Cognitive dissonance on NPR

Israel/Palestine
on 23 Comments

I’m confused. Yesterday evening, NPR scolded the Republican Party for being a party composed chiefly of white people:

[Robert] SIEGEL: Your article in The New Republic is titled not just “Why the GOP Is,” but why it “Will Continue to be the Party of White People.” This is a season of introspection among Republicans, we’re told, self-examination, what went wrong… And then you’re also saying that when you hear people speaking of ‘taking back the country,’ the country that they say we built, minority groups – who are part of the Obama majority – hear people .. [trying] to undo the reality of America today.

[SAM] TANENHAUS: That’s right. Yeah, as I say in the story, when they say take back America, they seem to mean take America back to some earlier, better time.

The very next report, by Larry Abramson on Women of the Wall, involved a female Jewish group that demands the right to pray wearing prayer shawls at the western wall in occupied East Jerusalem:

Anat Hoffman, the leader of Women of the Wall [says:] “Secular Israel, the democratic, Jewish state of Israel, has taken the keys to the holiest site of the Jewish people, and given it to one rabbi, who belongs to less than 8 percent of Israel’s population,” she says, referring to the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jews.

I really don’t understand how you can valorize the “democratic, Jewish” state of Israel right after you’ve done a piece saying that the Republicans are so evil for wanting to take us back to a white country.

Israel is 20 percent minority; that percentage doesn’t even count the 200,000 Palestinians who live in occupied East Jerusalem, where the NPR story was set; those Palestinians have second-class citizenship. And that doesn’t count the millions of Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of getting lectured by Israelis about democracy.

23 Responses

  1. Cliff
    February 12, 2013, 9:49 am

    Zionists do not acknowledge the humanity of Palestinians or Arabs and Muslims in general.

    Identity politics. Group mobility. Social inequality.

    I mean, does our political culture treat Islamophobia the same as anti-Black racism?

    Hypocrisy = Zionism.

  2. W.Jones
    February 12, 2013, 9:50 am

    Hmm… good point. Blacks in America are at least 20% of the population, and America wasn’t even defined as a “white state” during racial Segregation.

    • Citizen
      February 12, 2013, 11:21 am

      @ W. Jones

      Blacks in America are 12.3% of the total population according to the 2012 Census. So, where do you get your figure of “at least 20% of the population”?

      Also, during America’s racial segregation era, which arguably extended to the Love decision knocking down the ban against interracial marriage in 1967, if memory serves, America was at least significantly de facto a white state–and certainly so before 1965. Defined? By whom? Criteria used?

      • W.Jones
        February 13, 2013, 12:05 am

        1st: Blacks being 12.3% of the population only further proves the point that creating an officially “non-minority” society would be discrimination where the minority is 20%, as in the case of the Holy Land.

        2nd: My point is that America was not defined as a “white” state, yet there was racism. So one can be especially on guard when a state with a mixed population defines itself as dedicated to just one nationality.

        Regards.

  3. NormanF
    February 12, 2013, 10:38 am

    Phillip says he’s tired of being lectured to by Israelis about democracy.

    But he doesn’t have a word of reproach for the Palestinian Arab regimes in Gaza and in Ramallah that are literal dictatorships that arrest each other’s opponents and which deny Palestinians the right to freely elect their own leaders.

    None of which is Israel’s fault. Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait. Arabs in Israel and eastern Jerusalem certainly do hate and resent their Jewish ruler but they’re also well aware an Arab ruler would treat them far worse.

    They only have to look at how Arabs fare in Syria, Egypt, Hamas and the PA in which there is no democracy and in which the state puts down dissent with naked force.

    There is nothing similar in Israel.

