Evidence of Sickness in the World of Social Networking

Octavia Nasr did a piece on social networking and the flotilla incident a number of times (with different CNN anchors) on the day of the event. Here’s one.

And among the networks pushing this, we discover a whole range of groups, none of them too savory, despite Nasr’s determination to romanticize them as the brave “people’s” opposition.

Solomonia just picked up on one of the less savory of the connections, between New Israel Fund and Electronic Intifada, in which they seem to be in cahoots trying to push a new twitter site that targets NGO Monitor, an organization that has criticized NIF for its radical anti-Israel tendencies. He comments:

This is not a mistake. They didn’t mean to cite NGO Monitor and accidentally put in an extra _, thus inadvertently sending their readers to a site whose nastiness they would never, in a thousand years, want to encourage and spread. There’s too much hostility from NIF towards NGO Monitor for it to encourage readers there. Indeed, they’ve never recommended the real NGO Monitor in the past, nor referred to them in any complimentary manner before. Why would they do so now? In recognition of their latest effort critical of NIF? I doubt it.

It’s one thing not to encourage your own readers to read what your Israeli critics say. Not admirable, but understandable…

But to send them (out of anger at being criticized) to sites created by sworn, open, and uncompromising enemies of Israel? That seems hard to believe.

And yet, the folks in charge of social networking at NIF had to know exactly what they were doing when they “#FF’d” this brand new fake account. The most charitable explanation would be a temporary lapse wherein someone at NIF allowed their petty hatred to momentarily cloud their judgment. More likely though, they’re simply plumbing the depths for friends and don’t care who they ally with to combat their enemies. In this case, they identified their enemies not as the forces arrayed against Israel’s very survival, but their own personal demons, their Israeli critics.

How sad that a Jewish/Israeli group, allegedly embracing self-criticism (of Israel), has become so incapable of self-criticism of themselves, that they join hands with anti-Zionists of the most virulent and hate-mongering kind.

In the end, I can’t know just how much this particular incident reveals about the culture of anti-Israel discourse at NIF (Are they seriously more comfortable with “Electronic Intifada” than NGO Monitor? Indeed, are they willing to throw NGO Monitor under the bus even at the expense of giving fuel to virulent anti-Israel organizations?), or was this the work of just a lone individual? We can’t know, but we should have an explanation.

72 Responses to Evidence of Sickness in the World of Social Networking

  1. incognito says:

    More useful idiots. They’re coming out of the woodwork.
    Witness the demonstration by the left in Tel Avis.

    And I love this:

    Ground Zero Mosque Sponsor Unmasked as Free Gaza Donor
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/137890

    The jihadis are making chopped liver of the west and I reiterate: the latter don’t deserve to survive and it doesn’t.

  2. obsy says:

    rl,

    I only understood what is meant with the “_” after reading this on Solomonia:

    @ngo_monitor? Is that the account of the excellent NGO Monitor? No, that’s @NGOMonitor (and that is an account well worth following).

    After reading your article, I thought underscores would have a special meaning in twitter and that I’m out of touch with technology.

  3. Lorenz Gude says:

    Yes, they are making chopped liver of us – Israel, the US, the West in general. The tolerance of both active and passive supporters of the enemy within our own ranks – immensely weakens us. I happen to know something about this ‘sickness’ as Professor Landes calls it because I was out protesting the Vietnam War in 1962 in NY. When Bobby Kennedy said at Columbia in 1965 that it was painful to choose between one’s government and one’s country I at least had the wit understand what he meant. I think he meant that people with policy differences with their government should have a decent regard to what they owed their country before attacking their government. And that certainly there was a balance to be struck that would preclude going over to the enemy. These people are like a bunch of milk fed pups cavorting with a hungry lion. I would say the day of reckoning is not far off.

  4. Solomonia says:

    New Israel Fund Scandal: NIF Recommending Anti-Israel Account on Twitter…

    Here the New Israel Fund demonstrates that in the mad rush to find friends on a left that feels itself increasingly beleaguered, there are literally no depths some groups won’t plumb. In this case, we have a major pro-Israel “Civil……

  5. obsy says:

    Honor shame:

    English: “IDF ruthless!” Turkish/Arabic: “IDF crybabies!”

    http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2010/06/english-idf-ruthless-turkisharabic-idf.html

  6. sshender says:

    Ok, that does it for me!!! I’m so f***ing mad I have steam coming outa my ears!!! The world has gone absolutely mad! It feels like it’s the late 30s all over again (and, no, I’m not exaggerating)! And worst still, it looks like not only is Israel initiating an investigation – what is there to investigate? It’s a clear cut case if there ever was one!!! (I was more skeptical before, but now more facts have surfaced that back up the IDF’s use of deadly force). I still believe there was a f**k up with the intel and the choice to board the ship, but all that pales in comparison with the mob lynch that Israel has been subjected to. I’m not even talking about the Muslim world (Erdogan says he will send war ships to accompany the next flotilla, and the Iranian are thinking about joining it as well. Well, if they show up, I say blast these motherf**kers to kingdom comes) Yell

    The Europeans have shown their true colours again, and honestly, I thnk we should start digging up dirt about them and broadcast it non-stop in their language. An eye for an Eye, god damn it! And worst of all, Barrack Hussen Obambi and his minions (I always steered away from this kind of name calling, but this is way over the top) has basically thrown us to the wolves.

    And now, on top of all that, there i serious talk about easing the blockade and removing it altogether. Is this not madness I ask you? Have these people not a single principled bone in their body? Don’t these imbeciles understand that by caving in to the pressure, they’re only making things worse?

