While researching my last post on Seumas Milne, I came across this brief but penetrating take of the Guardian Associate Editor, which was posted several weeks ago by our friend, Yaacov Lozowick, who blogs at Yaacov Lozowick’s Ruminations. (It was posted during the height of the Palestine Papers series, but serves as a broader analysis of the political pathos which informs much of the Guardian Left narrative.)
Seamus Milne lives in a different reality than most people I know. This isn’t new – back when I wrote Right to Exist I cited an outlandish article of his to illustrate the oddities the Guardian is capable of. (The newspaper has since gotten worse). Now, however, having spearheaded the paper’s Palestine Papers project, he sums up what he’s learned from it, or rather, what he always believed but has now had re-confirmed. Any Palestinian leadership which is willing to compromise with Israel so that both nations embark on peaceful co-existence is an evil leadership which must be overthrown; the only way toward peace is to have the Palestinians get everything they demand and the Israelis forced to give it to them.
One doesn’t expect better from Seamus, of course. Yet in his present column he is actually more revealing. His thesis, that the only arrangement acceptable to the Palestinians will mean dismantling Israel, is actually plausible; it may well be correct. Yet note how he couches this:
It’s a study in the decay of what in Yasser Arafat’s heyday was an authentic national liberation movement. Try to imagine the Vietnamese negotiators speaking in such a way at the Paris peace talks in the 70s – or the Algerian FLN in the 60s – and it’s obvious how far the West Bank Palestinian leadership has drifted from its national moorings.
The role models for authentic liberation movements? Arafat in his heyday, when his troops were murdering Israeli children in Maalot or Avivim; the communist Vietnamese, and the FLN. Arafat’s movement differs, however, in that it didn’t succeed, moans Seamus, and the Palestinians must return to those days of glory and achieve the successes of… whom? The North Vietnamese? The FLN?
Seamus Milne hates real people. He hates them with a passion. The only thing he loves are a set of warped and cruel ideas. If millions of Vietnamese have to suffer for his ideas, or generations of them live in a stunted impoverished and primitive country, great; if Algeria is one of the least humane regimes in the world, who cares so long as the French have been vanquished half a century ago by an authentic movement of liberation. This is what needs to happen to the Palestinians, too, and the sooner the better.