    • Philip Weiss
      February 12, 2013, 10:43 am

      my mother’s lecture serves:
      2 wrongs dont make a right.
      (particularly applied to your own behavior– not someone else’s; jesus was eloquent on that score)

      • Citizen
        February 12, 2013, 11:37 am

        Not to mention I don’t know any Arab state that brags it’s a bastion of defense for Western Civilization and values, nor do American leaders ever say that’s the case. Also, when a properly monitored free election put Hamas in power in part of the OT, the US & Israel chose to ignore it as such, and have demonized Hamas, and worked to destroy it, even after Hamas agreed to recognize Israel at 67 borders. Currently, as the Palestinians are trying to unite, the US congress is working to keep them divided and conquered. This amounts to intent to destroy a united palestinian government with which to pursue peace, all the while crying out there’s no Palestinian united voice with which to pursue peace.

      • Hostage
        February 12, 2013, 2:44 pm

        the US congress is working to keep them divided and conquered. This amounts to intent to destroy a united palestinian government with which to pursue peace, all the while crying out there’s no Palestinian united voice with which to pursue peace.

        The US government and the other former American colonies codified the declarative theory of recognition, the modern concept of self-determination, and the general prohibition against aggression and military occupation in the Montevideo Convention and the Chapter on the Rights and Duties of States in the OAS Charter.

        During the original deliberations in the International Law Commission on the draft UN Declaration on the Rights and Duties of States, it was pointed out that the constitutive theory of recognition was dangerous and subject to abuse, because it allowed the colonial powers to control other peoples by preventing their states from coming into existence and denying the sovereign jurisdiction of indigenous populations.

        Israel and the United States have ignored both the declarative and constitutive theories, as well as the treaty obligations they accepted as parties to the Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties and Diplomatic Relations. Both countries are legally bound to accept Palestine as a member of one of the special categories of States prescribed by those international agreements. Those codifications of customary international law stipulate that members of UN specialized agencies are States with the same rights and duties as any other State (no ifs, no buts, no maybe).

    • eljay
      February 12, 2013, 11:09 am

      >> NormanF @ February 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

      1. “Israel: We may not be as good as the best but, hey, at least we’re not as bad as the worst!”(c)

      2. Israel occupies and colonizes Palestine, steals land and resources, and destroys the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians. Many (most?) of the problems in Palestine are directly related to the presence and the actions of the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”.

      But, yeah, aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

      What a joke(r)…

    • Castellio
      February 12, 2013, 11:19 am

      NormanF says “Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait”.

      Actually, that’s wrong. Tolerance and respect are not only Islamic traits, they are Arabic traits as well.

    • seanmcbride
      February 12, 2013, 11:29 am

      Just to be clear about this: one presumes that NormanF isn’t Norman Finkelstein?

      • Sumud
        February 12, 2013, 7:53 pm

        Just to be clear about this: one presumes that NormanF isn’t Norman Finkelstein?

        Definitely not Sean.

        ‘Norman F’ is a ziobot – if it is the same person – who I first saw as the sole commentor on a blog run by two other ziobots for the purpose of trying to get anti-zionists banned from Huffington Post.

    • Woody Tanaka
      February 12, 2013, 11:44 am

      “Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait.”

      Wow. What bigotry is permitted on this site. One wonders how NormanF would respond to posts about what is or is not “noted Jewish traits.”

    • sardelapasti
      February 12, 2013, 12:39 pm

      “Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait.”

      I just love that. So, according to your own standards, a “Jewish trait” would be that of thanking for 1300 years of protection and tolerance by abject defamation. Fortunately, Jews have nothing to do with crawling Zionist beasties (except the Zionists among them.)

    • Avi_G.
      February 12, 2013, 1:05 pm

      NormanF says:
      February 12, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Phillip says he’s tired of being lectured to by Israelis about democracy.

      But he doesn’t have a word of reproach for the Palestinian Arab regimes in Gaza and in Ramallah […] deny Palestinians the right to freely elect their own leaders.

      The Zionist regime is no different. But that’s not the point. The point is that your claim is factually and demonstrably false.

      In 2006 free and open Palestinian elections were held. Israel did not like the outcome and neither did the US. They both intervened and instigated a coup against the winning party.

      In addition, on January 24, 2007, Hamas issued a fatwa barring inter-Palestinian persecution and fighting.

      What’s truly asinine, however, is your argument for it views Palestinians as living in an independent and sovereign state, free of outside meddling, blackmail, extortion, threats, interference and attacks. You’re delusional at best. And that’s a compliment in your case.

