Assadwashing: On the Distinction Between Supporting Palestinian/Arab Rights and Denying Israeli Rights
Boston University Professor Richard Landes (The Augean Stables) fisks an email sent to him by a Boston University student.
Nothing in the widely inflated thesaurus of accusations against Israel so carefully collected by Electronic Intifada and their allies (e.g., al Awda) comes close to what the Arabs do to their own people (torture, civilian massacres, systematic throttling of free press). But it’s Israeli “atrocities” that drive these activists wild with indignation.
I appreciate the time Professor Landes takes to address Middle East issues in great detail and with integrity.
Truth means nothing in the face of solidarity, if the truth works against “us.” That makes sense from a purely “us-them” mentality, but hardly seems like it should fly in a moral conversation. As Pierre Bourdieu, the French sociologist who studied North African honor-shame cultures noted:
‘The ethos of honour is fundamentally opposed to a universal and formal morality which affirms the equality in dignity of all men and consequently the equality of their rights and duties. Not only do the rules imposed upon men differ from those imposed upon women, and the duties towards men differ from those towards women, but also the dictates of honour, directly applied to the individual case and varying according to the situation, are in no way capable of being made universa’l.
From my perspective on the exiled left, the current global “human rights” community has become seriously disoriented by a post-colonial, “Human Rights Complex” in which they feel embarrassed by (pervasive) violations of human rights by third world players (people of color) all over the world (especially in Muslim-majority lands), and therefore wax especially indignant over white man’s sins. (Jews, in this post-Holocaust moral world, being white squared).
To my mind, the core message, summa summarum:
It’s dangerous to accuse the Jews of hypocrisy. Even when it’s true, it’s most often driven by one’s own hypocrisy.
Read the whole post. Landes covers a lot of ground in typically well-reasoned fashion, with a dash of - necessary - good humour.