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Kickin_Donkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:23 PM
Original message
How to talk to your Jewish friends about Israel ...
This is a great article from dommondreams.org, very appropriate for DU these days. Ira Chernus hits the nail on the head. Please try not to respond until you've read the whole article. Excerpts below.


I can talk to my Jewish friends about anything -- except Israel. When that subject comes up, they just shut down. Ive heard this complaint from so many people, so many times, that I want to offer a few suggestions about how to talk to your pro-Israel Jewish friends. I hope this will be helpful to everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike, who is critical of Israels war policy and wants to move public opinion toward peace.

... do you want to help your Jewish friends think about Israels actions in a new, more peace-oriented way? Lets assume its the latter. That means you arent just trying to score points and win the debate. So theres no reason to go on the attack. Even though you may have most of the right and justice on your side, take it slow and easy. If you put your Jewish friends on the defensive, they are likely to close their ears, eyes, and minds. Thats what we all do when we feel defensive about anything.

And many of your friends probably feel defensive when it comes to Israel. They are defending themselves against the voice of their own conscience. They are morally sensitive people. Thats what is so frustrating. They care deeply about social justice in every other arena. But there is something peculiar about this Israel thing that seems to throw their normal ethical compass out of whack. That something is a very complicated mix of factors. Part of it is a lifetimes worth of socialization. Theyve been raised in a community that assumes -- without question, as an article of faith -- that Israel really is fighting for its life. Theyve been taught to see Israel as an innocent victim, surrounded by irrational, barbaric anti-semites bent on destroying it. So all Israel can do is fight back.

So they are in a deep bind. They feel sure Israel is an innocent victim. Yet they can see the clear evidence that Israel bears some responsibility -- and, theyre beginning to suspect, culpability -- for the violence. They know two things that seem obviously true yet cant both be true, because they contradict each other. Psychologists call that cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance hurts. People cope with the pain in different ways. Often they just stop thinking about the whole subject. Its too hard to try to hold both sides of the contradiction in mind at once. So they find relief by getting mentally paralyzed.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0810-22.htm
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. Gawd must have an enormous sense of irony
to call this part of the world 'the holy land'.

that is all I can say
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. with all the bomb craters I'm surprised they havent changed the spelling
ny
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. My father in law gets a little crazy when the subject of Israel is brought


up. He tried to tell me prior to the last presidential election that "how a candidate treats Israel is most important." I told him he was full of shit and I don't think he spoke to me for a month.

He was discussing the war with my sister-in-law's husband and they were both saying that "this is not the time for Israel to stop fighting Hezbulah." I said, "Oh yeah...that would be a shame if they stopped killing all of those innocent civilians. We wouldn't want that to happen." That didn't make him too happy, either.

Fuck it -- I'm sick of not expressing my opinion because it might upset him. My wife says, "Don't talk about Israel -- my father gets so upset." I told her, "Hey, if he brings it up and says something that bothers me, I am going to respond." Needless to say, my father-in-law is learning not to talk about Israel around me.

I have been to Israel many times and I love the country and it's people. However, I do not support the way that they have handled this situation. It seems to me that Israel likes to "shoot first, ask questions later."
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Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. More like "shoot first, bomb second, kidnap third, THEN ask questions"
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. Geesh...screw the PC crap...my Jewish friends are rational...
and do not need any special handling.
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DistressedAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. Sorry I Do Not Buy It. Especially This Part...
"Thats why I suggest avoiding the question of Israels moral right or wrong and sticking to the practical question of security."


The entire question hinges on moral right or wrong. Avoiding that is like not discussing the issue at all.

If folks are too conflicted to deal, that is not my problem. It is theirs. I will always stand for what I think is morally right. If they do not want to hear it, I guess they'll have to push me away. Fine with me. I have no interest in friends that defend the immoral simply because their brain won't let them accept reality.
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elias7 Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. F. Scott Fitzgerald said that
the true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.

I would suggest to Ira Chernus to consider his own dissonance, seemingly unable to hold the truth of Jewish identity alongside his own sense of moral rightness; rather he separates himself from this idea, and since, knowing "both ideas can't be true", relates to his invalidated side with paternalistic analysis.

The problem is that both ideas are valid, and seen together weave an intricate and disturbing and longstanding dissonance, like many things in our lives do. Shut down or embrace it, your choice, but see both sides. Moral certainty is an illusion. :shrug:
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
18. "Moral certainty is an illusion?" Would you mind comparing and
contrasting the holocaust and what is occuring right now in Palestine and Lebanon? I find them to be quite similar and both morally repugnant.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #18
31. Not similar. n/t
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. One of my all time favorite quotes. It's so elegant. And true.
It's a good thing to keep in mind.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
8. Is this guy retarded? He's presenting pro-Israeli's as delicate
flowers with a raging internal debate and asking us to be sensitive to this.

Yes. As soon as they are sensitive to the number of outright MURDERS committed by Israel, then I'll be sensitive to their war of conscience.

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elias7 Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. you prove my point (eom)
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I don't see how.
I recognize there are two sides. But I refuse to dance around one side and not the other.

That's what the article is asking us to do - dance around the sensibilities of the pro-Israeli.
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elias7 Donating Member (913 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. but don't we dance around the sensibilities of both sides?
depending on who commits the greater atrocity de jour?
Or, and this is my point, have we irrevocably chosen sides...
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. Israel never comes up in my discussions with Jewish friends.
They know that I know the rudiments of the rituals and a smattering of tradition as to know when the fresh Hamentaschen is going to be ready...

In other words, I only consider my Jewish friends Jewish when they are sitting shiva or to make a chicken substitute or some Hebrew Nationals on the grill when we have a pork roast.

