February 12, 2006

Hasbarah?

Here's an intro by David Shasha to an article that appeared on Ynet back in December 05. I find David Shasha a remarkable chap. He claims to be a zionist and, as an Arab Jew, he is harshly critical of the Ashkenazi domination of Israel and of American Jewish life. He is also a great admirer of the UK's Chief Rabbi who he sees as a shining example of integrity and tolerance, which gives you some idea of the intolerance dominating Jewish communal life in America these days.
Leaving aside the fact that Mr. Hanania has not seen the movie in question, his tirade against the Arab world is a most interesting indicator of how Zionist HASBARAH has infected so many corners of the media world we now live in.

I will accept Hanania's characterization of the Arab world as lacking in the freedom of speech that we have in the West.

The question is: Will Hanania accept that there is a similar lack of freedom inside the Jewish community and its various media satellites?

In addition, while it is quite easy to pick on the Arabs for their dictators and their religious extremists, it is quite difficult to actually identify and articulate the idea that the Jews as a whole, have organized themselves into a bloc that speaks in one voice and attempts to block any attempt to create a pluralistic discourse.

The "Munich" episode is just such an example of this phenomenon. There have been many attacks on Spielberg's film prior to its release. I have received e-mails promoting boycotts of the film. This is quite interesting because those involved in writing and directing the film are all Jews. But the Right Wing Jews calling for the boycott are deeply concerned to enforce a certain regulated discourse on the matter of Israel. According to this model of discourse, anyone who removes themselves from the Right Wing Zionist consensus opens themselves up to smears and hate of unimaginable viciousness no matter their own Zionism or fidelity to Jewish causes.

Hanania does well to point out that Arabs can be as hypocritical as any other ethnic group, but he does not balance his argument out with what goes on in the Jewish community.

I am quite aware that it is hard to say that the Jews control the media; perhaps it is better to say that a certain part of the Jewish community has been able to control all discourse about Jews and Israel and to make sure that dissenting voices are either not heard or not given legitimacy. I believe that this would be a judicious way of putting it.

And for those Sephardim who continue to march in lockstep with the Ashkenazim and just as consistently continue to cry and whine about their disenfranchisement as Sephardim, they only have themselves to blame. The priorities and values of the Sephardic community not only have very little in common with the tyrannical Ashkenazim, but they are often completely in conflict with those of this Ashkenazi majority of Jews who more often than not act in a demeaning and paternalistic manner towards us.

Steven Spielberg has made a film that will serve to reflect the values of Ashkenazim on the Left and the battle waged with the Ashkenazim on the Right only reinforces the dysfunctional way in which the intolerance of this community plays itself out.

That Hanania seeks to valorize these misplaced and often damaging values is something that is quite inexplicable to me.

DS
I have posted Ray Hanania's article in full here. Ray Hanania is an Arab American comedian.

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