      None of which is Israel’s fault.

      More delusional ramblings.

      Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait.

      Bigoted argumentation.

      Arabs in Israel and eastern Jerusalem certainly do hate and resent their Jewish ruler but they’re also well aware an Arab ruler would treat them far worse.

      Israel supported and protected Mubarak until the bitter end. The Israeli Mossad even sent to Cairo a liaison to make sure the protection of Mubarak was coordinated with Tel-Aviv. Those so-called Arab rulers wouldn’t be in power if it weren’t for Israel and its close allies: Britain, France and the US.

      Philip Weiss says:
      February 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

      my mother’s lecture serves:
      2 wrongs dont make a right.
      (particularly applied to your own behavior– not someone else’s; jesus was eloquent on that score)

      Phil, I suggest you read Glenn Greenwald’s excellent colums, you will certainly learn how to better construct your arguments.

    • talknic
      February 12, 2013, 1:23 pm

      NormanF

      “But he doesn’t have a word of reproach for the Palestinian Arab regimes in Gaza and in Ramallah that are literal dictatorships that arrest each other’s opponents “

      Factions like Irgun and Haganah also tended to do that sort of stuff and worse under occupation. Not that two wrongs make a right or that collaborators should be tolerated …. or occupation

      “.. which deny Palestinians the right to freely elect their own leaders”

      Er both Fatah and Hamas allowed free and democratic elections. It was Israel who isolated Gaza from the West Bank and supported Fatah, who were NOT the democratically elected Government

      “Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait. “

      Twaddle. BTW What about Israel’s ‘respect’ for the democratically elected Govt of Palestine? Israel’s ‘respect’ for Syrian sovereignty over the Golan. Israel’s ‘respect’ for the UN Charter, International Law.

      Israel hasn’t even respected Israelis. There has never been a legally elected Government in Israel, under a constitution. Israel ignores GC IV, supporting illegal settlers in “territories occupied” thereby endangering them and their children. Israel has fed it’s citizens so much bullsh*t over the last 64 years, they haven’t a clue of the actual legal extent of Israeli sovereignty, why there are so many UNSC resolutions against Israel or what ‘negotiations’ with the Palestinians is really about. link to mondoweiss.net

      “Arabs in Israel and eastern Jerusalem certainly do hate and resent their Jewish ruler”

      You’d love to be occupied and have your territory illegally acquired by war, illegally annexed, illegally settled…. right?

      “but they’re also well aware an Arab ruler would treat them far worse”

      Uh? Arab rulers have for the last 64 years provided refuge to Palestine refugees. Fought wars on their behalf. Fought the legal battles in the LoN Nations and at the UN. No Arab rulers are occupying, illegally acquiring territory by war, illegally annexing or illegally settling anyone and under Arab rule, Jewish folk lived in relative peace in Israel until the Zionist colonization of Palestine began.

      “…. in which the state puts down dissent with naked force”

      Israel doesn’t use naked force to contain the occupied, illegally acquire their territory and squash dissent? AMAZING!

      “There is nothing similar in Israel”

      There is just outside of Israel, in the West Bank, Gaza (whenever Israel feels like it)

      • Annie Robbins
        February 12, 2013, 2:05 pm

        plus, everytime palestinians try to plan elections israel freaks out and tries to prevent it. fatah and hamas just met over the weekend to plan for this, and israel is arresting hamas members including politicians.

        link to mondoweiss.net

    • MarkF
      February 12, 2013, 2:28 pm

      Hey, must be the money Norm. Palestinians aren’t extorting us out of three thousand million dollars a year so they can have universal health care. Or how about a few more thousand million each year to pay for their defense?

      Why would you want that money to go to a rich country instead of helping Hurricane Sandy victims?

      Funny how neocon Norm defends welfare when it comes to Israel.

    • Sumud
      February 12, 2013, 7:57 pm

      Tolerance and respect for others is not a noted Arab trait.

      Clearly Norman F has never been the recipient of arab hospitality.