Maybe that is because I had a Jewish housemate for 3 years and a lot of mutual friends thru her who were from Phillie and Jewish.

The only time we ever talked about Israel was when she told us about getting sick from eating too many cherries at the Kibbutz she spent a summer at when in high school...and the killer kofta recipe she got in Tel Aviv.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
cracksquirrel Donating Member (251 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Comedy gold.
By comedy gold, of course I mean, *ahem* How dare you! Disgusting... *wink*
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voter x Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. good one...
dead jews. funny. ha. ha.

*wink
:thumbsdown:
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idontwantaname Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. i think you mean
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 06:00 PM by idontwantaname
ovens arent so bad, but lets see if we can do a better job than hitler.


:sarcasm:

---------------

in case youre wondering, youre the one who started in on the 'bad holocaust' jokes
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OrechDin Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Sounds like another Mel Gibson thread nt
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. No more 'PC' for me when it comes to Israel. I almost left DU today
for good, because one cannot voice ANY critism about Israel without having posts deleted and/or being accused of anti-Semitism! Something that I have never in my lifetime experienced, except here, at DU, of all places! I fully supported Israel, and have Jewish family members who support Israel, monetarily as well as ideologically. It was only recently that I studied Israels' history, and I am not going to shut-up about my disgust and dissent regarding their immoral behavior.

And cognitive dissonance? Please, the world is full of it, and that is why we are in such stressful times. When you have 'Christian' Zionists urging and supporting war (while loving the Prince of Peace), the US Pres. talking about 'freedom' while oppressing human rights, and Israel, the victimed victimizers of Palestinians and Lebonese...and the sickening list goes on.

I probably will chose to leave DU over this Israel protection choice by DU mods. DU is the only place I know of to talk honestly about these issues, and that has been denied. Why? Because the Jewish friends at DU won't tolerate honest discussion.
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Misskittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Because you say you've read up on the history, somehow the
rest of us have to believe you know what you're talking about and are some kind of expert on this topic? The problem at DU recently has not been too much knowledge being displayed -- rather, it's been too little knowledge and understanding of the incredible complexity of this issue.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I disagree. It's not that too much knowledge is being displayed,
it's that people are expressing their opinions and are being accused of not knowing enough about the situation. The implication being, if you knew more, you'd see it 'my' way (whomever the poster happens to be).

When in fact, people are capable and entitled to have opinions regardless of how much or how little they know. You don't need to have a PhD or have lived in Israel, West Bank/ Gaza, or Lebanon to have an opinion on the situation. That attitude helps no one.
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Misskittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. No. The implication is that, if you knew more, you might see
BOTH sides, not just one way or another, and might understand the incredibly complex history here. People are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. An opinion based on little knowledge or understanding is by definition a less informed opinion.
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Who's to say that all people here don't see both sides?
Just because a person seems to argue one side over another, doesn't mean they don't see both.

Sometimes we argue one side because the other side's issues have already been raised.

And who is anyone on this board to assume that a poster's opinions are NOT "based on a little knowledge or understanding"?

It seems to me that what we see are personal attacks, insults, and condescending tones NOT meant so further anyone's knowledge, but to win an argument.
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Misskittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Well, I needed a good laugh tonight. n/t
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breakaleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. you just proved my point.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. its so obvious....the lack of knowledge...
trouble is those who dont know either the history or even some basic facts (for instance Syria has NEVER formally given the sheba farms to Lebanon, they havent filled out the paper work at the UN)..yet they argue as if they do....

Its not just the lack of knowledge its the inability to recognize that perhaps one doesnt know enough and since there are people here who have spent time on the different sides of the line, or do have much historical knowledge, it might be wiser to inquire....


on an interesting note, there is one poster here, who is on the "palestenian side (for lack of a better definition), yet when that poster raises up the lack of knowledge when israel is being critisized, that poster is immediatly assailed as being a "zionist" neocon, etc. I find it rather "amusing" that bringing up facts and relevant history makes one into a neocon/zionist.
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Truth is simple. Cover-ups of truth are complex. Israels' current
actions are inhumane, and are only worsening the situation. Truth requires few words, but the whole armament of words is used to defend evil actions. That is the 'incredible complexity' of this issue; throwing sand in the eyes of people to blind them from the truth.
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OrechDin Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Describing Israel as `inhumane` `evil actions` etc

means that sand indeed must be cleansed from ones eyes.
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. Not mine. They have been cleansed thank you. Inhumane and evil
are appropriate words that match Israels' deeds.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:58 AM
Response to Reply #19
30. What an asinine statement.
"Because the Jewish friends at DU won't tolerate honest discussion." :eyes:
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. I'm not the only one to have made that 'asinine' statement. Why are we
here, and not in GD? I hate the word asinine, as it is usually made by asses. What Aegis are YOU hiding behind? Your shield needs to be removed; doubt that it's goatskin; sheepskin or pigskin perhaps?

Gk. aigis: goatskin
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. And?
Just because you aren't the only one to make that ASSinine comment doesn't make it any less stupid.

My Aegis is Truth! It deflects the lies and hate of rancid propaganda. And what are you even trying to imply with this ASSinine statement/question?!

"Your shield needs to be removed; doubt that it's goatskin; sheepskin or pigskin perhaps?"

At least you got HALF of your name right!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #30
35. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Spinoza Donating Member (766 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
36. Now THAT was
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 08:04 PM by Spinoza
genuinely funny! Its not usual to read such self-righteous arrogance masquerading as 'well meaning' advice. "...they feel sure....they can see....they're beginning to suspect.....they know two things....they just stop thinking...." And on and on telling us what THEY think, feel, know, believe. How about THEY say (to the author) UCKFAY OUYAY?
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
37. Actually, all of my Jewish friends are disgusted with Israeli "dipomacy"
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