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View Diary: Mondofront: Now with Gilad Atzmon (147 comments)

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  •  Yeah, I do. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    I only came across Atzmon quite a long time after I became involved in the issue. And even then, I didn't actually seriously read his stuff - just heard him mentioned here and there, heard he had been accused of antisemitism (ho hum, who hasn't been?), and went about my business. I only properly found out about him through the SWP affair, mentioned above.

    Plus Phil, whatever his other flaws, tends to be quite honest about himself and his motivations, and unusually self-critical. So I'd be inclined to believe him on this. (Plus if he did know about Atzmon beforehand why would he back down now? It's not as though the interview caused a massive furore, as far I can tell).

    Not that I care a great deal either way - what interests (and concerns) me about Weiss is the kind of thing I described above, rather than his deep private thoughts and motivations. What matters is that (as Ajl puts it) Atzmon is latent in Weiss's type of analysis.

    •  Yet again, you make the best defence of MW, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot

      as you acknowledge the different shades and nuances on the site.

      I don't look at MW unless someone points me there - but when you say

      "certainly I find Mondoweiss indispensable for keeping up with the conflict, especially on the American end."
      that carries a lot of weight to convince me that the site shouldn't be off-limits. Frankly, if people drag anti-semitic crap into DKos from anywhere, they will get flak for it, as they should. Since we are now all alerted to the flaws of MW, it's going to happen twice as fast if anyone drags it in from there. And that's all we need to deal with this issue effectively - further prohibitions are overkill.

      I fear that we may get several more of these Mondofront diaries, without advancing our consensus or understanding. So far, though, I give you and Red Sox both credit for addressing the pros and cons of your respective arguments, and building a more subtle and realistic view of the issues at stake than we see in many I/P debates.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Thu Jun 30, 2011 at 09:03:19 AM PDT

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      •  Thanks Brecht. (3+ / 0-)

        My purpose here, though, was primarily to criticise Mondoweiss, rather than to defend it. And though I think Red Sox's priorities, at any rate as evidence by the topics of his diaries here, are pretty screwy, assuming that is that his opposition to racism is a principled opposition, he is perfectly justified in reacting to the propagation of antisemitism and Holocaust denial as he has. Particularly given that Mondoweiss is a 'progressive' site (sponsored by The Nation Institute no less).

        I know there has been an argument going on here about whether or not Mondoweiss is a legitimate source to cite. Since the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Ha'aretz, Ynet, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, etc. are all considered legitimate sources to cite on here despite the fact that they publish almost on a daily basis lies, including racist lies, that often - and this is something that cannot be said of Mondoweiss, for all its faults - directly contribute to mass murder, torture, and other atrocities (just read any NYT article on Palestine, for example), this debate seems to me to be tellingly lacking in perspective. If we want to rule out sources that regularly publish hateful views, there are a lot of outlets to go through before one gets to Mondoweiss, which by any reasonable measure comes somewhere near the bottom of the list.

        I don't actually think we should ban citations to those sources, of course, because we need them. Ideally we would have media that provided us with necessary information and influential or otherwise important points of view without functioning as apologists for barbarism, but as they do not currently exist, we have to make do. Similarly, while I would like there to exist a site that performed the indispensable functions carried out by Mondoweiss without also playing host to antisemitism and other filth, it does not exist, and so I have to make do. (Of course this dilemma doesn't arise for those who aren't concerned with ending their complicity in the racist regime in the occupied territories - one that kills and tortures civilians on a daily basis - but such people are in no position to take a moral stand on anything, period).

        My advice, fwiw: read Mondoweiss, because it's a useful source for facts, analysis and as a window into what influential trends in the solidarity movement are thinking, but avoid citing it wherever possible, because it is tainted, and because doing so provides anyone who wants to distract from the more important issue being discussed the perfect opportunity to do so. And in the vast majority of cases it should be possible to avoid citing it. (Though to be clear, sometimes they do publish something original that is important - e.g. an original debunking of some myths about the Gaza flotilla, say - and that case, what other choice is there?). On the other hand, if someone does cite it in good faith in the context of an argument about Israel/Palestine, and if what they have cited is not objectionable in and of itself, then it seems to me that if one is genuinely concerned about racism and about combating injustices, one will retain a sense of perspective, and won't allow the issue of the citation to distract from what ought to be the priority: ending US support for brutal racist oppression in Palestine.

        That's all I've got to say on the matter for now.

        •  Very illuminating clarification, thanks; (0+ / 0-)

          sorry I didn't read your earlier comments more carefully, as some of this was already clear.

          Everything you said makes good sense. You appear to have addressed the issue so thoughtfully and thoroughly that you've provided a comprehensive ruling on the issue, which in a better I/P could stand as is for now.

          You consistently raise the level of debate here (good listening; and more light, less heat). I know my participation is erratic, as my life has been. Your contributions make me more interested in and less exasperated with I/P. Thanks again, and all the best to you.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 12:26:04 PM PDT

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        •  P.S. What I agree most with: (0+ / 0-)
          Ideally we would have media that provided us with necessary information and influential or otherwise important points of view without functioning as apologists

          With that and a whole lot of campaign finance reform, this upstart colony might have a functioning democracy again.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 12:36:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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