Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where do the Muzzlewatch Censors find the time?

In his two most recent posts, the creator of this Muzzlewatch-Watch site has pointed out two very clear-cut examples of actual attempts to squelch debate on the Middle East: the pulling of an invitation to Professor Benny Morris to speak at a British university, and (yet another) attempt to shout down an Israeli official invited to speak on a campus that Israel-haters have decided is “theirs.”

Needless to say, Muzzlewatch has nothing to say about either of these cases of real “muzzling,” as opposed to the stories they generally post to demonstrate their own martyrdom (normally consisting of nothing more than people having the audacity to criticize the opinions of Jewish Voice for Peace, the organization for which Muzzlewatch is simply a mouthpiece).

It is interesting to look at two stories Muzzlewatch did find time to highlight during the same period when their friends and allies were either smearing Benny Morris in Britain or shouting down Oren at Berkley.

The first is simply another in a long line of Cecile Surasky’s incoherent rants set off by the fact that one blogger accused another of anti-Semitism. That’s it. No repression, no firings, no calls for government investigation. Simply one blogger using his free speech to criticize a public figure (albeit sloppily), much like Surasky and her friends at Jewish Voice for Peace/Muzzlewatch do every day.

Once again, it helps to keep in mind that the Surasky/Muzzlewatch/JVP crowd have different definitions for terms such as “censorship” and “muzzling.” While most of us view “censorship” as the use of government power to shut down political discussion, and “muzzling” as a more vague catch-all bucket in which some authority (such as a school’s administration) sets inappropriate limits on certain types of speech, Muzzlewatch has a much simpler definition of both of these terms. For them, censorship and muzzling consists of anyone doing or saying anything counter to the JVP agenda, a crime committed by anyone who has the audacity to criticize JVPers in any way.

The second story they found time to post on while Morris and Oren were dealing with attempted political stoning was this piece, written in a chilling tone, about how the American Jewish Committee is looking to expand its presence in Europe. The fact that the organized American Jewish community has always been involved with overseas partners (on projects such as the three-decade rescue effort of Soviet Jewry), or that resurgent anti-Jewish violence in Europe might give American Jews a reason to help out their landsmen overseas seems to have escaped Surasky’s attention.

Instead, she plays the old trick of citing a like-minded news service to push the point she really wants to make: that the Jews are trying to stifle debate in Europe, just as they have in the US. Which must explain why Surasky is drawing a paycheck for doing her blogging, rather than hiding under her bed from the AJC stormtroopers.

It’s interesting to note that at the same time Muzzlewatch was shrieking its condemnation of American Jewish groups reach out to their equivalents overseas, Jewish Voice for Peace was starting a new project designed to prove that Israel is not a democracy. And who are they working on with this project? Why numerous pro-Palestinian organizations in Israel and beyond. In other words, Israel’s critics are free to do whatever they want and work with whomever they want, but if Israel’s supporters do the same they’re guilty of censorship or worse.

At this hour, I don’t think it requires any more effort to demonstrate that JVP/Muzzlewatch, despite their posing as a peace organization committed to free speech, is simply a militant propaganda group dedicated to squelching all voices that do not agree with their party line.

While I presume they will not allow comments on their new site, JVPers are always free to comment here and show us where we’ve gotten anything wrong. Otherwise, readers can assume that this analysis stands unchallenged.

1 comment:

  1. Our local Jewish federation just declared: They will not fund organizations that

    •endorse or promote anti-Semitism, other forms of bigotry, violence or other extremist views

    •actively seek to proselytize Jews away from Judaism

    •advocate for, or endorse, undermining the legitimacy of Israel as a secure independent, democratic Jewish state, including through participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in whole or in part

    That includes Jews for Jesus, the Nateuri karta and Jewish Voice for Peace. Bravo to them for recognizing that some groups do not belong within the broad tent of the community support


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