Saturday, October 18, 2008

Things That We Know We Know

The post below, somewhat refined, was just published by Haaretz.  I might take this opportunity to say that the English-language version of the paper--book review, opinion, and web--now amounts to the most open-spirited English-speaking journal on Jewish affairs since Commentary of the early 1960s (before it, and its editor, became so narrow and weird).  Just check out the range and trenchancy of the Book Review

Haaretz's English edition editor, David B. Green, learned his craft at some of America's best magazines.  He is tireless, smart, erudite, and makes any writer better. He has also actively expanded the paper's reach through a daily and weekly update, which anybody who cares about Israel, and diaspora for that matter, should sign up for this very second by sending a note to David's email, davidg@haaretz.co.il.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

How is Commentary narrow and weird? Isn't it narrow to write something like that without explanation, as though it were plain to anyone reading it? Do you have no understanding of the neoconservative outlook, even if you disagree with it? Are people with different ideologies than yours "weird"?

Richard said...

Gimme a break. Commentary's politics have been weird for at least a generation ever since ol' Norm went off the rails (or his meds).

99.9% of Avishai's readers know precisely what he means w/o him having to spell it out. The fact that you need to be spoon fed only indicates where you're coming fr. ideologically.

Shoded Yam said...

Podhoertz wierd? C'mon lighten up. As if you never sat alone in your office wearing nothing but silk-lined lederhosen, sloppy drunk on Mad Dog 20/20, while screaming invectives in a patois of mandarin chinese, brooklyn inflected yiddish and phlehm inflected spittle at the exhumed skull of Richard Nixon. Please. :-)

Shoded Yam said...

Hey Guys,

I was being tongue-in-cheek. Don't everybody laugh at once. Jeez, this is a tough room. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I thought it was funny.

YMedad said...

I am always jealous of the liberties those left-of-center permit themselves when they criticize ("editor, became so narrow and weird") but get all upset when the right returns the favor. Like Gideon Levi's most recent op-ed on hate of the "settlers": "Harel complains about the fact that Israeli society is angry at the settlers as a collective...The collective guilt is justified: Every settler and every settlement is equal. There are no illegal outposts and legal settlements - they are all illegal, according to both international law and universal justice, which have no need of legal sophistries. There are also no moderate and extremist settlements: No one who chooses to live in occupied land is a moderate."

Shoded Yam said...

Funny thing about the right. Until the advent of the neocons onto American political scene, it was never really known for any great feats of intellectual prowess. Within the context of a general eelction campaign, the likud et al, not having a need for much sophistication to begin with, never bothered (the exceptions being Begin himself, his son Benny, and Dan Meridor) with such niceties as a "ideological philosophy" as it relates to social issues, economics, education, etc. All those complex truths, have always seemed to be, well...too complex as to be worthy of elucidation for the benefit of the hoopleheads. Instead we get spurious and irrelevant comparisons in regards to such issues as national security and the settlements, in order to confuse and narcotize Yosi and JoJo with feel good blather and bullshit. Which brings me to my point. The evacuation of the settlements is a foregone conclusion. The question is not if, its when. As Mr. Ben-David will tell you, every member of the Israeli poltical establisment is aware of this. Therefore the noises that emanate from the Likud and the right about no evacuations, and no deal on jerusalem, is basically fodder for the cattle. The only thing the mercenary bastards(from both the left and right) are interested in, is heightening the contradictions and sqeezing out as much political capital from the situation that they can, before the whole thing explodes and throws feces in every goddam direction. The approbation that is directed at the right, is result of two things. The rights intellectual laziness and its dingenuity. I don't really see the center left getting bent out of shape when their being critized by people, who in leiu of cogent responses to the issues at hand, profer a popularity contest. No, I'm afraid I don't hear many objections, just silence in the face of mediocrity.

YMedad said...

Pirate wrote: "The evacuation of the settlements is a foregone conclusion. The question is not if, its when."

After 41 years of Jewish revenant residency, it's always nice to laugh about pessimists.

Shoded Yam said...

The law of return as had some unfortunate consequences. One of these repercussions has been the absorbtion of seditionist, disruptive and anti-establishment elements such as foreign-born haredi and kahanist terrorists. They would have to be accomodated, while at the sametime quarantining them like a plague bacillus from mainstream Israel, lest they should weaken the resolve of the country with their inherent physical weaknesses and medieval superstitions. When the territories were captured, the solution presented itself. Since no self-respecting Israeli wanted to live next door to Yankeleh and Rifkah, with their 6 screaming brats who never seem to be in school, the establishment decided; "We'll build settlements(read ghettos)and we'll dump them there. To sweeten the deal, well give them free housing and utilities." For 40 years, it was easier for succesive Israeli administrations, to ignore the international community and even the majority of its constituency and body politic as regards to the illegality of the settlements and the settlers themselves. It was easier to go along to get along then it was to risk civil unrest or perhaps even a full blown insurrection.

