Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Criticism Two-Step

Yesterday a reader left a comment on the blog that I would like to highlight and discuss. Here's a screenshot.

I wouldn't respond to this comment if it wasn't a perfect example of what I like to call the "mere criticism" two step. "Anonymous" here makes two points that completely contradict  each other with the space of the same paragraph.

Point 1: All criticism of Israel is reached to way too strongly by Israel and its defenders and all criticism is responded to with insults and the anti-Semitism card.
Point 2: Zionism is racism, Israel is an apartheid state, and Israel's destruction is assured and assisted by all good people.

If the goal of "criticism" of Israel is the destruction of Israel, I think a few insults and the anti-Semitism card is the least a defender of Israel could do to respond to it. Arguing that criticism of Israel is designed to help Israel and improve it is all well and good, but when the essence of Israel as a state is Zionism (Jewish nationalism) and Zionism is opposed by that same criticism, it is impossible to make the case that your criticism is to improve Israel. It's equivalent to curing the disease by killing the patient.

When Anonymous complains about accusations that "critics are "haters" of the "only democracy in the middle east" or anti-Semites," but at the same time makes the case that Israel is "an apartheid Zionist entity," he (or she) does our work for us. Apartheid isn't a compliment, it's a crime against humanity. By saying Israel is apartheid, he's saying he hates it. If the shoe fits, wear it. If you hate Israel and Jewish nationalism (and therefore Jews), own it. But don't pretend that your hatred is just "criticism" made by a friend to help Israel, because it isn't.

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