Tuesday, August 23, 2005

She Plays for the Other Side

Today I Googled an old friend from high school. I hadn't thought about her in years, but a friend at the gym brought her up and wanted to know if I had heard anything. I hadn't, but since I had a spare moment today I used the net to find her.

Presto! The first try out of the box and I found her. She is a college professor now for a university in the Midwest. I spent a couple of minutes reading her bio and some additional clips about her and my jaw dropped when I found her blog.

The blog says that she is currently living in Al Quds Palestine Israel. That is it, verbatim. I should add that she is Jewish and was raised in a Jewish home. We went to the same shul and attended many of the same Jewish youth programs.

And now she has a blog in which she sounds like an apologist for terrorists. A blog in which she sounds like she is Saeb Erekat and claims Edward Said as a hero. A blog in which I couldn't find one positive comment about Israel, but many that were just shocking.

She talked about being indoctrinated with racist Zionist views in Hebrew school and beyond. I was there for much of it and I haven't the foggiest idea what she is talking about. We discussed Israel in detail. It wasn't all hearts and roses. We talked about terrorism and the problem Israel faced with territories it had conquered back in '67.

What indoctrination is she talking about. I don't know.

I was horrified to read her comments in which she sounded as racist and bigoted towards Israel and Jews as she claims we are towards Palestinians.

I know that people change. It is 18 years since I last saw or spoke to her, but I am still so suprised by this. It is not like she is part of Shalom Achshav and crying foul. She doesn't even want anything to do with them, they aren't radical enough for her.

And so I sit here and wonder how she ended up playing for the other side. It just makes me wonder.

12 comments:

PsychoToddler said...

She sounds like a very disturbed indivdual. I'm so glad you turned out ok.

Jack's Shack said...

I didn't have any unusual problems, but apparently she did. I don't mean to belittle or marginalize her, but she had some family issues.

Anonymous said...

She must be a dysfunctional lunatic if she is Jewish but not self obsessed, self important, and only capable of seeing one side of an issue.

How dare she not allow the self appointed Jewish leadership to think for her exclusively.

We had better "accidently" gun down some extra Palestinian children to make up for the work she is not doing.

Is she forgetting about The Holocaust for Christ's sake? Jews are eternally victims. The world is against them. They are incapable of racism, murder, and underhanded political dealing. I don't remember hearing about any other people being chosen by God, after all.

This woman is obviously demented if she presumes to judge Zionists as if they were regular human beings with regular human character flaws. They are Jews, not mere mortals! How could they be subject to the same moral judgements as other races and peoples? South Africans that instituted apartheid weren't chosen by God! The Whites who brutally stole the ancestral lands of the native Americans weren't chosen by God! The Germans who became obsessed with their own race and looked down on all others weren't chosen by God! The Jews were, goddamnit! So they can commit the parallels of all the above and if we don't give them a free pass we are self hating Jews or anti-Semites or racist or terrorists.

Yes, she was doubtlessly molested as a child if she doesn't see things this way. It's uncanny how you homed right in on that.

Jack's Shack said...

Anonymous,

I am ever so impressed with your simple analysis. Such insight is exceptional. Thankfully there is a statcounter here and we know exactly who you are and where.

But more to the point, if you want to try and promote your position as having any legitimacy or validity than you need to do better than use tired canards and blather.
It's uncanny how you homed right in on that.

Anonymous said...

"I am ever so impressed with your simple analysis. Such insight is exceptional."

Cheap, cheap rhetoric.

"Thankfully there is a statcounter here and we know exactly who you are and where."

Ominous. THis is interesting since it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. What is it, some kind of muted threat? Am I supposed to somehow be intimidated if you know exactly who and where I am? What will you do with this knowledge, send someone by to rough me up? Pretty asinine to even bring this up, don't you think?

"But more to the point,"

hey, novel idea

"if you want to try and promote your position as having any legitimacy or validity than you need to do better than use tired canards and blather."

