Wednesday, February 27, 2008


The Forward is Sometimes Bizarre

The Forward has a mostly excellent article up about accusations of anti-Semitism and how way off and damaging they can get. Toward the end they give the example of Robert Malley, an intellectual and all around nice-Jewish boy, being tarred and feathered as a self-hating Jew because he dared call attention to some facts about Clinton-era peace talks that were not convenient for the Likudnik narrative.

But what do they conclude. Do they point out that, while there is indeed a such thing as a self-hating Jew, the eagerness of some on the Jewish right to use the stereotypical image of the self-hating Jew to criticize their Jewish political opponents whilst they cozy-up to (pro-right-wing-Zionist yet) theologically anti-Semitic fundamentalists bespeaks a certain amount of internalized anti-Semitism in and of itself? Do they conclude that those elements in the Jewish community who are constantly using accusations of anti-Semitism for their own political gain are damaging the Jewish community as a whole? Do they make reference to the fable of the "boy who cried 'wolf'"? Do they call out those who are trying to make being a Likudnik the sine qua non of being Jewish and/or friendly to Jewish interests even if many of us Jews have a bona fide belief that more right-leaning so-called Zionist stances are damaging to the Jewish community at large and even to the long term health of Israel in particular (note that the biggest "supporters" of a hard-line Israel are those who care not for Israel's long term health but rather are hoping to get Israel destroyed in a battle at Har Megiddo)?

No: they blame liberals for not having good enough messaging:

liberals need to learn how to say that in words that mean something to anxious listeners. If you’re having trouble selling your product, don’t blame the consumers.

Of course, I'm the first person to believe that liberals need to be better at messaging -- and the lack of concern about messaging by some so-called liberals indicates a real lack of desire to be constructive and solve the problems those liberals claim to be interested in solving (and the lack of empathy toward Zionism may very well indicate a buried anti-Semitism). But if you're having trouble selling your product because other people are lying about your product, while it might not be the consumers' fault, it ain't your fault either! It's the fault of the darned liers! So nu? why didn't the Forward blame the liers? ... hmmmm ...


Vaguely related and interesting: remember when being pro-Israel was a liberal position and being anti-Israel was a conservative position? I guess comments paranoiacally blaming neo-con plots would have been removed by the moderator? [ / snark ]

This is a fine post, Alberich. Maybe The Forward is just following the habit that virtually all of the press here has, everything in the world is the fault of liberals of whatever kind. And we don't ever have any ideas.

I've grown ever more skeptical of the value of a commercial press and most especially of one that aspires to "analyze" world events. Their "analysis" always seems to end up sounding the same, always tending to favor the side with the most power and money, as if those were different in our country. Opinion is easier and can be more fun but it is a shabby substitute for news in a newspaper or program.

All of us should rebel against the standard received viewpoint as the only allowed thought. I think that's the problem here. Both for the Likudnik boundaries and the larger narrative of pervasive liberal culpability.
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