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Sun Nov 4, 2012, 02:44 PM

George Jonas: Hating Israel, each for their own reasons

Nov 3, 2012 12:01 AM ET | Last Updated: Nov 3, 2012 12:02 AM ET

Judging by the volume of correspondence last week on the question of whether Israel’s critics are anti-Semites or not, the subject exercises National Post readers a great deal. To me, the answer seems uncomplicated and self-evident. I’ve been offering it for years and will probably continue in years to come. Watch my lips: Some are and some are not.

These six words contain everything one can usefully say about the subject, at least until the art of mindreading becomes more reliable. Some critics of Israel are anti-Semites and some aren’t, and no one can tell in advance which one is and which one isn’t, although one can often make a shrewd guess. No, the mere fact that a critic is Jewish doesn’t preclude him being anti-Semitic

More importantly, knowing the answer still doesn’t tell us whether the critic is right or wrong. The fact that a critic isn’t anti-Semitic doesn’t prove that his criticism is right; the fact that he is anti-Semitic doesn’t prove that his criticism is wrong. I wish it would but it doesn’t


http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/03/george-jonas-hating-israel-each-for-their-own-reasons/

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Reply George Jonas: Hating Israel, each for their own reasons (Original post)
King_David Nov 2012 OP
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #1
King_David Nov 2012 #2
Violet_Crumble Nov 2012 #3
King_David Nov 2012 #4
Violet_Crumble Nov 2012 #5
King_David Nov 2012 #7
Violet_Crumble Nov 2012 #9
King_David Nov 2012 #10
Violet_Crumble Nov 2012 #11
shira Nov 2012 #12
Violet_Crumble Nov 2012 #16
oberliner Nov 2012 #14
oberliner Nov 2012 #8
shira Nov 2012 #13
oberliner Nov 2012 #15
shira Nov 2012 #17
oberliner Nov 2012 #18
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #6

Response to King_David (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:34 PM

1. I broadly agree with this; you do need to judge case by case

But I don't think George Jonas, unless he's changed quite a bit in the last couple of years, is a suitable person to quote on DU.

Here's what I posted about him in 2009:

'Here is a taster:

http://www.georgejonas.ca/recent_writing.cfm?id=674


'Actually, a European Union-type of techno-corporate state seems a greater threat to a free society. The EU's kind of supra-national bureaucracy, less bloody and more sophisticated than a communist state, is nearly as coercive and more likely to succeed.

I think the force with the greatest capacity for becoming a threat to liberal democracy is liberalism itself -- meaning loony-liberalism, a kind of ideological ménage ŕ trios between Timothy Leary, Karl Marx and Al Gore, at once passionate and arid, that in Western societies has all but captured the educational and judicial machinery of the state. In some, it's a virtual state religion, whose matriarchal, environmentalist, multicultural, anti-male, anti-family, anti-individual and public-hygiene shibboleths are enforced by Orwellian regulatory agencies, commissions and tribunals, better known as the smoke-, smut-, seat-belt-, thought-, language-and calorie-police.

Some of loony-liberalism's ideological strands, e. g., feminism and environmentalism, transcend borders and religions. Like all successful ideologies, they can absorb other kinds of self-identifications and loyalties. They can even absorb each other, as demonstrated by the 1990s movement of "eco-feminism." As millennial ideas, they hold out the promise of a new beginning, a fundamental change in human society. Both matriarchy and environmentalism combine mysticism with a quasi-scientific stance, much like fascism and communism did.

...Democracy, far from being eco-fascism's enemy, seems to be its friend. Its enemy is liberty. That's why I think liberty has as much to fear from democracy as from autocracy.

So, is it going to be Sino-Russian autocracy versus Western-style democracy, as Kagan suggests? I wouldn't rule it out. Nor would I rule out democracy allying itself with a kind of pseudo-scientific health-worshipping eco-maniacal post-family feminism, culminating in a whopping tyranny to make autocracy, or even oriental despotism, look like a Boy Scout jamboree.'


Just as I do not think that the likes of Ron Paul should be cited to justify pro-Palestinian views, I do not think that the likes of George Jonas (in some ways, a more intellectual version of Ron Paul) should be used to justify pro-Israeli views.'


I am here not 'shootingthe messenger' because I disagree with the message. As I said, I broadly agree with this particular message. I am shooting the messenger because I think this particular messemger is fundamentally toxic!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 06:58 PM

2. I agree about the Author but found the article

And thought he made a good point here... A lot of people supporting Israel here on DU may not even agree with him on this point...

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 11:57 PM

3. I doubt the writer treats those who criticizes Palestine the same way

What were you broadly agreeing with? The impression that writer gives is that anyone who criticizes Israel is examined closely to see if they're antisemitic. Regardless of what they are, they *hate* Israel, because apparently to criticism is to hate. I've never seen this standard applied to criticism of Palestine, where any criticism is suspected of being anti-Arab or Islamophobic until shown otherwise, and criticism means they *hate* Palestine.

I didn't know who that writer was till you pointed it out, and having had a bit of a google and seen his offerings, it doesn't surprise me that he'd come up with something like that.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 12:30 AM

4. Greta Berlin proved the need for suspicion nt

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Response to King_David (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 12:40 AM

5. Using that logic, so did Daniel Pipes when it comes to criticising Paletine

Not to mention Pamela Geller.

