Monday, December 21, 2009

The Zionist threshold for truth

We Israel/Palestine bloggers like to think that our writings make a difference; that someone will be convinced by our posts to join our camp and not our opponents'. In the case of Zionist bloggers, they try to achieve this end in a two-pronged movement. There exists a layer of bloggers that make the most outrageous assertions and engage in "deny-it-all" tactics. If that fails, a second, intellectual segment makes elaborate arguments that may persuade more sophisticated readers.

The first group interests us here. It's the group that makes claims like:

  • The territories are disputed, not occupied.
  • The settlements are not illegal under international law.
  • Israeli soldiers are required by their Code of Ethics to risk their own lives in order not to harm civilians.
  • Torture is illegal in Israel.
  • All of Palestine, from the river to the sea, was given to the Jews by the League of Nations and this has not been repealed.
  • The difference between Palestinian terrorism nowadays and Jewish terrorism in the 1930s-40s is that the latter never targetted civilians.

Keep in mind that these "unsophisticated" bloggers achieve their objective not when they win a debate with an anti-Zionist, but when they succeed in having a neutral reader repeat the bullshit above in other blogs.

Elder of Ziyon belongs in this group. He will endlessly exploit the West's willingness to believe anything nasty about the Arabs (and anything good about the Jews) to discredit the whole ethnic group, with little attention to truth or fact.

In a recent post, Elder reminded us that, as is already known, the Arabs are liars. Under the heading Today's lying PalArab "eyewitnesses," Elder starts off by quoting the Palestinian news agency Ma'an:

Fifteen Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement near Nablus attempted to set fire to a home in the village of Burin, Palestinian sources said Saturday.

Wearing white prayer shirts marking the Jewish Sabbath the group stormed the home of Ayman Attalla Safwan carrying flame excellents but were confronted by several villagers who tried to prevent their entry into the home, eyewitnesses described.
EoZ goes on to analyze:

Not sure what "flame excellents" are but not only would religious Jews not carry implements to create a fire - they wouldn't carry anything at all on the Sabbath, outside of what is necessary for saving lives.

Just another example of the lies that Palestinian Arab "witnesses" routinely engage in.
Because Einstein was Jewish, the gullible West will actually believe that religious Israeli Jews love the commandments of their religion more than they hate the Arabs. A recent Jerusalem Post story, however, proves otherwise:


Hebron rabbi permits gentile Shabbat construction in settlements

Rabbi Dov Lior, the rabbi of Hebron-Kiryat Arba, issued a halachic ruling last week that it was permitted to employ non-Jews on Shabbat to build in Judea and Samaria during the present construction freeze. (...)

Although there is no prohibition against a non-Jew working on Shabbat, there is a rabbinic prohibition for a Jew to tell a non-Jew to do work for him. It is considered more severe to tell a non-Jew to perform a biblical prohibition such as building than to perform a rabbinical prohibition. Nevertheless, to facilitate the settling of the land of Israel it is permitted.
At the time of the post's publication, however, I wasn't aware of this fatwa, but I did know that destroying fruit-bearing trees is illegal under Jewish religious law, and that settlers have been proven to burn and uproot olive trees. I told EoZ so. His response:

HB, the unfortunate truth is that even religious Jews sometimes pick and choose which laws they emphasize. for example, haredi Jews throwing stones on Shabbos at people violates a number of laws.

Creating a fire on the Sabbath is a law that would not be violated by any Jew who pretends to be religious. It is as unthinkable as eating a BLT in public. I stand by my analysis - the event did not happen as described.

(BTW, Palestinian Arabs have a long history of destroying olive trees - of Jews. And most of the olive tree accusations against Jews are lies as well.)
There exist bogus accusations of olive-tree destruction against the settlers, just like there exist bogus Holocaust survivors who collect huge sums writing books about their "stories" before being exposed. This doesn't mean that Elie Wiesel is a liar, or that Ma'an's story is false. So that I told EoZ:

You say "most" but you cited ONE case. I don't mean to offend you, but you look like the Holocaust deniers who say "the Jewish soap story is a lie; therefore, there was no Holocaust."

To prove your point, you must cite ALL accusations and prove that at least 51% of them are lies.
To which he retorted:

If there is a pattern of lies where Arabs cut down their own olive trees, then the accusations become automatically suspect.

