Friday, February 8, 2013

Alana Price Takes Issue at the Times of Israel

Mike L.

I haven't analyzed her argument, yet, but a managing editor at Tikkun, Alana Price, apparently disagrees with my concerns around David Harris-Gershon, The Troubadour, on Daily Kos.

She has a piece, promoted to the Times of Israel Top Ops list, entitled, How to avoid real dialog on Israel/Palestine: A response to Mike Lumish.

I am very much looking forward to seeing what she has to say and to responding to her argument.  All I know for certain is that David Harris-Gershon spreads hatred toward the Jewish state of Israel, and thus toward Jewish people, more generally, by claiming that Israel is an "apartheid" state and via the classically anti-Semitic canard that Jews control the government of a sovereign power, in this case the United States.

Michael Lerner should absolutely be ashamed of himself for offering a venue to someone as toxic as David Harris-Gershon.

It's indecent and dangerous to the well-being of the Jewish people and we have every right to stand up and say, "NO."

I am looking forward to considering Ms. Price's argument and will respond sometime over the next few days, perhaps early next week.


  1. Well, hot creepers, Mike...

    A quick glance seems to indicate his ZOG stuff is conveniently mischaracterized, presented in a semi-favorable light and quickly 'shunted to the side;' and that it is her belief that Poor Numb, Teary-Eyed Eternal Victim Mr. Harris-Gershon, who clearly tailors his anti-Israel incitement to the level he feels his audience will accept (note he did not crosspost his disgusting Daily Kos ZOG diary to Tikkun, just as I predicted) is being 'silenced' solely for 'merely criticizing Israeli policies.' Also, the Big-O Occupation the Big-O Occupation the Big-O Occupation the Big-O Occupation (and have you heard, the Big-O Occupation?).

    In other words, yawn.

    And it's mostly a defense of Lerner, btw.

    1. Jay,

      what in your opinion was the strongest part of her argument?

      I honestly haven't read it, yet, because when I do so I want to block off a bit of time and give it the attention that I presume it deserves.

      We don't need to get our hackles up, and mine are certainly not, but I do wonder what you and others might think is the strength in the case that she made.

    2. She relies heavily on deflection, in my opinion. I'm not so sure anything can be done about that, since the 'argument' would essentially just keep going around and around in circles.

      "No, let's not talk about what people mean when they talk about 'apartheid.' Rather, let's just talk about how I think it fits."

      Aside from that, it's probably the defense of Lerner, although you never called him out on anything other than allowing Harris-Gershon to promote himself in his journal. Which is clearly true. I suppose there's a case to be made for 'free exchange of ideas,' though when it comes to BDS proponents like Harris-Gershon, who would deny Israelis the right to express their ideas, the hypocrisy is incredible.

      The 'defense' of Harris-Gershon, such as it was, was essentially weak to nonexistent. Again, it appears the main offense she took was at Lerner being 'dragged into' it.

  2. And to decry 'ad hominem attacks' in defense of that insufferably snide champion of the genre strikes me as particularly amusing.

  3. Ms Price relies on that old canard 'let's debate whether Israel is an an apartheid society fit for extinction or not...'

    The problems with that are:

    1 - It's not apartheid, read the actual apartheid laws if you're in the least bit curious. Or ask me, I'm from the RSA.

    2 - Even if there were discrimination, so what? What kind of insane standard is that?

    3 - No country in the history of people has ever had to nor felt the need to defend and justify their existence to some self appointed gaggle of third party nobodies. They are of course entitled to demand it just like people in hell want Gatorade.

    4 - Racists don't get the set the definition of the terms that the targets of their racism find objectionable. If they don't like being called out their antisemitism that's one thing, but if they want to set the rules for what MY sense of THEIR racism is, that's stupid and self serving-ly insane.

    5 - You can dish it out you can't take it, hypocrite. Call me a bigot then feign outrage when I respond in kind. What are you? 9?

    1. Very well put, Trudy. Glad to know I'm not alone in my reading of her piece.

    2. Empress Trudy friggin' rocks!

      I didn't know that you're South African. Fabulous. I want as many diverse voices around this joint as we can get. The only people who are not welcome here are anti-Zionists and those who hold Israel to a double or triple or quadruple standard.

      But I have to say, I love people that are balls-to-the-wall defenders of the Jewish people and Trudy definitely fits that category.

      I've been aware of her for awhile, but she was always contributing elsewhere when she needed to be here.

      You, my dear lady, have my sincerest thanks.

