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Accusations of Jewish Self-Hatred and anti-Semitism as a Strategy to Hide from Self-Reflection

Anyone who follows the debate over Israel-Palestine knows how automatic and routine it is for one side to label those who disagree with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people as self-hating Jews, Israel haters or anti-Semites. Hoping to calm the hysteria and add much-needed clarity to the issue, and unwilling to be silenced by these accusations, I’ve decided to share a brief adaptation from the “The Self-Hating Jew” chapter of my book, Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion – A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict. As an American Jew with ultra-Orthodox relatives living in Israel, a former member of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC) and a reflexive defender of Israel for more than 50 years, I believe I am as qualified as anyone to share my insights.

In the past the label self-hating Jew, though rarely used, was associated with Jews who were ashamed of or who hid their religious and cultural heritage. But as the debate over Israeli policy in Occupied Palestinian Territory has intensified, self-hating Jew, like anti-Semite, has become a routinely brandished and emotionally charged retaliatory weapon. The idea, however, that a three-word label can encapsulate the character of a person is problematic. A human being is far more than what a single phrase can say about him, and accusations such as self-hating Jew are so divisive that they make tolerance and cooperation impossible; and they eradicate the possibility for real understanding.

For some Jews, support for Israeli policy is unconditional, even if it conflicts with traditional Jewish values. For other Jews, these values are primary and ought to be associated with Israel’s compliance with international law. If the former would make an effort to discover why the latter campaign for Palestinian equality, they would learn that they are making a conscious choice not to remain silent when witnessing one group’s denial of basic human rights to another group. These Jews see their people, like the rest of mankind, as complex beings, capable of acts of inhumanity as well as acts of kindness. They are able to concede that at times Israel does violate the rights of others, that it has used torture and mistreated and killed innocent people, and that its leaders do not always tell the truth about these acts. They believe that the Israeli government has hijacked their heritage by replacing morality and brotherhood, once so valued in Judaism, with bigotry and exclusion.

Nearly every Jewish critic I’ve met believes that by opposing policies that relegate Palestinians to lives of second-class citizenship, they are rescuing the integrity of their religious tradition. They are, therefore, true friends of Israel. A true friend will admonish his friend when he sees him acting irrationally toward his neighbor. These critics have no desire to harm the state of Israel. Their desire is to prevent the state of Israel from harming Palestinians. They advocate equal rights for all because they know that equal rights lead to peace.

This begs the question: What exactly is self-hating (or anti-Semitic) in such a position? Is honoring the humanistic values many Jews were taught at synagogue a betrayal of their Jewish roots? Is caring about another people synonymous with hatred? Is learning about a painful subject likewise symptomatic of anti-Semitism? Isn’t thirst for knowledge a hallmark of Judaism and isn’t it fundamental to solving problems? If criticism of deliberate violations of international law expresses hatred, what does turning one’s back on the suffering of millions express? If calling on Israel to end its human rights abuses expresses hatred, are we to forsake a people who cry out against the destruction of their homes or the traumatizing of their children?

So where is the hatred? The hatred is conceived in the minds of those who are afraid to ask why someone is critical of Israel. Rather than conduct honest research to refute or confirm the criticism, the accuser victimizes himself with self-generated feelings of fear, confusion and anger, all of which are animated by unexamined beliefs and images within his own mind. This mind colors his perception so that he sees the world in terms of personal victimhood versus the world’s hostility.

Because he is unconscious of the effect his feelings have on his perception, the accuser can only project his perception onto the world and then presume that the world he sees proves the reality of his perception. Creating his own suffering, he narcissistically scapegoats and blames the world (in this case Palestinians and their sympathizers) for the suffering.

Triggered through denial, this inner thought process attributes to Palestinians and their sympathizers the accuser’s own hatred. In other words, the accuser makes the other responsible for, and the repository of, his unresolved pain. He objectifies the other and rejects his humanity. Then he supports inhumane policies, which he justifies under the guise of an existential danger to Israel. In so doing, he brings the world’s anger down upon Israel, which reinforces and perpetuates the cycle of perceived victimhood. This entire process is a defense mechanism that stems from the fear of inquiring into one’s presumed identity through the questioning of one’s beliefs and images.

