Dr. Dawg

Saturday random reads and musings

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1) Israel stuff. I thought I’d preface this reading with a bit of plain common sense.

Commenters here and elsewhere have criticized me for “singling out Israel” in my blog—code for “anti-Semitism.” OK, I do write about Israel more than, say, Syria. A lot more, actually.

True, I have greeted the chaotic Arab Spring as a breath of fresh air, and attacked the classic anti-Semitism in the Hamas Charter, the vicious character of the Iranian regime, and the murderous theocrats of the Taliban. Just not as much.

Well, how come? Are my critics right?

I don’t really think I can improve on this comment, made in response to an utterly indefatigable self-described “liberal Zionist”:

Who in Canada feels anything but disgust and horror at Assad’s butchery? Does the government support Assad publicly? Try to explain away his crimes? Act as Syria’s best friend? Vote against anti-Assad motions in the UN? Are there bloggers rushing into print to excuse him?

There’s no debate about Syria. As yet, there is a public debate about Israel. Too bad it’s not a very good one.

In fact, there’s no debate about North Korea or the theocratic regime in Iran. There’s no debate about Saudi Arabia or other corrupt and brutal regimes in the Arab world and elsewhere.

Short of lame “me-tooism,” there’s simply not much to say about these places when everyone already more or less agrees on the fundamentals anyway.

Where things get interesting, at least from a blogospherical perspective, is when there is debate. To offer a somewhat less emotive example, I have “singled out” Colombia in several posts here, because Conservatives and their Liberal allies, acting on behalf of Canadian mining companies, have deliberately swept widespread and continuing human rights abuses there under the rug.

Their arguments don’t hold up, and their hypocrisy—given their selective concern for human rights elsewhere—is blatant.

No one—yet—has accused me of being “anti-Colombian,” or “denying the right of Colombia to exist,” or asked why I have spent time attacking the Colombian government and its Canadian political allies while completely ignoring North Korea.

To deny that there is a debate on Israel and the Middle East in Canada would be absurd. And while that debate rages, I shall continue to be a part of it.

In that spirit, here [h/t] is a must-read article on life in the West Bank. A sample:

Walking through Hebron, the largest town in the West Bank, we witnessed grievous and malicious violations of human rights. The main settlement sits above the old Arab market. Settlers throw huge rocks and garbage down on the market causing serious injury and disruption. In defense, the Arabs have erected a large net above their market to protect them. Now, the settlers throw Molotov cocktails that burn through the rope nets. We spoke with an Arab father whose 12-year-old son was recently blinded by a container of acid tossed from above. Children are stoned and beaten going to school, and Arab fields are torched when the settlers are angry, often at some policy of the Israeli government. If the government disappoints the settlers, the Palestinians pay the price. Many Palestinian shops have been shuttered by Israeli security, and 1,800 families have lost their income as a result. For the benefit of 800 Jews living in Hebron, life for 170,000 Palestinians living in the city center has come to a standstill. Most sickening of all, in a settlement called Kiryat Arba, the Jews have built a monument to Dr. Baruch Goldstein….

2) Muslim stuff.

Gerald Caplan has been on fire recently, and this article is also a must-read.

It’s about demonizing Muslims, and how the corporate media play their invidious part. It’s just one more sharp reminder that what you “see” is for the most part mediated, and should always be read against the grain.

3) Ontario Provincial Police stuff. As Twitterer (I don’t use “Tweep,” sorry) Jason Lietaer says, if this story is true, the OPP are in for a very rough ride indeed.

It’s a classic tale of revictimizing a sexual assault victim—in this case, leaving a woman bound and naked and without medical attention for five hours while they waited for a police photographer to arrive.

Heads should roll. But they won’t.

4) McCarthyist stuff. Are you now, or have you ever been


I have much work to do today, and tomorrow, so blogging will be light. In fact, there will be radio silence for a good deal of next week as I vanish into the woods, unless my co-bloggers feel like taking up the slack.

Enjoy your late summer weekend!

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on August 20, 2011 9:52 AM.

Casual racism; ritual humiliation was the previous entry in this blog.

The Ontario NDP has some 'splaining to do is the next entry in this blog.

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