Sunday, April 26, 2009

Interview in JTA

There is an interview with me in the JTA

13 comments:

David Ben-Ariel said...

In an otherwise excellent interview, Deborah Lipstadt fails to address the worst antisemitism found among Jews themselves; Deborah Lipstadt fails to address how Jews have failed to learn the lessons of the Holocaust, as is glaringly evident by the pope's imminent visit to Israel and by the mass deception the Israeli government engaged in to collaborate with the Vatican against Jerusalem. Nothing new under the sun.

Jerusalem's Betrayal and RapeThe treacherous Vatican - Israel collaboration has sold out the Jews and backstabbed Jerusalem

Ian Thal said...

David,

I fear that the extremity of your rhetoric comes very close to the soft-core trivialization of that Professor Lipstadt referred to in the JTA interview.

Naomi said...

Thank you for a fascinating interview, Deborah.

David Ben-Ariel said...

Jewish Defamers of Israel

hockey hound said...

Ian Thal, you should respect that Ben-Ariel speaks as a Jew. He has every right to protest what has become a political, perverted concession of Jewish land to the Vatican. Accusing him of extremism in such a context sounds very much like contemporary anti-Semitism. Your excoriation of him is unctuous and cheap intellectual opportunism, not dissimilar to the meretricious, political opportunism being perpetrated by the present Israeli government.

"a time to be silent and a time to speak"

Ian Thal said...

Hockey Hound:

What you fail to see is that I also speak as a Jew, as does Professor Lipstadt whom David Ben-Ariel criticizes in his comments. Jews are entitled to disagree with one another on any number of issues.

I have no problem calling an anti-Semite an anti-Semite. I have no timidity when discussing anti-Semitism whether its point of origin is from Christendom, Islam, communism, secular racism, or a wildly paranoic imagination.

However, just as comparing Israel with the Nazis is an anti-Semitic slander that trivializes that Shoah as well as demonizes the Jewish state, referring to any diplomatic action taken by the Israeli government with which one disagrees as "not learning the lessons of the Shoah" also trivializes the Shoah.

For example, last week, a Hamas-supporter came to protest a reading of my play. Do I compare him to to a jack-booted S.S. thug? No, because as far as I can tell, he failed to intimidate anyone, and in fact, seemed more intimidated by me when I stepped out to ask him why he was protesting a play that had nothing to do with the Middle-East conflict. So to liken him to the S.S. would have trivialized the suffering of those who were victimized in anti-Semitic street violence.

David Ben-Ariel said...

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-George Orwell

hockey hound said...

"...referring to any diplomatic action taken by the Israeli government with which one disagrees as "not learning the lessons of the Shoah" also trivializes the Shoah."

I cannot see how Ben-Ariel, in any way, has "trivialized" the Holocaust, Ian Thal. It appears to me that you are interpreting Ben-Ariel's statements imperiously, and precisely because his overt denunciation of the meretricious behaviour of the present Israeli government offends your sense of political correctness.

I respect that you are Jewish, Ian Thal, but how has overt denunciation of the present Israeli government by a member of the Jewish community become a trivialization of the Holocaust? The initial lesson of the Holocaust (although there are now many more lessons since 1948) is that Jewish existence in, and ownership of, the land of Israel is paramount to safeguarding the survival of the Jewish people entire in the near future, never mind the distant future (let's ensure their survival in the near future first!).

The Land of Israel should remain a coveted possession of the Jewish people in this regard. How can you accuse Ben-Ariel of sounding extemist for making room for such a discussion in this forum? If you are Jewish, then why, may I ask, are you attempting to censor such a discussion by calumniating a fellow Jew in a public forum?
Many of my Jewish friends are very discomfited about the Vatican arrogating its religious preponderance in such a perverse manner as to claim Catholic ownership of Jewish property in the Land of Israel.


"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

David Ben-Ariel said...

Those who love the Land and People of Israel, whether Christian Zionist or Jewish, should protest the pope's visit to the Holy Land of Israel. The reasons why remain true regardless of who voices them, and it is unreasonable and inexcusable to pretend otherwise.

Israeli Daisy Stern informs about a PETITION AGAINST THE POPE's VISIT:

At the bottom of the page, in Hebrew, are two blank spaces. The first one, with a red asterisk - meaning it is obligatory - is for your name; the next one is for your e-mail address.

Please sign, and pass it on to all your friends. So far we only have 59 signatures, we need about 5-6000 for it to be effective in GOVERNMENT.

Please, our American friends, do sign as well, it is most important that you do

This is the link to the petition, at the bottom of the article.

Thank you, and G-d bless you.

DS

http://www.atzuma.co.il/petition/ellakoblenz/1

Ian Thal said...

Hockey Hound:

1.) There is a huge difference between stating that members of the Israeli diplomatic corps whose careers are dedicated day-in and day-out to improving Israel's security position and international stature have erroneously accorded too much respect to the Vatican, and that the diplomatic corps "has not learned the lesson of the Shoah" i.e. are courting genocide.

