Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Response to Volleyboy1

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

I want to thank Volleyboy1 for having the class to respond to Jay's recent piece with only relatively mild defamation of the people who write on Israel Thrives.  Volley's usual modus operandi is to respond with full-on defamation of character, rather than the more mild type that he employed this time.

I also, however, want to discuss it... bit by bit.

He writes:
Mike, we all know about "Pallywood" and the fraud that it is. This is not new. I was arguing about this before you even knew what Israel was.
As School suggested, I do not believe for one second that the general public knows anything whatsoever about Pallywood and the long history of Arab and Soviet propagandistic efforts to delegitimize Israel.

Do you?

It is imperative that we discuss such matters, because if we do not, who will? Who else is going to care about the Palestinian theft of Jewish history and identity if Jewish people do not? Yet what I find is that the Jewish left is either petrified into silence or ignorant on such matters.

Israel is important to all of us but it is not first and foremost on our list.

I understand and this is the very first election cycle in which the Jewish people are first and foremost on my list. The first time, ever. The reason for this is because of the rise of radical Islam throughout the Muslim Middle East. This is a political movement that has roots in both Islam and Nazi Germany and it is gaining credence throughout the Arab-Muslim world. This is, in short, something that we cannot afford to ignore or discount.

Furthermore, it is unquestionably the case that Barack Obama heralded this development in its current form, the so-called "Arab Spring," as something akin to both the Revolution of '76 and the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

It does not mean that he is the second coming of Adolph Hitler.

I agree. Barack Obama is not the second coming of Adolph Hitler. Of course, I have never suggested any such thing. What I have said, because it happens to be the truth, is that Obama has facilitated the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood into power.

I am very much looking forward to exploring this going forward, actually. But, no, Obama is not Hitler.

The second thing is that we are neither Palestinian nor Arab. If they want to live in the 12th century there is not a lot I can do about it. Our own community has its own issues and as a Jew, I am focused on that.

This seems to be Volley's excuse for entirely ignoring the rise of radical Islam throughout the Muslim Middle East. One of my primary criticisms of "progressive Zionists" is that they wouldn't acknowledge the Jihad if they were blindfolded and on their hands and knees in some basement in Karachi. What Volley seems to be suggesting is that the rise of radical Islam is, in a sense, none of our business. 
I disagree. Any political movement that has the genocide of the Jews as a central component is very much our business and must not be ignored.

Yet ignore it, he does.

It's not just him, of course. The progressive-left, in general, turns a blind eye to Jihadi incitement against the Jews. Given the history of the left I do not find this surprising. What is a little surprising is that even Jewish leftists do not seem to much care about the fact that the rise of radical Islam is the most significant geopolitical movement since the fall of the Soviet Union and Barack Obama has aided and abetted its success. Yet people such as Volley not only ignore this development, but will continue to support an American president who thinks that the rise of the Jihad is something akin to either the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and the 1960s.

Just because I and others don't need to write 50,000 articles talking about what bad people Muslims are or how the Arabs want to destroy Israel doesn't mean that we are not aware of the problem.

This seems to be Volley's way of calling us racists.

No one here has ever written anything to suggest that Muslims are bad people. In fact, I do not think that we've ever discussed Muslims, as a group, period. We do discuss radical Islam (or political Islam or Islamism or the Jihad) depending upon which terminology one is comfortable with, but that is not the same as discussing the Muslim community as a whole unless one thinks that all Muslims are Jihadis.

Surely, Volleyboy1 is not suggesting that we should avoid the topic of radical Islam because discussing it slurs the entire Muslim community? If so, I would submit that it is Volley, himself, who is indulging in "racism." Muslims as a group are not Jihadis and suggesting that criticism of the Jihad is racist against Muslims is to conflate all Muslims with those who support the genocide of the Jews.

Now that, my friends, is racist.

What might be worse, however, is that it also represents an abdication of any sense of responsibility for the well-being of the Jewish people because it means hiding from the foremost problem that the Jewish community has in the world today. It's hard for me to know if the source of this abdication is social cowardice or ideological blinkertude.

It's probably a little of both, but in either case it means making oneself entirely irrelevant to the discussion.

'Tis a pity.


  1. Replies
    1. It seems to me that this dispute is not just about IT v. PZ, but represents a significant dispute within the Jewish community as a whole.

      Progressive-left Jews have been put into the position in which they can either support the progressive movement (via silence about radical Islam and the presence of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within their movement) or support the Jewish people (via a willingness to discuss and respond to such things.)

      We have chosen the latter, I think.

    2. I happen to be Jew, but I an a human and democrat first and foremost, and that is why I speak to these issues.

      Through being a Jew, however, one can see these issues in the most personal light, where others have less connection and knowledge.

      I am no longer as utopian in aspiration because too many seek to abuse the concepts in practice, starting with states and working one's way down.

      It's funny to be called deranged when, to me, the name callers have views that I find out of touch with reality.

      With regard to the dispute, many progressives are poorly educated, and adhere to the "line." Ignorance about the substance of issues leads them to support, by varying means of manipulation, causes that are antithetical to "progressive" values, assuming that means universal human rights and self-determination to achieve human potential.

      Then there is the risk of being called a racist on mere suspicion, even as the accuser is 100% wrong. Beware of the myopic anti-racist. It is harder to speak up in that environment, even to address clear injustice, for fear of being ostracized.

      Progressive Zionists should understand that Israel has spoken by a large consensus that the progressive approach is flawed, so long as the adversary wants to destroy you. Perhaps they should see the light, rather than tarnish others that are of the prevailing view, based on the realistic situation and not the dream.

    3. I am no longer as utopian in aspiration because too many seek to abuse the concepts in practice...

      In my experience left-utopians are fools who, if ever they were to come to actual power, would immediately lock free thinkers into re-education camps.

      It is a very sad thing, but nonetheless a true thing, that the most idealistic among us are proving themselves the most authoritarian.