Bloggers Behaving Badly: Rayne at FireDogLake.com

Over at FireDogLake.com, you’d better not post anything too critical of Israel.  Moderator and abuser of power Rayne will probably step in to disrupt the thread, issue threats, and order people to cease asking questions she doesn’t like.

Rayne’s latest round of abuse began when truthexcavator posted an entry on what turned out to be a five-year-old news article about an israeli soldier acquitted of murdering a 13-year-old Palestinian by filling her body with enough bullets to drop a charging rhinoceros.  Truth made the horrendous mistake of comparing what Israel is doing to palestinians to what the Nazis did to Jews during the Holocaust.

I was shocked when I heard about this story, but I am less shock of the verdict by the Israeli Army. I’m passed the point of getting mad at Israel. I don’t even think of it as a country anymore. I wish it was a country because the Jewish people deserve better. But it’s not a country, just as Nazi Germany wasn’t a country.

Enter Rayne, who stepped in with the following:

While I don’t disagree that the killing of a child in this manner is extremely offensive and likely a crime against humanity, this post is hardly going to improve the situation.

This bit:

I don’t even think of it as a country anymore. I wish it was a country because the Jewish people deserve better. But it’s not a country, just as Nazi Germany wasn’t a country.

is likely to be seen as offensive as Hamas’ denial that Israel has a right to exist.

Further, all of Israel is painted with a broad brush; do you truly think there are no Israelis who are not offended by this horrific incident?

That’d be like observers outside of the U.S. lumping all citizens together as supporters of Bush/Cheney, while denying our existence as a country.

With that in mind, let’s stick to the specifics. The Israeli Army obviously has a serious problem with their rules of engagement (rather parallel to the U.S. military helicopter murders of civilians revealed on video by Wikileaks); this particular soldier obviously has a serious problem with judgment and may yet be at risk under international law. And the leadership of Israel has a serious problem if it does not understand this behavior has consequences.

Truthexcavator immediately backed down.

It’s sloppy to compare Israel to Nazi Germany. And I certainly believe in Israel’s right to existence. But it’s hard to express my anger about Israel’s blindness and inhumanity. The country is filled with brainwashed people who are led by very militant leaders. They are put in a constant state of fear by their leaders, so they are also victims. I always try to be mindful of that, but I forgot to articulate it in this post. I know Israel/Palestine is a sensitive subject, but sooner or later, we have to state our feelings more openly, as long as they’re not hateful/spiteful.

Now, truthexcavator actually made a legitimate comparison between the Israeli government and its citizens of today, and the Nazi government and German citizens of the 1930s and 1940s.  It’s especially valid in light of rabbis such as Manis Friedman in Minnesota last year calling for the genocide of all Muslims, and right-wing Israeli religious leader Ovadia Yosef this week calling for a plague upon Palestinians.  And most commenters in the thread agreed.  In fact, the consensus is that Rayne is abusing her moderating power in what is apparently one of a long line of crackdowns on language she finds personally offensive, but which most people at FDL don’t seem to.

This would be bad enough if it weren’t so hypocritical.  In comment #6, Rayne took truthexcavator to task for using too broad a brushstroke in his criticism of Israelis, then proceeded to do exactly that herself on Americans who shot and killed a Mexican teenager who was still on the other side of the border.

Just a thought exercise here:

– Take your comment at (4), remove Israel and insert [your country/state];

– How do you feel when reading that back to yourself? Does it feel constructive?

Please try that when writing. We need more detailed, researched, factual pieces which allow persons to formulate educated opinions and with effort and thoughtful discussion, more solutions. What isn’t needed is more incitement to anger.

It might also do well to remember the U.S. has lost any legitimate claim to moral leadership. If you’ll recall, Americans recently shot and killed a Mexican teen who was not across the border. When we solve problems like that, we’ll have regained some moral leverage. Perhaps other countries which don’t suffer the same tarnished morals could lean on Israel.

