Defending David Ben-Ariel’s love for Israel

hockey hound has left a new comment on the post “Interview in JTA“:

‘Your response to me was that David Ben-Ariel was speaking “as a Jew” which was to insinuate that neither I nor anyone whom he was criticizing could be seen as speaking “as a Jew.”‘

This is a totally ludicrous accusation. I would never dream of “insinuating” such denigration, and especially not against someone Jewish. I’ve re-read my post several times and cannot deduce how you could possibly misconstrue my statements as articulating that you or anyone else Jewish participating in this blog should not be properly and respectfully identified “as a Jew”.

You have minified our discussion into a cheap contest. I would have thought you more generous than this.

“just suggested that the rhetoric being used does not help us understand the situation or what specific actions of the Israeli government warrants criticism”

Actually dictating how David Ben-Ariel, a Jew, should criticize the present Israeli government is rather a measurable form of censorship. Every one of my Jewish friends are not fond of the present Israeli government, whether diplomatic corp or not, and they have said far worse things about the present government than did David Ben-Ariel.

Incidentally, I did not profile the diplomatic corp, nor anyone involved with the security of Israel (I’m certain David Ben-Ariel also was not profiling those Israelis involved with maintaining Israel’s security). You are embellishing my statements and those of David Ben-Ariel.

“Note that I did not state an opinion on the issue to which David Ben-Ariel was referring”

Remember, you labelled David Ben-Ariel as an “extremist”. When you painted Mr. Ben-Ariel’s statements with the descriptive “extremity of rhetoric,” you betrayed an opinion, albeit one that does not sit well with me nor with many of my Jewish friends I’m certain.

And so you resort to accusing me of attempting to extirpate your Jewish identity. That’s so ridiculous. I have spent most of my life (I’m now 54) defending the Jewish identity, and with one fell swoop you insouciantly try to rob me of the trust I’ve gained for having fought such a long battle. This is an example of your intellectual powers? I’m self-read, and even I don’t resort to besmirching my opponents. Before you attack me again, remember that I was defending the sensitivities of a Jew and his love for the Land of Israel. That is not a sin nor is it an attempt to extirpate Jewish identity.

“The value of ancient Hebrew ideas, rather than their mere longevity, constitutes the strongest part of modern Israelis’ attachment to Israel. Inherited values form the basis of any thinking person’s attachment to his or her national culture, assuming that one can still be, in the twentieth century, so attached.” -Avi Erlich

“Of what’s to come the wise perceive
things about to happen.” -C.P. Cavafy

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