Sunday, March 18, 2007

Even for LA, this guy's a headcase - so of course, he's a UCLA professor

Here is what Israel is up against when it comes to distortion from even westernized arabs. The following is from a UCLA professor and is a load of amazing crap. Nevertheless it was published in the Los Angeles Times, a major daily newspaper in one of the world's largest and most influential cities (my comments in bold).



In the war of words, The Times is Israel's ally
The paper consistently adopts Israel's language, giving credence to an inaccurate, simplistic and dangerous cliche.
By Saree Makdisi, SAREE MAKDISI, a professor of English and comparative literature at UCLA, writes frequently about the Middle East.
March 11, 2007


'AS SOON AS certain topics are raised," George Orwell once wrote, "the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: Prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse." Such a combination of vagueness and sheer incompetence in language, Orwell warned, leads to political conformity.

George Orwell abhorred tyranny and would have been aghast at the way most arab "societies" are run.

No issue better illustrates Orwell's point than coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. Consider, for example, the editorial in The Times on Feb. 9 demanding that the Palestinians "recognize Israel" and its "right to exist." This is a common enough sentiment — even a cliche. Yet many observers (most recently the international lawyer John Whitbeck) have pointed out that this proposition, assiduously propagated by Israel's advocates and uncritically reiterated by American politicians and journalists, is — at best — utterly nonsensical.

There is nothing nonsensical, of course, about such demands. "Recognize" means acknowledge it exists and "right to exist" means you foreswear trying to extinguish it from the face of the planet.

First, the formal diplomatic language of "recognition" is traditionally used by one state with respect to another state. It is literally meaningless for a non-state to "recognize" a state. Moreover, in diplomacy, such recognition is supposed to be mutual. In order to earn its own recognition, Israel would have to simultaneously recognize the state of Palestine. This it steadfastly refuses to do (and for some reason, there are no high-minded newspaper editorials demanding that it do so).

Israel has signalled its willingness to recognize a palestinian state once one is brought into being for decades. The palestinians themselves have chosen not to have a state. Arafat was offered 97 per cent of what the palestinians asked for along with control of the Temple Mount/Golden Mosque area and rejected it.

Second, which Israel, precisely, are the Palestinians being asked to "recognize?" Israel has stubbornly refused to declare its own borders. So, territorially speaking, "Israel" is an open-ended concept. Are the Palestinians to recognize the Israel that ends at the lines proposed by the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan? Or the one that extends to the 1949 Armistice Line (the de facto border that resulted from the 1948 war)? Or does Israel include the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it has occupied in violation of international law for 40 years — and which maps in its school textbooks show as part of "Israel"?

See above. Israel's borders remained undefined because the palestinians refuse a state. When Olmert said he would define Israel's borders unilaterally, the palestinians howled. They can't have it both ways.

For that matter, why should the Palestinians recognize an Israel that refuses to accept international law, submit to U.N. resolutions or readmit the Palestinians wrongfully expelled from their homes in 1948 and barred from returning ever since?

Non-binding resolutions do not have to be "submitted" to (interesting choice of words. Islam loves submission). The palestinians were not expelled from their homes; they fled at the urging of their own leaders who promised to wipe out the Jewish state.

If none of these questions are easy to answer, why are such demands being made of the Palestinians? And why is nothing demanded of Israel in turn?

ROFLMAO! Nothing is demanded of Israel? Of course not. Israel is only supposed to bow to every palestinian desire, allow itself to be destroyed by Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and the whackos in Iran and in the meantime must apologize every time some palestinian gets a sliver when pushed against the wall after being apprehended for trying to enter Israel wearing a bomb belt.

Orwell was right. It is much easier to recycle meaningless phrases than to ask — let alone to answer — difficult questions. But recycling these empty phrases serves a purpose. Endlessly repeating the mantra that the Palestinians don't recognize Israel helps paint Israel as an innocent victim, politely asking to be recognized but being rebuffed by its cruel enemies.

Orwell certainly was right...in tyrannies, the truth is alterable and 2+2=5 if your leaders tell you it is and you want to keep your head on your shoulders.

Actually, it asks even more. Israel wants the Palestinians, half of whom were driven from their homeland so that a Jewish state could be created in 1948, to recognize not merely that it exists (which is undeniable) but that it is "right" that it exists — that it was right for them to have been dispossessed of their homes, their property and their livelihoods so that a Jewish state could be created on their land. The Palestinians are not the world's first dispossessed people, but they are the first to be asked to legitimize what happened to them.

See above. The palestinians were not forced to leave by the Jews in 1948. Notice, the author also shows no acknowledgement for the 900,000 Jews thrown out of arab nations at the same time. True: the palestinians are not the world's first dispossessed people; they are however, the first dispossessed people allowed to suck the international tit for 60 years while practising terrorism and internicine violence.

A just peace will require Israelis and Palestinians to reconcile and recognize each other's rights. It will not require that Palestinians give their moral seal of approval to the catastrophe that befell them. Meaningless at best, cynical and manipulative at worst, such a demand may suit Israel's purposes, but it does not serve The Times or its readers.

Love the comment about a just peace. Indeed. Note the word "catastrophe". It sounds so much better as "nakba". The catastrophe was of the arabs own making.

And yet The Times consistently adopts Israel's language and, hence, its point of view. For example, a recent article on Israel's Palestinian minority referred to that minority not as "Palestinian" but as generically "Arab," Israel's official term for a population whose full political and human rights it refuses to recognize. To fail to acknowledge the living Palestinian presence inside Israel (and its enduring continuity with the rest of the Palestinian people) is to elide the history at the heart of the conflict — and to deny the legitimacy of Palestinian claims and rights.

Obviously, the author is again ignoring reality. Most "palestinians" today have no connection to Israel. Hundreds of thousands of them have been dispossessed from arab nations, not Israel. So much for arab brotherhood.

This is exactly what Israel wants. Indeed, its demand that its "right to exist" be recognized reflects its own anxiety, not about its existence but about its failure to successfully eliminate the Palestinians' presence inside their homeland — a failure for which verbal recognition would serve merely a palliative and therapeutic function.

If Israel wanted to eliminate the palestinian presence, it could have done so at any time by either expelling or slaughtering them. It has been far more humane towards palestinians than any arab nation. There are one million arab-Israelis (about 15 per cent of the population) and Israel has never moved to expel them. Why, I wonder, should Israel accept muslims in its country while Jews can't live in areas the palestinians want as part of their state? Nor, of course, can they live in most arab nations or even visit some of them.

In uncritically adopting Israel's own fraught terminology — a form of verbal erasure designed to extend the physical destruction of Palestine — The Times is taking sides.

If the paper wants its readers to understand the nature of this conflict, however, it should not go on acting as though only one side has a story to tell.


If the LA Times wants people to understand the conflict, it need look no further than professor Makdisi. The conflict is the result of arab refusal to accept reality and live in the 21st century - nothing more, nothing less.

1 comment:

Michael said...

This post, southfield, is what fisking the morons is all about.

Thanks a lot!