Freedom of the Press in Israel: The NGO Inversion

Discussion of Adi Schwartz: “How did Israel Stop being a Free Country?
Carlo Strenger, “The Self-Righteous Left’s Simplistic World

There is a direct link between over-coming the imperatives of honor-shame cultures and freedom of the press. In a culture where it is not only expected, legitimate, even required to shed someone’s blood for the sake of one’s honor, it is incumbent on people in power to shed the blood of any commoner who has the nerve to publicly criticize him (or her). In such cultures, public criticism constitutes an assault on the authority, indeed, the very person, of the one criticized. Not to respond will clearly signal weakness, impotence, or lack of will to power, and hence bring on the jackals.

As James Scott points out repeatedly in Domination and the Arts of Resistance, the vast majority of the time, protests are either private or, if public, anonymous, lest there be necessary retaliation. Scott calls them “private transcripts” which are often diametrically opposed to the deferential public transcripts these same powerful figures demand. “When the great lord passes, the wise peasant bows low and silently farts.” Silently. Not on the pages of Ha-aretz, translated into English and pumped around the world via internet.

Of course, everyone feels the desire for honor and the fear of shame (even Gates and Crowley and Obama). Even Western countries have private transcripts, and no press is free; no one can say whatever they want without repercussion. Access journalism will always play a role in pressuring journalists to report what the informant wants. The key, however, is the tripswitch to violence: how rapidly do those whose face has been blackened by public criticism take out hits on imprudent journalists? After all, no one would be stupid enough to think that he can say whatever he wants — even if it’s all true — and not have people retaliate, at least by shunning them. What kind of reporting would we have if it did not take courage to criticize people?

Well, we’d get something resembling the coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict, not only in its grotesque daily disinformation, it’s stunning expressions of entitlement to a free ride by critics, and its stunning data manipulation that ranks the free-est press in the world as “potentially free.”

I have written extensively about the remarkable, and now more than occasionally pathological, tendency of Jews and Israelis to be self-critical. I will repeat my claim: no national culture is as self-critical as Israel; no country’s own citizens are as pervasively critical in the Mainstream News Media as the Israeli press; and no country tolerates criticism from abroad more than Israel. Ha-aretz may be the New York Times of Israel in terms of its status and its (often justified) intellectual pretensions, but when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict it has writers that would only find publication in the USA on the pages of the Nation, or Counterpunch, or the Guardian. And all this occurs under wartime conditions, when even the nations most dedicated to a free press, curtail those freedoms sharply.

And yet, an NGO that ranks press freedom around the world has recently ranked Israel below the cut-off point as a “free press” and, therefore, a nation with a “partially free press.” The contrast between my “seat of the pants,” honor-shame analysis and this NGO’s carefully callibrated and allegedly rigorous methodology suggests a problem.

Adi Schwartz, now freelance journalist, formerly a senior editor at Ha-aretz, the most virulently self-critical of Israeli newspapers, noticed the bizarrity of it all.

That was odd: if anything, the Israeli press might be blamed for over-aggressiveness, lack of respect for privacy matters and tendency towards sensationalism. Maybe much more so than many other Western media, the Israeli press is robust and boisterous, and far from not being free.

So he inquired how such the Freedom House arrived at such a remarkable conclusion. What he found was an appropriately bizarre, unthinking application of the “methodology” to the anomalous Israeli case. The result, a perfect black heart, a stunning mistake that undermines the whole paradigm that could not only produce this ranking, but not sound anyone’s alarms. As Schwartz puts it as a byline:

Here’s a story about how un-professional a pro-democracy organization becomes when dealing with the State of Israel.”


Indeed, the first thing that Schwartz discovered in tracking this anomaly down, was that he was the first to raise an eyebrow:

…to my great surprise, I discovered I was the first journalist (Israeli or non-Israeli) to do that. No one before asked Freedom house what was the reason for downgrading Israel to be only “partially free”.

In other words, no one had made the rough but overwhelmingly obvious big picture that both Schwartz and I had made, not the compiler of the report, nor his editors back home looking at all the data, nor the readership of this NGO whose constituency is those who treasure freedom and wish to see it spread, not even the Israelis who ran across this, not even the Israeli government.

The explanation, of course, is related to the recent war:

Israel’s status declined due to the heightened conflict in Gaza, which was reflected in increased travel restrictions on Israeli and foreign reporters; official attempts to influence media coverage within Israel of the conflict; and heightened self-censorship and biased reporting.

The very fact that this is a war zone should put Israel into a different category. How can you compare the tolerance for dissent and the intrusions of the media in martial conditions with, say, the problems in Finland, or Switzerland? Not surprisingly, the actual work is sloppy, as Schwartz shows in its misunderstanding of the relationship between the Supreme Court and the government over press freedom.

…[T]he report says that

    “On December 31, the High Court ruled in favor of a Foreign Press Association petition that the Gaza ban be lifted, but the government ignored the court ruling”.

But that’s not what happened… [read the analysis at the source].
So – the court didn’t rule in favor of anyone and the government did not ignore anything.

Note here the extraordinay anecdotal data: There is an independent judiciary, willing to draw conclusions that the government does not like, in time of war when its soldier’s lives are in danger, and the government does what it can to live with and limit the perceived intrusions of this court and the journalists that they, in their legal decision, are imposing on them. None of this registers. Instead, the report brings forward an inaccurate reading that presents the government thumbing its nose at an impotent judiciary. I wonder where the researcher got that version?

But matter get still more bizarre. Israel is penalized for “heightened self-censorship and biased reporting.” As Schwartz points out,

Self-censorship is hard to prove: the only one who knows for sure if he was practicing self-censorship is the journalist himself. But you can’t ask him, because if he did, he would surely not admit it. So – who is to decide if “self-censorship has been growing in recent years in Israel?”

Let me go much further. Everyone practices self-censorship, and the more the threat of retaliation, the more self-censorship. The more touchy a culture is on matters of public honor, the more silent intimidation and therefore self-censorship. And the most touchy topic in the modern world, with its international communications network that permits such things as Freedom House’s report, is national pride.

Turkey’s refusal to admit genocide against the Armenians is about national pride; Egypt jailed a sociologist for publishing observations that damaged Egypt’s image. A Bangladeshi journalist faces the death penalty for, among other things, having in his possession: “materials… which hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims” [i.e., he was on his way to Israel and had pro-peace literature that promoted mutual understanding].

Even in the West, home of the free press, no American journalist who wants to make it into the mainstream news media, who wants a large audience, is going to espouse ideas that undermine the national image. (There are plenty who revel in such unpopular causes as, say, 9-11 conspiracy theory, and the margins wither they get pushed, but they have their own self-censorship within that community, which has much less tolerance for internal dissent.) Attack Bush, don’t attack the troops. And if it’s strong in America, you have no idea how bad it gets in places like France, or Japan, or, Germany. National pride is touchy, the world over.

Except Israel, where journalists are so aggressive, against the government, against the army, against even the culture which they do not hesitate to excoriate for racism and apartheid. No country in the world — not even the NYT — would beg the government of another country to force it to do what its duly elected government won’t do. Maybe the pages of the Nation… but not the NYT. But, as one student asked me after studying the al Durah case, “why does Ha-aretz sound like a Palestinian propaganda sheet?”

Indeed, one of the major themes of Israeli “journalism studies” is how the media tends to rally round the flag during times of conflict like the second Intifada and the latest war, presenting an Israelo-centric view of the conflict, with reporting that shores up support for the war effort at home. This is, of course, a rather exacting standard, something only the US press has ever engaged in, and then in a fight thousands of miles away that struck most Americans as futile and insignificant. No other nation on earth has had a hostile media so undermine home-support that it stopped that nation’s war effort. But this school of hyper-critics, want Israel to live up to an exacting standard of self-criticism.

It’s worth pausing for a moment on this phenomenon. Not only is it uniquely Israeli, but it’s riddled with the kinds of pathologies of self-criticism that strike many of us as self-destructive. The criticism of the Israeli narrative is matched only by the credulity to the Palestinian Narrative, a narrative that would not survive a minute under the kind of standard to which this group holds its own. And yet, they embrace it, use it for further self criticism. “We have killed 800 Muhammad al Durahs,” states Gideon Levy who aggressively defends the original story [that Israel shot the boy on purpose].

Not surprisingly, it is precisely to this circle of folks that the Freedom House turns for information about “press freedom.”

…many media outlets largely reflected and indeed fed popular sentiment and prioritized nationalistic themes.

Now what media in time of war doesn’t do that? What kind of a criticism is this? Patriotism is a violation of press freedom? Schwartz notes:

That’s again a problematic assertion: most Israelis felt exactly the opposite, that too many journalists were demoralizing the troops and actually were feeding defeatist sentiments. As in many other cases of social sciences, this kind of judgement is difficult to make, especially if you are going to pin it down with numbers and scores. Exactly because of this there should be clear and professional criteria, which are not derived from the author’s political views.

What I think we see here is an application of the Vietnam principle to Israel: In the late ’60s early 70s, the glory days of the New Left, the mainstream media joined a “peace movement,” and stopped a war. To this day, I think, the MSNM looks back on the early ’70s as their highpoint of power, a period that remained right up through the fall of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, even though that year marked perhaps the greatest moral failure of the MSNM in the post-war period, their (non)coverage of the Rwanda genocide.

As I have concluded from a study of the coverage of Operation Cast Lead, the MSNM seems to think that if they present a catastrophic humanitarian disaster to the public, the outcry will force Israel to back down and stop attacking, thus contributing to peace. Here’s Christiane Amanpour laying out some of the basic principles behind this thinking to Tony Blair.

The flaws in this logic are too legion to examine here, but one deserves mention. The Arab and Muslim media use the self-same techniques not to lead peace but to more hatred and more desire for revenge. That this logic escapes the Israeli academics who pursue the same “peace policy” in journals alongside a combination of mildly self-critical Palestinians (itself a surprise) and self-justifying Palestinian propagandists, should not, by now, surprise readers of this blog. If the Israeli can claim: “My country is so free I can attack its press for being too patriotic,” the Palestinian can respond, “So can I, and claim you’re not free in the process.”

Here’s a random example from an Israeli article dedicated to how the media should contribute to peace by criticizing stereotypes and encouraging understanding, something “both sides” are not doing:

After the Oslo agreement, Sesame Street began to do children’s TV programs in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The puppets from each community increasingly interacted. That’s been stopped now. Israel’s Sesame Street is for Israelis; the Palestinian version is for Palestinians. Children on all sides are today offered few examples of how peaceful co-existence could work.

Nice and even-handed. But any self-respecting journalist whose society faced a genocidal enemy would take advantage of this opportunity to point out how the Palestinian Authority uses its own “Sesame-Street” style program, as part of a larger effort on TV to promote hatred and violence among its children. (It’s certainly a good example of warmongering “stereotyping”.

No such luck. The Israeli takes a ferocious turn against his own culture:

Ironically, Sesame Street was working with Al Quds Television, a voice of secular democracy whose studios were invaded and trashed by the Israeli Defense Force during one of its operations, though it was never linked with terrorism and even opposed it. A National Lawyers Guild delegation from the US created a video that showed that the soldiers defaced offices, even leaving feces and spraying urine all over the walls. One initiative would be to challenge this type of censorship and suppression. Organizations like Seeds of Peace, the multinational youth group, are creating media. They need support from media companies to promote conflict resolution themes and ideas.

It’s incredibly generous to consider al Quds Television “a voice of secular democracy,” when it may have direct links to Hamas, and certainly engages in rhetoric reminiscent of those religious fanatics bent on genocide. But to then present his own government as engaged in vile acts against so innocent a target — invoking the National Laywer’s Guild video — as neutral sources of information, when its “subcommittee on the Middle East” engages in the crudest vitriol and stereotyping, beggars the imagination.

No one who did not do research and understand the dilemma of a hyper-self-critical Israeli media and academia and its opposite among the Palestinians would have a clue as to how out of kilter the image one gets from this kind of literature really is. And of course, no one consulting the MSNM would have a clue as to how bad the situation is in “Palestine.”

Which brings us to the fellow responsible for the Freedom House report, Adam Werner. Let’s be generous and call him a babe in the woods, who hangs with his progressive buddies. Adi Schwartz tracked him down.

Mr. Werner is not familiar to most Israelis: he is not a journalist (except for some articles he published for the Jerusalem Post), and this is the first year he works for Freedom house.

He said he worked alone on the report, and that his sources were reports of international media watchdogs, such as “Journalists Without Borders”.

That’s the organization that, in its first year, ranked Israel 92nd in press freedom, below the Palestinian Territories (82), Lebanon (56).

I asked him how he knew that there were cases of self-censorship. He said he based that on an interview with Mr. Yizhar Beer, former director of B’Tselem and the current director of Keshev, a watchdog group. Due to Beer’s well known political views, which are on the far left side of the Israeli spectrum, I asked Werner if he consulted anyone else. Jurists, for example, or specialists for communications law. Or, let’s say, journalists, or maybe ex editors-in-chief, or perhaps political scientists.
He said “no”.
The questionable assertion about heightened self-censorship (which actually led to Israel’s status decline) was based only on Mr. Beer. The problem of course is not of him being a leftist, but of him being the only source. Such a sensitive issue should have been dealt with much more prudence, and surely with many more interviews and sources.

Now the question here is, is this laziness? is it the comfortable world of “progressives” who only talk to each other, and believe each other implicitly? is it something nastier — an instinct for the negative which does not want contradiction? Given the significance of this point for Israel’s standing, I’d say any of the answers is inacceptable.

Is it better or worse to say that the fact that this “ranking” raised no flags of doubt at a foundation dedicated to democracy was out of ignorance rather than malevolence. In the latter case we can say, “oh, it’s another example of demopathic radicals like Sarah-Leah Whitson masquerading as liberals.” But in the former, it’s evidence that the smear of Israel has so succeeded that even engaged, informed liberals have lost any sense of direction.

I asked Mr. Werner about the High Court’s decisions. He said he didn’t know, and asked me to send him the rulings (rather late, I’d say). [Read Schwartz's additional examples of tendentiousness and pervasive laziness not only in the case of Adam Werner but of the higher ups who neglected to send the draft to Israeli specialists for review.]

To sum it up: an un-experienced person, who is not an authority in his field, writes a report based on an interview with one interviewee with a very clear political agenda. Nobody checks it. Freedom House headquarters decide to downgrade Israel from “free” to “partially free”, even though they declare that when a country is being downgraded, an additional check is made. Such a review did not occur.

So – a professional report? A mockery? Decide for yourself.

This case illustrates too many important issues to be left at that. Adi Schwartz, longtime journalist and editor at Ha-aretz, and so, no stranger to self-critical Israeli journalism, represents a rare and valuable commodity. He recognizes and is grateful for the extraordinary press freedoms he has enjoyed his entire career. He’s not so wrapped up in his criticism of his own country that he loses any sense of proportion, and moves from moral equivalence to the kind of moral inversion one finds among so many.

Another example of such acknowledgment and gratitude for the privilege of operating in a free society came recently in an article by Carlo Strenger in, of all places, The Guardian (testimony to how politically correctly “left” he is). In it he describes the astonishing expectations of the self-entitled, self-critical Israeli.

A good example is Gal Wettstein’s recent article (also in the Guardian) in which he says that he doesn’t feel that there is true freedom of expression in Israel because, among other reasons, his superiors may re-evaluate their views on him. He says he has even lost some dates because of his political views. I’m sorry for his loss, but turning this into an indictment of Israel’s freedom of speech is, to put it mildly, preposterous.

