Response to “Lives that Count, Lives that Don’t Count” on Daily Kos
You thought a diary positing Israel to be the willing executioner of Anglo-imperialists was the worst that could come from Daily Kos? Nah, you ain’t seen nothing yet. That diary was relatively tame. The following diary, Lives that Count, Lives that Don’t Count, by Assaf, from October 19, 2006, is much more infuriating, up from its very author (an Israeli Jew) and title, and down to its last detail. The gist of the diary is the modern inversion wherein the “Palestinians” (or sometimes Muslims in general) are the “new Jews”, and the Jews are, you guessed it, in the role of the Nazis. Maddening in itself, but doubly so when made by an Israeli Jew.
The address of the diary is:
(Title) Lives that Count, Lives that Don’t Count
If you’re so moral as to insist on counting on every life, then at least do some research as to the real discounters of human lives. You know: look at Darfur, North Korea, Tibet, just for starters. The perpetrators of wanton murder there don’t give the slightest thought to minimizing the civilian casualties. Israel always does—I think dropping leaflets telling people to flee before each air force operation serves as a good example of this—and what civilian casualties are inflicted on the other side are almost invariably the result of their lack of moral inhibition against using civilians as human shields and propaganda money.
In other words: “Palestinian” lives will count as soon as the “Palestinians” make them count. But Golda Meir said something to that effect over thirty years ago and it still falls on deaf Leftist ears.
The body of the diary begins:
Tonight I spoke here in Seattle, at a panel organized by Coalition of Anti-Racism Whites, a local progressive group (www.carw.org). The topic was Israel/Palestine from the perspective of racism.
So there you have it: starting with the wrong premises. I vented on this on the Infidel Bloggers Alliance just yesterday, but here it is again from a more Israeli viewpoint: the Israeli Jewish victims of suicide bombings are people of all races and colors—European Jews, Moroccan Jews, Iraqi Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Yemenite Jews, to name a few distinctive racial divisions—while the suicide bombers themselves, though usually “Asians” (to use OrwellMedia terminology), can be Muslims of any race, like the British converts to Islam who blew up Mike’s Place on the Tel-Aviv beach—“Whites”. In short, going at it from the premise of racial conflict rather than clash of civilizations will inevitably taint the perspective of the writer and, hence, cause him to suggest bad solutions for the problem.
As the only Israeli on this panel, […]
A panel comprised of a majority of anti-Semites. Just like the American Left as a whole, which has let itself get carried away by the lure of the fascist, Stalinist, anti-Semitic Far Left. Say what you like about the Right, but it’s been doing a good job keeping the Far Right (David Duke and the like) far.
I'd like to start by talking about mainstream Israeli sentiments on this subject. Israelis ask: "why single us out?" After all, there are so many local conflicts on this planet, and almost always there is racism and discrimination between the warring groups. So what's so special about Israel/Palestine?
It’s not just about singling Israel out, it’s about applying a different standard to Israel than to other countries with a far worse human rights record. It’s about claiming Israel to be illegitimate because it was founded as “a state for a race”, involving the “dispossession of the original inhabitants”, while turning a blind eye to Pakistan, a state founded to accommodate the Muslims of India, despite there already being so many states for Muslims, and involving the butchery of millions of Hindu inhabitants. It’s about railing against the Law of Return for Jews as an example of “Zionist racism”, while saying nothing about the many other countries that have a similar law, such as Ireland and Japan.
When the broader racism question comes to the Israeli mind, it is in a different way than you might expect. They hear some of their enemies repeatedly use Anti-Semitic terminology. They resent the meddling, Holocaust-denying Iranian president. And all the time in the background, they sense that the Europeans, who actually perpetrated the Holocaust, pay disproportionate attention to this conflict and incessantly pick on us.
Yes, all that is true. It’s called paying attention to the gathering storm. I think it beats looking for Rovian conspiracies everywhere.
