gyob October 14, 2005 8:51 PM   Subscribe


Metafilter: Goddammit, just get your own blog already.
posted by Duncan at 8:57 PM on October 14, 2005 [1 favorite]


Really. If you want to spout hate and filth go get yourself a White Power Hamas Power blog. If I was Matt, I think this last little stunt would garner you permanent banination.
posted by caddis at 9:39 PM on October 14, 2005


Cleardawn doesn't link to anything especially new or remarkable in this thread, it being merely the latest instance of his untiring axe-grinding about Israel and Palestinians. In addition, his self-moderation is both tyrannical and rude.

Enough already. We know how you feel about this issue. I don't think MeFi should suffer to be a personal forum for your obsessions; your confrontational way of insisting that Zionists owe you some kind of explanation at your pleasure was tiresome the first time, and far beyond the pale at this point.
posted by clockzero at 9:42 PM on October 14, 2005


This post was deleted for the following reason: what a mess

Ha! I love it!
posted by scarabic at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2005


Hey, it's our own little Zionologist.

That post probably broke some sort of record for amount of mouth froth.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2005


Did any of you read the articles he linked to? Such as the first one, by NK's Rabbi Weiss?

Oh, right, I forgot: Neturei Karta is a bunch of Holocaust-denying self-hating Jews, according to the judgment of such as Masada2000.
posted by davy at 9:48 PM on October 14, 2005


Krrrlson and I finally agree! I met you on your ground, remember, now.
posted by scarabic at 9:49 PM on October 14, 2005


It was phrased a tad judgementally.
posted by y2karl at 9:50 PM on October 14, 2005


really though, we could *all* get our own blogs right?
posted by jcterminal at 9:52 PM on October 14, 2005


Oh, and, Davy, that was Mr. Snoid, R. Crumb's most abrasive character. It was a comment on the tone of the thing.

And, cleardawn, one can make much the same point without the drama.
posted by y2karl at 9:57 PM on October 14, 2005


RAAAAWR ISRAEL SATAN FORESKIN SATAN JESUS SHARON AND BIBI PWN YAHADOOT HA'OLAM SCUM RAWR RAWR I HAVE A HARD-ON FOR NAZIS HITLER RAWKS MY COCK MY HITLERJUGEN KICKS YOUR JUIVE IN TEH TEETH HASHMADAT-AM LEBENSRAUM UNF UNF TSVA HAGANAH LE'YISRAEL TSAHAL LOLE. SHABAT SHALOM MOTHERFUCKER!
posted by naxosaxur at 9:57 PM on October 14, 2005


(commenting for cleardawn, as he left the internet to go burn some more israel flags in his sink)
posted by naxosaxur at 9:58 PM on October 14, 2005


scarabic, I won't forget this. One day, when we're in the trenches on opposite sides in World War III, I will recognize you and we'll drop our weapons and start world peace.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:58 PM on October 14, 2005


Okay.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 10:00 PM on October 14, 2005


i was channeling cleardawn guys
posted by naxosaxur at 10:02 PM on October 14, 2005 [1 favorite]


One day, when we're in the trenches on opposite sides in World War III, I will recognize you and we'll drop our weapons and start world peace.

Either that or it'll be toilet brushes at twenty paces.

posted by y2karl at 10:04 PM on October 14, 2005


Don't mock my career choices, y2karl.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:08 PM on October 14, 2005


It's too bad. I think this would be a great place to get a hearty chorus of "Amen" to the statement: not all Jews are zionists. Hell, not all Israeli Jews are zionists. cleardawn is just too far gone. It is tough, though. There are valid points of view to be drawn about the conflict which have become unacceptable and unmentionable in polite company because the whole conflict is so charged and so painful. cleardawn is about 3 steps behind me, still trying to convince the world with shouting. But I am discouraged sometimes that straightfoward opinions about the conflict are dismissed by the mainstream because the mainstream is determined to stay "balanced" (read: on nobody's side). In a very real way, that takes the mainstream out of the equation, and leaves the entire affair to the nutbags, who continue fucking it up.

Idgits like cleardawn who pummel thinking people with propaganda and make them want to vomit with vitriol are not helpful in the effort to bring more of the mainstream to an actual bargaining table. I hope you read this, cleardawn. If you want to have an impact and help bring about peace: work in peaceful ways, bring some peace to this insantiy, surprise the other side with your capacity for peacefullness. In this day and age, that is a revolutionary act. Screaming on a soapbox is so 1960s that no one pays any attention anymore.

I'm being pragmatic.
posted by scarabic at 10:11 PM on October 14, 2005


I challenge you to italics tags at 5 paces, karl.

bang, you're dead ;)
posted by scarabic at 10:12 PM on October 14, 2005


Good stuff, scarabic.

That was awesome, naxosaxur.
posted by clockzero at 10:13 PM on October 14, 2005


scarabic has a beautiful mind, indeed.

...and thanks for making a forum for this call-out, clockzero. the post and subsequent debate was just too absurd.

...and thanks to matt howie for having the prudence to axe-it.
posted by naxosaxur at 10:18 PM on October 14, 2005


Interesting: I "vitriolically" criticize Islam and Christianity right and left (albeit usually in comments, not FPPs) and don't get a callout thread of my own for that, while cleardawn posts a well-crafted FPP criticizing Israel and Zionism and he not only gets his post deleted but even gets set upon like this. I feel so cheated by the obvious double standard.

I also must point out that naxosaxur, scarabic et al. are slinging their own "vitriol" and "propaganda" here. It's just okay when THEY do it, is all.

And y2karl, the knack of being nonjudgmental about ethnic cleansing is one I don't judge praiseworthy. I say 'if it's wrong when X does it to Y then it's wrong when Y does it to Z'; if you disagree with that judgment then please supply a list of ethnic cleansings you find morally okay.

(Query re a "point of order": CAN a woman be a "prick"?)
posted by davy at 10:25 PM on October 14, 2005


SHABAT SHALOM MOTHERFUCKER!

I am imagining a scene where John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson drive around in a Cadillac, and instead of the one telling his friend about eating french fries and mayonnaise in Amsterdam, the other tells his mate how good the street falafel is in Tel Aviv.

I'm trying to be the shepherd


[shrugs]

still works for me!
posted by scarabic at 10:26 PM on October 14, 2005


And y2karl, the knack of being nonjudgmental about ethnic cleansing is one I don't judge praiseworthy. I say 'if it's wrong when X does it to Y then it's wrong when Y does it to Z'; if you disagree with that judgment then please supply a list of ethnic cleansings you find morally okay.

I suppose I could phrase myself more adroitly than this but
you know, Davy, sometimes you come across as just plain fucking dense. Don't put words in my mouth.

I also must point out that naxosaxur, scarabic et al. are slinging their own "vitriol" and "propaganda" here. It's just okay when THEY do it, is all.

And, man, do you have an inferiority complex or what ?

What good is providing good links if you are yelling at people and spraying spittle in their faces in the process ? Some people would speak than heard. Other people would rather scream than be heard. What was the point ? Well crafted, my ass.

I have really been having trouble with the italic tags today.
posted by y2karl at 10:56 PM on October 14, 2005


And I wish I could express myself as adroitly as Ty Webb did in that thread linked above.
posted by y2karl at 11:03 PM on October 14, 2005


Wow, people still care about the Israli/Palistinean conflict? How passe.
posted by delmoi at 11:40 PM on October 14, 2005


I completely agree with cleardawn's views regarding the Palestinian apartheid. But damn that was some bad FPPing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:41 PM on October 14, 2005


When y2karl calls you out for bias in post wording, you know that man has gone through some MeTa himself...
posted by klangklangston at 11:43 PM on October 14, 2005


You know one thing I hate about the LGF crowd is their use of pictures to make a point about people "hate". They simply show some muslim or whatever in the throws of some emotion and say "See: they hate!" But a single picture like that tells us nothing about what they think, nothing about what they are going to do.

The Rachel Corrie picture is a lot like that. I don't consider her a hero or anything like that, but come on.

I'm glad this thread was deleted, though. What could be said that hasn't been said a thousand times before? It's so tiresome.
posted by delmoi at 11:44 PM on October 14, 2005


Also, how cool would it have been if the reason for deletion had been "Oy Vey." See, someone should make me a mod, I can really crank out the one-liners.
posted by delmoi at 11:46 PM on October 14, 2005


That was a pretty terrible FPP. Naxosaxur's characterization was equally bad.
posted by Ryvar at 11:51 PM on October 14, 2005


First use ever of the selfhatingjew tag!
posted by LarryC at 12:02 AM on October 15, 2005


so is "vitriolic" going to be my equivalent to "drama queen" or something? I swear to fucking god, if somone calls me out about the vitriolic thing i'm gonna turn into a fucking drama queen on the fucking spot.
posted by shmegegge at 12:02 AM on October 15, 2005


your reaction to my comment makes it all worth it Ryvar sweetie honey baby doll face
posted by naxosaxur at 12:06 AM on October 15, 2005


Shhh.
posted by Stauf at 12:12 AM on October 15, 2005


who are you channelling now ? Betty Boop ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:24 AM on October 15, 2005


your reaction to my comment makes it all worth it Ryvar sweetie honey baby doll face

Of the many, many Jewish people in my life that I've known, loved, and dated it has astonished me the way that every single last one of them has been both wonderfully intelligent and delightfully courteous at all times. I sincerely mean that.

That's why it's so refreshing to see someone like yourself working so desperately hard to even out the bell curve.
posted by Ryvar at 12:47 AM on October 15, 2005


naxosaur and cleardawn must resolve their differences in the traditional Mefi manner by facing each other with knives, to the death.
posted by Joeforking at 2:14 AM on October 15, 2005


quiet! one of them might threaten to cut off their right hand, and get banned.
posted by shmegegge at 3:14 AM on October 15, 2005


naxosaur and cleardawn must resolve their differences in the traditional Mefi manner by facing each other with knives, to the death.