Wow, you almost approached the point, but switched to a hasty, blanket dismissal and focused on the manner in which I stated my position in order to avoid the position itself.

"It's uncanny how you homed right in on that."

Uh ... This one is just dumb. I mean, you repeat a sentence from my comment as if you believe you're turning it around on me, except it is nonsensical where you used it. Talk about blather, eh?

All in all I would say you were attempting to strike an aloof attitude, throwing in a little threat, I guess(?), and generally trying to bluff your way out of even acknowledging the issues raised in my comment.

I don't blame you, being a (half)Jew myself, I am aware of the cultural quirks and the unsubtle pressure and psychological conditioning that goes into shaping the world views of modern Jews. The challenge facing us is to overcome the gross egocentricity ground into our psyches from birth, and to see ourselves as merely another race, people, and/or religion--especially considering the key role we play in modern politics.

If you could make this leap, you wouldn't feel the desperate, childish need to spit bile at Palestinians and anyone else who disagrees with you. That is to say, you wouldn't lash out because you feel threatened. You could see yourself simply as a human being and not spend so much of your life obsessing over your Jewishness as you obviously do.

But hey, all that being said, I apologize for leaving the inflammatory comment. It wasn't nonsensical or false, as you charge, but I was annoyed when I left it. Still, I think dismissing your friend as emotionally ill because she has different views than you smacks of pure avoidance.

Jack's Shack said...

Anonymous,

Blather is still what you are posting here. You did engage in tired canards and unsubstantiated claims and rhetoric. You accuse me of nonsensical remarks but you say nothing. Hypocrisy is a shameful thing.

I don't blame you, being a (half)Jew myself, I am aware of the cultural quirks and the unsubtle pressure and psychological conditioning that goes into shaping the world views of modern Jews.

Stereotypes are a sad way to try and make a point and you miss it entirely.

The challenge facing us is to overcome the gross egocentricity ground into our psyches from birth, and to see ourselves as merely another race, people, and/or religion--especially considering the key role we play in modern politics.

This is just fluff. Why not try using specifics and tell us all how we are egocentric and assuming that this is true explain why it is a problem. What difference does it make. Every group with any sense looks out for its own. And that in and of itself does not suggest that said group does not engage in altruistic acts for others.

If you could make this leap, you wouldn't feel the desperate, childish need to spit bile at Palestinians and anyone else who disagrees with you. That is to say, you wouldn't lash out because you feel threatened. You could see yourself simply as a human being and not spend so much of your life obsessing over your Jewishness as you obviously do.

Listen friend and I use the term loosely, there is nothing childish or immature in pointing out facts. Now I haven't a clue if you have read my blog or seen enough of my own commentary to have any sense of what my politics are. But I'll make some of this easy with a very short synopsis. I have said many times that Palestinians are humans and as humans they deserve the right to self-determination.

But that doesn't mean that they have the right to a state and it certainly doesn't mean that they have the right to engage in indiscriminate acts of murder. And right now their leaders are all spouting a certain party line that claims the right to murder others. There are other groups who have faced bigger and more serious problems for longer that have not engaged in systematic and routine uses of murder to try and achieve their political goals.

Your comments ignore that. There is no reason why Israel cannot be criticized but if you want to be taken seriously you have to be balanced and your comments do not even come close to balance. As I said they utilize stereotypes, cliche and tired canards most often used by antisemites and no I am not calling you one.

But hey, all that being said, I apologize for leaving the inflammatory comment. It wasn't nonsensical or false, as you charge, but I was annoyed when I left it. Still, I think dismissing your friend as emotionally ill because she has different views than you smacks of pure avoidance.

No, they were nonsensical and irrational. And if you want read my initial post you would have seen the following which is very important so read it carefully:

Presto! The first try out of the box and I found her. She is a college professor now for a university in the Midwest. I spent a couple of minutes reading her bio and some additional clips about her and my jaw dropped when I found her blog.

