Bram Dov Abramson on Fri, 19 Apr 2002 14:13:01 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: Speaking from New York

>Here arabs are seen as
>madmen who go to their deaths with a twisted ecstatic smile on their
>faces. We hear little of the Israeli soldiers who, instructed to
>perpetrate systematic abuses of human rights in the Occupied
>Territories, refuse to serve there. We have no consciousness in our
>media of the connection between the murderers of Rabin and the
>current Israeli policies of State Terrorism. In our media the
>Israelis are seen to hold an absurd monopoly on the term
>I am saddened by the behavior of both parties in this conflict. But
>it was clearly the Israelis who walked away from the Oslo accords.

Well, I don't live in the United States -- only in one corner of its 
mediascape (Canada) -- but I have heard tons about Israeli soldiers 
who refused to serve as soldiers; I suspect that the meaning assigned 
to the word "anti-semitism" is the product of its Aryan-movement 19th 
c history rather than the conspiracy implied (such is the life of 
languages,; and 
"clearly" is, to understate colossally, hardly clear to everyone.

Speaking of straw men:

>I believe she is mistaken to think that the support of
>the Palestinians by rightwing elements in Europe absolves the Iraeli
>government from its crimes of Terror, of destroying the
>infrastructure of Palestinian lands in the name of self-defense.

I mean, leaving aside the "rightwing" non sequitur, who would 
possibly make such a stupid argument?  She certainly didn't.  And:

>The "settlers" in the occupied territories are seen as pioneers 
>reclaiming their homeland instead of invaders grabbing land.

Your analysis of Israeli public opinion and of Israeli media coverage 
may be a bit off here.  Certainly there are a handful of folks who 
see things the way your argument needs them to, but to extrapolate 
from them to the citizenry at large is kind of weird.

Bottom line, I guess, is that any assertion of "the way things really 
are" is likely to be conjectural unless you've actually measured 
something and folks agree on the premises of measurement.  Corollary 
being that generalities are probably not useful terms in which to 
talk, unless one is interested in epic struggles between Good and 
Evil or, more prosaically, one is interested in viewing the situation 
as a fight between two opposing sports clubs, in which case it's 
relatively easy to don the right coloured sweater, wave the right 
flag, sing the right songs, line up on the right side of things, etc. 
For what purpose, I'm not sure.

>In this battle, the Israelis are not the underdogs; they are the
>overlords. And though we drown in a sea of moral contradictions, that
>situation should not be lost sight of. From where I write, it is far
>easier to lose sight of the crimes of State Terror than the retail
>crimes of terror.

Uh, yeah.  Go team.  (But, "retail"?)


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