Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Zionists Behaving Badly: A Not-So-Nice Guy
A settler asks a question on his Best Life in Israel award winning blog:
"Where do you strike the balance between teaching your kids to be prudent/cautious without teaching them it is OK to instinctively hate/fear Hispanics."
He prefaces the question with this:
"Being the product of an enlightened liberal upbringing, you experience a certain amount of internal conflict between your natural tendency to fear/avoid members of this particular ethnic/racial group... and the ingrained humanist lessons of your upbringing telling you that most latinos/latinas or not violent criminals, and it is therefore the worst sort of racism to shun, fear or label them all as bad."
He qualifies the question: "We're not talking about Hispanics."
A pro Palestinian writes a comment to his post (but none of these comments appear on the blog):
What the heck is an "enlightened liberal upbringing"? Are there certain
little thingies you get taught that other kids don't, in your
judgement? Do you have a different social life and view of yourself and
others? Are you different from the "mainstream" of where you are
growing up and are you (and your educators) conscious that there is
something "different" or "particular" about your upbringing? These
questions are serious.
Our "conflicted" settler-blogger replies:
"First of all, if you had read the entire post you would be aware that the "enlightened liberal upbringing" was had by a hypothetical 'you'.
"That being said, all of the information you have asked for is found in the body of the post and/or in the comments."
A few more e-mail exchanges ensue. Highlights:
Settler: I'm sure if I lived in the relative safety of Italy's Adriatic coast I would be much more willing to let my children find their own way in the world. Unfortunately, here in Israel children are often targeted by terrorists (as well as other bad people) and it would be horribly negligent of me to not make them aware of the potential threats to their physical safety.
Pro-Pal Gal: "I think you seem to dismiss the fact that in your article you refer to an ethnic group of people as "dangerous" - Your famous 'hispanics.' Don't you see the racism of your beliefs? I grew up not on the Adriatic, but in an American urban center, very mixed ethnically, and my parents spoke different languages with their own families, and a new one with us, and we believed that it was the most natural thing in the world for different people to mix. Where is the utopian, in not looking at another ethnic group as potentially dangerous? My children (as was my own upbringing) know about people acting bad, but we certainly do not make arbitrary belonging to certain groups that criterion! To do so is to instill in them the seeds of hatred.
"Are you saying that your own government and army are safe and harmless people? I won't bother analysing your society, but it certainly has its foundation as separation is good. Is your society harmless to others? Does it treat others with equity?
Why not reflect some on that."
Our sensitive settler emerges as a not-so-nice-guy although one wouldn't know it from the cute, cuddly post he had up today: The Secret Magic of A Father's Shoulder
I mean how can a nice settler-blogger go from this:
"Carrying sleeping children to bed is one of a father's most cherished privileges and sacred duties. It's a comforting touchstone... a carry-over from a time when tiny feet are innocent of callouses and pudgy little legs have yet to take a step. But even though we fathers continue the charade of necessity long after walking has turned to running... we secretly pray the day will never come when a sleepy embrace is deliberately broken... rather than culminating in a soft toss onto a waiting shoulder."
"You seem to get off on trying to find any Jewish or Israeli blogger who presents themselves as liberal or humanist and try to make them out as racist or worse.
Please don't bother coming back to my site... you and your racist, anti-Semitic views are not welcome."
Pro-Pal Gal replies:
What is racist about what I said? ... I would hardly call someone like you humanist, who creates the image of a "bad" ethnic group and actually can classify them just as one would paedophiles, terrorists, rapists. It was "YOU" who created your post, and if you cannot see how it is deeply racist, you certainly are not the first who acts in your way. Where was there an Anti Semitic view, and please, be specific, rather than throw around such idiotic smears.
