Friday, March 20, 2015

repeats of repeats, bracketing the new.

Crooked Timber August 2004
The Islamic world has ample reasons for legitimate criticism. Anti-Semitism, sexism, lack of democracy, lack of opportunity, nurturing of terrorism… these are sad realities, not the hallucinations of right-wingers. Anger and criticism are appropriate, but our approach has to start with the assumption that Muslims are not going away. Short of deliberate genocide, there’s no way forward in the long run except for “hearts and minds.”
"Short of deliberate genocide,..." My comment is still up on the page.

Crooked Timber, November 2004 (recent repeat)
One of the things that I find most depressing about discussions on Crooked Timber and elsewhere is that it seems to be absolutely impossible to have a civil argument about Israel and the Palestinians. 
CT in 2008  "Veil of Ignorance" The post isn't as offensive as the title, but the comments are.
CT 2013, start here, for fun

CT 2015, Corey Robin quotes Yousef Munayyer
For Israelis, there’s currently little cost to maintaining the occupation and re-electing leaders like Mr. Netanyahu. Raising the price of occupation is therefore the only hope of changing Israeli decision making. Economic sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s increased its international isolation and put pressure on the apartheid regime to negotiate. Once Israelis are forced to decide between perpetual occupation and being accepted in the international community, they may choose a more moderate leader who dismantles settlements and pursues peace, or they may choose to annex rather than relinquish land — provoking a confrontation with America and Europe. Either way, change will have to come from the outside.
Robin also quotes a "philosopher" and friend. Samuel Fleischacker
It breaks my heart to say this, but today I don’t feel I can call myself a Zionist any longer.
A commenter responds to Robin and to a previous commenter
I’m curious how widespread is the sentiment articulated by Fleischacker. 
I think the bigger picture is that there’s been a steady drift towards anti-Israeli positions over the last few years, and this result means that the drift isn’t going to stop any time soon. So Fleischacker’s move from “liberal Zionist” to “no longer a Zionist” sounds huge, but it’s part of the same process as somebody moving from “critical of Israel but not in favour of BDS” to “qualified supporter of BDS”, and somebody else moving from “BDS but not for academics” to “BDS across the board”. And my impression is that that broader shift is very widespread indeed.
"I think the bigger picture is that there’s been a steady drift"

repeat from 2011. (Rosen is linking to Munayyer)
Nir Rosen (on Facebook) is right: "fucking brilliant!"
NY Times March 20 1947
Whatever the degree of their superiority complex, however, the Jews are certainly confident of their ability to bring the Arabs to terms - by persuasion if possible, by might if necessary. The program of the largest terrorist group, the Irgun Zvai Leumi, is to evacuate the British forces from Palestine and declare a Zionist state west of the Jordan, and "we will take care of the Arabs."
NY Times May 14 2011
After Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, armies from neighboring Arab states attacked the new nation; during the war that followed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes by Israeli forces. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were also destroyed. The refugees and their descendants remain a central issue of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I reposted the Rosen link before in a longer discussion of art and politics, responding to Robin and others on Hitchens.

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