Labeling as hateful or anti-Semitic honest criticism of Israeli oppression is no different than labeling as anti-American honest criticism of America’s history of oppression toward people of color. And holding Israel to normative standards of conduct does not delegitimize anyone. What delegitimizes Israel are the behavior and attitudes that humiliate an indigenous people.

I have not met one defender of Israeli policy who has impartially studied the actual history. If they had the decency to do so, most would discover that they have character assassinated the Palestinians and facilitated their misfortune. The real conflict for these defenders is not Israel versus a hostile world or Israel versus the Palestinians. The real conflict – and the basis for claims of self-hatred and anti-Semitism – is the failure to integrate the hard-to-believe but inescapable awareness of Israel’s treatment of non-Jews with unquestioned loyalty to the Jewish state. One consideration acknowledges Israel’s dark side; the other denies the dark side exists. If these defenders want to distinguish the source of conflict and find peace they need to inquire within. But there are no excuses! Under the right conditions, willful blindness is a crime against humanity.

Only by committing myself to the truth was I able to apprehend that, in reality, criticism of Israel was never a serious concern. Incredibly, I had never defended Israel, at least the Israel that actually exists. I had always defended an idealistic image of Israel that was projected or superimposed upon the Israel that actually exists. This projection enabled me to repress or deny painful revelations that I would have learned about Israel and about myself if only I had looked without the errant influence of an unexamined mind. Denial and projection go hand in hand. What I denied about Israel and about myself, I projected onto the other, who automatically and necessarily became my enemy.

The perspective formed from my projections revealed more about how I wished to see my people than how they really are when looked at in an honest light. My attachment to certain beliefs and images was a defense designed to preserve a childlike faith in Israel as guardian of freedom and humanity. Somehow, I had to reconcile my treasured images with the reality that conflicted with them. However, rather than making use of the tension between these forces as a gateway to transformation, I denied reality and adhered to the safety of indoctrination. When friends I normally trusted pointed to Israeli deeds that seemed out of character, I reacted by ignoring or rationalizing the suffering of Palestinians.

Equating Palestinian freedom with Palestinian terrorism, I worried that if Israel relinquished strict control over its subjects, the lives of its Jewish citizens would be imperiled. Fearing annihilation, I unconsciously superimposed Nazi images onto the Palestinian people, and then refused to believe that the Jewish state could act indefensibly toward them. Fear prevented me from empathizing with the pain of Palestinians and it blinded me to the likelihood that a country I had invested so much faith in could administer such brutal policies.
I indoctrinated myself into the idea that some Jews were willfully blind to the evil intentions of the Palestinians, and that their willfulness demonstrated support for that which I feared most: the annihilation of the Jewish people.

Truthfully, my reaction to criticism was motivated more by the fear of taking on the challenge that the criticism posed to my identity than by genuine disagreement or fear for Israel’s existence. For a split second, though, before denial and repression set in, this challenge reflected the prejudice that induced me to deny the humanity of the other. And in order to avoid encountering my own lack of humanity, I ignored documented evidence, thereby consenting to the subjugation of millions. I judged Palestinian violence as a pathological expression of hatred, not the response of an oppressed people, a small minority of whom resort to violence as the only way they know to retain a measure of self-respect in the face of generations of violence inflicted upon them. By turning my back on the suffering of others, I had sacrificed the very values Israel once personified.

* * * *

How is it that a person can be devoted to the well being of one group and hostile to the well being of another? Is it true that there is an inherent difference between two peoples that justifies devotion to one and hostility towards the other? Are such feelings real or has something been added that distorts feeling? In my view, the determining factor is the labels that are applied to a people and the beliefs and images associated with the labels. These labels are the mind’s attempt to resolve fear and gain security, but they occlude the very mechanism that can achieve these aims.

