Saturday, November 11, 2006
Jeff Blankfort deconstructs Neve Gordon
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.
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.