To put it mildly. Wettstein’s demand is that, if his society — Israel — wants to claim to be free, there should be no consequences, not even social, to saying anything negative about it. Now think about that a moment. What extraordinary levels of non-retaliation has Israeli society reached for some of its internal critics to openly complain that not achieving such an impossible level of non-reprisal — certainly no “left-wing” community has anything remotely resembling this level of non-reprisal for critics — was a sign that it lacked press freedom.

(Don’t forget that the natural tendency for any revolutionary movement like Zionism, which seeks to create an egalitarian society in the midst of prime-divider authoritarian nations, is to get paranoid, not only about external threats, but about internal criticism as well. After the worst aristocrats, one of the main targets of the Revolutionary Terror was critical journalists.)

In its own way, such aggressive naivete re-enacts the bad joke of the Moebius Strip of Cognitive Egocentrism: my nation is at war with many surrounding ones. In mine, anyone must be allowed to say anything critical, including support for my enemies, without retaliation of any kind (including being able to date hot chicks), while the other side kills hundreds of its own people for the slightest hint of self-criticism that could be construed as collaborating with the enemy.

The result of the inversions involved, I have argued, make for a kind of cultural AIDS in which the West cannot identify enemies, but rather assaults the agents bringing news of enemies to the system. When Western sources accept (eagerly alas!) the demonization of Israel and white-washing of the Palestinians and their Jihadi comrades around the world, is a recipe for self-destruction. Strenger concludes:

The psychological mechanism behind applying SLES [Standard Left Explanatory System, somewhat akin to my PCP2 – rl] to Israel is rather simple: the Middle Eastern conflicts (there are a number, of which the Israeli-Palestinian is the most prominent) have been intractable for a long time. The autocratic and sometimes totalitarian structure of most of the regimes is a huge problem, and the west is stuck with its dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Europe is actually in a worse conundrum than the US: the population of all European states is shrinking, and their economies depend on immigration. So far most of these immigrants are Muslims, and Europe doesn’t have the faintest idea how to integrate them into its societies. Meanwhile the Muslim world is choking on a huge youth bulge along with stagnating economies and a tribal social system that almost completely blocks modernisation.

Nobody in Europe and the Middle East knows what to do about this, but SLES provides a wonderfully simple solution: why not say that Israel is the culprit, and that all problems would go away if Israel were to cease the occupation, or, even better, would disappear. I fight the occupation day by day, because it’s wrong, not because I have the slightest illusion that this would solve Europe’s geopolitical problems or those of the Middle East.

The self-righteous left should listen to the honest voices of a left that retains its moral and intellectual integrity, like Bernard-Henri Lévy and Alain Finkielkraut, who refuse to live in the simplistic world of SLES and believe that you actually need to tackle the complexity of our situation rather than enjoy the simple pleasure of self-righteousness that SLES shares with the right.

In the media world it plays out in the belief that if the MSNM (Western and Israeli) sufficiently emphasize the humanitarian catastrophe and pressure the Israeli government to cease the attacks, they are contributing to peace. The only problem is that in chasing after messianic conditions the wrong way, they fuel the very war they think they’re opposing. Not only do they give fuel the hate mongering among Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim ideologues, whose activity the MSNM systematically plays down, but also among an increasingly vocal Western public, completely deranged by this impossibly contorted situation.

Just go to the Guardian comment page on Strenger’s thoughtful remarks and see the vitriol. As Yaakov Losowick comments, he “proves his point. Easily.” Imagine how these same people would respond in disgust to the name-calling of Israeli patriots attacking their boy Wettstein.

How can any civilization hope to survive when it’s own information organizations so dramatically betray reality and feed the worst instincts of its citizenry? And given the sense of virtue these information professionals feel — peace, democracy, mutual understanding — how will it be possible to wake them up to the nightmare they set before us?

179 Responses to Freedom of the Press in Israel: The NGO Inversion

  1. Shoshana says:

    Perhaps some Europeans unconsciously want the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict to stop (by any means) so more Muslims will stay in the ME and out of Europe.

  2. Diane says:

    Turkey’s refusal to admit genocide against the Armenians is about national pride.

    I think it’s also about potential demands for reparations, no?

  3. Paul Halsall says:

    I am much less well disposed to Israel’s leaders than it used to be, but I do read some of the Israeli Press online, and I agree Israel has a free press.

    I would not say, however, that it is freer or more critical than in the UK. Of course US news media criticise many US government policies, but there is remarkably little criticism of basic structures. In the UK such basic criticism goes on all the time.

  4. oao says:

    it is incumbent on people in power to shed the blood of any commoner who has the nerve to publicly criticize him (or her)…Not to respond will clearly signal weakness, impotence, or lack of will to power, and hence bring on the jackals.

    but the dominant factor is the latter not the former.
    the dictators know that the minute they do not show ruthlessness in adverse circumstances they’re gone. hence the iranian reaction to demonstrations, which proved effective.

    Even Western countries have private transcripts, and no press is free; no one can say whatever they want without repercussion.

    there is a strong illusion to that effect in the us, though. in the past i linked to an article on my site that argues this. there are costs, often heavy, of going against societal illusions. not just by the media, but anybody.

    and no country tolerates criticism from abroad more than Israel.

    thus inviting loads of it. there are not costs attached to it, but rather benefits.

    The contrast between my “seat of the pants,” honor-shame analysis and this NGO’s carefully callibrated and allegedly rigorous methodology suggests a problem.

    publics dk about methodology, willfully have no knowledge of their own and are unwilling/unable to reason. they accept what they are fed. and since ngo’s are funded by govts with an agenda, they pretend methodology and spew crap which is accepted as is by the publics. that’s how the system works.

    How can you compare the tolerance for dissent and the intrusions of the media in martial conditions with, say, the problems in Finland, or Switzerland?

    the problem is much worse than that: even in the middle of wars israel is less restricting than most societies are in peace.

    the underlying factor is that the war from israel’s side is illegitimate, therefore no restrictions whatsoever is legitimate.

    But this school of hyper-critics, want Israel to live up to an exacting standard of self-criticism.

    well, if you believe in societal pride you can understand the shaming of israel: it is several folds better than those societies which pride themselves in being free and democratic and who are those damn joos to be better at this than us?

    also, remember when we discussed al-durah my analysis of the journos who probably thought: if only israel behaved like we write out of cowardice…

    What I think we see here is an application of the Vietnam principle to Israel:

    yes. but justification can be suggested for the application in the Vietnam case which was nothing like the war to prevent extermination by israel.

  5. oao says:

    The flaws in this logic are too legion to examine here, but one deserves mention.

    they are flaws forced on them by the reality of inability to have any effect on the arab side of the war and unwilligness to take it on which coincides in the media and western publics. it’s the logic of looking for lost keys where is light, not where they were really lost. that’s imo the great success of the arab rigid 60+ years policy of never yielding anything.

    No one who did not do research and understand the dilemma of a hyper-self-critical Israeli media and academia and its opposite among the Palestinians would have a clue as to how out of kilter the image one gets from this kind of literature really is.

    if you want peace at all costs and believe that everybody wants peace how do you deal with an arab/muslim reality that utterly contradicts it
    over which you have no influence? you distort reality to fit your illusion/delusion of it.

    Is it better or worse to say that the fact that this “ranking” raised no flags of doubt at a foundation dedicated to democracy was out of ignorance rather than malevolence.

    the root is in ignorance and inability to reason. that also is caused by and induces lazyness. in werner’s case he is not even a journo so the concept of proper sourcing and validation does not exist. but even current journos are not any better and i am willing to bet that if you did a survey of top journo schools these days they are nothing like they used to or should be.

    But in the former, it’s evidence that the smear of Israel has so succeeded that even engaged, informed liberals have lost any sense of direction.

    oh, yes. a liberal cannot properly function in increasingly illiberal societies facing genocidal jihad. they must either lose their sense of direction or drop liberalism. and the former is easier psychologically (as well as physically these days) than the latter.

    [Read Schwartz’s additional examples of tendentiousness and pervasive laziness not only in the case of Adam Werner but of the higher ups who neglected to send the draft to Israeli specialists for review.]

    question: what is the cost/damage of this to Freedom House? aren’t they actually better off, given the western public atmosphere, by doing exactly what tey did? will they get more funding or less for doing it like this? what will be the effect on werner, if any?

    The result of the inversions involved, I have argued, make for a kind of cultural AIDS in which the West cannot identify enemies, but rather assaults the agents bringing news of enemies to the system.

    bingo. the west is so desperate for not having enemies that their appearance must be invalidated at all cost and what better way than dismiss the messenger. which is why the west has collapsed and is doomed.

    but SLES provides a wonderfully simple solution: why not say that Israel is the culprit, and that all problems would go away if Israel were to cease the occupation, or, even better, would disappear.

    don’t i keep saying that whenever the world is in crisis the joos are the traditional and convenient scapegoat? nobody likes the joos anyway (it’s so annoying that they contributed so much to mankind all while being persecuted and exterminated). wouldn’t it be better if they did not exist to put us to shame?

    How can any civilization hope to survive when it’s own information organizations so dramatically betray reality and feed the worst instincts of its citizenry?

    it won’t survive and from a darwinian perspective it does not deserve to.

  6. oao says:

    The flaws in this logic are too legion to examine here, but one deserves mention.

    they are flaws forced on them by the reality of inability to have any effect on the arab side of the war and unwilligness to take it on which coincides in the media and western publics. it’s the logic of looking for lost keys where is light, not where they were really lost. that’s imo the great success of the arab rigid 60+ years policy of never yielding anything.

    No one who did not do research and understand the dilemma of a hyper-self-critical Israeli media and academia and its opposite among the Palestinians would have a clue as to how out of kilter the image one gets from this kind of literature really is.

    if you want peace at all costs and believe that everybody wants peace how do you deal with an arab/muslim reality that utterly contradicts it
    over which you have no influence? you distort reality to fit your illusion/delusion of it.

    Is it better or worse to say that the fact that this “ranking” raised no flags of doubt at a foundation dedicated to democracy was out of ignorance rather than malevolence.

    the root is in ignorance and inability to reason. that also is caused by and induces lazyness. in werner’s case he is not even a journo so the concept of proper sourcing and validation does not exist. but even current journos are not any better and i am willing to bet that if you did a survey of top journo schools these days they are nothing like they used to or should be.

    But in the former, it’s evidence that the smear of Israel has so succeeded that even engaged, informed liberals have lost any sense of direction.

    oh, yes. a liberal cannot properly function in increasingly illiberal societies facing genocidal jihad. they must either lose their sense of direction or drop liberalism. and the former is easier psychologically (as well as physically these days) than the latter.

  7. oao says:

    [Read Schwartz’s additional examples of tendentiousness and pervasive laziness not only in the case of Adam Werner but of the higher ups who neglected to send the draft to Israeli specialists for review.]

    question: what is the cost/damage of this to Freedom House? aren’t they actually better off, given the western public atmosphere, by doing exactly what tey did? will they get more funding or less for doing it like this? what will be the effect on werner, if any?

    The result of the inversions involved, I have argued, make for a kind of cultural AIDS in which the West cannot identify enemies, but rather assaults the agents bringing news of enemies to the system.

    bingo. the west is so desperate for not having enemies that their appearance must be invalidated at all cost and what better way than dismiss the messenger. which is why the west has collapsed and is doomed.

    but SLES provides a wonderfully simple solution: why not say that Israel is the culprit, and that all problems would go away if Israel were to cease the occupation, or, even better, would disappear.

    don’t i keep saying that whenever the world is in crisis the joos are the traditional and convenient scapegoat? nobody likes the joos anyway (it’s so annoying that they contributed so much to mankind all while being persecuted and exterminated). wouldn’t it be better if they did not exist to put us to shame?

    How can any civilization hope to survive when it’s own information organizations so dramatically betray reality and feed the worst instincts of its citizenry?

    it won’t survive and from a darwinian perspective it does not deserve to.

  8. oao says:

    I am unable to post properly.

    I had to split my post in 3 parts. i managed to post 2 but the 3rd has not been accepted and when i tried again it was rejected as a duplicate.

  9. oao says:

    an excellent must read piece by Carolyne Glick with some relevance to the subject of this thread:

    he Lonely Israeli Left
    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2009/07/the-lonely-israeli-left.php

    glick has good advice for israel, but it looks like it does, as usual, the opposite to what its interests dictate

  10. oao says:

    In the context of glick’s piece here is a comment by
    Hazony on a left-center split in alibama’s ME team about treatment of israel:

    The Left vs. the Center on the Obama Mideast Team
    by Steve Rosen
    http://www.meforum.org/blog/obama-mideast-monitor/2009/07/the-left-vs-the-center-on-the-obama-mideast-team

    note how important the knowledge and intelligence of ‘the decider’ is: when advisers are split his capacity is critical and has no substitutes.

    now consider alibama: scary.

  11. oao says:

    the beginning of another vietnam principle application?

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/07/024164.php

  12. oao says:

    another direct evidence of the suicidal absurdity of it all:

    Some truth about the Gaza war: Terrorist who murdered American government employees killed; portrayed as civilian victim
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/07/some-truth-about-gaza-war-terrorist-who.html

  13. Diane says:

    The popular liberal (Aristotelian?) formulation — “the truth lies somewhere in the middle” — has a journalistic corollary, i.e. “hearing from both sides.” This can be manipulated, of course, by picking and choosing how you identify spokesmen for the two sides. But beyond that overt manipulation, the principle of balance itself seems to be in direct conflict with the values of advocacy journalists, like Gideon Levy or Philippe Enderlin, who see their role as setting right the inherent moral imbalance of the system. To the self-critical Israeli left, and the hyper-critical anti-Israel intelligentia of Europe and America, the truth is not in the middle. It’s far, far, far off to the Palestinian side.

  14. oao says:

    excellent advice from barry rubin with top relevance to the subject at hand:

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/07/believe-it-or-not-middle-east-leaders.html

  15. E.G. says:

    Heh.

    Strenger mentions Alain Finkielkraut as an example of “honest voices of a left that retains its moral and intellectual integrity”. Anyone recalls what happened when Le Monde published a paper that back-translated (from English or Hebrew translations of the French conversation) some out-of-context excerpts of an interview he gave to Haaretz on the French riots? Finkielkraut was publicly crucified by PC bien-pensance for weeks! One reason for this MSNM hatchet job was that he dared say “outside” what was impossible to say “inside” (see: freedom and natl. pride/honour), and that it was perceived as a double offence: denouncing local censorship and cowardice (willful blindness), and washing dirty laundry in public.

    Does anyone recall a similar scandal in the Israeli media? An Israeli intellectual or journalist (or any public figure) requested to publicly retract from an opinion s/he supposedly expressed and/or was misquoted?

  16. E.G. says:

    Diane,

    You’re absolutely correct (I don’t want to write “right” in this context). Even in mistaking Enderlin’s first name, which he fully deserves.

  17. oao says:

    diane,

    largely true, but it may also be the case of ignorance and inability to reason. werner appears to expose it.

    even though his choice of one-sided sources is suspicious, it’s quite possible that he knew nothing, asked around whom to ask and was directed to beer etc. by the environment in which these ngo’s operate.

    if he had any smarts about him and wanted to go by an agenda he would have found some way not to make it so easily detectable. at least go to more leftist sources, or use some counter sources in a dismissable way.

    but given the lack of challenges, maybe they don’t have to bother anymore.

  18. sshender says:

    Holy crap, just when I thought I had already seen it all… Sombody has to put an end to this charade.