  4. This brings me back to Ruth Wisse's lawn care metaphor.

    In the midst of all else that is going on in the neighborhood (and the world) these days, these people pop their heads in the window, many ostensibly as self-professed 'friends,' and toss the ludicrous 'apartheid' bomb with a smile. Then demand that we only discuss the hate-filled charge on their terms.

    1. The lawn care metaphor.

      That goes directly to the point, Jay.

      Thank you for reminding me of it.

    2. And what makes this charge so extremely insulting is that it not only ignores the existence of states in the neighborhood which actually practice religious, racial and gender apartheid, but it also conveniently glosses over that inconvenient little insistence from the Palestinian leadership that their future state contain zero Jews.

      Yet another case of psychological projection from the anti-Israel folks.

    3. Gotta remember to keep things light every once in a while, too, or we'll go insane... ;)

  5. Off topic but imp't Barry Rubin is giving away ebook copies of 13 of his books at:


    1. This is important Doodad and thanks for bringing it to our attention. I fear the worst about Barry Rubin and will not hesitate to take on board so much of his life's work that he is now giving to us within his life time.

  6. Ha. Gershon is at it again spouting love for BDS and, of all idiots, Judith Butler. Remember her?

    1. Go check out this guy at Tikkun Daily.

    2. The snide insufferableness is strong in that one.

      I'll note again that he is clearly not ready for primetime, and the fact that at Daily Kos he now truly has a fawning echo chamber in which no dissension of any strength whatsoever is allowed is certainly not going to help him develop a thicker skin.

      Good job on exposing him. It clearly takes no effort at all to rile him up.

    3. Which, of course, is not to say that is your intention. Just to note that his skin couldn't possibly be any thinner for one who would clearly like to become a public figure outside of blogs.

    4. It becomes more clear to me that he has a motive, to blame Israel for what happened to his wife, starting from the position that he blames the USA for the world's evils.

      I could care that he is a fool by not recognizing those that wish to exterminate him. There will always be fools.

      What I do care about is his motivation to create an environment where hate thrives. His pro-Israel persona is a deception, as we can see, and he stokes the belief that both Israel and the USA are actually worse than the totalitarian regimes that use violence and call for genocide.

      He has no real solutions to offer, either, except to tear down the system that gives him the freedom to say what he does. One day people may long for the age where there was freedom of expression and call it a golden age, even with its flaws. There is no guarantee that liberty will prevail, and he does not seem to have the sense to see what he enables.

      I mentioned at Tikkun that if the poly sci department at Brooklyn had sponsored anti-Palestinians, I would wager he would have no problem to shut them down, much like Oren was shut down at UCI, for freedom of speech is only for some causes. And they call themselves progressives. To me it looks more like authoritarians.

    5. Interestingly, Rubin has a book: Hating America-A History, which I suppose we might find the likes of those who befriend the Jew haters.

  7. A Native American speaks the truth:

    A Native and a Zionist, by Ryan Bellerose

    I am a Métis from Northern Alberta. My father, Mervin Bellerose, co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, which was passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990 and cemented our land rights. I founded Canadians For Accountability, a native rights advocacy group, and I am an organizer and participant in the Idle No More movement in Calgary. And I am a Zionist.


    My people, the Métis, came to Alberta after the American Revolution, at the government’s request, to prevent the settling of the Americans in western Canada. We settled the land and followed the white man’s rules. But we were eventually evicted, our homes given to white pioneers. No one wanted us. We were forced to live in hiding, on road allowances, in the bush. We had no rights, and we were killed out of hand, as ‘nuisances’. Exile fractured our nation. Our people wandered with no hope and no home. Then, in the mid 1900's, our leaders managed to secure land for us, not the land we had wanted but land that would nonetheless allow us to build a better future. We took it, built our settlements and formed a government to improve the lives of our people. We still have many problems to solve, of course, but we also have more educated people than ever and are slowly becoming self-sufficient, as our leaders envisioned. In this, the Jewish people and the Métis have walked the same road.

    The Jews also suffered genocide and were expelled from their homeland. They were also rejected by everyone and forced to wander. Like us, they rebelled against imperial injustice when necessary and, despite their grievances, strived for peace whenever possible. Like us they were given a tiny sliver of their land back after centuries of suffering and persecution, land that nobody else had wanted to call home until then. Like us, they took that land despite their misgivings and forged a nation from a fractured and wounded people. And like us, they consistently show a willingness to compromise for the good of their people.

