The Egos Have Landed

The Nefesh B’Nefesh’s First International Jewish Bloggers Convention takes place next Wednesday, and while there are those who see it as a great opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and discuss how to improve the craft, there are predictably those who see it as a great opportunity to bitch and moan.

A number of bloggers are complaining that the conference is slanted in favor of Orthodox bloggers with right-wing political leanings. I assume they base this on the list of attendees and panelists, which does seem to have a large proportion of such bloggers.

But here’s the deal. Anyone can register, and the panelists were chosen mainly on the basis of traffic and influence. And given that Nefesh B’Nefesh’s agenda is to promote aliyah (immigration to Israel), they have chosen pro-Israel bloggers, and probably tried to steer clear of controversial Jewish bloggers, who’s agenda includes bashing their fellow Jews.

I am particularly disappointed in the attitude of fellow anglo-Israel blogger Lisa Goldman, who claims no interest in the conference since she’s “more interested in the complexities of Israeli life than in blogging about aliyah-related themes,” and “would have preferred a conference for Israeli bloggers where Arabs could participate.” She also throws in the “politically slanted” argument. Besides the apparent condescension, Lisa also claims she doesn’t “like agenda blogging.” Sorry, Lisa, but I am calling BS on that. What you do is agenda blogging (your agenda being to promote Arab-Israeli dialog). What you meant is you “don’t like blogging for an agenda that does not fit mine.”

I have to also laugh at the Ha’aretz article’s mention of the blog Failed Messiah:

Although Failed Messiah was a finalist in the 2007 Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards and has been quoted in newspapers ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Haaretz and The Forward, Rosenberg was not contacted by Nefesh B’Nefesh about the conference.

Firstly, given I founded the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards, I am qualified to say they are meaningless in terms of the “worth” of a blog. (I always love it when blogs invoke their performance in the JIBs as proof of their blogging credentials). Secondly, the argument that this anti-Judaism blogger should have been contacted by Nefesh B’Nefesh about the pro-aliyah blogger conference – because he has been cited by the mainstream media a few times – is ridiculous beyond belief.

Blogging opens up a lot of doors for a lot of people. But on the downside, it can also unleash people’s untamed egos. To the bloggers who believe they should have been invited to the conference (instead of registering like us common folk) or should have been invited to be a panelist, I say get over yourselves. And if you don’t like it, how about getting off your posterior and organizing a conference of your own. Perhaps the First International [Name of Your Blog] Admirers Convention?

Update: Check out Jameel’s post What is a JBlogger?

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

comments

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Shmarya, give it up already. The onus was on you to prove the deceit. Unsurprisingly, you proved nothing (except that you won’t stop at trying to ruin the hard work of others, all because of your ego).

    As I posted today (after speaking with the organizers), non-religious (and far more influential than you) bloggers such as (the left wing) Dov Bear and Meryl Yourish were invited on to a panel, but could not attend.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    I see Dave still can’t tell it straight.

    DoveBear – my friend – is religious, Dave.

    Again – look at the makeup of the panels and the overall invites. What you find – despite Dave’s ranting – is the MOST of those invited and on panels fit in one or more of the following two categories: 1. Orthodox. 2. Right wing politically.

    What “most” means, Dave, is that there are exceptions to the rule. But, like other rules, it still stands.

    Do you really have that much difficulty understanding this?

  • http://muqata.blogspot.com Jameel @ The Muqata

    Shmraya: Look, the invitation list is open to almost anyone. Seriously, why do you think that those coming are overwhelmingly Orthodox? I suggest to register to view it and screenshapshot the pictures yourself to count the lack of kippot (no photoshopping allowed! :)

    Regarding the panelists: Look at the schedule — the panels really are balanced. Oleh Girl? My Shrapnel? Benji Lovitt? Do the math — the panels are anything but “overwhelmingly anything”. Just Jews.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    What I meant to write is Dov Bear is religious, but left wing. Meryl Yourish is not religiously observant. A typing error, kind of like you referring to your “friend” incorrectly as “DoveBear” (although he may be a bit of a dove, politically speaking).

    How do you know all the people who were invited to be on a panel? Did you bother asking the organizers? So you can’t make that call, although it didn’t stop you from mouthing off to Ha’aretz.

    You doth protesteth too much. You are still sore you weren’t invited on to a panel.

    Jameel, don’t bother. I already explained that to him, but he does not care for the truth. He just wants to be on the map, and causing controversy is his method.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    What I see are a combination of Orthodox and right wing bloggers along with a blog that promotes aliya, one by a victim of terror and another by an oleh who is a comedian.

    In other words, the secular non-right wing bloggers have no political agenda, while the Orthodox and right wing blogger overwhelmingly do.

