Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"They should stop using [fill in with Israeli invention]"

My computer runs on an AMD microprocessor. I don't know if it's worse or better than Intel, but at the time I bought it AMD-based PCs were slightly cheaper than Intel-based ones, and a few bucks more or less do make a difference for us free-lance language professionals.

It now turns out it was a lucky choice. For, according to my Zionist friends, had I bought a computer with an Intel micro, I wouldn't be able to criticize Israel. Why? Because Intel chips were developed at a Haifa facility, and, how could I use an Israeli invention for anti-Zionist purposes?

And that's by no means the only restriction I face. According to my Zio-friends, if I ever get colon cancer, I won't be allowed to use an Israeli-developed colonoscopy device consisting of a microcamera that navigates up your rectum -- unless, that is, I agree to start a pro-Zionist blog and scrap the present one. Likewise, I won't be permitted to drive a hydrogen-powered car (which is based on another Israeli invention) when they become available in Argentina, although the prohibition could be reconsidered if I agree to write at least 10 letters to the editor on the use of human shields by Hamas.

Because, you know, it's not ethical to use the creations of a group of people at the very same time that you trash said group.

The question arises, though: does Israel live up to that standard?

In the first place, they should ban public performances of Wagnerian music. Wait a minute; they're already doing that, you'll say. Yes, but they're cheating. They don't play Wagner but they do play Dvořák, Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss, Elgar, Frank or Berg -- all of them composers influenced by Wagner, and who extensively used his orchestration procedures.

They should use asbestos to build their schools, since the link between asbestos and lung cancer was discovered by the Nazis. I know, I know, they do use asbestos when they build schools for Arabs; but I mean they should use it in schools for Jews.

The Israelis should refrain from using archival information recorded on magnetophonic tape, since the the world's first practical tape recorder, the K1, was first demonstrated in Germany in 1935 -- regrettably for the Israelis, just in time to be considered a Nazi Germany invention.

If I can't use an Intel chip, the Israelis shouldn't have developed it in the first place, since it's part of a computer, and the first functional computer, the Z3, was invented in Nazi Germany (for all their technical ability, they were terrible at naming their inventions, mind you).

No Israeli should use methadone, another Nazi invention, as an inexpensive pain killer.

The Israeli Air Force should never, ever, use jet fighters! It is very well known that the first operational jet fighter was the Messerschmitt Me 262 -- again, developed by the Nazis. Not to mention stealth planes -- the Nazi Horten Ho 229 was the first such aircraft.

And, among countless other inventions, Israelis should of course refrain from using guided missiles, since the first such device was the V2, developed by card-carrying Nazi Wernher von Braun using a 60,000-strong slave force (partly Jewish) who mostly died from overwork at the production facilities in Peenemünde.

So here's my proposal for the Israelis: they don't use any more missiles against the Palestinians. And I promise to stick to AMD for the rest of my life.

Deal?

21 comments:

nindee said...

A great post! I'll refer to this post next time some hasbara trolls mention 'the great israeli invention'.
I hope you can provide more links about the informations you wrote.

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

About Intel microprocessors being invented in Israel. Intel has multiple design teams working on different architectures. The latest and best Intel cpus called Core i7 were designed and developed in Oregon USA.

Lister said...

There is something I've not been able to find out:

How many of these Israeli inventions were invented by Arab Israelis? After all, there is equal access to education and opportunity for all in Israel -- Isn't there?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

You're misrepresenting the argument. The argument is not that you should not criticize Israel and use Intel chips. The idea is that you shouldn't call for a boycott of Israeli products and then only boycott the convenient ones, Osem Tea Biscuits, say, but not Intel chips. You could then reply that you want to put pressure on the Zionist entity, not hamstring your own efforts, but, of course, you would still be missing the real point of the argument: to throw Israeli achievements back in the face of the person calling for the boycott.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Hi there, Yitzchak -- I was missing you.

