22 January 2009

22 January 2009 - Geffen accusing everyone now

Nathan Geffen, in the comments section at It's Almost Supernatural:

...it is precisely this allegation that Pollak absurdly makes against me, even suggesting I might be responsible for some unspecified dreadful action in the future:

“For the past several months, Nathan, it is you–yes, you!–who have engaged in a campaign of lies, falsely alleging conspiracies among Jews and Jewish organizations in South Africa and around the world to support “crimes” in the Middle East and beyond. It is not a far leap to conclude that your acts and speech have encouraged South African Muslims to see Jewish organizations and businesses as fair targets for boycott, protest, and–who knows?–even worse. You have never been satisfied merely to criticise Israeli policy. You have set the demonisation of Jews, Jewish organizations and Jewish leaders at the very top of your agenda.”

I really do encourage people to read Pollak's latest blog. I can't follow its logic. Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

Finally, I notice the incredibly distasteful use of the movie title "Don't mess with the Zohan" at the top of Pollak's blog in support of Operation Cast Lead. This was a military operation in which massacres and war crimes took place. Pollak's attempt at comical celebration of it renders rather vacuous the claim frequently made by some of the people who comment on this site that Jews never celebrate the deaths of Palestinians, in contrast to Palestinians celebrating the deaths of Jews.


My response:

Get real.

The post of the movie title is intended to mock the empty claims of the Israeli government that it achieved "deterrence" in the Gaza War.

If you had bothered to read my other blog posts about the war, you would know that I have been highly skeptical of "deterrence" as a war aim in and of itself.

While I supported the war I did so hoping that the outcome would be one in which Israel stopped rocket attacks against its civilians, either by achieving a cease-fire agreement germane to that outcome, or by military means if no such cease-fire was possible.

I specifically mourned the loss of civilian life on both sides. I have never celebrated the loss of civilian life--not ever, in any conflict, and I have specifically and publicly protested past Israeli actions, such as the use of cluster bombs in Lebanon, that led to civilian casualties that were entirely avoidable and disproportionate to any legitimate military objective.

I can only regard Geffen's complaint as yet another attempt to avoid engaging the substance of my criticism.


I'm not sure if Geffen has even seen the movie, but it's about an Israeli who tries to avoid fighting and is nevertheless pursued by terrorists everywhere he goes. Jokes and satirized Israeli machismo aside, there's a truth to it.

Geffen has now attacked me twice on two blogs other than this one. Maybe he's afraid of driving up my traffic.

In any case, the "logic" is simple.

Geffen has not simply criticized Israel. He has specifically singled out the organized Jewish community and accused it of being part of a "system" that facilitates Israel's "crimes."

I find that unacceptable and I will continue to object to it.

1 Comments:

At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel's use of "Don't mess with the Zohan" as an ironic summation of Israel's flawed "deterrence," is quite apt. Basically Israel went in and threw sand in Hamas's face and said "don't mess with us." Judging from Hizbullah in Lebanon however, which since 2006 has kept the cease fire save for 6 rockets during this Gaza operation (for which they denied responsibility), this is indeed deterrence. Seeing that the war with Iran and its proxies has become fundamentally a war of morale, it behooves the Israeli side to tone down just a bit our natural Jewish penchant for trenchant mutual criticism of each other and ourselves. Although flawed, both Lebanon and Gaza conveyed a willingness to fight from a people that is not wrongfully perceived by our enemies as not wanting to fight so much as just wanting to be left alone. Comibined with the phenomena of our Yafeh nefesh, doves, and gentle souls like gilad Shalit whom Hamas made fun of for being one of many softies in a recent parade,the fact that this operation took place with over 90% support from the Israeli body politic is actually significant. To the extent that our adversaries understand that we will do what has to be done to maintain deterrence even in the face of media bias against us is very important, especially when they realize they failed yet again to turn the U.S.A. and Europe fundamentally away from their support of Israel, only maintaining support primarily from leftists still desperate for personal ideological vindication as well as neo nazi white supremacist types. The game now is this American mediated negotiation and getting as much out of it as possible. Ditto for the Arabs and Palestinians. The negotiations will be ongoing until there is a perception that the conflict has been "settled" and a treaty signed. Meanwhile the main threat to israel, an atomic weapon in the hands of Iranian jihadis, must be attended to.

 

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