Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barry Rubin: How I Learned About Courage From an Arab Marxist and About Cowardice From Western Phony “Liberals”

Barry Rubin, in PJ Media

"...I’m telling you this story in part because of a conversation with a colleague today in which he told me a story expressing very well the intellectual mess we are facing.

Someone had written an article in the left-wing British magazine New Statesman, which always bashes Israel sometimes in the nastiest terms, defending Israel’s 2008-2009 Gaza operation called “Cast Lead.” In the article, the writer had gone into great detail to set forth the facts of what happened and to rebut the wild allegations of war crimes and the many outright lies told about these events.

But here’s the relevant part for all of us.
My colleague explained that there had been about 300 talkbacks to that article, some positive and most negative. And, he recounted, not a single one of the negative responses cited a single fact. They did not say, for example, “Oh, you’ve gotten the numbers wrong” or “Here’s a critical point you missed.”

No, the theme of every attack was that “only a fascist would say this” or “you cannot say such a thing.” What these people were saying is that I don’t have to argue with you or pay attention to what you are saying. I can just close my eyes, put my hands over my ears and scream: “Liar! Evil person! You have no right to disagree with me or else I will destroy you.

...We are facing something truly remarkable. A system in which those on one side—and obviously this applies to far more than just the Israel issue—can simply wave aside any logical argument and ignore any evidence. All that’s needed is a category of denunciation: racism, hate speech, Islamophobia, etc., along with other catchwords like “fair share,” “one percent,” “global warming deniers,” and down the list.

Where did this come from? How was this remarkable weapon developed?..." [emphasis added]
Read the whole thing.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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