Thaddeus Russell defends his piece on Israel’s dangerousness

Israel/Palestine
on 24 Comments

Yesterday we posted twice on Thaddeus Russell’s groundbreaking and hugely popular piece on Daily Beast saying that Israel has proved to be a dangerous creation. Russell has gotten a ton of flak on the piece, and he offered us his response "to the criticisms I’ve received — from The Israel Project, Ronald Radosh, pro-Israel bloggers, and dozens of anonymous email correspondents." Herewith:

The major criticisms are:

1) Many Islamist terror attacks have been unconnected to Israel.
2) There were attacks on Americans (by the Barbary pirates and against Christian missionaries and Zionist settlers in the Middle East) before 1968.
3) My argument relies on post hoc ergo procter hoc.
4) Al-Qaeda was motivated by more than just its opposition to the existence of Israel.
5) I am a coward for not standing up to America’s enemies.
6) I hate Jews.

My response:

1) I do not deny that many Islamist attacks were unconnected to Israel. That fact does not affect the argument that the existence of Israel and U.S. support for it provokes such attacks.

2) The Barbary pirates attacked American ships because they were pirates, not because they were political Islamists.

3) The post-Barbary, pre-1968 killings of Americans had nothing to do with the victims being Americans and everything to do with them being Christian missionaries or Zionist settlers in Arab and Muslim lands. Again, I do not claim that the existence of Israel or U.S. support for it has provoked ALL Islamist attacks. I only claim that they make such attacks — against Jews and Americans — more likely.

4) Though historical causality can never be proved in a scientific sense, the causal link between terrorist attacks and the existence of Israel has been stated by the terrorists themselves, in virtually all attacks by Islamists against Americans (and against Israelis, of course).

5) I acknowledge in the article that Al-Qaeda was motivated by more than just its opposition to the existence of Israel or U.S. support for it. But that does not eliminate the fact that Al-Qaeda did list U.S. support for Israel as a reason for its fatwa, nor does it undermine the claim made by Petraeus that U.S. support for Israel is the principal recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda.

6) If the U.S. withdrew from the Middle East and an Islamist attack were launched against the U.S., I would strongly advocate lethal self-defense against the attackers. I, unlike many who hold on to their sacred land no matter the cost, value my life more than any political or spiritual claim.

7) As for the assertion that I am motivated by "hate," I must contend that I am in fact motivated by love — for myself and my Jewish and American family members and friends.


About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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