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View Diary: Behaving Like a Jew (187 comments)

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  •  Beautifully written - one quibble (2+ / 0-)
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    Kane in CA, mahakali overdrive

    One of the things I love most about Daily Kos is the idea of being a "facts based" community - that we respect the use of facts in arguments, that links to reliable sources (for a given value of reliable, of course) are essential in order to have deep conversations about complex issues without yelling at each other.

    This is why I am concerned about your and other's linking to Jewish Voice for Peace.

    JVP does some good work, and often calls out the Jewish community when it places survival over the humanity of others. However, JVP just isn't a reliable source for information. A good example is to read through their "Israeli-Palestinian 101" page. The page is full of one factual statement after another but has no links to reliable outside sources. JVP is an activist group, not a historical society; their lack of links means that they want the reader to focus on their approach to history.

    Their approach is, unfortunately (a) over simplified and (b) in some places downright misleading. The page is presented in a Q&A style. Here is one example of JVP's approach to facts:

    Q: Did the PLO reject a "generous offer" for peace at Camp David in 2000?
    A: No. In fact, there was no Israeli "offer" at all, in the sense of a comprehensive plan to resolve all outstanding differences between the parties. To the extent that Israeli positions on discrete issues could be discerned, they were not "generous." Finally, while Palestinian negotiators did not agree to Israeli demands, they did not "reject" them, but sought to continue negotiations, and offered solutions based on long-accepted principles of international law and justice.
    Here is the relevant section of the Wikipedia page about this summit. Note that this Wikipedia page has none of the usual tags warning about possible bias or inaccuracies on the page. It is impossible to read this section of the page and come to the same conclusion as JVP without ignoring a lot of the available information that was used by Wikipedia's editors. Instead, the JVP answer in this FAQ essentially parrots what is usually said about the summit by Fatah's own spokespeople which happens to be the perspective on Camp David that paints Israel in the worst light possible.

    What JVP also does multiple times on the page is to challenge the idea that Israel should be a state with a Jewish character or one that serves as a refuge for Jews all over the world. JVP's perspective fits on the extreme left of Israeli politics. By challenging idea like the Star of David on the Israeli flag or the Law of Return (on the same page as linked to above) they also demonstrate how little interest they have in really influencing the larger conversation in the Jewish community at large.

    If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
    If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
    If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

    by A Gutin Daf on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:30:56 AM PST

    •  JVP tries to be too-cute-by-half with respect to (1+ / 0-)
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      a one-state solution and right of return. They dance around that issue, acknowledging that "some" portion of their membership calls for a one-state solution with the right of return. Indeed, time and again we've seen Israel's sworn enemies also dance around such issues. The bottom line for JVP is that it does not oppose the transformation of Israel into a non-Jewish state with an unlimited "right of return" for all Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

      It is more than clear that no serious effort at a peaceful resolution of the conflict will include consideration of such proposals. JVP's tacit support for such ideas ensures that it will never be a legitimate voice of reason within the Jewish community, and it will never speak for more than a tiny fringe element that has little if any connection to the rest of the Jewish community. Pointing to JVP as a source of leadership on this issue demonstrates a lack of seriousness about the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

      •  'More than clear"? (0+ / 0-)

        To whom, exactly?

        •  To the rest of us in the Jewish Community. (0+ / 0-)

          JVP is as relevant as fart in a blizzard. They just aren't. Most of us just don't really take them all that seriously (and we shouldn't).

          Oh yes, we hear that JVP is the fastest growing group in the Jewish polity. I have no doubt about that. I mean when your Jewish membership goes from 100 to 200... that is a pretty big increase. BUT it doesn't mean much.

          If you think they are relevant then you are not out in the mainstream Jewish community.

          "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

          by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:19:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "More than clear" explained (0+ / 0-)

          This is something that I remember from an International Relations class a while ago - some conflicts are so intense that the parties to the conflict have to by physically separated in order for the conflict to calm down. I would say that, given the deep anger from each side that will not subside for at least another generation (if not more) this is one of those situations.

          Also - while the word "apartheid" is thrown around hyperbolically with reference to Israel's treatment of Palestinians and/or Arab Israelis, there is a real risk of an Apartheid type of situation that the Israeli government is trying to avoid. Built into the state's Basic Laws is the idea of preserving the Jewish character of the state while guaranteeing personal rights and freedoms; while an overwhelming majority of the population (about 80%) identify themselves as Jews this is easy to achieve. A Palestinian right of return, depending on how many Palestinians take advantage of this right, would have the potential to make Israel into a majority Palestinian Arab (Muslim with a few Christians) state with a government charged to keep the state Jewish. Either the government would have to give up on the whole idea of maintaining a Jewish character in the state (a conversation for another time) or it would have to make lawn under which the Jewish minority is suddenly imposing limits on the Palestinian majority.

          Two thoughts based on this:
          (1) The people actually negotiating know all of the above and therefore are most likely discussing financial reparations to displaced Palestinians as opposed to an actual right of return.

          (2) JVP, based on their materials and rhetoric, is clearly uncomfortable with the idea that Israel's government wants the state to have a Jewish character. Their discomfort with, for example, the Star of David on the flag is one of the big reasons why they are largely ignored, if not shunned, by the Jewish leaders who exert influence on the peace process.

          If you believe that ALL criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're an idiot.
          If you believe that NONE of the criticism of Israel is antisemitic, you're a fool.
          If you call EVERYONE who criticizes Israel antisemitic, you're just an a$$hole

          by A Gutin Daf on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 07:35:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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