How many does it take to establish a pattern?

The one I linked was October, 2008.

December 2006:
http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=31859
January 2006 (video of Arabs cutting trees down): http://joesettler.blogspot.com/2...live- trees.html

November 2003: http://www.israelnationalnews.co...News.aspx/ 52528

Given this pattern, we need more than Arab and leftist "eyewitnesses" to establish that the accusations have a basis in fact.
How many swallows does it take to make a summer? Not 4, in this case, given the huge amount of olive-tree accusations. To further clarify things, I wrote:


Here is a list of olive tree claims compiled by Yesh Din. Can Elder prove that most of these claims are false?

If he can't, this is yet another instance of this blog providing non-credible information.
EoZ:

It is very funny that your evidence shows that most of the reported incidents could not be shown to have been done by Jews.

Even so, I was going to change my wording to "as far as I understand, most of the..." - but I couldn't correct the post, as it was in the comments.

This is a lot of effort to prove that I was wrong in something I didn't even post. And you still haven't.
Me:

But they (the reported incidents) could not be shown to be lies, either. If you have proof that they are, please show it. It will be of great interest to the State of Israel as it will clarify once and for all what really happened. (...)

I don't have to prove anything. The burden of proof falls on the one making an assertion.
Which finally led to a remarkable statement by EoZ:

Thanks for your opinion of what I must do. I feel I must ignore it. (...) I still believe my original claim is accurate, but I admit I have no hard proof, as you have no proof otherwise. My belief is based on the combination of multiple staged fake olive tree damage by Pals and anti_Israel activists, and the dual incentive of doing the faking - making settlers look bad, and getting compensation from Israel for such accusations. Given that, settler denials have at least as much credibility as the original accusations.
This is what it all boils down to. The Zionist threshold for truth is one's belief as backed by one's manipulation of selective information. He believes the settlers more than he does the Palestinians, but he passes off this belief as fact. In pure Holocaust-denier fashion, he compiles a short list of faked incidents and draws conclusions about the much longer list of reported incidents. And, unfortunately (and this is what we're up against), the West believes his belief.

Because, you know, Jews have 250 Nobel prizes and gave warnings before their terror attacks, while Arabs are hook-nosed, thick-eyebrowed and have shining black eyes and a knife in their teeth.

34 comments:

andrew r said...

If that fails, a second, intellectual segment makes elaborate arguments that may persuade more sophisticated readers.

I have to admit, there was a time when I sought out reasonable-sounding Zionists who don't repeat the neanderthal cliches you listed, or at least don't build their whole case around them. This is where you have to be particularly informed and vaccinated against demagoguery. I just have to read something like this...

"The right to life is greater than the right to own a store; the right to think and talk freely is greater than the right to walk wherever you want, especially if the latter conflicts with political decisions."

And it becomes clear which side deals in smarmy double talk.

Gert said...

A snippet from an email by Ernie Halfdram (TBoCP), which I'm sure he won't mind me reproducing here:

"I’m in awe of the hasbaristas. They make arguments that nobody in their right mind could ever accept and consistently get away with it. It’s like magic!"

When it comes to Zionism, logic and reason become indeed magically suspended. Relatively few blogs demonstrate that better than EoZ but what to expect from an individual that still refers to Palestinians as 'PalArabs'? Perhaps he wouldn't mind if we referred to Zionist Jews as 'Yids' or 'Kikes'?

This particular argument of EoZ that Religious Jews would never do certain things on Shabbat reminds me of when, over twenty years ago when I was a conscript, I remarked to my Company Sergeant Major 'that there was rather a lot of alcoholism in our battalion'. He responded that 'there is no alcoholism in the army: alcoholism is prohibited by army regulations!' Forbidden, ergo, doesn't happen, yahear!!

Yessireeh!

Yitzchak Goodman said...

The difference between Palestinian terrorism nowadays and Jewish terrorism in the 1930s-40s is that the latter never targetted civilians.

Does anybody worth mentioning actually claims this? You could learn a out the attacks you are talking about from reading Dershowitz.

Arayus said...

Now this is an amazing summary of events.

andrew r said...

