Exchanging dogma for reality
Sometimes when blogging, there is a ‘serendipity of words’, where what others say resonates with another person, because they arrive at the right moment. Yesterday, I was having an offline discussion about how asking one question can lead, not only to more questions, but sometimes to an intellectual and moral choice and a change of direction and a questioning of received dogmas and ideology.
Not more than 24 hours from this discussion I saw this ( hat tip Harry’s Place) from a Jewish newspaper, from someone who had unthinkingly accepted the Islamist excusing Left line on the nature of Israel and its relations with the Arab world.
I was struck by the passage that Harry’s Place highlighted and went to read the article for myself. I can’t say that I come to all the same conclusions as he does, for example I believe that the Arab world is not to be trusted. I don’t withhold trust from the Arabs out of racist sentiment, but instead purely from examining the evidence of the Islamic and Islamist ideologies of the Arab and greater Islamic world, and most importantly, the behaviour of those societies where Islam holds sway.
I also don’t believe that as Tom Doran says that ‘the occupation should be fought as if there were no enemies of Israel and fight the enemies of Israel as if there was no occupation. ‘
I don’t believe in this view because, to be quite frank, there is NO occupation. The Arabs were offered a state prior to 1948, and a very advantageous offer it was. However, they rejected it, because their greater desire was to kill Jews. There have been far too many attacks on Israel to show that the threat to commit genocide is not just rhetoric. The Arabs and more importantly their leaders of the former area of British Mandate Palestine, who didn’t choose peace and the offer of their own state alongside Israel in 1948, have no moral authority to demand anything from anybody. Any moral authority they may have had, they have forfeited when they declared war, not just at the time of the re-creation of the State of Israel by the United Nations, but on subsequent occasions. Every treaty that has been made by Arab leaders has been broken, every promise of peace has been breached, every word and action of peace from the lips and hearts of Israelis has been met with violence in word and deed. When a person steps outside the ideology of the Left, which far too many people accept because it is so ubiquitous when the issue of Israel and the so called Palestinians comes up, they start to see the chasm between the the dogma that they previously accepted as ‘truth’, and reality.
The highlighted passage by Tom Doran, who also writes for the Huffington Post and The Independent UK newspaper said:
“I wish I could provide you with a dramatic conversion story (I almost said Damascene, before remembering St. Paul’s thoughts on the Jews), in which a single incident suddenly made me realize the error of my ways and become the supporter of Israel I’m proud to be today. Real life is always rather messier. It was more a gradual process of self-education in which I steadily came to appreciate the discrepancies between reality and the dogma around me. One watershed moment was reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s “Prisoners” (which you should, too, if you haven’t). According to the anti-Zionist left, Goldberg is little more than a neocon propagandist, a stenographer for Benjamin Netanyahu who never met a war he didn’t like. “
It is by no means perfect and as I say, his view differs from mine considerably, but Tom Doran’s article impressed me because it imparted a strong sense that here is someone who is waking up, who is learning to discern ideology from reality. Hopefully in the future he will see, and be as disgusted as I am, that far too much of the Western Left has sold itself to intellectually bankrupt sub-Leftist ideologies such as multiculturalism and third-worldism.
Welcome to the world of reality, fasten your seat belt Mr Doran, you never know how much one question may lead to another.
Harry’s Place article on Mr Doran’s article
Original Jewish Journal article from Mr Doran
History of Israel timeline