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November 19, 2015 7:50 am

A Jewish Ex-State Department Official Tries to Embarrass Netanyahu, and Fails Miserably

avatar by Benyamin Korn

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David Makovsky. Photo: TED/YouTube/Screenshot.

David Makovsky. Photo: TED/YouTube/Screenshot.

Just as Prime Minister Netanyahu was striving to repair relations with the Obama administration and the Democrats, a Jewish former State Department official was busy trying to throw a monkey wrench in the works by publicly embarrassing the Israeli leader. It was a shameful display of pettiness that can only undermine Israel’s well-being.

Netanyahu’s harasser was David Makovsky, a former senior aide to Martin Indyk, the Obama administration’s Middle East envoy. Indyk was well known for pressuring Israel to make one-sided concessions to the Palestinians, and then blaming Israel through anonymous leaks if the Jewish State did not give in to his demands. Makovsky was Indyk’s right-hand man.

The Israeli prime minister spoke at the Center for American Progress, a leading liberal Washington, DC think tank, on November 12, in a concerted effort to reach out to the Democrats. But some people were determined to block this olive branch. The Washington Post reported: “David Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, asked the Israeli leader what his ‘Plan B’ was to preserve Israel as a majority Jewish, democratic state if Palestinian and Israeli leaders cannot agree on restarting peace talks.”

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Makovsky’s question was profoundly disingenuous in two important ways.

First, Israel is already a “majority Jewish, democratic state.” Twenty years ago, the Israelis withdrew from the areas where 98% of the Palestinians live. Israel’s forces retreated from the cities of Nablus (Shechem), Jenin, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Jericho and almost all of Hebron. Later, they withdrew from 100% of Gaza.

The Palestinians live under the rule of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, not Israel. They are not Israeli citizens. They are not “occupied” by Israel. As such, they do not change Israel’s democratic nature or demographic balance in any way.

But critics of the Israeli government, such as Makovsky, don’t like to admit that the occupation of the Palestinians ended in 1995. They prefer to pretend that Israel is still in danger of losing its Jewish majority. That way they can keep bashing Netanyahu.

Second, to say that “Palestinian and Israeli leaders cannot agree on restarting peace talks” is to say that both sides are to blame for the lack of talks. Israel is ready to talk anywhere and at any time. The Palestinian Authority refuses to talk at all. But pretending otherwise enables Makovsky to slam Netanyahu again.

This kind of “evenhanded” blaming of Israel and the Palestinian Authority — putting the victim and the aggressor on the same moral plane — is old hat for Makovksy.

For example, in a March 30, 2015 op-ed on Politco.com, he asserted that both “the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a new game of chicken” and are both on “a self-destructive path.” Likewise, in a May 2015 speech at Bar-Ilan University, Makovsky declared that there has been no “progress” in the peace talks because both Israeli and Palestinian leaders are “risk averse.”

Despite all his years observing the Middle East as a reporter for Haaretz and a Washington think tank wonk, Makovsky still doesn’t grasp the fact that the Palestinians, not the Israelis, are to blame for the absence of peace.

And he still doesn’t recognize the folly of demanding that Israel make concessions unilaterally. Toeing the old State Department line even though he has (at least for now) left the State Department, Makovsky keeps coming up with new lists of concessions that the Israelis should make. In that Politico op-ed last March, he demanded that Israel unilaterally freeze Jewish construction in most of Judea-Samaria. Funny, he never calls on the Palestinian Authority to freeze Arab construction in those areas.

And in a June 25, 2015 op-ed in the Washington Post, he called on the Israeli government to “allow 100,000 Gazan workers into Israel.” Imagine what Israel would be like if Makovsky’s advice had been heeded. Imagine how many more stabbings and car-rammings Israel would be enduring if 100,000 Hamas-indoctrinated Arabs from Gaza were working in Israel’s cities.

Perhaps that’s how Prime Minister Netanyahu should have replied to Makovsky’s hostile question: “Mr. Makovsky, what would be your Plan B if any of those 100,000 Gazans whom you want to enter Israel started carrying out what their Hamas schools and imams have been teaching them? Would you accept responsibility for the murders they commit? Or do you just give Israel advice from the safety of thousands of miles, and leave us to deal with the consequences?”

Mr. Korn, chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists, is former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune.

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  • Yale

    The proper answer to Makovsky is no answer at all — he had his 15 minutes of fame and wasted them trying to promote an agenda that has never accomplished anything.

