Once More, With Feeling

At least one reader has taken issue with the title of my last post, so let me clarify. Via Glenn Greenwald, Marty Peretz hits the nail on the head:

So at 11:30 on Saturday morning, according to both the Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz, as well as the New York Times, 50 fighter jets and attack helicopters demolished some 40 to 50 sites in just about three minutes, maybe five. Message: do not fuck with the Jews.

You heard him.

Not Israelis. Not right-wing Israelis. Not right-wing Israelis in positions of political power. The Jews. Because, you know, the hive mind. We Jews love a good fight. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict isn’t complicated or nuanced; the attacks on Sderot don’t warrant a serious rethinking of military and political strategy. It all comes down to this: don’t fuck with the Jews! ‘Cause we’ll GETCHA!

This is my community.

This is not my community.

Are we clear?

(Cross-posted at Alas, A Blog.)

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7 Responses

  1. I’m confused… so everyone who disagrees with you is Marty Peretz? Or is it that he’s now our official spokesperson?

    Earlier today, I saw that Seth Freedman wrote, “I struggle to see what option Israel’s leaders had, other than to take the kind of action that they took this weekend.” If you’re excluding even people like him, you’re excluding an awful lot of people from your community. I see you didn’t include him in your list of people who are in or not in your community.

    You can argue against Peretz all you want, or you can choose to engage with real people.

  2. Let me clarify something. I don’t want this to be a hostile discussion. I’d like for it to be constructive. Especially in writing, I’m not always good at presenting that tone. I did take offense at your post, and I think with good reason -I’ll stand by every argument I made about the construction of your argument- but I hope you’ll read this in a different tone.

    I would agree that the situation is complicated and nuanced. (Am I reading you right that this is something to be agreed with?) That it does require rethinking military and political strategy. That it requires something other than a military response. But I also think it requires that we not give in to that impulse to lay blame and excommunicate. Does *that* work, either?

    Of course there are some militant Jews. Frankly, I don’t think you can exclude even them from your community without serious consequence, but I’m far more concerned that you didn’t write something nuanced and complicated. You wrote something brash and sweeping.

    When Paul McCartney visited Israel (for which he faced death threats), he sang John Lennon’s song, “Give Peace a Chance.” Afterwards, he pointed to the audience and said, “you said it.” Afterwards, he said that he thinks all peoples want peace, including both the Israelis and the Palestinians. It sounds like half-assed peacyness, and won’t have much of an immediate effect, but I think it’s one of the most profound acts in Israel of the last few years. In these times, when such peacyness is harder to muster, I think it becomes more important.

    Otherwise, we tend to just assume those who disagree with us are Marty Peretzs, when they might be Seth Freedmans.

  3. I see you didn’t include him in your list of people who are in or not in your community.

    Well, the sentences were only four and five words long. Couldn’t fit Jewschool in there, either.

    I don’t know where I’ve given the impression that I’m “excommunicating” anyone who disagrees with me. I think I was very clear that the people I’m talking about are radical right-wing hawks – people like Marty Peretz (who is, in fact, a real person). One could argue that Kadima is a moderate party, but their actions are very right-wing.

    Furthermore, the term “excommunicate” seems to imply that I’m declaring myself an authority on who’s a real Jew – something that I didn’t even come close to saying. I have a right to identify with some Jews and not others.

  4. “I think I was very clear that the people I’m talking about are radical right-wing hawks”

    Not at all. Not only because some people might identify with the ADL for the reason that they oppose antisemitism, but also because some of the people you’ve described as radical right-wing hawks aren’t so.

    Not too long ago, Dan Fleshler posted about an AIPAC conference — the first Philip Weiss ever attended. Turned out Weiss was shocked that many of the people there, though they weren’t very sympathetic to the very real concerns Palestinians have, weren’t particularly radical (or reactionary) or especially right-wing or even really that hawkish.

    Also -though I suppose it’s possible to avoid this- those lines people draw like that tend to move. Some people wake up to find that suddenly the entire world is against them. J Street is too “Zionist” (they always were); they might as well be AIPAC. Al Gore might as well be George Bush. We’ve got to destroy the world in order to save it, because the “sheeple” won’t wake up.

    And, yeah, “excommunicating” seems an appropriate description.

  5. […] Jewish identity, and I am even more conflicted now. I feel that I must speak out because, like many others, I am Jewish and want an end to the violence. I want peace. I want a real, vibrant, […]

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