The ability to look and to feel is what achieves security. This ability is inherent and it functions perfectly when there is no recoil from the circumstances of existence. In simple practical situations it makes itself known. Everyone has experienced it. There is a moment when you just know there is danger, when you know that a person is not to be trusted. Then you act accordingly. You do not need one iota of belief about the situation. You have no preconceptions and you are not recoiled from the situation. You are simply being present. Then there is the real feeling that something is amiss.

What I am talking about is natural intelligence as the means for practical security. If we look and feel, then certain things become clear. But we have to renounce labels, we have to renounce the philosophy of us against them, and we have to end our recoil from the human reality of the conflict. There is nothing to fear; we needn’t wait. Do we wait until we discover the nationality, race or origin of a person before we feel concern or neglect for him or her? If so, then there is no real feeling at all. Our concern and our neglect are false. Both are manifestations of fear and confusion. Our automatic identification with one side of a conflict is selfish, founded upon an attachment that keeps us so inextricably bound that we have lost our connection to humanity. We may tell ourselves we support an end to conflict, but as bearers of inner conflict we constantly subvert our goals.

Beyond the mind lies a vast expanse of freedom, unqualified by our presumed mortality as a separate person. In this space of freedom true feeling arises; it flows from the heart. In the field of human relations its expression is compassion. Compassion is the expression of peace and the means of peace. When we know it then we also know that peace for the world is achievable.

* * * *

I never used the term self-hating Jew. I am thankful I didn’t. I believe the label is a powerful barrier to understanding. The key to understanding is dispassionate intelligence. Fear and anger permeated every argument I made in defense of Israel. Invariably I moved from the quandary of fear to the apparent certainty of anger. But I never crossed over into hate. There is a special feeling that accompanies the words self-hating Jew. The key is in “hate.” Characterizing someone in any way with this word introduces viciousness to the mind. This viciousness makes the mind utterly dualistic – and utterly obtuse. The subtle awareness that my ingrained perspective was perhaps incorrect would have been extinguished if I had described Israel’s Jewish critics as self-hating. As it was, because I did not become involved in hate, I remained open to a dispassionate investigation of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

* * * *

The notion that any Jew who dedicates him or herself to justice for all people and who protests the unfair treatment of the downtrodden harbors self-hatred defies common sense. Given the self-esteem it takes to stand for justice amidst fierce denunciation, a more accurate assessment is that they are self-loving Jews.

To read more excerpts of Breakthrough visit www.RichardForer.com or Amazon.

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24 Responses to Accusations of Jewish Self-Hatred and anti-Semitism as a Strategy to Hide from Self-Reflection

  1. etominusipi July 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    bravo! a fine piece of writing displaying a careful and courageous psychological analysis.

    and i think the major process of deconstruction and reconstruction described here also occurs frequently at smaller orders of magnitude.

    in fact the cognitive aspect of much of our ethical learning takes place through struggle with a whole tangled skein of embedded prejudices held firmly in place by fear, anxiety, guilt and other negative emotions.

    prejudices and negative emotions invariably cause blockages and distortions of, or constrictions in the flow of information we are able to receive from the complex reality around us. we protect ourselves by attempting to ignore or reinterpret things which provoke dissonance, or evoke anxieties. certain perceptual triggers may on occasion slip through our defences and provoke a sudden clutch of panic or an outburst of unreasonable anger.

    behaviour based on mangled perceptions, (and the negative emotional projections onto enemies which may accompany them, as pointed out in Rich’s article) is not likely, in the long run, to prove adaptive and therefore, in a Darwinian, bio-spheric, sense, is not a good direction to follow.

    truth does, indeed, set us free, but such truth, such freedom, are seldom gained in a single leap and bound. finding truth (the infinitesimal portion of it as may be granted to any one of us) is a gradual process of learning and growing. real gains in truth are achieved only through struggle – an ongoing struggle within ourselves, and the daily struggle through the ubiquitous litter of lies and trash of irrelevancies which disfigure every arena of our public discourse.

    as David Halpin recommends, let us strive towards a world where the governance of our societies is founded in reason, truth and justice.

