Tuesday, August 23, 2016

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies? - by David Collier

...Simply writing a piece slamming Haaretz for picking on Israeli policy isn’t really a worthwhile exercise today. We have long since passed the point of Haaretz being recognised as anything but a bitter media outlet drowning in its own extreme agenda. It no longer has a relevant readership inside Israel at all, and if it were not for the global fanbase of Israel’s rabid haters, Haaretz would long ago have either sunk completely or began to swim in another direction. Yet the question remains, how far gone are they?

David Collier..
Beyond the Great Divide..
23 August '16..

Truth is I had placed myself on a month long self-imposed exile from all my research into the anti-Zionist camp. I reasoned I needed a holiday, a break from the venom, the hatred and the antisemitism.

The theory had been that if I replace Electronic Intifada with the Israel press and Counterpunch with Jewish media in the US or UK, I would be able to switch off and relax. In hindsight it was a mistake to think it would be a detoxifying experience. After just two weeks I basically end up asking the question. With friends like these – who actually needs enemies?

Let me begin with a point of clarification. I do not as a rule, attack the politics of the Israeli left. It isn’t that I agree with them – I don’t. In part I understand their anxiety, their moral conflict, but my response to all those who simply wish to ‘end the occupation’, is always to ask a simple question – “how?”

Opposition politics is always easy, it’s just naysaying and grandstanding. It is difficult to think of a better example of this than the position of the far left in Israel. The naïve belief that all that is wrong is embedded in the ‘occupation’, the flimflam argument put forward by those who think that somehow, the conflict would end (or be less harmful) if Israel would just ‘play nice’. So if you ever want to see true confusion, take a supporter of Meretz (Israel), Yachad (UK), J-Street (US) and ask them how exactly they intend to ‘end the occupation’. What does it all look like a day after?

For the most part these movements are astroturf organisations, the expensive playthings of fools with too much money. However, my research focuses on anti-Zionists, not Zionists with whom I have disagreements. So I leave them alone when they leave me alone. However, at times like this our paths do cross, and over the last few weeks I experienced two incidents of what I can only refer to as ‘press rage’ (I would define ‘press rage’ as the point where I begin to throw random heavy items having read an article I took extreme exception to).

The first article was in Haaretz. I made the mistake of reading an online Haaretz piece penned by Gideon Levy. The second was a hatchet job in Jewish News that directly affects me and attacks my own political position. The article in the Jewish News also has far reaching implications and creates an impossible environment for Zionists in the UK. This piece is a response to those attacks on Zionism. Let me deal first with Haaretz.

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