Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mira Suchorov and "Understanding"

Mira Suchorov is back again, and she is pretty much repeating what she said in her earlier column which we responded to here. In the comments section of that article, a talkbacker disagreed with her assertion that when a mass murderer gets released from prison and holds up the "V" sign, that "V" means peace. I'll let her speak her piece:
"Well, of course the "V" symbol does stand for victory. But whose deeper interpretation is right? Is the "V" a collective cry for freedom, or is it a smug acknowledgment of walking free with Jewish blood on one's hands?"
I'm rolling my eyes at that, beyond the obvious answer. Clearly this is a loaded question, as Ms. Suchorov doesn't appear willing to accept the latter interpretation. If she was, she wouldn't have written the column in the first place. So her response is an attempt to reconcile the truth of the world around her and her rejection of bigotry:
"Meanwhile, conversations on social media sites included statements about how Palestinian parents spur their children to violence and how Palestinian society is "sick." Cultural denigration was again alive and well....We need to listen to the stories people tell about themselves. We need to understand their narratives. "
You know, somewhere between pessimism and optimism lies realism. It's so very very easy to dismiss any kind of criticism of a people or nation as "racism." This doesn't stop people like Sharmine Narwani, Ahmed Moor and Robert Naiman from raking Israel over the coals, of course. But I actually agree with Ms. Suchorov: I think people around the world should learn more about the Palestinians. We should learn how few of them have actually accepted peace with Israel, and we should learn their narrative of total victimization and innocence. We should all know how Palestinians indoctrinate their children to die for the cause, and how they consider Tel Aviv to be just as much "occupied territory" as Ramallah or Bethlehem. And yes, I know this doesn't apply to every single Palestinian, that is the not the point.

The point is I have a feeling that people like Ms. Suchorov would look at all these horrible things that Palestinians do and believe and come away with one of two reactions:

1. "They only believe that because we are so mean to them."
2. "That's their culture and we shouldn't criticize it."

That's if they don't engage in cognitive dissonance or radically misinterpret obvious things like the "V" for Victory. If you think I am exaggerating, take a look here at a different example:
"On Haaretz last week, Bradley Burston showed how everyday Israelis -- even those most devoted to ending the occupation and ameliorating the Palestinian plight -- interpret the "death to Israel" calls being rained so loosely down from various quarters as nothing less than a call for genocide. It's an important plea: whoever uses this kind of language and who doesn't mean to imply the insidious messages that others are hearing, speak up now, or forever hold your peace."
For goodness sake! Is she really making the claim that "Death to Israel" is open to interpretation?! It's possible the least vague and least open to interpretation phrase in the English language! You know what, forget this. I'll just have Dry Bones explain it better than I ever could:

And that is the difference between me and Ms. Suchorov. I want these two sides to make peace, but I refuse to look away when inconvenient facts get in the way of my vision of the future. I am afraid that Ms. Suchorov won't do that. Maybe she'll get a lot of support for these left-wing views on that bastion of the left that is the Huffington Post, but probably not in the real world.

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