Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Sacred Narrative

"Palestine awareness Week" about which I blogged here is a good example of what kind of fruit is yielded by the"sacred narrative" of pity and victimization. This analysis by Richard Landes offers simplicity and clarity:

The media – purveyors of this pivotal tale – subsequently remained loyal to the framework they had helped shape, reporting virtually every and any Palestinian claim of Israeli brutality, piling up statistics of Palestinian civilians, children, and non-combatants casualties that made Israeli soldiers look like ruthless mass-murderers, despite the fact that there are no documented cases of the IDF deliberately murdering innocent children. When the real mass-murderers of children, the suicide bombers and struck Israeli domestic sites, the media found few problems empathizing both with the victim and the terrorist. Moral equivalence and the politics of pity had obliterated the difference between firemen and arsonists; indeed for many it had inverted the moral universe: the arsonists were rebel heroes and the firemen hegemonic oppressors.

...I make a stink about this particular case because this is not “just one of many.” On the contrary, it is the framing narrative – indeed, to use Daniel Dayan’s term, a “sacred narrative.” It serves as the procrustean bed in which all subsequent data is crammed no matter how mutilated it becomes in the process. Your 800 dead minors – presumably an “objective” “fact”, but also a source of great moral indignation –is both a construct of that sacred narrative and it obtains its ability to solicit moral outrage within that framework. “We’ve killed 800 of their children!” as if they were all innocent, defenseless 12 year olds whom the IDF wantonly killed. And the applause that greeted your remark with all the force of a flagellant’s whip, comes from their approval of your defending that sacred narrative against my blasphemous assault.


At 5:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im getting censored on the Comment is Free site. Aparently, my questioning the lack of quarantining used to combat the epidemic of AIDS, is offensive to gays or something.

AIDS colonies, similar to Leper colonies would do much to help alleviate the worldwide epidemic.

Aparently, gays are a favorite oppressed class of the Neo Marxist Left.

I also challenged the moron that claimed that Palestinians were being starved to death by Israelis.

Comment if Free is full of vile Leftwingers....the Wests most dangerous enemies.

At 5:19 PM EST, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"gays are a favorite oppressed class of the Neo Marxist Left"

Not really. I don't see the "neo Marxist Left" expressing much concern over the way homosexuals are executed in public squares in Iran, or persecuted in the Muslim world in general.

I never heard of the idea of creating AIDS colonies but your easy reference to "Leper colonies" more or less tells me all I want to know about such an idea.

CiF is a vile instrument of antisemitic vilification, and that particular myth was exploded when Palestinians breached the wall to Egypt and went shopping for Wide screen TV's and cement.

As the egyptian blogger Sandmonkey reports:

"The people aren't as hungry or suffering as you all claim: A Palestinian-american friend of mine just came back from visiting his grandparents in Gaza ( just jumped over the fence and back he said, no one is controlling the borders apparently), and he was telling me how the entire "they are hungry people looking for food" headline story is a crock of shit. He laughingly told me that they are buying motorcycles, mattresses and TV's and other such basic survival needs (the media is confirming it if you think I am lying you big morons), and how some of his family members after going to Al Areesh-on the first day of the "people power" event-for vacation mind you, were like "This is Areesh? This sucks! Gaza is better!" and then went back the next day. He also told me that the price of the AK 47 in Gaza has now dropped to a measly 400 JD's. There is apparently too much supply to the demand. Yay for Open Borders!"

At 3:22 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quarantining is a common response to deadly contagions. Marburg, Bird Flu, Anti-boitic resistant TB.

It would have been much more effective and less objectionable in the early days of AIDS. But AIDS quickly became a cause celeb of the protected class of gays.

What a shame, that so many have to suffer for such foolishness.


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