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.
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.