Gird yourself with argument

The overwhelming advice I’m picking up these days from people who know about antisemitism is to prepare for an escalation of untruths, half truths and warped truths about Israel’s Jews and Jews who support Israel’s existence.

At the Isaiah Berlin Lecture Nick Cohen warned “be better informed”. In the JC Anthony Julius warns that “friends of Israel must train themselves in history, in politics — in argument”. Everybody’s saying so.

It’s a call to books. Yesterday three arrived – Shlomo Ben Ami’s Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, Bernard Harrison’s The Resurgence of Anti-semitism: Jews, Israel and Liberal Opinion. And (this one’s going to hurt) Meron Benvenisti’s Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948.

But what I really should be reading, I guess, is what that lot are reading – Gada Karmi’s Married to Another Man and Mearsheimer and Walt’s The Israel Lobby, Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. For a start.

What a life. I wonder if there’s an antisemitic book group round here.


2 thoughts on “Gird yourself with argument

  1. This is true. I just heard a recording of Gada Karmi speaking to great applause on my local ‘progressive’ listener supported (I don’t believe that for a minute) FM radio station, which I sometimes listen to for the same reasons you just stated. I can’t take it emotionally for very long, as the prospect of dealing rationally with the weight of untruth and bigotry and its channels seem overwhelming. One is left in frustration with choking anger and with the simplified truth that everything they know is wrong and lies. How to deconstruct that? Surely there is SOME truth to their position? We brought up with a context of moral authority and truth as a value have no feeling for the sketchy relationship to the truth that some others have.

    They are commemorating ‘Nakhba’ day – Israel at 60. I had never heard of her and came to your blog post by searching for her name on Google.

    Dr. Karmi speaks with great charm, passion, reason, confidence and authority. In fact, if one was to simply replace every instance of Israel and Jews in her speech and so forth with Palestine and Arabs and vice versa, it would be almost completely true.

    Out of hundreds, a very good internet source for truth is
    Samuel (Shmuel) Katz, author of one of the excerpted books there just died last week.

    Another way to cheer up is to listen to the ’43 Group’. Trust me.
    The BBC documentary was called ‘A Rage in Dalston’ and can be accessed on Youtube
    Audio Vidal Sassoon – 43 Group at
    Video 43 Group – part 1

    Video 43 Group – part 2

    Video 43 Group – part 3

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