    And, as you should know, Orthodox Jews make up less than 15% of American Jews, and less than 30 % of Israeli Jew. Yet they makeup a clear majority of panelists.

    And where are the left of center Israeli and American political bloggers? The British? The French? etc.

    And I could go on.

    NBN took a couple of largely non-political secular blogs – no one who challenges Orthodoxy or the Orthodox-right wing political view – and included them, but EXCLUDED people who challenge those views.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    How do you know all the people who were invited to be on a panel? Did you bother asking the organizers? So you can’t make that call, although it didn’t stop you from mouthing off to Ha’aretz.

    What a small child you are, Dave.

    Don’t you think NBN could have found suitable substitutes for left wing and ardently secular bloggers that couldn’t present?

    In your clouded outlook, you see to think all NBN could find were your friends and a couple of neutrals.

    In your self contained world, this may pass as logic. It doesn’t elsewhere, which is why there was an Ha’aretz story to begin with.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    Jameel, don’t bother. I already explained that to him, but he does not care for the truth. He just wants to be on the map, and causing controversy is his method.

    Jameel,

    Note that your friend Dave has to make it personal and has to go dirty. It can never be that I’m telling the truth about my motives. It has to be that I’m a lying, deceptive scum.

    The great thing about these comments is that, hopefully, people will read them and will see what type of man Dave is.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    NBN took a couple of largely non-political secular blogs – no one who challenges Orthodoxy or the Orthodox-right wing political view – and included them, but EXCLUDED people who challenge those views.

    You mean like your “friend” Dov Bear? He certainly challenges those political views.

    Once again, you are revealing your hand. YOU were not invited on to a panel, that’s all that matters to you.

    How about just answering these questions for the benefit of all those reading:

    1. Do you have a list of all the bloggers invited to be on a panel?

    2. Assuming no, what proof do you have to support your “theory”?

    3. Assuming none, will you apologize?

    I am guessing your answers will be No, None, and no.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Let’s see what sort of man I am. Certainly not the type to smear the hard work of the conference organizers to a major newspaper without a shred of proof.

    Lying, deceptive scum? Feel free to point out where I used those words. Despite my obvious contempt for what you have done, I have not called you any names (Such as “small child” or “poster boy for all that is wrong..”, your names for me). Yes, thank G-d for comments.

    But I’m really not interested in continuing your playground argument. Just please answer the questions I posted, and stick to the issue.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    DAve,

    Again, here’s how it works. There are, 1000 or x and about the same number of y. You want to make a panel of x’s and y’s. But the first 5 y’s you ask can’t come.

    What do you do?

    Ask 5 more x’s?

    Or do you do some work to get 5 y’s?

    You seem to think NBN really tried to make the panels representative – but there simply is no proof of it.

    DovBear is Orthodox and supportive of aliyah and Israel.

    Did NBN invite GodolHador/ExGH or any of a dozen other skeptical bloggers I can think of?

    The proof, Dave is twofold:

    1. The makeup of the panels are just as I said.

    2. Bloggers who could have filled the roles you claim NBN wanted filled but couldn’t were not asked.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    Let me turn it around on you, Dave.

    Do you have a list of the bloggers NBN invited to conference and to be on panels?

    Of course you don’t.

    Even though you don’t, and even though there is, to say the least, a very large hole in the NBN lineup, you choose to believe NBN is correct and I am not only incorrect, but also an ego driven crybaby.

    Your “proof” of that is you don’t like my blog.

    Pretty weak on all counts, Dave.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Sigh.

    You still didn’t answer my 3 simple questions.

    Of course the conference is pro-Aliya! But here’s what you said to the world via Ha’aretz:

    “At first glance, the conference seems stacked in favor of Orthodox bloggers with right-wing political leanings…I think what Nefesh B’Nefesh is doing is deceitful. A true Jewish bloggers’ conference would be both open to all Jewish bloggers and far more balanced.”

    So as I have explained to you more than a dozen times, the conference is open to all Jewish bloggers, and even the invited panelists were not all “Orthodox bloggers with right-wing political leanings.”

    “Pro-Aliya bloggers” is not the same as “Orthodox bloggers with right-wing political leanings”
    It seems to me like you are shifting your argument ever so slightly every time you are back in to a corner.

  • http://www.myrightword.blogspot.com Yisrael Medad

    I just received a whole bunch of comments at my email but I don’t see them here.

    In any case, I hereby declare the First International Jewish Bloggers Comments Conference open. All come to disorder.

  • http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com Ben-Yehudah

    B”H

    Dave,

    Thank you for writing this post, and “hosting” this discussion.

    It was EXTREMELY enlightening,…EXTREMELY.