    F**k the self righteous Sweden & Norway! Vietnam? Who wants to go to that communist dump? The baton toting French are boycotting an Israeli movie? Google “French military victories” and have yourself a good laugh at their expense. European Jews want to sail to Gaza? May I suggest we tow their cringy asses to their hero Erdogan (Yimah Shmo) and have them take the Blown Synagogues grand tour of the city. Fucking morons.

    Oh, and yesterday, more of these Theobald-jewish morons, together with the Arab fifth column, 15000 strong, were out in force in Tel Aviv’s Ibn Gvirol street. And how do the majority of sane Israelis react? by staging a forceful counter presence? No mind you. The only people who show up are right wing extremists who use stun grenades against the Israel Left’s saint Avneri and achieve absolutely nothing besides bad publicity.

    The Israeli public no longer cares!!! It’s every man for himself. The country’s stance in the world is getting perilously close to a point of no return, and ordinary citizens can’t care less about it.

    People, wake up!!! this (not just the flotilla, but the overall trend) is the beginning of the end for Israel and unless we wake up and start doing something drastic about it, we’re going to be in very serious trouble!!! God damn it, open your eyes!!! Become proactive!!! Degrade and humiliate our enemies. Stake a claim for a change, for crying out loud! Stop the We just want peace sycophancy and start exposing Arab and Muslim culture for the barbaric and backward that they are. Shove the Europreans their hypocracy back up theirs, and never waste a moment to remind them their not-so-glorious recent history.

    I’m serious, start a channel, that would do what this and other blogs do. Take apart the non-stop propaganda, whether broadcast or written, in real time!!!

    Not to mention the extremely dangerous (I can’t overstate just how) Linkage theory, which contrary to what Elder says, is not at all easy to refute!!! Don’t kid yourself. It has SOME merit to it, if only a little, and that’s what makes it so dangerous. Moreover, there is certainly a way to redefine one’s benefits and burdens, where Israel would be more of a liability than an asset. Of course this would be detrimental to the US in the long run, but that’s a vague enough point for arguing into eternity.

    the fact is, as far as Israel is concerned, the world looks like a large 9/11 troofer’s convention!!! I believe it conclusively signals that decline of the US and the West. Israel better start some ass whoopin’ real soon, be that Hamas, Hezb. or Iran, Syria and the rest of whoever wants to show off. and get the collateral damage and civilian words out of its lexicon.

  7. incognito says:

    sshender,

    fanally the reality that I have been warning about has reached you too, huh?

    The minute Obama has shown any signs of distancing from Israel he has invited a post-american free for all, of which eliminating Israel is just one component.

    The west is utterly bankrupt on any dimension you care to specify. It’s gonna be a piece of cake for the forces of evil to take over.

    Israel better start some ass whoopin’ real soon

    Israel will actually yield more and more in the irrational hope that this will stop the pogrom. But, of course, the opposite will occur. Israel has utterly failed to learn from such a clearcut experience.

    Even if does whoop ass it will face the same results.

    And as far as I am concerned, the world is getting what it deserves and Israel has not helped itself either.

  8. incognito says:

    IOW, not only are we back to 30′s (and worse) but the Jewish state is behaving just like the European jews and are getting the same results. The lefties in particular make me vomit.

    Looks like getting a state has not changed the jews at all, nor has it changed the world’s attitudes towards them.

  9. E.G. says:

    sshender,

    Da, Panimayou.

    Read this?
    (I don’t necessarily agree with everything)
    http://www.nrg.co.il/app/index.php?do=blog&encr_id=f2b4c1b55be76d1e6d7b777256ea0370&id=1331

    I believe the best is to try keeping a cold head, and think creatively. Although creativity may better be served by “hot cognition”. It’s the acts that should be considered “coolly”.

    If it helps, ack that the European rallies were not very successful, both in terms of attendance (relatively low numbers) and in terms of public approval. Apparently, same-same in the US.

    Incog will “descend” me, but I can take it:
    ?אולי מרע יצא טוב

  10. sshender says:

    Reuters’ second, no, third oh who’s counting any longer fauxtogrpahy by omission:

    http://r-mew.blogspot.com/2010/06/more-eviscerating-editing.html

  11. E.G. says:

    #10
    Aaaaargh!

    That’s no omission. It’s dissimulation.

  12. obsy says:

    “the fact is, as far as Israel is concerned, the world looks like a large 9/11 troofer’s convention!!!”

    I like that formulation.

    I agree completely with the danger of the linkage story. With Obama in office this has extremely bad potential. I hope Barry Rubin is right that Obama is just stupid. If Erdogan is no wakeup call, than I don’t know.

    I doubt that Israel could win a digging up dirt competition unless you succeed in conveying its context as well. European states are not surrounded by hostile states and Terrorists.

    I don’t know how much good the past will do, at least some nations say that they regret their past and that they are trying to prevent history from repeating itself. The extreme German and Austrian left believes that Israel is on its way to reenact history with the Palestinians in the role of the Jews and the Israelis in the role of the Nazis. Using references to history could turn out bad against Israel in such a situation. Best to talk to local moderate right Jews (the left is often somewhat insane) to judge the situation per country. When we are talking history some part of history, I’m also concerned ab the damage Norman Finkelstein has done.

    I guess the Islamization issue and the dirt of Islamic countries is best. Israel should swallow its pride and refuse to be held to higher standards than Saudi Arabia or Yemen.