2.) Plenty of things happen in the world that I do not like; comparing each and every one to the Shoah trivializes the horrors of Shoah. I haven't made an attempt to censor anyone, just suggested that the rhetoric being used does not help us understand the situation or what specific actions of the Israeli government warrants criticism. Note that I did not state an opinion on the issue to which David Ben-Ariel was referring. I only stated that the rhetoric was hyperbolic, and it's the sort of rhetoric also used for purposes diametrically opposed to his own.

3.) Your response to me was that David Ben-Ariel was speaking "as a Jew" which was to insinuate that neither I nor anyone whom he was criticizing could be seen as speaking "as a Jew."

hockey hound said...

I post the below extract in regards to my statements (and David Ben-Ariel's) about the survival of "the Jewish people entire."

(A dispatch from MEMRI)

General Ataollah Salehi, general commander of the Iranian army:

"I Do Not Think We Will Need More Than 11 Days to Wipe Israel Out Of Existence"

Voiceover: "Nothing can prevent Iranian missiles from targeting the heart of Israel, if Iran is subjected to a military strike by Israel. This was the response of the Iranian military commanders to the Israeli statements about a possible military strike against Iran, because of its insistence on obtaining nuclear energy. Yet an [Israeli] attack seems improbable to the Iranians, because Tel Aviv does not have the ability to go through a war with Tehran."

Iranian Chief-of-Staff General Hassan Firouzabadi: "We are fully prepared to confront any attack that would threaten the interests of Iran. We have sufficient means and the necessary force to defend our territory."

General Ataollah Salehi, general commander of the Iranian army: "The truth is that Israel does not have the courage to attack us. If we are subjected to any attack by Israel, I do not think we will need more than 11 days to wipe Israel out of existence."

Voiceover: "Tehran denies that its military preparations are aimed at attacking any neighboring country. Iran justifies its military preparedness as a means to defend Iran and the region, which may alleviate the fears and concerns of countries in the region."


"Our Military Capabilities Are Not Meant to Threaten the Neighboring Countries – But Only to Defend Iran"

General Yahya Rahim Safavi, Khamenei's chief advisor on military affairs: "Our military capabilities are not meant to threaten the neighboring countries, but only to defend Iran. Iran strives for peace, security, and stability with the countries in the region."

General Reza Pourdastan, commander of the Iranian army ground forces: "The neighboring countries can rest assured that by no means will we attack any country."

Voiceover: "But fears about Iran's missiles remain, especially among Western countries, concerned that Iran might arm its missiles with nuclear warheads, since the superpowers doubt that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. This is categorically denied by Tehran, which says that according to the shari'a and the law, it is forbidden to obtain a nuclear bomb."

hockey hound said...

'Your response to me was that David Ben-Ariel was speaking "as a Jew" which was to insinuate that neither I nor anyone whom he was criticizing could be seen as speaking "as a Jew."'

This is a totally ludicrous accusation. I would never dream of "insinuating" such denigration, and especially not against someone Jewish. I've re-read my post several times and cannot deduce how you could possibly misconstrue my statments as articulating that you or anyone else Jewish participating in this blog should not be properly and respectfully identified "as a Jew".

You have minified our discussion into a cheap contest. I would have thought you more generous than this.



"just suggested that the rhetoric being used does not help us understand the situation or what specific actions of the Israeli government warrants criticism"

Actually dictating how David Ben-Ariel, a Jew, should critize the present Israeli government is rather a measurable form of censorship. Every one of my Jewish friends are not fond of the present Israeli government, whether diplomatic corp or not, and they have said far worse things about the present government than did David Ben-Ariel.

Incidently, I did not profile the diplomatic corp, nor anyone involved with the security of Israel (I'm certain David Ben-Ariel also was not profiling those Israelis involved with maintaining Israel's security). You are embellishing my statments and those of David Ben-Ariel.

"Note that I did not state an opinion on the issue to which David Ben-Ariel was referring"

Remember, you labelled David Ben-Ariel as an "extemist". When you painted Mr. Ben-Ariel's statments with the descriptive "extremity of rhetoric," you betrayed an opinion, albeit one that does not sit well with me nor with many of my Jewish friends I'm certain.

And so you resort to accusing me of attempting to extirpate your Jewish identity. That's so ridiculous. I have spent most of my life (I'm now 54) defending the Jewish identity, and with one fell swoop you insouciantly try to rob me of the trust I've gained for having fought such a long battle. This is an example of your intellectual powers? I'm self-read, and even I don't resort to besmirching my opponents. Before you attack me again, remember that I was defending the sensitivities of a Jew and his love for the Land of Israel. That is not a sin nor is it an attempt to extirpate Jewish identity.

"The value of ancient Hebrew ideas, rather than their mere longevity, constitutes the strongest part of modern Israelis' attachment to Israel. Inherited values form the basis of any thinking person's attachment to his or her national culture, assuming that one can still be, in the twentieth century, so attached." -Avi Erlich

"Of what's to come the wise perceive
things about to happen." -C.P. Cavafy

Ian Thal said...

Hockey Hound,

This "generousity" you expect of me is one I have never seen you accord others in these conversations.

That said, I think that I have stated my positions clearly enough that I should not have to explain them again, except on one matter:

I think it's time everyone pause and stop hijacking Professor Lipstadt's blog by posting completely tangential material to the comments section-- because quite bluntly, everything I have said in this conversation has been in response to a tangent.