Thursday, July 27, 2006

My Israel Manifesto

     I've not so much as refrained from posting about the war in Israel and Lebanon as I've been frozen into inaction. I've been thinking of the political implications. I still haven't decided whether or not Israel's tactics will be effective, or what the right solutions are to the many problems in the Middle East, including Iran. Of course, nobody's expecting a part-time unpaid blogger to have all the answers. The point is I didn't know what to write about.
     I've continued to read blogs, however. And many of the blogs I read have shocked me with their descent into ill-will for the Jewish state. And I decided I need to make a few things very clear.

My Israel Manifesto

  • The decision of supporting Israel is not, to me, a political one. I have family in Israel. Family who don't know whether the next time they step on a bus or walk into a pizza parlor will be their last. Family who are in the line of fire of Hezbollah rockets and future Iranian nukes. I support Israel, period.
  • In truth, all Israelis are my family. Jews, Christians, and Israeli Muslims. Sabras, Russians, Ethiopians. The soccer player from Ghana who risked his well-being to proudly wave the Israeli flag during the World Cup to thank his Israeli fans for supporting him the rest of the year when he plays for an Israeli club. They are the only people on Earth who will stand behind me when the rest of world stands against me. And I most certainly will not fail to stand behind them when the rest of the world stands against them. I support Israel.
  • To those bloggers I used to read who think it is OK to trash the legitimacy of Israel in the guise of disagreeing with its politics: You are wrong. You need to understand that this is personal. I am Israel. I will and do take things you say about it personally and I don't apologize for that. If you feel like you have to impugn Israel and its motives, you're doing the same to me. And don't expect me to forget how you really feel about me. I support Israel.
  • I don't always agree with the decisions the leaders of Israel make, and I'm more than happy to discuss for hours the implications of their actions. This is not the same as saying a) Israel should not exist, b) Israel's existence constitutes war crimes against Palestinians, or c) not letting Palestinians who have lived in Gaza or the West Bank into Israel proper is "oppression", "apartheid", or "genocide". Criticizing the Israeli government doesn't make you anti-Semitic. Singling out the Jewish state as the sole earthly target of your scorn does. That is not something I will discuss with you. I support Israel.

     I genuinely regret that the progressives in America - those that believe in individual liberty, in the government's role of protecting its citizens, of the government not controlling our personal, private lives, in equality and equal opportunity for all, is divided by this extremist faction that has fallen in love with the Palestinian cause. Arab-Jewish conflict is not Farm Aid. It is not Tibet. It is not "The Whales". The extremists are driving Jews to the Republican party, because when it comes down to choosing gay rights over the safety and welfare of your family, you have to choose the latter. It shouldn't be that way. Jews shouldn't have to compromise on basic moral issues just to feel like they have a place in the world.
     However, it is what it is. I support Israel wholeheartedly. And to tell you the truth, I'm not interested in hearing Arab propaganda about fake massacres or made up war crimes or revisionist history about Israel. Take your miserable drivel and hang out in your seedy corner of the internet with your brothers-in-arms, the skinheads, the neo-Nazis, the KKK. I'm done with you.


EmpiresFall said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike said...

Good stuff.

ORF said...

Tell it, Brother Scott!!!!

To tell you the truth, I have a lot of mixed feelings about Israel as an entity and throughout this campaign in Lebanon, I've tried to identify with what it must be like to be a country that has been largely ignored as legitimate by its neighbors for the last 50 years (or, as some might say, two millenia), and whose people have had to fight all that time to be sure that their identity is kept alive in an area that is otherwise homogenous (yes, I realize the Middle East is far from homogenous, but I think you know what I'm getting at.)

I think it would be hard; and if Israel were a person and all those things had happened to that person, I suspect it would reflect itself very strongly in Israel's personality and make it a very steely willed individual. So I do feel I understand where Israel comes from based on an historical perspective. After that, my brain kind of implodes.

aepi alum said...

Hi Scott,
(Your post didn't show on the front page. I had to find the "my israel manifesto" link on the side to read the whole thing.) It was really good. Well said! Can I suggest the following site for your readers:

Shannon said...

Scott, I'm finally finding time to thank you for commenting on my blog. I sincerely hope that I didn't come off as anti-semetic, for although I disagree with some actions of the Israeli government, I certainly don't agree with the sentiment that Israel should not exist and that its existence is a threat to peace. Never have, never will, and I argue against this whenever I hear it.

For me, as someone rather removed (unlike you and a number of people I know personally, Jewish and Arab alike), I am often confused about the situation. I read the history but don't quite grasp it. I try to remain objective, in so far as anyone can, but I think you have a very important point that when you have family in the line of fire, when it's your loved ones who risk death, the issue is completely different.

For me, the confusion stems from the fact I have friends on both sides (Israeli and Lebanese) who are saying the same thing about their families.

How does someone like myself repsect both sides?

Finally, if I offended you in any way, please accept my apologies.

aepi alum said...

Kindly share with Shannon this link:

Warm regards,
AEPi Alum

Anonymous said...


I find it really sad that you lump those who criticise Israels actions as "Neo Natzi" and "KKK", I don't approve of what the United States is doing in Iraq, but that doesn't mean that i shave my head.

The truth is that irrespective of whether Israel's actions towards Lebanon (and indeed its general foreign policy) are right or wrong, it's almost impossible to have an informed debate about it without being labelled anti-semetic. During the days when the IRA was at its peak, London was regularly bombed, however, the English did not combat this by going and bombing the nation of Ireland and i'm sure that if they had it would have drawn (quite rightly) international criticism.

I don't understand why many Israeli's such as yourself seem to loose perspective of situations, i can only suppose it's from years of being brainwashed.

Of course, i can't imagine how it would be to be surrounded by hostile neighbours, but i do not that you don't poke a stick at an annoyed tiger for want of a better expression.

I suggest that the people of Israel take some time to look towards themselves rather than pointing the finger of blame in every other direction. If you cannot accept some degree of responsibilty for the current state of affairs then there truly is no hope for anyone.