“I’m Done Apologizing for Israel”

07.22.14

Whenever tensions rise in Israel, my stress level goes way up as a proxy war gets fought in social media channels. People I respect, colleagues and acquaintances and people I think of as friends, sometimes post things that make my blood boil.

So I’ve been not saying very much. Because I know that I wouldn’t be saying anything that most of you don’t already know, And, sadly, nothing I could say will convince anyone who has already made up their mind otherwise. I don’t think that inflammatory posts belong on my Facebook news feed — or on anyone else’s, for that matter. That’s why I have this separate blog page in the first place. I’ve had to unfollow some folks. I’ve even had to unfriend a few people.

But if I had to give a nutshell account of my thoughts, this comes pretty close:

I ask the enraged critics of Israel’s defensive responses to Hamas: Would you have us not respond to this monstrosity? Do you think it’s not worth losing the PR battle to retain our humanity and save as many lives as possible? What country would stand by when thousands of terrorist missiles assault its citizens?

[ . . . ]

We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else.

No more apologies.

(Hat tip: Richard.)

And, in case this isn’t enough, let me just recap the statement from the About page on this blog: “This blog is staunchly, unabashedly and wholeheartedly pro-Israel. Eretz Yisrael is in my heart and in my soul, and I will never hesitate to tell off anyone who would threaten its right to exist in peace and security. A broad spectrum of opinions are welcome here, and I will never shy away from a good debate. But if you’re here because you’re a hater, a terrorist apologist, or just a plain old-fashioned antisemite, please do everyone a favour and f#$% off.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alex 07.22.14 at 11:05 AM

OK well I certainly don’t know enough about the conflict to take sides. It seems a hideously complex topic.

But I wondered what you make of this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y58njT2oXfE

Is it factually inaccurate? It doesn’t seem to be. Yet if it is accurate, i’m not sure how to reconcile what I hear about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in opposition to their human rights with your statement that you are “staunchly, unabashedly and wholeheartedly pro-Israel”, given what I know of you as a reasonable, compassionate person.

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2 segacs 07.22.14 at 4:03 PM

Pure propaganda, that. Which, admittedly, is hard to separate from the facts as the noise-to-signal ratio goes haywire.

ETA: If you want a point-by-point deconstruction of all the factual misrepresentations and outright lies in that video, I’d be happy to put one together for you when I have more time. I’m not just saying “trust me” because that’s silly — everyone has a right to look at history and come to their own conclusions. But I’d suggest you consider the source. Here’s more about JVP from Wikipedia — admittedly an imperfect source in itself, but at least one that has no outright agenda.

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3 Alex 07.22.14 at 11:07 AM

Or to put it another way, I’m not saying you should apologize for Israel. But I’m not sure how you can support them unquestioningly.

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4 segacs 07.22.14 at 4:16 PM

Why not? I unquestioningly support Canada’s right to exist in peace and security, too. That doesn’t mean I don’t criticize Stephen Harper, question our treatment of First Nations and our environmental policies and just about everything else as I see fit. That’s what people do in democratic countries.
But if rockets were to start raining down on Montreal and Toronto and Vancouver, I’d support our right to defend ourselves — with force, if need be.

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