    I wouldn’t focus on “fighting” against old “friends” but trying to establishing friendship and networks with new ones. Though, this might be more of a government job ― but I’m not sure. If many Indian students have Israeli friends today, this could be advantageous for good relations and beneficial for both countries in the future.

    What else. The flotilla issue is important now. The rest can wait.

  13. E.G. says:

    To the non Israeli/Hebrew readers,

    I hope you understand that my posting in Hebrew is not intended to exclude you. I wish the linked article were already translated into English (I guess it’ll soon be), and I count on your understanding that there are some expressions that are best delivered in their original version.
    Like solidarność.

  14. Steven M. Karmi says:

    Despite the frequent brutality and barbarity of the practice, i believe all antisemites should be–pardon the euphemism–taken out! To prove the stregnth and depth of my conviction, and despite my lack of para-military training, I do hereby volunteer to take out Helen Thomas. But, i assure all that it will go no further than drinks and dancing!!! Beyond that, a mine field of moral and other hazards await to beseige my bearings and jeopardize my very sex! Alas, how else to address the taudry tautology of tantric antisemitism?

  15. Steven M. Karmi says:

    What would the dismissal of Helen Thomas for her recent ignorant and hateful remarks do? For antisemites–prove that she and they What would the dismissal of Helen Thomas for her recent ignorant and hateful remarks do? For antisemites–prove that she and they are right: Jews control US (World) media, censure truth and victimize the helpless and vulnerable. Well…I may have a better idea!

    Despite the frequent brutality and barbarity of the practice, i believe all antisemites should be–pardon the euphemism–taken out! To prove the stregnth and depth of my conviction, and despite my lack of para-military training, I do hereby volunteer to take out Helen Thomas. But, i assure all that it will go no further than drinks and
    dancing!!! Beyond that, a mine field of moral and other hazards await to beseige my bearings and jeopardize my very sex! Alas, how else to address the tawdry tautology of tantric antisemitism?

    Was it Rabelais or Don Henley who said that we cannot kill the Beast, so we ought to invite him/her to Publik house and table? Is that perhaps BHO’s diplomatic modus operandus as well.

  16. E.G. says:

    sshender and incognito (and others)

    My comment preceded this (but I’m not asking you to hurray me ;-) )
    Kalt und fest

  17. Michelle Schatzman says:

    @ E.G.,

    I deciphered most of the article you linked in your #9. I am not terrbily anthusiastic about several of the ideas put accross by the author.

    Sending leaflets to the next ships? Very obsolete – think tweeter. It is not forbidden to send leaflets, but one has to keep in mind that a leaflet does not make a meshugge into a sane person.

    The explanations seem to work exactly in the opposite direction. The claim that the israeli soldiers were instructed not to shoot with their hand guns unless they had to protect their own life, but eventually had to shoot, is transformed into another proof of the demoniac nature of Israel and the IDF in the best of cases. In the worst, it is of course the demoniac nature of the Jews, what do you think?

    I spent some time yesterday on very extremist blogs, and the atmosphere is plain witch hunt. Any argument can be turned onto its head. Read again “The Witches of Salem”, and you’ll get into the minds of the posters.

    Lay off crazy israeli academics who publicize their wish for the destruction of the state of Israel? Unless they can be charged with treason proper, this is very hard.

    Beyond the standard accusation of maccarthyism that this kind of behavior would provoke, I am too familiar with the academic milieu not to be able to see that it would be easy for their own internal enemies to settle up a few accounts, which have nothing to do with state politics and a lot to do with internal academic politics. Lots of back-stabbing is always going on in academia.

    Another difficulty is that the so-called “critical theory”, which is often the foundation for the behavior of these crazy academics, is an international intellectual movement, with lots of important “authorities” throughout the world. Therefore, a peer review of people belonging to this “movement” would only comfort the crazies, and make them more dangerous.

    Post-modernism and critical theory are an intellectual plague. They kill minds, they do not kill people, and thus, we get large numbers of completely worthless “intellectual” endeavors. Not only in Israe are there mad department chairpersons, and mentally challenged heads of institute! All over the planet! In the best university systems!

    So the point is not a political or legal fight against these basket cases, unless, of course, they can be indicted on strong legal grounds. Critical theory and postmodernism have to be delegitimized. They should not be taught in serious houses of learning any more than astrology or chiromancy.

    That is their level, and that is how they should be fought : as bad, useless, idiotic thought.

  18. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Well, here you will find witch glorification:
    http://www.qassam.ps/news-2942-ThomasJews_do_not_belong_in_Israel.html

    Neither do I support/agree with all of Yemini’s ideas. I found the 1st part (describing the New Empire) compatible with RL’s analysis.

    Regarding the anti-Zionist Israeli Academics, as well as the Pro-Hamas MK, he argues that they should be free to voice their opinions, only not on the Israeli taxpayer’s account. As long as they work in Israeli governmental subsided institutions (Universities) or as members of Parliament, there is a limit that has to be set. Calling for Israel’s dismantling cannot and should not be funded by the state of Israel.
    There are private academic institutions in Israel too. And Neve Gordon et aliiii. can also settle their own, if the other ones are not to their taste.

  19. E.G. says:

    P.S.
    The NIF will gladly fund a few new Universities :-(

  20. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., the glorification of Helen Thomas by hamasnikim is nothing special or remarkable. After all, they are just doing their “job”.

    I got it basically right : Ben Dror Yemini would like to lay off the anti-zionist academics from state financed institutions. I perfectly understand the rationale, but I find this proposition very difficult to implement, in a state where law means something. First, he’d have to define what “anti-zionism” means. Second, he’d have to separate betwenn those who are antizionist in their spare time, and those who teach it. Third, he’d have organize the operation as due process of law and not the law of Lynch.