  • HaroldT

    This Quisling Jew fills me with disgust

  • Al Sheeber

    I never heard him say one interesting sentence ever. Makovsky belongs to the Washington circuit of questionable “think-tankers” an army of squalid wannabes in waiting, hoping somebody they supported will appoint them for something. The very fact that he associated himself with the objectionable and detestable Martin Indyk, a man whose finger prints are so clearly documented on two Putsches against bibi (1999-successful, 2015-not so) is a sign that makovsky has questionable ethical issues, he got a few loose screws in his cranium keeping company with the sleaziest lot in D.C where the face of Indyk rises to the top when ever any questions about Israel comes to the forefront.

  • Jerry

    So what DID Netanyahu say to the jerk?

  • Robert Davis

    We should stop calling “pressures” what the obanana gang is doing against Isrzel : these are INTIMIDATIONS not pressures any longer.

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    I see that this useless piece of garbage was a reporter for Haaretz.
    That of course is the reason he acts like this.

    Why is Haartez not closed down and some of their treasonous reporters jailed for treason. I mention Gidion Levy as one.

  • Dave

    This guy is just a big fat stinking pile of crud.

  • mervyn

    Israel should rather ally itself with a caring President like Putin who happens to be a devout Christian and say goodbye to the bribed and corrupted American Gov. whon have sold their souls to the Devil for money and power

  • Yale Rodman

    Secular liberal Jews can be the greatest threats to Israel and their fellow Jews. David Makovsky,is a perfect example. He may be a Jew, but he is not one I am proud of. And neither is Martin Indyk, a traitorous fetch-it boy for Mr. Obama

  • steven L

    Makovsky, A pig!
    Indyk must be persona non Grata in IL.

  • One wonders: has Mr Makovsky received a share of Mr Indyk’s $14M+ payout from Qatar or did he receive his own, separate payment?

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    Oh,yes – it has to be a Jew to try to trip up Mr.Netanyahu!It seems that Israel has more friends among America’s Christian community than it has among it’s Jewish community.

  • Lynne Marton

    This Makovsky individual is an “ex-“, “former”, and a “was” – I think he keeps looking for another 15 minutes of fame.
    I agree with Mr Benyamin Korn with his suggestion on how Prime Minister Netanyahu should have answered this bitter hostile question from this miserable creature. He – Makovsky – was pandering to the obama crowd of Israel-haters.
    I think they all need a reality check on the facts – and absorb the Real Truth – not their perceived version of, nor what they wished it would be.
    The pettiness of his attack bordered on infantile – but you have to look at which camp this came from.

  • Lynne Marton

    This Makovsky individual is an “ex-“, “former”, and a “was” – I think he keeps looking for another 15 minutes of fame.
    I agree with Mr Benyamin Korn with his suggestion on how Prime Minister Netanyahu should have answered this bitter hostile question from this miserable creature. He was pandering to the obama crowd of Israel-haters.
    I think they all need a reality check on the facts – and absorb the Real Truth – not their perceived version of, nor what they wished it would be.
    The pettiness of his attack bordered on infantile – but you have to look at which camp this came from.

  • enufizenuf

    I used to see Makovsky at Singer’s Bakery with two or three huge boxes of pastry under his arm. It appears that the fat pig hasn’t changed his eating habits. He was also extremely rude and arrogant with a smart mouth and scornful tongue. Why would anybody pay for the bilge this elitist hog writes?

  • SteveHC

    David Makovsky has always and apparently still is MUCH more wedded to his over-inflated sense of self-importance and deluded self-righteousness than to the general health, safety and welfare of the Jewish people let alone Israel.

    On multiple past occasions I have had to work with such individuals in government, and all were uniformly and without fail thoroughly INSISTENT that they know better about (insert whatever mstter, issue or subject you care to) than anyone and everyone else. They do NOT change, as the size of their ego is more important to them than anything else.

    I have always found it most efficient and productive to briefly humor them followed by ignoring them coupled with presentation of THE plan to be employed going forward.

    In THIS case it would be best to always remember that Makovsky is merely one individual among many who believes that he and only he “knows” the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, that his “Jewishness” is irrelevant, and that given that he is not a reporter or government policy maker he is *entitled* only to voice whatever opinion(s) he might have and nothing else.

  • Rather than allow the left hand to know what the right does, why not cut it off? Better to enter into life maimed than to die whole because the left hand offends.

    Amen to your suggestion of question PM Netanyahu should ask Makovsky!

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