I read her bio. I read her blog and I know her from the past. As you know people share quite a bit of information in their blogs. So it is not only possible but logical to determine that I gathered this information from reliable sources.

So in your haste and your anger you left a very foolish comment and for better or for worse I don't suffer pompous and ignorant statements and that sums yours up quite well.

But if you really want to engage in this discussion I will oblige you. One more comment.

You could see yourself simply as a human being and not spend so much of your life obsessing over your Jewishness as you obviously do.

It sounds to me like you have little to no identification with Judaism and being Jewish and I think that this is too bad. Judaism offers a rich tapestry of culture and ethics. It offers a way of life that encourages scholarship and introspection. It is not real big on being a clone or acting like a sheep.

I am happy to obsess over being Jewish. I like exploring it and learning more and I love determining why I believe what I believe. I am very comfortable with who I am. I am Jewish because I choose to be, not because I was born Jewish.

Daniel said...

If she lives so close why not meet for a cup of coffe? You won't change her mind, and she won't change yours, but it might make for an intersting meeting.

callieischatty said...

Its really best if you don't allow anonymous comments on your blog.

Jack's Shack said...

Hi Daniel,

She left LA a long time ago and lives in the Midwest now. Although as I understand it she is in Israel for an indefinite amount of time.

You are correct in that has potential to be interesting, but even if she was here I would be hesitant about getting involved.

If her blog and scholarly works are truly indicative of her position it would be very hard to have a real dialogue because in her mind Israel is an illegitimate country and just wrong.

Without give and take it is questionable.

Anonymous said...

I for one am enjoying the discussion. I would have left the same comment if you didn't allow it anonymously, that just saved me the trouble of the signing-in procedure.

As for the issue of Israel, I'm coming from the place that it is a morally indefensible CONCEPT--not just a state behaving badly. I don't think there is any trick of logic that can actually make okay the taking over of another people's land by military means. There is a great deal of mythology and propaganda surrounding this subject but the fact remains: One group was already there (for a couple of thousand years or so) living peacefully, even with the early Jewish settlers. The conflict arose when the number and nature of the settlers threatened the way of life of those already there.

What's more, Palestine was chosen based on religious beliefs, not any search for a sensible location for a homeland. (I understand they were freely offered a home in Madagascar.) So the Jewish leadership, in their staggering arrogance and egocentricity, moved large numbers of their people and instigated bloody battles to install themselves among a people who didn't want them.

So what you have in Israel is a state forced into existence in the most unnatural, impractical, and unnecessary circumstances. It's expensive, the land isn't accommodating, the natives aren't accommodating, it creates no end of international strife. Moreover, Jews are welcomed and can and do prosper all over the civilized world and have the financial resources and political clout to create a homeland in a any number of less troublesome locations.

So what is the logic supporting Israel? The same logic behind witch burnings--arbitrary religious ideas. The absurd notion that it is a mistake of history that the Jews weren't there all along. Any discussion of this place and situation ought to begin with this understanding; to overlook it and paint the conflict as poor Jews being brutalized by Muslim zealots is to be dishonest.

Between the two groups of zealots, the majority of the fault must lie with the interlopers.

In fact, any discussion of Israel really shouldn't even get so far as the behavior of this or that group. That is just a devious tactic to divert attention from the inescapable truth that the idea of modern Israel, especially as it has been carried out, is demented.

Jack's Shack said...

Anonymous,

You are hiding. You are so hiding. But that is immaterial. You again are spouting propaganda that is just not based in reality, but I can understand why you might want to spin it this way.

There are facts here that you choose to ignore and that imbalance negates your premise.

But let me take just a moment to ask you about terrorism. What are your thoughts on it?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Whats wrong with Al Quds? I hang out at the Muqata all the time, and it hasn't fazed me too much.

Granted there are now thousands of rabid blood thirsty Palestinians thronging through the remains of Gush katif and burning all the synagogues down...but what Palestinians may lack in culture, they make up with a fantastic educational system. Kids blow up so fast these days...