    I entirely agree on the very destructive rôle the crazies play. But it is just a question of measure : the remedy should not be worse than the disease.

    I rencently sent to rl a long esay on the people who try to give legal foundation to an indictment of Israel for the crime of apartheid. I spent some time delving into personal pages and writings of some rather unpleasant colleagues, and I can’t emphasize too much how pomo and critical theory harbor extremely dishonest characters, the true embodiment of unbalanced judgment and outright lies. Spending quite a few days in an intellectual sewer, I am all for getting rid of these obnoxious people in the media landscape.

    But they should be ridiculed, and shown for what they are : academic fools. They should be made to swallow their own medicine, and they should be exposed as partial, irrational and intellectually worthless.

    Now, regarding the definition of a new empire, including the crazy left and students, and the non-democratic countries, it is somewhat Landes-compatible. I’m only annoyed by one simple difficulty : OK, there is a plot, but where is the מטה כללי (the offices of the general staff) ? Or Darth Vador, or all the organization of the bad guys ?

    What would be for me a worst case scenario, would be a more or less simultaneous collapse of civil governments of western countries, under the threat of a large number of dirty bombs sent by Iran to a number of well-chosen large cities, and probably followed fast by Iran being nuked by some of the still standing polities, and leading to global disorder for a very long time.

    How would western polities respond to such a challenge is totally unknown, and I won’t venture an opinion.

    In such a situation, there would certainly be calls for surrender to the good muslims who would protect us and just ask for a little something of a tax in exchange. From that point of view, the intellectual crazies would probably figure high in the list of cowards, because this is what they are : they get an easy monthly check, and they take no risks.

    But, once again : fight them with the weapons of the spirit.

  21. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Kol HaKavod for deciphering the Hebrew.
    (Forgot to put it before)

    The threshold is very simple, calls to demolish/abolish the state. And it’s perfectly legal. Even Academic freedom as exerted now is bound by some rules. You can’t work for a state you want to cease to exist!

    I agree to the ridiculing strategy. Only problem — the Empire has got the power of expression (yet another Yemini coining)… Alors?

    I don’t think there’s a conspiracy. I see it as a virus that keeps spreading. Eliyahu will attribute the original cell to the Brits, others to the Soviets, others to the Mufti… Maybe the virus is a combination-mutation of all these and other cells? Whatever the origin, it’s not important anymore since the malady is all over the globe. Let me plagiarise Lorenz Gude by saying that lots of people’s minds are colonised by viral toxic ideas.

  22. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., I am pretty much ashamed that I am not a fluent reader of hebrew… but I am working on that, trying to find sufficiently unintellectual and possibly trashy books, where the plot forces me to read on.

    Besides that, the Karsenty piece is in many ways exactly according to my heart. He does not name her, but he is very cross with Valérie Hoffenberg, The lady represented one of the big US jewish institutions, working int the french office of the American Jewish Committee from 2000, and then managing this office from 2004 to 2008. Since that time, she organized an industrail park in the Bethlehem area, and finally, she got a mission with a loooooooooong title from Sarkozy :

    http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/pays-zones-geo_833/israel-territoires-palestiniens_413/processus-paix_2800/valerie-hoffenberg-nommee-representante-speciale-france-pour-dimension-economique-culturelle-commerciale-educative-environnementale-du-processus-paix-au-proche-orient-12.08.09_76008.html

    You are welcome to read the mission letter. She is also a friend of Sarkozy’s and a town councillor in Paris.

    Karsenty wanted to access the organized American Jewish community re. the Al Dura affair, and he thought of trying Hoffenberg. And failed. And was pissed off mucho mucho. I guess that our gracious host knows many more details of that פרשה.

    I’d easier buy the toxic epidemic than the new empire. For a week, I’ve been mumbling under my breath the the famous Rabbi Nachman story about the King and the Prime Minister who tells him that the crop in the kingdom is completely poisoned this year, and everyone will become mad. However, the PM has set apart a sufficient quantity of grain from the previous crop, enough for them to wait for the next crop, which hopefully will be healthy. But the King thinks about the matter for sometime, and refuses. Look, he says, if everybody is mad and we are the only sane people, then the others will think that we are insane, and make our life difficult. Let us eat from the poisoned crop, and become mad, but before that, we shall just put a sign on our forehads, so that, when we’ll look at each other, we’ll remember we had been sane.

    Ramamitkalit says that it is not very simple to feel sane with everybody raging mad around!

    :-) :-) :-)

  23. obsy says:

    Iranian regime critic Daryush Shokof is free:
    (sorry only German article)

    http://www.ksta.de/html/artikel/1273823379645.shtml

    Shokof vanished two weeks ago in Germany without a trace. Now, he appeared completely weak and wet in front of a couple of pupils, saying they he had been kidnapped and that they should call the police.

  24. incognito says:

    My comment preceded this (but I’m not asking you to hurray me ;-) )

    It worked in Jabotinsky’s days for reasons that both of us know and understand; it’s not working today for both Israeli and int’l reasons.

    Barnea: Longing for leadership
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0610/Barnea_Longing_for_leadership_.html

    I don’t care for Barnea but he’s right about leadership. This is what Israel had in Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion et. al and does not have today.

  25. incognito says:

    I am too familiar with the academic milieu not to be able to see that it would be easy for their own internal enemies to settle up a few accounts, which have nothing to do with state politics and a lot to do with internal academic politics. Lots of back-stabbing is always going on in academia.

