Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Lazy Thinking, Indeed

John Orford has demonstrated that he knows something about lazy thinking in a blog post suitably entitled "Lazy Thinking" wherein he lazily critiques my blog post,"On 'Nostalgia for Babylon' "which, incidentally, makes absolutely no reference to anything Orford has written (unless he also writes for the BBC under the name of Lipika Pelham).

Concerning my post, Orford writes:
However another blogger (DVP) having read her post, wrote up a rather biased, partly anti Jewish, partly anti-Israeli / anti-Zionist take on the modern history of Jewish peoples in the Middle East.

In my opinion, it dehumanised Jews and demonised Zionists. As my original post linked to an article which evenly humanised both Jews and Arabs, I thought DVP's work was particularly twisted and conniving.
Harsh and sweeping claims, but claims that Orford is too lazy to back up with either argument or facts.

First of all, my post was not "a take on the modern history of Jewish peoples in the Middle East." It was a take on the specific question of Jewish relations in Iraq circa the time of the Nakba--the subject of the BBC article.

Since my post portrays Zionism in negative light and since I am unapologetically anti-Zionist (all decent knowledgeable people are), I take no exception to the anti-Zionist characterization. However, I do take exception to the charges of anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli, dehumanizing, racist, twisted and conniving, etc. and if Orford has a shred of decency (a dubious proposition) then he will make his case or else apologize. Orford even lazily makes incorrect assumptions about my gender.

Orford thinks the BBC article "evenly humanised both Jews and Arabs." Apparently, the complete absence of any Arab voices/perspectives in the article is no problem for Orford even though the event of the departure of Iraqi Jews from Iraq is highly charged and has been used to justify Palestinian dispossession and as an exemplar of rampant Arab "anti-Semitism."

Finally, although you would not know it from reading Orford's post, nowhere do I claim or suggest that Arabs had "moral justification for treating Jewish people that lived in the wider Middle East so badly ..." In fact, the historical evidence suggests that Iraqis, generally, did NOT treat Jews badly at all, which is why Zionist agents decided it was necessary to bomb places in Iraq where Jews congregated, according to Giladi, Hirst, Shiblak, and Woolfson and which, according to Alexander, is also why Zionists--not Arabs--"willfully constructed the dichotomy of 'Arab' and 'Jew.' " I did write, "It is understandable that some Iraqis would be hostile to a community that had harbored agents of organizations directly involved in spilling Iraqi blood and ethnically cleansing Palestine." I stand by this statement, which says nothing pro or con about the morality of collective punishment or guilt-by-association--neither of which do I find to be morally justifiable.

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