Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rezla Aslan And the Hysteria Cycle

Before we get to this new blog post, I wanted to talk about what I call the "Hysteria Cycle," spurred about controversial Israeli legislation and the news media. This also happens with American legislation as well but it usually needs to be something big like the Patriot Act. Anyway the cycle goes: Some controversial Israeli legislation is introduced. Remember this?:

So once you have your news story, you get your left wing bloggers like Bradley Burston and MJ Rosenberg to fan the presses with stories of how this time Israel was really losing its democratic character and now is the time to speak up less Israel become another fascist totalitarian state.

Then get your readership to declare that no no no, they knew all along that Israel was a theocracy and this new development only confirms it. I trust that I don't need to provide examples of this at this point, just go onto any thread about a proposed legislation and you'll find some.

And of course we have the final step: Conveniently forget to follow up when the controversial law in question fails in Parliament or gets struck down by the Supreme Court. And then repeat the process the next time Israel's government talks about doing something you don't like. This process ensures you will always have more ammunition for haters to throw against Israel.

With that in mind, let's get to Reza Aslan's blog about Israel's proposed Supreme Court shakeup. Some other Huffington Posters took issue with some of his specific points, but what I really wanted to talk about was this comment here:
"The problem is not with who has been speaking out against Netanyahu; it is with who has been keeping quiet. Where is the outrage from Israel's so-called friends in the United States? Why haven't the politicians, activists, journalists, and religious leaders in this country who never tire of praising Israel's democracy spoken up when that democracy is under siege by its own government?"
I disagree with this, and not because that America does have a "right" to weigh in about what is going on in Israel. And of course that goes for what Aslan refers to as "Israel's so-called friends," which is informative in and of itself.

I disagree with Aslan because of the old saying, "Every democracy gets the government it deserves." If Israel's democracy and society isn't strong enough to sustain those democratic values on their own without interference from outsides, then do they really deserve to have a democracy in the first place? Didn't we learn from the American experience in Iraq that democracy can't be imposed?

It seems like Mr. Aslan is one of many Huffington Post bloggers hired to show up there and whine about how America isn't criticizing Israel enough, but this time it doesn't sound he thought it through so well.

I'm sure we'll be seeing him again when the Hysteria Cycle goes around for another pass.

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