    Now you know what I got the hell out of it. Yuckh.

    There are private academic institutions in Israel too.

    Ah, but those would not be caught dead hiring those assholes. Indeed, they were created at least in part to counter the govt leftist institutions.

    and I can’t emphasize too much how pomo and critical theory harbor extremely dishonest characters, the true embodiment of unbalanced judgment and outright lies.

    But Michelle that’s what pomo and “critical theory” IS. One HAS GOT to be dishonest to go into it. It was created to destroy the substantive fields by people without any intellect and knowledge who in no way could get into academia. This way they got in.

    What would be for me a worst case scenario, would be a more or less simultaneous collapse of civil governments of western countries, under the threat of a large number of dirty bombs sent by Iran to a number of well-chosen large cities, and probably followed fast by Iran being nuked by some of the still standing polities, and leading to global disorder for a very long time.

    There’s no need — with patience the west will wither and die. The slow jihad is much easier and as effective.

  26. Sergio says:

    Agreed. That’s the rotten seed planted by the likes of Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Boudrillard, Morin
    and their avid followers of lit-crit-relativism-postmodernist-deconstructionist trash: 2.500 years of effort to get out of the cave scorned, a real betrayal of the clerks.

  27. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Sergio, incog,

    I am not a universal woman. There is no way that I could agree that all postmodern critical theory is junk, simply because I am perfectly unable to evaluate it. It is too varied, too exuberant, too heterogeneous.

    Nevertheless, it is enough for me that this system of “ideas” harbors a significatn number of crooks, for the whole field to be dubious. If it were a decent field, it would get rid of the crooks.

    Newton was more an astrologer and an alchemist than a physicist and a mathematician. Nowadays, no astronomer in his right mind would ever try to mix up his field with astrology or any other kind of junk science.

    The trouble with social sciences and humanities is that it takes time to recognize who made important contributions. Evaluating the quality of the work of an individual is more difficult than in science or mathematics – not that we are missing debates in math, since it is not enough that a theorem should be correct! It should also be interesting ;-) Determining that something is interesting is definitely a business for human and fallible judges.

    Maybe, after thirty or forty years, we will find out that something was interesting in pomo critical theory. Being so far from social sciences and humanities, I won’t try to risk a forecast :-)

  28. incognito says:

    I am perfectly unable to evaluate it. It is too varied, too exuberant, too heterogeneous.

    But it was invented precisely to disable evaluation. Nevertheless, some did evaluate it as crap.

    Newton was more an astrologer and an alchemist than a physicist and a mathematician. Nowadays, no astronomer in his right mind would ever try to mix up his field with astrology or any other kind of junk science.

    Yet Newton was able to come up with serious science, while today’s academics are not. An increasing number of scientists these days can’t.

    The trouble with social sciences and humanities is that it takes time to recognize who made important contributions.

    That’s because, unlike the natural sciences, is that they are NOT science, so the evaluation must be completely different

    Maybe, after thirty or forty years, we will find out that something was interesting in pomo critical theory. Being so far from social sciences and humanities, I won’t try to risk a forecast :-)

    I will risk a forecast (actually I predict): if the west continues to appreciate this crap and relies on it for any degree, it won’t be around for long enough to evaluate it. As you can clearly see.

  29. Michelle Schatzman says:

    You know what, incog? You are more efficient when you try less to convince. In your previous incarnation, I must admit that you eventually got under my skin. Hope that after your long absence, you keep posting here, but without the screwdriver, the screws, the rubber seals and the blueprint of the waterproof box you would often try to construct.

    Here, we are not trying to prove theorems, or to run some kind of objective experimentation. Discussing MSNM and general politics in relation to the middle-east belongs to the realm of humanities and social sciences.

  30. Sergio says:

    Michelle,

    The Newton story is correct (he also spent a lot of ink dabbling in biblical chronology nonsense). However, what Newton is celebrated for today (and even in his own time)
    is his superb science. No serious textbook on mechanics or gravitation will mention the useless nonsense he published on alchemy and all that.

    Problem with humanities is not that scientific standards cannot be applied, but that those lazy, ignorant and dishonest postmodernists, exactly because they reject scientific standards, are set free to claim whatever nonsense without checks for evidence and even logical consistency. This is a shameful development in academic circles. Moreover, these guys think they understand the world with an amazingly simplistic stance like “the oppressed are always good”.
    Journalist follow through because they probably had these same fellows as teachers.

  31. E.G. says:

    Ramamitkal,

    Aha! So you agree with Yemini that the “world” will sober up.
    I’m very worried by the PoMo et Co. — indeed disabling the assessment capacity and the whole assessment procedure. It’s debilitating.
    But is it like some drug one can get out of one’s system and revert to normal, or are there unrecoverable effects?

  32. E.G. says:

    Sergio,

    Journalist follow through because they probably had these same fellows as teachers.

    I’m afraid most jurnos have, at most, had students of these fellows as teachers and mostly read summaries of these eminences’ cogitations.

  33. E.G. says:

    Or mentoring by Helen Thomas…

  34. Sergio says:

    EG,

    Probably, and I’m not sure what’s worse. :)

    As for this lady Thomas, well she should have been institutionalized a long time ago.

  35. obsy says:

    Michelle,

    “screwdriver”, “screws” and so on, can be useful to unveil lies and dubious points.
    But, I fail to see how things as the end of the west could be proved and what good this would do.

    incog,

    the “easy” science is already done. Todays scientists are stuck with the hard stuff. Yet, it is expected that they publish new achievements in short intervals to get funding.

