Sunday, November 17, 2013

Comments that may not get to pass through the bizarre moderation policy on "Tikkun Olam"

1. In response to this:

“Subliminal’s being the son of Jewish refugees is at the core of his hard-line politics. “In Tunisia, my father grew up with his family locking all the doors and windows whenever performing a Jewish ceremony — out of fear of attacks.” Both parents, he says, “ran for their lives” to Israel, where they spent decades recovering from the persecution they had faced.” (wiki)

If anybody doubts the truth of this statement I urge them to read Albert Memmi’s essay:

Who is an Arab Jew? Albert Memmi (1975)

“As to the pre-colonial period, the collective memory of Tunisian Jewry leaves no doubt. It is enough to cite a few narratives and tales relating to that period: it was a gloomy one. The Jewish communities lived in the shadow of history, under arbitrary rule and the fear of all-powerful monarchs whose decisions could not be rescinded or even questioned. It can be said that everybody was governed by these absolute rulers: the sultans, beys and deys. But the Jews were at the mercy not only of the monarch but also of the man in the street. My grandfather still wore the obligatory and discriminatory Jewish garb, and in his time every Jew might expect to be hit on the head by any Moslem whom he happened to pass. This pleasant ritual even had a name – the chtaka; and with it went a sacramental formula which I have forgotten. A French orientalist once replied to me at a meeting: “In Islamic lands the Christians were no better off!” This is true – so what? This is a double-edged argument: it signifies, in effect, that no member of a minority lived in peace and dignity in countries with an Arab majority! Yet there was a marked difference all the same: the Christians were, as a rule, foreigners and as such protected by their mother-countries. If a Barbary pirate or an emir wanted to enslave a missionary, he had to take into account the government of the missionary’s land of origin – perhaps even the Vatican or the Order of the Knights of Malta. But no one came to the rescue of the Jews, because the Jews were natives and therefore victims of the will of “their” rulers. Never, I repeat, never – with the possible exception of two or three very specific intervals such as the Andalusian, and not even then – did the Jews in Arab lands live in other than a humiliated state, vulnerable and periodically mistreated and murdered, so that they should clearly remember their place”

Richard referenced Kahane and the rhetoric of Nuremberg in the context of Subliminal’s outburst. It might be prudential to provide a more appropriate historical context to the feeling is he voicing here. You know, the facts that everyone around this blog like to forget or pretend that they do not really matter.

( If you cannot see the comment, that means it was found to be too historically and factually discombobulating to the blogger's sickly agenda.)

2. In response to this comment , I left the following comment:

“I dare you to show any particular portion of my translation that misconstrues the original or contradicts it.”

To pinpoint the difference:

This is the sentence in Hebrew:

המכתב מעמיד בסימן שאלה חמור לא רק את האוריינטציה הפוליטית של קרי, אלא בעיקר את שיקול הדעת שלו, הן בנושא האיראני והן בנושא הפלסטיני.

This is how Silverstein reproduced the sentence in his translation:

“The letter raises a grave question about Kerry’s political orientation, whether regarding Iran or Palestine. 

Here is my translation:

The letter casts a severe question mark not only on what Kerry’s political orientation might be but, more importantly, his good judgment when it comes to the Iranian issue and the Palestinian issue.

You will notice that Silverstein not only omits this part of the sentence:

“but, more importantly, his good judgment”

but reconstructs the sentence in such a way as to accommodate the omission. The “not only … but…” structure becomes just a straightforward statement. To me that suggests that the translation was deliberately done in such a way as to circumvent the difficulty this particular clause presented to the blogger’s thesis in this post.

I dare you to correct the mistranslation at the heart of your post, and the conclusions you derive from this ellipsis.

3.  Another comment that won't make it on T-O:

” the boy was not affiliated ”

I like that euphemism: “the boy” for the boy-murderer. As I indicated in my own post about this post, the sentiment that blows across this thread is not at all about the horror of the killing but rather an attempt to soften and humanize and divert from that horror.

What a pusillanimous blogger you are, Richard. You ought to embrace your aim in this blog and this post. You need to openly and without sanctimonious prevarications declare this murder was just chickens coming home to roost. No wonder you are shunned by the Abunimah crowd. They sense that hesitation on your part. You haven’t got what it takes to go all the way to where they are going.

