Wednesday, January 4, 2012

John Wright's Letter of Lies

Even while the truth continues to come out about Operation Cast Lead aka the Gaza War, with Goldstone's recent recantation and Jonathan Sacerdoti's article in the New Statesmen, the Huffington Post continues to not only try to cover up the truth but actively impede their readerships' search for it. No example of this is clearer than a recently published nauseating article by John Wright entitled "Letter to a Soldier." But not soldiers in general, oh no sir, that would be too honest a headline for a Huffington Post blogger. This letter is to an Israeli Jewish soldier who served during Cast Lead, and John Wright (whose previously credits include articles about the Celtics) filled the page with baseless accusations and rhetoric.

It's hard to know where to start, because pretty much the entire thing is propaganda, so rather than debunk the same old tired accusations that Palestinian supporters have been throwing since before the smoke even cleared, I'll just make some observations about the nature of the article, because it's a very keen insight into the delusional mind of an Arabist.

1. The Lying-I know, it goes without saying, but you need to read the article for yourself to understand just how full of lies it really is. The IDF soldiers are evil faceless monsters slaughtering Palestinians without the care and precision that people more honest than Wright have admitted that they had. Israel fights not to protect its people but because they like killing (sound familiar?). The Palestinians have no responsibility for their own actions. In fact, they have no actions, all they do in Wright's world is die. All in the all, the usual kind of writing we would expect to see from a talkback on Ma'an or maybe a piece on Electronic Intifada. Even for the Huffington Post, Wright's article comes off as a crazy rant from someone who is trying to convince his audience something that he knows isn't true. Which brings me to my next point:

2. The Delusion-After Cast Lead, a lot of Palestinian supporters were like "this is it. We've got them now." The idea being that Israel had finally "gone too far," in the words of Norman Finkelstein and that the page had turned. Israel had finally committed a crime too heinous for the world to ignore. We certainly see language like that in Wright's article (more on his liberal use of "we" in a minute):
"The world saw with its own eyes that Israel is not the besieged victim beset on all sides by savage enemies bent on its destruction as it claims. As they came out in their unprecedented millions across the world, people understood as they had never understood before that the state you serve has never shaken in its belief that the continued dispossession and immiseration of the Palestinian people is the condition for its continued survival and prosperity."
 And yes, in case you are wondering, that kind of bombastic self-righteous rhetoric lasts through the entire article. It's really enough to make you choke on it. Anyway, as you can see Wright claims that now is the time that the world has turned against Israel, and can't be happier about it.

But, here in the real world, it didn't work out like that. Three years after Cast Lead: what negative consequence has Israel suffered? PR damage? Has been happening for a while. Threats of arrest? Britain passed a law to stifle that. BDS? Please. International community? As I mentioned before, Goldstone recanted his report, dealing irreparable damage to the cause of the anti-Israel crowd. The UN made its noises, and so did the usual Red-Green alliance in the public areas of Europe. But did anything negative actually happen to Israel because of Cast Lead? No, nothing has happened and at this point it is becoming clear that nothing will. If you are like Wright and see Cast Lead as a "crime," then it is a "crime" that Israel got away with. Wright and his editors at the Huffington Post know this, which is why the have to make up for their lack of actual facts with volume.

Other Palestinian supporters were smarter. They realized that Cast Lead was a good propaganda tool in general, i.e. whining about "the suffering of the people in Gaza." But once they make actual concrete claims such as the number of dead and the alleged "starvation"  there, suddenly they are forced between hurting their own arguments and lying. This isn't a problem for Wright, obviously, because lying doesn't prevent you from working on the Huffington Post, but it was a problem for the anti-Israel forces at large. That's why they were forced to change their tactics to stuff like the Mavi Marmara and the BDS movement which also (wait for it) didn't work.

John Wright, on the other hand, seems to think he can turn back time and if he can summon enough crocodile tears the rest of the world will suddenly about face and march to his tune. To him I say: Good luck with that. It won't work, which is why he is forced to resort to his next trick:

3-Speaking for others besides himself- Look, it would be one thing if Wright was the head of a group like Peace Now or even US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Or for that matter a journalist at a legitimate newspaper. But he's not: he's a "freelance journalist" without any concrete examples of his work posted in his bio. Which makes comments like this all the more ridiculous:
"It is why we say to you now, three years on, that you are living on the wrong side of history - in a cold, lonely place called dishonour."
I have always wondered why Palestinian supporters have such a hard time just speaking for themselves, and feel the need to pretend that they represent some vast multitude of people. If those people really felt the same way as Wright, they can speak for them freaking selves! Despite the endless complaints, the one thing Palestinian supporters have never had much trouble with is finding a platform. Just ask the Huffington Post. This has to be one of the most common tactics we see from Arabists, and although I'm sure it makes them feel better, it honestly comes off as rather pathetic. We've been hearing the exact same thing literally for years at this point, and yet somehow the "diplomatic tsunami" was never anything more than a trickle.

After a Nazi comparison, the classic tactic of anti-Zionist everywhere, Wright concludes with yet another demand:
"It is not vengeance the world seeks, but justice - and justice for the Palestinians can only begin when the injustice that has placed a wall around your own humanity is ended. End the siege, tear down the apartheid wall, remove the checkpoints..."
Sorry, tough guy, but "the world" can speak for itself just fine. It doesn't need you. I may be a simple country blogger, but even I can tell that "the world" has moved on from Cast Lead, and pretty soon they'll have moved on from the Palestinians too. When it does, I can't wait to hear what Wright has to say. The only good news about this article is practically no one read it: there are only three comments. Three more than it deserves.

1 comment:

  1. "Israel fights not to protect its people but because they like killing (sound familiar?). "

    This is an interesting statement

    I wonder if the author can pass his own test?

    Does he believe the Palestinians are fighting to protect its people? Or is it because they just like killing jews?


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