Conflicted Sensitive Settler replies:
"You are a complete idiot who doesn't know how to read. I never once said that any ethnic group was dangerous. What I did say was that there was a a significant amount of violent crime that was being perpetrated by a small percentage of a particular ethnic group. I painted this picture for my readers because this exactly what is going on here. A tiny minority of Palestinians are responsible for carrying out violent terror attacks on Israeli civilian targets but it is impossible to tell the majority of non-violent Palestinians from the few terrorists. This forces people like me into a quandary of how to view Palestinians.
"If I pretend that every Palestinian is harmless then I am playing Russian roulette. If I treat every Palestinian as dangerous I am being a racist. As someone who was raised to judge individuals by their character and actions and not by a stereotype associated with their racial or ethnic group, it pains me to no end to have to choose the racist approach in order to not put my life (or the lives of those I love) at risk.
"I didn't force this racist decision... that was done by the terrorists.
"You know this perfectly well but pretend it doesn't matter becaause you love to see Jews blown up on buses and in schools. You love to see the terrorists take a few kids with them... and you scream racist when we stop harmless Palestinians at the check points even when bombs and weapons are found at these searches every single day."
I think at this point I would have left sensitive settler alone with his adoring fans.
But not Pro-Pal Gal: (Quoting Sensitive Settler) "I didn't force this racist decision... that was done by the terrorists. You know this perfectly well but pretend it doesn't matter becaause you love to see Jews blown up on buses and in schools. You love to see the terrorists take a few kids with them"
You call me anti semite (and a complete idiot, yet your drop in style is far more grave than anything I have done. Although I am not surprised at the blindspots you have that are as large as the sun). Since you don't know me, you can only judge on what I have written. You do not do that, but invent something of your own. This is why I ask you to "specifically" cite things that I have said, rather than to let yourself go a little ballistic and inflammatory. Your manner of behaviour is a typical way of thinking of people who are racist and divide humans in categories, even when they have an individual before them. I believe that demonstrates the difficulty you have of individuating their communication in the terms it is set in, and your own phantasy of how others are takes over. This you quite possibly do in your depiction of the danger that surrounds you. I think you should teach your kids to be cautious in the streets with the traffic, as it is a far greater and more realistic danger than the "terrorists" that you probably pollute their minds with.
But then again, you went to live in an Arab country, in a land where other people, the original inhabitants are struggling to just survive, and of course, you certainly don't see yourself as the usurper of anything, I am sure. You probably view yourself as Humanist and ethical. I happen to think that living where you do prevents you from casting judgment upon the ethical resiliance of others, since your very presence violates international law and common decency to boot.
You must know that the Israeli Defence Ministry controls the water in the West Bank, and this means that even something as vital to human life is being used as a weapon against civilians in their own land. This should be the things that keep you up at night, that your presence contributes to the hardships of people who have done nothing to you, simply for your privilege to be living in their land. I would have an impossible time living with myself in such a situation. I don't think "living in this part of the world" indicates that you suddenly have determined what is right and what is wrong in a way that others cannot see. You simply refuse to see it, or if you see it, it demonstrates that your liberal humanism is a total and absolute sham and a joke.
At this point the illegal by international law colonist guy totally loses it:
(quoting pro-Pal Gal)" I happen to think that living where you do prevents you from casting judgment upon the ethical resiliance of others, since your very presence violates international law and common decency to boot."
And living where you do denies you a say in what happens here. I know that pisses you off to no end but that's the way it works. Deal with it you dilettante. You have fetishized the Palestinian cause the way the terrorists have fetishized death. Go stew in your hate you tiny, hateful person.
This is my country and you are just another outside voice spitting hate into the wind.
If you really believed in what you write (oh yes, I've read just about every word you've written online so I know you quite well) you would come over here and help your poor downtrodden pet Palestinians.
Perhaps you could do the world a favor and lie down in front of a bulldozer like your hero. If you would do that there would finally be one death in this part of the world that made sense.
I'm done with you now... I've had my fun. Now go away. You are in my spam file now so anything you send or comment from here on in will join the rest of the trash where it belongs."
That must have been some 'liberal humanist' upbringing our illegal award winning Life in Israel blog writing settler had...