4.  "It is a summary "

Nice try. You inserted this entire passage from the article: 

"It’s important to get a (bitter) taste of the rhetoric employed in this smear:

    The Egyptians didn’t take the delegation seriously.  Israel didn’t take it seriously either.  The problem was John Kerry.  How could such a figure of such stature equip this group, whose views on the Middle East were much closer to Balad [the Israeli-Palestinian nationalist political party] or Hamas than to “Peace Now.”

    The letter raises a grave question about Kerry’s political orientation, whether regarding Iran or Palestine.  Even then, in 2009 it was clear to Kerry with whom he preferred doing business.  In 2008, one of the strangest meetings that ever took place in New York joined “peace activists” (including representatives of Codepink) on one side and on the other, the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The result was an agreement to wage a  common struggle against America’s “criminal” sanctions.

    …How could such a Senator provide legitimization to a group characterized by its support for Hamas and Ahmadinejad, including its deep hatred of Israel and the U.S.?  And an even more important question: is the John Kerry of 2013 the same as the John Kerry of 2009?"

Your quote repeats in English every detail in that paragraph that appears in the Hebrew underlying text EXCEPT for this little clause. You even begin the second paragraph with ... to inform the reader that some text was left out. That to me suggests you were not doing a "summary" as you allege but a translation. Additionally, nowhere at all did you alert the reader to the fact that this was a summary and that he/she ought to read it as such. It also took you a couple of days to filter this comment through. To me it suggests that you only allowed it in AFTER you came out with a plausible explanation for the DIStranslation you committed. It is of course only conjecture on my part. I can't know for sure what exactly prompted you to publish my comments after all.

And please. You are being very silly impugning my translation skills.  “severe question mark.”  is the exact and accurate translation of Ben Dror's phrase " בסימן שאלה חמור". I am not responsible for his stylistic linguistic choices. I'm just rendering an adequate translation of what he said. Which is what an ethical translator is expected to do.

5.  Yes, Richard, why don't you try to whitewash the suffering of Jews in Arab countries. Why don't you try to erase what Jews refugees from Arab countries had and still have to deal with.  Subliminal apologized for his outburst, admitted to being distraught, angry and unreflective when he wrote it. It is a failure of good judgment at worst, as your regular commenter here would say.  Where is the Palestinian artist who will express sorrow for the MURDER of Eden? Where, for that matter, is YOUR sorrow for the butchery of this boy, barely out of high school, sleeping on a bus in his own country, on his way from home to his base where he was still doing primary training for his military service? Are these your moral priorities? Is this how you improve the world? What good are you doing? Answer me, if you dare! If you can!

It's your blog. You wrote the "Moderation policy" so please don't pretend that you are following some higher authority when you warn me about the rules. You can leave my comments unpublished but please don't pretend to being fair!

6.  I have very little interest in your pathetic blog, Richard. You have been caught lying in your translation and every conclusion that flows from such a violated DISHONEST translation is just as flawed, and lacks any credibility or substance. So, please let's not pretend that I'm being banned here for any other reason except that you get into a mighty tantrum whenever your obvious shortcomings in either linguistic capability or logic or proper feeling are pointed out to you.

7.  "Maariv’s far-right columnist, "

Can we have an objective definition from a moderately reliable and verifiable source of what constitutes "Far Right", what is the essence, what attributes characterize this position? And Then, can the honorable author of this blog provide a few examples from Ben Dror's articles presently and in the past, that may comport with such attributes?

Here is one description that I could endorse:

" Far right politics commonly involves support for social inequality and social hierarchy, elements of social conservatism and opposition to most forms of liberalism and socialism. Both terms are also used to describe Nazi and fascist movements, and other groups who hold extreme nationalist, chauvinist, xenophobic, racist, religious fundamentalist or reactionary views.[1] The most extreme right-wing movements have pursued oppression and genocide against groups of people on the basis of their alleged inferiority.[2]" (wiki)

Now all Richard has to do is provide direct quotes from Ben Dror's roster of articles where he openly and clearly advocates  social inequality and social hierarchy, opposition to most forms of liberalism and socialism, or any visible or invisible inclination towards extreme nationalist, chauvinist, xenophobic, racist, religious fundamentalist or reactionary views.


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