Rubber knives. That'll keep them busy.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:19 AM on October 15, 2005


Pistols at dawn.

And then walkin' the plank. And keel haulin'. And floggin'. Especially floggin'.

scurvey hides. arrrr....
posted by loquacious at 3:26 AM on October 15, 2005


Could a typical naxosaur, armed only with a knife, (say, six or eight inches long) be trained to consistently "win" fights with cleardawn? Assume no element of surprise.
posted by dg at 4:20 AM on October 15, 2005


Metafilter: Let's define our terms you predictable Zionist prick.
posted by dodgygeezer at 4:35 AM on October 15, 2005


Amberglow said: as for the first link, what about the many of us who are Jewish who detest what's being done there--but not because of religion, but because of decency?

Absolutely; and respect to those people too. I didn't mean to imply otherwise - the surprising thing, to me, was the existence of the group protesting against the existence of the state of Israel on orthodox Jewish grounds. I felt the first article was excellent, and deserved to be an FPP. I hadn't seen that viewpoint expressed so clearly before, and I dare say many other MeFi readers hadn't either.

A couple of weeks ago, when I commented about Palestine in threads on Jewish history, I was told that was uncool; I should post my own FPP about it. Indeed, there was a whole gang-lynching on MeTa, even worse than this one, calling me every name under the sun.

So in response, I post a link-rich, well-researched FPP - expressing my anger about the way Zionists censor all criticism of Israel, and launch violent personal attacks against any critics - and what happens? Surprise, surprise. Personal attacks and censorship.

I'm not "filled with hate" by any means, I've spent much of my life campaigning against racism, including campaigning against Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis. Nothing in my post was intended as a racial slur against "J00s" - this just is not where I'm coming from at all, whatever naxursaxur may wish to believe.

But I really, really hate the way that criticism of Israel is treated at the moment. The way that so many MeFi readers, including some I respect, have cheerfully joined in the personal attacks against me here, is a precise mirror of hate sites like masada2000, it's exactly what they're trying to achieve, and it shows exactly why it's important to talk about this stuff.

A gang of people standing in a circle, kicking the guy in the middle. Is that what MeFi is these days? Apparently so.
posted by cleardawn at 4:53 AM on October 15, 2005


Incidentally, when exactly was the last FPP here that was critical of Israeli Zionism?

I wonder why there are so few people willing to bring up what is almost certainly the world's most pressing human rights issue?
posted by cleardawn at 4:58 AM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn is one of the worst features of MeFi2005, and his presence here is one of the things that makes me want to spend as little time here as possible. And I basically agree with his position on Israel/Palestine. davy at least comes out of the trenches once in a while, takes off his helmet, and plays catch with the rest of us; with cleardawn, it's all vitriol, all the time. Very unpleasant.

And naxo, I love you but you might want to tone it down just a tad.
posted by languagehat at 5:35 AM on October 15, 2005


So in response, I post a link-rich, well-researched FPP - expressing my anger about the way Zionists censor all criticism of Israel, and launch violent personal attacks against any critics - and what happens? Surprise, surprise. Personal attacks and censorship.

You just don't get it do you?
posted by furtive at 5:40 AM on October 15, 2005


Metafilter: The world's most pressing human rights issue.
posted by furtive at 5:41 AM on October 15, 2005


All vitriol all the time? Sorry, lh, but you must have seen a non-representative sample. I laugh and play too, sometimes, really I do, just like a real person.

If you prick me, do I not bleed? When you tickle me, do I not laugh?

I'm afraid it's true that you're unlikely to see much display of my childlike sense of joy and fun in threads like this.

For comparison, the only posts I've read of yours are the half-dozen or so in which you've personally attacked me, as you do here, in a highly non-specific way that's difficult to respond to.

If I was to base an opinion of you on those posts, I'd guess that you're a very clever guy, but with an unusually large helping of the arrogance and judgmentalism that often springs from cleverness.

But I'm sure there's actually more to you than that: a whole human being, in fact. You're probably capable of kindness and humility, just as much as I am. It's just that I haven't read enough of your work to see it.
posted by cleardawn at 5:58 AM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn it's the attitude. And the hyperbolic editorializing. I couldn't be assed going to read the links let alone entering the debate because instead of bringing the food on a tray, you threw it in my face.

Get it?
posted by peacay at 6:01 AM on October 15, 2005


MetaFilter: You just don't get it, do you?

Come on, furtive, out with it! What is it that I don't get? Are you trying to say that anger is never a valid motivation for posts? Or that Palestine is not a pressing human rights issue? Or that all angry posts should be deleted?

If you say what you mean, we can debate it, and maybe both of us might learn something. If you just hint archly at it, then we can't know what you mean - except that you feel contempt and hatred for me, which perhaps is all you meant to say. It certainly seems like a common theme since I started posting about Palestine.

In fact, if I had a dollar for every instance of contempt and hatred, and gave a dollar back for every clear, valid criticism, I'd be profiting quite handsomely.
posted by cleardawn at 6:11 AM on October 15, 2005


brutal . . . twisted . . . racist . . . totalitarian hatred

Cleardawn, you are an okay guy in my book but honestly, that barrage of adjectives made me feel like I was standing at a crosswalk and all of a sudden an overgroomed preacher jumped out with a stack of pamphlets and loud warnings of a SIN CURSED WORLD, and it was just like, hey, uh what now?

Sorry. :(
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:20 AM on October 15, 2005


peacay: I couldn't be assed going to read the links let alone entering the debate
and yet here you are, entering the debate. Reading the links, as always, is optional.

I'm sorry you disagreed with my editorial hyperbole - which parts in particular did you feel were inaccurate?
posted by cleardawn at 6:27 AM on October 15, 2005


Person A: "This looks like poop."

cleardawn: "I'm sorry you don't like the looks of my poop. But have you gotten close to the poop? Have you examined it? Rubbed it between your legs, through your hair, all over your body?"

Person A: "Well, no."

cleardawn: "And you have the nerve to criticize my poop???"
posted by Kwantsar at 6:39 AM on October 15, 2005


Optimus Chyme, it's true my adjective-limiting meter was set pretty high last night. Some of the profound psychological nastiness in the "let's talk about self hating Jews" sites made my flesh crawl, and I guess some of it spilled over. Sorry if I made you jump.

kwantsar: Talking poop again?
posted by cleardawn at 6:51 AM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn writes "Reading the links, as always, is optional. "
Obviously yes, reading is optional but aren't you interested in communicating ideas and promoting a better understanding? If so then realize I didn't read the links because of the way you phrased the post - come on, you don't need me to pick out the words, you're not dumb.

IWe are just trying to suggest that there are more fruitful ways to express thoughts. None of us particularly like being yelled at or lectured too. I'm going to the trouble of entering the debate because I think you have some ideas to contribute to MeFi but you lose all credibility when you continually flog single issues and you lose the audience when you attempt to harass them around to your way of thinking. It's just counter productive to the aim of disseminating a point of view is all. And this isn't personal abuse, it's supposed to be helpful feedback, in that this is your 3rd callout to MeTa in as many months.
posted by peacay at 6:51 AM on October 15, 2005


Are you trying to say that anger is never a valid motivation for posts?

I am increasingly convinced that anger is rarely a valid reason for doing anything. That acts undertaken in anger are likely to have a worse outcome than acts undertaken in a calmer frame of mind. That acts undertaken because of anger are likely to be regretted.

It doesn't matter whether you're having an argument with your girlfriend or thinking about Israel/Palestine. Anger makes you stupider, and likely to do or say things that set your cause back. Anger is self-indulgent. Anger is narcissistic.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:52 AM on October 15, 2005


"I don't know how World War Three will end, but I know how World War Four will be fought. With witty and sarcastic comments on Metafilter." ~Albert Einstein
posted by blue_beetle at 6:56 AM on October 15, 2005


Are you trying to say that anger is never a valid motivation for posts?
I'll say it.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:01 AM on October 15, 2005


Look, cleardawn, if you care so much about "the world's most pressing human rights issue," then why aren't you writing more about it... on your own blog? Surely it's more important than just a Metafilter post.
posted by gramcracker at 7:01 AM on October 15, 2005


the problem, cleardawn, is that it was a soapbox post, which people tend to not like. Normally, they stay up anyway, because the poster doesn't post EVERY OTHER COMMENT in the thread accusing everyone who disagrees, however politely (or otherwise) of being a racist or a prick.

you killed it yourself, sir. next time don't respond for a couple hours, and when you do, try not to be so insulting.
posted by shmegegge at 7:03 AM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn, I think Peacay said it best.

For an example of this, take a look at your reply to my "You just don't get it do you?" post (you know, the one with bold highlighting in your quote to help you figure things out on your own) . Somehow by that one little bit you think that I feel contempt and hatred for [you]. You're wrong. I feel exhaustion at having to put up with (angry) activist screeds on the front page of what is supposed to be the best of the web. I could care less who posted it and what the subject is.
posted by furtive at 7:19 AM on October 15, 2005


Oh, I'm also not impressed that you strategically posted this during the Sabbath right after Yom Kippur, but no doubt that's just sheer coincidence.
posted by furtive at 7:23 AM on October 15, 2005


Cleardawn: "Are you trying to say that anger is never a valid motivation for posts?"

Wolfdog : "I'll say it."

Another vote from me, too.

Joeforking: "naxosaur and cleardawn must resolve their differences in the traditional Mefi manner by facing each other with knives, to the death."

shmegegge: "quiet! one of them might threaten to cut off their right hand, and get banned."

