CAREFULL READING IS A MITZVAH
I've done it, and so have you.
And both of us have to our chagrin subsequently reread the piece that got us fuming in the first place, only to realize that we were wrong. We misread it. The author didn't say that at all. We had a bee in our bonnet, and a bug up our chamor.
Our minds made a wrong turn.
And concerning that, I posted on Dovbear's blog recently.
I reproduce the post below.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
CLARIFICATION RE: THAT..... ISRAEL THING
Apparently I wasn't one hundred percent clear when I wrote this:http://dovbear.blogspot.com/2006/07/that-israel-thing.html
At least two people managed to be baffled as to which side I am on.
As these two people are actually intelligent people, whose insights I do value, and whom I know to be not just the brain-dead morons whom I usually encounter when on the Dutch forums I haunt, I really must clarify what some phrases meant.
Conservative Apikoris asked: "Which tribe are you supporting?"
And Chana, who is herself a darn good writer (see here: http://www.curiousjew.blogspot.com/) stated: "But emotionally speaking, to see you on the side that is pro-Palestinian is horrifying."
Well, you could have knocked me over when I read both of those comments (and it isn't even the weekend, I'm stone-cold sober!).
The third sentence in my post was a clue as to my stand... "I don't get the howls of outrage that support for Israel engenders among otherwise sane and good people". What I meant was that I do not understand why being pro-Israel makes other people (whom theretofore I had every reason to assume were sane) turn into rabid wolves baying at a heretic rabbit (me).
I avoid certain places because I have no wish to deal with pro-Palestinians and anti-Semites.
My fourth and fifth sentences were also (I thought) fairly clear: "In a few minutes I'll be at a counter-demonstration, where we few will be facing a multitude who do not wish well for Israel. And I expect to be howled at".
Please note three crucial elements - my use of the first person plural (we few), what we will be doing (facing a multitude who etc.), and my subsequent expectation that I will be howled at (which ties in to my use of 'howls of outrage' from the sonei-Yisroel faction mentioned earlier.
The third paragraph ('And once more... Place at the table') was an attempt to turn the pro-Palestinian clichés upside down. A feeble stab at sarcasm, which, alas, must've fallen flatter than the soufflé I tried making recently (it was rubbery, and quite inedible).
Then there was the bold text with the rhetorical question - I though it was obvious what I meant, as the only side which wants to exterminate the other is the Arab side, which has repeatedly sworn to drive the Israelis into the sea.
Surely none of you can believe that I am in favour of that?
[And I really would like some comments to indicate that I am not mistaken... ]
The dry remark at the bottom of the next paragraph may have been beyond readers who by this time were hot under their Neatzit™. I thought it was my best sarcasm...... I was wrong.
I apologize. My glib crack at the Western Europeans and the United Nations fell on deaf ears, on barren soil, on the hot infertile sands of the desert, the desiccated loam of a country long in drought, the dehydrated cracked mud of a dead riverbed, the powdery dust of a wasteland, the... Whatever. I apologize again.
Several more parts in my post were, it seems, utterly unclear. The two reasons I stated for why I opposed Palestinians having power were perhaps too vague. The snarky comment I made about the Palestinian homeland, saying that I believed it used to be called the Hashemite kingdom of the TransJordan, may have been too geographically abstruse.
Please let me clarify. The area now known as Israel and the occupied territories (which I called the 'liberated territories' - that should've served to tell you what I felt about the term 'occupied'), which are to the west of the Jordan river, are CIS-JORDAN.
The area on the OTHER side of the Jordan used to be called the TRANS-JORDAN.
[Rivers have two banks, or 'sides']
Both the CIS-JORDAN and the TRANS-JORDAN together are 'Palestine'.
The British put one of the Hashemite princes in charge of the area (his brothers got Iraq and Syria), because they needed a place to park the royals who had been driven out of Mecca by the Saudis.
The kingdom of Jordan (the last and only Hashemite kingdom) is populated by indigenous nomads and settled people - Bedouin and Palestinians. The majority of the population of the Kingdom of Jordan are Palestinians.
Please consult a map, plus a few history books, and a compass (and if you can't read the map, you may have it upside down, and you may need to rotate it one-hundred and eighty degrees on a flat and horizontal surface).
Okay, is that clear?
Please use the comments section to indicate yes or no.
Lastly, I mentioned what side of the street the pro-Israel minority would be on (the consulate side). I described them as "several elderly Russian speakers, a Chabadnik or two, Jews and Christians of the entire gamut of conviction and ideology, some Rednecks and knee-jerk right-wingers, and some generally decent well-informed people. And a screaming liberal who just doesn't get it." That screaming liberal on the consulate side was me.
So, to be entirely clear: I am pro-Israel.
I went to a demonstration where I was part of the group facing the pro-Palestinians.
I was with other pro-Israel demonstrators counter-demonstrating against the Berkeleyite... errm, Sonei-Yisroel.
The group I was a part of was pro-Israel.
The OTHER side was NOT pro-Israel.
And I promise I'll be more simplemindedly obvious in the future, and use no confusing irony, sarcasm, or rhetorical flourishes. I'll be bold, and clear, with no pretense at subtlety or inside jokes. No rhetoric. Speaking slowly and clearly. Simple Hemmingwayesque sentence construction.
Why, I'll be positively Foxnewscasterish!
Hah! You'll just have to read more of my crap to find out if I keep that promise.