Sunday, January 04, 2009

Hasbara for American liberals (with 2 Updates)

Here are four of the main talking points, arranged in order of sophistication, that you will see used in defense, or partial defense, of the current activities of the Zionists. Note that these are arguments you are unlikely to see in other national debates. They are distinctively American-liberal.

(1) Their side is in the wrong, quite independently of the fact some of what we do is wrong. Forget about the context. Canonical expression of this by Matt, referred to here

(2) Our people's aims are pure, while those people's aims are evil, or at least not as pure as the first group's. Effects don't matter; "intentions", as we interpret them, are everything. (Nice explanation by Helena in a comment to the afore-linked post)

(3) Our side (the good side) is however operating without any real strategy (and thus it cannot possibly represent an actual long-term strategy like terrorizing a civilian population for political-control purposes). Spencer Ackerman, Matt, Blake Hounsell

(4) The political damage our side is doing to itself was actually planned in the first place by the bad guys. This was all a sophisticated trap. Anonymous expert quoted yesterday by Laura Rozen



(4) (a) If the "sophisticated trap" theory seems too complicated to sell at retail, you could always just put hasbara-logic in the driver's seat and make something up to serve as a more simple "trap". Here's Matt Yglesias, this morning (Sunday Dec 4):
It seems that Hamas was hoping to bait Israel into launching a ground operation in Gaza, operating on the belief that they’d be able to fight a successful insurgent campaign against the Israelis along the lines of what Hezbollah’s been able to do in Southern Lebanon.
even though one thing that all sides agree on is that this Israeli assault on Gaza has been in planning for many months and they did not need to be "baited". Matt's "it seems Hamas was hoping to bait..." ploy is a hybrid of the above principles 2 through 4. My point here is that the attractiveness of this way of thinking for the likes of Matt takes the place of any felt need for supporting evidence.

For my part, I am with the Angry Arab on this.



Joseph Massad has an article at Electronic Intifada entitled The Gaza Ghetto Uprising, comparing Gaza 2009 to Warsaw 1943, with detailed background.

H/t to, where there is a broad annotated collection of current writings by Jews and others on the whole whither Zionism question, in the light of the Gaza atrocities.


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