The trick is getting them to both do it.
posted by Bugbread at 7:33 AM on October 15, 2005



posted by darukaru at 7:57 AM on October 15, 2005 [1 favorite]


While I completely agree with most of the sentiments expressed in this callout, I do think it should be noted that during the last cleardawn MeTa, he was instructed to make his own front page post if he wanted to discuss the issue.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:58 AM on October 15, 2005


Looks like the guy just can't win then, huh?
posted by cyphill at 8:04 AM on October 15, 2005




Cleardawn is the guy who kills his parents and then asks for leniency because he is an orphan.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:05 AM on October 15, 2005


scarabic: For your enjoyment - the McShwarma.
posted by O9scar at 8:17 AM on October 15, 2005


The reason we have these volatile threads is simple.
Cleardawn’s unwilling to post about real countries living under darkness, like Canada and Sweden.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:19 AM on October 15, 2005


accusing everyone who disagrees, however politely (or otherwise) of being a racist or a prick.

It's true that it was counterproductive for me to call naxosaxur a Zionist prick - it was exactly the response he was trying to provoke with his snidy little attack ("you gotta be fucking kidding Samwise Gamgee"), and I shouldn't have fallen for it.

Other than that, I didn't insult anyone, or call anyone a racist or a prick. Don't let your hyperbole about my hyperbole carry you away.

Furtive: I'm sorry that reading my post caused you "exhaustion", especially on Yom Kippur - I had no idea. Happy Yom Kippur, if that's the right term. And I'm happy to hear that you feel no contempt or hatred for me. I do feel a little contempt for you, actually, for your eagerness to join in this lynching party, and for your claims of "exhaustion" as a justification. But I expect I'll get over it.

Krrrison: Thank you for raising the bar. I didn't think the level of empty personal insults could sink any further, but no, here comes Krrrison! You must be proud of your courage in posting personal abuse at me at this point.

And what was my actual crime again? Oh yes - I made a post criticising Israel. Since it's only my "attitude" and "tone" you all disagree with, I look forward to reading all your posts on the same subject. Go on guys - show me how it's done.
posted by cleardawn at 8:29 AM on October 15, 2005


Alright Y2karl, I might have put that badly. What I meant is that I thought the tone of Cleardawn's FPP was appropriate to the subject matter of ethnic cleansing, and that Metafilter never seemed to require a "Neutral Point of View" of any other subject. Since when was a poster supposed to speak as if pedophilia, the Holocaust, or Hurricane Katrina might not have been all that bad? Do we not see a lot of "angry activist screeds" about those subjects which don't get the poster piled upon and the post deleted?

And yes Y2karl, while Cleardawn's FPP might not have been crafted as well as many of yours have been it still stands above the general run of say one-link newsfilters or "thefts" from boingboing.

And Furtive, since when does Metafilter work according to the Jewish religious calendar? And shall we make allowances also for the Roman Catholic, Amida Buddhist and Shia Muslim liturgical calendars? I would not have known when Yom Kippur was if I hadn't seen it mentioned several times on the Web, just like I've read Auden's poem a few times and I still ain't sure when Saint Cecilia's Day is or what that day is about.

As for Naxosaxur's insulting comments to Cleardawn, when I act like that I get called names, among them "prick", and when I protest 'S/he called me "prick!"' the most positive response I can expect is "Get a thicker skin." Nor am I the only one around here who acts like a prick and gets called a prick for it. But hey, there's no problem if, after a majority vote or executive decree, it's deemed fine & dandy when Naxosaxur does it: some individuals are just Special, right?

That post by that poster on that topic got "special handling". Face it and admit it: any but the most muted criticism of Israel and Zionism is right up there with any praise for John Wayne Gacy as Metafilter no-nos.

Y'all might also practice not upset when somebody insultingly calls y'all out for own "angry activists screeds" against the KKK, the War in Iraq, the marijuana laws or the latest publicized pedophiliac sex-murder: to hear such as Furtive, Wolfdog and Bugbread type it, Metafilter front page posts are supposed to maintain the NPOV regardless of how horrible the subject. If that's not it then y'all want to come up with a list of subjects it is or is not okay to do NPOV FPPs about: you know, something like "You are required to phrase your posts about sex-murders of children in a neutral fashion, but it's okay to post like you're upset about anything Dubya does."

Lastly, I wonder if Naxosaxur can absorb two facts: 1) not all Jews are Zionists, and 2) Muslims are also circumcised for religious reasons. Her "I HAVE A HARD-ON FOR NAZIS" "parody" shows that she's quite incapable of separating criticising Israel from heiling Hitler, a deficiency that seems too deep-seated for her to even think about, so I'm inclined to doubt she can grok "Jew does not always equal Zionist" and "non-Jews are also circumcised" either. But that's okay 'cuz she's too Special to need to be bright.
posted by davy at 8:32 AM on October 15, 2005


We really need to take a more positive approach here. I agree that there was something wrong with cleardawn's post; however, no one has really expressed what that is and there isn't any point in trying.

Instead, why don't we take the first link - acknowledged by many to be worthy of posting - and work with the other raw material cleardawn has provided, to make a good post. As an added challenge lets try to do that without entirely neutering the rightly condemning tone (I don't know if that is possible, but we could try).

Otherwise this attack on cleardawn is just as disingenuous as the last one.
posted by Chuckles at 8:48 AM on October 15, 2005


Ryvar, you just don't have the chops to hold court here and dispense wit and judgment. So stop trying.
posted by scarabic at 8:57 AM on October 15, 2005


davy, I'm not going to go off on a tear with you here, but you obviously don't know the person you're talking about, and if you did, you'd realize you are pitifully far from the mark. You're sitting in Kentucky, lecturing a Jewish person who's actually been there about Israel, not to mention judaism, foreskins, and Nazis.

Also: get a sense of humor.
posted by scarabic at 9:04 AM on October 15, 2005


davy: I just figured it was noteworthy that a post pointing out Jewish racism and bigotry was posted exactly at the time when those Jewish people technically aren't allowed surfing the net, and right after the big Jewish holiday of atonement.

I probably shouldn't have insinuated that it was intentional.
posted by furtive at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2005


I'm an English person, living in England, my dad is a vicar in the Church of England.
Entirely English in flesh and ceremony.
But I don't know everything there is to know about this country: I can't promise to be correct when interpreting its customs, its people, its contemptible past, and under-handed present... indeed for most of my adult life I've been fogged by complete bafflement concerning ruling religious and political ideas.

But it's different for Jews. Right?
A heartfelt "wtf" from me.
posted by NinjaPirate at 9:18 AM on October 15, 2005


We really need to take a more positive approach here. I agree that there was something wrong with cleardawn's post; however, no one has really expressed what that is and there isn't any point in trying.

Cleardawn, you have a well-linked, well-researched FPP but it seems as though the wording of it has hit a sore spot with a lot of people, some of whom don't bother to read or comment on the content because they are too busy commenting on the wording of the post.

You have a lot of information that you want to get out so my suggestion, for what it's worth, is that the next time you want to make a post that people will read and judge on its merits rather than on the post's wording, is to email it to someone who is judicious and whom you trust about this sort of thing and ask him/her to "proofread" it for you. Not censor it, mind you, but just look at the post to make sure that it's not going to start another shit storm.

It might sound remedial, but you could give it a try just to see how it works out.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:21 AM on October 15, 2005


Zionist and Jew Define Our Terms (by Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss). Rabbi Weiss draws a distinction that hate groups like masada2000 (NSFW! Hate site NSFW!) have been all too successful at eliminating.

--------------------

Noam Chomsky, masada2000's number one target(NSFW, yep it's still a hate site), speaks about the label self-hating Jew. A term that should be seen in the same light as other hate words like nigger and kike.

posted by Chuckles at 9:24 AM on October 15, 2005


Well way to go, people. Someone posts an excellent collection of links about Zionism and how it is creating a situation that goes against all that is humane and decent...

...and you have to turn it into a poo-flinging scrap between conflicting personalities.

Cleardawn, here's the advice you need to take to heart: you do not need to respond to every damn troll that squawks at you. Quit trying to moderate the threads. Rebute with fact, calmly, and then STFU. You'll accomplish a lot more.

Everyone else in that shitfest: you people behaved like shitheads. Rein yourselves in. You do not need to go after Cleardawn like a pack of mutts. Quit reacting to usernames, and start reacting to the fucking CONTENT of a post.

These days the appropriate tagline for this place is MetaFilter: A Competition of Assholes.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:26 AM on October 15, 2005


Okay, so that first line should have been "Zionism and Judaism - let's define our terms" of course.

And please understand, I haven't had time to fully explore cleardawn's links, I'm sure I have left some important stuff out. I just thought I better try to follow my own advice, even though I am now really pushing the bounds of lateness for in my real life...
posted by Chuckles at 9:27 AM on October 15, 2005


That line:

-----------------------

It was supposed to indicate a .
posted by Chuckles at 9:30 AM on October 15, 2005


<more inside> duh!
posted by Chuckles at 9:31 AM on October 15, 2005


Scarabic, what the fuck ever. I don't know how you got from what I said to your "criticism" of it, but then you're so bad at reading what I write that there's no way I can clarify anything for you. Maybe in your Alternate Reality your "rebuttal" makes perfect sense in whatever context it shows up in there. Also: killfile me already, unless for you it is Twue Wuv.

And Furtive, okay: I agree that Cleardawn's FPP was unfortunately timed if reading such posts and threads is somehow a Good Thing for observant English-reading Jews. Some people do like it when their "homeland" government is criticised: I get a kick out of people knocking Dick Cheney (though he's not my favorite bugbear).

And leftcoastbob's idea might be a good one, actually. Maybe there IS a way to get a criticism of the Zionist policy of ethnic cleansing past the "OMG HITLER'S POSTING ON MEFI" crap. I personally doubt it but then I'm hardly omniscient.

And right on, Chuckles and five_fresh_fish.
posted by davy at 9:31 AM on October 15, 2005


Davy, I do agree with scarabic here--

There are valid points of view to be drawn about the conflict which have become unacceptable and unmentionable in polite company because the whole conflict is so charged and so painful.

