Grossman's new book brings to mind a 1930s British appeaser who had lauded the Munich accord and who published his collected articles after World War II; or a Soviet analyst rehabilitating his op-eds from the late 1980s explaining the convergence of the Soviet and American systems. Grossman, one of the more extreme denizens of Israel's literary Left, has collected some of his moldy op-eds and recycled them as a book. These include a score of Grossman's silliest and worst-written op-eds, ones thoroughly belied and debunked by actual events.
Grossman's early pieces sing the praises of the Oslo "peace process" and beatify Yitzhak Rabin for his "courage" in establishing the foundations for a Palestinian state. The author celebrates Arafat for having "abandoned" his ambitions to destroy Israel and renounced the Palestinian "right of return." Palestinians, imagines Grossman, are downright embarrassed when they read the irredentist contents of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s covenant.
Hardly controlling his ecstasy at the Rabin-Arafat handshake, he gushes: "I have always believed that when Israel agrees to grant this right (of self-determination) to the Palestinians, it will also win it for itself." How inconvenient for Grossman that Israel, having granted that right, got 1,300 murdered Israelis in exchange, plus nonstop war.
Grossman shamelessly exhibits his political obtuseness when he reprints an old piece about the Palestinian boy Muhammad ad-Dura killed in a firefight started by the Palestinian Authority (PA). He neglects to mention anywhere that it has since been established that the boy was in fact killed by Palestinian fire. He reprints his appeals to Palestinian writers and intellectuals—"all" of whom, he insists, seek peace with Israel—to condemn the violence. Grossman sighs when they never do but fails to contemplate the possibility that he might have misjudged them. To the contrary, Grossman insists Oslo collapsed because the Israeli Left was not stubborn, militant, and extreme enough.
In one of the reprinted op-eds, Grossman predicted that then-prime minister Ehud Barak would never offer the Palestinians any land. Barak promptly offered the PA virtually the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip, an immediate state, parts of pre-1967 Israel, financial tribute, and East Jerusalem with the Temple Mount. The PA then launched the second intifada in response to Barak's offer. But of course, Grossman sees the failure of Camp David II as the exclusive fault of Israel.
Grossman, who even today "understands" why the Palestinians loath Israel, also "understands" the PLO when it tries to smuggle in the Karine-A ship of terror weapons (in another reprinted op-ed), and seems to believe that inhabiting the Israeli Left means never having to say you're sorry. If there is any redeeming aspect to this pathetic little book, it is as evidence for the kinds of delusions and fantasies that sank the Israeli Left.