And this is how you troll punch a hippie fish

Take it away, Josh Marshall:

JW checks in from the screechy sectarian left …

The fact that Jews were relentlessly persecuted by European Christians for seventeen hundred years by no stretch of the imagination gave them the right to go and do exactly the same thing to another innocent people. If Americans are so passionate about such a relic of the nineteenth century as the ethno-religious state, then by all means let us give New York to the Jews; Palestine was never ours to give away.

But what has been happening for the past seventy years is the Palestinians have been paying for the antisemitism of Americans and Europeans. Eight hundred thousand people were ethnically cleansed in 1948 in order to create the right population for a “Jewish liberal democracy” in the Middle East by quite your standard grade Ameropean imperialists. And the people of that colonialist state have been psychotically trying to get rid of the rest of the Palestinians ever since, in the name of their evil deities or whatever.

First things first you take what is possibly a regular reader and with one swift kick, drop them down the well of hippiedom. Of course, the gist of this statement could easily be digested as “the whitewashing of Israeli wrongdoing is becoming increasingly impossible to swallow from any angle.” Of course this statement is shrill to no end, but instead of acknowledging the more than grains of truth of the matter, we just just dismiss it like the deflection of a harmless paintball. Then the following paragraph from our correspondent gives Josh the cobag icing:

The Jews getting kicked out of Iran, Iraq, etc. was all a response to that original horrific example of Ameropean hubris. So the solution is not “along the green line” as you suggest, especially since the Israelis themselves have proven over and over again that they will never settle for this. The solution needs to be paid for by us imperialists, not our victims. If you really want to do some good, let’s start talking about U.S. government programs to resettle Jews in America.

This of course is impossible, and is unthinkable amongst the most Serious of persons. Yet treated equally impossibly and unthinkable is how to solve the Palestinian diaspora, which is much more recent in time than the Jewish one. But this last paragraph is what gives Josh his out, to use yet another correspondent to do the dirty work, solving nothing and lighting fire to straw. Here we have TPM reader SG:

I am all for a Palestinian state and I have little regard for the Netanyahu government, but I am really tired of seeing folks on the left, people whom I agree with on most other political issues, take seriously the idea of unwinding the whole Zionist enterprise.
Let’s assume for the purpose of argument that Zionism was an immoral movement. Fine, so the State of Israel was born in sin. But birth in sin is not a problem peculiar to Israel. Scratch any modern nation-state’s origin story and you’ll find resettlement, exile, expropriation, genocide, and all the other evils that accompany inter-ethnic warfare. For most countries, these skeletons have been so deeply buried that the descendants of former enemies can pretend not to care, but for some, like Serbia, the bodies are still pretty fresh.
The First Aliyah was over a hundred years ago; the State of Israel was admitted to the United Nations over sixty years ago. All of Israel’s immediate neighbors accept its *existence*, even if they disagree with Netanyahu on where its borders should run. The wisdom and morality of Israel’s policies should be vigorously and freely debated, but the mere question of “should there be a State of Israel at all?” should be closed, at least until the Israelis themselves show an interest in reopening it. (Among the privileges of independent statehood is the privilege of merging with other independent states. But when outsiders *tell* a state to merge with another state, or tell it to dissolve itself by exiling its own citizens, we call that something else.)

When apartheid was a live issue, I don’t remember anyone on the left suggesting that the Afrikaners should move back to the Netherlands. When the Troubles were more troublesome, I don’t remember IRA sympathizers proposing that Irish Protestants go back to Scotland. Why, when it comes to Israel, does the comparable idea keep getting bruited about?

One of the characteristics of privilege is that people without privilege are expected to constantly account for themselves. An African-American in a prestigious job faces accusations of “you’re not really qualified; you were just hired to make a quota”. A woman who is a victim of sexual assault has to convince others–sometimes, even the police–that she didn’t “deserve” what she got. Gay men and lesbians advocating marriage equality have to present an image of perfect loving eternally pair-bonded couples. The barrage of demands for Israel to apologize for its own existence is the same kind of bigotry, and people who call themselves “progressive” should be ashamed to tolerate it.

