An attorney (or an advocate for a cause) should never ask a question unless they know the answer in advance. I asked for opinions about the Jewish-Israel blogosphere
review knowing what some of the replies might not be to my liking. I got one reply, an important one.
Not too long ago, when something was said over and over and over and it didn't seem to make much of a difference, we said,
"Blah, Blah, Blah..." Now I guess we have to say, "Blog, Blog, Blog..."
All of the Zionistic rhetoric on the Internet will not make a damn bit of difference unless we are all willing and able to express verbally those ideas ourselves to our friends, those we work with, all other casual acquaintances, all media and news outlets and those in our government who are responsible for our international policy.
"Blog" is not my favorite word either. Your remarks are not very diplomatically phrased, but essentially correct, my friend. The bloggers are doing a lot of dedicated work, exposing farces like the al-Dura "murder" and the fake smoke over Beirut and many others. They are getting out the message. You need to learn the facts and internalize the ideas and learn how to express them to others. So get busy and do it! Re-shape the facts and ideas you see in the blogs and Web pages and handouts and make them your own - and use them.
Anti-Zionists certainly have their own "bla-bla" that they have internalized and that is spouted with amazing uniformity at rallies, in op-eds, and increasingly in books and speeches by central figures and in "mainstream" media. "Apartheid Israel," by virtue of repetition, went from being the slogan of crazy fanatics to being the subject of a (very bad) best-selling book by a US president. Most fanatical anti-Israel advocates make themselves seem like experts because they picked up three or four fake facts that were disseminated in Web logs, handouts and books: "Arabs were ethnically cleansed from Palestine," "Ben Gurion wanted to transfer the Arabs" "Zionists are just like Nazis," "Hamas came to power by a landslide win in democratic elections" etc. Even J Street believes the last one. If Web logs and op-eds were not effective, the other side would not be wasting their time with them, would they?
These slogans and myths are repeated with dismaying and amazing uniformity. Every week there is another Op-Ed somewhere with the "original" thought that a one state "solution" is somehow preferable to Jewish self-determination, and yet another article about the Palestinian "Nakba" or "Right" of Return. Every week or so, we get another letter from an "enlightened" liberal who "discovered" the "truth" that the Jews killed Christ and also ethnically cleansed the poor Palestinian Arabs. And the darn thing is, each of these people who repeat the same lies that are in a thousand books and a million articles, insists that they have discovered a great truth that nobody knows about and that is being censored by the "Zionist controlled Media."
That's why Zionism & Israel and its sister Web sites were created - to help provide fair play for Zionism and Israel on the Internet, and to give you the tools to refute the lies effectively: the basic facts, how to present them, and discussion of current issues in blogs. The same arguments are offered up over and over. This makes it easier to counter them if you know the facts, and have them in mind all the time. Remember to approach the attackers on their own humanitarian grounds, and to invest a lot of energy in the debate if there is also a receptive audience there to be convinced. Usually, it doesn't pay to waste your breath trying to explain the issues to convinced enemies of Israel. Stay calm. Don't yell "anti-Semitism" or "Nazi" - first one to say "Nazi" generally loses. Point out that Hamas is a racist and reactionary organization. Ask how they can be legitimizing the Hamas, or apologizing for regimes like Syria that don't allow a free press and jail opposition. Is that consistent with their "progressive" ideology? Ask how they can overlook persecution of Christians in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Hopefully, if the truth is repeated as least as often as lies, it will really make a difference. It is up to you to learn to use those tools effectively to make the case in your own words, without presenting yourself as a fanatic or Zionism as a militant and dangerous creed.
Here are only a few of the resources offered at this Web site:
Presenting Zionism - do's and don'ts about how to make your case.
Definitions of Zionism - What Zionism is and is not, and how t o explain it without falling into traps set by opponents and without distorting history. It also has a compendium of definitions from a large number of sources.
Zionism & Israel FAQ" - a whole section devoted to questions and answers about all the issues in the conflict, and all the charges made against Israel and Zionism, as well as handbooks that detail how to argue your case effectively. Nearly a hundred pages of materials here cover everything from the UN and the right of return to the "Zionism is Racism" slogan to the Holocaust and much more.
Palestine Nakba - An examination of the evidence about the creation of the refugee problem in 1948, and a very surprising Arab view.
History of Zionism - a detailed history of Zionism that presents the facts and also discusses central issues raised by anti-Zionists.
Israel - Facts about our little country that most people don't know. Links to pages about human rights issues and much more.
Our section on historical documents has a large collection of original source documents related to Zionism and history, so you can argue from the authentic source. Some of these are the only text sources for these documents on the Web. The newest document, a 1921 British memorandum about Jewish arms smuggling in Palestine, is unique on the Web.
Learn the facts. Next time someone complains about Israel's human rights record, tell them about human rights in Israel and Iran and human rights elsewhere in the Middle East and Muslim Africa. Next time someone says "Zionism is Racism" tell them about Mehereta Baruch and Ismail Khaldi and Azzam Azzam. If they tell you to "end the siege of Gaza" point out what a real siege was like - the siege of Jerusalem. If they bring up "ethnic cleansing" and massacres" tell them about the Ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and the massacres and ethnic cleansing in Hebron and Gush Etzion,the Hadassah Convoy Massacre . If they bring up the refugee problem, don't forget to tell them about Jewish refugees from Arab lands.
And here are numerous other Web resources. You can find most of them from the extensive links at Zionism and Israel. I will mention only a few here, because these are excellent resources that do not get the attention they deserve - very few people know about them:
Z-Word is a new Web site started just for the purpose of restoring the image of Zionism. Don't miss the Z-Word Web log either.
Look Israel - a beautifully done and fact-packed little Web site. A joy to behold and use.
Beyond Images. A great source of effective advocacy resources, that has won praise from many visitors.
Peace with Realism - an original approach to Israel-Arab conflict issues, with vivid graphics and meticulous logic and documentation.
So please make use of all the resources at Zionism and Israel and these other Web sites, and tell others about them. You are also invited to critique, suggest new documents and start your own Web site or Web log.
We are all discouraged at the flood of anti-Zionist propaganda that is proliferating on the Web and on campuses. It's up to us to do something about it. It is better to light even a match than to curse the darkness.
Our blah-blah is better than the "blah-blah" of the other side, because ours is based on truth. It's up to you to get the word out.
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