Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What Do MuzzleWatch and Ahmadinejad Have in Common?

Okay, the Iranian president and Jewish Voice for Peace's MuzzleWatch certainly have their differences. Jewish Voice for Peace hasn't denied the Holocaust. Nor is MuzzleWatch founder Cecilie Surasky known to have felt a mesmerizing aura around her head.

And MuzzleWatch hasn't called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" (or "erased from the pages of history" or whatever deplorable translation you prefer). At least, it hasn't said this in so many words.

In fact, JVP/MuzzleWatch is coy on whether it hopes to see the Jewish state, alone among all nations states, wiped out. In answer to the question "Are you Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist or something else?," JVP asserts that, though its members "hold a wide variety of views on many issues involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict," it "support[s] a solution to the Palestinian refugee crisis that will also preserve the right of the Israeli people to self-determination." (Real Jewish self-determination? Self-determination as "protected minorities" (i.e. dhimmis) in a majority Muslim state? That's not specified.)

Sometimes, though, MuzzleWatch leaders provide a hint about what solution they're rooting for. The aformentioned Cecile Suraky, for example is rooting for an end to Zionism. Literally. "Three cheers" to the Los Angeles Times, says Surasky, for publishing an Op-Ed that not only says Israel is worse than apartheid South Africa, but also explicitly calls for an end to Jewish self-determination. (This is little different than requesting discrimination against the Jewish nation.)

Three cheers to the LA Times, says Suraky, for allowing true debate by publishing this anti-Zionist piece and an opposing Op-Ed by Judea Pearl. Except, she makes sure to note in her blog post, she isn't really cheer for Pearl's peace, which she calls "corrosive," "closed" and "rigid."

Well then, three cheers for calling for the elimination of the Jewish state! That's something even Ahmadinejad and his hypnotized minions can clap for.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Muzzling Ignored By MuzzleWatch

From JTA:
At the University of California, Irvine, pro-Israel students have accused the administration of being unresponsive to acts of physical harassment and intimidation. The Zionist Organization of America offered complaints on their behalf to the U.S. Department of Education.
Once again, it seems that while people who express pro-Israel opinions are accused by MuzzleWatch of "muzzling," those who "physically harass and intimidate" Jews are simply ignored.

On campus, who is it that really has to worry about having their views suppressed? This guy, or the people he rails against?

And what of this? Who's muzzling whom? Who's intimidating whom? (And, to bring it back to the title of this blog, who is silent about this type of behavior?):

What MuzzleWatch Apparently Can't See

I've seen nothing on the MuzzleWatch website about this. According to a British tabloid, the director of "Channel 4" has received death threats after broadcasting a documentary about homosexuality in the Muslim world.

And the director isn't the only one:
Indian film maker Parvez Sharma – who spent six years making the programme – revealed: “I have had death threats on my blog after making this film. Some countries have even banned it.

“I’ve been called an apostate because Muslims think I have insulted Islam but I think it will open up a debate.”
That's what I'd call muzzling. Not the free speech exercised by those who peacefully express their opposition to overblown anti-Israel rhetoric.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Jewish Voice for What?

It seems odd to speak out against an organization named "Jewish Voice for Peace." After all, I'm Jewish. I have a voice. I'm for peace.

But despite its self-righteous name, and its occasional use of cautious, moderate rhetoric, JVP, the organization behind MuzzleWatch, is not much different than the number of other reflexively pro-Palestinian and harshly anti-Israel extremist groups that exist to demonize the Jewish state.

Here are some telling tidbits:

Jewish Voice for Peace signed a "friend of the court" brief supporting a law suit by the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) that was meant to silence — yes, "muzzle" — the David Project and media organizations looking into a controversial land deal between the ISB and the city of Boston. (The lawsuit was eventually dropped.)

Also indicative of JVP's extremism is its booklist, which recommends, among works by other fringe anti-Israel activists, four books by Norman Finkelstein, a man who recently told the Iranians that Israel is a "satanic state" from "the boils of hell," which, by the way, "is committing a holocaust."

So extreme they are, that their newsletters feature essays by Ali Abunimeh, a co-founder of the Israel-bashing site Electronic Intifada, and Ran HaCohen, an activist who's so dogmatically entrenched against his country that he casts lifelong peace activists like Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua as war-hungry jingoists because they dared to think Israel had a right to respond to acts of war by Hezbollah. He even takes Yehoshua Sobol to task for asserting that Hezbollah is opposed to Israel's right to exist, though this is something openly and repeatedly admitted by the antisemitic (or "antiJudaic") terrorist organization.