I usually hear the wider Jewish community condemned the attacks.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Here's Dershowitz (Chutzpah, p. 220):

The nature of the Begin-Shamir terrorism — unjustified as it was in my view — was very different from Arafat's. It was directed primarily at British and Arab military targets, not at families traveling on civilian airlines. Neither Begin nor Shamir was rewarded for his terrorism; indeed, they paid a heavy price, being relegated to minority status within the Israeli political system for decades.

Here you have a list of 42 Jewish attacks on civilian buses, trucks and carts between January and March, 1948. (OK, the Jews didn't attack airliners, but that's because the Arabs didn't have an airline.)

And what evidence is there, for God's sake, that Begin was relegated to minority status because of his terrorism?

Dershowitz's teachings have led to Zionist bloggers outrageously lying, e.g.:

The Irgun, also known as "Etzel", was a pre-state liberation movement led by Menachem Begin. The Irgun, like most other movements at the time had a clear and distinct policy of targeting military targets (British police and military) and infrastructure, Arab militias, and people who worked with the British government, which they viewed as collaborators and traitors. Under no condition has the Irgun targeted civilians, at any stage of its existence. You might accuse it of using excessive force, but never of targeting civilian installations.

And keep in mind, the Zionists' victory comes when someone who has read this crap on their sites repeats it when commenting on other sites. I'll give you a few examples; google them to find the sources:

Commenter BubbaC33 on The Huffington Post, 05/19/2009: "There is a difference in the tactics of the Irgun and Hamas or Fatah. The Irgun targeted Brit military sites, not civilians."

Commenter Jon1967 on answerway.com, 02/03/06: "First of all, since the Irgun targeted British troops and not civilians, they were not terrorists. (...) Yes, they did bomb the King David hotel. And the King David Hotel happened to be being used as the headquarters of the British Army in Palestine. So, it was a legitimate military target. I don't know why it is so hard to get the point across that it is deliberately targeting innocent civilians that constitutes terrorism. (...) The Irgun, so far as I know, never deliberately attacked civilians. Therefore they were insurgents. They were not terrorists."

Commenter livius on The Free Republic, 7-21-2006: "The Irgun targeted the British Army headquarters--an act of insurrection, not terrorism. Terrorism is targeting civilians or just shooting rockets at a whole city."

Commenter Mark Hamil on Haaretz: "The Irgun targeted military targets only, even the King David was in fact HQ of British occupation forces of “Palestine”."

You must acknowledge that there does exist a problem of denial of Jewish terrorism.

Gert said...

T'is to be hoped Jerkowitz doesn't condemn Hezbollah's Beirut barracks bombings as terrorism, that wouldn't be very consistent now would it?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Dershowitz in your quote does not deny that there were attacks on civilians, and everyone else is a "Commenter BubbaC33," including one who had his own blog. So you are making my point. Would you like to do a count of fake Ben Gurion quotes propagated by people who are the subject of Wikipedia articles?

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Yitzchak, I'm afraid you're holding on to technicalities.

Dershowitz says that Begin didn't target airliners; since this would have been impossible given that the Palestinians had no airline, what we must interpret is that he didn't do things equivalent to attacking a plane. The 1947-48 equivalent of attacking a plane was attacking another vehicle of public transportation -- for instance, a bus. And Jewish terrorists attacked civilian buses. Lots of them.

Also, you dismiss the blogger I quoted (I could quote others... and books as well), presumably because he's not very well known: did I restrict my claims to famous bloggers? I clearly stated that there are two layers of bloggers, the crude ones and the sophisticated ones. The crude ones are, presumably, not the most famous, but that doesn't mean they can't convince a certain segment of readers.

Finally, the sample of commenters I quoted all make strikingly similar comments that point to previous indoctrination.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

According to Israeli philosopher Asher Kasher:
'A combatant is a citizen in uniform' ~ 'If it's between the soldier and the terrorist's neighbor, the priority is the soldier.'

In other words, targeting an Israeli soldier is targeting a civilian, and therefore terrorism, whereby the terrorist is not a civilian, and therefore fair game, as is the terrorist's neighbour, because after all, you can't justify endangering an Israeli soldier, who is actually a civilian.

http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2009/05/on-front-lines.html

Yitzchak Goodman said...

I clearly stated that there are two layers of bloggers, the crude ones and the sophisticated ones.

