Monday, December 7, 2009

Am I a Jew?

The short answer is no.

However, on several Zionist blogs where I've been busting Hasbara I've been "accused" of being Jewish -- and self-hating, needless to say. At first I thought it was some isolated deranged commenter, but as the claim keeps cropping up (see here for the latest instance) I must conclude it's part of a strategy. I know, this sounds a lot like a conspiracy theory, but the blogs where they've alleged I'm Jewish now include Engage, Harry's Place, Z-Word, Desde Sefarad, Judeo-Arab Conspiracy and now Elder of Ziyon.

The curious thing is that if I claimed to be a Jew, they would call me an Asajew, i.e. someone who uses their Jewishness as a shield to fend off accusations of antisemitism. If they, for the reasons that be, think I actually have some Jewish ancestry, they should congratulate me for not bringing it up, which is the right thing for a Jewish critic of Israel to do according to their other set of standards.

In short, damned if you do, damned if you don't. The blogosphere is a weird place, just like the Middle East.

11 comments:

andrew r said...

HB, you're talking about someone who titles a post Why Did the Arabs run citing a Nation article from 1948 with some pretty stupid lines like, "I was later told, not by him but by someone else..." and then turns around and uses Benni Morris because he managed to write a lengthy critique of Avi Shlaim without mentioning his own work exposing the nakba.

Consistency isn't a virtue for some people.

andrew r said...

And by someone I don't mean elder in particular, I mean this behavior is typical of that lot.

Jack said...

The "interesting" thing about all of this is that you can find plenty of Jews who criticize Israel and virtually no Arabs that criticize their governments.

That is because one side kills or maims you for doing so. But you'll probably come up with some snappy answer as to why I am wrong.

andrew r said...

Would you like to hear the snappy answer, Jack?

1) Simply opposing Jews and Arabs earns you a taste penalty. This is one reason for being anti-Zionist. Many Jews speak Arabic.
http://nswas.org/article911.html

2) I'm going to assume you could clip your big toenail, flip it around and inscribe everything you know about Arabic discourse.

3) Arabs are not racially predisposed to killing people they don't agree with anymore than Jews are driven to control media and finance capital.

4) Israel claims to speak for all Jews. In fact the Israeli govt. and bodies that support Israel are usually hostile to critical Jews, c.f. the banning of Norman Finkelstein from Israel; Hedy Epstein's 4-hour strip search at Ben-Gurion airport; Birthright Israel's rejection of someone upon learning she was going to visit the West Bank. Any Jewish person has their name appropriated to legitimate Israel's crimes. The same can't be said of the Arab regimes that only draw support from limited sectors of their own populations and, natch, certain world powers.

5) There are clear-cut alternatives to the Israeli regime in widespread discussion. When it comes to democracy in the Arab world, the discussion often gets muddy, especially when certain twits, no names here, describe the situation with aimless hyperbole.

That was less snappy than planned.

andrew r said...

p.s. Norman Finkelstein would only go to Israel to visit the West Bank, not to linger in Israel itself.

Joshua said...

Does an Arab/Tamil/Tibetan/Uighur/Moro/Saharan/Hutu/Kurd/Roma/etc. have to qualify their criticisms with the appalling human rights record of Israel? Imagine a world like that.

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