There is an old joke about the Englishman who explains that their way of answering the telephone is much better:
"We say 'Are you there?' If you're not, there's no sense in continuing the conversation, is there?":
The same logic underlies a popular refrain that seems to accompany every recent Israel bashing publicity gig. No matter that it is totally prima facie illogical, it is now a permanent repetitive feature of every article, book and interview relating to anyone who wants to criticize Israel. You can read it in the morning paper, you can hear it on the radio, and you can see it on television. Jimmy Carter does it. Professors Walt and Mearsheimer do it. Everyone's doing it.
I am referring of course, to the whining complaint that "nobody is allowed to criticize Israel" that is heard as the contrapuntal refrain to the crashing resonance of every trumpet blast of Israel-bashing, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
Jimmy Carter just wrote what is by all accounts an execrable book about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that will make Israel hate respectable. Given the author, it is inevitably a best-seller. This shoddy, one-sided account is ranked #9 in the Amazon sales charts. Carter is feted in media interviews across the United States. And in all of them, everywhere, he tells the same impossible story: "Nobody is allowed to criticize Israel." Here is Carter himself, badmouthing Israel in a favorable story in the LA Times:
The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations - but not in the United States. For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices.
...What is even more difficult to comprehend is why the editorial pages of the major newspapers and magazines in the United States exercise similar self-restraint, quite contrary to private assessments
expressed quite forcefully by their correspondents in the Holy Land.
As Carter asserts that nobody in the USA is allowed to criticize Israel, it seems Los Angeles is not in the United States.
Here is the same Carter with the same complaint in Newsweek:..one of the purposes of the book was to provoke discussion, which is very rarely heard in this country. And we can find Carter badmouthing Israel in Democracy Today and on Israel radio and just about everywhere else, always with the complaint that nobody is allowed to criticize Israel.
Carter was not the first to voice this lie of course, and he won't be the last. Everyone's doing it. Iranian President Ahmadinejad, with his Holocaust denial conference, also claims that "the Zionists" won't let anyone discuss whether or not the Holocaust happened, even while he holds his macabre show conference and attracts media attention from around the world. Mearsheimer and Walt, whose shoddily done "study" of the
Jewish conspiracy - oops, I mean "Israel Lobby" - was discussed around the world in every media and every language, also insist that nobody allows them the to criticize Israel, and the list goes on and on and on.
The sheer gall of this absurd and blatantly self-contradictory complaint is amazing. It is a good indicator of the integrity, logic and quality of the rest of the message served up by such people.
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Replies: 2 Comments
Another irony here is that the people who always whine about their "inability to criticize Israel" never, ever complain about states which do, in fact, practice draconian policies of silencing "critics". I guess they must know better -- it's dangerous being a "critic" when the State you happen to be criticizing has no qualms about committing murder (that ultimate silencer). It's just too bad that the Peanut Farmer doesn't start critiquing Putin...Hey, C'mon Jimmy Boy, I dare him to write a book on Putin's evil treatment of Carter's dear Arab buddies. Then we can see how long Carter lasts. But, of course, being a good ol' boy, cowardly jimmy knows only too well which side to lambast and chastise.
J.S., Wednesday, December 13th
When I was a child in the post World War II era of the late forties and fifties, slime like David Duke and pseudo historians such as Jimmy Carter could not have gotten away with their libels. Why, not that there wasn't antiSemitism in those times, there was indeed. But so many GIs had returned from Europe having seen so much of the Holacaust's aftermath, that they would have been (and were) universally scorned and held up to ridicule.
What the Holacaust deniers have waited for is the diappearance of "the greatest generation." Now that so many of these heros are dead and dying, it makes it much easier for these cowards to howl that it never happened.
Howard Wolf, Wednesday, December 13th
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