Yesterday we reached a milestone: Richard Witty made his 10,000th comment on this site. Since July 30, 2009, when our counting system went into effect, Witty has averaged 13.7 comments a day.
We agree with little that Witty has to say about Israel/Palestine, but on one point we see eye-to-eye completely: He represents a large (but decreasing) portion of mostly Jewish opinion. He represents hundreds of thousands of Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere, maybe millions. When people ask us why we pay attention to Richard Witty, that’s why: he is representative of a vast number of people sometimes called liberal Zionists. (Though we’d distinguish him from men of great intellectual integrity like Jerry Slater, who’s also liberal Zionist.)
Witty has more courage than many of these people, who are simply in denial and don’t want to expose themselves to any of the truth of Israel today, preferring their dreamcastle view of Israel. For Witty visits this site.
And as to the fact that Witty ignores evidence that is routinely presented to him: this illustrates the point that, as a wise man once said, man is not a rational animal, man is a rationalizing animal. So Witty uses argument to rationalize an emotional attachment. And though Noam Chomsky or the late IF Stone would say that you don’t argue emotionally, you only present the facts, this issue is so filled with emotions that it is important to bring them up and deal with them (as Weiss frequently does). It is North’s view that Witty gets worked up over these issues because deep down he is an honest man with a troubled conscience. If he makes enough noise, he’ll drown out that inner voice, and protect his dreamcastle view of Israel.