You, in turn, misrepresent the BDS proponents. Their idea is not that Israeli production is evil and should be avoided like the pest; but, rather, that Israel's economy can be hit by not buying its products. This doesn't mean that essential Israeli products won't be bought, just like South Africa's gold and diamonds, which are key to many high-tech industries, were anyway bought at the time that Western sanctions against the Apartheid regime were in place.

I didn't understand the phrase "to throw Israeli achievements back in the face of the person calling for the boycott." Whoever said that brilliant achievements can't take place under evil regimes? In Czarist Russia, at the same time that the Jews were pogromed, Tchaikovsky composed some of the most beautiful music ever. And the most important 20th-century composers were Soviets -- Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khatchatourian, while one has a hard time naming a single notable symphony written by an American. Human rights and scientific and artistic milestones don't go hand-in-hand, and Israel is a good example.

Cioara Andrei said...

Foarte interesat subiectul postat de tine, m-am uitat pe blogul tau si imi place ce am vazu am sa mai revin cu siguranta.
O zi buna!

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Their idea is not that Israeli production is evil and should be avoided like the pest

It sometimes takes this form. See, for instance, MPAC-UK's screaming that Israeli dates are "soaked in Palestinian blood."

This doesn't mean that essential Israeli products won't be bought

I acknowledged this distinction.

the most important 20th-century composers were Soviets -- Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khatchatourian

Funny you should use this example to make your point. I think Shostakovich was harmed artistically by the Soviet's government's attempt to force him into a straitjacket called "socialist realism." They gave Prokofiev similar flack, IIRC. Stravinsky was smart to live abroad.

Human rights and scientific and artistic milestones don't go hand-in-hand, and Israel is a good example.

Israel's technological and other cultural achievements relative to its neighbors probably have something to do with the fact that it is a more open society. That isn't the whole picture, I would agree, and it is more, as I was saying, a gotcha point than a good argument when discussing boycotts. The problem with boycotting Israel is that Israel is worthy of support and its enemies should be boycotted.

Levi9909 said...

Regardless of Israel's achievements and its openness, Israel should be boycotted where possible because it's a colonial settler state based on ethnic cleansing and segregationist laws together with relentless aggression towards the natives and neighbours of Palestine. It's neighbouring states are wretched dictatorships but the states are not based on the same repugnant principles upon which Israel's existence is predicated.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Regardless of Israel's achievements and its openness, Israel should be boycotted where possible

On the contrary, people like you should be boycotted.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I think Shostakovich was harmed artistically by the Soviet's government's attempt to force him into a straitjacket called "socialist realism."

No, this is plain nonsense!

It happened exactly the other way round! Shostakovich composed his 4th symphony in bourgeois style (i.e. adopting all the experimental procedures that were fashionable among Western musicians at the time). Stalin was not satisfied with the result, and forced the composer to write a new symphony, this time in line with the dictator's personal taste.

The result? Shostakovich's 5th is universally considered his masterpiece, and is overwhelmingly more popular among conductors than his 4th! This is a clear example of repression producing better cultural products than boundless freedom. Life is in fact complicated, as the books say.

The problem with boycotting Israel is that Israel is worthy of support and its enemies should be boycotted.

As an American, what do you make of your country imposing a crippling blockade on Cuba but no sanctions on Saudi Arabia or Congo? Doesn't that double standard trouble you?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

This is a clear example of repression producing better cultural products than boundless freedom.

Some people think he is subtly undercutting the penitent Stalinist bit. That could be seen as a certain kind of artistic tension and complexity arising from the repression, but it doesn't reflect well on the repression. I don't think that is what you think of as its artistic merits although that doesn't mean you're wrong. Whatever the music says to you is what it says to you.

As an American, what do you make of your country imposing a crippling blockade on Cuba but no sanctions on Saudi Arabia or Congo? Doesn't that double standard trouble you?

You are complaining that I said "ouch" when I stubbed my toe but nothing when you stubbed your toe. Your complaint is a leftist failing--or maybe my failure to say ouch for your stubbed toe is rightist failing, depending on how you look at it.

ahmed said...

