Another interesting thing to note about The Fire Pit is how many topics in the Fire Pit are related to Israel-Palestine.
RI is no different than any other blog or forum when this issue comes up. Go and check out Glenn Greenwald today. He's been criticizing the ADL for failing to condemn Nazi analogies from the right, while jumping all over far less imflammatory ones from the left. So far there are only a few pages of responses, but already the thread has degenerated into accusations of insensitivity to anti-semitism from one or two commenters and the indignant denials. The subject itself is diverted and obscured. When this issue comes up at DKos, it's not just a fire pit but an inferno, with people getting troll rated, flamed, demands to ban and so on. The other night, there was a post at FDL about Desmond TuTu being disinvited to speak at St. Thomas University. That thread degenerated to such a point that one of the pro-Israeli posters offered $10 to anyone who would take him on physically. In that thread, some comments referred to anotheer thread in which the same poster threatened to have some of them disbarred.
In addition to today, I've noticed a couple of anonymous commenters at Greenwald who chime in whenever Israel is mentioned and accuse Glenn and others of Blood libel and of wanting to incinerate Jews in their Synagogues. So now we are seeing not just accusations of anti-Semitism when this comes up, but far more reprehensible tactic of accusing others of harboring genocidal intentions toward Jews
just for criticizing a country
without a constitution, internationally recognized borders, a population of Arabs with third class status, and a 60 year history of ethnic cleansing, Apartheid, and murder of Palestinians.
The fact of the matter is, many of those quotes can
be traced to it's original source. The fact of the matter is, just as in this country there are right-wing racists, there are right-wing racists in Israel. Just as in the US alot of racist policies have been implemented, so it is in Israel. Around the world and according to many, many reputable organizations and people who have seen the horrors in the West Bank and Gaza first hand, what is being done to the Palestinians is beyond dispute
. Any and all efforts to deny and or justify the genocide of the Palestinians comes from either blind ignorance, or moral degeneracy. In this case, there is no "good people can disagree." No, good people cannot disagree. Good people disagree with genocide, if they know about it and understand what is happening.
And that, my friends, is why we have such a hard time discussing the issue. If the good people of this country knew as much about what is happening to the Palestinians, what has been happening to them for 60 years, as they know about Britney Spears, then there would be an uproar. Demands to stop funding Israel, demands that we stop fighting Israels enemies, demands that we stop what is happening to the Palestinians.
Believe me, I can understand the fear of an anti-Semitic backlash if the horrors were truly unmasked. Memories of the holocaust not only eplains this, but also the desire to have a country of their own. But that is the danger of so tightly binding Jewish identity to the State of Israel and then
completely and utterly defending everything it does. It is the Good German Syndrome. Because many Germans refused to condemn what was happening to Jews and others, they have rightly been held responsible in the eyes of history.
Fortunately, many Jews have condemned, in the harshest terms possible, Israels treatment of the Palestinians, most prominent among them Norman Finkelstein, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Jeffrey Blankfort, and now to an increasing degree, Glenn Greenwald. There are many others. I urge all Jews to join them, to really search within yourselves: If you abhor the genocide of Native Americans in this country, why do you not abhor what is happening NOW to the Palestinians? We can stop this without blame being attached to the whole Jewish race. In fact, we MUST do this.
Your voice is needed. Liberal Jewish voices were indispensible during the Civil Rights movement. They put their bodies on the line. Don't abandon your principles when it comes to Israel. Speak up NOW.