There are different classes of professional media Never Trumpers, but the three key demographics are liberal Republicans (e.g. Meghan McCain), libertarians (e.g. Justin Amash), and hawks (e.g. Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot). The hawks are often referred to as neo-conservatives, but they’re not the original generation of Cold War neo-conservatives, but a new generation that were not defined by opposition to the USSR. They were hawkish on foreign policy, conservative on big government, but liberal on social issues which meant they fit fairly well into the media landscape.
The Washington Post brand of Never Trumpers, Boot and Rubin, have rushed to abandon their previous beliefs at an impressive pace raising the question of whether you can work at the Khashoggi Post without supporting Hamas.
As Sean Durns at CAMERA notes, “In three columns running a combined total of nearly 3,000 words, Washington Post columnists Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin failed to even mention the word “Iran.” Boot even has the temerity to upbraid the Jewish state for failing to reach a “political accommodation” with the “moderate” Palestinian Authority.”
Boot’s latest rant against Israel that could have easily been written by Peter Beinart (a guy who used to share a lot of Boot’s politics before it became more lucrative to hate Israel) suggests it’s not an option. The only thing truly striking about Boot’s moral equivalence and Blame Israel First stuff is how generic it is within the media. Virtually any hack could have written this.
As many commentators have pointed out, Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu need one another. Both sides thrive when they have an enemy they can easily demonise. Hamas rationalises its attacks on Israel by citing the struggle against Zionist “colonialism”. Israel rationalises its attacks on the Gaza Strip by citing the struggle against Islamist “terrorists”.
The opening sentence all but concedes that Boot is parroting the echo chamber when he bizarrely equates Hamas to Israel, and suggests that they need each other.
What does Israel or Netanyahu need Hamas for exactly? Regular rounds of economic disruption and terrorism?
The rest is equally boilerplate. Boot repeats the old false conspiracy theory that Israel needs Hamas to avoid making “concessions” to “moderates”. Boot has spent 20 years writing about Arafat and the PLO so he knows that moderate stuff is nonsense.
But hey, commentators have pointed it out.
Boot throws in the usual anti-Israel allies about “anti-Arab prejudice”, “far-right Jewish extremists”, and “passing a nation-state law that enshrines Israeli Arabs as second-class citizens”.
Max Boot falsely claims that Netanyahu “provoked an internal uprising.”
Funny how that “uprising” didn’t happen around the nation-state law which did not make anyone a second-class citizen, but was pulled off by Islamists in support of Hamas.
But when you’ve gotta sell your soul to keep your Post job, you do it. Max did.
In his hilarious penultimate paragraph, Boot blusters that “Israel would also be well-advised to make concessions, such as stopping evictions in East Jerusalem and settlement growth in the West Bank, to bolster the moderate Palestinian Authority at the expense of the more radical Hamas.”
That’s hilarious coming from a guy who had extensively chronicled Arafat’s violence and corruption, and who actually sabotaged the peace process, who used to write things like…
“But it wasn’t encouraging to see Abbas literally embracing top terrorists and referring to the “Zionist enemy.” Nor has he ever renounced Palestinians’ “right of return,” which is tantamount to not recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. And even if Abbas genuinely believes in peaceful coexistence, it is not clear that he has the will or the power to repress militants who want to drive the Jews into the sea.”
As recently as 2018, Boot was still trying to lay out a traditional history of the conflict in the Washington Post.
The people of the Gaza Strip have paid a catastrophic price for this conflict. Egypt’s military regime has closed its sole border crossing with Gaza, and Israel has closed three of its five crossings . (Palestinians regularly attack the crossings — most recently on May 6 — and use them to try to smuggle fighters and weapons into Israel.) The Palestinian Authority cut salaries for some 38,000 civil servants in Gaza along with economic subsidies to pressure its rivals in Hamas. The result? According to the World Bank, the unemployment rate is more than 40 percent and the “economy and basic social services” are “collapsing.”
Amid this despair, Hamas has mobilized tens of thousands of Palestinians to march toward the border fence. Its aim is to pressure Egypt and Israel into easing the blockade and the Palestinian Authority into resuming payments. Israel is caught in a no-win situation: It can’t allow its border to be overrun — no state can — but if it tries to protect its territory, it runs a high risk of a human tragedy and a public-relations nightmare.
Sure enough, on Monday, Israeli soldiers ended up killing some 62 Palestinians. Hamas itself says that 50 of those killed were Hamas members. One 23-year-old “protester” told The Post that he was “excited to storm” Israel, where he would do “whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.” It is easy to criticize Israel, but difficult to say how it should defend itself.
But there is less tolerance on the Left for any kind of political dissent. And that very much includes Israel.
Consciously or unconsciously, Boot has decided to fall in line, to churn out the generic Israel bashing that his paper and its boss expect, blaming the terrorism on Israel, and demanding that it make a deal with the terrorists.