Thursday, June 12, 2008

Palestinian Genocide

Although the words are never explicitly used, Seth Friedman's current article at the Guardian can't really be read in any other way:
The bloody violence in Nilin showed me that Israel's security wall could be the final blow in the destruction of Palestine.

Time is not on the Palestinians' side. Just as Nilin appears in its death throes today, so too will another village tomorrow, then another, then another. As the life of the Palestinian nation ebbs away, the best treatment on offer is merely palliative; and even that is proving too weak to soothe their never-ending anguish.

Let's assume, for the purpose of the argument, that the description of the events at Nilin is scrupulously factual and fair. Even were that so, there is no factual connection between it and the over-arching conclusion; while there are oceans of proof that the Palestinians are alive, very much kicking, and nowhere remotely near ebbing away; nor is there any evidence whatsoever that there is an Israeli policy to make it ebb away. In other words, Friedman's article is fanciful, dishonest, and malicious.

Is it antisemitic? There are a number of levels to a possible answer. One is that Friedman himself is not only Jewish, but he's had a rather tortured relationship with Israel, and his path to his present animosity was rather interesting. But this of course isn't relevant, since since there have always been Jewish Jew haters; having a Jewish mother doesn't create immunity.

Another is the fact of the prominence of the article on the Guardian's website: in a very unusual, though not unprecedented gesture, the editors have kept this post on the front page of the website since June 9th. Four days straight and counting. Tells you something about their frame of mind, doesn't it.

The antisemitism in many of the comments isn't even veiled.

Finally, am I advocating that such articles not get published? Of course not. It would be nice, but not realistic, to expect of the editors of the Guardian that they create a marketplace of ideas, so that the maliciousness of the anti-Zionist-sometimes-antisemitic ideas be clear to any reasonable observer, but even when they don't, the UK is a free society and the readers can find other ideas elsewhere. This is even more true about the rest of us, out here in cyberspace. The danger, As I've noted above, is when people live in a sealed echo chamber. What I am saying, however, is that in that marketplace of ideas, Friedman can spew antisemitism, and those of us who recognize it for what it is can say so. The freedom to speak goes in all directions. Why, in some cases (this isn't one of them) we should be free even to label people as antisemites even when they aren't.


nic said...

can't you be a jew and be against the policies of the isralei government. more so if you begin with the maxim to 'love your neighbour as yourself' zionism as a whole becomes a challenging ideology, especially in it's more mainstream varieties. i am here and i speak to people.

nic said...

and freedman is with two e's

Yaacov said...

Hi Nic - I have such a long proven (and published) record of being critical of Israeli policies that I don't feel any need even to try to respond. But Freedman's article isn't criticism of Israeli policies, it's a claim that the Israelis are purposefully and systematically destroying the Palestinians. This is 1. A lie, and 2. It certainly reeks of antisemitism to me, tho I haven't given a careful definition of what antisemitism is. But this piece falls within the definition no matter how narrowly you try to make it: accusing the Jewish state of genocide.

nic said...

how is maale adumim not an attempt to split the west bank in two?
how is making promises to abu mazen we have no intention of keeping thereby making him look stupuid and pushing the population into the arms of hamas not just an attempt to prolong conflict and the status quo?
if you were a resident of east jerusalem would you believe you had any justice waiting for you if you called the police or went to the courts to stop settlement expansion?
do you live in jerusalem? we can meet for a chat

Anonymous said...


You know, most people have very poor math skills. So what's not seen is that the Israelis have a handle on terror ... while most people think the only way to solve problems is to "send out the tanks and go to war."


If I had to guess? At some point besides the WALL, what will be needed are "NO MAN'S LAND."

Most people think borders, even when they're separated by barbed wire; put one country on one side. And, on the other, another country.

In Europe you know, the Rhine once worked as a waterway divide.

And, if you go to South America, you'd discover ... if you were doing this on foot ... That borders all have NO MAN'S LAND between two countries. You can leave one country ... and you have to walk 3-miles over NO MAN'S LAND ... to reach the outpost where there are customs officials. I kid you not.

With gaza, now, you have the gate of separation ... AND, IF? Let's say Israel has to go in. You think this is gonna be like a war? Nope. It's gonna be like a bulldozer that just rides over everything in sight, until you come to a separation that will be difficult to cross, without making footprints.

As to "what else" happens, ahead?


The best outcome would be disgust among muslims that would match the disgust brought about by WW2 to the catholics. So that now, in Europe, the whole shibang of Christianity is nothing more than empty buildings and empty pews.

Can the Wahhabi'ist turn at the helm of Islam be curbed? Yes, it is very violent.

All I am saying is that there can be unintended consequences. Which might include a stronger distaste for the Islamic brew?

Oddly enough, none of us know.

I'm old enough to know how the Catholic Church once rules in the USA. WHere there were Blue Laws on Sunday, that forbid retailers to open. And, that kept bars closed as a means of keeping men out of them during "Sunday Services."

Of course, there was also the exposure of the pedophile priests. The Vatican couldn't hide that one.

It just seems that passing through generations are changes. Changes where the grandparents of old stopped having sway.

All I know is that the arabs are keeping the Israelis on their toes. And, I also know that "terror" will reign across the board. But it will be fought differently by the Chinese; than it will by democracies.

And, given that America marched into Iraq, you can now add that most Americans hate arabs, and aren't seeing any success in "halping" them establish a democracy, there. Or even anything beyond another weak arab government, there.

In other words? It's hopeless to think all of mankind can get along. And, if I had to guess? The Palestinians, today, are in the same boat as other savages. Okay. No tourist attractions for them!

By the way, there's a strange thing in favor of Israel's survival. Jews have made it. While Rome did not! So? Perhaps there's a lesson? Hebrew lives. And, the Vatican is plagued by problems. Plus, they're the home of a dead language. Who knew?

In all the times that's passed before ... no one knew Jews would even be here, today.

And, since the Holocaust? At least, now, Jews fight back.

Words can't stop this phenomena.

I don't see anti-Semitism as the threat. However, I do see socialism's evil. And, ahead, there will be the lessons needed to escape Eutopian dreams. Besides, Eutopia is a greek word meaning "never was, never will be."

I don't fear what I hear.

Zion might not be the word that "makes it" though. It comes much too late in the alphabet. And, yes. I'd like to see Israel running a secular nation. Up ahead, a lot of Jews are gonna be secular. Maybe, not even circumcised. But leave that for another discussion.