Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler
Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Thursday, March 14.
The Ranting of Levine
Last week the New York Times published an essay by a philosophy professor, James Levine On Questioning the Jewish State. I won't quote from the essay, but here are some of the responses.
Elder of Ziyon argues:
In fact, if you follow his bizarre logic, while "of course Jews have a
right to self-determination," in no practical way can that right be
exercised. What kind of a right is it when it is hamstrung by
In addition to analyzing Levine's argument, FresnoZionism asks a series of questions attacking Levine's premise:
Levine's logical fallacy is that one's right to self-determination is
illegitimate if it happens to compete with anyone else's similar right.
This is something he simply made up. A people's right to
self-determination is independent of others' rights. Unless there is a
new continent that is discovered, by definition everyone's rights to
self-determination is going to interfere with others'.
Levine is essentially engaging in a sophisticated form of anti-semitism,
where by his definition only the Jewish people's rights must be
subsumed to the rights of others; the others are not limited by any
means that he sees fit to mention.
Why did you not write an article about whether Saudi Arabia has a right
to exist as a Kingdom, or indeed whether any of the kingdoms,
dictatorships, Islamic ‘republics’ or other undemocratic entities have a
‘right to exist’ as such?
Avi Bell writes in Pseudo-intellectual bigotry:
Why did you not argue that the Kingdom of Jordan should not exist as
such, not only because is it an undemocratic monarchy, but because a
minority of Bedouins there rule over a majority of other Arabs? This is
especially relevant, because Transjordan was created from the territory
called ‘Palestine’, precisely to create an Arab state that would be a
counterpart to the Jewish National Home that Britain was supposed to
nurse into existence in Western Palestine.
Why do you find the relatively mild discrimination against Arab
residents of Israel — especially in the context of the security
situation — important when so many other Middle Eastern states with
ethnic or religious minorities completely disenfranchise, even viciously
oppress them (e.g., the Kurds or the Palestinians in Lebanon)?
Ultimately, Levine’s claims boil down to the naked assertion that Jews
alone among the peoples of the world should be denied
self-determination, and that is because the general rules of
self-determination should be selectively rewritten and reinterpreted to
the detriment of the Jewish people only.
Similarly Hillel Neuer writes (h/t HonestReporting)
Levine takes it as a given that the Palestinian Arabs have a natural
claim to the same right of self-determination that he is so quick to
deny to Israel and Jewish people.
Doc's Talk quotes Barry Rubin (whose observation sounds like it came straight out the Haggadah):
For 1000 years there has only been one religion that has been marked for wiping out.
Why is Levine's article important?
For 200 years there had only been one people that has been marked for wiping out.
For 60 years there has only been one country that has been marked for wiping out.
In 1996, Charles Krauthammer wrote in At Last Zion:
A century ago, Europe was the center of Jewish life. More than 80
percent of world Jewry lived there. The Second World War destroyed
European Jewry and dispersed the survivors to the New World (mainly the
United States) and to Israel. Today, 80 percent of world Jewry lives
either in the United States or in Israel. Today we have a bipolar Jewish
universe with two centers of gravity of approximately equal size. It is
a transitional stage, however. One star is gradually dimming, the other
Recently Meryl Yourish noted examples of this dynamic and observed:
Soon an inevitably the cosmology of the Jewish people will have been
transformed again, turned into a single-star system with a dwindling
Diaspora orbiting around. It will be a return to the ancient norm: The
Jewish people will be centered—not just spiritually but physically—in
their ancient homeland.
The exodus is gathering strength. Jews are leaving countries where they are being persecuted–again.
In short an argument against the legitimacy of Israel, is an argument against Judaism.
A new Film looks at NY Times and Holocaust.(h/t Robert Avrech) The synopsis reads:
A student documentary about the paper’s shallow coverage of the genocide
— just six front-page stories throughout the war — will premiere at one
of America’s most prestigious festivals
Seventy years ago a catastrophe was occurring to the Jews of Europe and
the New York Times ignored it. Now Jews worldwide are facing numerous
crises and the New York Times is giving voice to the cheerleaders of
their enemies. It would be generous to say that the Times has learned
nothing in that time, but that would assume that the paper and its
publishers are acting out of ignorance, not malice. As more and more
arguments like Levine's find a home in the Times, the ignorance defense
seems less credible.
Labels: Israel is a Jewish state, Middle East Media Sampler, New York Times, Soccer Dad