In short, Israelis and most Diaspora Jews see here the recurring, mythical theme of "once again everyone conspires to destroy us, just because we are Jews." (Emphasis original —ZY)
Recurring yes, mythical no. Study some Jewish history, Assaf. Start with the book of Esther, proceed with cossack commander Bogdan Chemielnitzki, end with Hitler’s Muslim friend and ally Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini. This isn’t myth, it’s reality—because the Torah isn’t a book of fables, it’s the word of G-d, timeless, eternal, always relevant. Anti-Semitism is G-d’s institution to keep His people close to Him; only He can end it, not any attempt of the Jews to cater to anti-Semites’ whims like you are doing, Assaf.
Israelis are right: we do receive a disproportionate amount of attention. But they are wrong: this attention is not part of the eternal Jew-hunt.
No, the Torah is right and you are wrong.
There follows now a story from the Holocaust, involving Assaf’s ancestors among others, arguing that the lack of willingness of anyone, whether the local Poles or the Allies, to save the Jews was because Jewish lives counted for nothing in their eyes. I reply to some of the points:
When someone's life counts for you, you take concrete steps to save them. There were many individuals for whom Jewish lives counted; some people saved many lives, some even sacrificed themselves trying t (sic) save lives. But for the powers that be, for the mainstream worldview under the 1940's status quo, the only lives that counted worldwide were those of middle and upper class, Christian whites in Western countries. Everyone else was "Colored".
I think that assessment is correct. However, the relevance of this—the primacy of racial issues in determining policy—to our times is, well, very slight. The issue of “race” doesn’t come up today except as a victim credit card that can be used to pull out lots of moral (or often real) cash (see: Cynthia McKinney). The real issue of our day and age is the clash of religions and civilizations. Sounds very medieval, which is why the Leftists prefer to bury their heads in the sands of “racial conflict” and “class warfare” than admit it.
Since then, the world has drastically changed for Jews. Our lives count now […]
Not anymore, they don’t—a lot of people in the West (including the majority of the Left you support, Assaf) don’t give a flying fig about Israeli citizens getting injured or killed by the ball bearings or cluster bombs of Hizbullah, instead screaming about Israel’s “disproportionate response”. They think it’s perfectly normal for one particular nation to live with genocidal terrorist organizations on all its borders.
[…] thanks in large part to the shock and shame felt across the globe when the Holocaust's horrors were fully revealed.
The shock and shame have now nearly totally subsided, thanks in great part to people like you who make the equivalence of the Nazis and present-day Zionists. Your Left is priming the West’s consciousness to accept Jewish injured and dead as being justice done to “imperialist oppressors”. All while letting the true imperialist oppressors, the Muslims, go scot-free.
Arguably, our lives now count more than almost any others'. A case in point: when enemy guerillas capture a couple of our soldiers and kill several others, the world allows us to launch a total, lopsided war against two nations, inflicting widespread death and destruction.
You did say you were an Israeli, didn’t you, Assaf? At least you were an Israeli during the war? Because if you were, your statement bespeaks detachment from reality on a grand scale.
Point one: we weren’t allowed to launch the war. The cries of “Disproportionate response!” could be heard over Western media just a few days after it started.
Point two: the war didn’t start because of the capture and killing of our soldiers. That was the casus belli, yes, but it would never have ballooned into a war if it hadn’t been preceded by almost a year of rocket fire upon our territories from areas we had evacuated (yes, I am talking about the Kassams on Sderot—one of the most inconvenient facts ever for Israel-bashers).
Point three: the Israeli military operations were handled with care for civilians bordering on criminal neglect of our side. The leaflets telling the civilians to leave, for example, carried the strategical risk of alerting Hizbullah to each of our operations. All so as not to rile the world. But a fat lot of good it did us.
The diary passes to Iraq, making the same point that “Iraqi lives don’t count”. And I respond the same: let the Muslims hold their own lives as valuable and then we can get on that moral high horse.
[…] but the lives that count are still predominantly White and Western.
