09 February 2013

Political Science in the News: Brooklyn College and the BDS Fracas (4)

Here is the punchline of one Israeli assessment of the political attacks on the College:
"The Brooklyn College incident, after all, is far from isolated. It is, in fact, symptomatic. The distressing tone and self-defeating tactics of the most vocal elements of the so-called pro-Israeli camp in America have been the rule, not the exception, in recent years, and they are also bound to backfire on us all. [. . .]

Because the sad fact is that far too much of the public discourse on Israel has been dominated and dictated by super-conservatives and ultra-nationalists and the billionaires who fund them. These are people whose visceral hatred for Obama has driven them over the edge, who view any measured or nuanced debate about Israel as treason, who are hell bent on making their observation that liberals are turning away from Israel into a self-fulfilling prophecy. And who usually know very little about the actual Israel they are talking or writing about.

They make mountains out molehills, carve Nazis out of Palestinians, evoke pogroms and massacres from each and every violent incident. They don’t acknowledge the occupation, see nothing wrong with settlements or “Price Tag” violence, turn a blind eye to 46 years of Palestinian disenfranchisement, regardless of whose fault it is. They recognize only one truth, their own, and view all the rest as heresy and abomination. By their narrow definitions, no less than 50% of Israelis who voted in the last elections for parties that support a two-state solution should be condemned – possibly by the U.S. Senate itself – as Israel-hating, Arab-loving defeatists.

This preposterously simplistic portrayal of Israel is bound to backfire. It is dishonest, and therefore self-defeating. It quashes disagreement and abhors true debate. It distances anyone and everyone who does not subscribe to its narrow definitions of what it means to love Israel and to truly support it, warts and all." - Ha'aretz

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Blogger D. Ghirlandaio said...

Not one link to a or Arab or Palestinian commentator on the debate over Palestine.
Would you ever refer to a gay rights "fracas"?
or a "fracas" over the Voting Rights Act?

Peter Beinart:
"I'm not asking Israel to be Utopian. I'm not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I'm not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state. I'm actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel's security and for its status as a Jewish state."

I'm not trying to get in an argument about Zionism I'm making a point about social "science":
Who naturalizes the naturalizer?

22 February, 2013 10:13  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

I am not sure what your point is here. I use the word fracas to describe things on the blog regularly. In this instance it is about the fracas domestically here in New York about an event on a college campus. So, in response to your query I might well use the word in the contexts you suggest. What of it?

That said, this post is meant to establish that even among Israelis our local reactionaries are out of line. And, by 'reactionaries' I am referring to the intellectuals and politicians who were attempting to squash the event at Brooklyn College. Why do I need a Palestinian voice to make that point? The criticism of the reactionaries published in Ha'artzis more pointed and effective because it comes from the 'side' they claim to speak for and defend. That is know as irony, no?

So what precisely is your complaint?

22 February, 2013 19:38  

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