  19. [...] Augean Stables » Freedom of the Press in Israel: The NGO InversionI will repeat my claim: no national culture is as self-critical as Israel; no country’s own citizens are as pervasively critical in the Mainstream News Media as the Israeli press; and no country tolerates criticism from abroad more than …. After the Oslo agreement, Sesame Street began to do children’s TV programs in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The puppets from each community increasingly interacted. That’s been stopped now. Israel’s Sesame Street is for Israelis; … [...]

  20. Ray in Seattle says:

    I actually have clicked on some of oao’s links lately. Here’s the money shot from Rubin’s article with emphasis added and my comments in [brackets]:

    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/07/believe-it-or-not-middle-east-leaders.html

    Rubin: So to summarize, here are two all-important principles:

    –Study what key officials and leaders think, do, and say, based on their ideology [beliefs], experiences [that forge their beliefs], and situations. Try to understand them in their own terms of reference [within their own identity belief system], given the problems and opportunities they face, in the context of their beliefs no matter how they may clash with reality. [excellent] If someone says to you: “If I were Yasir Arafat I’d….” then ignore everything which follows. What you think or would like to happen is unimportant. Imposing your own predetermined ideology on these matters is irrelevant and misleading. [It's their beliefs that govern their behavior - not your beliefs] And you can’t start at the end (we want Arab-Israeli peace) and then reason backward (so there must be something I can do to bring it speedily).

    –Take into account that huge misperceptions and errors can be made by supposedly expert people. If they are arrogant and think they know everything, refusing to listen to others or modify their ideas, this is all the more likely. Powerful people are often extremely ignorant. [?] It is Washington DC’s biggest secret. [It's actually a secret of human nature which very few comprehend, although "ignorant" is the wrong term IMO].

    This is good advice. I find a good fit with my views. I’d say it like this: As people go through life they develop a set of interlocking and mutually supporting beliefs about the world and their place in it. New information they come across that violates those beliefs will be rejected or not even considered. New info that does fit will be given every consideration because it affirms to them their own identity – who they believe themselves to be. It feels good. It resonates. In this way their identity solidifies and become safer from attack.

    Powerful people carry this to an extreme. It dictates their behavior in all matters. Their power becomes dependent on how strictly they adhere to the mandate of the identity beliefs that form their personality; how well they protect and reinforce them.

    I disagree with Rubin about powerful people being ignorant, which implies a disengagement from reality. (as I similarly do with oao) I think they engage the same reality most people do and often have above average intelligence – like Chomsky, Walt, Carter, etc. It’s just that they found the elements of that reality that do not support their identity beliefs to be not credible, and conversely – just as we all do. It’s an emotional, not an intellectual reaction that they (we all) have no control over. It’s how the brain works.

    Analyzing someone’s behavior by discussing the intellectual quality of their beliefs or their ability to reason or think critically misses the point. The further from reality their beliefs are, the more this is true. But this is a difference in mechanics I have with Rubin, not substance, on which I very much agree.

    Occasionally a powerful person (usually on the periphery of power) will experience a significant realignment of their beliefs more in accordance with reality. This is possible when they already have a strong belief in the value of objectivity – even if they have not always honored it well and have allowed other identity beliefs to develop around fallacies.

    I think this happened to Benny Morris. I suspect Benny did acquire a healthy belief in objectivity as a student historian (I think my views are not so different than oao’s here) and that finally overcame some other beliefs he acquired later in life, that had their own emotional appeal at the time. That allowed his mind the freedom to reassess his views on some important matters. This will not happen to Christiane Amanpour or Charles Enderlin. I hope it happens to Obama but it’s unlikely. Very few politicians have changed their identities late in life. Power rewards you for having those beliefs and solidifies them in place.

    I’m still trying to understand where Obama’s identity beliefs lie. Like most Western politicians he seems chameleon-like, which is probably more necessary for Dems, who’s constituents are more mistrusting of absolutism. He also seems opportunistic and cautious, attributes all Western politicians need. I’d say that believing it is good to be chameleon-like, opportunistic and cautious are some of his most significant identity beliefs.

  21. Ray in Seattle says:

    sshender, as I was writing my last comment, you wrote: “largely true, but it may also be the case of ignorance and inability to reason. werner appears to expose it. ”

    Of course, I think what I said about Rubin . .

    I disagree with Rubin about powerful people being ignorant, which implies a disengagement from reality. (as I similarly do with oao) I think they engage the same reality most people do and often have above average intelligence – like Chomsky, Walt, Carter, etc. It’s just that they found the elements of that reality that do not support their identity beliefs to be not credible, and conversely – just as we all do. It’s an emotional, not an intellectual reaction that they (we all) have no control over. It’s how the brain works.

    . . applies to your statement too. I don’t want to be obsessed with this but when engaged in a struggle to alter the behavior of Israel’s enemies in the East and West, I think it’s important to accurately understand how people’s beliefs drive their behavior.

    When you criticize the thinking skills of someone who has different views than you or comes to different conclusions about important things, that’s an honor / shame transaction IMO. It’s taking part in the conflict; supporting your side in the battle. It feels good but further alienates the enemy who is then even less likely to see your side of things. He only wants to shame you as you have him.

    I’m not opposed to that approach. It may be that it is the only option (shaming them militarily) where Israel’s Arab enemies are concerned. If that’s the case, criticizing the thinking skills of Westerners who embrace Arab aspirations viv a vis Israel and the West is again beside the point.

    We should instead be advocating for a decisive war to decide things once and for all and stop pretending that this is a battle of ideas. But, if we still want to engage in the battle of ideas in the West to avoid a major world war in the ME (which may be a futile desire at this point) then I think accurately understanding how and why people hold the ideas they do is very important.

    Seeing us as chimps, which is kind of fun – I guess I’d prefer to see less throwing sticks and threat displays and more wondering what happens if we stick a twig into a termite nest.

  22. oao says:

    ray,

    you are too enamored with your “explanation”, so much so that you interpret everything to fit it. it is not that it is not valid, it’s that it’s not as exclusive and salient in all circumstances as you make it.

    and certainly that’s not what i took from rubin’s advice.

  23. oao says:

    did you click on glick? would you say that her advice supports “no ideas, but emotional beliefs”? when she advises israel to do the opposite it’s doing with respect to american jewry are we NOT talking ideas?

    and pls, if you want to reach me, be succinct.

  24. oao says:

    sshender,

    Sombody has to put an end to this charade.

    and who exactly do you have in mind?

    it’s always useful to consider history: by the time hitler killed 6mil jews it was more than enough time that somebody should have stopped the charade. the problem was that nobody did and when somebody did it was not only too late, but it was not done to stop the extermination of jews. and just like now, many knew about it, but many were willfully ignorant.

    indeed, it may be argued that had hitler not attacked USSR there might have not been WW2.

  25. oao says:

    and the jews thought that their own state would stop anti-semitism and efforts to finish the jews off:

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2009/08/keeping-the-euros-off-israeli-sovereignt/index.shtml

    it only redirected it towards israel with a new label: anti-zionism.

  26. oao says:

    more from rubin:

    Saudis Make Fun of Obama Middle East Policy; Administration, Media, Pretend Not to Notice
    By Barry Rubin
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/08/saudis-make-fun-of-obama-middle-east.html

    but i wonder if he may be wrong about alibama’s response: he’s not gonna learn that the arabs don’t want peace and adjust policy accordingly. he is more likely to blame israel even more about the “occupation” and now even do something about it.

  27. oao says:

    AIPAC Spy Case Convict Alleges U.S. Anti-Semitism
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/132668

    see what i mean?

  28. oao says:

    In the UK such basic criticism goes on all the time.

    perhaps, but it seems it’s usually the wrog way: it does not criticize the govt’s appeasement and leftist policies, which have brought the UK down and turned it into an almost failed state, but rather that it’s not appeasing and leftist enough.

    from the little i know.

  29. oao says:

    oh, and add anti-semtism to appeasement and leftism, although the 3 are an interrelated cluster.

  30. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, I am pleased to be engaged with you on these issues. I write my comments to say as honestly and clearly what I believe to be true and relevant to the discussion. I don’t edit them to “reach” any particular reader.

    You frequently criticize me for not being “succinct”. I’m doing the best I can but I place honesty and completeness above succinctness. Is it that you don’t have the time to read a few paragraphs? Every day you list links to articles that I assume you have read that are often much longer than any of my comments. So I know you have no problem reading articles on these topics – just my articles.

    I suspect that reading my comments irritates you because my beliefs threaten yours. That’s understandable. I have a similar reaction when reading some of your comments. But, I understand why I feel that way. When I’m in an actual discussion with you (like now, and not playing at honor / shame) I try to get past that and make an extra effort to understand what you are saying before I reply. You could make it easier for me by being less succinct and explaining your ideas more clearly because many of your comments are difficult for me to understand.

    I’ll work on “succinct” if you’ll work on “clear”.

  31. oao says:

    ray,

    if it is always true that identity beliefs drive behavior, can rubin’s advice work, you think?

    Try to understand them in their own terms of reference [within their own identity belief system], given the problems and opportunities they face, in the context of their beliefs no matter how they may clash with reality.

    if your explanation is correct, is it possible for western analysts to do what he expects them to do?

    incidentally, while there is little question that arab leaders have belief systems and ideologies, they are pretty good at recognizing reality even when it conflicts with them. you explanation is actually more applicable to the west.

    but that does not mean that it is impossible to be cognizant of reality, identity beliefs notwithstanding.

    it’s the task of education to make people aware of your explanation and train them to overcome it. it’s because it not only does not do that, but actually instills belief systems that your explanation is so salient in the west.

  32. oao says:

    I write my comments to say as honestly and clearly what I believe to be true and relevant to the discussion. I don’t edit them to “reach” any particular reader.

    i did not ask you to “edit”. i asked you to be succinct, simply because in an online thread i don’t have patience to read threaties. i reserve that for the RL’s posts only. so by reach i mean be as brief as possible.

    Every day you list links to articles that I assume you have read that are often much longer than any of my comments.

    indeed, that’s the reason i don’t have time for long treaties here. i read stuff by people that are much more knowledgeable and smarter than i and i come here to discuss them, not to read more.

    I suspect that reading my comments irritates you because my beliefs threaten yours.

    see, it’s this sort of garbage that i disrespect. why the hell should they be threatening? do you really think that i am afraid to lose and argument? that’s arm-chair psychology crap which others have criticized here. that’s another consequences of your belief in your explanation.

    what is about your ideas to instill fear in me????????
    in fact, i never said they were wrong, but problematic.
    i suggest you don’t succumb to overinflating the importance of your ideas. you keep doing that which leads you to psychologizing.

    i have not had any problems with anybody else here as to clarity. in any case, all one has to do is ask for specific clarifications. unfortunately, without succinctness it will be difficult for me.

  33. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao said, “you are too enamored with your “explanation”, so much so that you interpret everything to fit it. ”

    In this case, my point was not to advocate for my view on this. It was to agree with Rubin about the serious problems created when failing to fully understand what controls a person’s attitudes, conclusions and behavior, especially those of enemies or of those who control or influence events at the national and international level who disagree with you.

    Almost as an aside, Rubin attributed this to ignorance on their part. That’s a popular meme that is repeated endlessly by commenters on the internet and elsewhere. “If someone disagree with me it must be because they are dumb and I am smart”. I realize that Rubin also needs to throw red meat to his readership. But that view is almost always wrong and getting it wrong has serious consequences.

    When someone disagrees with you about something important, like the need to appease or go to war with an enemy, it is important to really understand why they hold their different views – the mechanics of it. I have been interested in these things for a while and I think I have some useful views on that to add to the discussion.

    I am very interested in hearing why you think I am wrong, if indeed it’s important to you to establish that, which it seems to be. I accept the possibility that you may be correct. I am eager to hear your most salient point on this issue backed by your clearest reasoning. (But I hope you understand why I am not interested in hearing why you think I’m an idiot or lack critical thinking skills or a sufficient education to understand your points ;-)

  34. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    That’s a popular meme that is repeated endlessly by commenters on the internet and elsewhere. “If someone disagree with me it must be because they are dumb and I am smart”.

    I beg to differ. Yes, sometimes it is the case (and not only on the net). On many other times it isn’t. Saying that one is ignorant or ignores this or that element(s) doesn’t mean qualifying the targeted person as dumb. Just uninstructed or biased.

  35. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, When I suggested that my beliefs “threatened yours”, and vice versa, I did not mean that I intimidated you or caused you to fear me or my ideas. I was trying to explain that when we are confronted with an expression of someone’s core-beliefs that go against our own, we have an emotional reaction. Not of fear but of automatic disbelief and rejection. The feeling one gets is usually “irritation”. I hope that is clearer now.

    Sometimes that process works to make one interpret words defensively – which I think happened here or in a bad light or in a way that could be more easily discredited – sort of an automatic straw-man constructor. It’s human nature.

  36. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, I think the word you want is “treatise” or “treatises” – not “treaty” or “treaties”.

    A treatise is a formal and systematic exposition in writing of the principles of a subject, generally longer and more detailed than an essay.

  37. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG, I fully explained my meaning, twice:

    I disagree with Rubin about powerful people being ignorant, which implies a disengagement from reality. (as I similarly do with oao) I think they engage the same reality most people do and often have above average intelligence – like Chomsky, Walt, Carter, etc. It’s just that they found the elements of that reality that do not support their identity beliefs to be not credible, and conversely – just as we all do. It’s an emotional, not an intellectual reaction that they (we all) have no control over. It’s how the brain works.

    Your comment seems to ignore that careful explanation entirely and seems more like an excuse to disagree with me about whatever might work, perhaps to insert yourself into the discussion. As you know I have a strong dislike for posturing. If you have point on topic I’ll be glad to respond but I won’t mix honor / shame games with serious discussion. And you’ll have no doubt when I engage in the former.

  38. oao says:

    Almost as an aside, Rubin attributed this to ignorance on their part. That’s a popular meme that is repeated endlessly by commenters on the internet and elsewhere. “If someone disagree with me it must be because they are dumb and I am smart”.

    ignorance is not the same as stupidity. that’s the reason i always say “knowledge AND ability to reason”.
    now, it is true that if you are stupid you’re likely to be ignorant, but the reverse is not necessarily true. if, however, you insist to remain ignorant you’re stupid.

    now, there is little question that hrw, or fh, or alibama are anti-zionists/anti-semites, which is essentially identity beliefs. but such beliefs are in themselves induced by ignorance and stupidity.

    as counter evidence i often get examples of highly educated and even knowledgeable men who are anti-semites or arab appeasers. my response to them is that while they may be educated and smart, they’re not really as knowledgeable and able to reason as can be inferred from their schooling and intellectual development. at best they have one blind spot, alikely overriding of cognition by emotion. so it happens, but that is different than your take on it.

    so it’s not that i think they’re dumb because i disagree with them, i disagree with them because they are dumb.

  39. oao says:

    I was trying to explain that when we are confronted with an expression of someone’s core-beliefs that go against our own, we have an emotional reaction.

    speak for yourself.

    that’s precisely my point about projection. you have this belief and you impose it on others. it’s a questionable source of hypotheses.

  40. E.G. says:

    Ray,

    I invite you to discuss the topic rather than your beliefs about human belief-systems, motives, and doubts.

  41. oao says:

    Saying that one is ignorant or ignores this or that element(s) doesn’t mean qualifying the targeted person as dumb. Just uninstructed or biased.

    that was my point too.

    the problem with ray is that he ASSUMES his theory true and imposes it always on everything, including exchanges here.

    as a social scientist i dropped long ago the illusion that human behavior can be so simply and universally explained and understood. i started studying with that illusion and i was lucky enough to get a much better education than is available today, so i lost it pretty quickly.