Utter falsehood. In our age, it’s bound to be “White and Western” lives that don’t count, because of the Leftist doctrine that they are oppressors and therefore are legitimate targets in the “anti-colonial resistance of indigenous peoples” worldwide. Ward Churchill’s epithet “little Eichmanns”, applied to the victims of 9/11 (who, by the way, were of all races and colors—but don’t mention that, it could give rise to all manner of Leftist thoughtcrimes), tells how far the PC world has gone in the way of “reverse” racism.
And don’t mention blacks oppressing blacks in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, or Asians oppressing Asians in Tibet or Thailand. Facts may prove hazardous to the health of left-wing identity politics.
This this is not just a moral failure, but a practical one as well: only when we make all lives count, will humanity have a real shot at long-term survival and prosperity. (Emphasis original —ZY)
And that is why I’m in the fight against Islam, Marxism and all other kinds of fascism: because they’re ideologies which view human lives as a commodity to be used as befitting the moment. They’re the true danger for humanity’s survival and prosperity, not Israel or President Bush.
Back to our topic! So with all that's going on across the globe, why is tiny Israel singled out? We are the ones who have singled ourselves out: swiftly moving from Blackest of the Black to Whitest of the White, we have made an unholy pact with the very same forces that caused our tragedy, […] (Both emphases original —ZY)
An unholy pact with “the same forces that caused our tragedy”? And who might those same forces be? Israelis, and Jews in general, are a bit nervous even about the alliance with the Christian Zionists, let alone Far Right groups like the British National Party or Vlaams Belang, so Assaf’s statement is, again, detached from reality. Or perhaps, following his thesis, the forces he talks about are the forces of “white racism”? Which is going back to the false premise that racial conflict is still the central issue of our times.
[…] in order to grab this piece of land.
Uh, Assaf… this is our land! All of it—the double standard that makes a distinction between Tel-Aviv and Ma’aleh Adumim won’t fly. If Ma’aleh Adumim is “grabbed land”, then so is Tel-Aviv. Both are, from the anti-Zionist point of view, “Jewish colonial holdings in the middle of the Muslim world”. The Muslims say that, the Far (fast moving to Center) Left says that, and those who don’t say that, those who say Tel-Aviv is legitimate, would once again scream about Israel’s “disproportionate response” if it came to having to defend Tel-Aviv after having evacuated all the “problematic territories”. The only ones who truly stand with Israel are those who agree the West Bank is as much our land as the Mediterranean Coast. The favors of the former won’t be won by land concessions, because they believe “all Palestine, from the river to the sea” to be occupied, and the latter don’t want us to conceded lands, because they believe we’re entitled to that (even with the West Bank and all) still small plot of land. In short, Israel shouldn’t listen to the likes of you either way.
If you think you’re stealing lands, then you can always assuage your guilt by moving somewhere else. But not to the USA, for example, because that’s stealing Native American lands. Ain’t identity politics great?
The universal cry "Never again! From now on, all lives count" was replaced with the selfish "Never Again! From now on, Jews belong to the `Lives that Count' club". And the story of our country since 1947 can be summed up as "Jewish lives count, Arab lives don't."
A blood libel or at the very least bordering upon it.
Assaf: which part of “suicide bombings in the midst of civilian centers” don’t you understand? Which part of the Fatah and Hamas and Hizbullah charters calling for the dismantling of the Jewish state don’t you understand? What is it in the message of digging tunnels for smuggling weapons instead of cultivating greenhouses in territories we evacuated for the sake of peace that’s so hard for you to comprehend? Why is it so inconceivable to you that the “Palestinians”, far from fighting for the independence of a state (building homes on the territories we evacuated would be convincing enough evidence of that), are fighting against the independence of a state (which is what each Kassam rocket fired on Sderot bears witness to)?
In the process, we have become the most glaring example of the West's double standard. In no other place on Earth do some of the most oppressed, non-Counting "Colored" people live right under the boots of people whose lives Count; turned into captive labor, prisoners, refugees and unwanted intruders in their own home, and vilified to boot.