You are saying these things with the air of exposing the grand two-pronged propaganda strategy by which the diabolical Zionists have hoodwinked the world. Actually you are just demonstrating that when issues are widely debated publicly, the level of knowledge (or ignorance) tends to vary widely. Advocates for the Palestinians often falsely assert that Jews never experienced massacres and forced conversions under Muslim rule. I haven't constructed a grand conspiracy theory to account for this fact--people tend to think that things they haven't heard of don't exist and they also parrot other people's arguments. There are cases of dishonest writers who have put false claims into circulation also--fake Ben-Gurion quotes don't create themselves--but honesty also varies in any event.

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

"You are saying these things with the air of exposing the grand two-pronged propaganda strategy by which the diabolical Zionists have hoodwinked the world."

That's not what HB is saying in my understanding. There is no 'two-pronged propaganda strategy', but there is a clear propaganda strategy tout court (something Zionism shares with most other nationalisms) to justify the creation of Israel and its continued colonisation of Palestine, often referred to as 'Hasbara'. Some Hasbarists are better (more sophisticated) at propagandising than others (cruder), some are more powerful (better known e.g.) than others. Zionists try and hoodwink the world, of course, that's what nationalism does.

As with all mythology, it gradually becomes exposed as just that. Much of the early Zionist myths aren't used even by the crudest Hasbarists anymore. And much of it has been debunked by Israel's own historians and historiographers.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I did say "two-pronged movement." I'm not saying it's totally deliberate, but there's some coordination.

For instance: crude pundits like Melanie Phillips will deny that the territories are occupied. More sophisticated commentators, like Lozowick, will acknowledge that the territories are occupied but somehow manages to blame the Palestinians.

The point is that Zionists who acknowledge the occupation will never denounce those who deny it. They take advantage of the obfuscation created by the "no occupation" propounders, which forces us anti-Zionists to rebutt not only reasonable argumentations, but also totally crazy theories.

I challenge you to show me a single Zionist who slams other Zionists over the claim that there's no occupation with the same clarity that I blast anti-Zionists who say Israel is committing a genocide in Gaza.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

I challenge you to show me a single Zionist who slams other Zionists over the claim that there's no occupation with the same clarity that I blast anti-Zionists who say Israel is committing a genocide in Gaza.

I don't know if the two things are comparable. You are scathing about Israel in the post you link to. Pro-Palestinian users of the term "genocide" stand accused by you of "giving them the perfect excuse to hurl at us the most-abused one . . . Antisemitism." I don't know if that is "blasting." Here is me arguing that the distinction between anti-semitism and anti-zionsim should be preserved. That should be enough of a counter-example to your post.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Hmmm... No, it's not a counterexample.

I state clearly that Israel is not committing genocide. You don't state as clearly that there exist anti-Zionists who are not antisemites.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Gee, Yitzchak, you must have a terrible crow problem on your kibbutz, because I’ve never encountered such a collection of straw men before.

You have a decidedly weird conception of what antizionism is. If it’s of any interest, I define Zionism as the ideology that it’s ok to establish a state that privileges Jews in some meaningful sense. Antizionism is opposition to that fundamentally racist endeavour. Anyone with a consistent, principled objection to racism has to be antizionist in that sense. It’s true that there is a handful of antisemites who reject Zionism. As far as I can tell, they are either so extreme in their antisemitism that they think all Jews everywhere must be eradicated, or so confused that they can’t see that a movement to concentrate all Jews in our own little ghetto is perfectly compatible with their own deepest desires.

A much more interesting question is whether there are Zionists who are not antisemites, who would not implicate all Jews by saying things like, ‘all Jews have a stake in the connection between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel’.

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

It seems Ernie's beat me too it.

From your DailyKOS entry:

"Nevertheless, the Jewish People and the State of Israel are not identical entities. Bigotry towards one, at least theoretically, is not automatically bigotry towards the other. What is clearly needed is a recognition that Anti-Zionism is often a kind of bigotry in its own right. Even extreme anti-Zionists may take pains to avoid anti-Semitism, but that does not exonerate them, it merely means that they exemplify a different sort of bigotry. The notion, for instance, that Modern Israel is a "European" country whose residents all have European "homelands" is a bizarre distortion which in practice is paired with the intent of harming the interests of millions of Jews. Is it Anti-Semitic? This may depend on what you mean by the word "Anti-Semitism," and perhaps the best way to avoid semantic quibbles is simply to affirm that it is a bigoted belief no matter what it is labeled."