  2. Ariadna Theokopoulos July 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I think I will give etominusipi all the privacy he needs to admire this author alone.

    All the analysis of feelings by this author left me unfeeling.
    Having “ultra-Orthodox relatives living in Israel” and being a former member of AIPAC may have given him lots of insider knowledge about Israel but either that knowledge was fragmentary and biased or his method of processing it left something to be desired. A lot in fact.
    I have only selected a couple of passages from his article, adding emphasis in caps:

    “… AT TIMES Israel does violate the rights of others, that it has used torture and mistreated and killed innocent people, and that its leaders do NOT ALWAYS tell the truth about these acts.”

    Israel does not violate the rights of others “at times,” as if by mistake, but has by its own laws institutionalized the DENIAL of rights to the Palestinians.
    The leaders do “not always” tell the truth? The whole state, its policies, its raison d’etre, the history they teach their children in school, the ongoing land theft, the war mongering are based on lies.

    “..the Israeli government has hijacked their heritage by replacing MORALITY AND BROTHERHOOD, ONCE SO VALUED IN JUDAISM, with bigotry and exclusion.”

    — If there are any proofs that judaism–a supremacist tribal religion — is based on universal; brotherhood, he’d better produced them for all to see.

    “”These critics have no desire to harm the state of Israel. Their desire is to prevent the state of Israel from harming Palestinians. They advocate equal rights for all because they know that equal rights lead to peace.
    What delegitimizes Israel are the behavior and attitudes that humiliate an indigenous people.”

    This author is the shepherd who wishes to bring back into the fold the black sheep called “self-hating jews.” He strives to have them readmitted on two most important criteria:
    1. that they, through criticism of what Israel AT TIMES does wrong actually make the tribe look good, i.e., upholding the judaic morality and all that jazz;
    2.that they, and this is the corner stone of his appeal, DO NOT WISH TO HARM THE STATE OF ISRAEL, because, after all, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the State for Jews except certain “behaviors and attitudes that humiliate the natives.”
    Jews would have made a much better impression and created a better image for Israel if while occupying, expropriating, exiling and ethnic cleansing the natives they would have minded their manners and said “Please: and “Thank you” more often.
    It would have helped communication, understanding and ultimately peace also if they had taken the time to understand themselves and realize that their bad behavior comes from fear, and fear, of course, from suffering. What deligitimizes Israel is its very existence as “Israel”

    • etominusipi July 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

      Ariadna: I think I will give etominusipi all the privacy he needs to admire this author alone.

      why privacy and how can you give me it, here, Ariadna? – perhaps i should not look a gift horse in the mouth, free privacy, however it manifests, should be grasped eagerly. as long as i’m not simply being sent to stand in the corner for unacceptable behaviour. i’d rather have a quick slap on the wrist than excommunication, but realise my wishes have little to do with the matter.

      meanwhile, i shall begin work towards a possible future rehabilitation in the eyes of the righteous.

      i will strive for thought reform.
      i will endeavour to maintain ideological purity.
      i shall on my guard against the evil ones who wish to control our very thoughts…

      • Ariadna Theokopoulos July 30, 2012 at 7:09 am #

        Sulk away. eto– you do it with panache and I’d take your sulking every time over much noise on certain threads on deLib (not that that’s a great compliment these days).
        I could not JOIN you in your exuberant admiration of this article, however (vide infra), so I was giving you space to exercise it all alone, that’s all.
        “bravo! a fine piece of writing displaying a careful and courageous psychological analysis. and i think the major process of deconstruction and reconstruction described here also occurs frequently at smaller orders of magnitude.”

        It’s not about “ideological purity,” it’s not about “focusing on zionism as the root of all evil,” which is a” tempting simplification”–one your muscular and resolute objectivity apparently resists and others’ feeble and path-of-least resistance minds succumb to.