This isn’t Israel you’re describing. I don’t know how long you’ve lived in Israel, but I was born in Israel and spent nearly all my life here, to this day, and I can say, without hesitation, that your description doesn’t fit anything I know. Whatever of your descriptions that has even a toehold on the truth is, invariably, the results of steps taken for keeping us, our civilian population, safe from a savage enemy who wants to kill us all (G-d forbid). And the rest is lies. Outright lies. Lies that could contribute to Jews everywhere, not just in Israel, getting killed (G-d forbid).
Sprinkle some holy sites and mystical visions on top, and it all combines to create an irresistible appeal, an almost pornographic attraction, exciting so many people's secret fantasies in so many different ways. In short, we have turned ourselves into this racist world's Red Lights District. (Emphasis original —ZY)
What’s the point wasting keyboard clicks on the above passage when one word will suffice: Freud.
It is no surprise, then, that from our vicinity the most obscene counter-reaction to White Man's dominance emerges. Listen to Bin Laden, Nasrallah, Haled Mashal.
“White Man”, eh?
That this white man could be accepted as Bin Laden’s peer, and engaged in operations against Americans regardless of color, does not pose Assaf’s thought-patterns any speed bump.
Listen to Bin Laden, Nasrallah, Haled Mashal. Their message: "if our lives don't count, then nobody's will", […]
I must have missed that bit when I was listening to their message that non-Muslims worldwide are given the option to convert to Islam or taste the wrath of jihad.
[…] echoing Geronimo the Apache - a man who killed Whites indiscriminately […]
Was that right or wrong? Was he justified by the fact that he was an oppressed person, resisting the oppressor? Just a few questions to see how you rate on the Moonbatometer…
[…] during the waning days of the Indian Genocide (another Holocaust, denied by the Americans).
That’s only one of two Indian Genocides: there’s the one inflicted, over centuries, by the Muslim conquerors of India upon their Hindu enemies and later subjects. But that holocaust, if not denied, is ignored by the Left, because it’s Asians against Asians, totally useless in serving the agenda of anti-Westernism.
There is also a cold, more calculating angle to the undue attention we receive.
Be careful, Assaf: you’re going into Protocols/Israel Lobby territory here.
Being the most conspicuous recent addition to the Club of Lives that Count, we offer ourselves as club gatekeepers, a strategic frontier guard. This is why Israelis and right-wing Jews are such great supporters of the "clash of civilizations" theory: it provides a respectable pretext to continue doing what we do.
That the “Clash of Civilizations” theory may actually be true isn’t given consideration. Again, because it’s worthless for the Leftist agenda. But I know which interpretation of Thais being killed by Muslims (Asians against Asians, so it doesn’t count, once again) is the more rational one.
But between the lines, Israel whispers to America and Europe: "if you make Arab lives count here, who knows where this can lead."
More libel. As Steven Plaut says, the fact that you’re an Israeli Jew makes you no less susceptible to falling under the spell of anti-Semitism.
So far, we are getting a wink and a nod from both continents, enabling us to go on.
A wink and a nod? From who? From Al-Reuters? From the BBC? From the Guardian? From CNN? From Jimmy Carter? What parallel universe are you living in?
This must change. The place to start mending the broken postwar dream, to start making every life count, is in Israel/Palestine.
Right goal, wrong targets. I look forward to your activity among the Muslims teaching them that violence is not the answer. No, I’m not looking forward to that, because that would mean one less Jew and one more Muslim snuff film for the world.
It can be done, and the key is shame. (Emphasis original —ZY)
It can be done, but the key isn’t shame, the key is showing the other side that enough is enough, that it isn’t entitled to the whole world. And that takes us partly away from Israel and into Europe and the USA and their problem of standing up against the enemy in their midst. That is the reality of the burning issue of our day, not fantasies about racial conflicts and anti-colonial resistance carried over from the last two centuries unchanged.
In the 1950's, Rosa Parks and friends outed their country in a very embarrassing way. Just as the US was setting itself up as the Free World's guardian, they reminded everyone that America runs an apartheid regime at home. At that time they were fringe radicals with very little political power. But by shaming the nation, they acquired a huge leverage and turned into a mass movement. All of a sudden, a system that endured a couple of centuries, that was part and parcel of America's self-identity, collapsed with almost no bloodshed.