It's rather stupid to insist everyone must be judged on suspicion that they're loony, bigoted extremists...

on edit: I didn't even know who Greta Berlin is or what she's supposed to have done, so I went and googled her. I'm still not sure what she's supposed to have done or why you labelled her an antisemite...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 08:02 AM

7. Because even her allies tossed her under the bus

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Response to King_David (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 11:39 PM

9. That doesn't explain why she's supposedly antisemitic

All I saw was that a bunch of zealots were accusing her of being an antisemitic. Accusing someone is not the same as backing it up and showing how they're antisemitic. And it's the backing it up that doesn't happen, just lots of accusations which also get flung at anyone who doesn't agree with the accusers 110%. I read what Larry derfner wrote and if that's true, then the accusations are wrong..

Btw, I take it yr fine with me judging all 'supporters' of Israel as though they could hold views the same as Pamela Geller?

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 11:45 PM

10. Well it seems most of the world including her 'friends'

recognize her for the vile antisemite she is...but you don't ?

Ha...ok then...I am not up for this 'game'


http://www.democraticunderground.com/113418727


I do not feel like expanding.

cya

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Response to King_David (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:33 AM

11. 'Most of the world'? That's not true at all...

Last edited Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:11 AM - Edit history (1)

Most of the world have no idea who she is. And more than likely no interest at all. She doesn't become an antisemite just because you say she is. You don't just get to run around shrieking accusations at people and then refuse to back them up. Doing that reeks of just throwing round wild accusations that have no basis in fact. See, in the other thread you were just in, you don't think saying that Palestinian society is sick and a disease is bigoted at all, so I'm sitting there patiently explaining to you why it is. Not because some person I can point to somewhere else says it is (nor am I playing the childish game of labelling anyone a bigot the way you do), but because there are reasons behind why it's a bigoted comment. If you had tried to explain why she's a 'vile antisemite' without the hostility and the refusal to explain, that'd be a far more constructive thing to do than getting nasty...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:14 AM

12. Statement from former board members of Free Gaza movement

We unequivocally reject and distance ourselves from the tweeted video. Such anti-Semitism was never tolerated by Free Gaza or any of the people or groups with which we have worked. We condemn all forms of racism and prejudice, including anti-Semitism.

http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/statement-former-board-members-free-gaza-movement

Tony Greenstein: Greta Berlin’s anti-Semitic Tweet Damages the Cause of Gaza
http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2012/10/greta-berlins-anti-semitic-tweet.html

MJ Rosenberg: "Greta Berlin at Gaza org sounds like a real hater."

June 2012: Greta Berlin endorsement of Gilad Atzmon
"Gilad's "The Wandering Who" entertains, pushes and irritates us. His painful journey through what it means to be Jewish, what the consequences are of carrying that realization around, and his ultimate acceptance of who he is makes me awfully glad I was raised a Methodist.


Ali Abunimah to Greta Berlin:
As I became more and more doubtful, and after I saw the contents of the “Our Land” Facebook group that you actively administer — which contains a large amount of unchallenged racist and anti-Jewish material — I came to realize that your explanations did not hold water. Some of the most offensive material has been scrubbed from that group in recent days, but I know that copies of it exist.


Berlin calls Abunimah "Ali Ayatollah"
http://twitter.yfrog.com/objw6dp

Free Gaza’s Col. Ann Wright disinvited from Swedish Boat to Gaza
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/free-gazas-col-ann-wright-disinvited-from-swedish-boat-to-gaza.html

Mondoweiss article by Bekah Wolf:
Greta is an active administrator of a Facebook group that is full of unabashedly anti-Semitic rhetoric and has been called out before by activists for it but has never done anything to challenge or stop it. Since the controversy broke, the “Our Land” group has attempted to cover some of its tracks.

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/if-only-it-was-just-one-tweet-one-activists-experience-in-the-our-land-facebook-group.html

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Response to shira (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:08 AM

16. A few things bother me after reading that stuff...

When I googled to find out what it was about, I thought (especially after reading Larry Derfner's article) that she'd posted that video in the context of a discussion about racism and propaganda. That she refused to do a screen shot of the discussion to give it context, as well as different people saying they'd seen antisemitic stuff posted in that private group before makes me doubt her story. Any half-decent admin will delete bigoted posts as soon as they see them, and according to what I read, she was the group admin and didn't do that ever. And if I were in the position where I'd posted say a video or a link to bigoted stuff in a discussion of bigotry and I was accused of antisemitism, I'd be posting a screen shot to put some egg on faces. That she refuses to makes me think this discussion she talks about never existed and the video has more than likely been posted with other motivations in mind.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:54 AM

14. "I read what Larry derfner wrote and if that's true, then the accusations are wrong..."

The sad hilarity of this statement is powerful.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 08:44 AM

8. You googled Greta Berlin and you're still not sure why she is labeled an antisemite?

That speaks volumes.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 05:30 AM

13. Can't awaken those pretending to be asleep. n/t

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Response to shira (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:00 AM

15. Larry Derfner needs to issue an apology and retraction

His post remains online and people (some of which are on this very site) who see him as a trustworthy source might not realize what actually happened.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:14 AM

17. Larry Derfner believes the cause is more important

From his old blog:

Support the flotilla, with all its faults
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=228214

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Response to shira (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:12 AM

18. But he should still at least admit to his errors

I mean, he still has the names of proven "sock puppets" on his list of people who supposedly wrote a letter in support of Greta.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 03:59 AM

6. Probably not, but I would

I broadly agree that criticisms of any group or country may or may not be embedded in hate for that country, or sometimes of foreigners in general. This includes Israel - and Palestine - which are topics of the forum; but also includes other places.

There are people who assume that any criticism of Israel means antisemitism, or sometimes a general hatred of the West; and I think the author is right in pointing out that views have to be taken individually and not instantly shoved into some broad category of 'demonization'.

For that matter there are people who assume for example that any criticism of Iran means that you want to bomb it.

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