Debating Ideas Is Good
A few days ago Sarah Tuttle Singer, the social media editor of the Times of Israel, wrote a post on Facebook entitled “Why I cannot wholeheartedly celebrate #Israel’s Independence Day”. Some of the specific charges in the post have been answered in comments and other blog posts. The tone of many answers, however, has often been unnecessarily harsh.
Many of the answering posts have personally attacked Sarah with name calling, personal accusations doubting her intelligence or commitment to Zionism. Those are not OK. My own response to her post left as a comment (which I’ll put at the end) didn’t contain those.
Here’s where I see the problem as coming from: many people have tremendous sympathies for ordinary Arabs. The ones whose lives are obviously hard and who have been taught from birth to blame all ill that befalls them on Jews. In turn the suffering of these people is used by the Arabs themselves. This is picked up by a plethora of “human rights” organisations and turned into a gigantic industry of suffering and victimhood.
The suffering is very real. The reason for it, the vast majority of the invented and distorted history that is used to perpetuate it, is not.
There is also a huge push from those who think “progressive values” have something to do with championing the underdog to align with downtrodden Muslims: the #RegressiveLeft. This is a highly dangerous confluence of naivety and evil.
In the end I don’t condemn every person who is confused into believing some or all of the malicious lies these people peddle. Obviously those suffering the greatest delusions are the Arabs themselves. Some of them actually believe Jews will one day get up and leave or return to subjugation under Islam. Standing on just one of our many Air Force Bases yesterday, having driven on fantastic roads built in the last couple of decades, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of permanence. We are not moving or submitting to dhimmitude ever again.
This is why I personally detest B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and the others. If they once had noble goals, all they do now is drive good people over to supporting very bad ideas. Ideas that have been directly responsible for a much greater death toll of both Jews and Arabs over the last few decades.
So I don’t blame Sarah for having fallen for this heady cocktail of absolutely brilliant (and fantastically expensive) propaganda. The other side has run a masterful campaign of deception for which the downtrodden Arabs of the British Mandate have paid, probably, the highest personal price.
There’s no need to challenge bad or erroneous ideas and facts with personal attacks. Only good ideas and truth are need.
If one of your children woke up tomorrow convinced he could fly like Superman would you take him to the top of a tall building and encourage him to try?
If the “Palestinian” story wasn’t built on lies and designed and executed to wipe away all Jewish connections to Israel and further the lie that we’re all eastern Europeans then we could ignore it, maybe even support it. But we can’t. It is another weapon in their cognitive war, just as dangerous as their knives, their guns, their bombs, their tunnels and their rockets.
By encouraging their replacement theology and mythology it gives them a hope that we will one day disappear. It is only that hope that keeps them fighting. If they lost the hope they could (and this would be acceptable to Islamic jurisprudence) live in a tense peace with us. Keeping their false hopes alive just means an awful lot more Arabs will throw themselves at our guns. The only way they win is if we get tired of living with their deaths.
Israel is not a settler colonial state like the one Sarah mentions in her post. Jews and Judaism never left, all we did was regain our self determination. Jews and Israel are the beacon of light other oppressed and disposed indigenous people look to if they haven’t believed the lies. We’re the indigenous people who came home.