    Yisrael, You make a few good points.

    Kvetcher, believe it or not, I think you do too, but not the ones you intended to make.

    Benji,… “Walled city” only applies within Israel and Shushan. 2 days of fasting,…Riiiiiiiiight. Better get ready to stand in for the Heshman, in case he falls off his bike (has weHallilah) on the way over from the airport.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    Not really.

    The bias I object to is still there, and my point about filling holes in the schedule still stands.

    IF NBN had called it the Blog For Israel Conference or something like that, I wouldn’t care – and neither would the other bloggers I’ve heard from.

    NBN has a responsibility here that it is shirking. It can fix that next year by changing the name of the conference or by fixing the conference itself.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Shmarya,

    Please answer the questions I posed before:

    1. Do you have a list of all the bloggers invited to be on a panel?

    2. Assuming no, what proof do you have to support your “theory”?

    3. Assuming none, will you apologize?

  • http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com Ben-Yehudah

    B”H

    Religious, non religious, right, left, and up side down, I have a suspicion that bloggers are being used here, even in light of Dave’s post “The Organizers Speak.”

    I can’t prove it.

    I’ll have to wait for the report of my spies, and even then, monitoring of those involved, including participants might have to take place first.

    I’ll tell you one thing, though, NBN is getting quite a bit of free publicity,…from us.

  • http://www.failedmessiah.com/ Shmarya

    Shmarya,

    Please answer the questions I posed before:

    1. Do you have a list of all the bloggers invited to be on a panel?

    2. Assuming no, what proof do you have to support your “theory”?

    3. Assuming none, will you apologize?

    I did answer them Dave.

    I wrote:

    Let me turn it around on you, Dave.

    Do you have a list of the bloggers NBN invited to conference and to be on panels?

    Of course you don’t.

    Even though you don’t, and even though there is, to say the least, a very large hole in the NBN lineup, you choose to believe NBN is correct and I am not only incorrect, but also an ego driven crybaby.

    Your “proof” of that is you don’t like my blog.

    Pretty weak on all counts, Dave.

    I also noted that the idea that NBN could fill holes in their schedule was ludicrous:

    Again, here’s how it works. There are, 1000 or x and about the same number of y. You want to make a panel of x’s and y’s. But the first 5 y’s you ask can’t come.

    What do you do?

    Ask 5 more x’s?

    Or do you do some work to get 5 y’s?

    You seem to think NBN really tried to make the panels representative – but there simply is no proof of it.

    DovBear is Orthodox and supportive of aliyah and Israel.

    Did NBN invite GodolHador/ExGH or any of a dozen other skeptical bloggers I can think of?

    The proof, Dave is twofold:

    1. The makeup of the panels are just as I said.

    2. Bloggers who could have filled the roles you claim NBN wanted filled but couldn’t were not asked.

    So, Dave – do you have a list of invited panelists and bloggers?

    If you do not, following your “logic,” you should shut up. You should also apologize.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Thank you for confirming you cannot/will not answer those simple questions. It should be clear to everyone that you have no proof whatsoever.

    I don’t know your blog well enough to dislike it. What I do dislike are your actions and absolute disregard for the truth.

    Given that you have shown no intellectual honesty in this discussion, refuse to answer some simple questions, and have now just told me to shut up and apologize, you can consider the above comment your last on my blog.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    yet those invited and those on panels are OVERWHELMINGLY Orthodox and/or right wing politically.

    No one – including Dave – has brought any information to disprove this.

    I already said that I was invited and I am not Orthodox nor right wing. I suppose that you could say that you don’t believe me, that for some reason I am lying, but to what end.

    FWIW, if you aren’t familiar with me I am the admin for Haveil Havalim the carnival of the Jewish/Israeli blogosphere.

    If you take a look at the hosts you’ll see that they come from all across the blogosphere. You’ll also see that all POVs are represented in one form or another.

    However I receive comments weekly that the carnival is biased to the right or to the left. And just as you are doing now these commenters ignore the facts and shout angrily about some sort of strange injustice.

    I still fail to understand what your deal is. Let’s review a few things, shall we.

    Anyone can host a conference and call it a JBloggers Conference. There is no trademark or patent on the name.

    All you need to do is organize it. And then you can run it exactly the way you want to.

    This particular conference is a short affair that is open to all JBloggers regardless of political affiliation or where they do or don’t daven.

    But for the heck of it, let’s pretend that your allegations are accurate. So What! What difference does any of it make.

  • http://www.myrightword.blogspot.com Yisrael Medad

    I thought I had sent in a comment yesterday but it seems maybe perhaps it didn’t go through.

    I hereby declare registration is open for the First Jewish Bloggers Comments Conference. No one is excluded and everyone is invited.