In real life, I find myself biting my tongue time after time and walking on hummingbird eggshells when I even touch upon the topic obliquely. I can't talk freely about the subject with people I have known for decades, myself.

And, cleardawn, if you have strong feelings, people will say shitty things about you. Get used to it. It's all too easy to get sucked into a bout of dueling keyboards but no one outside the principals really wants to read very much of it. You don't need to respond to every nasty personal comment made. If you had a dollar for every thing someone said about you and spent a penny for every second you spent responding, you'd be in collection. Life is too short. Let them waste their time typing.
posted by y2karl at 9:33 AM on October 15, 2005


That last was a response to the comment you made at 8:32, Davy.

I do agree with Chucles and Five Fresh Fish that the links had merit.

I can't keep up with this. I type way too slow. I'm going outside.
posted by y2karl at 9:38 AM on October 15, 2005


Chuckles, to be sure.
posted by y2karl at 9:38 AM on October 15, 2005


Okay Y2karl, we're not arguing, and I think I get your point better now. (Yeah, I can be dense, I know.) And I too type too slowly to keep up, and besides my new puppy needs company.

I'm just not very good at "walking on hummingbird eggshells" myself. I don't think I ever will be.
posted by davy at 10:04 AM on October 15, 2005


Ryvar, you just don't have the chops to hold court here and dispense wit and judgment. So stop trying.

Scarabic you don't have the ability to defend yourself without losing your shit over words on a website. So stop trying.
posted by Ryvar at 10:14 AM on October 15, 2005


Chuckles, go ahead, post it and I owe you a beer. What you've got there looks fine to me, exept that Chomsky is "a prominent target" rather than "number one target", I think.

I don't think that would count as a double, since it's been deleted, and apparently it was only the wording that folks objected to. Let's see what happens.

Five fresh fish, sincerely, thank you. Davy too. It's often surprising to see who joins a lynch-mob, and who doesn't.

y2karl said Get used to it. Heh. As if I'm not.
posted by cleardawn at 10:15 AM on October 15, 2005


Chuckles, I think you're swell. Which is not much to add, really, but constructive criticism is much nicer than all this name-calling.

Jerk.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:15 AM on October 15, 2005


The sad part is that cleardawn does get it, looking at his other FPP's. But on this topic he is a screechingly blindered and unable to argue with honesty, as when flatly claiming that "ethnic cleansing" doesn't mean genocide. Sure - ethnic cleansing doesn't always mean genocide, but it generally means something more than what's happening in Israel and Palestine. And it is telling that he considers this the "world's most pressing human rights issue." Really? More pressing than the revolving genocides that seem to be occuring in one or more African and Eastern European nations continuously for the last 20 years? More pressing than the large-scale suppression of women's rights in Muslim nations, theocratic and otherwise?
posted by mzurer at 10:15 AM on October 15, 2005


Maybe there IS a way to get a criticism of the Zionist policy of ethnic cleansing past the "OMG HITLER'S POSTING ON MEFI" crap. I personally doubt it but then I'm hardly omniscient.

Maybe somewhere there is an anti-Zionist who doesn't turn out to be chock full of seething hatred, but I personally think it's about as likely as the fabled honest politician.
posted by darukaru at 10:22 AM on October 15, 2005


Come on, no one picked up on this?

Metafilter: A gang of people standing in a circle, kicking the guy in the middle.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:33 AM on October 15, 2005


It is official. Everyone confirms: MetaFilter is dying.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:41 AM on October 15, 2005


it was exactly the response he was trying to provoke

Just for clarification, naxosaxur is a she.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:42 AM on October 15, 2005


Chuckles, it might be best if you don't make that post.

If you do, you'll get just as much shit from these jerks as I'm getting. The claim that it was the "tone" of my post that bothered them is clearly just another plain rightwing lie.

So if you do make the post, be aware of the storm of rightwing and Zionist hatemail that will follow.


mzurer, there was nothing dishonest in my post. Your failed attempts to identify dishonesty demonstrate that clearly.
Ethnic cleansing does not mean genocide. The removal of Palestinians from Israel is a perfect example of ethnic cleansing. Since 1947, Arabs are being pushed out, often violently, more often through intimidation and demolition, so that a greater proportion of Jews remain. Do you not know that? Are you in denial about it? Why do you think the Palestinians live in refugee camps?

What I said is completely correct. You know that. Yet you say it's dishonest. What does this say about you?
posted by cleardawn at 10:45 AM on October 15, 2005


Naxosaxur is the person who posted this charming contribution, claiming to be speaking on my behalf:

RAAAAWR ISRAEL SATAN FORESKIN SATAN JESUS SHARON AND BIBI PWN YAHADOOT HA'OLAM SCUM RAWR RAWR I HAVE A HARD-ON FOR NAZIS HITLER RAWKS MY COCK MY HITLERJUGEN KICKS YOUR JUIVE IN TEH TEETH HASHMADAT-AM LEBENSRAUM UNF UNF TSVA HAGANAH LE'YISRAEL TSAHAL LOLE. SHABAT SHALOM MOTHERFUCKER!

I hope she felt enriched by that.
posted by cleardawn at 10:50 AM on October 15, 2005


Quit reacting to usernames, and start reacting to the fucking CONTENT of a post.

For just a second, let's review the post:

... Zionist Hegemony ... lash of the Zionist movement ... brutal and ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine ... clever, twisted, psychological attacks used by rightwing, explicitly racist Zionists ... barrage of totalitarian hatred ...

And the tags:

selfhatingjew, racism, bigotry, chosenpeople

And cleardawn's insightful commentary:

Congratulations on your newfound ability to spell. Now learn to think for yourself, you predictable Zionist prick... I'm hoping for some interesting discussion here, particularly from Zionists. They seem very quick to insult and attack others, and very slow to present their own sincere beliefs.

Yep, it's all because cleardawn posted it. There's absolutely no problem with the post itself. Move along, everyone.


This post is a good litmus test, I'll give it that.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:54 AM on October 15, 2005


If you do, you'll get just as much shit from these jerks as I'm getting. The claim that it was the "tone" of my post that bothered them is clearly just another plain rightwing lie.

This is MetaFilter. You can practically count the right wingers here on both ends of a stick. You might have a little paranoia problem there, if you think the ultra-blues of the blue are trying to cover up their truly red-as-blood insides, so that they can confuse and intimidate you into complacency regarding the injustices you've so volubly decried.

Seriously dude, take a chill pill. Even in this space, the MeTa post about your deleted post, you can barely stop frothing for long enough to defend your reasons for posting. Speaking of:

So in response, I post a link-rich, well-researched FPP - expressing my anger about the way Zionists censor all criticism of Israel, and launch violent personal attacks against any critics - and what happens? Surprise, surprise. Personal attacks and censorship.

It wasn't the content of your post that got it deleted, it was the fact that anybody who read it is still wiping your rabies foam off their keyboards with a lysol wipe. This is, in theory, supposed to be a balanced forum- when you present one side of the issue, even if you're taking that side to no compromise, at least acknowledge the other perspective. If you can't do that, and if your post can be described as "ravenous", then it doesn't belong on the front page. I think if you were a little bit more temperamental and balanced your posts would have a much more positive reception, and might entail some real discussion. But if you keep posting diatribes like that here you're going to keep wasting your time.
posted by baphomet at 10:57 AM on October 15, 2005


it's not "what fucking ever," davy, it's right here:

she's quite incapable of separating criticising Israel from heiling Hitler, a deficiency that seems too deep-seated for her to even think about, so I'm inclined to doubt she can grok "Jew does not always equal Zionist"

You're popping off about someone you don't know anything about, making some pretty huge leaps and characterizing her as an idiot, when in fact she almost certainly knows and understands more about the subject, both personally and professionally, than you ever will. It's very simple. I'm not crtiquing you, I'm just telling you you've definitely gone down the wrong track and might want to back up and proceed in a different direction if you actually want to understand. If you just want to yell and slash, fine. You're doing great.
posted by scarabic at 11:12 AM on October 15, 2005


It wasn't the content of your post that got it deleted, it was the fact that anybody who read it is still wiping your rabies foam off their keyboards with a lysol wipe.

On the other hand, we have such serene responses like
If you want to spout hate and filth go get yourself a White Power Hamas Power blog.
posted by y2karl at 11:15 AM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn: tight restrictions can sometimes serve to finely hone creative talents. I would take all of the criticisms here to heart but keep trying. I think, to sum, you should try posting again in the future, but try to keep your posts briefer, less angry, and more specific about a localized point that can be backed up with facts. It wouldn't hurt to examine the issue with more balance, either. And if you know you are going to touch on a hot-button issue, then be prepared for extreme responses and do what you can to prevent them (this is where balance comes in). If you present one simple point, well-supported, and don't inject a tone of anger into it, you might actually reach a few people (or at least not get deleted).

Look to y2karl's posting history for a better example of how to do it. You could do very well to just try imitating him.
posted by scarabic at 11:18 AM on October 15, 2005


it all depends on whether you want to be "right" or whether you want to be "productive."

I admire your activist instinct, but you've gotta learn that you can't just shout the "Truth" from the rooftops and expect people to gobble it down because it's so delicious. You have to prove your point, you have to remember that you're talking to people. You can't just rely on the "truth" of your statements to carry your message. Sadly, perhaps, but you've gotta sell it.
posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on October 15, 2005


there wasn't rabies foam on any part of that post--at all. There's far more frothing about Bush and the GOP daily.

This is absolutely right: you people behaved like shitheads. Rein yourselves in. You do not need to go after Cleardawn like a pack of mutts. Quit reacting to usernames, and start reacting to the fucking CONTENT of a post.

These days the appropriate tagline for this place is MetaFilter: A Competition of Assholes.


Try reading the links like the intelligent non-frothing people you state you are, instead of immediately attacking and mocking. Either skip a link if you don't like it, or display something other than the frothing behavior you're accusing cleardawn of.

