Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Exceptionalism is the essence of immorality: the case of Israel

“The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself”
Jane Addams (1860-1935)

“The greatest of fault, I should say, is to be conscious of none”
Robert Carlyle (1795 – 1881)

The following video provides a good summary of Israeli exceptionalism. It would be even better sans the somewhat incongruous chosen music background and with better English expression and references for figures cited, but nevertheless a generally excellent reminder of what we peace activists, including in Israel, are campaigning for. No justice, no peace. Know Justice, Know Peace.

See also Muhammad Amara on Israeli Arab citizens: It smells like discrimination (Ha’aretz) and Nimer Sultany, ‘War is peace’ (Guardian)

9 minutes

4 comments on “Exceptionalism is the essence of immorality: the case of Israel

  1. Jack
    12 May, 2007

    Hi Ann!

    First of all, this is very thought provoking. It is also sobering.

    One problem I have with it is that it seems to be very simple–either/or type presentation that fails to take into consideration a complex issue.

    In most people’s minds, things are black and white. We fall back on this mode of thought as a defensive mechanism against complexity. Geopolitical issues are rarely as cut and dried as humanity likes to make them. For example, in this country, the mindset with many is U.S.A – good guys, Iraq (or even Islam) – bad guys. This is far from the truth, even though there may be elemental truths people lace within it to justify the position.

    This video seems to make some very absolute statements, (some of which are wrong), and subscribe to a simple one-sided viewpoint that renders its appeal as more of an emotional than an educational one.

    But maybe that is its intent.

    Great to see you back and blogging! You have been missed!


  2. peoplesgeography
    12 May, 2007

    Agreed and thanks for this, Jack. I also would have felt better with supported figures rather than unverified blanket assertions, but this is the nature of this type of presentation, it is far from being an academic paper. Where it did get it right in drawing attention to the iniquities about which we seldom hear, it was valued. It is true however that it is structurally simplistic and one-sided, by intent, as it was a direct response to this presentation, a PR vid for Israel. This is another video reply to the original video.

    Thanks for the kind comments re popping back into Blogistan ;)

  3. Sophia
    17 May, 2007

    Hi Ann,
    I agree with Jack. Some facts are really strong in the video: racial discrimination, prison cities, walls, gates, apartheid…and nobody knows about them. However some are weak, I would say that the visual elements are weak (and the music of course) making the whole thing look like a propaganda while it contains facts, the maps, the fields, the villages are not 100% precise and therefore not accurate. But the coexistence of weak and strong statements actually make the strong statements weak. It is a pity. I would be curious to know who is posting this kind of video. There are different sorts pf propaganda and like conspiracy theories, some of them are tailored to kill the very idea of conmspiracy.

  4. peoplesgeography
    17 May, 2007

    Thanks, Sophia, well put, both on the point about ‘straw man’ conspiracy theories planted simply to discredit legitimate conspiracies, and your point that the “coexistence of weak and strong statements actually make the strong statements weak”. I think it was a too-hurried response to the original PR video ‘Cool Facts About Israel’, certainly (if it is a legitimate effort), and we would do well to be wary of, and check, backgrounds, as you suggest.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"