Monday, January 26, 2009

An Apology

In yesterday’s post I allowed my pent up anger to spill out as a personal attack on Hagai El-Ad, CEO of ACRI. This shouldn’t have happened, and I apologize to him. It added nothing to the argument; indeed, it diverted it to an unnecessary track.

Which is regrettable also for the matter itself, which is existentially serious. The State of Israel faces a coalition of disparate forces united in their hatred and in their eagerness to wield diverse tools to bring about its destruction. Hamas is, at the moment, the front line of an Islamist Weltanschauung that hates humanity, detests the West, and sees the Jews as the source of all evil. Devoid of any human compassion, these people are proud to kill, eager to inflict horror, and welcome blood shedding. They have aligned themselves with a group that should be diametrically opposed to them, of orphaned Marxists and airy-headed theorists of international order, devoid of any compassion for real people in a fallen world, the only world there is. The connection between the two groups happens because neither can recognize the greatness of warped humanity, the grandeur of life in ambivalence – and they all hate the Jews.

ACRI and its dozens of partners have aligned themselves, indeed, they are part and parcel of, the second group (except perhaps for the Jew-hating part); their actions, intentionally or not, serve to blunt Israel’s capacity to wage actual war against the first. This is deeply regrettable, as the war will go on for many years, and Israel would only benefit from having patriotic watchdogs to aide and assist in waging just war. Alas, that is not the mission they have taken upon themselves; as El-Ad’s answer to my letter, published here yesterday demonstrates, they do not even have the first glimmering of understanding what the issues are.

My outburst was the result of a momentary loss of control; it was aimed at an individual and group who are aiding and abetting the wrong side in a war for our lives. I repeat my apology for the momentary lapse, and hope for the unlikely case where they will re-examine the fundamental perversity.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Lozowick,
just in case you are reading these comments:
what is going on at the Lebanon Daily Star ??? - nothing new since January 14 - I keep checking them regularly to learn from Michael Young how things look from his March 14 side of the border and now the whole operation is quiet - It never happened since 2006 when I discovered Young's voice
besides Young it was always interesting to watch whose columns Daily Star chose for publication.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Roberts sends another ray of light from the British isle
He is the author of Masters and Commanders: How Roosevelt, Churchill, Marshall and Alanbrooke Won the War in the West (Allen Lane) (George W. Bush read this book and, if I remember correctly, invited the author to the White House which created a crisis with the MSM because of the "revelation" that Bush was actually capable of reading)

Andrews' piece should probably be a must-read for organizations like the one this post is about:

While groups such as the British Red Cross and Christian Aid are generally impartial in other areas of the world, that cannot be said to apply to their role in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, where they regularly view the conflict through a deeply partisan lens.

" ....For those of us who reject such gross ideological bias, which absolves the Hamas leadership for a confrontation which they openly sought, such statements by charities are unacceptable and should not be rewarded by the BBC."

Anonymous said...

Yaacov: Your apology is noble, but you still don't get civil rights organisations. Look at the history of the Anti-Defamation League (before it stopped being a civil rights movement) and you will find that you cannot always pick the victims of civil rights abuses. The fact that some of the people detained, rendered or tortured by the US military and CIA in the last few years may actually have been terrorists does not make what happened to them any less wrong. The fact that Hamas is a serial and constant denier of human rights on a far greater scale than Israel does not justify any acts of the Israeli army (if there were any) which crossed the line.
As to El-Ad's answer, he simply stated the aims of his organization, he clearly did not want to get into a position where you control the discussion and he is there as a straw man - he has better things to do with his time.

Anonymous said...

a question to Daniel from Silke

shouldn't civil rights organizations be more careful about damaging the personal honour and feelings of those they criticize?

I do not know about your ACRI but what I get to read here in Germany is as a rule terribly insulting to the people who actually have to get the job done.

There must be another way to criticize an operation without bashing the "boots on the ground". To judge them should be left to investigation but not to people who try to scream murder as loudly and shrilly as possible whenever they smell a chance.

any decent person should constantly be aware that Soldiers should have the right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise just like everybody else

Yaacov said...

Actually, Daniel, I understand them very well. They're not a universal organization, in which case they'd need to be warning about the transgressions of many nations and groups before the comparatively mild ones of Israel: they're Israelis. Whenever one asks why they never protest the many Palestinian transgressions against against the human rights of Israelis they always respond that their goal is only to deal with Israel, not anyone else. Were they sincere in this, they would find the way to be constructive in their criticism of Israel; they would be part of the war effort, contributing their important and fully legitimate perspective. Alas, they do everything but. They never make constructive suggestions, indeed, they rarely show any patience for the complexity of the situation, preferring an arid and ultimately irrelevant pristine purity. Onto this "better than thou" position they then graft actions which can be explained only in terms of an external agenda, geared, perhaps, for their foreign donors, or to make them look good in the eyes of foreign colleagues, or whatever their motivations are.

Anonymous said...

A newcomer to your blog, having been reading it since the Gaza crisis began earlier in the month.

I am very sympathetic to your complaints about the Israeli human rights organizations, but not entirely unsympathetic to their mindset either - they really have only competence and a direct connection to the Israeli issue. But your comment above made me realize that there is a way forward for engaging them. Or at least a way for engaging the honest, rather than the reflexive-lefty, self-hating, ones.

You should recognize that their focus is on Israel, and acknowledge that, as Jews and Israelis, you want to do the right thing, but demand that they provide constructive counsel, not just criticism. In other words, it is not enough to complain if Israel shoots at an ambulance. they must address how Israel deals with an enemy that puts fighters and munitions in ambulances. If they want Israel to be better, and they and you both should, they must nos simply say "you cannot", but they must help craft an alternative behavior.

Give it a try,


Anonymous said...

"If they want Israel to be better, and they and you both should, they must nos simply say "you cannot", but they must help craft an alternative behavior."
So,Mr or Mrs dontgetit, I do get it,unfortunately.
A lot of must and should,huh?
German?? Suppose so.
Whoever,whatever- take your shoulda and take care of your country, your shouldas,JfYI.

Anonymous said...

Kolhakavod, Yaacov; and I think your comment here on the "holier than thou" attitude of ACRI hits the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

I can understand your anger Yaacov. All of these parties are the same; if they hear something bad about Israel they instantly believe it without question.

All these people accuse Israel of breaching humanitarian and international law, while at the same time they completely reject all the fundamental principles behind the rule of law. The rules of evidence, innocent until proven guilty, right to a fair trial etc; Israel gets none of that from these hypocrites.

The plain facts about Israels actions in Gaza is that there are no facts about Israels actions if Gaza. Not yet. None of the stories about 'massacres' are proven, truth or even real at all yet. They're all hearsay. There were two sides shooting in that war, even if the incidents did occur as claimed it could have been Hamas ordnance that caused them.

I can't think of anything I've read in the media over the whole Gaza coverage that would qualify as admissable evidence. There's been no shortage of accusations, but no real evidence to support them. Statements from unverifiable sources have no legal value, they're worthless and anyone who claims to know law must have seen how often the stories coming out of Gaza were contradictory. The UN 'school' bombing for example has nearly a dozen different versions by now, clearly none of them can be taken as absolute truth yet the false accusers ignore all that & still blame Israel.

The alacrity & eagerness with which certain parties leap to heap blame & condemnation on Israel, without even a shred of proof, is utterly contemptible. That so many use 'law' as their soapbox, and fail to practice the very law they preach, is breathtaking in its hypocrisy.

Regards, Gavin.