Friday, 2 January 2009

Right and Left - the 'Diaspora' turns against Israel

. Interesting article in Haaretz by Anshel Pfeffer which seeks to document the attitudes of non-Israeli Jews. One of the most frequent charges laid at the door of critics of Israel, often used to stymie debate, is that it is somehow 'anti-Semitic' to criticise Israel's actions. However, while this is the case in a minority of instances it is far from the majority viewpoint.

According to Pfeffer many simply are 'not interested' busy as they are over the holiday season. Amoung the concerned Pfeffer identifies three strands of opinion; those who see only the trauma of innocent Israelis in Sderot, Ashkelon etc, the critical radical-left and those who;

"have more complex and uncomfortable feelings on the matter. They care deeply for Israel and understand even why its government felt compelled to launch the devastating Operation Cast Lead, but they are extremely disturbed and hurt by the level of civilian deaths and destruction that almost seems part and parcel of the action".

It really is not acceptable for Israel's defenders to cast doubt about the intent of it's critics nor determine their stance by the feelings a minority who do criticise it from that standpoint. Cheapening the debate in that way suggests to me that some people know they have a weak case. Only seeing one side of the suffering of the people in both countries really does nobody any favours. I will leave the last words to a friend of Pfeffer's who puts it rather well;

"I just couldn't understand how the other people in the office were just incapable of acknowledging there was any real suffering on the Palestinian side, and that Israel has a significant portion of the responsibility for that," said to me a friend working in one of those organizations in London. "I feel so alone because no one seems to understand how torn I feel about this. I understand Israel's position very well and to a degree identify with the reasons for launching the operation, but why are none of them saddened by children dying? They don't even seem to see these reports."


Andy said...

Of course, such people don't prove anything, they are all simply "self-hating Jews". :p

Darrell G said...

Yes of course Andy, that must be it...if you have a problem with what Israel does then either you are a raving bigot or you have a self-esteem problem...such is the quality of the defenders of Israel's every action argument :)