Here was I thinking I might have found a Zionist who didn't reflexively dismiss anti-Zionism as antisemitism, only to find he considers both to be bigotry, albeit somewhat separated.

It's no surprise though, looking through your list of "claims and patterns" (what's the fundamental difference between a "claim" and a "pattern" in your context, Yitzchak?): it's list of completely distorted claims, some made by extremists, some by antisemites, very rarely by principled anti-Zionists.

So you make up your own long list of fabricated claims (straw men indeed), attribute them to 'anti-Zionists' et voila, as by sheer magic Zionism has proved anti-Zionists are bunch of bigots.

Continued below...

Gert said...

It would take too long to debunk all your "claims and patterns", so I'll just pick a few:

"Israel controls U.S. foreign policy."

Very few put it like that, those who do are guilty of hasty carelessness. There exists in the US a powerful lobby, comprised of a few wealthy American Jewish groups, that perfectly legally defend Israel's interests in the USA. They have some influence on American foreign policy vis-à-vis the Middle East.

"Israel's Jews all have European homelands."

Modern day Jews who make Aliyah for the overwhelming majority come from Western (European or US) states in which they enjoyed full rights. Palestinians, indigenous to the area are refused the same right to citizenship and equal rights in Palestine/Israel. It's so racist, it's unbelievable Zionism's supporters still have the gall to deny it.

"Israel (or the Mossad) carried out 9/11."

I can't think of a single anti-Zionists who believes that. Some antisemites, yes.

"The Danish cartoon controversy was a Zionist plot. "

Never heard that one before, certainly not in anti-Zionist circles

"Israel was founded as a conspiracy to hinder Muslim development."

Israel is the West's most powerful ally in the ME, to have such a militarily powerful state as an ally serves the West greatly in maintaining hegemony in the region.

"Despotism in Arab countries is a natural reaction to the threat posed by Israel and therefore Israel's fault."

Nope, never heard that one before either.

"All critics of Israel are branded as anti-Semites and silenced."

Branding anti-Zionists and critics of Israel as antisemites is indeed quite reflexive among many Zionists (see e.g. the EUMC Working Definition of antsemitism which may well make anti-Zionism illegal in Europe, see also a certain Yitzchak Goodman's piece in DailyKOS).

"Israel poisoned the Palestinian water supply to harm Palestinian fertlity."

It appears indeed that Israel uses a disproportionate amount of Palestine's water resources, but to 'harm Palestinian fertility'? Nope, never heard of it.

"Zionists control the media."

Zionism as a pressure group is indeed quite adept at influencing the media, what gets printed or shown in the US media regarding the I/P conflict is quite strongly filtered because of it. It doesn't amount to 'Zionists control the media', though: influence and control aren't the same.

The rest of the "claims":
Israel dropped poisoned balloons into Lebanon.
AIDS is an Israeli plot.
Bird Flu is an Israeli plot.
Israel is plotting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israel is intrinsically non-viable economically and only survives on foreign aid.

...are essentially modern antisemitic canards, not at all held by anti-Zionists.

Despite your convoluted approach to anti-Zionism/antisemitism, you needn't have bothered claiming both were separate bigotries: in your book Zionism is a codeword for 'Joooos' and guess what that makes anti-Zionism?

In the mean time in Britain we have the BNP and the EDL (English Defence League) who've finally come to their senses and have abandoned their exterminationist attitude to Jews: now they enthusiastically embrace Zionism. Juden raus! and off to Israel!

Gert said...

When I come to think of it, rarely have I seen anyone erroneously make the case that 'anti-Zionism = anti-Semitism', this time under the guise that the two aren't exactly the same but that AZ is bigotry all the same, as you, Yitzchak Goodman! Not really magic, just sleight of hand, a transparent conjurer's trick...

This is of course another achievement of Zionism: by attributing special status to anti-Jewish racism, so that it can be bandied around with gay abandon, the term anti-Semitism has now lost nearly all meaning. The real anti-Semites must be so pleased: 'they say that about nearly everyone, you know!'

Yitzchak Goodman said...

"Israel controls U.S. foreign policy."

Very few put it like that, those who do are guilty of hasty carelessness.


