Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Things We Do Deserve The Right Names

Let's a have a go at an old internet trick, shall we:

Shorter Ellis Washington: "How is it possible for a rabid, bullying, neocon hack and the Prime Minister of Israel to not publicly agree on whether Obama's U.N. speech was encouraging for Israel? The hack cannot possibly be questioned, which logically means the Israeli PM is an appeaser, Obama is an anti-Semite, and suggesting Palestinians should have their own state will cause Israel to be swept away by the combined force of every Muslim country in the world which is presumably what Obama wants."

Bonus asshole points are hereby awarded for suggesting Obama's desire to relaunch negotiations is proof he thinks he's the first one to try for peace in the Middle East. Washington even points out that every President since Truman has said the same thing, which makes Obama a narcissist... how? Slow learner, maybe. Unless his point is that all Presidents are narcissists, which is probably true, but that makes singling Obama out even more ridiculous.

Mainly, though, this article is a reminder of the insanely blinkered support Israel enjoys amongst American neocons. Sure, you can argue the accuracy and wisdom of describing the current state of affairs as an "occupation", and whether or not a contiguous Palestinian state is remotely feasible, but Washington has no interest in doing that; the best he can manage is to squeeze out the idea that if you lost people whilst invading somewhere four decades ago, that means you won the land at great cost and shouldn't ever have to give it back, because the US doesn't have to give the States back to the people they killed two centuries back and THAT IS THE EXACT SAME THING YOU GUYS!! [1]

No, once again it's far easier to just shout "ANTI-SEMITE!" (whilst lumping every Muslim country in the world as fighting against Israeli interests, because that's not indicative of dangerous thinking as regards a major religion, nooooo), suggest peace is necessarily the same thing as appeasement and surrender, and try to tie it all into a wider narrative of how Obama secretly hates Jews, whites, capitalists and Americans in general.

It's worth noting that, as far as I can tell from a quick Google search, Washington isn't Jewish. What he is is an unashamed partisan hack (yep, another one), which means that I get to quote Spencer Ackerman's Sunday post:
I don't know what lack of self-awareness convinces right-wing evangelicals that they're the true guardians of the Jews, but that condescending and parochial nonsense is its own form of antisemitism. We Tribesmen do not need some wire-rimmed enabler of one of the most destructive and inept presidents in American history to protect us from the perfidies of the world. It's us and not him who will pay the price for antisemitism, so if Gerson wants to actually act like a righteous gentile, he can start by not accusing Jews of apathy to their own people's wellbeing for the sin of not sharing his politics.
Ackerman was railing against Gerson (a former Bush speech-writer) accusing Ezra Klein of not giving enough of a shit about antisemetic blog commentators, so the fit to Washington's piece is not exact. For all I know, Ackerman and/or Klein may have hated Obama's speech (neither of them appear to mention it on their respective sites). Still, if Washington wanted to actually act like a righteous commentator, he could start by not accusing politicians of hostility to the Jewish people's wellbeing for the sin of not sharing his politics.

Edited for grammar.

[1] I would hope no-one would make this mistake, but don't take this to mean I necessarily think giving back the land is feasible or desirable, or even fair. The point is that the issue is massively complicated, but Washington wants to pretend it isn't, because if the Israeli-Palestine conflict and any solution to it are viewed as complex, his brand of blood-thirsty cheerleading can't work anymore. Hence he trots out a blatant piece of sophistry in the hopes that similarly dogmatic readers will nod along happily without question.

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