It’s Max Fisher, but most of this is factual — and there’s one pullout I’ve highlighted below that Max got exactly right. ToI had the sense to take this post from a blogger, not a journalist, down quickly, so I don’t see it as representing the Times at all, or the mainstream media of Israel. It is however an extreme minority opinion
there that we do need to keep awareness of, if for no other reason to keep it in check.
The English-language Israeli publication Times of Israel today published, and then quickly deleted, a blog post by the writer Yochanan Gordon with the extremely inflammatory headline “When Genocide is Permissible.” The post does not explicitly endorse the genocide of Palestinians, but it asks if doing so would be morally justified after building up the case it would be and presenting only evidence in the affirmative.
“What other way then is there to deal with an enemy of this nature other than obliterate them completely?” Gordon asks. And later, arguing that Hamas will never accept peace and that Israel is justified in doing anything necessary to impose it, “If political leaders and military experts determine that the only way to achieve its goal of sustaining quiet is through genocide is it then permissible to achieve those responsible goals?”
This is not because Gordon himself is a particularly influential writer, much less a political leader of any kind, but because this post represents an extreme iteration of a much broader problem, in which the conflict and the discourse around it exacerbates and empowers extremism on both sides of the conversation.We’ve preserved the full text of the now-deleted blog post below; you can read it for yourself. This is not because Gordon himself is a particularly influential writer, much less a political leader of any kind, but because this post represents an extreme iteration of a much broader problem, in which the conflict and the discourse around it exacerbates and empowers extremism on both sides of the conversation. There is real social science behind this phenomenon, which pushes the politics of the conflict away from peace and toward more hard-line positions, as well as raising voices that de-humanize the “other side” in a way that makes it easier to perpetuate the fighting.
My two cents on the topic: extremists have only the power that we collectively grant them — they are, and will always be only a small margin at the fringe edge of humanity. Those who use fear and anger to shape the future can only affect us minimally if we do not allow their anger and fear to mold and shape us individually.
Please also note this accurate observation from Charles:
Max Fisher’s opening sentence is wrong. The Times of Israel blog section is not officially published - it’s called their self-publishing section, and it’s unedited. So no - the Times of Israel did not “publish” that blog post. It was published at their site by the author.
It’s also important to note that the blogger who made the Genocide post resides in New York.
—— Update 08/02/2014: ——
Per TPM the Times of Israel has now removed the entire blog account and it’s archives, attempts to reach it go to their statement about the blogger in question breaching their terms of service.