Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We are meant to believe ...

Act I:

 Mr. Silverstein, from the hubridical blog Tikkun Olam has seen fit to attack the integrity of one of my favourite Israeli journalists, Ben dror Yemini.

 I decided to leave the following comment on his blog:


"So we’re meant to believe that a single letter supporting a supposed activist plot on behalf of Hamas will lead to Kerry selling out Israel’s interest in the Iran negotiations."

Here is what the Ben Dror Yemini, (Unlike your representation of him, he is a Left of Center journalist and jurist with a record of dissent and assertive insistence on truth and accuracy in journalism and politics) wrote in his article:

המכתב מעמיד בסימן שאלה חמור לא רק את האוריינטציה הפוליטית של קרי, אלא בעיקר את שיקול הדעת שלו, הן בנושא האיראני והן בנושא הפלסטיני. כבר אז, בסוף 2009, היה ברור לקרי עם מי ועם מה יש לו עסק. בספטמבר 2008 התקיימה אחת הפגישות המוזרות ביותר בניו יורק. מצד אחד היו שם "פעילי שלום" ובכלל זה נציגות "קודפינק", ומצד שני, נשיא איראן, מחמוד אחמדינג'אד. התוצאה הייתה מאבק משותף נגד הסנקציות הנפשעות של ארה"ב.

ארה"ב היא הידידה החשובה יותר של ישראל. אין על כך סימני שאלה. ההתנהלות של קרי, לעומת זאת, מציבה סימני שאלה קשים. איך זה שסנאטור בכיר העניק לגיטימציה לקבוצה שהמאפיינים שלה היו גם תמיכה בחמאס, גם תמיכה באחמדינג'אד, וגם עוינות תהומית, הן לישראל והן לארה"ב. והשאלה החשובה יותר: האם ג'ון קרי של 2013 הוא ג'ון קרי של0

[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. Even back then, at the end of 2009, Kerry must have known whom he was dealing with: In September of 2008 a most bizarre meeting took place in New York, between "Peace activists" including representatives from "Code pink" and Ahmadinejad. The result was an agreement on a shared struggle to dismantle the “iniquitous” sanctions against Iran.

The US is Israel's most important friend. There is no question about that. Kerry's conduct, on the other hand, raises some very tough questions. How come a senior senator was providing support to a group known for its support of Hamas, support of Ahmadinejad, as well as for its unyielding hostility towards Israel and the US. And the most important question is: Is 2009 Kerry the same as 2013 Kerry?

__________

No one leads you to believe anything. It is ALWAYS (make no mistake about it) your choice to believe something and not another thing. Your choice of what to believe is a direct extension of your own biases and reflects upon your own quality of good judgment and common sense. Unlike you, writing from your safe perch in wherever in America, Ben Dror cannot afford to look the other way or attribute nothing but benign compassion to the motivation of a well seasoned American politician. He is looking from a highly critical POV and making his point known, which is what a journalist does, in a free society. And he actually provides the documentation of what provokes these legitimate questions from him. You call it a smear* campaign. How so? Where is the smear? Are Kerry’s letter, its contents and its beneficiaries, deniable? Is the context within which the letter is mentioned not verifiably accurate? Are Codepink’s and EI’s agenda a concealed secret? The answer to all these questions is a pretty solid No.

By trying to cast this honest and often intrepid and contrarian journalist a smearer you are the one doing the smearing, Mr. Tikkun Olam**.

[End of comment.]
_______________

Some helpful lexical meanings:

* A Smear is:
 "2. damage the reputation of (someone) by false accusations; slander."

** Tikkun Olam:  "...  is a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world" (or "healing the world") which suggests humanity's shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world. In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam originated in the early rabbinic period. The concept was given new meanings in the kabbalah of the medieval period and has come to possess further connotations in modern Judaism.[2]" (wiki)

The reader should make his or her own mind as to what kind of  "repair" the blogger Silverstein is concerned with.

__________

Act II:  An Epilogue of sorts:

I think anyone who is engaged in good faith in the discussion of the I/P conflict knows that Tikkin Olam  is not a reliable place to go to for understanding and or getting a transparent and fair view of the events, the facts, the discourse that develops around it. a good example of how language is manipulated to serve the author's sickly agenda has cropped up in the discussion that ensued.

Initially, I provided a better and fuller translation of the excerpt from Ben Dror's article that Silverstein chose to use as the lynch upon the pin of his grievance. This is his translation:

"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?"

Here is mine:
 
המכתב מעמיד בסימן שאלה חמור לא רק את האוריינטציה הפוליטית של קרי, אלא בעיקר את שיקול הדעת שלו, הן בנושא האיראני והן בנושא הפלסטיני. כבר אז, בסוף 2009, היה ברור לקרי עם מי ועם מה יש לו עסק. בספטמבר 2008 התקיימה אחת הפגישות המוזרות ביותר בניו יורק. מצד אחד היו שם “פעילי שלום” ובכלל זה נציגות “קודפינק”, ומצד שני, נשיא איראן, מחמוד אחמדינג’אד. התוצאה הייתה מאבק משותף נגד הסנקציות הנפשעות של ארה”ב.
ארה”ב היא הידידה החשובה יותר של ישראל. אין על כך סימני שאלה. ההתנהלות של קרי, לעומת זאת, מציבה סימני שאלה קשים. איך זה שסנאטור בכיר העניק לגיטימציה לקבוצה שהמאפיינים שלה היו גם תמיכה בחמאס, גם תמיכה באחמדינג’אד, וגם עוינות תהומית, הן לישראל והן לארה”ב. והשאלה החשובה יותר: האם ג’ון קרי של 2013 הוא ג’ון קרי של0

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. Even back then, at the end of 2009, Kerry must have known whom he was dealing with: In September of 2008 a most bizarre meeting took place in New York, between “Peace activists” including representatives from “Code pink” and Ahmadinejad. The result was an agreement on a shared struggle to dismantle the “iniquitous” sanctions against Iran.

The US is Israel’s most important friend. There is no question about that. Kerry’s conduct, on the other hand, raises some very tough questions. How come a senior senator was providing support to a group known for its support of Hamas, support of Ahmadinejad, as well as for its unyielding hostility towards Israel and the US. And the most important question is: Is 2009 Kerry the same as 2013 Kerry?
_______________

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 wouldn't have noticed this except that this omission is crucial for T-O's gist of the article: that Ben Dror calls " John Kerry a supporter of “radical ultra-leftists” and “Israel-haters” and to prove his point, he provides this quote as the damning evidence. While in fact what Ben Dror writes is, to paraphrase: We need to query not only Kerry's political orientations but more importantly, his good judgment (that is, his understanding and practical wisdom) when it comes to the issues of Iran and the Palestinians. 

Silverstein's "translation" tells a difference story. And, BTW, nowhere anywhere in Ben Dror's article is there any allusion whatsoever to Kerry being "Anti-Israel, Pro-Hamas;" as Silverstein claims in his headline. All he is saying is that Kerry's record as a signatory on a letter that serves the anti-Zionist crowds should make us wonder whether he is a political leader with the necessary kind of good judgment to meddle so actively in such combustible and momentous issues as Iran and the Palestinian issue.

But, facts and  language are no problem for the blogger who declares he contributes to the improvement of the world, a cherished Jewish principle. If he needs to pervert the arguments, subvert the the language and omit important parts of the "evidence" then so be it. All in the service of improving justice in the world.

1 Comments:

At 5:13 AM EST, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

There is hardly many more pathetic living beings than the Doucheblogger. That's probably what happens when a man is not good enough for any day job, even as a garbage collector. Sorry, as a sanitation engineer...

 

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