I've been having a lively back-and-forth slur-fest with someone who opposes my presence in the Holy Land in the comments section of my old post on the City of David (click on the link and scroll to the bottom to read the complete back and forth.) Normally, I would be content to leave it as is because, you know, internet people spewing out fashionably enlightened recycled sound-bytes are a dime a dozen. If you need that sort of thing, you can go to the comments section in any Haaretz article and waste an afternoon on it. However, this particular fellow does bring up quite a few of the more glaring examples of empty slogans and mindless accusations, and, well, what is a blog for if not my own little space to respond.
You are an orientalist, your descriptions of Arab areas in derrogatory [SIC] manner, and your portrayl [SIC] of them as erratic and not clean and orderly western things as superior: this is orientalist colonialist bs.
Orientalism is a term used in academic discourse referring to a tradition, both academic and artistic, of hostile and deprecatory views of the East by the West, shaped by the attitudes of the era of European imperialism in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was first coined by Edward Said, the late Colombia University academic who had invented Palestinian Nationalism a few years earlier.
The fact of the matter is, despite the gift from God of phenomenal oil wealth, the Arabs have still not managed to crawl out of the dark ages. By any measurable standard, be it infant mortality, literacy, median income, gross national product (minus oil), and academic papers published, man-for-man ability in conventional war, public sanitation, you name it, the Arabs today are still far, far behind the west. This isn't hostile, it's an observation of statistical fact, to which many Arab intellectuals will admit amongst themselves.
I believe the reference to "..your portrayl [sic] of them as erratic and not clean and orderly western things as superior," was to this post: Into Silwan. Never did I state that the western way of building is superior. I merely commented on what I saw, and leave it to the reader to make a judgment. Go re-read it if you don't believe me. Incidentally, the western concept of the building code and zoning laws tends to result sturdier structures which do not collapse and kill their occupants during earthquakes, and wide streets do, in fact, lead to speedier access for emergency services, so perhaps there is a causal link between the western concepts like the rule of law and higher western life expectancy?
However, what you are is a Jewish quasi fascist, you want territory without the people who live on it, you want to expand and settle land at the expense of others.
One could say the same for the Arabs, who thrice attempted genocide, in 1948, 1967, and 1973. They come to kill the inhabitants of Israel and grab the land, and they end up losing their own land. What perfect justice! And, for living in a country the size of New Jersey, facing down an empire a time and a half the size of the United States, we are portrayed as the imperialists.
When you're accused of being a fascist or a racist by a trendy multiculti type, you know you've won the argument. It's like watching a Nazi on death row chomp on a suicide cyanide capsule; a sort of last-ditch attempt to stave off complete moral failure. As if we are walking around with arm-bands following some screaming totalitarian psychopath. The accusation of colonialism is just as silly, as if Jews scraping out their existence, building their homes on the barren hillsides, are equivalent to colonial British plantation owners whipping their slaves on some sugar plantation in Jamaica a century ago.
Settling the land need not be done at the expense of others. Those who accept the seven Noahide laws and do not react homicidally to Jewish political independence are free to remain as many, such as the Druze, already have. The Arabs have repeatedly proved themselves incapable of self-rule without lapsing into enraged attempts to exterminate their Jewish neighbors. This behavior predates the Jewish state by at least thirteen centuries, since Muhammad exterminated the Jewish community of Mecca, repeated every few decades in communities throughout the Arab lands up through the present day.
Peace requires that concessions be made: the Palestinians will have to clamp down on terrorism...
Now why on earth would they do that? After all, spectacular acts of air piracy, slaughtering Israeli Olympic teams, blowing up Israeli school busses, and the like, is precisely what has gotten them so much attention in the first place. Nobody would have ever heard of them had they focused on building a state. This year, they received $7.5 billion in foreign aid. Do you think they would have collected this much loot had they refrained from criminal violence?
...and Israel will have to concede most of the west bank and Gaza and share jerusalem.
Okay, so here we go with the political mumbo-jumbo. Of course, Israel DID destroy all Jewish life in Gaza, and has repeatedly attempted to get out of the "West Bank" and Jerusalem. We have 1500 civilian fatalities over four years to prove it. Has it ever occured to you that perhaps there is no Israeli concession so great that it will satisfy Arab grievences? That, given their four-times-in-the-last-70-years violent rejection of an Arab State of Palestine on precisely these lands, perhaps statehood is not their goal and will solve nothing?
These are commonly accepted facts in Washington and capitols throughout the world, it is time for you to accept reality and start acting like a grown up instead of a wild west Jewish cowboy.
There are plenty of people in Washington and the capitols throughout the world who would disagree with that. There are many others who spout the surrender-the-territories views because, although on some level they understand that Arab grievences will never be redressed, they see no other way of temporary relief but to keep feeding the alligator hoping it eats them last.
The cowboys comment is nonsequitor, seeing as how cowboys are cool. Who is the more adult, one who rationally approaches challenges or who hides behind unoriginal slogans and New York Times cliche's?
Reform is necessary on both sides of the divide, and the sooner that people in Israel see your type for what they really are: settler zealotry will stop.
They already know me, and, while many of the multiculti upper crust elite in the Israeli media and government do detest me, most people are relatively accepting, and I'm happy to engage any of them in discussion. Remember, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and all the massive Jewish cities on the coast were formed with the same sort of build-the-land ethos as settlements were. Find an empty wasteland, start building, and bring more Jews home. Even Prime Minister Olmert, in his current post-Zionist incarnation, has clearly stated that he would have no moral problem with settling the "West Bank," it's just that he believes Israeli society is too weak to carry it out. Those who completely denigrate the settlement ethos delegitimize their own right to live in freedom.
Oh right, I forgot, don't throw the self hating Jew label at me. I love myself quite alright!
A friend of mine puts it best, "A self-hating Jew doesn't hate himself, he loves himself. It's the Jews he hates." There's nothing that a self-hating Jew hates more than a self-respecting Jew. By expressing denigration towards unenlightened self-respecting Jews he asserts his own differences with them and hopes to be accepted by his hostile peers. I don't know your personal background and am uninterested.
Just as Hadrian hated the Jews for refusing to worship the Roman Emperor (although many did,) Haman hated the Jews for refusing to worship idols (although many did,) Christians of the middle ages hated us for refusing to worship Jesus (although many did,) the nations of Europe hated us for refusing to worship the Fatherland (although many did,) today the multiculturalists hate us for not jumping into the non-particularistic melting pot (although many do.)
Shalom Ashav! Al Salaam al Aan! PEACE NOW!
Interesting. If you were to say "Shalom Achshav," in Israel, you would be a part of a legitimate political movement. "Peace Now" in America, too. However, if you were to, for example, write an article in a newspaper in the Palestinian Authority reading, "Al Salaam al Aan!" you could be publicly tortured and executed. What conclusions can you draw from this about Arab society?