        This article claims that Israel has a few pimples that should not be left untreated to mar its luminous and beautiful face. That, to my less sophisticated mind is unacceptable.
        In a further post you say:
        i “think it [focusing on zionism] is a mistake, since it leads naturally to various unsafe deductions along the lines of all arguments following the tempting grooves of my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”
        I see no reason whatsoever why recognizing zionism/JP as by far he greatest evil of today should lead to such deductions. None.
        One can root for Russia to block their advances in the ME without suddenly claiming any special moral virtues for Russia or affinity with it.

        • etominusipi July 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

          Ariadna, you know i love you, darling, for your forthright and absolutely unsentimental views, which come from a vantage point influenced by a strong commitment to the search for ethical universalism. on that basis, i am happy to accept your critique. in return, you, i hope, can probably believe that when i decided (after a little reflection) to post my response, i expected no less. but can you also see where i was coming from? and do you think (quite possibly correctly) that i am , although possibly well-meaning, in some essential way, dangerously deluded,

          this is an invisible hot potato, really. at least quite a warm one.

          • Ariadna Theokopoulos July 31, 2012 at 7:06 am #

            “Ariadna, bless her heart, you gotta love her, she is such a trenchant little Robespierre, an all-or-nothing gal, isn’t she?”
            Thank you, eto, you’ve melted the rime ice around my pericardium and for the first time ever I spotted a flicker of other colors in my black-and-white spectrum.
            No, I don’t know where you “come from.” Shall I speculate? “Dangerously deluded”? No way. Neither. Well meaning? Definitely.
            Is it working for you? More at the base of the ears and under the chin while scolding in a gentle tone of voice?

            Maybe it is a matter of which parts of the elephant the blind men are describing, neither of us seeing the whole animal. You were perhaps arrested by the long road traveled by someone who had worked for AIPAC and has relatives living on stolen land, yet had come to admit that Israel has committed crime and continues to do so, as well as by his psychological analysis of what the cause of moral blindness might be.
            I was not. As long as the road travelled by him might have been, I see the moral tourist as being not only far from destination but writing postcards that sound like Marco Polo’s descriptions of China.
            It is late, far too late to start reading an autobiographical Bildungsroman Called “The Way to Peace: How I Became Compassionate with both Palestinians and Self-Hating Jews.”

    • Rich Forer July 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

      Ariadna,
      You completely misinterpreted much of what I said, as if you have an agenda that you felt compelled to superimpose on top of my point of view.

      • Ariadna Theokopoulos July 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

        It’s quite possible that I misinterpreted what you said. I consider it unlikely that I misinterpreted it “completely,” but perhaps you could explain to me how and where.

        I don’t have an “agenda” unless a conviction that Israel is a wrong that cannot be made into a right can be called an agenda.
        A conviction that a manifest of supremacism –which is represented by Israel qua Israel–cannot be made into one of universal brotherhood and love just by editing it. It would have to be torn to pieces and a new one written.
        It’s meritorious that you reject terms like “self-hating jew” but I don’t consider that internal jewish scuffle as of primary importance for the Palestinian tragedy or future.
        I don’t have much tolerance for any jewish approach to the Palestinian suffering (at the hands of the Jews) that includes a reference to the reservoir of “unresolved pain” of the jews.
        Those are my convictions.
        I don’t see how I can “superimpose” my convictions “on top of [your] point of view.” I did not even realize there was a “top” to which we are supposed to scramble.
        Your article is there. It speaks for itself and people can form their own opinions. Mine are also stated.
        “Top”? I don’t know about that.

      • Ariadna Theokopoulos July 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

        I forgot to ask you, Rich, and it’s only fair after all, if you have an agenda.

        • Rich Forer July 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

          Ariadna,
          I am not going to spend much time with you because it is obvious that you are motivated by anger and probably hatred and not be insight. You said: “If there are any proofs that judaism–a supremacist tribal religion — is based on universal; brotherhood, he’d better produced them for all to see.” I guess that was in response to my statement “Is honoring the humanistic values many Jews were taught at synagogue a betrayal of their Jewish roots?” Isn’t it interesting that you would presume to know what I and many other Jewish people were taught at their synagogues? Did you attend my synagogue? Also, let’s be frank, your view of Judaism, monolithic as it is, reminds me of people like Michelle Bachmann and Pamela Geller and their monolithic view of Islam. The only difference I see between you and them is that you substitute Judaism for Islam. Another thing is that whenever I see someone expressing their anger or hatred in such black and white exclamations I always know that they are actually projecting elements of their own unexamined minds onto the subject. They are superimposing their own denials onto the real issue if you would replace all you say about Judaism and Zionism with yourself, with your prejudices toward those groups you paint with the same color, you might learn something worthwhile.