  42. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao asks,

    “if it is always true that identity beliefs drive behavior, can rubin’s advice work, you think?”

    Rubin: “Try to understand them in their own terms of reference [within their own identity belief system], given the problems and opportunities they face, in the context of their beliefs no matter how they may clash with reality.”

    oao: “if your explanation is correct, is it possible for western analysts to do what he expects them to do?”

    Good question. I think Rubin’s advice is based on his empirical view of how the human mind works. I think he is correct (although I disagree that this is caused by ignorance]. But, the important thing is that Rubin is offering advice based on his experience with dealing with these people throughout his life and on his observations. His view is a “belief” about human nature. His article is an attempt to convince Western analysts that this belief would be useful for them to incorporate into their belief system.

    I don’t know if he will be successful but the only way people adopt new beliefs if they don’t develop them themselves (as Rubin has) is by being exposed to them
    through others. One thing about beliefs that are more objectively true is they have an advantage since it is not possible to objectively discredit them. To the extent that a Western observer respects objectivity they will be open to his ideas. I wish him luck.

    As an aside, I think Rubin damaged his ability to encourage Western observers to adopt his views (to make his point) when he implied that powerful people who disagree with him are ignorant.

  43. oao says:

    I am very interested in hearing why you think I am wrong, if indeed it’s important to you to establish that,

    1st, you’re not exactly wrong. you’re just overly exaggerating (for lack of a better word) one aspect of human behavior, to the point where it cannot be falsified.

    2nd, if somebody is wrong it is always important to establish that. i am taken this to be self-evident generally, certainly in discussions like these. not to humiliate somebody, like you seem to delude yourself,
    but because errors, mistakes and ignorance are damaging both the wrong person and others who read his posts. that too is self-evident to me.

    when others try to prove i am wrong i don’t demand that they respect my ideas. i couldn’t care less if they do or don’t, only if i deem them right or wrong.

    it is only because you presume your explanation correct that you assign me and others emotional responses. that’s sort of self-fulfilling.

  44. Ray in Seattle says:

    I said, “I was trying to explain that when we are confronted with an expression of someone’s core-beliefs that go against our own, we have an emotional reaction.”

    oao said, “speak for yourself”.

    I don’t need to. Many psychological experiments observing emotional centers in the brain blooming with blood flow, electrical and hormonal activity using PET and fMRI techniques show this inescapably to be true.

    Also, inasmuch as calling people “idiots” and “ignorant” and their ideas “crap” and “nonsense” when they have expressed views that “irritate” you in an online discussion shows an emotional reaction, I think your comments are as vivid as any fMRI scan in showing that to be the case.

  45. E.G. says:

    As far as I understand Rubin’s argument, it’s about Western experts and policy-makers who think they know most of what is to be known although actually some elements are left out (a common mistake among us, mortals) and replace their own reasoning with the reasoning of others.
    These are well known and studied errors or biases.
    Some interpret them as arrogance or lack of humility or sincerity.

  46. oao says:

    re rubin, i may agree with your characterization of his background, but you have not answered the question.

    the problem is that if the human condition is singularily and universally driven by identity beliefs and emotions and very little is any by knowledge and ability to reason, then western analysis/politicians/journos/public cannot follow rubin’s advice, due to their own emotional drivers.

    to recognize a discrepancy between what you believe (liberalism, multi-culti, cowardice, anti-semitism) and empirical reality requires cognitive capacity (knowedge and ability to reason). but if the former always overrides the latter–if the latter exists at all– it can’t be done.

    the point i already made is that without any cognitive training emotions may well dominate. IF AND WHEN they DETERMINE behavior it is be definition due to lack of sufficient development of cognitive abilities.

  47. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, your first point is worth discussing. But then you seriously run off track.

    I don’t object at all to someone telling me I am wrong. I do object to someone telling me I am an “idiot” or “ignorant” or that my views are “crap” or “nonsense”.

    Again, it is not because you say I am wrong that I accuse you of emotionalism. It is your own emotional words and vilification of me and my ideas I object to. There’s an easy way to test this. Stop doing that and see if I still say you are reacting emotionally when you disagree with me.

  48. E.G. says:

    Ray #44

    Sure. That’s what they did to Arafat at that French military hospital. 2 PET’s and 3 fRMI’s – and he dropped dead! ‘Cause they clearly showed he was an irritated liar, talking crap and nonsense and taking everybody for idiots and ignorants.

  49. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, I should have said in #47 that I was responding to #43.

  50. oao says:

    These are well known and studied errors or biases.
    Some interpret them as arrogance or lack of humility or sincerity.

    yes, and it may be argued that they are mixtures of ignorance/stupidity and emotionally held beliefs, as i explained earlier.

    the questions are (a) are there two factors or just one (b) if there are two, can one be improved at the expense of the other.

    ray seems to say one. i say two and yes, it can be.

  51. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Two interacting factors seems plausible to me.

  52. oao says:

    I don’t need to. Many psychological experiments observing emotional centers in the brain blooming with blood flow, electrical and hormonal activity using PET and fMRI techniques show this inescapably to be true.

    it is also the case that that data is much overinterpreted and that our understanding of what it means is extremely limited, claims to the contrary to build careers notwithstanding. and i very much doubt that you’re sufficiently qualified to use that data to psychologize your interlocutors.

    I do object to someone telling me I am an “idiot” or “ignorant” or that my views are “crap” or “nonsense”.

    exactly. so it is you who responds emotionally not me.

    i never called you an idiot. i called others like noam idiots, because they are. but please get it thru your head that when i say “crap” or “nonsense” that’s what i really think of those ideas not you.

    i have a long career in the IT field and I built a reputation of calling BS BS when i saw it, but always supported by knowledge and reason (my articles are available on the net). you cannot imagine what i was called in return (also available on the net) but without one iota of grounding. yet i never cared about that and i never asked them to stop or give me respect.

    so you see, it’s you who are emotional

  53. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao re: #46 Please try to understand this. I’ve tried to explain it before several times but you won’t understand. You’re missing a key element and so your view of my premise is badly distorted.

    Emotion drives behavior according to identity beliefs. If you are an objective person, meaning objectivity is part of your identity, then the emotional force of that belief will cause you to seek objective answers to life’s questions, as far as you are able.

    If you subscribe to fantasy belief system, like “the Jews want to control the world” or “Arabs are just like us and only want to live in peace and raise their kids” or “there is one God and he is xxx”, then you will not likely to seek objective answers to life’s important questions in those areas.

    In both cases you will seek answers that make you feel best. It is that emotional pay-off human brains are designed to seek, in fact have no choice but to seek. In one case, believing fantasy makes you feel best. In the other only knowing that you accept reality as it is makes you feel best.

    This applies whether one has no education or the best money can buy. That’s why many working class people in the West with minimal education can have a more realistic view of Arab intentions and behaviors than highly educated PhD’s like Noam Chomsky. It’s because on the ME conflict, Chomsky seeks the comforting emotions of a fantasy belief system he has never had to suffer the consequences to live with – and those who deal with honor / shame on a daily basis at the workplace have a more objective set of beliefs about human nature.

  54. oao says:

    ignorant means “you have a gap in knowledge”, that’s all. it’s a statement of what i perceive to be a fact.

  55. oao says:

    If you are an objective person, meaning objectivity is part of your identity, then the emotional force of that belief will cause you to seek objective answers to life’s questions, as far as you are able.

    that’s what i claimed to be a tautology. you DEFINE objectivity as an emotion. so you have a universal hypothesis which cannot be falsified.

    saying that one is emotionally driven both when he is objective and when is not does not square with how these concepts are generally understood. emotional attachment to objectivity is not the same as emotional behavior.

  56. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao says: “i never called you an idiot. i called others like noam idiots, because they are. but please get it thru your head that when i say “crap” or “nonsense” that’s what i really think of those ideas not you.”

    Be honest here. The derision you express is a wide brush that smears anyone who disagrees with you. You make no effort to separate liberals in this forum from liberals in politics or leftists or whatever. It is very much like Gingrich saying that liberals who think like me were responsible for Susan Smith drowning her children.

    For example, in #46 you said,

    ” . . what you believe (liberalism, multi-culti, cowardice, anti-semitism) . . ”

    That’s one of the ugliest things anyone has ever said to me online. You have no idea how ugly, arrogant and disgusting your comments are.

  57. Ray in Seattle says:

    I’m done for now.

  58. E.G. says:

    It’s because on the ME conflict, Chomsky seeks the comforting emotions of a fantasy belief system he has never had to suffer the consequences to live with – and those who deal with honor / shame on a daily basis at the workplace have a more objective set of beliefs about human nature.

    ?!?
    That brilliant spirit has so little common sense?

  59. oao says:

    Two interacting factors seems plausible to me.

    well, since all takes place in the brain it would be impossible for them not to be interacting.

    but just because some part of the brain appears to a machine to be more lit up than another does not mean that we can infer that the behavior is primarily emotional.

  60. oao says:

    It’s because on the ME conflict, Chomsky seeks the comforting emotions of a fantasy belief system he has never had to suffer the consequences to live with – and those who deal with honor / shame on a daily basis at the workplace have a more objective set of beliefs about human nature

    i would put it differently.

    chomsky is an anarcho-leftist. this framework applies to the west and part. to the US, it fits. he has both the knowledge and the ability to reason.

    when it comes to other cultures, part. islam, he is utterly ignorant, so his ability to reason per se is not effective.

    so his analysis is of america’s foreign policy</b., not of those cultures and therefore his reasoning by applying the same leftist fraework to america is flawed because he is ignorant of the enemy.

  61. E.G. says:

    but just because some part of the brain appears to a machine to be more lit up than another does not mean that we can infer that the behavior is primarily emotional.

    Aye.
    And since there’s lots of Israeli brains and tech in those machines, it should be taken with triple precautions ;-)

  62. oao says:

    ” . . what you believe (liberalism, multi-culti, cowardice, anti-semitism) . . ”

    oh, no, i am sorry, it was not intended at you personally. it was the ‘general you’ — similar to “what ONE believes…”

    what basis would i have for deeming you and anti-semite??????? there is nothing in what you commented here to draw such a conclusion.

  63. oao says:

    The derision you express is a wide brush that smears anyone who disagrees with you.

    now THAT is bullshit.

  64. oao says:

    And since there’s lots of Israeli brains and tech in those machines, it should be taken with triple precautions ;-)

    nah, that’s just zionist propaganda that the joos did those machines.

    seriously, though: i would strongly urge all the islamists and western anti-zionists and leftists to refrain from using those machines whenever they need them. so many problems would be solved that way.

  65. [...] Augean Stables » Freedom of the Press in Israel: The NGO Inversion (tags: Israel MSM freedom freedom_of_speech Press_freedom Freedom_House) [...]

  66. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, thanks for your explanation in #62. Please be careful with your words. Try to envision how others might read them.

    In #63, I misstated. I should have said, “The derision you express is a wide brush that smears anyone who disagrees significantly with your ideology.”

    That’s because you repeatedly refer to bloggers or people in the news, journalists, etc. who don’t share your ideology as “idiots” and “ignorant” and their ideas as “crap” and “nonsense” and worse. You’ve also used those terms for commenters here at times – like Noam.

    If you will notice you have seldom if ever referred to a self-identified conservative or their ideas using those terms – on-site or off. And when you refer to liberals’ ideas in that way you typically identify them using some pejorative such as lefties, progressives, multi-cultis etc.

    Then when you call someone’s ideas here “crap” or “nonsense” there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind what you think of them personally.

    There’s nothing wrong with you thinking whatever you wish about people who comment here, or their ideas, including me. However, if you insult us that way it will greatly impede discussion of the issues as we fly off into an honor / shame match. That’s the only reason I object. I don’t really care what you think of me. I’m here to discuss interesting topics and I get pissed-off when somebody makes that difficult.

    BTW – I have no problem with you characterizing an opinion, like “The derision you express is a wide brush that smears anyone who disagrees with you”, as bullshit. That’s probably a little antagonistic for some others but I can handle that and worse.

    It’s when you characterize the premises or ideas that someone offers as content in the ongoing topic of discussion that way – that I get angry. Again, not because you disagree with them (or me). I may even agree with you. It’s because it drops a turd into the discussion and the smell hangs around too long for discussion on the topic to resume.

  67. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao said, but just because some part of the brain appears to a machine to be more lit up than another does not mean that we can infer that the behavior is primarily emotional.

    You should read up on this stuff before stating such definite conclusions. This is a well-established body of peer-reviewed and accepted research. It is based on multiple avenues such as lesion studies – where, after death, autopsies determine the locations of brain lesions in persons with known mental impairments such as the inability to feel certain certain emotions. These have been going on for decades.

    Those are the areas that are monitored in real time in psych labs today using fMRI and PET scans while subjects are induced to experience specific emotions or solve poblems.

    It has also been discovered that intellectual problem-solving of survival-related problems can not occur without the necessary emotional underpinnings. i.e. certain cognitions depend on specific emotions to drive them. One of the central products of Domasio’s research is his “Somatic Marker Theory”. His research shows that emotion is integral to the process of reasoning and decision-making and must be present for that processing to take place.

    My views on this are not uneducated speculations. They are based on very current research. That doesn’t make my views correct but they are pretty far from unfounded. If you disagree, fine. But you should first show that you understand my views. That means you have to convince me, not yourself. Then you need to criticize them from a scientific, not an ideological basis. I welcome that.

  68. oao says:

    You should read up on this stuff before stating such definite conclusions.

    you actually have no idea what i knoe about this stuff and what i read. peer-reviews are not the end-all of proof and i have my own personal experience with them.
    and in any case i did not draw any definite conclusions, that was exactly my point. you did.

    as to the rest of your arguments see my exchange with e.g. about interaction — it’s different than what you argue — that emotional behavior is all there is to it because you define it that way.

  69. oao says:

    Please be careful with your words. Try to envision how others might read them.

    i usually am very careful, which many miss.

    a lot of it has to do with your sensitivity.

    “The derision you express is a wide brush that smears anyone who disagrees significantly with your ideology.”

    my response stands.

    Then when you call someone’s ideas here “crap” or “nonsense” there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind what you think of them personally.

    don’t presume what others think. in fact, at least one other person here told you explicitly he did not. you assign emotions and thoughts too much to others.

    It’s when you characterize the premises or ideas that someone offers as content in the ongoing topic of discussion that way – that I get angry.

    anger is emotion.

    why is it that premises and ideas must automatically be respected???????? i respect your right to express them, but no way they always deserve respect.

  70. Ray in Seattle says:

    Words fail me. I have no more to offer on this.

  71. E.G. says:

    An item not reported by “non-free” Israeli media – or any other “free” mainstream one:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brad-wilmouth/2009/07/31/nbc-refuses-correct-claim-israel-shot-boy-accuses-critics-cheap-shot-

  72. oao says:

    An item not reported by “non-free” Israeli media – or any other “free” mainstream one:

    i see nothing that would compel the media to be objective and accurate. indeed, alibama is being urged to save their butt.

    now imagine: they are already alibama’s pravda on their own accord — what happens after he saves them?

  73. E.G. says:

    what happens after he saves them?

    (a) Through mergers & acquisitions they reduce to 40.
    or
    (b) Through “stimulus” they multiply into 40000.
    Either way,
    Mirror Mirror on the wall
    From the office to the hall
    Who’s the greatest of them all?

  74. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ Ray : fair try, but some people do not budge as a matter of honor. Honor-shame behavior is present here too!

  75. oao says:

    fair try, but some people do not budge as a matter of honor. Honor-shame behavior is present here too!

    i would respond, but it does not merit.