    • Kathleen
      February 12, 2013, 8:29 pm

      Democracy in Israel? hmm. Wish they would interpret all of the heckling

      How Israel treats Arabs

      link to dailymail.co.uk

      INTERESTING. Not so long ago when you would google Israeli soldies violence against Palestinians. Many clips would come up. Now the first page that pops up is Palestinian violence against Israel. No clips of the Israeli soldiers beating the shit out of the guy in the field, crushing his knees and elbows, no dancing Israeli soldier around the Palestinian woman. Wondering where those clips have gone? Has someone made a deal with You Tube to take them down?

      Can not find that video of the Israeli soldier dancing around the blindfolded Palestinian woman.
      Says You Tube has removed because these clips violate You tubes “disgusting” rules. So You Tube has made some deal to protect the Israeli governments violence hey? Now that is “disgusting”

      Annie, Phil, Alex anyone know about any deals that have been made with You Tube. In the past when you would google these clips hundreds would come up. Not now

  4. seanmcbride
    February 12, 2013, 11:06 am

    This is the real conundrum: most liberal Zionists aggressively oppose ethnic and religious nationalism everywhere in the world except in Israel. At the same time they aggressively promote and defend the expression of Jewish ethnic and religious nationalism not only in Israel, but everywhere in the world (especially in the United States — see AIPAC and dozens of organizational components of the Israel lobby).

    Cognitive dissonance doesn’t begin to cover it.

    What makes them tick? What is their real center of gravity — reactionary ethnic nationalism or progressive universalism?

    Are they using progressive universalism in the Diaspora in a cynical and manipulative way to advance a narrow ethnic nationalist agenda? To weaken the ethnic and religious competition while strengthening themselves?

    According to most liberal Zionists, progressive universalism is good for all ethnic and religious groups in the Diaspora except for Jewish Zionists. And reactionary ethnic nationalism is especially good for Jews in Israel.

    Bill Maher reveals this irrational and indefensible cognitive dissonance in spades — on the one hand he ridicules white identity politics while on the other hand rhapsodizing over Jewish identity politics. He advocates both positions with the utmost self-righteousness and “moral” passion.

    Liberal Zionists like Robert Siegel, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow and a few hundred others like them (most of them in the Democratic Party) are the most intellectually confused (or intellectually dishonest) political group ever to emerge on the American scene. One should be relentless in pointing out (and, yes, ridiculing) their blatant self-interested self-contradictions.

    Back to what makes them tick: one suspects that some of them have been indoctrinated in the biblical ideology that Jewish nationalism is the only nationalism that really counts — “the nations” constitute a bloblike collection of inferior and inconsequential peoples. Many Northern liberal Zionists (like the recently deceased Ed Koch) hold views about the world that are as primitive as any Southern Christian Zionist or neo-Confederate.

    I have often posed the question to pro-Israel activists here: what ethnic and religious nationalist movements around the world do you support other than your own? One never receives a straight answer. These people don’t add up.

    • seanmcbride
      February 12, 2013, 11:24 am

      Compared to liberal Zionists, neoconservatives are exemplars of intellectual honesty — they are perfectly upfront about their ethnic nationalist agenda.

      Liberal Zionists are ethnic nationalists who are pretending to be progressive universalists — clearly ethnic nationalism is their core ideological driver. They selectively promote (manipulate) progressive universalism among ethnic outgroups to advance their self-interested ethnic nationalist agenda.

  5. pabelmont
    February 12, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Phil, If it is not right (as the lady suggests and NPR possibly goes along with) for ONE RABBI (who represents at most 8% of Israeli Jews) to control (important things religious in Israel), HOW CAN IT BE RIGHT for one minuscule group of (ahem, very wealthy indeed, close-ahem) Zionists (roughly, AIPAC) to control ALL USA’s media and politicians?

    If the answer to the second question is: “that’s American politics”, “way it goes fella”, “get out of my face” (spoken by tool of AIPAC), then why not give the same answer to the Israeli religious lady’s plaint? Why should religion in Israel be free of politics?

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