          • Ariadna Theokopoulos July 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

            I will send even less because I have said it all already.
            In replying to me you decided to be brief perhaps to avoid addressing ANY of my objections except the one about your presentation of Judaism as a religion of high moral values–the one you could joggle so as to suggest I am bigot.
            I am NOT interested in spending time in any synagogue so if all I know about it is that its core value is SUPREMACISM and that it happens to be the state religion of Israel, the rest follows.
            “I always know that they are actually projecting elements of their own unexamined minds onto the subject.”–Convenient.

          • Paul Eisen July 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

            Dear Rich
            Unlike Ariadna, I have spent considerable time in synagogues, all kinds of Jewish groups and in a very liberal, tolerant Jewish household. And yes, I have known some of these humanistic impulses you describe (though less and less as time goes on).
            But what I’ve also noticed is that this humanitarianism always takes second place to perceived Jewish interests.

  3. Eileen Fleming July 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    “There are only two feelings. Love and Fear. There are only two activities. Love and Fear.

    “There are only two motives, two procedures, two frameworks, two results.

    “Love and Fear. Love and Fear. Love and Fear.”-Michael Leunig

    Rich speaks/writes The Truth in LOVE and as nothing is more painful than self-realization, I applaud Rich for speaking The Truth in LOVE which seeks JUSTICE- which is the only reasonable way to PEACE.

  4. who_me July 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    i am reminded of bush sr. and his kindlier, gentler machine gun hand.

    i think it is naive to think israel could ever be transformed into a humane country. the very nature of zionism is inhumane and could only be so as it is based upon judeo-supremacism and enforced inequalities. the only way to take the inhumanity out of zionism and israel is to take out zionism and israel from the human body politic altogether, and replace them with an entity not based upon indoctrinated jewish prejudice and fascism.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos July 30, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      I agree totally

  5. etominusipi July 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    sometimes the contours of this debate seem as permanent, and yet also as impermanent, as the dunes on the shifting desert sands.

    zionism is not the only inhumane philosophy. several centuries of aggressive colonial expansion have already well trodden the footsteps recently so eagerly followed by the zionist jackboot in the rogue state of Israel.

    the peculiarity of zionism, the unique threat it poses, is due to the unprecedented nature of its widespread infiltration of the command-and-control structures of the 1st world imperial metropolitan countries, and their ‘emancipated’ colonial dominions, together with its retention, and perhaps consolidation, of influence on the 2nd-world governments of the still-murky ex-communist bloc of Eastern Europe.

    at least until quite recently the dominant ideology of the ‘western’ nations was rooted in a global-reach WASP culture with its infolded flank under the aegis of the Vatican,

    to focus on zionism as the root of all evil is a tempting simplification, and no doubt one which is actively encouraged by the more sophisticated sort of zionist – there is a certain narcissistic weakness in that ideology and its human carriers.

    however, i think it is a mistake, since it leads naturally to various unsafe deductions along the lines of all arguments following the tempting grooves of my enemy’s enemy is my friend.

    the acronym JP is used in a slightly different sense than zionism as such, though in the present conjuncture the two are inextricably intertwined.

    but why feed the beast all the time by accepting its favoured modes of framing events?

    • who_me July 30, 2012 at 12:41 am #

      “the peculiarity of zionism, the unique threat it poses, is due to the unprecedented nature of its widespread infiltration of the command-and-control structures of the 1st world imperial metropolitan countries, and their ‘emancipated’ colonial dominions”

      i agree, zionism didn’t replace something that was better, it replaced a very similar fascism with one more effectively implemented – to all our disadvantage.

