Bram Dov Abramson on Sat, 20 Apr 2002 20:06:46 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: Weak analysis

Well, not much point in getting into the points about Canada not 
being in the U.S. mediascape; about why use of word "anti-semitism" 
follows historical usage not someone's racial theories defining 
"Semite" race; about whether or not the Italian journalist was 
arguing that Israeli government actions are fine if the rest of the 
world can be shown to really hate them; on unclear use of passive 
voice re who thinks what about settlers.  Nor any point at all into 
getting into the "strong"/"weak analysis" business (is that what this 
is about? epic struggles between arguments? or are we trying to 
figure something out here?)  But this part is ascribing to my 
suggestions a position they weren't adopting:

>  >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.
>This vague attempt at moral relativism is so absurd it lessens the
>credibility of everything you write.

Now, speaking of generalities and hyperbole ... but "moral 
relativism"?  I'm suggesting that the attempt to flatten a conflict 
into a sports match (Palestinians vs Israelis) is quite 
counterproductive and won't advance a thing, though certainly is the 
tactic practiced by various.  I think it's possible to stand for a 
Palestinian state and to stand against the Hamas platform in all 
countries.  I think it's possible to oppose the Israeli occupation 
while recognizing that a viable solution must be figured out which 
involves dealing with all factions and governments who have deployed 
forces in the military conflict.  Talking in grand terms about the 
underdogs, the overlords, etc. is exciting, but maybe not a good way 
to approach resolution.


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