The “facts-don’t-matter” camp

An integral part of what we need to learn at school and university is the ability to analyze information and weigh evidence. 

Petra Marquardt-Bigman in a recent article about the “facts-don’t-matter” camp, discusses the comments of Antony Lerman.  Marquardt-Bigman feels that Lerman’s arguments boil down to a view of the Middle East conflict in which only Israel has the power of agency – all other parties to the conflict are reduced to reacting.  In particular, the Palestinians are reduced to solely being victims.  She feels that this view parallels the “Jews-control-the-world” motif so popular among antisemites.  The twists and turns are worth reading to better follow the arguments.

Within the article, she refers to an article by Ahmad Samih Khalidi, an Oxford scholar who served as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid-Washington peace talks in 1991-1993. Khalidi’s article “Thanks but no thanks” reflects his clear rejection of the two-state solution because it “does not offer the equitable and fair solution the Palestinian people deserve.” 

With Netanyahu’s recent speech echoing Western calls for a “two-state” solution, it is sobering to be reminded that that may not be what the Palestinians want. However, the writings from Khalidi and others won’t deter the “facts-don’t-matter” fans from claiming that it is only Israeli intransigence that has prevented the realization of the two-state solution.

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