  • http://www.havolim.blogspot.com Barzilai

    I don’t think dialogue is going to change anyone’s mind. The principals, obviously, are polarized. And anyone without an ax to grind will immediately see that Haaretz and Shmarya are pathetic iconoclasts with nothing positive to offer, only burcherin, anomie and bitterness.

  • http://mpaths.com Akiva

    I am seriously upset here. Clearly, I was not offered a panel position due to my charedi outlook. Further, I was not offered a first class round trip ticket back and forth to the US (which, BTW, I could really use right now if anyone has a spare). That was a serious oversight on NBN’s part!

    I think I need to ask the facilities kashrus supervisor to pull the hashgacha, and approach the beis din about a cherem for the event. Wait a minute, this can’t be streamed live, the kosher internet providers don’t allow video data to pass through.

    There’s definitely something wrong here. You guys are all coming with your tish bekesha’s, right?

    Hmm, I get the feeling I just might be under-represented at this conference. I’d call Ha’aretz, but that’s assur. Where’s the phone number for Hamodia…

  • http://www.myrightword.blogspot.com Yisrael Medad

    Akiva, haven’t you read The Yiddish Policemen’s Union? The word is “shofar”, not telephone.

  • http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com Ben-Yehudah

    Aqiva, it’s 03-6203667.

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the “make up” of the event. I did,…sort of.

    A mixed tish?

    Geeeeevaaaaaald!

  • http://travellerwithin.blogspot.com Mo-ha-med

    Being currently based in Israel (well, in Palestine, but I commute :-)) but having, hmm, a number of disagreements with the Nefesh B’Nefesh agenda, I find myself completely disinterested in this conference.

    I am, however, interested in the debate about the narrow-mindedness of the organisers: If you don’t agree in advance with what we say/do/thing/preach, don’t come. More than a convention, it sounds more like a 3rd world political party meeting: everyone nods vigorously at what the Chief says. Way to have interesting conversations…

    I find this quite, quite sad. For I have been discovering that there is a wide diversity of opinions within the Israeli and the Jewish blogosphere (which significantly but not fully overlap).

    Alienating phenomenal people such as Lisa Goldman or Liza Rosenberg is just plain STUPID. And it’s really the conference and the participants’ loss.

    I am starting to consider going to the NBN convention, after all. Could be fun. And I’d probably be introducing some diversity in what otherwise seems to be an ultra-homogenous crowd :-)

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Mo,

    You seem to have taken a firm position on this.

    Lisa and Liza were not going to come to this conference, regardless of Steve’s comment here. This was clear from the Ha’aretz article and subsequent discussion.

    Ultra-homogeneous crowd? Boy, you got that wrong. I bet I am the only ex-secular-now-observant Aussie blogger who used to have an earring, and lived in a place almost completely devoid of any other Jews. And that’s just me. Everyone brings their own story.

    No doubt there will be many “phenomenal people” attending this conference, so I won’t feel the loss too much.

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  • http://travellerwithin.blogspot.com Mo-ha-med

    Ah. You used to have an earring.
    That’s diversity alright. Did you have someone who wore sunglasses, too? Because that would be off-the-charts diverse as well.

    In any event – I hope you had an enjoyable conference.

  • Gomel

    Dave if you really wanna piss off this Shmata guy or whatever he’s called, all you need to do is remove the links to his blog from his name. It will give this poor guy an aneurysm! He is intentionally belligerent because his “blog” is obviously unrecognizable to most, that’s why he feels the need to come to a mega-blog such as yours in order to “promote” himself.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Mo-ha-med,

    You made the ridiculous statement that it would be an “ultra-homogenous crowd.” My point is that even within a crowd that is majority “religious”, there is real diversity.

    Gomel,

    Mega-blog? Heh!

    I won’t remove the hyperlinks since I have forgotten about the guy. If anyone wants to read his blog, they are welcome to do so. It certainly is not my cup of tea.

  • http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com Ben-Yehudah

    Gomel,

    “Shmata head?”

    Just to let you know (because it doesn’t seem like you do), that there are Jews who also wear some kind of cloth head covering such as a turban or massar (Yemenite). Such head coverings certainly have more of a basis in Jewish tradition that a black hat (European) or Shtreimel (Ukrainian).

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Ben-Yehudah,

    Gomel never said “Shmata head.”

  • http://esseragaroth.blogspot.com Ben-Yehudah

    B”H

    Excuse me, you’re right.

    He said “shmatah guy.”

    I would then be interested in hearing him elaborate what that means.

  • ralphie

    2 things:

    1. Gomel – he just misspelled “Shmarya.” That’s all.

    2. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

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