  76. oao says:

    going back to the subject, it’s not just freedom house. “academics” do it too:

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2009/08/stupidity-of-pro-arab-professor.html

  77. E.G. says:

    Some “academic”. Very inventive.
    There was a link posted in the comments – Pierre Rehov’s new film trailer:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaNOHWHFZ4I

  78. Ray in Seattle says:

    Thanks Michelle. All was not wasted however.

    Notice that he said that your comment “lacked merit”. Not that is was “nonsense” or “crap” and not that you were an “idiot”. That’s an improvement IMO, although mentioning it could cause a relapse.

    But, I think the greatest value is in the real-time display of the ideological mind at work, immersed in the game of honor and shame. It shows minds that only allow limited conclusions to emerge from any discussion: my side is honest, intelligent, has the right of “resistance” (to humiliate our foes) because we are “persecuted”; their side is dishonest, not properly educated, incapable of simple reasoning, plotting to destroy the “good” folks because they want to rule the world. These are minds that never admit error or allow the slightest credit to their enemies – who they see as foes who must be humiliated and chased out or otherwise eliminated.

    This is perhaps best exemplified by Arab ideologues on their high-risk mission to rid the ME of Jews. But it applies much the same to Western ideologues on internet forums, both right and left, where they find a risk-free public stage to attack their enemies and carry on their personal jihad.

    I’d much prefer argumentative but civil discussion to honor / shame games but it’s impossible to do both at the same time. So, if you don’t take the attacks too seriously, this can be intellectually stimulating, emotionally exciting and educational. Cheers

  79. oao says:

    and after all this you expect respect?

  80. oao says:

    to attack their enemies and carry on their personal jihad.

    you keep deluding yourself that you are important enough to be my enemy.

    This is perhaps best exemplified by Arab ideologues on their high-risk mission to rid the ME of Jews. But it applies much the same to Western ideologues on internet forums, both right and left, where they find a risk-free public stage to attack their enemies and carry on their personal jihad.

    no wonder the west is doomed when you see similarity between me and the arabs. that would be absurd even if i were an ideologue.

  81. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao: and after all this you expect respect?

    Respect? I think I’ve pretty will given up on that one. But, I don’t “expect” respect from you, anyway. There’s some interesting topics in this forum. I “prefer” civil discussion of those topics without insults. That where the participants agree to avoid insults no matter how wrong or misguided they think their opponents may be. That includes insults of groups like liberals or Dems that a participant might be in. It’s a form of “respect” for the venue and the process more than anything.

    oao: you keep deluding yourself that you are important enough to be my enemy.

    No, I know that liberals and anyone on the left are generally your enemy. I just happen to be frequently available because I am the token liberal here.

    So, you’re suggesting that my comment was mean-spirited? Why, because you didn’t insult anyone in your previous comment? You think this is tit for tat? That’s not how it works. When someone makes a forum their personal jihad space it creates a poisonous atmosphere where some people leave, some are afraid to comment and those who do either take sides or will appear to even if they try to stay out of it. Insults are felt even if not intended. Discussing complex concepts is never easy. In that atmosphere it is impossible. I wonder how many good comments were never written over the last few months because of your jihad.

    I’ve been trying to explain this to you for a while now and each time I’m told that you don’t have to “respect anyone’s ideas” as you deceptively put it. So I’m just calling ‘em as I see ‘em. I’ll be glad to stop talking about your honor – shame behavior when you stop displaying it so well.

    BTW – your views of liberals, lefties and progressives are right on par with Arabs’ views of Jews, adjusted for cultural norms.

  82. Ray in Seattle says:

    Just to be clear, some common views of liberals may be relevant to the topics here – just as could some common views of conservatives. There’s nothing wrong with talking about that as long as some minimal precautions are observed so that no-one feels they are being insulted. And I don’t mean to be acting like the PC police here either. Most people can handle reasonably caustic comments about political groups on either side and I’ve got nothing against that. Most adults can handle that while taking a little care that no-one has to feel gratuitously insulted by it or that this is place where only people of one political persuasion are welcome. It’s just respecting the venue enough so that good discussion can happen.

    I’m not making any threats here. I’m just offering some suggestions that no-one has to pay any attention to if they don’t want to. I admit to getting some perverse pleasure from sticking my finger in bullies’ chests – so either way, I’m good with it.

  83. nelson says:

    Let me say something maybe useful.

    I’ve been writing for my country’s papers and magazines for over 30 years now and I’m fully convinced Karl Kraus was right when he said that international crises happen because diplomats lie to journalists and, then, believe in what they read in the papers.

    In any kind of international crisis or war, even those highest up would be very happy if they knew, say, 50% of what’s going on, that is, everything that’s happening on their own side of the mountain. Whatever may be taking place on the other side is worse or better guesswork.

    But actually, in such huge and complex systems as modern armies and states and governments, even a president, king or dictator should consider himself excellently informed if he has a reasonable knowledge of half that’s happening on his own side. His only advantage over his rivals is not to know everything, but just to know a little more than his most dangerous local rivals.

    Journalists, on the other hand, always know much less than true decision makers (otherwise, they would be the decisoon makers and not mere journalists) in their own country or territory and almost nothing about what’s happening on the opposite side of any crisis or war or conflict or whatever.

    That’s, obviously, to be expected. The trouble is that most journalists present themselves not only as more informed than the average newspaper reader (a plausible claim sometimes), but as more informed than specialists, decision makers (in the US they were always saying how ignorant Bush was, for instance, and how better they knew everything) and, eventually, as omniscient, that is, as know-alls. After repeating this idiot claim a couple of times, they end up by believing it themselves and, even worse, making their readership take them seriously.

    Now, in the early 90s I happened to have some knowledge about Eastern Europe and the Balkans because that’s where my family’s from, because I speak one of the local languages (Hungarian) and understand a bit of some Slavic languages etc. It just happened that here, at that time, mere months before the outbreak of the Yugoslav civil war, no Brazilian journalist had the faintest idea of what were the differences between Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Slavonians, Slovaks, Czechs, Albanians, whatever. They still don’t have.

    And, though the Arab-Israeli conflict is debated as hotly and passionately here as elsewhere, I cannot say that even in the highest reaches of the press I’ve met more than two, perhaps three individuals with a working knowledge of the region’s complexity and history. The very same applies to people I know in our own federal government. They don’t know and they don’t want to know. Groupthink, ideology and laziness trump anything and everything else. They (the politicians)may even be very intelligent, but they’re neither open minded nor, at the very least, curious. Whatever intelligence they have they use it to get and stay in power: that’s their job.

    Thus, with few exceptions, journalists (and intellectuals)are worse than useless, while it is quite likely that the better informed politicians are not those in the democratic West, but despots and tyrants in places like the Arab/Muslim world, for the simple Darwinian reason that, in their case, the price of being mistaken is usually too high.

  84. oao says:

    how did you say? i’m done.

  85. Ray in Seattle says:

    Michelle, I’ve been reading an interesting paper where the author lays out a mathematical model of rational choice that you may find interesting. (I’m not sure.)

    A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice
    Herbert A. Simon
    The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 69, No. 1. (Feb., 1955), pp. 99-118.

    The abstract can be found at:

    http://www.jstor.org/pss/1884852

    Let me now if access is a problem for you.

  86. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Thanks, Ray, I will look up the reference. I am no economist, and I was quite convinced by reports on the work of Nobel laureate Kahaneman that psychology is an important factor in economic choice.

    By the way, sticking a finger in the breast of the bully is fine if this is what you are doing really. The young chinese facing a tank on Tien An Men square in ’89 is an example for us all. In a web discussion, the right way to do that is not to respond. I have contributed to wikipedia and got my share of insults, for criticizing the hagiographical article on Alain Badiou in the french version of wp. The answer I put on my personal page is that I never, ever, respond to insult, and that all insults in my discussion page will be suppressed.

    Here, our gracious host Richard Landes is the master, and a very nice bloglord. In the mean time, I just choose to whom I answer and to whom I do not.

    Sticking a finger in the breast of a web troll can be done by refusing to pick a fight with him, which is what he is desperately looking for.

  87. Eliyahu says:

    One of the interesting things about the anti-Zionists calling themselves “anti-imperialists” is that they almost always miss how the Western govts, imperialists by Lenin’s definition, have fed and still feed the Arab war on Israel. Now, I place the Western press in the framework of their governments’ policies [govts also includes the EU]. Among these govts, the British have probably been the worse. The UK contributed both psywar/cogwar weapons to the Arab side, or shall we say, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish side, and money, real weapons, and diplomatic support. In the UK, and to a lesser extent in the USA and France, much of the academic world is mobilized for pro-Arab, pro-Muslim propaganda. And of course the press.

    In France, where the universities are mostly state-owned, you could say that that’s to be expected. But in the USA many or most universities are private or belong to the 50 states [ie, not federal]. But there too, there’s a pervasive line, a pro-Arab line, and it has been prevalent or dominant –though not exclusively so– for many years. Here I go by C Wright Mills’ theory of the Power Elite. We see that certain individuals –like zbig brzezinski– move from govt to Columbia U [an ostensibly private U, n'est-ce pas?] back to govt. I think that Mills’ classic case was John J McCloy. So the univs are on the whole part of the system of Power Elite domination. The first academic journal in the US on the modern Middle East was, as far as I know, the Middle East Journal [founded about 1947?]. This thing was published by the Middle East Institute which was in turn funded by the Petroleum Institute, if I am not mistaken. That fits Mills’ theory.

    What’s new in the last 30-35 years is the overwhelming Arab funding for Middle East studies. For example, John Esposito’s center at Georgetown or wherever he is. Then, propagandistic clowns like walt-mearsheimer claim Israeli or Jewish domination. Somehow, these professional falsifiers are myopic about Arab funding in the univs, about Geo Bush I and Geo Bush II’s friendship with the Saudis and so on and so forth.

    The MSM in the USA fit into the same system as do the private and non-federal univs. We all know that reporting is usually shallow at best, often deliberately distorted when it comes to Israel. The institutional bias against Israel is therefore very deeply rooted in the USA, and the situation is probably worse in the UK. In the UK, just look at the royal inst of int’l affairs. I just read yesterday in the JPost that Robin Shepherd, who had a fairly high and responsible position there, was pushed out because he tried to be fair to Israel.

    Now the anti-national camp in Israel –usually called the Peace Camp or the Left– is influenced heavily by external “leftist” movements, notions, personalities, thought-leaders, etc. Werner of Freedom House seems to fit in here. Many of these people can’t think for themselves anyhow. So, combined with the traditional Judeophobia of the Marxian ex-Kantian-Hegelian tradition, which the Israeli Leftist may have absorbed in his education long ago, is the agitprop of the Western media, “NGOs”, academic world, all of them manipulated by psywar/cogwar themes sponsored by certain Western govts, especially the UK. This does much to explain, to me, much of the problem with the Israeli media.

    We ought to bear in mind that every newspaper, tv/radio “news” program, college course, is somehow “self-censored.” After all, a newspaper has only so many pages, so much space, to print on. So a selection has to be made. Likewise, a prof gives a course of 45 minutes per day, 3 days a week, for 15 weeks, for example. He can’t teach everything about his subject. Right there decisions are made on what to exclude and what to keep in. Getting more specific about the press, can anyone who knows the British press [frankly, I avoid it] tell me how often any paper or TV or radio “news” broadcast in the UK reports on the constant anti-Jewish, Judeophobic hate propaganda in the Arab press, especially that of the palestinian authority and hamas in Gaza?? My impression is that seldom does any UK “news” outlet report these things. Maybe I’m wrong.

    But, the media and so-called “ngos” are predisposed to blame Israel for almost everything and anything. Yesterday, Amnesty Int’l accused Israel of not doing enough to protect gay citizens, this in reaction to the murder of two gays in Tel Aviv. Would the gay movement itself want the kind of police presence in the areas where they gather that would be needed to protect them 100%?? by the way, it seems to me that the Tel Aviv murders were a provocation, although I don’t know by whom.

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2009/08/tel-aviv-gay-murders-provocation-for.html

  88. Ray in Seattle says:

    Hi Michelle, Thanks for your advice. Ignoring is what I always try first. And I tried that for many weeks here trying to be extra polite while asking for some civility. But sometimes, a line is crossed and I feel compelled to respond. Some factors that made me come to that conclusion here were that this person was not a typical troll in that he did not drop by to insert his presence into an otherwise congenial forum but was the dominant presence. Anyone dropping by to check us out would be likely to think this was a RW anti-liberal hate site. I suspect many worthy commenters, probably on the left and right, passed us by for that reason. I’ve now seen several come by and leave after a few attempts to add to the discussion and only receiving insults. I could also have left but this is a unique forum that focuses on ideas that are very interesting to me. It looks at a real ongoing conflict where lives are lost every day, from a psychological perspective – and it’s run by a highly educated person, not the typical gadfly. But your advice is welcome. I will try to adopt that posture from this point forward. I also hope that oao continues to contribute his ideas, many of which are worthwhile even if I disagree with him.

  89. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Hi Ray, when oao has good ideas, I enjoy them. When he is in his hate mode, I ignore him. I tried to have a sane discussion with him a few weeks ago and failed. You probably read this.

    I guess that I do not agree with your theory of emotions, because I do not trust very much all encompassing theories of human behavior. But this does not bother me.

    I like this blog because the bad behavior of MSNM is very, very problematic and may in the end change our future very much.

    I do not have to participate in internal US political debate, and I certainly will not use any kind of disparaging names for US politicians. I have very few illusions on politicians – France has some fine examples of very crooked ones – but I do not have more illusions about their rabid opponents, and the more so if they resort to name calling, mud throwing and so on.

    If some one does not like my opinions, that’s it, my inner self will not feel threatened, and I will change them only if I get rational arguments, not if I get projectiles.

  90. oao says:

    When he is in his hate mode, I ignore him.

    Anybody who issues such crap will fail talking to me.

  91. oao says:

    looks like some come here to find supporting friends, not to have an intellectual discussion.

  92. oao says:

    that psychology is an important factor in economic choice.

    all behavior is psychological, including economics. the “fields” of social science are in a certain sense arbitrary for the convenience of studying behavior. there are certain patterns and regularities in the psychology of economics, but like all human behavior, these are probabilistic patterns.

    In the mean time, I just choose to whom I answer and to whom I do not.

    excellent. that’ what i do too. i don’t demand respect and accuse others of disrepect, bullying and hatred.

  93. E.G. says:

    Wonderful news! The freeset media on Earth are to collaborate with the grandest President’s efforts to bring “Peace” to the ME.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/world/middleeast/03diplo.html?ref=middleeast

  94. E.G. says:

    Just in case anyone thought that smiles and readiness to talk were effective
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3756509,00.html

  95. Ray in Seattle says:

    Hi Michelle, It’s good to hear what draws you here. You say,

    I like this blog because the bad behavior of MSNM is very, very problematic and may in the end change our future very much.

    I agree with you. Also, with Eliyahu who just wrote, “But, the media and so-called “ngos” are predisposed to blame Israel for almost everything and anything.”

    Do you think it is useful to understand what drives that media and ngo behavior? I do and I have some theories. I see people comment frequently about the motives of NGO’s and the MSNM but most of those views don’t seem very helpful. One common premise is that they are at core, anti-semitic, and are carrying out these acts while pretending to be anti-war or anti-colonialist or anti-imperialist – a deceitful stance designed to play better to humanist emotions and achieve their goal of weakening Israel to the point where it must make concessions to its Arab neighbors to survive.