"..After 41 years of Jewish revenant residency, it's always nice to laugh about pessimists."

Apparently, like alot of old folks, you live in the past because it is easier to view things as you would like them to be rather than how they actually are.

This situation has now become untenable, politically, economically and socially. The next American President will be more concerned about his constituency, struggling in a nightmare economy, while pondering the wisdom & efficacy of sending an annual multi-billion dollar economic aid pkg to a country with a strong economy and a GDP of about 150 billion dollars yearly. As a function of repairing the economy and responding to the needs of his constituency, a President Obama (or however unlikely, a President McCain), not pleased about Israeli lies re.settlement construction, and with the help of a congress needing to fill its campaign coffers, will cut that aide or cancel it out right. This will force an Israeli gov`t to use its tax revenue(without the backstop of an aid pkg to shore up its economy)to maintain the settlements. For obvious reasons, this is not sustainable. At the end of the day, the settlement issue will be decided by the American people and its gov't. That will provide the Israeli leadership(whomever that might be)the political cover that will be necessary to confront the issue of the settlements and evacuate them, by force if necessary. Thats the new reality. Boker Tov.

YMedad said...

Sorry, but I don't argue with persons who adopt Nazi imagery ("a plague bacillus") when other terminology is readily available.

Shoded Yam said...

Considering the hitlerian vitriol (that which was used to depict Rabin prior to his murder comes to mind) that is directed at the left from your buddies on the right ad nauseum, I should think that "Nazi imagery" would be the least of your problems. Feigned outrage is a device beloved by losers the world over. They believe it enables them to save face when they realize that they're out of their depth.

YMedad said...

Bernard, until I hear from you on this matter, I will refrain from real outrage even. And as regards to depth, I will not stoop.

Shoded Yam said...

You've been whining to the teacher you're whole life, haven't you? If you can't fight your own battles, don't expect Dr. Avishai to do it for you. I'm sure he has better things to do. In any case, since you have in fact, decided to respond (albeit, from behind someone elses skirt)I will return the favor.

Your assertion that the phrase "plague bacillius" constitutes "nazi imagery" is largely correct. Look, Tevya. I'm not big on euphenisms and really don't have the time or the patience to engage another superfluous bag of dust in a battle of semantics. Where I come from, we call a spade, a spade. You're simply in denial about the length and breadth of the hatred that is directed at the haredi and settler communities. Despite any yafeh nefesh nonsense to the contrary, the haredi, the neo-kahanists and their settler fellow travellers are in fact perceived as a cancer, a disease, a parasitical fungus attacking the body of the state by a secular majority who have to foot the bill for their shenanigans. Don't kid yourself for one minute. The political elite of Israel, From Ben-Gurion to Olmert(even including your buddy Menachem) never regarded the orthodox as anything other than being physically, culuturally, and socially inferior. Sure you're useful when we need to form a coalition or to get out the vote on election day, but thats as far as it ever goes.

Shoded Yam said...

Holy Shit?!? I see, you bought into the "ism" early on and you've been drinking Kool Aide ever since. Nice resume though. "Director of Educational Programming"? Come off it, Yankel. You remind me of a guy who upon being asked what his job was, replied; "I'm the assistant to the Vice-President in charge of paper-clips" If you can't describe your job in 3 words or less, you don't have a function in life. But here, let me give you a hand. Try "likud mouth piece" or perhaps; "settler apologist" or maybe "rightwing shill". I think you better start packing your bags and start looking for another line of work. The end is nigh. What did you think, yankeleh? That we would allow a bunch of pasty-faced, vitamin d deficient American kahanist and betarnik vermin to buy houses at discount prices with interest free mortgages, receive subsidized utilities, secure their draft age children away in some madrasa in hebron, while the rest of us continue to fork over 60% of our income, volunteer the lives and substance of our children and grandchildren, so to be able to afford you the experience of vicariously growing a penis and watching your scrotum descend? Did you really believe that we would continue to countenance you're ineffectual attempts at erasing your own pusalanimity and that of your weakling fathers and grandfathers, by terrorizing, beating, and stoning old men, women and children? Think again, knucklehead.

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