Very important article about Israel, says Jorn
April 1, 2001 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Very important article about Israel, says Jorn An article published on Arab web site, with intro by Gore Vidal, and re-issued with intro by Edward Said, is written by highly credentialled Israeli professor. Well, the opening intro para by Vidal is just plain contrary to facts. The Russian leader, Stalin, was violently anti-semitic and yet his country (33-13) also voted for the State of Israel. Did the "Jewish Lobby" give Joe a few million too? Jorn. This stuff is getting tiresome. Be anti-Israel if you will. But please do not become a bore.
posted by Postroad (9 comments total)
Or is this April's Fool joke?
posted by Postroad at 10:08 AM on April 1, 2001

From a site called "Radio Islam?" Oy vey. Everyone knows that when you go to representatives of one religion to seek out the so-called truth about another religion, you're going to get a bunch of BS. (He might as well have linked to an Aryan Nations web site. They have lots of "informative articles" about Judaism as well.) Everyone knows this except Jorn, anyway.

Even weirder, why does he say anything at all about this stuff? Using your web site to make any strong political opinions at all is a guaranteed way to turn off at least half your potential audience. And stuff like this could turn off far more.
posted by aaron at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2001

OK, for those who (like me) don't know, Jorn seems to refer to this site.

The comment about Stalin in the post above is pretty much irrelevant (if that's the weakest point of the article then Jorn has a point).

The site hosting the article looks well dodgy. However, it turns out that this is a published book and not some weird hoax.

So, anyone willing to criticise the text rather than the intro or the site? It appears that the author is pretty solid.

To my eyes, it says things that make a lot of sense.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:25 PM on April 1, 2001

Fred/Postroad is opening an argument in the middle. Jorn is a well-known weblogger, but not to all, and he hasn't been around MeFi in quite a while (as a poster).

Jorn's Robotwisdom has a good reputation, but he also has strong political leanings in favor of Palestinians and against Israeli occupation, at least of the West Bank, and this has bled into a general opposition to Zionism (in this context, support for the state of Israel) that has occasionally gone so far as to indict all of Judaism.

The re-airing of the Shahak piece harks back to a post over a year ago, that was aired in Jorn's own web-board and fully critiqued in Len Grossman's Trust or Consequences article.
posted by dhartung at 12:50 PM on April 1, 2001

aaron: don't you think taking someone's politically motivated postings too seriously is a little much? Isn't a personal website precisely a great place to post your views? If this turns off half of his audience--as you say this stuff could-- he'll be only turning away stubborn individuals who refuse to consider another point of view (or skip that one link.)

As a conservative and a long time reader of Jorn's site, I never took issue with Jorn's sometimes absolutely crazy links from sources such as this one. I just skip over that one and check out the other memes he's found.
posted by Witold at 2:40 PM on April 1, 2001

the opening intro para by Vidal is just plain contrary to facts.

Postroad: what exactly did you find contrary to facts in Vidal's intro? It seems pretty straightforward to me. His parallel to the papal state is right-on, as is his reference to the absurdity of the idea of "God-as-realtor", granting some plot of land to a certain tribe in perpetuity.

The hasty creation of Israel, while it might have seemed a shrewd geo-political move (for the U.S.) at the time, has proven, I think, far more troublesome than it's worth, resulting in the displacement and death of millions at the hands of terrorists on both sides, not to mention the constant degradation of the memory of the Holocaust as Israeli security forces use ever more brutal tactics to quell dissent and unrest. The United States has proven a far more accomodating homeland for those of Jewish heritage, and it's hard to overestimate Jewish contributions to American culture.
posted by Dr. Boom at 3:51 PM on April 1, 2001

The last thing I want to get involved in at this point is the Arab/Israeli issue. I poked fun at Vidal because he said he was told by JFK that Truman took a bag containing 2 million bucks in order to buy support for statehood for Israel.
Even the most conservative GOP writers are convinced that Tuman is the one no nonsense president we have had from the Democrats, and that Truman, unlike just about every other president did not end up a wealthy man.
You might argue that he used the money for campaigning but there is no evidence of this. In fact, Truman's partner in haberdashery was Jewish and Truman was sympathetic to the Jewish/zionist call for a homeland after losing so many of their people during the Holocaust.
Even Vidal notes that JFK loved to gossip. JFK, who seems to have been in cahoots (along with daddy) with the mob, may be in fact imagining what he and his connections might have done to win what they wanted.
My view: Truman wanted to support the homeland for the Jews; Truman wanted to get Jewish votes--he was predicted to lose heavily.
For details on the formation of the state, see revisionist Israeli (and very pro arab writer) Tom Segev and Paul Johnson (very ardent GOP supporter whose only admiration among Democratic presidents is...Truman.
In the latest edition of the book, the preface or intro is by Edward Said. That the author taught chemistry does not, as Jorn suggests, give him great credentials on something outside his field necessarily.
Old book .Old issue. Old hangup...time to get to peace table and get statehood for the Palestinians.
posted by Postroad at 5:19 PM on April 1, 2001

Even the most conservative GOP writers are convinced that Truman is the one no nonsense president we have had from the Democrats

Postroad: I know this is off topic, and maybe we could continue this thread in private, but Truman bears much of the responsibility for the end of the American democratic republic and the creation of the empire (cue Darth Vader theme). By signing the National Security Act of 1947, he threw the Cold War into high gear and essentially did away with any public accountability for U.S. foreign policy. It's not surprising that he is well-liked by many militaristic right wing America- firsters.
posted by Dr. Boom at 5:43 PM on April 1, 2001

Fred, I suggest that you try actually reading the article you linked to instead of just choking on the Vidal preface.
posted by lagado at 4:58 AM on April 2, 2001

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