Wrestling With Zion: Round 1


Aw, man. This is gonna be like reffing a verbal Photoshop Tennis match. Or more appropriately—and pun-centrically—a wrestling match. Ami Eden’s already jumping off the ropes and the bell’s barely been rung.

With all due respect to Mr. Eden, right off the bat, he’s exhibiting the very behavior which Kushner and Solomon take issue with: The ethnocentric, Jew-can-do-no-wrong attitude that seeks to cast total blame without accepting responsibilty for one’s own hand in the mess that lies before and behind us.

Before dialogue is possible, yes, one must acknowledge—as Kushner and Solomon note and reiterate—that “the founding of the state of Israel required the dispossession of a sizeable indigenous population.” However, this cornerstone of understanding is glaringly absent from Eden’s remarks. Rather, he uses it as his basis for the dismissal of Kushner & Solomon’s position.

This is spin in action. Kushner and Solomon are focusing squarely on the Jewish people, and what they perceive to be lack of accountability in the Jewish community, as well as status quo complicity in the degradation and dehumanization of an indigenous people. Their desire is to awaken Jewish people to a history that is as vehemently denied by themselves as the Holocaust is revisionists, as well as to the injustices that they perpetuate within the “alternative universe” they have formulated for themselves in the absence of recognition of such basic facts as the Deir Yassin massacre, the many acts of terror carried out by the Irgun, the disposession of native Arabs from lands purchased stealthily by the Jewish Agency, and so on.

As it stands, most folks are either ignorant of these facts, or proud of them, some even suggesting that the Arabs “had it coming”—a contention as absurd as it is apalling. Those of us in the vocal minority, who are aware and not proud—those with conscience—we are generally dismissed as self-hating Jews. And yet, somehow, sadly, oddly, shockingly, sickeningly, those who are proud of this heritage—those who turn a blind eye to the suffering of those who have been trampled on the road to ‘manifest destiny’—they are somehow, shamefully, our national heroes. They are our Prime Ministers, our representatives as Jewish people, before the world—portrayed biting babies’ heads off in political cartoons! This, declare Kushner and Solomon, must not stand! Thus, to put it blunty, Kushner and Solomon are tending to their own house. They want to address Jewish behaviors, Jewish issues, Jews.

Eden’s not content with this, however. Rather than directly addressing the points raised by Kushner and Solomon—rather than focusing on Jews—he diverts attention elsewhere, turning the discussion towards the Palestinians and what is their fault, as opposed to opening his eyes to the tragedies perpetuated by his own people and taking responsibility for them. And I will take that a step further even, to say one should not just take responsibility, but one should also be remorseful for what has transpired, as opposed to feeling indignant and justified, as though you’re on some righteous mission to smite Amalek. (And I’ll just note that I’m not implying anything about Mr. Eden with that remark, so please don’t misread me.)

Sadly, to Eden, Kushner and Solomon are apologists for terrorism (as evidenced by his remarks, “The truth is that Kushner and Solomon, as well as many of the contributors to this book are not interested in the details of why Oslo went off track or how to restart the peace process. Such a discussion would require serious criticisms of the Palestinian leadership.”) simply because they acknowledge the part that Jewish people have played in this heinous affair, and do so without needing to smear Palestinians in the process. Oh, the horror! The travesty!

Ami, when you clean your house, do you have an urge to toss garbage onto your neighbor’s lawn? Or do you tend to your own filth? I must concur with Kushner and Solomon and insist that you mind your own first… then worry about them. We’ve got to get rid of the ‘fascholes’ in our own house, before we start wagging our fingers at others. As it is said, people in glass houses should not throw stones.

We must all come to realize that Israel is, in this context, a greenhouse like no other.

4 thoughts on “Wrestling With Zion: Round 1

  1. A lot of this chest beating obscures the fact that most of the Arab tragedy was caused by Arab intrasigence. A lot of the heartbreak, including Deir Yassin, would simply not have happened had the Arabs in general not reacted the way they did. The wars and massacres and refugees did not have to happen. They happened almost entirely because of the Arab Islamic world refusal to tolerate a minority group with sovereignty in their large swath of the world. The dirt little secret is not that there are 250 million Arab Muslims and 5 million Jews in the ME; no, there are 250 million Arabs and tens of millions of non-Arab minorities and non-Muslim minorities in the region who are denied the right to self determination by the Arab Muslim world.

  2. Nonsense that you have to clean your own house before you critique others. In that case since America is an imperfect place and always will be what the hell are we doing trying to liberate Iraq and fight Islamic Terrorism and what the F were we doing critiquing and fighting Nazi Germany in WWII when the US at that time was almost an Apartheid State in the way blacks were treated especially in the South?
    The statment is stupid. And Eden’s reaction is simply that everyone is blaming Israel for everything when the truth is that Israel was complicit with some Arab expulsion during the 48 War? Shock of shockers? YA THINK!! I don’t believe the Arabs were coming to play nicey nice with the Joooos, I think they were coming to murder all of them and take all their land? NO? Plus compare the way the Joos in surrendering towns were treated to the Arabs, they were all lined up and killed?
    Eden’s point is that when you only express 1 view of the conflict and not in the context of the overall events that were taking place, especially a freeking War!, than your account is just gobbly good bullshit! and doesn’t present even close to a reasonable picture of events.
    Further, Deir Yassen is a controversial thing, there were even Arab survivors who later testified that the Jooos were ambushed and murdered after accepting surrender from the town peacefully, and that’s when it got out of control. Does that sound familiar? That was the British reaction to Arab instrsurgents in Jenin in 1939 when they said such things, as these savages have no grain of human decency, and I believe that was what the Arabs did in Jenin in 2002? NO?
    The point is NOBODY and I mean NOBODY no longer wants to listen to biased, far out lefties carp about how bad Israel was here, and there, and there, and there, with a completely unbalanced purview.
    Further, even Benny Morris got taken down many pegs in his book for the worst sin, Intellectual flawed or “selective” accounts bordering if you will on flat out clever distortions that he thought noone would check on, because who the hell would think Karsh would actually go back and read every word of every letter Ben Gurion and others wrote in their diaries and compare them to the selectively clever citings Morris often made?
    Noone wants to listen anymore to the lefty carping bullshit.
    FURTHER, the problem isn’t the LACK OF debate in Israeli quarters, that another load of bullshit! I believe there are newspapers that predominate in the vein of Haaretz and Arinot which definitely left wing papers, as well as “New Historians” and even nut jobs like Uri Avnery that hugs Yasser Arafat because he says he is “protecting peace” by hugging a man who plans out the murders of Jewish children and women and rewards their families, and notably said regarding Leon Klinghoffer, “Dump that Jew in the Ocean”.
    The question is where are these same people on the Palestinian and Arab side? Outside of a infantisemally small % occasionally cited by Memri outside of the Territories only like a Libyan columnist, 1 Egyptian columnist and a Kuwaiti liberal, THEY DON’T EXIST.
    So direct the self righteous venom where it belongs. Thanks.
    Further, Sharon is ruling like a Centrist, even Klein Halevi likes him and agrees with what he is doing.
    Now tell me are Klein Halevi and the head of Yad Vashem, a Peace Now activist since the 70’s, now radical right wingers?

  3. Mike : ” Nonsense that you have to clean your own house before you critique others. “
    So you wouldn’t blink an eye if the Saudis criticized Israel’s treatment of religious minorities ?

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