Monday, August 04, 2014

Five Towns Jewish Genocide: What happened and why

Last Friday, a Five Towns Jewish newspaper and the Times of Israel simultaneously published an article by Yochanan Gordon arguing that genocide was something worth considering if the military were to conclude that murdering all Gaza citizens was the only way to bring stability and peace to the region. Money quote:
If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals
The original story received 300 likes and over 3000 tweets and was picked up by Slate, Gawker, Mediate and other mega-sites. You can see the full column here (English nit-pickers are advised to skip it. The diction and grammar will put you in cardiac arrest.)

The Times of Israel was first to realize that it had inadvertently done something horribly damaging to not only its own reputation but to the safety and security of Jews all over the world. But after TOI pulled the piece, Gordon's first instinct was to fight back:

UPDATE I am told this is a FAKE account

UPDATE I am told this is a FAKE account

Later in the day, the Five Towns newspaper also took down the article and posted an explanation:
An article that was posted earlier today on our website dealt with the question of genocide in a most irresponsible fashion. We reject any such notion or discussion associated with even entertaining the possibility of such an unacceptable idea.
The piece should have been rejected out of hand by editors but escaped their proper attention. We reject such a suggestion unequivocally and apologize for the error.
Gordon's own apology appeared next:
I wish to express deep regret and beg forgiveness for an article I authored which was posted on, Times of Israel and was tweeted and shared the world over. 
I never intended to call to harm any people although my words may have conveyed that message.
With that said I pray and hope for a quick peaceful end to the hostilities and that all people learn to coexist with each other in creating a better world for us all.
But some people were not buying it. A fellow named Reuven Bell posted the following spot-on parody of the apology on my Facebook page, where it was seen by a writer from Frum Satire who immediately posted it on that site
I wish to apologize for an article I published which was the product of views and statements commonly held and spewed in my sheltered community. While, on reflection, I doubt anyone would seriously call for the mass extermination of millions, I'm not a very deep thinker, and parroting offensive ideas without considering the ramifications of their literal content is fairly common in my religio/social circles.
Mostly, though, I'm sorry for forgetting that there's a world outside the echo chamber in which I usually live, and for forgetting that the Internet is a platform where people who might believe that which I consider obvious to be truly abhorrent might read my words and be duly shocked by them. While I still believe that the only good Arab is a dead one, I am deeply sorry that all those who do not agree, and may not view my genius as my daddy does, have the ability to humiliate me publicly when I broadcast my hateful views on a world wide forum. I deeply regret the stir I've caused, and that it's reflected poorly on me, and hereby promise to keep my genocidal views to smaller, more local fora, until the next time I forget.
So what actually happened? I think Bell nails it. Gordon lives in a community where people tend to spout off about Arabs and because he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and he simply didn't realize that his arguments were dumb, and that posting then for the world to see was dangerous and stupid. He thought he was presenting a legitimate opinion, in a learned and professional way.

Meanwhile, this happened in an Italian mosque on the same day Gordon's article was published.

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