  36. obsy says:

    “Sending leaflets to the next ships”?

    Is this article about warning “peace activists” that the IDF will send a couple of torpedos in 30 minutes and that they should leave the ship until then?

    Wouldn’t be too bad an idea.

  37. obsy says:

    World-famous Swedish story-teller and flotilla activist
    Henning Mankell tells Swedish media:

    the myth of the courageous and also infallible Israeli soldier has been crushed. Now one can add that they also are simple thieves.

    http://jihadimalmo.blogspot.com/2010/06/vem-stal-henning-mankells-strumpor.html

    Does he understand honor-shame?

    About female Israeli soldiers he said:

    Maybe they are such who will escape to Goa and get drugged when their military service is over? It happens all the time.

    He seems to have a “high” regard for women. (pun intended)
    A typical human rights activist?

  38. Sergio says:

    This swedish neaderthal is so pathetic and so resentful of Israel’s success that he need to transform the resounding flatulent-flottila fiasco into a great victory of the oppressed and a relief from his boring swedish existence.

  39. incognito says:

    Here, we are not trying to prove theorems, or to run some kind of objective experimentation.

    Whatever made you think I thought otherwise? Didn’t I just say that when it comes to social phenomena, theorems are hard to come by?

    Discussing MSNM and general politics in relation to the middle-east belongs to the realm of humanities and social sciences.

    And you think I, as a social “scientist” myself dk that?

    But that does not mean that I cannot recognize crap when I see it. Now, there are quite a few arguments here where reasonable men can disagree on.
    But pomo and all that jazz is obvious nonsense.

    Problem with humanities is not that scientific standards cannot be applied

    Only up to a point, which is not equivalent to the point in natural science

    but that those lazy, ignorant and dishonest postmodernists, exactly because they reject scientific standards, are set free to claim whatever nonsense without checks for evidence and even logical consistency.

    If those guys knew and understood what science was and then demonstrated why the method should be rejected, perhaps we would care to respond. But they have no clue and it’s precisely for that reason that they discard it.

    They want relief from the tyranny of knowledge and reason (that’s hard) — they want the flexibility to claim whatever they want (which is easy).

  40. Sergio says:

    They pretend they understand science and have found the clue to it all: it’s all about “narratives” and “hegemony” and the like. No need of logic, truth, evidence, fact-checking, reliability, reason, all this oppressive ideas. It’s the greates sham and it’s encroached in lit-crit depts. By the way, why do book-writers and literary critics think that they understand the world so well that they can pontificate about almost everything?

    In fact, I guess that’s one of the big problems nowadays: everybody feels entitled to pontificate, everybody is an expert on international law, in middle-eastern history, etc, etc. It’s the climax of (pseudo) democracy!

  41. incognito says:

    Sergio,

    It’s called the fall of knowledge and reason and it yields the very results you would expect.

    Said was a good example.

  42. JD says:

    sshender writes:

    “The world has gone absolutely mad! It feels like it’s the late 30s all over again (and, no, I’m not exaggerating)!”

    Did you live in the 1970′s 1980′s or ’90s? Remember 100,000′s of west Europeans marching for Yasser? It’s much better now, smaller, though there is an intenser crazed oldstyle anti-semitism in the left-talk. For example, crazed panics about Jews breaking laws, and finding the law, any law, they broke.

    “And worst still, it looks like not only is Israel initiating an investigation – what is there to investigate?”

    The botched embarcation onto the Turkish boat. Although the video of it was greatly helpful, still, from a security view point, it needs to be studied.

    By the way, how about that great video of Ms. Helen Thomas? Not only did she say it, she looked awful and mean for saying it. More video gold.

  43. incognito says:

    It’s much better now, smaller, though there is an intenser crazed oldstyle anti-semitism in the left-talk.

    Nope. Now it’s worse for reasons so obvious that I am not gonna even mention because I already did in several threads here.

    The botched embarcation onto the Turkish boat. Although the video of it was greatly helpful, still, from a security view point, it needs to be studied.

    That the army is doing anyway. But how much do you want to bet that Bibi and Barak will yield a lot on this?
    (BTW, read Barry Rubin’s explanation of why the UN appointed former NZ PM Palter to their commitee.)

    By the way, how about that great video of Ms. Helen Thomas? Not only did she say it, she looked awful and mean for saying it. More video gold.

    That she is an anti-semite is well known. The important thing to realize is why she felt now she could say it outload explicitly!!!

    Note the it took 3 days for a reaction and it was by jews. And she was not fired, but allowed to retire. And if she does not croak soon, she’ll have plenty of symbolic offers BECAUSE she said it.

    But Soccer Dad reminds us that she said exactly what the “moderate palestinians” have been saying continuously and nobody criticizes them. So why is it OK for them to say it bot for her not?

  44. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Sergio, indeed, I love screwdrivers, screws, seals and blueprints. Not only am I a mathematician, but an applied mathematician and able to use my hands. But debates do not go well with waterproof boxes, because they are about communication. By no means am I advocating any kind of lax logic or irrationnal blabber in the world of ideas. What I am pleading for is time for maturing ideas, recognizing gaps in arguments, and so on.

    No more.

  45. E.G. says:

    Bernard-Henri Lévy: It’s time to stop demonizing Israel

    One last word. For a man like me, someone who takes pride in having helped to conceive, with others, this kind of symbolic action ‏(the boat for Vietnam; the march for the survival of Cambodia in 1979; various and sundry anti-totalitarian boycotts and, more recently, the deliberate violation of the Sudan border to break the blockade hiding the perpetration of massacres in Darfur‏) − in other words, for a militant of humanitarian interference and all the media fuss that goes with it, this pathetic saga has something of a caricature to it, a gloomy grimace of destiny.

