Monday, April 21, 2008

Rebutting "Liberal" Lies about Israel

Solomonia posted an article written by Ben-Dror Yemini, an Israeli journalist and lawyer, and translated from Hebrew by yours truly.

Yemini provides the proper facts, restores the historical record and offsets the ethical arguments which get twisted and revised when some of the more "progressive" forces in the media and academia set out to blame Israel for all the ills of the Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims and Middle East.

Read it here.

A note on the translation:

I don't like to use the term "liberal" when I speak about "progressives". Very often, there is little evidence of genuine liberality of thought and sentiment among the Far Leftists and anti-war, anti-Imperialist pundits (who like to call themselves "progressives"). When progressives are described as "liberals" I cringe, because it gives them credit for what they are not. Yemini, in his article uses the Hebrew word "enlightened", in quotation marks, for what readers of English generically mean "liberal" in its degraded form.

Liberal, in its proper meaning, corresponds to the following explanation:

Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal.[1] Modern liberalism has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment.

Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Different forms of liberalism may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market or mixed economy, and a transparent system of government.[2] All liberals — as well as some adherents of other political ideologies — support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.[3]

It is important to make that distinction between the authentic meaning of Liberal, best exemplified today, I would suggest, in the "Euston Manifesto"* and the degraded meaning that as accrued to this noble term by the Indecent Leftis, as exemplified in such outlets as "Counterpunch".

* By sheer serendipity, Alan Johnson has posted today an article on the E-M in the Guardian's Comment is Free.

And Norm Geras provides, as always with much elegance and wisdom, some pertinent thoughts about Leftism and such.

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