Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Salt Lake Trib Blog: Death To Israel Protest "Not Anti-Semitic and Gutsy?"

The trib has Glen Warchol blogging at demonstrations today. This post made me scratch my head:

"You may not support his cause, but Robert Breeze is probably the gutsiest protester in Salt Lake City today. Breeze is leading a "Death to Israel" rally at the City-County Building's Washington Square. He makes one thing perfectly clear: he is not an anti-Semite."Do I look like a member of the Aryan nation?" he asks. Dressed in shorts, suspenders, and a straw hat, Breeze looks, well, just goofy. Breeze's message is simple: Israel has subjugated and brutalized the Palestinian people for decades under the cover of America's "corporate media."He has only one person with him at 10 a.m.. But Breeze freely acknowledges he has sent someone else to hire what he called "surrogate protestors" at $10 an hour."A lot of wealthy people don't have the time to stand out here, but they are more than happy to pay someone," Breeze says.Meanwhile, across the street, a dozen pro-Israel demonstrators have gathered with Israeli flags. They seem to be more baffled by Breeze than intimidated.Michael Pack is a Salt Lake City Jew who felt compelled to carry the blue and white Israeli flag today."I lost a lot of family in the holocaust," he said. "To sit around and do nothing was something I couldn't do."When asked if he was bothered that he has offended many area Jews, Breeze says: "Too bad for them, it's a free country. Tell them to have a 'Death to Wales' rally and see if I give a shit.' "

So does this make sense to anyone, a man running a "Death to Israel" rally isn't an anti-semite? What in the heck!?! (I promised my wife I would stop cursing) Let's at least be honest here Glen Warchol, a man who shouts "Death to Israel!" is an anti-semite. He has a right to protest...even the KKK has a right to protest. However, let's call a nut-- a nut, and an anti-semite -- an anti-semite.

11 comments:

Silus Grok said...

I'd be willing to agree that chances are a man who chants "death to Israel" _is_ indeed an anti-semite... if only because hatred is rarely a sentiment with neatly cropped corners. But what you're saying is that hating the state of Israel is tantamount to a profound religious bigotry... and you're dead wrong.

I despise what Israel is doing in Palestine... I despise how we kowtow to them, and under-write their adolescent war-mongering. I hate that an American president can't seem to be elected unless they continue to support a two-state solution... but none of those things have anything to do with religion.

Conflating anti-Israel or even anti-Isreali sentiments with anti-semitism is a despicable rhetorical device --- often used by pro-[fill-in-the-blank] partisans to silence opposition... and I hope you're not stooping to such tactics.

pramahaphil said...

Okay I see what you are trying to say, the old "hating the sin and not the sinner" excuse.

Here is the problem I have with this rhetoric. Israel is a nation, and have been for quite a while. They should have a right to exist and defend themselves. Foreign leaders have pushed this land for peace idea for decades and BOTH Palestine and Israel continue to cycle from war to peace -- it hasn't worked. So what is the solution to the Jewish state problem, Silus? Would you like the U.S. President to relinquish land here in the U.S. for a Jewish state, or do we just need to abandon Israel all together and the let the Jews rome as vagabonds as they have over and over again through the centuries due to oppression, and hatred.

Don't come here and make distinctions where there are no differences!

Silus Grok said...

While I appreciate your zest for the Israeli predicament, I'm a little perplexed by your complete side-stepping of the issue I raise in my comment: namely, that hating the state of Israel is not strictly synonymous with hating people of Jewish dissent.

...

That having been said, I'll now address your two, new issues:

First: " hate the sin and not the sinner ". I confess... I have no idea what you're talking about. How do my comments have anything to do with that maxim?

Second: "Israel is a nation, and have been for quite a while. They should have a right to defend themselves" ... I guess 50 years is "quite a while" — though I would suggest that its genesis and continued place at the center of numerous, on-going ( and possibly civilization-ending ) conflicts warrants a unique response... a response that will likely seem hypocritical in the face of America's own history. Beyond that, I don't grant your second premise... a man breaks into my home and threatens my family and my property. I shoot him in the leg ( a restrained response )... are you saying he has a _right_ to some recompense in the face of my defensible violence?

pramahaphil said...

Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner -- hate Israel the nation as an organization and not the Jewish people. (Does that explain the maxim)

As far as the rest, I've got alot to write, but I need to work, so I'll write more tonight. Come back tomorrow, if you would like to continue the discussion.

Silus Grok said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Silus Grok said...

( Sorry... a few typos, so I'm reposting. )

Ah... it does... though it still seems that you're conflating "the Jewish people" with the state of Israel, which is inaccurate on its face: the state of Israel is a pluralistic society, comprised of jews, christians, muslims, the druze, atheists — you name it — and the Jewish diaspora, for the most part, does not call the state of Israel "home". So while I understand, now, where your comment comes from, I'd have to say that in this case it is poorly applied: nowhere in my initial comment do I make any case on behalf of the citizens of Israel nor the Jewish diaspora. Rather, I call you on conflating anti-semitism with anti-Israel sentiments... which is seeming less and less like a mere oversight on your part.