The rest of the thread degenerated into Rayne issuing threats of bringing out the ban stick against critics even as people continue to challenge her abuse of power.  Apparently, now that Jane Hamsher (the owner of FDL) is getting more air time in the talking head circuit, Rayne feels that this is the time for the plebeians to start scaling back their criticism of Israel, lest it offend the oh-so-delicate sensibilities of savages who think absolutely nothing of pumping three-year-olds full of munitions.  Never mind that this is exactly the time when the truth needs to be told in all its gory detail.

This is exactly the kind of censorship seen on such web sites as Daily Kos and pretty much any other right-wing blog, because there can be no criticism whatsoever of Israel – even from Jews.  It should not be tolerated at left-wing blogs.

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  1. Israeli runaway bestseller Torat Ha’Melech.

    Copies of a new book that provides justification for the killing of non-Jews could not be found in Jerusalem at the beginning of the week.

    At Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the flagship educational institution of Orthodox Zionism, there was a small sign in the entrance advertising the sale of Torat Hamelech: Dinei Nefashot Bein Yisrael Le’Amim (The King’s Torah: Laws of Life and Death between Jews and the Nations) at a price of NIS 30.

    Those interested in buying the book were asked to place money in a small cup and take one.

    But the books were gone.

    Lior, a young man from Yitzhar, a settlement in Samaria, whose name and telephone number appeared on the advertisement for Torat Hamelech, was surprised at how quickly the books had been sold.

    “Really? They’re all gone?” he said, adding that there was no other place in the Jerusalem area or anyplace else besides Yitzhar where the book could be found.

    Part of the reason for the interest was a front-page headline in Ma’ariv on Monday outlining the most shocking items from the book, such as halachic license to kill innocent children in battle situations in which their presence endangers Jewish lives, or even if there is concern that these young children will grow to become mortal enemies of Jews.

  2. someone bringing up Jews. I got attacked as an anti-semite  at DK a few years ago for saying:

    If Adolph Hitler were alive today, they’d send a limousine anyway.

    Which is a line from the Clash, about how the powerful stick together, and has nothing to do with Jews at all.

    You can’t substitute nazi <> fascist anymore, because the word nazi has somehow taken on a uniquely Jewish context.  Hogan’s Heros would be called anti-semitic today, by some, because there’s nothing specifically about Jews in it.

    You can say “Bush is a fascist,” but you can’t say “Bush is a Nazi”.

    You’re on dangerous territory if you talk about how many Gypsies, Anarchists, Communists, etc, etc the Nazi’s killed.  

    And it, by the way, remains open season to this day on Gypsies.

    A recent article in the NYT speculates that a 1963 child who disappeared  was an abduction  because “there were three Gypsies in town” and “other children went missing too”  France, the UK and Italy break their own laws to deport them, clearly following and amplifying the same fears the Nazi’s did.

    So, it’s a case where the appropriation of language has really bad consequences today.

  3. So who the hell was Godwin anyway? The official netroot word police ought to add to Godwin’s law and make ‘enemy of the good’ and Naderite or calling our civil and human rights ponies illegal. FDL and dkos vary on the brand of censorship but both have plenty of bots, and all blogs seem unable to handle IP. Left wing doesn’t seem to exist anymore it’s shouted down cause we need to keep the loonies out of power. Liberal is a dirty word, which is strange as the right gets more and more unhinged the left seems to try to appease the fictional center and walk on two legs. Double speak and think is required, never mind that the reason people have low enthusiasm is because they locked up all the ponies and refuse to reign in the Nazis.        

    • Diane G on September 3, 2010 at 2:17 am

    the only human rights subject the Left cannot address without assault in general.

    It was also a driving force behind me creating WWL.

    It baffling to me, how repressive the subject is.

  4. but Archangel M is being no angel. This topic is firedoglake meta and has nothing to do with this site, unless it’s a thinly disguised attempt to get around the no i/p site rules here (duh).

    The word Nazi gets thrown around too much (Glenn Beck…), and the author did not leave a pony jar. If archangel’s so hot to take on Rayne, firedoglake is the place. It is unlikely that Rayne is here or that he/she reads dharmakarma.  The only thing it does here is sneak in a disgusting nazi reference in a hit and run essay that is an open disregard of site standards.

    Blech.

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