Here is Gilad Atzmon at counterpunch:

"The idea that Zionists have taken over America might sound bizarre in the first instance but we must remember that this kind of strange scenario does happen."

http://www.counterpunch.org/atzmon0822.html

The rest of the "claims":
Israel dropped poisoned balloons into Lebanon.
AIDS is an Israeli plot.
Bird Flu is an Israeli plot.
Israel is plotting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israel is intrinsically non-viable economically and only survives on foreign aid.

...are essentially modern antisemitic canards, not at all held by anti-Zionists.


They are claims about Israel, however, not about Jews per se.
That is why I proposed the word "Zionphobia." And there is a great deal of it around.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

"The Danish cartoon controversy was a Zionist plot. "

Never heard that one before


http://lahaine.org/petras/articulo.php?p=9&more=1&c=1

Yitzchak Goodman said...

So you make up your own long list of fabricated claims (straw men indeed), attribute them to 'anti-Zionists' et voila, as by sheer magic Zionism has proved anti-Zionists are bunch of bigots.

Work on your reading comprehension. And use a search engine to see if I "fabricated" anything.

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

Gilad Atzmon is one of those rare cases of a Jewish "anti-Zionist" who is spewed out by the anti-Zionist movement and considered an actual antisemite. I'm not fond of the often oxymoronic 'self-haing Jew' label, alas it appears to fit Mr Atzmon well. Counterpunch lost a lot credit, if not all, in the AZ movement when it comes to criticism of Zionism, because of their connection to Atzmon.

To believe Atzmon is somehow representative of the AZ movement is comical at best and seriously dishonest at worst.

Regards the James Petras website:

http://lahaine.org/petras/articulo.php?p=9&more=1&c=1

The who website? Once again you pick up an obscure conspiracy nut, in all likelihood a de facto antisemite, and hops, by sheer magic you think you've proved your point.

Perhaps I should serve up some extremist Zionist websites, some with a racist attitude to Muslims/Arabs/'Fakestinians' that truly stinks to high heaven and claim, Goodman-style, that they represent Zionism?

As regards my reading comprehension, there's nothing wrong with it: it doesn't stretch my reading comprehension to read your fluff at all. I don't in any way feel obliged to go and waste bandwidth by Googling your straw men.

Since as you've nailed your colours to the mast, you have now lost all credibility in my book. But it was all very entertaining. Shortly I'll post a link to your DailyKOS essay [cough!] at a prominent and well-read British anti-Zionist blog, Jews sans Frontieres, because G-d knows these gentle souls need cheering up too, once in a while...

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Regards the James Petras website:

http://lahaine.org/petras/articulo.php?p=9&more=1&c=1

The who website? Once again you pick up an obscure conspiracy nut, in all likelihood a de facto antisemite, and hops, by sheer magic you think you've proved your point.


The claim in question I associated with Zionphobia, not all anti-Zionism. See what I mean about your reading comprehension? Petras is not so obscure. He also appears at Counterpunch and lots of other places. Ibrahim, have you heard of him?

Gert said...

Yitzchak:

No, no problems with reading comprehension at my end: anti-Zionists distinguish in a principled way between the State of Israel and the Jewish people but when you roll out a whole raft of anti-Semitic straw men that you attribute to anti-Zionism, then you are of course simply equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, your transparent semantic device of "Zionphobia" notwithstanding. "What is clearly needed is a recognition that Anti-Zionism is often a kind of bigotry in its own right" sums up your lengthy piece.

What you do here is duck "anti-Zionism isn't antisemitism" by creating a new perceived bigotry, "Zionphobia", that is on a par with antisemitism.

As always, trust those who want to award special status to antisemitism to come up with terms like 'the New antisemitism' or here the even more risible 'Zionphobia'.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Ibrahim, have you heard of him?

I have to agree with Gert. Yes, I'm familiar with Petras and Atzmon, but no, they're not, by any means, representative of the anti-Zionist establishment. I won't deny I read Counterpunch, where they both have published, but I have never used Counterpunch as a source. At most, I have used the sources referenced by that online publication.

What you've got to do is carefully read the works of Juan Cole, Norman Finkelstein, Phil Weiss, Noam Chomsky, Steve Walt, John Mearsheimer, Tony Greenstein and other mainstream anti-Zionists. You won't find any of the ludicrous conspiracy theories listed at the end of your Daily Kos piece.

andrew r said...