    My experience is that very few people are really capable of living life as a ruse – pretending to have different motives than they do in order to profit themselves. Occasionally, someone like Bernie Madoff or Ken Lay succeeds at it for a while. But, the idea that the people who run all the anti-Israel ngo’s plus all the anti-Israel, pro-Arab columnists in the world are being knowingly deceitful is not credible to me. I think the vast majority of them actually believe their views are entirely honest and come from the best motives of objective journalism and promoting peace. In turn, they believe that the pro-Israel leaders and opinion-makers are deceitfully pretending to want peace with the Arabs while actually working to take Judea and Samaria and dominate the ME militarily. None of these Machiavellian “cognitive” explanations make much sense to me.

    That’s why I’ve looked for answers elsewhere and I think I’m on a promising track by looking at the nature of belief. BTW, I was studying this before I became so interested in the ME conflict but I was struck at how well it seemed to apply.

    You say you “do not trust very much all encompassing theories of human behavior”. Setting aside questions of the validity of my theory, some aspects of human nature are just not comfortable to face. Most of humanity has yet to accept that we were not created in some God’s image and for some God’s purpose. But that should not prevent us from considering uncomfortable explanations when trying to better understand why we humans do what we do.

    My views on this (uncomfortably) place intellect and reasoning in a support position to emotion as a driver of behavior. We all like to believe that our own behavior is driven only by the clearest reasoning and is never “corrupted” by emotion. That’s because we have a strong cultural belief that such is the definition of the “enlightened man”, the person we all aspire to be. And so we reject the possibility that we (humankind) are not ideally the rational decision-makers we insist that we are, personally.

    IMO this causes a culturally induced distortion in our analyses of destructive human behavior such that we always look for errors in thinking as the only possible cause. I think this mis-attributes the causes of that behavior and therefore leads us further from understanding the real source of the “bad behavior of MSNM [that] is very, very problematic and [that] may in the end change our future very much”.

  96. E.G. says:

    oao

    שנינו מכירים את מחקרי סיימון וכהנמן-טברסקי והם התשובה לריי, ממציא גלגל הרגש הראשוני. אבל האם זה המקום והזמן לדון בסוגייה? מה דעתך

    לי זו לא נראית זירה או במה להתנצחויות תיאורטיות או קונצפטואליות- וכמובן לא אישיות, כפי שידידנו מנסה לנהל את השיח הפומבי – אבל איך לשים קץ לדחיפת רעיונותיו ומושגיו האישיים לכל דיון?! נמאס לי מהטרול הזה

  97. oao says:

    e.g.,

    i agree, but nonsense is hard to accept. the west is crumbling because of it.

    But that should not prevent us from considering uncomfortable explanations when trying to better understand why we humans do what we do.

    it’s the west’s deserations to “understand” arabs/muslims that is self-destructive.

    We all like to believe that our own behavior is driven only by the clearest reasoning and is never “corrupted” by emotion.

    who exactly said “NEVER”? it is actually you who says “ALWAYS”.

    And so we reject the possibility that we (humankind) are not ideally the rational decision-makers we insist that we are, personally.

    you build a strawman and you destroy it. nobody in his right mind believes he’s the IDEAL rational man. but that does not imply there are no predominantly rational men.

    IMO this causes a culturally induced distortion in our analyses of destructive human behavior such that we always look for errors in thinking as the only possible cause.

    acting emotionally or ideologically does not mean it cannot be erroneous!!!! in fact, that’s one of the biggest errors that is: to ignore reality out of ideology or emotionally held beliefs. alibama is one of the best examples:

    Obama Middle East Policy: Clueless is an Understatement
    By Barry Rubin
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/08/obama-middle-east-policy-clueless-is.html

    this is a mixture of ideology and errors. in the former case he marinated in anti-semitic and palestinian crap (wright, khalidi) and wants to “cut israel down to size”; in the latter case, he has no clue about history, culture and poltics of foreign cultures in general, let alone the ME.

  98. oao says:

    desperation, not deserations.

  99. oao says:

    e.g.,

    i don’t have access to hebrew. if interested to communicate privately you can go to my site, pick up one of my email addresses there and email me.

  100. oao says:

    here’s another example of emotions who lead to irrationality:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/08/03/palin_ahmadinejad/index.html

  101. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao, In #98 you made 4 responses to some of my statements. In the first you said,

    “it’s the west’s [desperation] to “understand” arabs/muslims that is self-destructive.”.

    That’s an interesting statement but I don’t see any clear connection to my statement.

    When I said, “We all like to believe that our own behavior is driven only by the clearest reasoning and is never “corrupted” by emotion.” You said,

    “who exactly said “NEVER”? it is actually you who says “ALWAYS”.”

    Did you miss the “like to” at the start of that sentence. I was talking about what we humans “like to believe about ourselves”. But I still don’t fully understand your statement. Then you said,

    “you build a strawman and you destroy it. nobody in his right mind believes he’s the IDEAL rational man. but that does not imply there are no predominantly rational men.”

    I did not imply that nor did I intend to. I was talking about how we prefer to see humankind as rational decision-makers. I believe there are rational men in the world. I’m saying that rationality does not drive behavior decisions – that emotion drives the process and emotion can drive us to use reason – if we believe that reason is good to apply in that particular case. In other cases emotion can just as easily shut down our rationality. Our minds develop preferences about where and when to be rational. There are engineers who can design the perfect high-rise but who believe in astrology. There are Arabs in Paris and London who are financial experts but who believe that Jews stole Arab lands to create Israel.

    Then you said,

    “acting emotionally or ideologically does not mean it cannot be erroneous!!!! in fact, that’s one of the biggest errors that is: to ignore reality out of ideology or emotionally held beliefs.”

    If I understand you then we agree. That’s what my comment to Michelle was about – the human tendency to emotionally believe in human rationality as the driver of behavior – and therefore make mistakes when analyzing human behavior. That causes us to attribute bad behavior to errors in thinking – rather than attribute it to holding irrational beliefs, beliefs that channel that thinking toward conclusions that make us feel good rather than meet the test of objectivity.

    Let me know if I misunderstood you.

  102. oao says:

    you did misunderstand, but i don’t have the patience to explain because i don’t believe it will be productive.

    your tendency is to interpret almost everything as validating your “theory” and if anybody responds, he gets a chockful of test in response which requires further rebuttal, ad infinitum.

  103. oao says:

    chockful of text, not test.

  104. Ray in Seattle says:

    oao said, “your tendency is to interpret almost everything as validating your “theory” and if anybody responds, he gets a chockful of te[x]t in response which requires further rebuttal, ad infinitum.”

    What you describe is the process whereby mature people resolve differences of opinion in civilized societies. I’m not surprised that you have no stomach for it?

  105. oao says:

    no, it only means that you found (not invented) a technique to wear people down, one which i described in an article i linked to here several time.

    it is my fault that my concern for readers here prompted me to waste my time on your whining and diverting threads to your personal aggrandizement masquerading as exchange of ideas for learning purposes.

  106. E.G. says:

    Ray (but not only),

    I believe you’d be interested to read the following book review (and perhaps the book itself):

    http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/12/2/reviews/castelfranchi.html

  107. E.G. says:

    Given the interest in Herb Simon’s seminal paper (above), I’d like to recommend another one, valuable in itself, as well as being a great bibliographic resource.

    http://www.econ.tuwien.ac.at/Lotto/papers/Emotions.pdf

  108. Ray in Seattle says:

    EG: Thanks for your comments and reading suggestions. As you know these are very interesting areas for me. I want to be careful not to use my interest in this to divert the discussion away from the Arab/Israeli conflict and into an area of abstract neuroscience or psychology or to promote some pet theory, as I have been accused of.

    Yet, because of my reading and exploration in this area I can’t help but see certain patterns of errors in thinking about the behavior of the various actors and groups involved in this conflict. From a brief scan of your two citations it seems that I’ll find some connections there, pro or con, with some of the ideas I have been trying to introduce in this forum. I’ll wait to read these to see if I should comment further.

  109. Ray in Seattle says:

    I just read the Yaniv Hanoch paper for the first time. (I usually need several passes before I really get what they are saying.) This paper is not arcane and does a good job of summarizing most of the latest scientific views on behavior, cognition and emotion that have emerged from research (prior to 2001). Of course, there has been new work in this direction since then but his coverage of Damasio and LeDoux resonated with my interpretation of their work, which I have studied extensively.

    Basically this paper shows that current neuroscience research verifies what some psychologists and sociologists have been suggesting for years – that human behavior is greatly subject to emotional influences at many levels. It is far from settled science but anyone who is interested in analyzing human behavior should be aware of this.

  110. oao says:

    e.g.,

    i rest my case.

  111. Eliyahu says:

    re the original post about “freedom house” above and freedom of the press in Israel.

    It is all simply proof that we are living in dangerously Orwellian times.

  112. Eliyahu says:

    Speaking of Orwellian inversions, Bataween at the Point of No Return blog asked me to say things that I had said on her blog on the “Comment Is Free” blog of the Guardian newspaper. Some Britishers like to call it the Groniad. Do you note that title, comment is free???

    Well, I have posted there a couple of times. Each comment of mine was removed. Now, I think that my comments were moderate in tone and expression. I did not call names. I cited historical facts. I think that my arguments were reasonable. But it seems that I did not say what they wanted to hear. My facts did not fit their favorite narrative about Arabs and Israel. So the Guardian staff erased my comments.

    And they call it “Comment Is Free”!!! It reminds me of the NYTimes slogan: All the News that’s Fit to Print.

    But if the news, the facts, do not fit the NYT’s narrative, then they don’t get in or maybe get in on p. 57 next to the obituaries or the ship arrivals.

    Obviously the Guardian is worse. They make the pretense of hosting a “free” forum. Orwell was an Englishman. He must have known his own country.

  113. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu –

    This is unbelievable. CiF actually erased your comments?! Have you kept one of them? Could you post it here, if you did?

    I thought they were living off the Israel hate-fest over there, so they do need to have some pro-Israel comments to keep the fire burning. Judging from what you post here, yours would have been good wood.

  114. Ray in Seattle says:

    NGO Inversion is about the power of belief. That is, it’s about the emotional power of strong beliefs to invert one’s views of objective reality. It is not about poor education or an inability to reason effectively.

    It actually takes as much or more intelligence and education to figure out ways to create the illusion that reality is opposite from what it is and to convince other intelligent people to believe it.

    An excellent example of this principle in action is this YouTube sequence of Richard Dawkins discussing evolution with Wendy Wright, a spokesperson for a “Creationist Museum”. Here you can vividly watch her mind reject and dismiss the clearest possible evidence.

    She can not accept evolution because to her that would require a disbelief in her concept of God. Her emotions underlying her belief in God are far stronger than any objective reality. They will not allow her to even consider the possibility that any other belief could be true that would negate her belief in God’s creation. It’s obvious that she’s quite intelligent and holds her own against Richard Dawkins – ignoring the content of her words.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4mLGmPMvl

    Those who support HRW have a similar very strong emotionally potent belief that Israel is the historic and current aggressor in the ME against the poor Palestinians. These are probably intelligent people for the most part and educated sufficiently. Some of them are very well educated. Their minds will only interpret reality in ways that support that higher belief. Their emotional belief will not allow their minds to even consider evidence that might tarnish or diminish the strength of that belief.

  115. oao says:

    eliyahu,

    re #114, i hope you are not surprised. the erasure practice is more frequent than you think and it should be expected on the left — it’s their long tradition.

    i would never post on such sites because not only it has no impact, but even if they leave it on as 1/1000, it is often used as cover (see, there are counter postings too!), as e.g. suggested. and to have the herd lash at them with rabid fury.

  116. Eliyahu says:

    EG, I was very upset about what happened to my comments on “comment is free.” Because I had put a lot of thought into them and even looked up some books with info for those comments. Yet they erased what were careful, reasoned, moderately expressed, polite comments. I am also mad at myself because I did not make copies of the comments when I posted them. It’s a very frustrating feeling.

    Yes, EG, they need a foil for their rabid curs. But if the facts that you cite clash too much with their mendacious narrative, then they must get rid of you. It reminds me of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. By the way, there really was a UK govt agency that was meant to censor the bbc where Orwell worked for part of the war. That agency is supposed to have been the model for the Ministry of Truth.

    I believe that the facts that I cited, such as Haj Amin el-Husseini’s Nazi and Holocaust collaboration, were just too jarringly out of synch with their usual bs line. I think that I also mentioned the Jewish majority in Jerusalem as of 1853 [search for Cesar Famin on my blog]. Some news just does not fit, as the NYT frankly tells us.

  117. Eliyahu says:

    Ray, re your #116. Your comment about NGO inversion is very interesting. This phenomenon [or symptom??] must occur very often. But I don’t think that the issues of knowledge and reason are not present.

  118. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu, Yes, the elements of knowledge and reason are present, but I’d suggest not in the way you think they are.

    Where strong beliefs are underlying a disagreement, knowledge and reason are enlisted only to justify and support one’s beliefs, not to examine them. The greater the emotional strength of those beliefs, the more that is true. Faced with irrefutable evidence of the fossil record and dna data – and her inability to provide any evidence in support of biblical creation – did you see Wendy even once waver in her belief that she was absolutely correct and Dawkins completely wrong and being deceptive?

    Wendy’s arguments were quite intelligent tactically. She knew what would seem at least partially credible to an audience who knew little about the underlying conflict – and she used that knowledge skillfully. I’m not saying she was being deceptive. I’m sure she completely believed her statements. Strong beliefs make justification feel just like objective examination – and they make our opponent’s words feel just like lies and tricks. We can’t imagine otherwise because that would indirectly threaten our beliefs. Our minds are designed to not allow that.

    The beliefs underlying the Arab/Israeli conflict are very strong and emotionally charged – very much like Wendy’s beliefs that motivated her tactics in that discussion. Anti-Israel beliefs in the West are religious-like in their strength and motivation. Reasoning about it on the merits is futile. To change minds in the West you have to deal with the specific over-arching beliefs that drive those minds.

    That first requires understanding the importance of beliefs rather than reason in this effort. Also, that people will non-consciously mischaracterize their beliefs to make them easier to defend or attract allies.

    So, you first must understand the true nature of your adversaries’ beliefs – not what they say about them. Then it requires finding an even higher level belief in those minds (tagged with even stronger emotions) that could be enlisted in Israel’s favor. This is where Israel’s enemies have been so successful. By appealing to higher level beliefs of Jews and Western leftists, many Jews and leftists now believe that Israel is the aggressor in the ME, engaged in “wars of conquest” and that we should not support Israel for moral reasons. Finally, it requires skillful application of known marketing principles to realign those minds (beliefs) in Israel’s favor.

    I’m not saying I know the answers but it’s not that different from getting US centrists to vote for Obama in large numbers in the last election here – or vote for Bush in the previous one. It can be done.

  119. oao says:

    EG, I was very upset about what happened to my comments on “comment is free.” Because I had put a lot of thought into them and even looked up some books with info for those comments.

    yes, but that was your mistake. you don’t deal with these people, period. nothing good will come of it.

    Yes, EG, they need a foil for their rabid curs. But if the facts that you cite clash too much with their mendacious narrative, then they must get rid of you.

    SOP. facts that interfere with the dogma (which is facilitated by ignorance and lack of judgment capacity) are too risky — there may be some lefties who still have some brains left and may be swayed by them.

    those people are vested in their dogma, challenging it is like pooling the rug from under their feet.

  120. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I went to 2 CiF threads, commented and replied – no suppressions (of my posts, rather plain common-sense stuff) so far.