Total assholes---shutting down conversation is never right--especially on a site devoted to conversation about links.

It's an important topic and the links were interesting. cleardawn overmoderated but that's not surprising given the immediate attacks he got.
posted by amberglow at 11:22 AM on October 15, 2005


mzurer, I agree with you that this issue is not "the world's most pressing human rights issue", but it is in the top dozen. As for how bad you think things for Arabs are in Israel and Palestine, a lot of that depends on whether you're Arab yourself or not: a lot of "nice" liberal white southerners still can't understand "what them blacks got to complain about", for example.

And darukaru, as I said in earlier threads, it's useless for a critic of Zionism to deny being an antisemite because then one just gets called "an antisemite who denies it". So while I don't think I'm an anti-Zionist who is "chock full of seething hatred" (toward Jews apparently), if it makes you happy to picture me in a Nazi uniform you go right ahead. We can't all be comfortable doing that "thinking" stuff; some of us need those little cartoons.

And cleardawn, I think y2karl has a point. I don't know what to do about it, except that maybe anyone wanting to repost those links might ask him how to put the post more delicately to avoid a shitstorm like this. Then if that fails, as I think it wiil, the problem we're facing will be even plainer.

And scarabic, you have a problem with the concept of "replying in kind". When you called me an idiot I flamed you for it, and I don't give a damn what naxy's creds might be because they don't show when she posts the shit she's posted here. Maybe you think that you and Ms. Naxo are so high & mighty the rest of us are supposed to swallow your abuse and be polite right back, but if so that's YOUR problem.

And y2karl, I'm clearly not arguing with you now. I'll agree that my Mefi life would be much easier if could phrase things more delicately, but I have enough trouble with my frigging sentence structure.
posted by davy at 11:22 AM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn:
The simple fact is that the topic of the Israel/Palestine conflict does not exist in a vacuum. There are massive amounts of toes to step on because many, many people take the issue extremely seriously and have wildly differing beliefs. It is a topic that requires special, extra-sensitive handling far moreso than others around here because there is a much more even distribution amongst Metafilter users of beliefs on that particular topic than on most topics.

Krrrlson points out in his above post exactly what phrasing it was that got your post deleted. If that type of wording had been used in a more 'benign' topic (say, Bushfilter), it still would have been deleted. Israel/Palestine is not like Bushfilter in terms of delicacy required, and you decided to play bull in a china shop.

In a perfect, balanced world composed of Vulcans things might have gone differently. Over here in the real and extremely unbalanced world, it was beyond the pale. Heavy self-moderation of your own thread only exacerbates the issue. I dislike the inability to criticize Israel's actions without being labeled an anti-Semite, particularly because my heritage lends itself to being abused on that number (which is funny, because I had anti-racism pounded into me from the day I could speak as a direct result). But that does not change the facts of the situation, and you cannot ignore them without expecting to get lynched.

On preview: scarabic nails it.
posted by Ryvar at 11:23 AM on October 15, 2005


Metafilter in Zionism flamewar shockah!

Cleardawn, I help run a site called ArborUpdate, which has a poster named Blaine. You can see him in action here.
His one issue is Palestine, and I've had to remove his posts in the past over derailment.
Every other regular poster on the site hates him.
Not because we disagree with him. While I tend to be moderate on divestment, some of the people are quite open about favoring it. Almost everyone on the board is critical of Israel and Zionism.
But no one is loud enough for him, no one is strident enough in their posts about dismantling Israel. No one is as ideologically pure as Blaine, and because of that he acts like a martyr and inquisitor rolled into one.
I see some similarities between you two, most notably in the fact that you're willing to attack your allies because they aren't as fired up about your cause as you are. I know at least with me, you've decided in the past that I'm some sort of rightwing black shirt because I've criticised liberals here, and you've attacked me for that. You're getting too personally involved with your Metafilter posts and too wound up in ideological purity. Which, by the way, makes for terrible discussions. We're not into democratic centralism here, Lenin, and what is to be done is not curtailing expression for the benefit of the party.
Look, I also know the perils of getting too wound up in fights on the blue. I enjoy arguing, but I'm giving myself a week off from the blue because I was getting too upset at things that really shouldn't bother me, and I was being a dick to people who didn't deserve it. So now, even when there are things like music threads or the bit on the nude models (which contails factual inaccuracies), I'm not commenting because it's important to me to have a break. Ideally, I'll step away from MeFi altogether for a few days and calm down even more.
I recommend the same thing for you. Step away from the screen. Realize that these people have no moral obligation to support your cause and even despite that, many still do. They just object to the strident tone. People who disagree with you are not the enemy, and many of the people who do agree with you are insulted by the stridency and implied condescention.
So relax, go outside. It'll be good for all of us.
posted by klangklangston at 11:29 AM on October 15, 2005


scarabic--and Davy,too--thanks for the kind words but I feel uncomfortable being held up as an example for anyone. I remember a lecture where Joseph Campbell told a story of about the quest by the knights of the Round Table for the Holy Grail where he said that each individual knight began his quest by going to what was the darkest part of the forest for him. That's how it seems to work here, too.

Just for the record, scarabic, I owe you a long overdue apoloty for that long past vendetta accusation. You are someone here who I have come to appreciate a great deal more as time has gone on.
posted by y2karl at 11:44 AM on October 15, 2005


Boy, am I glad I missed this shitstorm.
posted by jonmc at 11:45 AM on October 15, 2005


Is the orgy starting yet? Page me.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:55 AM on October 15, 2005


I don't think that Jews or Muslims are very good at sharing things and neither the Israelis or Palestinians are mature enough to have their own countries.

They should cut it out and be friends. :)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:04 PM on October 15, 2005


11 posts in; this thread Godwined yet kept running. No wonder it was a shitstorm.
posted by dazed_one at 12:18 PM on October 15, 2005


I'll agree that my Mefi life would be much easier if could phrase things more delicately, but I have enough trouble with my frigging sentence structure. posted by davy

With that much honesty and humility, I think it's time for a group hug.
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:28 PM on October 15, 2005


whoever that is, get your hand off my ass.
posted by jonmc at 12:32 PM on October 15, 2005


Optimus Chyne, how can you say that Jews are immature? You anti-Semitic racist Hitler nazi spewer of filth, you are chock full of hate, you murdered your own parents, you barefaced liar, why don't you get your own Hamas Power white-supremacist blog instead of spewing your rabid froth all over our screens?

Jerk.

Aaarrrr, that's better.

(Note for the sarcasm-impaired. I quite like Optimus Chyne. I do not believe the commentary above is honest, helpful or appropriate. It is a joke. All of it was derived from apparently serious comments made to me in this thread. I think the fact that those comments were made to me in all seriousness, while I can make them back as a joke, suggests that I am winning, in some way, though I'm not sure exactly what it is I'm winning. Perhaps we're all winning. Or I may still be losing, or perhaps even losing the plot. Your mileage may vary. Amen.)
posted by cleardawn at 12:33 PM on October 15, 2005


The claim that it was the "tone" of my post that bothered them is clearly just another plain rightwing lie.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! You're fucked up...in the HEAD!!!! Fucked up! Hahahaa, lol, oh my.

/me tosses all of cleardawn's future posts in the loony bin.
posted by furtive at 12:36 PM on October 15, 2005


"...no one is loud enough for him, no one is strident enough in their posts about dismantling Israel Iraq. No one is as ideologically pure as Blaine y2karl, and because of that he acts like a martyr and inquisitor rolled into one."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:02 PM on October 15, 2005


And just when we were getting to the I've got schpilkes in my ginechtegezoink ! point here on MetaTalk with Linda Richman. Tsk tsk.
posted by y2karl at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2005


Aw, my mistake. I thought we were talking about someone who continually hammers away at his pet political agenda on the front page. Apparently we only crucify people whose agenda doesn't agree with the majority. Carry on.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:18 PM on October 15, 2005


Cleardawn, I didn't intend to single you out for personal abuse by calling out that post. I don't think there's any need for any of us to get personally abusive here.

This really isn't about Israel and the Palestinians at this point. The situation in Zion is very bad, and cries out for justice. But that justice isn't going to come from a community blog. This is a place for discussion, as we all know, and perhaps for the adoption of new perspectives, but I don't think it's helpful for anyone that MeFi become a place of agonistic confrontation, which rarely leads to greater understanding, as scarabic and many others have been noting for some time now.

Here's what was wrong with your post, in my opinion, and remember that this has nothing to do with my own thoughts and feelings about Israel, Jews, or Palestinians: there is no real focus, but a great deal of provocation. The tags themselves are inflammatory; a portion of the fpp is devoted to subjects you say the fpp is not actually about. I think Matt's reason for deletion really says it all. The post is just a huge mess.

Part of the problem is that nature of the discussion was unclear; if your point was to educate people about the plight of the Palestinians, why was there all that noise about rachel corrie, costs to the US tax-payer, and Jewish self-hatred? I think your real intention is to engage in a discussion about the legitimacy of Israel's existence, though I may be wrong, and this is probably not the best place to do that, for a variety of reasons; furthermore, if my guess about your intentions are right, I think you should just be honest and say right off the bat that your interest is in Israel's legitimacy. Incidently, I think that would be an equally pointless endeavor here, but discussions are always more productive when motives are not hidden.
posted by clockzero at 1:18 PM on October 15, 2005


So apparently we're not supposed to "editorialize" and we're supposed to be "balanced" about the situation in the West Bank and Gaza. This is a situation about which a South-African delegation, in their report after a fact-finding mission to Israel and Palestine, concluded "[i]t becomes difficult, particularly from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression experienced by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under Apartheid rule." Would anyone here be proud, looking back at one of their Metafilter comments from 1986, of that time when they criticized another member for being "too emotional" in his post about Apartheid oppression of South African blacks?

