• The sinister British version of Andrew Roberts looks like Dick Cheney crossed with Ferris Bueller's principal.

I have to admit that in my most intimate moments of quiet boredom, I often Google myself. Wait…that’s not what I mean.

I do a Google search for “Andrew Roberts,” mostly just to see what kind of traffic my blogs and articles are getting, or if anything I’ve written has been cited or used for promo by comedians, club promoters, and so on, to make sure I’m not misquoted.

There was ONE day that my name came up first. Strangely, it was one of the more obscure blogs I did about my time in Syria that generated enough hits to make me the most popular Andrew Roberts in the world, if only for that one day.

Every other time I’ve Googled my name, the first to come up was a British Historian named (obviously) Andrew Roberts. I never paid any attention to him; except for the one time I did a Google images search for “Andrew Roberts,” and saw a picture of him with his scantily-clad wife.

It was just this past week that I discovered Roberts has an opinion column for “The Daily Beast.” On a related note, I also discovered he’s an idiot; a poor man’s Glenn Beck, at best.

And that he looks like a British hipster version of Dick Cheney.

A historian with a political column is like a juror of the Supreme Court being concurrently voted in as President—it’s an insult to the system of checks and balances. Any “historical” data that Roberts includes in any of his writings is immediately discredited, because it will invariably be tied in to his snobbish political agenda. To give you some perspective on his political leanings, one of his more infamous pieces is entitled “History will prove that Bush was right,” or something equally inept. It is truly painful to see “By Andrew Roberts” typed in italics below such silliness.

In the column I found entitled “The Hypocritical Condemnation of Israel,” Roberts condemns the “liberal Western media” for its portrayal of the Israeli blockade of Gaza. He compares Israel’s actions to America’s blockade of Japan during World War II, or a hypothetical scenario of Canada launching rockets onto U.S. soil.

Even someone with the most simplistic understandings of World War II or the Middle East could see the short-sightedness of those comparisons. By his logic, the Germans were righteous in their assault on the Lusitania. Firstly, the United States was attacked by Japan on United States soil, and any blockades were a matter of military necessity, unlike the blockade of Gaza, which is part of a psychological strategy to let the Palestinians bleed out, as their economy and health crumble.

The second comparison Roberts uses is presumably to provoke some kind of sympathy for Israel. He says that Israel is entitled to a blockade because if Canada launched rockets onto U.S. Soil, Obama would not only call for a blockade, but a full scale invasion.

The problem with his logic is that the rocket attack he’s referring to—the one launched by Hamas in the Spring of 2009 which killed absolutely no one—was launched upon Palestine’s *own* territories. Almost as many Israelis were killed by friendly fire during that battle than were killed by Hamas: 13 killed Israeli soldiers to 1000+ Palestinians, including women and children.

Israel—like it has been for the last insufferable number of years despite international sanctions and citations from the U.N.—was illegally building settlements in areas that were already occupied by Arabs, kicking them out of their homes in the name of birthright. The “land without people for a people without a land” mantra is only applicable if there are no people already living in the land that they think is for their people.

  • Andrew Roberts, 2008
  • This hospital in Al Qunaytirah, Syria was bombed by the Israelis during an offensive against Syria.

Roberts’ arguments make sense in a vacuum—or at least a vacuum that is not obligated to any kind of human decency or integrity. But, especially for a historian, he has little regard for the historical context of the debate at hand. His lack of perception is seemingly deliberate.

Israel is constantly lusting for apartheid, as they are literally building walls around Palestinian villages, cutting landowners’ properties in half and taking whatever they want—caging in civilians with electric fences like animals. The scene is painfully reminiscent of “District 9,” the only difference being that in this real-life situation the Palestinians were there first.

The ruthlessness of the blockade isn’t critical because of what happens on the water; the true impact—and where the debate should be grounded—is found in the ghettos of Palestine, where people are being choked off from basic human goods.

No amount of incomplete historical references can justify the piracy of a community’s food, medicine and water. Somewhere in Roberts’ forehead—which takes up about 75% of his face—there must be room for that kind of simple human decency.

But then again, he just published a column entitled “The Tea Party: Crass But Right.” So maybe not.


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