Friday, February 27, 2009

Litany of Horrors

One of the frustrations of standing up to the liars about Israel is when they churn out statistics and facts (often, "statistics and facts") about how uniquely bad Israel is, and you absolutely know they're spouting nonsense, but you don't have counter facts at your fingertips, nor are you brazen enough simply to invent them (a tactic that actually does work, since your interlocutors generally don't know much about the world, but I'd advise against it none-the-less). So, since one of the points of this blog is to strengthen the resolve of our side, the following link is offered as a service to our public.

It's an article from the Economist about the eagerness of many combatants in many wars to aim specifically at women and children. It isn't pleasant reading. On the contrary: I wouldn't recommend it all, if it weren't for the insight it gives about how wars are often waged in the early 21st century. And note that the article isn't about local cases of loss of control. It's about calculated tactics, some of them even strategies, purposefully articulated and generally cold-blooded in their execution. If international human rights organizations have any right to exist, it is to stop these evil practices. Since they are mostly powerless to do so, it's legitimate to cast doubt.

Israel isn't doing any of this; as a matter of fact, in some 90 years of warfare, Israel has never done any of this.


Anonymous said...

Yaacov. I find it quite amusing you mention the occasional lack of facts at hand. That is what LeverEdge does is it not, make facts & information readily available?

Have you ever thought of putting all those facts in one place? It can sometimes be hard rebutting the Israel critics, for the very reason you state - there's no single Israel encyclopedia online & we can't know everything or read every book & author.

A comprehensive indexed FAQ written/edited by noted authors would make a good resource for those wanting to know the real facts about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

As an example, I often refer back to an excellent article by Ephraim Karsh when arguing against those who quote Ilan Pappe & Benny Morris. Those two are the Jew-haters favourite & most oft-quoted authors, they've done Israel immense damage internationally. Karsh deconstructed Morris's claims piece by piece & made the man look a fool. Link here for it;

We need more stuff like that, facts beat rhetoric any day but only if you have the facts at hand, easily (quickly) accessed and well written.

I could expand on it, but just trying to plant a seed here... Regards, Gavin.

Anonymous said...

facts trumps fiction sounds very nice and convincing and kind of self-evident and/or natural
unfortunately more often than not at least in everyday life fiction trumps facts in the most mind boggling ways -
so maybe what's really needed are ideas on how to create fiction including a blockbuster Movie which makes the "Israel's right to exist" argument really appealing. But as long as the Zeitgeist goes more for the ethnic identity fad (except when it concerns jews) instead of the national or some modernized replacement thereof I see little hope.
In short what's needed is an equivalent to one of those exciting short films I was shown as a teen before a movie about Israelis making the desert bloom only today it would have to be an Israeli saving the world by inventing the super-anti-flu-vaccine et al - enthusiasm about that person's achievement would create a kind of firewall against the spewing of hatred, a kind of internal voice saying continually "but" - at least it worked for me all through those working life decades when I did not have time to follow the news let alone fisk them

Yaacov said...

Actually , Gavin, it's an interesting idea. LeverEdge does a bit more than that, but could put up a useful (and innovate) website. All that's lacking is time and money, but those are small matters. So I'll keep it in mind.

Anonymous said...

It depends Silke. I used the Karsh article as an example of how facts can beat fiction. Karsh presented his evidence in such a manner that Morris couldn't argue it, all he could do was resort to ad-hominem attacks, deflect the argument or ignore it. Karsh simply overwhelmed Morris with such a weight of evidence he had no defence. That's how you beat them. As individuals however authors like Karsh, Yaacov etc are up against it, they get singled out & beaten down by the crowd of anti-Israel academia. So why not use the web as it's meant to be used?

What's missing from the Israel side is a consistent theme backed up by masses of hard evidence. Take the Hamas rocket attacks as an example. Israel haters simply shrug them off as home-made, ineffectual, tinpot etc. Ok, so where's the information that proves the Qassam rockets are extremely dangerous? Try searching the 'net for an authoritative factoid on Hamas rocket & mortar attacks. Try & find physical evidence that the rockets are dangerous, sure you'll find snatches here & there but no single comprehensive discourse with photos & techical information on the destructive & killing power of those homemade rockets.

In the recent Gaza conflict Israel accused Hamas of booby-trapping civilian homes, which is why the IDF destroyed so many. Ok so where's the evidence & pictures... they sent camera teams in to record all that. The proof of Hamas crimes in Gaza should be plastered all over the 'net by now, in such quantity & quality that no-one could dispute it.

Israel needs its own type of wikipedia, but one which deals in facts only supported by as much physical evidence as can be collected.

Cheers, Gavin.

Anonymous said...

I think you are right and you are wrong at the same time

Your are right in that I certainly would have appreciated it to have such a wikipedia when I started to sort out the difference between my feelings about Israel and the infos from the MSM in earnest when the 2006 war started and I would have been even more so if my office background hadn't left me probably more than average searching skills. (but keep in mind mistrust of the MSM and the blogosphere has by now become very general.) and of course such a wikipedia would also be a good thing for the decision making level of politics.

You are wrong in what would be useful in a coffee break of paralegals and typists and their bosses in an office. In such surroundings (or when meeting neighbours at the dust bin) trying to preach facts no matter how true and well documented and well argued does not get you very far.
I have printed out the Karsh-piece and I will certainly read it carefully but in a coffee break surrounding I would most likely not use any of it but refer to how I imagine a real war situation when actors tend to be in fear of death i.e. the human nature argument or to put it in a popular Christian way something like "who of you who is without fault throw the first stone"
and as the Kassams are concerned I'd maybe look out of the window at a patch of grass and say something like "how would you feel if a home-made rocket landed on it?" and move my arms to show how big it is.
We folks lower down on the social ladder tend to get bored by fights/deliberations between academics not least because they are the ones who are ordering us around and make it clear to us on a daily basis that we do not really count (yes the majority of the ones I have met tend to behave like snobs or patronize and that is deeply resented even by the ones who sucker up to them)

Nevertheless our voting voice counts just as much and most of us do not focus our free time on acquiring knowledge of politics around the mediterranean
Therefore I think the simple catching message is needed maybe even more urgently ... and I keep fervently hoping a blockbuster movie is in the making
so maybe the two throng approach is the way to go