I would generally agree with you, scarabic et. al. It's true that in most settings, a reasonable, unflapped, emotionless style is more likely to convince people than anger and vitriol. But is it reasonable to require levelheadedness from people over every issue, no matter how disturbing or repugnant?

What I really think is the issue here is: MetaFilter is not a community of activists, it's a community of pundits and comics. We don't like being confronted with an issue like this because maybe, just maybe, cleardawn's vitriolic adjectives have some truth to them. If they do, if there's a strong case that ethnic cleansing and/or systematic racist oppression really is going on in Palestine, shouldn't we be doing something about it? Shouldn't we, at the very least, not be ignoring it?
posted by louigi at 1:39 PM on October 15, 2005


clockzero, thanks for that, honest post. Perhaps if you'd made such a good post earlier, we could have been spared this whole slanging match.

Israel's legitimacy, or otherwise, isn't a subject I have a firm opinion about. My focus really is to address the cause of the human suffering in Palestine, which as I see it is profound racist and religious hatred in both directions, exacerbated by an excess of weapons and power on the Israeli side.

As I see it, very broadly, if the American government stopped giving Israel money, tanks, jets and helicopters, and instead demanded the Israelis recognize existing UN resolutions, then Israel would be forced to negotiate in good faith with their neighbors.

At the moment, they don't need to engage in any such good-faith negotiation - they never have, and never will. One ethnic group has all the guns and money and propaganda, the other has nothing but an intense sense of grievance, and thousands of uneducated, unemployed people with no hope except martyrdom. The result of the status quo is endless war and endless suffering.

My object here was to demonstrate some of the techniques used by the right, both American and Israeli, to prevent discussion of these issues. I think I succeeded in that. I also wanted to show that there are Jewish people, in Israel and elsewhere, who object to the status quo just as much as I do. It isn't just about race or religion. Again, I think I succeeded in that.

Where I failed was in two places. Firstly, I should have phrased the post less provocatively. The result would have been the same, but there would have been one less excuse.

Second, my emotional response to Naxosaxur was all wrong. She's posted stuff like that before, in just about every discussion on Israel that I've seen here, and it was predictable that she would do so again. So it shouldn't have annoyed me. But it did. The thing is that I was scared, because I knew I was letting myself in for it. And fear breads anger. I allowed the offensive language in her post to get to me, and I replied in similarly offensive language.

That provided even more ammunition to the people who, for the most part, would still have attacked me anyway.

On the whole, I think this discussion has been interesting and worthwhile. Not that all the hatred and attacks don't hurt, because they do, very much so, even when I can see how baseless they are. Some criticisms do have reason behind them, as well, and I'm grateful for them.

But I don't regret making the post, and I'm not complaining about its deletion. The discussion here was perhaps better in any case than the discussion about my post would have been.
posted by cleardawn at 2:03 PM on October 15, 2005


The notion of self-hating Jew — that’s another one. That comes from the Israeli statesman Abba Eban in the late ’70s, who said that the task of our — I can’t remember the word he used; not propaganda, but what amounts to propaganda — is to demonstrate that what he called critics of Zionism are either anti-Semite or neurotic, self-hating Jews. That will cover the entire territory.

He picked two people. One of them was I.F. Stone, who was an avid Zionist all his life, but who was also a critic of [Israeli] state policies. The other person was me. I’ve also been a Zionist all my life, still am, but that doesn’t matter. If you criticize policies of the state, it must be that you’re a self-hating Jew, and if you’re not Jewish then you must be anti-Semite. Okay. That takes care of pretty much any possible criticism.


Noam Chomsky, Zionist, from Chuckle's link above.
posted by y2karl at 2:07 PM on October 15, 2005


"MetaFilter is not a community of activists, it's a community of pundits and comics. We don't like being confronted with an issue like this because maybe, just maybe, cleardawn's vitriolic adjectives have some truth to them. If they do, if there's a strong case that ethnic cleansing and/or systematic racist oppression really is going on in Palestine, shouldn't we be doing something about it? Shouldn't we, at the very least, not be ignoring it?"
Ow. Ow. My straw man hurts.
What about people who have gone through the Peace Team training, who do support at least some divestment from Israeli, who do march and volunteer? What if they don't like the tone of the post?
And further, how you gonna get more people to work with you on this cause if you treat everyone who's just a pundit or comedian like they're just not righteous enough to join your cause, because if they were they'd appreciate your screed? You think many people are gonna stop being pundits and comics just because you yell at them with spittle flying and blood vessels bursting?
I mean, hell, I agree that Palestine is a pressing issue. But say I have to decide whether to give my time and money to Katrina relief or opposing the Iraq war or the EFF or living wage campaigns, or homelessness, or hunger...
And because I'm not an "activist" clamoring for the vanguard party, I should be derided for not wanting to accept your dialectic as education?
Man, if people like you are at this party, I say Fuck the Palestineans.
"Fuck the doomed."
posted by klangklangston at 2:09 PM on October 15, 2005


Cleardawn: Good for you. You got it.
posted by klangklangston at 2:11 PM on October 15, 2005


But is it reasonable to require levelheadedness from people over every issue, no matter how disturbing or repugnant?

No, though the extreme opposite will always be deletable. I'm not saying it's required in any case. Just that it's more effective.

I appreciate your comparison to the South African commentary. I'm not sure if I read your presentation right, but are you saying "if these guys can come right out and say it in such a unilateral fashion, why is the rehtoric restricted to a careful balance around here?"

Not sure if that's what you meant, but my thought is that if you're from South Africa, you have the right to call it like you see it because you know what apartheid is about. Average Americans posting online don't have the same credibility, and so, when they make equally assertive claims, it leads to a shitfest, not a sobering realization of the truth.

And FWIW, if it casts any light on my participation in this thread, I consider Israel to be largely illegitimate, a military state maintaining a thin racial majority by force and calling that "democracy." They're hypocritical, internally conflicted, about as full of shit as the US, and in much more serious danger all the time because of it. Still, I don't think very many of them are "evil." There is a different side to the story, and ordinary, likeable people on both sides. I actually hope for a gradual cessation of violence and steadily increasing relations between both sides until, someday, a single state can be declared that will, in fact, operate democratically. That's gotta be centuries off at this point, but we have to remember that Japan and the US were engaged in an open war with zealously racist motivations, complete with concentration camps, suicide bombers and nuclear strikes, only 50 or 60 years ago. Of course the two are not a close comparison, but I don't think I'm such a looney for expecting peace at some point.
posted by scarabic at 2:13 PM on October 15, 2005


scarabic, thanks for the considered response. You correctly read part of my point; the other part was that if this really is a situation which is comparable to Apartheid South Africa, then it is an issue over which people should feel moral outrage. If you agree with that fact-finding commission in their assessment, then to not feel that outrage takes a seriously skewed moral compass.

On the other hand, I agree with you that tactically, expressing it is probably not the best way to convince people to come around to your way of thinking. I just don't think that having expressed it should have been the death knell of the post.

I share the hope you express in the last paragraph.
posted by louigi at 2:36 PM on October 15, 2005


I just don't think that having expressed it should have been the death knell of the post.

I share the hope you express in the last paragraph.


Me too, twice.
posted by amberglow at 2:41 PM on October 15, 2005


Cleardawn: the main reason I tend to support the palistineans is because of ParisParimus.

Think about that.
posted by delmoi at 2:52 PM on October 15, 2005


I totaly meant to spellcheck that. Really.
posted by delmoi at 2:52 PM on October 15, 2005


Metafilter: When exactly was the last FPP here that was critical of Israeli Zionism?
posted by eddydamascene at 3:00 PM on October 15, 2005


Klangklangston, much as I hate to bite the hand that pats me on the head in such a fatherly manner, I have to say your attack on Louigi seems ludicrous in its extremity. His comments were calm, constructive, and thoughtful; your response seems bizarre. Did I miss something?

Man, if people like you are at this party, I say Fuck the Palestineans.
"Fuck the doomed."
posted by klangklangston at 2:09 PM PST on October 15


That may be the silliest comment in this whole thread, which is pretty far out. Even krrrlson's memorable remark about my alleged parent-murdering activities only insulted me, not an entire nation of people!

delmoi: Okay, I thought about it. There are strident, angry voices shouting every opinion. Which will you choose? Perhaps you should make up your own mind, based on the evidence.

And I, too, would like to share that hope in scarabic's last paragraph. Peace, yes please. And as Peter Tosh pointed out, you don't get no peace without justice.
posted by cleardawn at 3:00 PM on October 15, 2005


Peace, yes please. And as Peter Tosh pointed out, you don't get no peace without justice.

And one man's justice is another man's vengeance. and on and on it goes. Welcome to human history.
posted by jonmc at 3:16 PM on October 15, 2005


cleardawn--

I'm glad. And I apologize if I offended you by jumping to a conclusion about your opinions.
posted by clockzero at 3:20 PM on October 15, 2005


"That may be the silliest comment in this whole thread, which is pretty far out. Even krrrlson's memorable remark about my alleged parent-murdering activities only insulted me, not an entire nation of people!"

"Fuck the doomed.".
posted by klangklangston at 4:42 PM on October 15, 2005


But is it reasonable to require levelheadedness from people over every issue, no matter how disturbing or repugnant?

It don't know if it is reasonable or not, but if you post more than once about a controversial something that matters to you and you have drawn fire more than once, then, certain people will vilify you and misrepresent you, and, then, monkey hear, monkey say--enough people will repeat it until it becomes a meme and you become a cartoon to people. You will accused of doing all sorts of things that you aren't doing. People are lazy that way.

And if you ever get into it with anyone---some of them will dog you every time you post on anything other than fluffy kittens.

Other people will make perfectly good points to which you should listen and learn.

Be prepared to take shit. Especially if the links are solid and informative. Write a sentence of your own and someone will be waiting to misrepresent you. Try as hard as possible to not take it personally and respond as little as possible. The bonus is that nothing drives the haters more crazy as not taking their bait.

