Combating Dystopia.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This is NOT what Democracy Looks Like.

Barber: Obama is Anti-Semitic : Dispatches from the Culture Wars:

Matt Barber of the absurdly named Liberty Counsel says that Obama is anti-Semitic because he opposes some of Israel's policies, one of the dumbest and most common accusations against anyone who dares to criticize Israel. To know how stupid this argument is, all you need to know is that a poll in Israel after Obama and Netanyahu each gave their respective speeches recently found that 57% of Israelis agreed with Obama and thought Netanyahu should have agreed with him too.

Are 57% of Israelis anti-Semitic too? Really?

I've been having a hard time grappling with this issue. To say that making Palistinians refuges is morally or ethically problematic is to be anti-semetic? To say that its wrong for a group of people to apply institutional cruelty to another group and praise 'democracy' while doing it is somehow a slight. I've noticed this trend when the issue of Israel comes up and I don't know how to effectively discuss the topic of protest and opposition of policy (and then the shooting of said protesters) with people who are pro-Israel (or Zionist) without being...indelicate.

One of my closest friends during undergrad was of Palestinian dissent and much of what he divulged about his experiences and those of his family were heartbreaking and eye opening. In an effort to better understand/confront this in which (as Ed Brayton rightly suggests above) dissenters = anti-semites, I'm posting BBC's primer on the subject. Educate yourselves. Blinders and rafters in this case do more to rationalize the suffering of others based on nationality than anything else. Any nation that considers itself of the modern world cannot patently justify prolonged, institutionalized discrimination (and horrors of this nature) without reprisal, and yet we seem to see this happen in Israel consistently. Its troubling, the lack of accountability. It is becoming clear that when it comes to Israel's treatment of Palestine this is NOT what democracy looks like.


  1. I think your friend was of Palestinian descent, not dissent. Probably a Freudian slip. ;-)

    Anyhow, conflating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism is a common Ad-hominem attack these days. Jews are not the only ones in engage in the practice: I've noticed that evangelical Christians are just as likely to conflate anti-Zionism and anti-semitism.

  2. And by anti-Zionism, I meant anti Zionism in it's most extreme forms (just like Nationalism in it's extreme form, Zionism in the extreme is anathema to logic and reason).

  3. Agreed, and typos notwithstanding (all apologies), its a trend the youtoube clip above reinforces. The guy in question is a far right theocrat who endorses the Israeli state NOT out of some deep seated love of the Jewish people, but more for (loopier) motivations linked to the "End of Days". Christian Zionism is alive and well. And perplexing.

  4. Thanks for the link. :-) And don't worry about the typos. I'm a grammar and spelling nerd. I catch most of them and then people hate me for a week, lol.