Have you read this piece on Israeli industrial and scientific espionage? Makes me wonder about some of their claims,

http://www.alternet.org/audits/130891/breaking_the_taboo_on_israel%27s_spying_efforts_on_the_united_states/


"In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains "an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States." A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion.

and
According to the 1979 CIA report, the Israelis, while targeting political secrets, also devote "a considerable portion of their covert operations to obtaining scientific and technical intelligence."

Anonymous said...

"Nazi Wernher von Braun using a 60,000-strong slave force (partly Jewish) who mostly died from overwork at the production facilities in Peenemünde."

This is factually incorrect. Almost all the slave laborers working on the V2 were Jews, most of them from surrounding KZs like Buchenwald.

Otherwise, the whole premise of the article is idiotic and even though I guess it's trying to be light-hearted about such a serious issue, it comes off as kind of loopy (Wagerian "orchestration procedures"? Evidently no understanding of music.) No one is arguing that you shouldn't use an Intel pentium processor if you're a critic of Israeli policies, just that a boycott of Israeli products would be almost technically impossible because it would mean boycotting every single computer on earth.

Anonymous said...

Oh one more thing: Mahler, Berg & Frank were Jews so it'd be pretty damn dumb for Israel to refuse to play their music because of the alleged Wagnerian influence.

Health Blog said...

The idea is that you shouldn't call for a boycott of Israeli products and then only boycott the convenient ones, Osem Tea Biscuits, say, but not Intel chips.

Anonymous said...

Inventor of the micro-chip (I hear that a lot from Jews) : Robert Noyce, NOT a Jew and also co-founder of Intel with another non-Jew.

haleo777 said...

The writer is ridiculously stupid with his argument that Israel shouldn't use German inventions since they were Nazi inventions, although in truth most of the inventions were from non-Nazi Germans. The point here is Israel is not calling for a boycott of German inventions while on the other hand it is true and only fair that people calling for Israeli inventions to be boycotted should then not hypocritically use them.

Joshua Mann said...

I'm pretty sure the Israel supporters were saying that it would be hypocritical to call for a boycott of Israeli goods (such as the BDS movement is currently doing), while at the same time using other Israeli goods and technology (ie intel processors, etc)...

Israelis today are not calling for a boycott of anything (including Arab and German goods), which is why it wouldn't be hypocritical for an Israeli or Jew to be using goods from these regions.

Also, as a matter of fact, Israelis enjoy freedom of speech, which allows them to perform Wagner if they so choose. Many choose not to due to the background of the music and composer, but that is a very far cry from your assertion that public performances of Wagner are banned in Israel.

Anonymous said...

Just once I wish people would understand what it means to boycott. A boycott is done to hurt the people that are making money of getting something from the product. A boycott is done not to hurt yourself. That is why you can freely pick the items you want to boycott and not boycott others. You dont have to be nice about it or follow any rules. In effect you are voting with your wallet if you want to support something. In this case people boycott some Israeli made products to put hurt on thier economy and at the same time say we wont support your behavior , the occupation of the human rights abuses that you do. We can and will enjoy anything we want. We can even drink Israeli wines if we fell like it because as I said just like the boycotts of South Africa and Japanese products during WW2 some things made in Japan were boycotted and some not. A boycott is a non violent protest. We are saying you are not going to get our money for those things we decide to boycott and the reason for that is to not Support the economy of a state that is doing things we believe are disgusting and horrible. Guess what? We tell anyone we want to join in and they have the free rights to join or not join and it doesn't matter if Israelis or Zionists agree or like it at not. Truthfully Jews did the same thing in Germany I don't hear any of you say what they did was wrong .

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian said...

If you want to put pressure on an apartheid nation like South Africa was, you can try boycotting its products. That worked pretty well so now many of us are doing the same against Israel, another apartheid state. If Israel doesn't like it, then it can mend its ways; otherwise the hasbara trolls are wasting their own time with their sophistry.
Free Palestine.