Sunday, December 12, 2010

From US to Levant, ideological Zionism on the ropes: Even easily manipulated, left-liberal NY Times readers wise to Israel-first, Judeofascist statism

671 ‘New York Times’ readers recommend letter calling Israel a ‘fascist state’ that is dragging us down

(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --

One of those signs that is sure to send a chill through the Israel lobby.

A couple of days ago Roger Cohen did an anguished Op-Ed for the New York Times about the American Jewish community's intolerance of criticism of Israel, even as Israeli leadership is destroying "the Zionist dream." The column brought an outpouring of comments, about 238 so far.

And what is remarkable about the comments is that, while there is a lot of the inevitable defense of anything Israel does, the best letters are from Jews and non-Jews who are sharply critical of Israel and want a more open discussion. And if you rank the letters as readers did, by # of recommendations, the top ten letters are all critical, with the exception of one that is neutral. The #1 letter far and away is one that calls Israel a "fascist state" for Palestinians, and says that Israel is dragging the U.S. down, and the second letter is from a man who complains that he can't talk about Israel in front of his Jewish friends. And a couple of other letters express strong Palestinian solidarity or strike as I do at racist constructions of Jewish identity.

It raises the questions: If these are the Times's readers, why aren't they better represented in the Times' coverage and opinion columns, and for that matter in the liberal press generally, and in Congress? How can the Washington Post justify its virtually-all-neoconservative Op-Ed page when intelligent Americans maintain these views? Where are the non-Zionists, Palestinian solidarity folks and realists in our discourse?

Here's a quick sample (the rankings in parens):

(1) Jon Raney, Bellingham Washington, 671 readers:

The treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli state is shameful. The attempt of Jewish and other organizations to stifle any public discussion of this treatment and its implications for the Israeli state are more shameful,and the knee-jerk support of what has become a fascist state, at least for those of its citizens or occupied people, is most shameful of all.

Furthermore, as Mr. Cohen points out, if the policies which the Israelis and their supporters are attempting to defend by preventing any rational public discussion of their legal and moral nature are allowed to continue Israel will cease to be a Jewish state as it has already ceased to be a real democracy. So if we in America can't summon the courage to stop supporting the unlawful occupation and annexation of Palestinian land for moral or legal reasons, we should certainly do so for reasons of realpolitic. If the Israelis don't see that a two-state solution SOON is in their best interests they can hardly be regarded as rational, let alone reliable, allies. I don't see any reason we in America should allow the Israelis to drag us down with them, and if we do we'll have no one but ourselves to blame...MORE...LINK

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