Saturday, November 11, 2006


Jeff Blankfort deconstructs Neve Gordon

At the left, Neve Gordon. This young man has been known as a defender of the Palestinian people, and even here I've published some of his interventions. But, it might not come as a surprise to many, that more and more Israeli supporters of Palestinians are getting cold feet and stressing their loyalty to Israel, despite seeing things that show Israel to be constantly falling deeper into the pit of atrocity and cruelty towards Palestinians and violations of the most essential laws of morality and international relations.

Jeff Blankfort is known to many in the Pro-Palestinian camp. A tireless campaigner and researcher, incredibly intelligent and with a fierce sense of humour, he knows how to deconstruct dubious prose like it's nobody's business. Here, he tears apart something that Gordon thought was providing a defence for himself.

from Jeff Blankfort:

Several days ago, I sent to this list an article by Alan Dershowitz smearing Israeli professor Neve Gordon and US professor Norman Finkelstein. I had not yet seen Prof. Gordon's response to Dershowitz and read the following lines [with my comments in brackets and in red] with which he introduced that response and attempted to establish his bona fides as a "loyal Israeli." At least, in that respect, he succeeded all too well.
Jeff B

Gordon wrote:
Despite Dershowitz's claims, I never compared Israelis to Nazis, [and why not? Is there no basis for making comparisons?] and I certainly am not a neo-Nazi or anti-Israeli [which, presumably, in Prof. Gordon's opinion, included those who deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.] Like Dershowitz, I am an American citizen, yet unlike him I have chosen to live in Israel [Is he chastising Dersh for not having chosen like the good Zionist, Gordon, to live in Israel and become another colonial settler?] and invest a large portion of my time struggling for social justice [as if the entire existence of Israel did not represent an attack on "social justice"] . I served in the Israeli paratroopers and was critically wounded defending the northern border. [How, we must ask, does Gordon's shedding of blood in defense of the Zionist enterprise fit in with his concept of 'social justice'?]

Following the great [?] Jewish tradition, I try, however modestly, to be critical of Israel whenever its policies violate principles of justice or human rights. [Is there a single second in Israel's existence when it has not violated the basic principles of justice and human rights as incorporated in international law?]

Ironically, about two years ago Dershowitz invited me to contribute a chapter to a book he was editing called What Israel Means to Me. At that time he was not questioning my commitment to Israel. What, then, has led him to change his mind? [That's a good question. Clearly Prof. Gordon is committed as much as Dershowitz to preserving Israel's existence as a Jewish state, just one that is less oppressive to the Palestinians who he would support having a small, non-threatening state of their own somewhere in what was once Palestine. Dersh says he would go for that, as well.]

...Unlike Dershowitz, however, when choosing between truth or dare I always side with truth. [There goes Gordon's "modesty," and the truth with it.]

I have copied this to Prof. Gordon and will forward his comments should he choose to make a reply.


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