Sunday, August 15, 2010

Links to Stuff

Jonathan Cristol guestblogging at Walter Russel Mead discusses the impossibility of criticizing the BDS movement without making its purveyors feel they're important:

So an article or incident that is in favor of BDS is proof that BDS is gaining steam; and an article or incident against BDS proves that it is gaining steam so quickly that the writer or publication is nervous about it. A victory is a victory and a loss is a victory. If the writer calls it anti-Semitic then that is an even greater victory as the writer is “resorting to ad hominem attacks.”

If I do write a long post or series of posts I will be handing a victory to the BDS movement. If, in that post, I write about the anti-Semitism that creeps into the BDS movement then I have handed out a huge victory. But if I am scared into not writing about BDS for fear I will be helping the BDS crazies, then that is certainly a victory for BDS. If I write about writing about BDS, I still haven’t avoided handing a victory to my opponents on this issue. So I must apologize to supporters of Israel for handing yet another victory to this small, inconsequential, but very loud movement.

CiFWatch has dug up a letter written 40 years ago by Stanley Goldfoot that could have been written yesterday.

The Israel Museum has just re-opened its renovated gates. Matthew Fishbane visited and liked the architecture, but the exhibits not so much.

Khaled Abu Toameh, a Palestinian, bemoans that journalists only care about Palestinian woes if they were caused by Israel. Self inflicted or other-inflicted: no story.

Finally, Edmund Case bemoans that too many Jews weren't overjoyed by the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding arrangements. His thesis is that if Jews would be nice to folks, folks might like Jews. I admit this seems unconvincing to me. People decide about their identity for various reasons, but cuddly feelings aren't among them - and if they are, it's probably an affectation, not an identity.


Anonymous said...

My cutest experience I have come across while following the happenings around London's Ahava shop is that the pro-BDS-ones are very quick to protest anything that smacks of guilty by association. They protest loudly and vehemently.

On the other hand they have plastered after this Saturday's event their websites "proving" that a prominent pro-Ahava-one is associated with a as they claim racist British group which has shown up as opponent to BDS - the proof of the pro-Israel being "married" now is a picture where they are seen moving on the street in the same direction. It isn't even clear how close they are. But the Fake Ibrahims of this world are ululating at this "proof" of "racism" of the pro Israel crowd.

There should be courses in strategy how one can deal with people who have no scruples whatsoever while keeping one's own credibility intact.

The links to the BDS dirt is in the thread to this post - crtl-F for Inky


Bryan said...

The BDS article is dead on. It's impossible to beat them because they consider any action you take (even inaction) as a victory. It reminds me of the "calculus of death" for the Palestinians: if an Israeli dies, it's a victory; if a Palestinian dies and Israel did it, it's a victory; if a Palestinian dies and Israel didn't do it, blame Israel and it's a victory.

The Goldfoot letter is wonderful.

From Fishbane's description, the Israel Museum doesn't seem any more ethnocentric (nationalcentric?) than some parts of the Smithsonian or other national museums.

Don Cox said...

"His thesis is that if Jews would be nice to folks, folks might like Jews."

He needs to read some history. The Jews in Europe in the 19C and early 20C were as nice as nice can be, even converting (or pretending to convert) to Christianity en masse.

Anonymous said...


it is said that Jews died in disproportionate numbers fighting for Germany in WW1 ...

how "nice" are you supposed to get until you may expect that it does you any good?

I believe the story because my grandfather insisted after WW2 that the best that could happen to you in WW1 in the trenches was, if your neighbour was a Jew (and not an Austrian;). Other than that I'd say that my grandfather was a "know nothing" German.


Dan said...

I have to say I agree, the museum has spent so much effort on the relaunch and the new building, but the exhibits are still not that great. It is a shame they didn't curate a really good exhibition to compliment the building.