And I'll definitely stick around.

Have a good evening.

pramahaphil said...

Let me restate my understanding of your arguements to make sure that we are on the same page,

1. Israel the nation and Jewish people aren't connected.

2. Israel is a "a man breaks into my home" a bunch of imperialist who stole land from the Arabs.

3. Israel should be dismantled and all land that Israel the nation has taken should be given back to the Palestinians. Israel should say sorry and disperse throughout the rest of the world.

4.Israel is only 58 years old, and so they have no real right to claim that area as theirs.

Am I getting you?

Silus Grok said...

1. Israel the nation and Jewish people aren't connected.

Close, but wildly misconstrued: Israel the nation and the Jewish diaspora aren't the same thing.

2. Israel is a "a man breaks into my home" a bunch of imperialist who stole land from the Arabs.

In discussing your ( tangential ) argument about Israel's "right to defend itself", I stated that I didn't grant your premise... and then made an analogy that hoped to point-up the inpropriety of using the term "defend" when discussing Israel's actions... and while my analogy was necessarily simplistic, I hoped that any ensuing dialog would have been more nuanced. But again, I am disappointed. Let me be more concrete: Israel's relationship to the Palestinians is less like Poland's WWII relationship to Germany than it is the "cowboy's" relationship to the "indians".

3. Israel should be dismantled and all land that Israel the nation has taken should be given back to the Palestinians. Israel should say sorry and disperse throughout the rest of the world.

Um... where on earth did you pull this from?

4. Israel is only 58 years old, and so they have no real right to claim that area as theirs.

I'd say that a couple decades of occupation hardly makes the matter settled... complex, yes... challenging, yes... settled, no.

And look: we've still not addressed my initial comment: that hating the State of Israel is not the same thing as hating people of Jewish descent.

pramahaphil said...

Ahhhhh!!!!! I've had it with Blogger. I had written a lengthy response to Silus and it crashed as I was posting my comment.

Short response.

I'll agree with you Silus that "that hating the State of Israel is not the same thing as hating people of Jewish descent."

I disagree that there is no connection between the state of Israel and the Jewish diaspora. See Wikipedia, keyword Israel, and Zionism for a fuller treatment of this.

I see your view on the "man breaks into a house -- cowboy and indian" thing. I think it is a little beyond the mark but I get it.

"Israel should be dismantled and all land that Israel the nation has taken should be given back to the Palestinians. Israel should say sorry and disperse throughout the rest of the world.

Um... where on earth did you pull this from?"

This was simply a guess/prod to find out the answer to my question. " So what is the solution to the Jewish state problem, Silus?" If Israel has been a total abuse of the Palestinians, what should be done with the current Jewish state.

Sorry Silus I was far more detailed in my arguements in my lost comment, but I don't have the time or the will to write it again.

Silus Grok said...

I'll agree with you Silus that "that hating the State of Israel is not the same thing as hating people of Jewish descent."

Thank you.

I disagree that there is no connection between the state of Israel and the Jewish diaspora. See Wikipedia, keyword Israel, and Zionism for a fuller treatment of this.

And we agree on this, too. I'm not blind: there are connections — even deep ones — but the 1:1 correllary just isn't there.

If Israel has been a total abuser of the Palestinians...

Atrocities have been committed by both parties, frankly... but it's customary to hold the occupier to a higher standard.

...What should be done with the current Jewish state?

There's that pesky "Jewish state" thing, again... but I'll let it slide and just answer the question ( which I didn't before, because I wanted to stay on-topic ). I'm uncomfortable with the notion of homelands — regardless of who holds the keys — as I find that they're politically troublesome in their inception and even more troublesome in their perpetuation. Homelands precipitate genocide. Israel is/was/will be no different. And while I appreciate the psychological draw of a homeland ( I'm mormon, after all ), to remain viable every homeland must become a state: pluralistic, law-abiding, and neutral. The best hope for persecuted minorities isn't a home in the tops of the mountains, but an international community that is unwilling to allow atrocities to happen — and is willing to step-in before things go bad.

So that's the background.

What do I hope for the State of Israel? I want a one state solution that is generally comprised of the current State of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza — with Jerusalem an independent authority run by an outside authority. Of course, inasmuch as that is the opposite of what Israel wants... and given that Israel is a nuclear state with the will to use such force should it see fit ( I'm afraid the Iran question will likely be "solved" by Israel )... I would say that such a solution is not likely to happen any time soon.

Sorry Silus I was far more detailed in my arguements in my lost comment, but I don't have the time or the will to write it again.

Don't sweat it... it happens.

:)

goyimslut22 said...

I am so glad that intelligent people like the defense lawyer can see through the lies of the "mighty wurlitzer".

Long live free speech. Down with feminized males.