    But this is all the more reason not to give in. All the more reason to reject this confusing of genres, this inversion of values. All the more reason to resist this hijacking of meaning, that places the very spirit of a policy conceived to counter the intent of barbarians at their service.

    Destitution of the anti-totalitarian dialectic, its imitations and its reversals. Confusion of an era when we combat democracies as if they were dictatorships or fascist states. This maelstrom of hatred and madness is about Israel. But it also concerns, as we should be well aware, some of the most precious things established in the movement of ideas in the last 30 years, especially on the left, and these are thus imperiled. A word to the wise is sufficient.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/it-s-time-to-stop-demonizing-israel-1.294833

  46. Michelle Schatzman says:

    What a pity that Bernard-Henri Lévy is such an unreliable, arrogant, selfish and self-admiring socialite! (mind you, this is not a typo : I wrote -ite, not -ist at the end of social-)

    The consequence is that, even when he is basically right, he holds very little authority.

  47. Eliyahu says:

    Michelle, I do want to give credit to B-H L for actually expressly well and concisely what I have been feeling and understanding for many years, that is, the absurd, sinister situation of jihadist thugs being seen as innocuous “peace activists.” The Left is almost entirely corrupt today, as are the govts that sponsor and give political direction to the Left. In this vein, did anyone note that the WND site, in an article by Jerome Corsi, reported that a high Israeli official [unnamed] had charged that John Brennan [Obama's "antiterrorism" czar] was supposedly in touch with the leadership of Free Gaza, who were cooperating with the Turkish jihadi IHH on the Turkish pro-Hamas armada??

    #39 Sergio, the Swedish author is full of envy for Israel’s achievements. He is an unreconstructed Judeophobic bigot.

  48. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Eliyahu, B.-H. Lévy can write very well. He is also one of the initiators of the stupid J-Call “appeal to reason”, and he is utterly decredibilized in France. He has been accused of plagiarizing a number of authors. I believe that this his behavior is a pity, that’s all.

    My principle is to judge people on acts, not on intentions, since I am not privy to these. Lévy is immensely self-contradictory character, what can I add to that?

  49. E.G. says:

    Michelle and Eliyahu,

    I posted BHL’s article because what he says in the paragraphs I cited echoes HRW initiator’s worries.
    Yes, it’s the coalition of opposing extremes that Yemini highlights, and the viral mutation I wrote about.
    So at last it dawned on BHL.

    I haven’t yet finished reading this one:
    http://www.lemonde.fr/opinions/article/2010/06/04/le-raid-sur-la-flottille-pour-gaza-par-daniel-sibony_1367372_3232.html

    But I did read Michelle’s talkback on Joffrin’s hypocritical reply to BHL. Harsh, perhaps not enough…

  50. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Sibony’s Le Monde article is not well-written. He does better when he writes in a larger format. I am rereading presently his “Enigme de l’antisémitisme”. His basic thesis is that the human psyche contains always a fault, which is the difference between the singular existence of any given being, and Being, as an abstract concept, which he identifies to the God of the Jews, since the tetragram can be read as “to be” in the past, present and future. He claims that by discovering and introducing monotheism, the Jews made this fault obvious, and therefore, attracted upon their own head the hate of all the people who want to have a full (i.e. non faulty) identity, since jewish existence denies by itself the possibility of a full identity. In particular, he explains that as long as Christianity thought itself as the “verus Israel”, it was stuck in this wish for a full identity at the expense of the Jews. He also explains that, except for the passages relative to Muhammad, the Koran is either Bible or Talmud, though it can be altered at times, so as to give a worse image of the Jews. The Koran claims that the Jews are cursed for eternity, and a large part of the Koran is dedicated to accusations against the Jews. Sibony writes that the sacred book creates a real psychological difficulty for the Muslims themselves: their claim to a full identity relies on the curse of another people, who brought a large part of what the Muslims believe. He has a few suggestions for easing the situation. For instance, he imagines that the Muslims would pray to Allah for not being so harsh on Jews.

  51. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    I read somewhere that it was Ayers (education czar) and Dorn, the pals of Obama, who are connected to the Free Gaza movement.
    I haven’t found any concrete stuff on this.

  52. incognito says:

    What I am pleading for is time for maturing ideas, recognizing gaps in arguments, and so on.

    Pomo is an obvious walking gap in arguments.

    Failure to recognize the collapse of the west and its predictable consequences coming fast and furious is another obvious gap in arguments.

    Perhaps the box is indeed waterproof.

  53. incognito says:

    Eliyahu,

    The Left is almost entirely corrupt today, as are the govts that sponsor and give political direction to the Left.

    If they are vested in the left and they insist on remaining left in a world in which left has been exposed as crap and lost, corruption is very likely.

    First, you look for new oppressed, as the ones in the west have shrunk to insignificance: ah, the 3rd world, the previously colonized.

    Second, you look for allies who, unlike you, are more potent in destroying the west. Ah, the islamists.

    Et voila, you’re back in business.

    It also explains how an issue that has nothing to do with left-right is being considered left-right: the lefties have inserted their own irrelevant issue where it does not belong. That’s why you have an alliance of “progressives” with the most “regressive” on the planet.

  54. incognito says:

    The regressives likely have nothing but contempt for the progressives, but the latter are very useful as a fifth column.