  6. Blake July 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    You nailed it Mr Forer.

  7. Ariadna Theokopoulos July 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    One last question, Rich:
    When you mention with the sadness of loss “the very values Israel once personified” what date would place on those values? When excatly did israe lpersonify them?
    Was it a long period, or a particular year or maybe just a fugitive, fulgurating moment?

  8. etominusipi July 31, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    for me one of the attractions of deLiberation is its robust insistence on giving a platform to a variety of points of view. another is the equally robust critique that any point of view can expect to receive.

    both of these features make the site a great source of information.

    everything has its price.

    one of the disadvantages of this open door policy is that the forum is also used as a platform by those whose main aim is to pump out propaganda, or simply to hone the rhetoric of mutual accusation and insult.

    in my personal opinion the propagandistic contributions, though inevitable, add little to my aesthetic response to, or intellectual grasp of geopolitical realities. i might as well simply listen to the BBC, and get a more professionally presented bouquet of untruths, half-truths and self-serving, self-contradictory assumptions.

    the more propagandistic contributions do make a minor addition to my knowledge of contemporary reality, however. they contribute, marginally, to my delineation of some of the less praiseworthy aspects of human motivation. thus when reading one poster, who perhaps outputs more words, and certainly outputs more venom-laden phrases, than any other, i am driven to ask myself: can it really be that there are organisations who will actually pay people a small sum of money for each use of a set phrase like the Hitler of Damascus?

    of course most effective bribery is much more subtle than handing over a little cash. cash is a mere daub of man-made perfume, a relatively puny force compared with the effect of the powerful natural pheromones secreted by the ideologically committed. i think people who repeatedly use the term zionazi would not stoop to do so for a few pieces of silver. the term is simply a spinning martial arts disc, used liberally by fearless warriors in the army of truth.

    such things make my reading easier. i can use the author’s tag-words to form a quick and accurate judgement of the worth of any particular piece of writing:

    Hitler of Damascus thumbs down

    zionazi thumbs up.

    this simplification has freed up time for more profitable pursuits, such as online gambling. i also find it much easier to develop coherent views of complex issues, thanks to those who have gone before, made all the relevant judgements, and crystallised them for me in useful verbal terms.

    everything is simple, really, once you have the right terminology.

    • etominusipi July 31, 2012 at 6:07 am #

      a curious sequel: not long after posting the above i noticed that two small anonymous deposits had been made electronically into my bank account. each was for £0.03 (GBP) and was classified by a mysterious acronym H.O.D.

      after a few moments’ reflection i wondered if this stood for Hitler of Damascus? after all the term Hitler of Damascus would abbreviate acronymically to H.O.D. .

      if i am being financially rewarded for using the term Hitler of Damascus, this raises some ethical issues. i don’t want to become the kind of person who simply posts things like:

      Hitler of Damascus blah, blah.
      blah, blah, Hitler of Damascus
      Hitler of Damascus
      Hitler of Damascus
      Hitler of Damascus
      blah, blah, blah,
      Hitler of Damascus

      obviously. and yet i live in an uneasy corner midway between poverty and incipient destitution. there are good causes around the world i would like to assist financially. and in the final analysis, i am convinced that a few uses of Hitler of Damascus by an unknown blogger would not materially affect the world.

      i shall continue to think about what i now call my Hitler of Damascus dilemma. whilst i reflect, i will share with you a short poem i wrote recently:

      a msg to all Hitlers of Damascus

      o Hitler of Damascus
      evil Hitler of Damascus
      child-murdering Hitler of Damascus
      GO!

  9. etominusipi July 31, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Communist regimes were founded by idealists, imbued with humanist values.

    They ended as mafia states, in which a corrupt clique of cynics used the communist ideology as justification for privilege, oppression and exploitation.

    I don’t like state ideologies. States should not foster ideologies

    Uri Avnery

    cf Jim Dean http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/07/30/what-jews-dont-like-about-zionists/

    in VT introducing the article Talking Zionism… by Uri Avnery

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