Friday, October 30, 2009

When Peace is War, and Human - a restricted category

@Solomonia: Sophia, an occasional contributor to Solomonia wrote about Yglesias' momentary epiphany in which he confesses:

" My J Street button said “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.” It’s not a subtle aspect of the messaging. But when we moved to the Q&A time it became clear that a number of people in the audience really were quite uncomfortable self-defining as “pro-Israel” in any sense and that others are uncomfortable with the basic Zionist concept of a Jewish national state. I was, of course, aware that those views existed but it had seemed to me that it was clear that that wasn’t what J Street is there to advocate for. Apparently, though, it wasn’t clear to everyone."

I left this comment:

The term "pro-peace" has undergone the same kind of bastardization that the term "human rights" has. Peace no longer means cessation of hostilities and violence between the two sides of the I/P conflict. Examples of what it has come to mean we can see when we cast back to all those "peace" demonstrations that took place during the 2006 Lebanon war and "Cast Lead". We all witnessed what sort of placards were being flaunted, openly and insouciently by the conscientious marchers: "We are all Hizzbala" and "Israel must be wiped" (or at least in one recorded instance, "Jews to the gas chambers"), etc. Those rallies were referred to in the media as "peace" rallies.

Just as "human rights", at the hands of the UNHR Council, have come to mean, exclusively, Palestinian rights, and by inference, if Palestinian is human, then Israelis are not, or less, human.

No wonder that people who are bitterly aligned against Israel have come to use these two terms in their highly deformed and exclusivist meaning. It's a genuine example of the Orwellian "doublespeak", language constructed to disguise and distort its actual meaning, often resulting in a communication bypass.

And the naked hatred to Israel expressed by those people who crowded those rallies (and to a lesser degree glimpsed at that famous panel where Elie Wiesel became the target of mockery by the execrable Max Blumenthal) reminded me constantly of Orwell's "Two Minutes Hate".

Therefore, for these J-street supporters to be "pro-peace" as they understand it is simply incompatible with being "pro-Israel". Peace has to be "no peace" for Israelis or else the term is vitiated of its moral power.

They no doubt feel they were duped into believing the organization to be their kind of "pro-peace" and not what the dictionary tells us "peace" is.

In today's Normblog's Friday blog profile, featuring Point of no return, in answer to the question: What is your favourite proverb? Bataween responds:

'Mal nommer les choses, c'est ajouter au malheur du monde' (Not to call things by their correct names is to add to the troubles of the world) - Albert Camus.

Enfin, La Voila! Someone who gets it :)


Update: Nov 3:

Here is a sight for sore eyes:

"In a recent column in the UAE daily Al-Ittihad, columnist Dr. As'ad 'Abd Al-Rahman wrote about the Jewish-American advocacy group J Street, arguing that its importance is in that it provides the U.S. administration with "political and media ammunition" against Israel, especially in the absence of an Arab lobby in the U.S."

Funny how it emerges that the "pro-Israel, Pro-peace" J-street, de-facto, acts in lieu of an Arab Lobby.

Sometimes clarity arises from the least expected quarters.


At 12:48 PM EDT, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

Excellent post!

This is classic New Leftism. Its being wielded pretty successfully against the West and Caucasian Europeans, Christians, and Males...aka Dead White Males, Western Civilization....many verbalizations of this.

The key is to be pro diversity, yet not add certain groups to the diversity party. Which in effect makes you anti who you dont invite.

People are starting to wake up to this in teh West, and I cant wait for the reassertion of Western Civillization, and confidence and positive assertion of its values and traditions.

The Western Left has morphed from one ugliness to the next.

They are truly dispicable.

At 12:41 AM EDT, Anonymous Migreli said...

There are many words whose meaning has been twisted and then appropriated either in the cause of advocacy of one sort or another, or just as part of politically correct discourse. The London Spectator once ran a weekly column called the Dictionary of Cant that dealt not with Traveller dialect but with chattering-class language-abuse of this kind. Many examples of deformed words and phrases were given over the life of the column.

My particular dislikes include "insensitive", "inclusive", "caring", among others. In all three, the exact opposite meaning is the one that actually applies. Thus "insensitive" comments are usually "deliberately offensive and wounding", and thus require sensitivity to the concerns of the target in order to be effective. "Caring" is almost universally sponsored by uncaring individuals, and "inclusive" policies are all too often directed against some group or segment of opinion.

At 1:23 PM EST, Anonymous Gibson Block said...

I might be misquoting - but I seem to remember Mark Steyn, no bleeding heart leftist, saying that it wasn't the greatest idea to set up a Jewish state in Palestine.

So, I wouldn't call him a Zionist. And yet he's pro-Israel. So the two can go in tandem.

Alan Dershowitz, doesn't think that putting religious settlers in the West Bank is a good idea. But he's certainly pro-Israel.

So you can certainly criticize Israeli policy and have complex views of Zionism and still be pro-Israel.

Bernard Avishai wants to withdraw the Law of Return and, instead, give Jews an easy path to landed immigrant status. And in many ways, he wants de-Judaize the state. Jeff Goldberg recently took a shot at him for this. And yet, I don't think he can be considered to be anti-Israel.

Who is anti-Israel? Certainly people who want to see the state overthrown by force. But who else?

At 11:12 PM EST, Blogger Admin said...

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