Hmmmm… by the words, “A system […] collapsed with almost no bloodshed” I understand that the problem of racism in America is now history. A bit damning of your insistence to see everything through the lens of “white racism”, isn’t it? My post “Race” Over stands vindicated once again.
The same can happen to Israel's Occupation.
If you could establish that it really is an occupation. But if you did that, it would saw the very branch you’re sitting on. As I said: if Ma’aleh Adumim is occupied territory, then you have a tough time ahead of you arguing why Tel-Aviv isn’t the same.
The West, especially America, is supposed to be for democracy, for freedom, for "all lives count."
Yes, that goal is indeed opposed to any ideology that brings up children on the heritage of suicide bombing.
So our struggle will be won by outing the Occupation in its full ugliness, including its corrupt and racist support framework in Europe and America.
No, our struggle will be won by outing Islam, and all other forms of fascism, in their full ugliness, including their corrupt and nihilistic support framework in Europe and America, of which Daily Kos is a part.
By telling and telling and telling again, the stories of Palestinian suffering and oppression under Israel since 1948.
Or by telling and telling and telling again the story of their continued rejection of the very idea of sharing the land with the Jews, even though the Jews have, by rights, no obligation to share the land with them.
Or, also, by telling and telling and telling again the story of non-Muslim suffering and oppression under the Muslims since the 7th century.
And last but not least, it will be won by running a clean campaign, purged of reverse racism, a campaign that acknowledges Jewish suffering […]
Your diary shows you aren’t the proper person to run such a campaign.
[…] and steers clear of making Israelis so panic-stricken that they start pressing red buttons like they did this summer.
Pressing red buttons is fully justified in Israel’s case. There’s this fact that applies to few other countries: we cannot afford even a single defeat. Not with enemies who have sworn, in speech as well as writing, to kill us all.
This is a tall task, but I don't see any other viable victory path at this moment. And the wind seems to start blowing our way. So let us keep our hopes alive. Thank you.
Assaf: I wish your task to fail. I wish it to fail not because I hate you or because I think “Palestinian lives don’t count”, but because your task, if it succeeds, will end in a Second Holocaust (G-d forbid).
Let me tell you how it works: when you write such things, it ends up in the hands of the Muslims and their sympathizers in the West. They seize upon your writings eagerly, because the fact the author is an Israeli Jew gives them great credibility. And so the concerted effort of the Muslim lobbies in the West and the left-leaning media outlets gives out enormous pressure on the heads of state in the West, even of the USA (see: Condoleezza Rice), to drive Israel to make more land concessions. Such concessions, far from bringing lasting peace to the region, only embolden the enemies of Israel, for they have been given the message that terrorism pays. In the short run, many Israeli Jews are injured or killed as a result of the ensuing “resistance” pushing for more land concessions; in the long run, each land concession leaves Israel more vulnerable strategically, raising the chance that, G-d forbid, in the next great war between Israel and her Muslim enemies, Israel could be defeated. That would mean—let there be no doubt about it—the genocide of the Jews in their own land, G-d forbid! And that’s no paranoid fantasy, because the Muslims have done that before (their own prophet ordered the slaughter of a whole Jewish tribe, the Beni Koreizah) and say today, time and again, that they intend to do so. A theme recurring but not mythical.
Think about it, Assaf. Think about that prospect of having, by your actions, aided both the spilling of Jewish blood and the installation of a worldwide totalitarian empire (the Islamic Caliphate). While my side stands for both the Jewish people and the freedom of all people of the world. Assaf, please come home. We’re waiting with open arms.
Here ends the diary. In the comments, Assaf says:
I'm new at this; only my 2nd post. Don't worry, there'll be more - and mostly on Israel/Palestine.
I’ll be reading every one of them, and refuting those that need to be refuted, with HaShem’s help.
Updated on Saturday, October 21, 2006, 20:29, mainly to correct spelling mistakes, but also to add a few words and links. Biggest change: the addition of the link to the LGF post A Tunnel in a Greenhouse, from October 20, 2006.