‘Liberal’ blogger… Part 2

‘Liberal’ blogger… Part 2

Phil Weiss and I have been continuing our dialogue, but both his confusion and his rigid ideological antipathy remain evident. I won a point of concession and some conciliatory words from Phil, but his links with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish conspiratorial hate mongers remain.

I sent him a statement written by Meretz USA’s director, Ron Skolnik, and he found a way to use it against us on his blog:

Skolnik: Knee-jerk support for Israeli government policy and actions isn’t right, and it isn’t smart: This year’s [Meretz USA] Israel Symposium participants neither overlooked nor absolved Israel’s mistakes and flaws: They recognized them as part of a three-dimensional reality in which all parties – Palestinians, the greater Arab world, the US, et al. – have too frequently blundered and erred.

Weiss: I think this is pathetic lukewarm language.

My email response was to express astonishment that our statements against the occupation and for Palestinian rights have been received as if they were pro-Likud screeds (especially by his readers posting comments). “This illustrates how you and your readers are so extreme; we either go along with you 100 percent or we are the enemy. You turn our dovishness into an attack on us.”

He then challenged me to “Show me the condemnation of the pogroms against Palestinian farmers. … I will be happy to eat my words.”

I immediately responded with this: http://www.meretzusa.org/meretz-against-settler-violence! He took back his words – to a degree – but he still went fishing for something he could object to on our Web site. He noted that we don’t see it as part of our mission of educating on Israeli-Arab peace issues to take a position on the Iraq war:

It’s pathetic. They can’t even come out against the Iraq war! Oh my god. This obviously shows the extent to which U.S. militancy against the Arab world has
gained support within the Jewish community.

I had to explain that we’re a 501c (3) non-profit that cannot take stands on US political issues, but he prefers to make this into but another reason to attack us as Zionists guilty of “dual loyalty.”

Hopefully, he will post my reply, in which I relate in part that: “Jeremiah Gutman, a civil liberties attorney and president of Meretz USA when he passed away a few years ago, was a staunch opponent of the Iraq war. I recall that he constantly wore a big button proclaiming: ‘He lied, they died’.”

In the meantime, Phil Weiss’ attacks on the Zionist peace camp render no help to either the cause of peace or any humanitarian concern for the Palestinians. But the point for Phil, apparently, is to score points, showing his adoring readers how “progressive” he is.

By | 2008-10-06T05:41:00-04:00 October 6th, 2008|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Anonymous October 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Phil Weiss is a foolish man. Even by his own admission. Like most of us he can’t stand the xenophobic right wing zionists, but he is too intellectually rigid to distinguish this crowd from those zionists that wish to see the national aspirations of both the Palestinians and Israelis realized and who respect the humanity and human rights of both groups. Philip is the Benjamin Freedman of our generation. He is egged on by group of commited conspiracy theorists in his comments section who believe Jews are responsible for every negative situation in the world. It’s truly unbelievable and creepy. He is inconsistent and erratic in his positions and requires his readers to watch him learn in real time what most of us have known for 40 years. It’s not that different from dealing with an adolescent who believes he or she knows everything and adults are idiots.I trust that in due time Phil Weiss will arrive at a more sophisticated position regarding Jews and Israel and Zionism, but in the meantime he is egging on and encouraging genuine anti-semites and confusing the generally curious. As long as a book deal awaits him (he complains he needs money) on all this I don’t think he really cares.

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