitable career out of being a selfish roshe Titus, one that has crushed in his path all mores of decency, particularly what Yidischkeit has built and has been depending on as vital.
    The one thing that annoys me is the branding of ideological sides as “left” or “right”. Left could be one human attitude of universal consideration for entities which are under siege, persecuted, trodden on, unfairly treated etc. Jews in all historical circumstance and places have been the target of the worst such treatments, Israel more than any other places and its people since its modern existence.
    Yet, a moronic egocentric exploits precisely the accepted notion that the JEW HIMSELF is responsible for the worst transgression – the very basic tenet of antisemitism – in order to curry favors for his own ascendancy in so many frontline institutions, from the State Department to “respectable” think tanks. Truth is that nothing seems to shake this notional geshmatte shtick of drek – or perhaps my explicits……………And a fella Aussie to boot !!!! I really mean it.

  • judithg

    indyk, is one of those Jews who just like the germans decided they must be hating the other Jews. the bad choos. not them.

  • CSBG

    Is it not a strange phenomenon that these career purveyers of falsehoods, delusional
    agenda-pushers, and supercilious, politically, and intellectually challenged parasites, especially, those who have never been elected, held office, been responsible for a country’s security, a budget, an economy, etc., arrogantly insist they hold all the solutions to the world’s complex problems? The baseline Truth is- if Indyk, his fellow do-nothing parasites and the thousands in this socalled peace negotiating racket ever actually succeed, all of them would be out of their
    jobs, salary, and unending expense accounts with first-class accomodations. They have every incentive not to succeed and to continue to stoke the fires. Why doesn’t Indyk take his family and move to Qatar?

  • steven L

    Bibi has room to move to the right, to the left or to the center. Abbas moves ONLY one direction: more and always more to the extreme! Why should IL concede to madness? Because it is madness? Is society allowing psychopaths to lock and treat psychiatrists in the asylums now? That is what both Amanpour and Indyk withhold from the conversation. In that way they are both fundamentally DISHONEST. Not one single Muslim country has EVER offer to deescalate either by their rhetoric or actions. The THREE “Nos” remain present more than ever.

  • steven L

    M. Indyk must be persona non-Grata in IL.
    The IL center and left have NOTHING more to offer than Bibi is willing to offer. There are undeniable facts that all the ILs are aware off. To offer more is suicidal be they Livni, Herzog or others.
    Is it posterity that excites them so much?

  • Isaac brajtman

    When Indyk was here about 2 years ago ,after listening him speak I wasn’t quite sure whether he was acting for the Palestinians or what his real agenda was. I thought that maybe I was not intelligent enough to understand. Now I think maybe I did understand,and is just saying whatever to keep a cushy well paid job,and the hell with Israels future

  • David Brown

    If the left thinks PM Netanyahu is bad, wait till they see PM Feiglin

  • Barry

    Well done article. Indyk is and always has been a puts of the highest order. Always good to see him exposed as the evil doofus he is.

  • D Chetak

    I realize that this is not politically correct to say but just by a quick reading of Torah it becomes obvious that a “two state solution” will never be acceptable. Going against HaShem can never work. My hope is that those in power will accept reality and go with what is Written and what is Right. Wishful thinking can not work against the will of HaShem.

  • Richard Smiley

    For years, the Israeli right has made hay out of Israel being attacked by naive foreigners around election time. It has served them time and time again, as have terrorist attacks during the campaign.

    Now that it looks like the disgust with Netanyahu is so deep as to negate this, it takes a special type of ideologue to claim that said criticism and terrorist attacks are “going to play into the hands of the Israeli Left”. Nice try, but no one rules forever.

    The truth is more prosaic. Israelis appear to have finally had enough of someone so cynical as to make a career on his brother’s corpse.

    • richard sherwin

      that’s a vicious slander. netanyahu whether you like it and him or not, ran on his own military participation, and his beliefs. and his demonstrated skill politically in holding together an incredible combination of egotists ….

      no one rules forever… neither the labor party’s cosa nostra nor any other party in power too long… and it is up to the electorate to decide what is too long… so too the american democratic party’s reign, even if one does prefer them, their behavior, their military beliefs, et al.

      i personally suspect the israeli left will remain marginal unless it can offer policies and visions that the israeli electorate thinks will keep them alive, as it is believed the likud’s did/ does/will do…. and obama and kerry (who are NOT identified here with the USA) are perceived as antagonistic to that survival and welfare.

    • judithg

      richard smiley, you are nothing more than an ignorant anti-semite whose time spent masturbating to muslim hate pamphlets has seriously deranged your mind. you need psychiatric help in a closed facility where you can ruminate over your failed dessicated life.

  • Hillel

    We need more “capo” like this self interested “paskidne yid”. He’d sacrifice us all for pat on the back from his masters, in tho case the Qataris.

  • Pinchos Woolstone

    Indyk is a pathetic self hating Jew married to a gentile.
    Really he is of no use to anyone except himself.
    He dreams of serving his masters in the next administration i.e. Hilary Clinton and co.
    Hilary will not be seen in the presidential office so Martin is going nowhere quickly.

  • art

    Does Indyk get a bonus if the “left” does well in the elections?? Has Livni forgotten she was once the government and she was hardly successful with the plo/pa/hamas characters?

    Obama now threatens Israel clearly intended to interfere with the elections.

    Does anyone with an iota of intelligence still think Obama and his ilk are friends of Israel. Where are the Jewish congresspeople???