I'm not fond of the often oxymoronic 'self-haing Jew' label, alas it appears to fit Mr Atzmon well.

Not really. He calls himself an 'ex-Jew' and 'Hebrew speaking Palestinian' (the fact he counterposes the two identities should tell you something). That makes zero (0) genuine self-hating Jews, thankfully.

Ernie Halfdram said...

Ibrahim, I think it's a bit rich to speak of an 'anti-Zionist establishment' or 'mainstream anti-Zionists'. In any case, as I understand the term, the only antizionists on your list is Tony Greenstein, and possibly Phil Weiss. Chomsky and Finkelstein may not be ideologically committed to Zionism, but they both support partition and the preservation of Israel as a Jewish state, at least for the time being in the real world. As for Walt and Mearsheimer, I'm embarrassed that you'd want to associate yourself with their decidedly pro Israel drivel in any way. http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2007/11/dog-wags-tail.html
http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com/2009/05/saving-israel.html

Andrew, I reckon most people would consider an Israeli Jew describing himself as an 'ex-Jew' and a 'Hebrew speaking Palestinian' as evidence of his self loathing. In this case, at least, I think they'd be right.

Greg Potemkin said...

This is an interesting conversation y’all have going here, Gert.

The use of the term “anti-Israel bigot” is kind of amusing, and its creditability is not improved by the fact that a silly blowhard like Alan Dershowitz employs it, as well. Aside from the obvious reason why it is used, namely to defame anyone who disagrees with Zionism (or the establishment of the racist Judenstaat), it betrays the inverted thinking of the user.

By using that term, people like Dershowitz and Mr. Goodman here, can simply use the same accusations against their opponents as they always did without modifying their essential argument, which is that “we Jews” are good and anyone opposing “us” is bad, because they are “bigoted” against “us”.

Zionists (with the exception of those who are simply ill-informed about the nature of the Zionist enterprise) must cast aspersions on those who are opposed to their vile ideology, since to look inwardly would expose the evil which they promote. That is why they invariably talk about Israel being singled out, etc. They can’t possibly accept the fact that (as a wise blogger whom we all know once said) “Israel is uniquely despised because Israel is uniquely despicable”.

By the way - If one of Goodman's accusations were modified to "Israel controls US policy in the middle east" I would probably agree with it, and earn for myself the title of "anti-Israel Bigot".

There have been exceptions, of course. Eisenhower was able to stand up to the Zionist lobby during the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Suez in 1956, and force a withdrawal. But when one sees characters like Dennis Ross pretending to be in the role of honest American broker in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, one has to wonder.
.

Gert said...

Thanks Ernie, Andrew and Greg!

All read and noted.

Gert said...

HB:

"I won't deny I read Counterpunch, where they both have published, but I have never used Counterpunch as a source."

I have in the past quoted Counterpunch although not about I/P as far as I recall. I may still do so in the future. The truth stands on its own: just because Counterpunch is wrong on some matters doesn't mean its wrong on everything but it does mean we need to scrutinise it more (and in particular its sources) before using it.

To not do so is to simply give in to the smearers. Remember that Holocaust deniers also discredit the entire body of evidence for the Holocaust on the grounds that they've found some snippet here or there to be wrong or inaccurate.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Ernie, I think you're right. I actually meant "critics of Israel." That said, could you give examples of articulate anti-Zionists that Yitzchak may find worth reading?

Ernie Halfdram said...

That's a bloody good question, Ibrahim. The blogs I read are yours, Mark's, and Tony's. And of course there's mine. I don't mean to diss Gert, but I don't often check his blog, as many of his posts are reposts of stuff I've already read elsewhere. When Lenin posts on Palestine, he's antizionist, as is Louis Proyect. I don't often read Weiss's blog, which is why I'm not sure I'd consider him antizionist, although that's how he describes himself. Other names that spring to mind are Ilan Pappe, Ali Abunimah, Virginia Tilley, Saree Makdisi, Ghada Karmi, Mike Marqusee, and nowadays, Antony Loewenstein. I'll have a think about it and get back to you later, but as the rain has cleared, I reckon I'll go bush for the day. Let me know if you need links.

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