  55. obsy says:

    Here is something to shame Erdogan:

    http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/202763.php

    Use it!

  56. obsy says:

    Ahmadinejad is doing a lot of PR lately:

    Saturday, he met a French reporter. The result are about 10 minutes of Ahmadinejad talking at popular prime time French television and head nodding of the reporter when he talked about his peacefulness and the necessity to efface Israel:

    http://videos.tf1.fr/jt-20h/voici-l-interview-exclusive-de-mahmoud-ahmadinejad-5876215.html

    Today he was in Turkey threatening the Russians (!?!):
    http://www.jpost.com/Home/Article.aspx?id=177820

  57. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Un peu d’hébreu pour vous ;-)
    Amos Oz in the middle…

  58. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., interesting article by Kalman Liebeskind. I learnt a few funny things about Bar Ilan University, and loved Oz being called the admor of the left.

    besides that, the thesis about the israeli journalist being unconvinced, and therefore unable to convince the japanese TV, the symptom being that they are not saying “our forces” but “the israeli forces”… well, this is only half deep. But I definitely sense in the israelis I am closest to, the ones above the age of 18, a spectator attitude. In the same time, I may be misreading them. They certainly want to look cool, real cool and the sabras really emphasize that attitude.

    But I certainly would not swear that the attitude is the full story.

    I am certainly deformed by the french attitude to patriotism. It is plain that the ones who used to show off as very patriotic, when that still amde sense, say about thirty or forty years ago were usually the less patriotic inside.

    Doesn’t Liebsekind confuse attitude with inner feeling? Don’t know, to tell you the truth.

  59. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    What Liebskind is deploring is the Israeli media posture of objectivity. Their pretension to serve the Israeli public (some are state owned, like Galei Zahal) by not being pro-Israeli; sometimes by being anti-Israeli (if only by air-time devoted to enemy discourse).

    The ridicule is that the Israeli media is automatically perceived as one-sided by outsiders (that doesn’t mean it’s perceived as unreliable): they’re supposed to be telling the Israeli side. Well, actually they tell the Israelis their version of both (or all) sides. And the opinion part (that infiltrates the news one too) is curious case of MOS where the I/we part is only clear when it comes to accusations and guilt. Otherwise, the “we” is dissolved.

    A detached attitude is not incompatible with loving one’s own (country included). And despite it being a stigmatised word, down deep most of the Israelis are patriots.

  60. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    I sent you the Liebskind piece mainly for the Admor part. But the Oz of the Oslo accords, the one who advocated a closure on the palestinians if they fail their side of the deal, has evolved.

  61. E.G. says:

    The media posture is exactly what Latma pokes fun at.

  62. incognito says:

    And despite it being a stigmatised word, down deep most of the Israelis are patriots.

    Including the ultra-orthodox? Or the Israeli arabs?
    (Just being facetious).

    Seriously though, I would put it differently: all THINK they are patriots, but only some are right. Those who are not are oblivious to its enemies and insist on behavior which is suicidal. The patriotically deluded so to speak.

  63. E.G. says:

    incognito,

    A majority is anywhere beyond the 50+%.
    So if you insist on the part of the glass that’s empty, remember it’s less than the half.

    And if the few ultra-orthodox I know represent their community (which is likely, because they’re respected), then let me ack you that they are well with the “Zionist narrative”. Despite the fact that they think they better serve it by praying and studying, rather than by doing any kind of national service (don’t even think of military service).

    So let’s not confuse a vocal minority and a silenced majority.

  64. incognito says:

    A majority is anywhere beyond the 50+%.

    I would certainly hope so. It’d better.

    So if you insist on the part of the glass that’s empty, remember it’s less than the half.

    I deem it more important, from a practical point of view, to worry about the problems rather than be lulled into false security that they don’t exist (that is, insisting that because it’s more than half full we don’t have to worry).

    And if the few ultra-orthodox I know represent their community (which is likely, because they’re respected), then let me ack you that they are well with the “Zionist narrative”.

    Perhaps, but they see the present and future very differently than the seculars which, if they grow to majority, won’t be pretty.

    Despite the fact that they think they better serve it by praying and studying, rather than by doing any kind of national service (don’t even think of military service).

    Well, if they don’t serve in the army and they don’t work — there was an article to that effect — they don’t contribute much to the country. And what they do study is inconseuentia — you don’t believe that Israel can be saved and sustained by prayer, do you?

    Based on my experience with the charedim in Israel while I lived there, their Israel and mine are incompatible.

    So let’s not confuse a vocal minority and a silenced majority.

  65. incognito says:

    That’s probably as far as it’s worth going on this subject.

  66. E.G. says:

    obsy #58,

    Where is la Fallaci who refused to cover her head when she interviewed Khomeini?!

    Sic transit gloria mundi?

  67. E.G. says:

    incognito,

    The inter-Israeli debates over what kind of Israel they want is not accurately reflected in/by the Israeli media. In fact, what the MSM do, is envenom the debates. That’s one disservice they do to the Israeli public who also funds many of them.

    The second disservice is in mis-representing the zeitgeist.
    The more they substitute their role to propaganda vehicles (anti-Zionist, not Govt), the less credible and convincing they are.

  68. incognito says:

    You don’t think I am basing my views on the media, Israeli or otherwise, do you?

  69. Solomonia says:

    CNN’s Cheerleader for Hezbollah…

    Yeah, well, not exactly surprising is it? Read at Honest Reporting: CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs professes her respect for an extremist sheikh and spiritual father of a terrorist organization. Also not surprising considering this is the woma…

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