Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Return of Clarence Jones

You remember Clarence Jones right? He's the Huffington Post blogger who exploited the legacy of Martin Luther King to defend Palestinian terrorists and attack Israel. We gave him the benefit of the doubt at that piont that he had simply been suckered by Palestinian propagandists who mouthed Dr. King's words without believe them. However, this time around he continues to mine his status as a friend of MLK to lecture the Israelis on how they can and cannot defend themselves while making it much more clear which "side" he is on. And the way that he does it reveals that he doesn't know what he is talking about. Let's take a look:

He begins by talking about Iran, giving one the impression that it is the subject of the article. He talks about what level of threat Iran poses:
"A "grave" threat implies imminent dangerous action by Iran that immediately threatens Israel's existence and security. In contrast, an "existential" threat, though not necessarily "immediate," can have longer-term consequences for the security of Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Mininister Ehud Barak have determined that Iran is an immediate "grave threat" to Israel because of Iran's pursuit of the production of nuclear weapons. This, then, has become the rationale for Israel to launch a pre-emptive military strike against Iran."
I don't entirely see where Mr. Jones is going with this. A threat is a threat, and when one is talking about nuclear weapons, what's the difference between a "grave" and "existential" one? If it were the USA who was in rocket range of Iran and not Israel, would Mr. Jones be singing a different tune? Mr. Jones pontificates on whether an Iran-Israel war would help or hurt America without coming right out and saying his opinion on it. In other words, this paragraph and the one after is just a lot of word wrangling that doesn't actually come to any conclusion.  Fortunately, he isn't finished:
"Last week Israel announced a plan to build 600 new homes in a settlement deep inside the West Bank. The action drew prompt attention and rebukes from the Unites States and the Palestinians. The proposed settlement construction was described by Yariv Oppenheimer, director of Peace Now, as "the biggest settlement construction plan in the West Bank since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office three years ago.""
That's right.

If you're waiting to see what 600 homes in Shiloh has to do with Iran, you can stop. Because Mr. Jones doesn't bother to explain the connection. This is just a complete gear shift from two paragraphs about Iran to the rest of the article talking about the Palestinians. Though one might wonder how exactly the two issues are related, Mr. Jones isn't going to explain. He's just going to keep talking and let you fill in the gaps yourself. After the above quoted paragraph, he mouthed the classic Palsbarist argument how a two state solution can't be made while settlements are being built (a realization that apparently never occurred to the PLO during Oslo) before moving on to this ugly statement:
"..in light of the 64-year continuing occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel, the doctrine of "moral equivalency" is invoked to blunt or deflect any criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians by the United Nations..."
Considering what we know about how little Clarence Jones knows about the situation in Israel, it's entirely possible that he simply doesn't know what exactly he is saying here. But I am not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt seeing as how this is the second article on the subject he is written. If so, then he is intentionally declaring that Israel exists upon Palestinian land, a common talking point mouthed by those who don't want peace but want the destruction of the Jewish state. As this Huffington Poster makes clear, If Mr. Jones considers Tel Aviv and Haifa to be "occupied Palestinian lands," then he is in no position to be declaring himself in favor of peace. Fortunately, he doesn't mention the word "peace" once over the course of this article, with the single exception of labeling Palestinian "resistance" as peaceful. But the ugliness in his words does not diminish in the next section:
"Concurrent with this, a creeping and disturbing mindset has also developed among significant segments of the American Jewish community which, while maybe not intended, has the practical effect of shielding Israel from criticism on the implied basis of: "Israel right or wrong." Consequently, any genuine third party criticism of Israel more often than not is regarded as totally unacceptable."
We've see this Great Anti-Zionist Strawman before many times, but if Mr. Jones believes that American Jews are "Israel firsters," then just come right out and say it. Such weasel words as "significant segments" and "maybe not intended" and "practical effect" only seek to cloud the issue (such as conflating settlements and Iran). If that's what you think, Mr. Jones, then be proud of it. And if that's not what you think, then don't hint at it and force your readership to play guessing games with your meaning. That's something Dr. King would never do.

Having mischaracterized the American Jewish community he then moves on to mischaracterizing the Palestinians:
" this attitude appears to have been transferred to criticism of Israel's recent actions against a new generation of Palestinians, who have foresworn violence and opted for peaceful non-violent protest..."
You'll have to pardon me. I wasn't aware it was peaceful non-violent protest that killed Daniel Viflic, the Fogels or the Asher and Yonatan Palmer. I've long grown used to such ridiculous lies (or more likely half truths) contained in a Huffington Post article, but as a new comer to this issue I was kind of hoping that Mr. Jones would not lie so brazenly. The Palestinian leadership has not shown any inclination toward ending violence, only padding it with some "nonviolence" (Palestinian definition of the word naturally) to look good for the media. Let's move on to where Mr. Jones lays down the cards:
"Unfortunately, some defenders of Israel, otherwise fair-minded people of good will, are unable or unwilling to see that the issue is not one of "moral equivalency." The issue is simply one of moral responsibility and accountability. Moral responsibility by the government and people of Israel for the consequences of their actions on the lives of generations of Palestinians as a result of six decades of occupation of major portions of internationally recognized Palestinian territory."
Observation 1: Israel is expected to take moral responsibility for their own actions but the Palestinians are not. If this is not classic racism against both sides of this conflict then I don't know what else could be. For that matter, is anyone except Israelis expected to hold themselves morally responsible? After all I am not seeing any articles written by Mr. Jones about Syria. At the end of the day, this treatment of only Israel as human is discriminatory and prejudiced to the core. And yes, I am not oblivious of the irony of a civil rights advocate preaching racist attitudes.

Observation 2: Now Mr. Jones considers Tel Aviv and Haifa to be "internationally recognized Palestinian territory." I'd like to see some kind of evidence for that, maybe from Electronic Intifada or Stormfront.

Let's finish with Mr. Jones climbing up on his high horse:
"Our moral challenge in America today is no less than that confronting Israel as it seeks to assure its safety and security. We must do our best to balance our response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 with our continued commitment and respect for the rights of all of the people in our country living under our cherished Bill of Rights."
I'm curious how Mr. Jones thinks Israel should assure its own safety, since all he ever does in this article is explain why the Palestinians are justified in killing Israelis and how they are not even responsible for their own actions. Nor in the course of the article does he have any practical suggestions for how Israel should defend itself. Of course, I can't help but wonder if he really wants them to. If one judges the article by its entirety, and not by its conclusions, it sure sounds like he wants the Jews to simply "go away." Where? Not his problem. After all, only Jews have a moral responsibility for their own actions.

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