Thursday, March 24, 2011

How YOU can help Israel

Based on the behavior of my Jewish friends and neighbors here in the states, the proper way for an American Jew to respond to a terror attack in Israel is as follows:

1: Complain about the media. Before the attack was 20 minutes old, my email box and Twitter feed were alive with complaints about various media offense. Among the sins and atrocities: Reuters, when quoting the Israeli police, put the words "terrorist attack"  in, um, quotations marks and the always evil New York Times ran Elizabeth Taylor's obituary ahead of its story about the bombing. How I wish I was making this up.

2: Complain about POTUS:  By 9:40 someone on my Twitter feed was already mad that's latest item was still about the president's trip to El Salvador. The assumption, apparently, is that no matter what he is doing, the President of the United States (when he is a Democrat) must  pause the moment any thing happens in Israel, and immediately instruct his aids, advisors and webs masters to make the necessary statments, remarks and adjustments. With these kinds of assumptions, no wonder Obama's critics are always so disappointed. After the White House finally released his statment (by noon) we were treated to a new display of acrobatics by the always honest GOP Jews who took issue with the President's very strong affirmation of Israel's right to self-defense. As Gushnik replied to the whiners on my thread:
[GOP Jewish complaints are] completely insane.

Anytime Israel takes military action in the West Bank and Gaza the standard hasbara trope is that "Israel has a right to defend itself." The President of the United States agrees.

What would the RWers say if he didn't agree? It's a lose-lose and shows just how far people are willing to go twisting themselves into logical pretzels to criticize Obama.
Meanwhile, some especially hard-hearted Jews demonstrated that they, in fact, are not "compassionate children of compassionate ancestors" by fervently objecting to the President's one sentence, 15 word, expression of compassion for dead Palestinian civilians. For the record, I object to this, too. The President should have delivered his condolences to the dead Palestinian civilians two days ago in a distinct statement, or (pay attention) said nothing at all. Either approach would have been preferable to suggesting that dead Palestinian civilians only attract his attention when there are also dead Jewish civilians to mourn.

3. Complain about the UN and the world I agree the UN sucks; when it comes to Israel it is also toothless, thanks, in part, to the reliable American veto. Generally, I think its a waste of time and energy to complain about thing that are as weak and pathetic as the UN, but if you find such displays cathartic, who am I to object? There are people who rail against their weak and toothless elderly relatives, too. What I do take issue with, however, is the caterwauling about the unfair, evil, Jew-hating world. Not that I don't agree that parts of the world are unfair, evil, and Jew-hating. Certainly some large parts of it are, but the rest of it isn't. More importantly, the world's response or non-response to events Israel is no longer a surprise. Do we need to act like we've discovered America every time it happens? Nowadays a  bomb in Jerusalem doesn't attract international attention the way it once did, and this change isn't evidence of antisemitism: As discussed yesterday, how many of you took notice of the 50-plus Pakistanis who were killed this month by bombs or rockets? The mainstream media didn't, and neither did the average man on the street. So before you go on a screed against the antii-Israel world, ask yourself if you, as an individual, behave any differently when someone who is not your co-religionists is suffering; then remember that the "world" is not a monolith, but a collection of people who, for the most part, are just like you.

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