Cook Jonathan - Blood and religion

Author : Cook Jonathan
Title : Blood and religion The unmasking of the jewish and democratic state
Year : 2006

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Preface. Few tasks are more challenging than writing about Israel. For those trying to report or comment intelligently on events in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the effort can sometimes seem futile. Israel’s apologists have succeeded in excising from the debate about the Jewish state the language of universal human rights and justice, values by which we judge other problematic conflicts. In the case of Israel, the culture of apology is now deeply rooted in the West, particularly among European and American Jewry. The apologist has a well-tested strategy. Whenever a critic of Israel makes his case by citing an incident or example, the apologist will provide a counter-example or counter-incident, however irrelevant, to suggest either his “opponent” is unfamiliar with the material or that his motives are suspect, the anti-Semitism canard. Challenges of this kind may do nothing to blunt the thrust of the original argument but they are a very successful ploy. The critic’s credibility can be dented with readers and, more damagingly, with commissioning editors, the media’s gatekeepers, who decide whether a news report or comment article will be published. Critical writers who wish to contribute to the mainstream media must either accept a bland, diluted terminology acceptable to the apologists or devote endless amounts of time, energy and valuable space trying to second-guess how the information they include will be distorted. As a consequence, much of the debate about Israel is weighed down with trivia, pedantry and obscurantism. I have tried to avoid these pitfalls. In doing so, I am sure to antagonise some readers. Doubtless I also risk accusations of anti-Semitism. Wherever possible, therefore, I have cited senior Israeli politicians and offi cials to support my arguments and quoted from Israeli publications, even if they are simply confirming my own observations and experiences as a reporter. A majority of my endnotes refer to articles and interviews in the Ha’aretz and Jerusalem Post newspapers. I have largely neglected non-Israeli and Arab sources not because I doubt their credibility but because they will be less convincing to those who seek to reject my argument. ...

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