    I hope the Metis keep walking the same road as the Jewish people. Through their efforts, the Jews were able to preserve their identity despite terrible persecution and to revive their culture and language once back in their homeland. They never lost their sense of who they were, but neither did they lose sight of the importance of looking forward. Given their history, it would have been natural for them to become insular and reactionary. But instead, they work hard to be productive and are friendly even to countries that have caused them tremendous suffering. I want us to similarly make education and the preservation of our ancient culture a priority. I want us to continue to strive for peace and productivity.


  8. (from continued)

    Many claim that we Natives have more in common with the Palestinians, that their struggle is our struggle. Beyond superficial similarities, nothing could be farther from the truth. Beyond the facile co-opting of our cause, the comparison with the Palestinians is absolutely untenable. It trivializes our suffering.

    Co-opting today’s native struggle to the Palestinian propaganda war is a fallacy. Though the Palestinians have undeniable ties to the land, first hand accounts by Mark Twain and countless other travelers to the Holy Land through the ages suggest that a large percentage of the Palestinian people immigrated to Palestine in recent decades. And for 65 years, the Palestinians have convinced the world that they are worse off than many other stateless nations, despite all evidence to the contrary. The Palestinians claim to have been colonized but it was their own leaders who refused to negotiate and who lost the land that they want by waging a needless war on Israel. They claim to have faced genocide but they suffered no such thing: their population has exploded from a few hundred thousand in 1948 to over 4 million today. They claim deprivation but their elites live in luxury while their people live in ramshackle poverty.

    What’s more, the Palestinian leaders have never been interested in a peaceful solution for their people. They were given several opportunities to have their own state – for the first time in history -- and refused each time, choosing war over peace because the offers were never deemed sufficient. They have persistently used terrorism to bring attention to their cause and their leaders have celebrated the killing of civilians by naming parks and schools after murderers. And any Palestinian that questions the maximalist rhetoric or who suggests real compromise is immediately ostracized, branded a traitor, or killed.

    The Palestinians are not like us. Their fight is not our fight. We natives believe in bringing about change peacefully, and we refuse to be affiliated with anyone who engages in violence targeting civilians. I cannot remain silent and allow the Palestinians to gain credibility at our expense by claiming commonality with us. I cannot stand by while they trivialize our plight by tying it to theirs, which is largely self-inflicted. Our population of over 65 million was violently reduced to a mere 10 million, a slaughter unprecedented in human history. To compare that in whatever way to the Palestinians’ story is deeply offensive to me. The Palestinians did lose the land they claim is theirs, but they were repeatedly given the opportunity to build their state on it and to partner with the Jews -- and they persistently refused peace overtures and chose war. We were never given that chance. We never made that choice.

    Read it all here:


    If only more Jewish people would have the decency and sanity that is had by Ryan Bellerose, and Kasim Hafeez, and Pat Condell, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, then the situation for everyone would be much better.

    I hope that more Jewish people will be mindful and will thereby have the decency and sanity that is had by Ryan Bellerose, and Kasim Hafeez, and Pat Condell, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

  9. I apologize for my harsh writing that I wrote in my previous messages.

    May my fellow Jewish people do what's right -- what's skillful -- what's beneficial. May my fellow Jewish people be mindful.

    May my fellow Jewish people heed Ryan Bellerose, and heed Kasim Hafeez, and heed Pat Condell, and heed Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    I thank Ryan Bellerose, and I thank Kasim Hafeez, and I thank Pat Condell, and I thank Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and I thank all other true friends of the Jewish people.

    And may Jewish people start to communicate the truth of the situation that they are in to, and communicate with, and join in friendship with, authentically liberal-minded Arab people.

    May everyone be happy.

  10. Dan, please do not take this the wrong way or think that I am being sarcastic, but I have to say, you are absolutely one of a kind.

    Peace to you, please, my friend.

  11. More interesting comments overnight, btw, including a point I'm slapping myself for not catching (or at least, not clearly articulating) earlier. A commenter from Israel makes the point that the title of Ms. Price's piece and its contents are at odds with each other in that once one launches the 'apartheid' smear, that is when 'dialog' shuts down. And not when we call them out on that.

    A few good new comments there, and of course a couple bad ones. One woman essentially screamed "Yay for the Good Jews like David Harris-Gershon and Alana Price, at least some of them value truth and justice!"

    In an ideal world, Harris-Gershon and Price would consider comments like that for what they are, and perhaps reassess what they're doing when they garner 'support' like that. But I doubt they will.