Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Comment trail for the Wednesday

A few blogs have picked up on the story about the Jewish philanthropists and Israeli Arabs.


Jewish philanthropists have formed a task force and are currently in Israel to learn more about the problems facing Israeli Arabs and 'increase Jewish philanthropists' awareness of minority-majority relations in Israel'. The would-be cultural police who endorse the PACBI call, in this case an organisation called Ittijah as well as the Islamic Movement, hardly need to consult their checklist of Types of Stuff We Boycott. This is clearly the sort of progressive, insight-building initiative they find most threatening and they're busily arranging to have the philanthropists boycotted.

The reasons given, reported in Haaretz, are that "Diaspora Jewry advocates the idea of Israel". This helpfully candid explanation affirms once again that the aim of PACBI's boycott is to get rid of Israel. It also reveals that boycotters understand this aim conflicts not only with almost all Israeli Jews, but also 'diaspora Jewry'. They also appear happy to turn down funding from Jewish donors on principle. There's no good reason not to talk to these philanthropists. Contrast the Ittijah response with that of Shweiki Khatib of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, who said:

"We have met and will continue to meet with Jewish figures in the past, present and future ... We have our red lines, but we are obligated to say what we think and explain our situation to whoever wants to hear.

"The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee are very sour about Israel as it stands, having recently rejected Israel's Annapolis demand to be recognised as a Jewish state. The difference between PACBI and the Monitoring Committee is that the Monitoring Committee understands that, whatever form of conflict resolution you favour, there is no alternative to co-existence (unless of course you believe that expelling the Jews is a viable option) and interaction is the only way forward.

Simply Jews: (Bear in mind that Snoopygoon is suffering from bad language withdrawal)

So, here are some Jews who have decided to contribute to the well-being of the Israeli Arab community, and what do you know? The money smells wrong to some people.

As a blogger who contributed his puny voice in the aftermath of the second Lebanon war, protesting against some fellow Jews who objected to the emergency aid from UJC and other US Jewish agencies going to the Arab population of Israel, I am quite discombobulated by this strange turn of events.

Of course, the first impulse would be to say "do you know what, dear Makhoul - if you don't want the money - go climb a tree" (I am being tongue-tied on this blog by the restrictions put on me by the owner).

But, upon second thought - dear Makhoul, just pass the money to me. My sense of smell is not what it used to be, so...

Bob from Brockley

This fits into the attack from the British "pro-Palestinian" lobby on Peace Oil, because it isn't Arab enough, or the attack by the same people on OneVoice. Rejectionist forms of anti-Zionism - like that of Ittijah and the Islamic Movement in Palestine and of their friends globally and in the UK, like the International Solidarity Movement, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (and, at least in the case of Peace Oil, Jews for Justice for Palestinians) clearly do not want a peaceful and just solution; they want a war to the death.However, they do not represent the majority of Palestinian

On each blog I left more or less the same comment, with a few variations:

The refusal to accept the help from the Jewish philanthropists makes sense on two levels:

One, accepting money from Jewish philanthropists might create a reservoir of good will among the recipients, which in turn may dilute the purity of the collective resentment, and this is not a good thing.

And two, any improvement and correction of possible inequalities and lopsided distribution of wealth should be resisted mightily. The inequalities, such as they are, must be made to wreck their maximal havoc so as to keep the people united and focused upon the main goal. Actual relief and redress work against the ultimate goal, whatever that may be. How can extreme and exclusive pity be provoked if things actually get better?

As always, Seinfeld had something to say about such things:

"JACKIE: You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on? I didn't tell you to put the balm on. Why'd you put the balm on? You haven't even been to see the doctor. If your gonna put a balm on, let a doctor put a balm on.

KRAMER: I guess I screwed up huh Jackie?

JACKIE: Your damn right you screwed up. Where the hell did you get that damm balm anyway?

KRAMER: The Maestro.

JACKIE: Oh oh oh, so a Maestro tells you to put a balm on and you do it?

KRAMER: Well my stomach was burning.

JACKIE: I tell you what this is. This is a public humiliation.

KRAMER: Well I didn't know the balm was gonna work.

JACKIE: Do you know what a balm is? Have you ever seen a balm? Didn't you read the instructions?

KRAMER: Well I ...

JACKIE: (interrupts) No one can tell what a balm's gonna do. They're unpredictable.

KRAMER: I'm sorry Jackie."


And for another issue:

Bald Headed Geek on Bush's visit to Israel and PA:

BDS has been the acronym that many, including me, have used to refer to "Bush Derangement Syndrome", that affliction of the Far (and not so Far) Left which caused those whom it affects to harbor an irrational and pathological hatred for President George W. Bush.

However, I think that it can be equally applied TO the President himself, if it is changed to mean "Bush Delusional Syndrome", which I would characterize as a naive and borderline insane belief that the Palestinians really want peace with Israel .... President Bush is now in Israel, and he has already proclaimed that a peace deal can be achieved before he leaves office... Statements like these are why I am of the belief that U.S.-Israeli relations are heading for their lowest ebb since the Bush 41 Presidency, and arguably since Eisenhower was in the White House.

It's more like CLMLS that Bush is suffering from: Clintonian Last Moment Legacy Syndrome.

And I agree that U.S.-Israeli relations are heading for their lowest ebb. If Obama or Clinton are elected, it will be more of the same, because nobody, but absolutely nobody, knows what to do about the Palestinians. And Americans are fed up with this never ending conflict.

With all due respect, in the end, Americans may well go the way of Eurabia. We have seen glimpses of this apartheid policy at Annapolis.

But never despair, for we will always have Paris.


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