Always avoid cliches. The post in question provides a style manual of what words and phrases not to use. When I saw that "speak truth to power," my all ready rolling eyes went to warp 9.

Present as small a target as possible. There will be people waiting to jump all over you. Don't hand people a chance to derail your thread on a platter. You have to become like a bunraku puppeteer and fade away.

Even so, eventually, you will find you can't write a single sentence without some people taking offense. It's a tough crowd.

Would anyone here be proud, looking back at one of their Metafilter comments from 1986, of that time when they criticized another member for being "too emotional" in his post about Apartheid oppression of South African blacks?

Maybe in an alternate universe. This place is only 5 years old.
posted by y2karl at 5:07 PM on October 15, 2005


Present as small a target as possible.

Ahh, so that's why the thing with the font. I never really got that until now.
posted by Ryvar at 5:10 PM on October 15, 2005


"...if you post more than once about a controversial something that matters to you and you have drawn fire more than once, then, certain people will vilify you and misrepresent you..."

Or kiss your ass and put you on a pedestal as "...a better example of how to do it."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:18 PM on October 15, 2005


davy : "to hear such as Furtive, Wolfdog and Bugbread type it, Metafilter front page posts are supposed to maintain the NPOV regardless of how horrible the subject."

Naw, I'm just a pragmatist. You shouldn't have to try to maintain some sort of NPOV when posting something opposed to Israel on the blue. (Just for reference, by the way, I'm generally opposed to Israel). But you should realize that Israel is a hot button issue, and that if you post with your opinions on your sleeve, it's going to turn into an argue-fest. It sucks that that's true, but it sucking does not make it less true, nor does pretending that it isn't true make it less true.

So I guess I'm saying that MeFi FPPs aren't supposed to maintain the NPOV regardless of the subject, but that there are some subjects where trying to approach an NPOV is useful for avoiding a derail.

As for my "anger is never a good motivation", I'll stick by that, and say that posting something merely because you're pissed is not a good reason. That isn't to say that one should never post angry, just that a post whose raison de etre is the anger of the poster is very highly unlikely to be a good post.

darukaru : "Maybe somewhere there is an anti-Zionist who doesn't turn out to be chock full of seething hatred, but I personally think it's about as likely as the fabled honest politician."

Cool! I'm rare! I should sell myself on ebay!
posted by Bugbread at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2005


Oh yeah, crash. I'm such a habitual y2karl ass-kisser. LOL. Tell him a story or two, karl ;)

it is an issue over which people should feel moral outrage

I coudn't agree more. Unfortunately, the resistance has resorted to tactics which have complicated the simplicity of that outrage. It was easy to see the South African blacks as the good guys because Nelson Mandela was in their leadership and they weren't launching militant attacks against civilians. Then again, the Palestinians would tell you that they tried the peaceable route of appealing to the media and the international community several decades ago, and found it ineffective. No one listened or acted. At this point in time I believe that many Palestinians continue to fight because they fear that their original complain is at risk of being swept under the rug of historical irrelevance. It's no wonder the average American thinks they're hateful crazies - they're fighting over a sixty-year-old offense.

So, if you will, this conflict is much more complex than the Rwandan genocide, a sudden atrocity, the tool of a political moment which might have been put down and forgotten with enough attention and speedy action at the right time.

I actually don't believe that moral outrage is what's going to get us out of this multi-layered Palestine mess. In fact, I think that some time passing, some water going under the bridge, is more important. Realities change. I know what it feels like to be connected to a piece of land. Israelie Jews are growing up on that land now and their claim means something. But eventually I hope people will realize that it's possible for both sets of folks to have all the access they want to the land, the religious sites, etc. They just have to stop being lethal to each other.
posted by scarabic at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2005


Scarabic, the 60-year-old offense the Palestinians are fighting against is still going on. Do you mean a "60-year-LONG offense"?

Let me know when the Israelis and Palestinians "stop being lethal to each other". Will it involve Kumbaya, est or ballet lessons?

Let me go on record AGAIN as favoring the two-state solution. This is because I can't see the various peoples of the "Mid-East" forming a Federation of Anarcho-Syndicalist Collectives, hell I have a hard time picturing Israel dropping Jewish chauvanism and treating its own Arab citizens equally, not because I really like the idea of any State for anybody.

I do see a certain equivalence between Israel and the 13 Original Colonies: most of my "bloodline" is descended from colonists, including (on my father's side) "criminals" who were "transported" to America and very poor young people who indentured themselves just to survive and (on my mother's side) German "radical" Protestants fleeing religious persecution, so I think that after a certain point it would have been inhuman and wrong to "drive the colonists into the sea". However I think that the French, Indian and then British policy of keeping white settlers restricted to the eastern side of the Alleghany mountains was the proper policy: the whites had a right to live in their colonies because they had a right to live, but they did not have a right to steal the rest of the continent from the peoples it belonged to.

And again just for the record I'd much rather live in Tel Aviv than in most of the Arab countries in the area because I dislike dictatorships. I don't want Israel to go away, I want it to be better.
posted by davy at 8:24 PM on October 15, 2005


Something you forgot to mention, y2karl, in your list of rules for how to post: minimize the things you write that have more than one possible interpretation, no matter how obvious it is to you that people should understand which one you mean. Otherwise, people might think that you believe MetaFilter has been around since 1986 or something crazy like that ;)
posted by louigi at 8:37 PM on October 15, 2005


scarabic, it's true that the situation is not a perfect parallel, though I think it's far closer than most people - not to say you - want to belive. In SA, moral outrage on the part of the international community, and, for a long while, in the face of US support of South Africa, played a big part in bringing an end to apartheid.

And I think it makes a difference, so I'm pointing out that the ANC did injure and kill civilians in their struggle to end apartheid. They say it wasn't deliberate, which may be the truth. At any rate, the civilian deaths didn't make it hard to figure out who were the opressors and who were the oppressed in that case. (Again - this is not directed at you, it's just an observation about the differences in what seems to be the overwhelming public perception of the two situations. You're right that the fact that it occurs is very bad in terms of international opinion about what's going on.)
posted by louigi at 8:53 PM on October 15, 2005


You're right that the fact that it occurs is very bad in terms of international opinion about what's going on.

And, so that I'm not misunderstood, because innocent civilians die.
posted by louigi at 9:00 PM on October 15, 2005


Cleardawn: Please, please would you please learn to shut the fuck up!

I'm of the same opinion as Scarabic is, in his last paragraph.

I think you'll have to agree that that places me far closer to your side of things than your detractors.

At the same time your ceaseless need to address everything said, even that which is meant to troll you! gets me so peeved at you that I have to offer you a textual bitchslap.

In short, you win no one to your side, and actively drive away those who are on your side, by your behaviour.

So I repeat: learn to STFU. You do not need to address every bit of trolling, idiotic counterargument, senseless hyperbole, and utter assholery that comes your way. Let it roll by and your presentation will be much more likely to convince people you are correct, sane, and worth reading.

Gahd, I wish I could tattoo this into your brain.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2005


So, davy, does this mean that if you got a sex change, you could join the DAR ?
posted by y2karl at 9:36 PM on October 15, 2005


Nope y2karl, the DAR is more for the better sort of people. I'd also have to prove my ancestors actively participated in the American Revolution, instead of trying to go somewhere safe and avoid trouble, which latter tactic fits our family oral tradition. (No, I have no idea how they eventually produced me, but then I'm not out there gunslinging either.)
posted by davy at 10:10 PM on October 15, 2005


So, do we have consensus yet?
posted by stet at 1:35 AM on October 16, 2005


And again just for the record I'd much rather live in Tel Aviv than in most of the Arab countries in the area because I dislike dictatorships.

The Arabs have better food, better music, better architecture; the Israelis have better parties, especially in Tel Aviv. It's hard to pick really. They're both just as stubborn and crazy, but with a soft juicy centre. For the sake of tourism they should stop fighting and turn the ME into the new Ibiza. From Tel Aviv to Sharm el-Sheik, one big strip of nightclubs, pubs and restaurants. That's how I see it. One day someone with enough vision will come along and make this happen. Probably Halliburton. And then they'll all be finally joining together against a common enemy.
posted by funambulist at 4:07 AM on October 16, 2005


I don't get this place anymore.
posted by matteo at 7:03 AM on October 16, 2005


Metafilter.com: No peace in our time.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:18 AM on October 16, 2005


I'm amazed anyone missed this:

Metafilter: It might be best if you don't make that post.
posted by nevercalm at 11:46 AM on October 16, 2005


Dammit, davy, now I like you again.

And let's not forget this:

MetaFilter: Stubborn and crazy, but with a soft juicy centre.
posted by languagehat at 2:37 PM on October 16, 2005


LH, I'm a very likeable guy, if you don't object too much to raving fruitcakes.
posted by davy at 5:35 PM on October 16, 2005


Fruitcakes all around!
posted by Balisong at 9:46 PM on October 16, 2005


*nothing changes*
posted by mediareport at 11:00 PM on October 16, 2005


Two things strike me reading through these responses:

1) People with a passionate and intense belief in addressing the plight of the Palestinians are very able to see the many nuanced positions between anti-Semite and Palestinian supporter, but seem less able to extend the same generousity to people who would like to address the issue in different ways. There are, similarly, a multitude of positions between "this is not a good way to talk about I/P" and "the Palestinians deserve to rot in hell."

