Jun 24, 2010

lies, damned lies, and this guy

The Facebook pages of friends of the opposite political persuasion are a good way to keep in touch with what the other side is thinking. It's also a good way to lose faith in humanity, as you find the most horrifying things reposted to thunderous applause.

Take this article, for example.  It was posted, liked, and the original poster quoted one of the comments on the article as saying: "Thank you, Mr. Voight, for voicing the concerns of true Americans."  I think that he must have meant true Scotsmen, but either way it's infuriating.

The article is short, but you can feel the blood pressure rising, the confusion and dismay growing in your mind with every word.
You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies.
God have mercy, what an opener.  Right off the bat we have the bizarre conflation of "Israel" with "the Jewish people"--absurd!  Less than half of the Jews in the world live in Israel (almost as many live in the US), and only about half of the population of Israel and the disputed territories is Jewish.  And certainly not all the Jews in Israel, much less the world, approve of or were a party to the actions of the Netanyahu government.  Then there's this notion that the duty of the United States is the unconditional defense of Israel--as opposed to, say, promotion of American interests and human rights.  We wind up with the idea that Israel is the only democratic state in the Middle East.  Refreshing as it is to hear a right-winger admit that the democracy we tried to enforce in Iraq is an abject failure, the statement is a filthy lie--just off the top of my head, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt all use parliamentary democracy to one degree or another.

It goes on.  The author conflates what I can only presume is criticizing Israel for its apartheid, treaty violations, or attacking a ship flying the flag of a US ally in international waters and killing a US citizen with:
You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone's enemy - and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm's way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.
As if it were his criticism and not their high-handed dumbfuckery that caused the backlash.  Anti-Semitism is indeed a problem throughout the world, but equating any criticism--rational or not--of Israel (only ~50% Jewish and less than half the Jews in the world, remember) with blind hate for Jews is despicable.  The fact that the Jews were the primary victims of one of the greatest crimes in history does not give Israel carte-blanche to perpetuate lesser crimes sans criticism.  Or, to quote Ben Gurion:
There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?

The writer calls Jews-and-therefore-the-modern-state-of-Israel: "a people who have given the world the Ten Commandments and most laws we live by today."  Ignoring the fact that the story says that it was, you know, God who made those laws and not Jews (and that furthermore Jesus says that many of those laws were specifically given due to their hard-heartedness), the idea that our modern are based in any way on those laws is nothing more than a lie.  Sure, there are certain prohibitions (stealing, false testimony, murder) in the levitical code that also show up in ours, but those same prohibitions show up in all societies everywhere, and constitute the barest fraction of the levitical code.
The Jewish people have given the world our greatest scientist and philosophers, and the cures for many diseases
So, the Jews have a right to other people's land because of their inherent racial superiority?  That's ... special.  Sure, a lot of famous scientists are Jews.  Even a few philosophers.  But not all of them, and it certainly does not give Jews-and-therefore-the-modern-state-of-Israel any special rights whatsoever.
the underdogs you defend are murderers and criminals and want Israel eradicated.
 You make me sick.

The author then goes off on a irrelevant tangent about how Obama caused a civil war in Arizona.  Not Iraq, Arizona.  Sadly, I'm not making that up.  The only possible thematic connection is the broad brush of I-don't-like-it by which Obama is rendered a Muslism Nazi socialist fascist Ivy League terrorist snob.

To write these things, in order to think these things, in order to believe these things, in order to applaud and repost these things, requires you to commit a willful act of egregious stupidity.  This whole letter is nothing more than lies and inaccuracies, racism, and bizarre conflations of unrelated ideas.  Disputes and disagreements are possible about a number of things, but after a certain point of departure from reality, one simply has to ask: are you lying through your teeth or are you really that stupid?


  1. I think I need to freshen up on my Ben-Gurion biographical history. That quote combined with his life is quite a clash (from what I thought I knew of him). Granted, it couldn't be more insightful. Any idea of that quote's date? Did he come to regret his "legacy" later in life?

    Brett Hutson

  2. i actually stumbled across the quote while searching for something else, I linked to the page where i found it under his name. i'm not sure of the context in terms of his life and thought, but it's right on the money.

  3. I wonder what role dispensationalism plays in the worldviews of people like this who put Israel on a pedestal?

  4. probably a very large one, but disentangling the American Right's allegiance to Israel is quite a project.