    Here’s an interesting comment:
    rouputuan
    07 Aug 09, 4:23pm

    I’m with stuv and entianonsunt! mods please restore KeepBritainTidy’s original post at 7:20.

    the canadian free press may not be the most flattering image of tariq ramadan… but if there is a reason for this deletion, it behoves CiF to explain why… otherwise we will quite naturally assume that the guardian is no more than prof. ramadan’s spin doctor.

  121. E.G. says:

    update:
    Read a few more complaints about mods suppressing comments.
    My posts (made several screen shots) are still on.

  122. E.G. says:

    update:
    Got 1 comment deleted. Very probably because it was a reply to another deleted comment (that cited it).

    Eliyahu – Perhaps this is what happened to your comments?

  123. E.G. says:

    Szervusz Neslon,

    Sorry but only now have I seen and read your comment from Aug. 2.

    A good, competent, intelligence service is a great tool for (political) decision makers. It does help to inform and clarify views. It does not and should not subtitute a more global vision that a decision maker should have.

    The problem with journalists/media is that they’re considered as a source of power, influence, and control of decision makers. In democracies, they act on behalf of the people – though they’re not elected by those they’re supposed to represent while shaping their opinion. Some paradoxes, no?

  124. oao says:

    It does not and should not subtitute a more global vision that a decision maker should have.

    we have seen this in the cuban missile crisis. now imagine alibama instead of kennedy at the time.

  125. E.G. says:

    But Th. Friedman and R. Cohen and S. Hersh already wrote that Cuba is a friendly democratic neighbour and probable alley, and that none of them independently saw any missile there…
    Only Ron Ben-Yishay thinks he perceived something similar to what he’d seen in Sinai in 1956… and Rahm says that Ron was wearing a Brooks Bros. polo, so he isn’t credible.

  126. Eliyahu says:

    EG, your #124

    so they finally deleted one of your comments. I am surprised that they left up the comment that you quote in your #122. But that quote shows that others too get annoyed with the Guardian’s “editorial” policy. Just what proportion of the comments posted get taken down? That would be interesting to know. So “comment is free” as a rubric is an Orwellian imposture on the part of the Guardian.

    Anyhow, we are now living in 1984 as far as information goes.

  127. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    It does feel Orwellian to be defending the Guardian mods. But, regarding reader comments, I have nothing to complain about.

    I had 2 comments deleted, both of which were replies to bashing (the word is not strong enough), and contained citations of the insanities. The bashing comments were deleted, and hence (it’s their policy) my replies.

    I didn’t count the proportion of deleted comments – there were many (many comments as well). Long ones don’t seems appreciated (there were 2 series of pasted propagandistic materials, both got erased).

  128. E.G. says:

    An op-ed in today’s Ynet (Hebrew), by Zohir Andreus – an Israeli Arab Catholic journalist – titled “Abu Mazen is liquidating our Falasteen” deals with the recent Fatah elections.

    Translated excerpts:

    “He [Abu Mazen] is proving that he is not interested in armed struggle, because he and the PA signed the agreements prohibiting the Palestinians to adopt this method of opposition. Despite international laws that grant peoples under the yoke of occupation the legitimate right to act against it. A national liberation movement cannot give up armed struggle against the IDF soldiers in the territories, when all the world gives it legitimacy.”

    “Thus, 44 years after the beginning of the [Palestinian] revolution, a de-legitimation campaign of armed struggle is being conducted.”

    “Mister Abbas Mentioned the Nakba and referred to the Naksa (the bitter failure of the Arab armies in 1967 against the IDF), but preferred to ignore the Oslo Accords, that brought trouble to the Palestinian people, and of which he is the chief engineer. Abbas preferred to take pride in Palestinian implementation of the Road Map, whose first article explicitly states that the PA must eliminate «Palestinian terrorism». Maybe his zeal to apply this section is the reason that prevented him from liberating Hamas movement political prisoners, that he considers as terrorists.”

    “In his speech Abbas did not mention either remotely or closely the Palestinians living in Israel under an unprecedented attack of racist laws from the government of Netanyahu-Barak-Lieberman. According to him, Israeli Arabs have no direct or indirect link with the Arab Palestinian people, and their positions, that he considers extreme, harm the solution of the Palestinian problem. However, we do not need questionable certificates from Abbas and the Fatah movement to prove that we belong to our Palestinian Arab people.”

    Quite a few readers comment that Ynet are overdoing it by publishing an article calling for waging a war of terror on Israel.

    But surely no one in his left mind will call this an example of free press.

  129. E.G. says:

    What a shame! Instead of publishing his analysis in a really free daily, Khaled Abu Toameh compares Fatah to the Ba’ath (a party with root Nazi ties) in, of all places, what used to be the “Palestine Post”.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1249418564605&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  130. oao says:

    here’s a must read piece by spengler which can serve as a response to zohir andreus:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KH11Ak02.html

    it is in line with my reaction

  131. E.G. says:

    oao,

    Zohir Andreus is in a Shahid mindset, so self-elimination is something he readily considers. His care for Christians is ad hoc, just to blame Israel (as Spengler accurately explains).

    And Spengler does not mention the Lebanese Christian militia men and their families who found refuge in Israel.

  132. oao says:

    of course — that’s the response.

    he may consider self-elimination in the abstract, but i am not sure he’ll personally execute it.

    have you seen totten’s interview with the phalangist leader in lebanon? if not, go and read it. people are starting to run out of options of saving civilization.

  133. Cynic says:

    And Spengler does not mention the Lebanese Christian militia men and their families who found refuge in Israel.

    and Spengler does not mention the hypocrisy of the Church crying crocodile tears today over the fate of Christians in the ME, while it ran arms and explosives for the very Muslims decimating the Christian community in Lebanon in the 70s.

    The common factor in it appears to be to take a stance that can be used directly or indirectly against Israel.

  134. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    If memory serves me correctly, I think he does, though not at length.

  135. oao says:

    and Spengler does not mention the hypocrisy of the Church crying crocodile tears today over the fate of Christians in the ME, while it ran arms and explosives for the very Muslims decimating the Christian community in Lebanon in the 70s.

    spengler has blind spot: religion. he returned to judaism not long ago and had several praising/rosy pieces on the pope and religion.

    it’s rather painful to see the debilitating effect of religion on smart and knowledgeable people being (on ignorant and stupid people it’s understandable).
    in spengler’s case, the suspension is all the more weird given his return to judaism.

    i guess the lord works in mysterious ways.

  136. E.G. says:

    “Siddi agreed with Bar Moha’s description of Israeli journalists as being “vibrant, free and open.” He said he considers Israel one of the rare countries where media can and does counterbalance political power. ”

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1249418603247&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  137. Eliyahu says:

    spengler deals with a historical development much too often overlooked, although I might not agree with all parts of his argument.

    Samir Khalid Samir is what Bat Ye’or calls an Islamo-Christian. In their dhimmi souls, they try to be more Muslim than the wahhabis. Bear in mind that traditionally in the Levant countries, the Jews were at the bottom of the social barrel, on the bottom rung of the social ladder. They were oppressed and harassed not only by Muslims but by native Christians [and in Jerusalem, by resident foreign monks too, it appears], although the Christians too were subject to Muslim oppression as dhimmis, like the Jews. Maybe they were taking out their frustration as dhimmis on those who were even more vulnerable than they. Karl Marx pointed out this situation in Jerusalem in his article of 15 April 1854 in the New York Tribune, which paraphrased Cesar Famin’s book of 1853.

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2005/06/karl-marx-on-treatment-of-jewish_16.html

    As far as Zuhayr Andreus is considered, he is a crude, aggressive ignoramus, like the Bishara brothers [azmi and marwan] but not as intelligent or as knowledgeable.
    ZA believes, like many other benighted, brainwashed and manipulated pro-PLO persons, that international law legalizes “resistance” by “occupied peoples.” This is ridiculous of course. Int’l law was made by big powers, by empires. They have no scruples about writing int’l law to suit their present and future needs. They would not write a law to justify or legalize resistance against themselves. They [US, UK, etc] do not agree that the “resistance” to the multi-power [Coalition] occupation of Iraq in 2003 was in any way legitimate or legal. Just read the laws of war. Nowhere does the Geneva convention or Amsterdam or Hague conventions or treaties say that resistance is legal. If anyone can cite chapter and verse, show me.

    The USA considered the resistance in Afghanistan to be unlawful combatants. I agree. And it would be right to suppress them. In any case, there is no legality to Resistance, including the French resistance of WW2. Which does not make it wrong. But bear in mind that Vichy, the scions of which survive in the form of Hubert Vedrine of the Quai d’Orsay and others, used to point that the Resistance was violating legal French accords with Vichy.

    Of course, Arab and pro-Arab spokesmen against Israel are eager to identify their barbarous, mass murderous terrorists and militias with the French Resistance of WW2 which enlisted some fine people, like St-Exupery, Jean Moulin, Jose Aboulker, etc., people who had some sort of morality and ideals. The comparison is להבדיל ridiculous between St-Ex and `Imad Mughniyyah, for example. But, as in any dispute, opposing sides may offer self-serving interpretations of law. Here too, Andreus offers a false version of law regarding “resistance” which להבדיל should not be confused with the anti-Nazi resistance in various countries. Whether ynet should publish this crud is another matter.

  138. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Quite a few reader comments thanked Ynet for publishing Andreus’ delusions. They said it’s an eye opener, making one realise who they deal with.
    He is on the regular Ynet op-ed contributor list.

    Of course that talking about occupation and resistance rings different bells to Europeans’ ears than to Middle-Eastern ones. And the choice of words is hardly negligible.

  139. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    This is slightly o/t but I’ve been wondering (triggered by Cynic’s “European Jew stereotype”)how come Sephardi Jews, despite millennial dhimitude, have kept a very dignified attitude (à la Hidalgo) instead of a beaten one. Any hint?

  140. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu -

    You’d do me a great favour when you point me to a citable reference with Védrine’s argument.
    Merci d’avance!

  141. Eliyahu says:

    EG, about Hubert Vedrine, I am not referring to any particular argument that he made but to the fact that his father was a high official in the Vichy govt, working closely with Petain. The father’s name was, I believe, Jean Vedrine. Hubert became, as I recall, the foreign minister in Lionel Jospin’s govt, although I don’t think that Jospin was especially anti-Jewish. Jospin once called the Hizbullah a “terrorist” group and got rocks thrown at his head in Ramallah [or Bir Zeit?] as punishment from the Arab mob for his heresy.

    Vedrine seemed much more clearly anti-Israel than Jospin.

  142. E.G. says:

    אבות אכלו בוסר אך שיני הבן טרם כהו.

    The illegal status of the Résistance vis-à-vis the Vichy Régime by a Socialist Minister would be a gem.

    As for that miserable Jospin – definitely not an anti-Semite himself – he’s accountable for higher education degradation, as well as massive Jewish immigration, causing the country he was governing a considerable damage.

  143. Cynic says:

    If I may, here’s another cry about the Church’s hypocrisy:

    Turning a Blind Eye to Murdered Christians


    Amid the preoccupying interest in Israel’s real and imagined sins, these same U.S. church officials show little to no public concern about far more dreadful suffering around the world. State-sponsored, or mob-induced murders of Christians, should seemingly arouse some interest from such justice-minded church prelates. Maybe they are still working on their statement about the Pakistani and North Korean outrages of two weeks and two months ago.

  144. Eliyahu says:

    correction to my # 140. It should be:

    Vichy, the scions of which survive in the form of Hubert Vedrine of the Quai d’Orsay and others, used to point OUT that the Resistance was violating legal French accords with NAZI GERMANY.
    - – - – - – - – - – -

    Vichy used to insist that they were acting according to their treaty with Nazi Germany. They insisted that everything that they were doing was legal. Of course, resistance to legitimate military occupation is illegal, according to international law, as I said in #140. Vichy used to assert this against the French Resistance. According to law, the Vichyites were right. They were legal and De Gaulle and the Resistance were illegal.

    Of course, that didn’t make the Resistance morally wrong and Vichy right. Note how nowadays, however, Israel’s enemies constantly refer to law to justify themselves, even to justify mass murderous Arab terrorism. Andreus is only one of many who do this. In fact, the enemies’ whole interpretation of law, of the laws of war and of the international legal status of Judea-Samaria is false. That is important to stress all the time. HRW is just one of many bodies, govts., NGOs, international organizations, etc that routinely falsely represent international law in order to bash Israel, to justify mass murderous terrorism, etc.

    See link below on int’l law:
    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/07/everyday-lies-about-international-law.html

  145. Eliyahu says:

    EG, thanx for the ref

  146. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Con molto piacere.
    This is Bingo. Author member of the PLO, mind you.

    Let’s see the Guardian mods delete this!

  147. E.G. says:

    In today’s Maariv, Ben-Dror Yemini questions the standards of press freedom in Israel.
    (Article in Hebrew: http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/930/947.html )

    He argues that there are double standards. On one hand, individuals such as Andreus – calling for armed fighting against Israel and its population – are given space and a highly visible platform to voice radical incitement. On the other hand, Jewish/Israeli authors making similar arguments about Arabs are rightfully censored by Israeli MSM.
    Thus, the point is not about freedom of expression but about a one-sided freedom to incite, legitimised by Israeli media and academia – in a similar fashion of that very trend in the West.

    I think this is a case illustrating the peril of falling prey to demopathy.

  148. Eliyahu says:

    EG, for an palestinian Arab historian this Kayyali is relatively objective. On p 11 he makes it clear that under the Ottoman Empire there was NO palestine, there were only the vilayet of Sham [capital in Damascus], the independent Sanjak or mutessariflik of Jerusalem and the southern parts of the vilayet of Beirut, which divided the territory of what became “palestine” in 1920, between them. Palestine was a Western geographic concept in 1880; the future “palestine” was merely subsumed as an indistinct part of bilad ash-Sham [= Syria or Greater Syria], the traditional Arab geographic notion.

    Now, Kayyali, although showing that there was NO palestine under the Ottoman state [p 11], nevertheless writes quite anachronistically [p 15] about “palestinians,” a people unknown in the Ottoman period or earlier.

    I only read about a dozen pages in Kayyali’s book. But my impression is that it is rather objective, but I would not rely on it without much hesitation.

    On the other hand, some Arab historians go very far into fantasyland or propaganda land. Take one Asali, a Jordanian who compiled and partly wrote a history of Jerusalem made up of a number articles about different time periods. Most of the articles by him and other Arabs are very poor, indadequate, misleading, etc. The treatment goes back to the Jebusites, with very misleading, inadequate of them and of the Israelite First Temple period. Ridiculous really about the First Temple period. And then there are more obvious propagandists like Walid Khalidi and George Antonius.

  149. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I only read a few pages around p. 62. I didn’t get the impression he was objective. He seems to correctly cite some sources, but weaves them into an anti-Zionist epic/narrative.

    That poisonous Antonius did gratify S. Plaut and, by extension, us with the 1920 Nakba.

  150. E.G. says:

    Well, here’s for freedom of the Press in Sweden.
    Top Sweden newspaper says IDF kills Palestinians for their organs
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1108384.html

  151. Eliyahu says:

    EG, why don’t you post that reference to Sweden on RL’s last post? It would be a shame for anyone to miss it. But it shows the profound derangement of Sweden [and Norway and Denmark] about Jews and Israel. The mask is dropping. Now it is up to the Jews and reasonable people to point out the insanity.
    You have to go back to their history of keeping Jews out of their countries up to the 19th century, their traditional religious Judeophobia, the fact that there were never many Jews in those lands. Their rather louche relations with the Nazis. Etc.

    EG, another query. What do you mean that Antonius gratified Steve Plaut with “the 1920 Nakba”??