2) The fact of the matter is that the issue of Israel and the Occupied Territories is very different from most other human rights abuses in the world today. It isn't more acceptable, but it is different. Decorum of a different sort is required to talk about is successfully. The history of European anti-Semitism (which was not only responsible for the birth of modern Zionism (see Herzl covering the Dreyfus Affair), but was also responsible for the Shoah) makes the position of European critics of Israel tenuous. Not wrong, just in need of nuance. The fact that Israel is surrounded by hostile states that have more than once acted aggressively toward it, and that have used the plight of the Palestians as racist fodder in their own internal politics adds to the complications. Again, just to be crystal clear, it certainly is not the case that Israel's maltreatment of the Palestinians should go unnoticed or unchallenged, but a naive or vitriolic approach to the issue not only fundamentally misunderstands it (because it comprises an extremely complex set of moral and political problems), but reduces the chances of anyone actually learning anything to almost zero.
posted by OmieWise at 10:19 AM on October 17, 2005


Very well said, Omie. I hope people are still paying attention.
posted by languagehat at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2005


OmieWise left me without anything to say but "ditto", so I abstained, but, yeah, languagehat, some of us are still paying attention, and in agreement with OmieWise.
posted by Bugbread at 12:08 PM on October 17, 2005


Also agreed on most counts, OmieWise, although I have never consiered Israel's placement amid hostile neighbors to be a criterion of their moral defense. It's not as if Israel were always there, and suddenly, recently, its neighbors decided to attack it. The military aggression that took place was a direct response to its founding. If you establish a nation in the middle of a region with a lot of ethnic and cultural similarities, you should be prepared to have some enemies nearby (as Israel obviously was). Clearly, the other nations are not all motivated by pure Arab solidarity or concern for human rights, but I think it's disingenuous to characterize their own opposition to Israel as arbitrary, opportunistic, and motivated by nothing but internal political ends.

Now we're kinda getting into it again, but I just wanted to add a nuance to one of your nuances :)
posted by scarabic at 2:43 PM on October 17, 2005


... but a naive or vitriolic approach to the issue not only fundamentally misunderstands it (because it comprises an extremely complex set of moral and political problems), but reduces the chances of anyone actually learning anything to almost zero.

I don't think that's true. Many different approaches are needed, and all are valid and can educate. Many Americans are amazingly unaware of what life is like for Palestinians (and Iraqis, and Ugandans, etc), and even unaware that Orthodox and Hasidic Jews do not recognize the existence of Israel at all. There's a massive and successful, multi-pronged, decades-long propaganda campaign in the United States towards Israel that has made it almost impossible to even mention Human Rights and abuses in any context at all. Shutting down conversations about it furthers that ignorance, even if the conversation isn't phrased as nicely as some might wish. It ensures that people remain unaware.
posted by amberglow at 2:58 PM on October 17, 2005


make that "some" Orthodox and Hasidic Jews
posted by caddis at 3:22 PM on October 17, 2005


Somehow caddis has a good point. And/or/but of course I agree with amberglow. And dammit, now I have to agree with scarabic.

It's a good thing y'all are so amenable to my quiet, civil, cogent attempts at persuasion.
posted by davy at 8:53 PM on October 17, 2005


: >
posted by amberglow at 9:03 PM on October 17, 2005


And to add some nuance to scarabic's nuancing, it has been 32 years since the last hostile action.
posted by Chuckles at 9:31 PM on October 17, 2005


scarabic writes "Clearly, the other nations are not all motivated by pure Arab solidarity or concern for human rights, but I think it's disingenuous to characterize their own opposition to Israel as arbitrary, opportunistic, and motivated by nothing but internal political ends. "

Of course, and I'm not. As I suggested, it's a very complex situation. My point was not that Israel is somehow innocent of wrongdoing or that it should be regarded solely as the victim of forces beyond its control, but precisely that that characterization will not do and neither will one which demonizes Israel. The situation is too fraught with conflicting motives and various interpretations to support any of the reductive approaches that seem to make it easier to talk about while they actually obscure the issue.

And really, what I'm interested in in this thread is how these things get discussed, as they must. Nuance and psychology are crucial for talking about I/P. They aren't ancillary colorings or rhetorical choices that merely dress up an already well-undertstood and defined set of problems. The problems are, in fact, that people stand in such radically different positions on this issue, that they understand it so very differently and from such a deep level of fear and need, that discussions about I/P have to be framed very carefully. Again, this is not because Israel deserves to be treated with kid gloves, but because the various strands of hope, fear, hatred and (lack of) justice comprising the issue are historically rooted and variously legitimate.
posted by OmieWise at 5:28 AM on October 18, 2005


This discussion is getting steadily more interesting.

OmieWise, we've been debating this issue for a while now, and I'm glad to finally read some of your views on Israel/Palestine, rather than your attacks on mine! I agree with much of what you say, but not with this:

discussions about I/P have to be framed very carefully. Again, this is not because Israel deserves to be treated with kid gloves, but because the various strands of hope, fear, hatred and (lack of) justice comprising the issue are historically rooted and variously legitimate.

What conflict does not have strands of hope, fear, hatred and (lack of) justice, historically rooted and variously legitimate? And clearly, in Palestine, the kid gloves, and the taboo against taking sides, exist on one side only.

Nobody expects nuance or kid gloves in CNN's descriptions (let alone Fox) of Hamas, the PLO, or Hezbollah, for example, and their claims to legitimacy are routinely ignored, without comment.

It doesn't break any taboos to call Yasser Arafat a terrorist, yet it does to call Monachim Begin a terrorist - even though the word "terrorism" was first used to describe the activities of the Stern Gang!

At this point, I'm more interested in these one-sided taboos than I am in the conflict itself. It seems to me to be something that transcends the particular issue, and says something about how human beings justify their own prejudices (I think it's even broader than racism), perhaps unconsciously, through a system of socially-enforced taboos.
posted by cleardawn at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2005


cleardawn : "What conflict does not have strands of hope, fear, hatred and (lack of) justice, historically rooted and variously legitimate? And clearly, in Palestine, the kid gloves, and the taboo against taking sides, exist on one side only."

None. That's why, ideally, discussion of all conflicts should be framed carefully. I think a failure to do so is one of (but not the only) reason that so many poor decisions are made in the world, and conflicts rarely resolved. I don't think careful framing would resolve all conflicts, of course, but it would remove one of the roadblocks to conflicts being resolved.

The fact that the other issues of which you speak can be carelessly framed without anyone making a hubbub about it does not indicate that there is a problem with the way I/P is treated, it indicates that there is a problem with the way the other issues are treated.
posted by Bugbread at 11:40 AM on October 18, 2005


Sorry, I overquoted. The quote should have stopped at "...and variously legitimate".
posted by Bugbread at 11:44 AM on October 18, 2005


bugbread, sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear in my choice of OmieWise quotation.

I'm not objecting to the truism "discussions about I/P should be framed carefully" - of course, every statement should be framed carefully, and honestly, nobody could object to that, and I thought that was obvious.

I'm objecting to OmieWise's use of that truism as a cunningly roundabout justification for the idea that criticisms of one side - of Israel in fact - must be framed more carefully than criticisms of the other side.

This OmieWise quote perhaps illustrates his position better:

The history of European anti-Semitism (which was ... responsible for the Shoah) makes the position of European critics of Israel tenuous.


So now we have not only racial guilt, but continental guilt! For what it's worth, both my grandfathers fought in the war, against Hitler. I would do the same. How does this make my criticisms of Israel "tenuous"? It seems to me that OmieWise's line of reasoning here is very tenuous indeed.

Still, I have to thank OmieWise for indirectly leading me to these two fascinating sites, putting forward the One Democratic Secular State proposal, which I hadn't previously heard of - there's so little real discussion of this stuff. Heh, I might even make a MeFi post about it!
posted by cleardawn at 5:52 PM on October 18, 2005


cleardawn : "I'm objecting to OmieWise's use of that truism as a cunningly roundabout justification for the idea that criticisms of one side - of Israel in fact - must be framed more carefully than criticisms of the other side."

We are reading that part kinda differently. I took it as OmieWise as being directed at yourself and other people critical of Israel, and that if the discussion was by someone critical of the Palestinian side, OmieWise's comment would have focussed on that side of the issue instead. Maybe I'm reading a lot into what OmieWise said. I'm not sure.
posted by Bugbread at 8:23 PM on October 18, 2005


you guys are still going? hot damn.

I can't help but feel that while omiewise certainly seems more supportive of israel in the conflict, that cleardawn is misinterpreting a lot of what he says to be hidden jabs at palestine or something when they're not really.
posted by shmegegge at 8:56 PM on October 18, 2005


omiewise certainly seems more supportive of israel in the conflict

I don't see where you're getting that, and it bothers me that you seem to be agreeing with cleardawn that anyone who doesn't simply holler "Israel out of Palestine! Palestinians are victims!" is "supportive of Israel." I get the sense that OmieWise, like me, thinks that the situation arose because European Jews came in and took the Arabs' land and therefore the original sin (as it were) is theirs, but that since then there has been so much sin on both sides it's kind of irrelevant to keep harping on it—what good does it do to point at a grieving mother whose son was just killed in a suicide bombing and say "Well, if your grandfather hadn't stolen Palestinian land, none of this would have happened?"

And cleardawn will say triumphantly "See, you're harping on Jewish suffering! What about the Palestinian mother whose son is killed by Israeli troops?" And the answer is, I care about her just as much. When I'm talking to blinkered supporters of Israel, that's what I bring up. When I'm talking to blinkered supporters of Palestine, like cleardawn, I bring up Jewish suffering because that's what they're ignoring. I can't really respect anyone who doesn't feel for both sides, and doesn't feel that both sides need constructive criticism. And it's absurd to pretend you can't criticize Israel on MeFi—it's done all the time. Just not as shrilly and offensively as cleardawn prefers. To say "criticisms of one side - of Israel in fact - must be framed more carefully than criticisms of the other side," which completely misrepresents Omie's position, is to make clear that you prefer criticism of only one side.

Yes, European Jews should not have come in and taken the land away from the Palestinians in the first half of the last century. Can we agree on that and try to figure out what might be helpful now? And I don't think the answer is "ranting about how evil Israel is."
posted by languagehat at 6:39 AM on October 19, 2005


You and I agree, languagehat, which is no surprise to me.
posted by OmieWise at 8:10 AM on October 19, 2005


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