Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mangled Wurtzel

It's nothing new that Jewish writers accuse people who deplore Israel's viciousness towards the Palestinians of antisemitism, as does Elizabeth Wurtzel in the Guardian, but to do so they need to ignore two things.

When they bleat that we are not outraged about what China does, or what Sudan does, they ignore that we take note that Israel is a democracy, "a beacon of freedom" we are told, and most importantly, a Western nation, one of us.

They also need to forget that Israel is central in the American discourse. Wurtzel notes that American politicians (but not people, as it happens) mindlessly back Israel, but never stops to ask whether that might make it a more salient issue to us, interested as we are in America and its doings (America being, as we are so often told, the leader of the free world; our leader, in that case). America does not endorse, support or arm China or Sudan. You also, as it happens, do not see that many op-eds in American papers by people who identify, as a matter of ethnicity, with any of the factions in Sudan, or with China.

Furthermore, Wurtzel notes that anti-Americanism and the anti-Zionism she labels as "antisemitism" have become intermingled, but doesn't acknowledge that this is caused by America's unflinching support for the oppressive Zionist regime and its doings. America and Israel are seen, rightly, as partners in crime. No one is unaware that Israel is America's proxy in the Middle East, or that America, which could have prodded Israel along the path to peace, has instead nodded and winked it into a gruesome war against everyone else in the area.

Oh, and Hamas and Hezbollah are social organisations. They do good things and bad things. Wurtzel cannot, of course, acknowledge this, because only if you believe that the Palestinians are basically animals can you look on with equanimity as a modern army slaughters them.

I have a question for Wurtzel, which I feel she might consider. When castigating those of us on the left who feel that Israel deserves opprobrium, and sliming us with the notion that we're only angry with Israel because the Israelis are Jews, has it ever occurred to you that the only reason you support Israel is that you are Jewish?

What am I saying? I'm saying, it's not us, it's you! The reasons for our indictment of Israel are complex (and if we are honest, there is a dose of antisemitism in the mix--don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that most on the left are driving by hatred of Jews, but I am agreeing that some on the anti-Israel side are; and also that opposing Israel will, sadly, drive you to have some unsavoury bedfellows, and I would also agree that the left has committed the unforgivable sin of believing that the enemy of our enemy is our friend, so that leftists have been willing to march with ultrarightists, not just of the skinhead variety but also Muslims whose worldview is as abhorrent to us as any that exists), but the reason for Wurtzel's blind support of Israel is simple: she is Jewish.

Why do I care about this trash? Because, although I am becoming less sure that there should be a Jewish state, I admire Jewish people, their love of culture and education, their tenacity against the enormous odds, their humanity, and their supergoodlooking women. I am far from an antisemite. I couldn't care less what the ethnicity of my neighbours is and never have.

The key to Wurtzel's mindset, and that of many similar writers, is this sentence:
If you are looking for antisemitism, you can find it anywhere.

Well yes, you can. I'm forcibly reminded of those Muslims who, like clockwork, moan and bitch when their neighbours put china pigs in their windows or eat bacon sandwiches, or American fundamentalists who find gross upset wherever they look in our secular society. If you want to find offence, it's not a tough task. If you want to manufacture antisemitism out of our outrage, it's easy. All you have to do is make us as one-dimensional as you've made the Arabs, and voila, here we are, more cartoon villains picking on Jews, who need to lash out at us, always defensive, always fighting, never willing to understand.


At 10:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

"America does not endorse, support or arm China or Sudan."

Erm, hello? I must be lost here. If I am not mistaken America placed China in its "most favored trading partner" category during the Clinton administration. If that isn't an endorsement then what is? If purchasing massive quantities of goods from the Chinese, the profits from which help them buy arms, is not arming them then what is?

Are you attempting to indicate that because America has not come out and said "We approve of the Chinese government in its every aspect" that America has not endorsed it?

Are you attempting to indicate that because America has not shipped completed weapons to China that it is not assisting in its armament?

As an American [head hung, regretfully] I feel as helpless to affect the destiny of this country where I was born as I did during the ridiculous war with VietNam.

Nationalism has only two possible outcomes, the Total Mastery attained by the last nation standing after armageddon, or obsolescence along with stuffism.

Getting mired in the details (and this whole Israel/Gaza thing is just that) is no more than a fascinating distraction that can solve nothing.

At 5:10 pm, Blogger $Zero said...

Hey boots, I thought you said you don't read his political posts?

Next up you'll be listening to the albums he reviews.

At 7:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

$Zero, you just never know which mountain of horseshit will contain a pony. <g>


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