Has anyone seriously been bruiting this straw issue? And does this issue somehow allow anyone to defend the Israeli state as one lacking in privilege? I think SG is marinating in a universe of unexamined privilege. I note that in the mixing of metaphors, Israel is both the apartheid-creating Afrikaners, the IRA, but also a gay couple and a victim of sexual assault.

Whatever the insanity exists on the Left, it simply remains the only political philosophy with the courage to challenge the foreign policy hypocrisy of the home team, and the domestic policy hypocrisy of the home team’s nation state clients. The current Israeli regime is as incompetent as the Bush administration and their lies as transparent. If Josh wants to cover this issue, maybe he can expend a little more capital than stacking his decks with poor man’s Milo and Clodius thugging it out in reader correspondence.

Also, he can cut out this cobaggery:

It’s a Hyundai?
Josh Marshall | June 8, 2010, 12:39PM
Sheesh, the Deepwater Horizon rig was built by Hyundai and I’m only finding this out now? No wonder.

It is the perfect setup, a deeply unfunny and incredibly misleading toss off of a joke, bound to drive anyone with a tiny fraction of a brain mad. Why? Because the Deepwater Horizon rig itself seemed to have no bearing whatsoever on an incalculable environmental catastrophe, and to cast such aspersions on the company that made it because you only know this gigantic conglomerate as the maker of the 1986 Hyundai Excel. Why not make a Members Only crack? I’ve love to make a “1986 called and it wants its joke back” but then I’d have to make a “some other year called and it wants is ‘some year called joke’ joke back.” Why is it the perfect setup? Because you can cover your bullsh*t with the “humorless x” trope.

Late Update: TPM is currently under siege from a pack of feral literal-minded readers over this post. Send us encouragement and bandages.

That is how you troll.

Bob Somerby repeated himself once or twice so it evens out.

14 Responses to “And this is how you troll punch a hippie fish”


  • the goobie thread is currently under siege from a pack (ok, one) feral literal-minded reader and watcher of Glee

  • Fixed: Bob Somerby repeated himself once or twice^999999999 so it evens out.

  • I’m glad you don’t get angry with me for making unfunny jokes…or perhaps you do and I don’t notice???

  • herr doktor bimler

    World, be more funny!!

  • I like the little trick where his Hyundai “joke” (the maker of 3 of the top 20 most reliable cars btw) was not to be taken literally, but the reader JW comment was obviously 100% literal in its proposal to relocate everyone living in Israel!

    SCREAMING SECULAR LEFT!?!?! What did he steal a Bill O’Riley script or something? I eagerly await his earnest posts RE: the War on Hanukka.

  • It was “screeching” and it is “O’Reilly” thus I think the point is only strengthened. I fault Josh for not going with the “what, was it a YUGO drill bit??”

  • I think you mean O’RLY.

  • C objects that you can’t troll your own blog.

  • You can use your blog to troll the world. Please see*

    *I was going to say “Andrew Sullivan” but I think “the internet” would suffice.

  • Hmmmmmm, I don’t see that the first person identifies as “Screechy sectarian left” the ideas they put out would not seem to be the preserve of the Left or even sectarian. Honestly I have seen droning religious righties wanking on about it on forums before.
    As a lefty sectarian I would also strongly disagree and I DO GET SCREECHY if the burgundy is not from East Algeria, is all I’m sayin’
    But it is Marshall’s blog and he can say what he likes. The Hyundai crack is just weird, but I guess it is an cheap laff when everything else is about the affair is heartbreakingly terrible. BP fuckers have screwed up the Gulf for a fucking long time.

  • I would strongly disagree with the resettlement in Texas idea. I meant to say, but the time difference made it come out wrong. I blame fish

  • I agree with the proposal to relocate all Celtic fans to Texas.

  • Start with Those who bought “Riverdance: The Show”.

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