  152. E.G. says:

    It was a tongue-in-cheek ref. to Plaut’s discovery.
    I’m sure you know that Antonius is the one who mentioned 1920 as the year the Pal-Arabs referred-to as the Nakba year.

    (I didn’t post the Swedish blood libel on the last post because it would be off topic)

  153. oao says:

    Here too, Andreus offers a false version of law regarding “resistance” which להבדיל should not be confused with the anti-Nazi resistance in various countries.

    For this not to fly journos, pundits and the public would have to have a clue about history and int’l law, which they don’t. arabs know they can get away with it and the useful idiots will propagate it.

    On the other hand, Jewish/Israeli authors making similar arguments about Arabs are rightfully censored by Israeli MSM.

    people should forget about balanced/objective press — it does not exist anymore. there is mostly advocacy.

    Now it is up to the Jews and reasonable people to point out the insanity.

    they’re all turning insane — point it out to whom? soon there won’t be anybody sane anymore.

  154. E.G. says:

    ‘I’m no anti-Semite,’ says Swedish writer of IDF organ harvest story

    Additional info from Maariv (their reporter discussed with the Swedes)

    -In his story, Boström tells of a large 1992 campaign to sign an organ donor card initiated by then Min. of Health E. Olmert. He explains that despite the high rate of signatures, demand still exceeded the offer, and during the campaign there were several cases in which young Pal. men disappeared from their homes and their bodies were retrieved a few days later. According to Boström these stories frightened the WB and GS population, and common street talk was about youth who disappeared and quick burials of youth who had gone post-mortem surgery.
    “Why would Post-Mortem be needed if the cause is clear – IDF shooting?” he asks, and reports IDF spokesperson’s reply that the claims about organ harvest are an invention and, that any Pal. regularly goes through Post-Mortem.

    - The editor who published the story wonders “It’s true that he has no names of the specific people whose organs were taken, but he talked to Pal. mothers who told him that their sons were returned with missing organs”. And “He’s a well-known journalist who makes in-depth investigations”.

    -When nrg-mMaariv asked whether she’d have published unsubstantiated allegations of rape by a Swedish personality, the editor replied “It’s a childish comparison”.

    -However, Boström himself replied “The difference is that in my story there are so many question marks that need an investigation”. He says he’d seen IDF soldiers eliminate a wanted Pal. in whose body there were allegedly missing organs, but admitted that he did not see himself the body and, except for the family testimony, has no other evidence.

    - “No one thought of bringing this issue up, and we’ll be glad to acknowledge it is not true”, says Boström. “what amazes me is that nobody cares that people get killed, but it’s not too late and it’s still possible to investigate this story”.

  155. oao says:

    I am not sure this guy is anti-semite, they are just ignorant and dumb beyond lobotomy.

    they probably go into the territories without a clue as to who they’re dealing with and the pals
    recognize them for the fools they are and dump all sorts
    of crap on them. it’s impossible for these idiots to imagine that anybody would invent such a story and that they should validate it with evidence. so they just regurgitate it.

    and they know anti-israel stuff is fashionable and they’ll gain publicity with it.

  156. oao says:

    he probably also thought of himself as some great investigative reporter who exposed an awful secret and who would get famous out of his obscurity.

  157. oao says:

    as to tabloids, they’ll publish anything. they’re simply too ignorant and stupid to realize that the consequences in such a case are more serious than with the usual crap the publish.

  158. E.G. says:

    Whatever the motivations and skills of the “Journalist” – don’t you find similarities with cheap old Charlie’s “arguments” and his superiors’?

    “He’s a well-known journalist who makes in-depth investigations”.
    “Why would Post-Mortem be needed if the cause is clear – IDF shooting?
    …admitted that he did not see himself the body and, except for the family testimony, has no other evidence.

  159. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    You may be interested to read some papers here.

    In the one titled “Rediscovering Ottoman Palestine: Writing Palestinians into History” there’s a short review and perspective of Kayyali and this book.

    I’m in the middle of “Palestine versus Palestinians” – quite instructive.

  160. Eliyahu says:

    EG, first of all, the Arabs who told Bostrom the tale about an abducted son whose organs were removed may be projecting. That is, they may be aware of the cases where an Arab gang kidnaps a Jew and kills him, hiding the body, or holds him for ransom, etc.

    What is probably more dangerous than the tales made up by Arabs is the proclivity of Judeophobic Westerners to believe what the Arabs tell them. Many Westerners –journalists, NGO workers, “human rights” activists, “humanitarian” activists, “peace” militants, etc– are eager to believe the worst about Jews. They are subconsciously upset that the Jews, through the Holocaust, are morally one up, so to speak, on them, on non-Jews generally, on Western Christians, on Europeans, Christians generally, or whatever. They long to be able to feel morally superior to Jews. So Arabs provide false morality fables “proving” Western and Arab moral superiority to the Jews, who are really “Christ-killers” down deep, as we [all good Europeans] know.

    The Swedes and Norwegians, whose traditional religion is Lutheranism, psychologically need to feel superior to the Christ-killers. They need to hold on to that sense of superior moral rectitude vis-a-vis the Jews. Bear in mind that Luther took traditional Roman Catholic Judeophobia and made it worse.

    At the same time, the Marxist [and perhaps Voltairean] Left inherited much that was bad from Luther through Kant and Hegel. This has already been explained to a certain extent. Anyhow, much of the Left too has always had its Judeophobic psychological compulsions. Strict Hegelians must be anti-Zionist because Hegel said that once a nation [such as Jews] had played its historic role it could not come back and play a role again.

  161. Eliyahu says:

    EG, I started reading Doumani’s drivel piece, Palestine against palestinians, or whatever. But how do you have a strong stomach for such self-serving slop???

    Note that he published a pamphlet through the Amer friends service committee [known as "quakers"]. Much of his pro-genocide drivel has this very Quakerish sugary sweet coating which I find indigestible.

    By the way today, I interviewed an Arab across the street from the house in the Shim`on haTsadiq quarter who was apparently a family member of the evicted family. I wonder really if they had really been living in the house, or if most of them had, anyway.
    In short, I enjoyed his very extravagant lies while he tended to contradict his first lies with more modest later lies as I showed that I knew something about the subject.

  162. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Strong stomach is easily developed after a few A. Hateful and G. Levies and some of their colleagues. Anyway, I don’t pay much attention to the ideologically-driven arguments (though they deserve an analysis), but to some of the features described and explained/analysed.

    I think the “Ottoman Palestine” was republished in an Ilan Pappe (ed) book.
    I join my sigh to oao’s “academia collapse” comment. But if that’s how things are – better use the stuff at least as creatively.

    One such use is on the Guardian תמיד טוב להביא דברים מפי האתון. Had lots of fun (and no comment deleted, a few actually highly rated). So if the Leftie Brits want to play the blame game, there are quite a lot of accusations coming from their “protected species” that they’d better have a strong stomach for.

  163. Eliyahu says:

    & & & & & & & & & &

    Well, a lot of Swedes have been less than sane since their “socialist” govt has been in power for many years.

    About Antonius, he died in 1942. So whether he used the term “nakba” specifically, as if 1920 were a forerunner of 1948, I must strongly doubt. On the other hand, 1920 was the year when the San Remo Conference adopted the Jewish National Home principle [in the Balfour Declaration] as int’l law. Antonius might have called 1920 a year of disaster. But I would have to read his book [the arab awakening] over again. Or maybe this idea is in one of Antonius’ articles. I wish Plaut had given a specific reference to where Geo Antonius says this. Did Plaut give a reference??

    Here is my view of Antonius:

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/06/george-antonius-arab-nationalist-as.html
    # # # # # # # # #

  164. Eliyahu says:

    I was reading doumani’s article, rediscovering panamanian history, from the Jrnl of Pal Studies. It was interesting but I see that it has to be used with caution, maybe even more so than kayyali’s book, which doumani criticizes, as you know. Maybe the criticism is justified but kayyali seems more reliable to me on the whole than does doumani.

    It is weird indeed that doumani, obviously a Christian due to his first name, Beshara [= Good News = Gospel], totally avoids the whole issue of dhimmitude which affected both Jews and Christians. Pastor Bovet’s travel account talks about his guide, a Christian boy in Jerusalem who is afraid to go into a certain Muslim neighborhood circa 1870. Indeed, BD writes more about Jews than about Christians, if at all about the latter. He strives mightily to mention religion only in the context of foreign interest in the country based on the Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible. BD complains that certain social groups have not gotten their due attention but leaves out Christians, almost altogether or totally, maybe. However, while trying to give the impression that all Jews were European foreigners, he deviates from that effort and in one place says that Jews were living in Jerusalem, Tiberias, Safed and Hebron. Even Hebron.

    Further, on Jews, he distorts facts by insinuating that there were no European Jews [does he mean Ashkenazim?] before 1882. Of course, Jews had been a majority in Jerusalem since 1853, if not earlier, and maybe half or slightly more of those were Ashkenazim. Nor does he recognize that many of “the European” Jews came from Ottoman territory or former Ottoman territory, particularly Rumania [Ottoman up to 1878, 4 years before Bilu, before 1882]. Nor does he mention the Muslim European immigrants, esp. Bosnians. So he tries to avoid certain subjects and issues –or falsify them- as much as those whom he criticizes for disregarding “certain social groups.”

    by the way, the alexander scholch that he mentions is a German with much same prejudices and distortions. Of course scholch hates Jews.

  165. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Both Doumani and Kayyali are widely cited by pali-propagandists.

    Of course Doumani is selective and incomplete. I wouldn’t refer to his version as a trustworthy, objective piece. I think “Palestine against palestinians” is a lengthy attempt to explain the non-peoplehood, non-nationhood, characteristics of the Arabs of former Palestine. Some examples he brings actually fit into the tribal societal model.
    Kayyali was Baathist. I guess he ended up joining the PLO just to fight Israel. Each author has his cognitive dissonance resolved, one way or another, by mostly blaming Zionists and Brits, although they can’t avoid placing some responsibility on the Pal-Arabs themselves (Kayyali’s descriptions of the struggle for power/influence around the 1919 conference brings to mind the recent Fatah conference).

    Anyway, all this “right to a state” stuff relies on the axiom that there is a Palestinian people. And furthermore, that some undefined territory named Palestine was the property of that people. That’s why they deserve a state (as someone put it).
    Well, the axiom does not hold empirically. And the refutation does not come from a Zionist propagandist.

  166. Eliyahu says:

    EG, interesting. Allora, due sinistrofascisti di origine ebraica, Joel Migdal & baruch kimmerling, tried to prove “palestinian” nationhood or peoplehood. They traced it back to 1834, to the revolt against Mehmet Ali of Egypt. But this revolt never identified itself as “palestinian” nor as “filistiniyya.” It was backed by the Ottoman Empire and when Ottoman rule returned in 1840, many palestinian Arabs from the notable families joined the Arab govt service, often rising to high posts. This situation lasted up to British rule when the notables first supported the would be king of Syria, Faisal the Hashemite, until his overthrow by France. Then only did they start to acknowledge that there might be such a place as palestine but it had to me a Muslim/Arab country. So if doumani fails to prove the “palestinian people” notion, migdal and kimmerlilng failed too.

    Whatever kayyali and doumani say about the brits, the UK was very interested in building up the Arabs against the Jews in Israel. At an early stage, while the brits still called the Land “Occupied Enemy Territory Administration-South” [that is, not "palestine"], ronald storrs and other brit officials stimulated establishment of the Muslim-Christian Associations which were meant to oppose Zionist/Jewish aspirations. It is telling how the Arab nationalists are eager to deny that the brits encouraged them and not the Jews. They want to appear victims of brit imperialism cum Zionism, refusing to acknowledge the brit support for their forebears’ anti-Zionism.

    It don’t know whether or not kayyali, asali, or doumani or khalidi acknowledge brit support for them and the Anglo-Arab scheme for a Greater Syria or Greater Fertile Crescent under brit sponsorship, which is outlined by Meir Zamir in two very important articles in HaArets last year.

    Zamir shows that the French and Soviets helped Israel, in part because of Brit-Arab aspirations to build this new regional power in the ME and keep out French, Soviet and US interests. No history of the establishment or reestablishment of Israel is complete without referring to Zamir’s research and the Anglo-Arab conspiracy uncovered by French intelligence.

    of course, arab propagandists like kayyali, doumani, khalidi like to depict the Arabs in the Land of Israel as victims of the UK, rather than allies of the UK against the Jews.

  167. Eliyahu says:

    correction to first paragraph of #169:

    …Arabs from the notable families joined the OTTOMAN govt service…

  168. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I think I read at least one of Zamir’s articles.
    I also read (on Haaretz – sinistrofascisti’s hearth) one or 2 Kimmerling pieces. The latter struck me as terribly shallow, low level.

    From the very little I read, the 1834 revolt was about the introduction of law and order that Ibrahim Pasha initiated (perhaps also – but that’s my intuition – they opposed the settlers he brought, mainly from Egypt. A “detail” conspicuously absent from Doumani’s paper).

    Anyway, I’m sure that had Kimmerling and Co. anchored their finding in some proof or evidence, it would have been cited. Otherwise, it’s merely labeling something inappropriately (entailing high costs if the sthg. were a comestible product, none if it’s an intellectual product).

    Just like Neve Gordon, whose yesterday’s piece in the LATimes, calling to boycott Israel in order to “help it help itself” is in today’s Guardian. The pretentious cretin claims that he’s calling foreign citizens/orgs./govts to enforce change of Israeli govt. policy – take a long breath – because it’s moral.

  169. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu #167

    I thought you were familiar with this:
    HOW ‘NAKBA’ PROVES THERE’S NO PALESTINIAN NATION

  170. Eliyahu says:

    EG, see my post #167 which finally got uploaded after a delay.

  171. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I saw it and replied.
    At the time you were obviously not au courant with Plaut’s discovery.

  172. Eliyahu says:

    EG, it’s interesting what Steve Plaut said. But I know much more about Antonius, I believe, than he does. Plaut’s view of George Antonius is much too soft and generous. See my blog post linked to on Comment #167 above.

    GA was very loyal to the Brit Empire. He got as a reward for that the CBE, a title meaning commander of the order of the British Empire. He worked as an official censor for the Brits in Egypt, where he grew up.

    Further, in the 1930s, GA was funded/worked for/ a very rich American Judeophobe named Charles R Crane, sort of a Daddy Warbucks type. Crane was pushing Columbia U to appoint GA to take the place of Richard Gottheil, a Zionist.

    If you have the opportunity, you should try to push the facts of GA’s British imperial loyalties down the throats of the Anti-Israel fanatics calling themselves: “leftists” or “anti-imperialists.”

  173. E.G. says:

    Naah, historical facts are too much for those sininstofascisti. I just realised that GB is still exerting its Colonial/Imperialistic “rights” in some “territories”. Better remind present sins than past ones (see: repentance).

    If I may parrot oao, (your) knowledge/facts is irrelevant for the bashers (though one can never tell, it might come handy – alors merci d’avance!). Just give’m a good quote from a “reliable” source. And Plaut provides the right ;-) stuff.

  174. [...] to argue that the situation is the Arab-Israeli conflict is not only exaggerated by the media, but inverted, and that statistics play a critical role in this process. Now we have two key pieces of evidence [...]

  175. Soccer Dad says:

    Goldstone’s innumeracy…

    Martin Kramer recently wrote a devastating post about one aspect of the Goldstone report. The most important sentence in this section of the Goldstone Report is this one: “Mr. Amr Hamad indicated that 324 factories had been destroyed during the Israel…

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