Saturday, May 29, 2010

A glossary of newspeak slogans\
Saturday May 29th 2010
By Sarah Honig

It was sweet solace for the soul to learn that some on the entrenched Left still retain a smidgeon of hankering for the Zionist fold. It was comforting to conclude that maybe the more progressive self-appointed guardians of other people’s consciences have noticed, albeit belatedly, that they had strayed too close to the loony fringe. So it was with genuine joy that many of us received the news of initiatives to purportedly back away from postmodern/post-Zionist excesses and return to the patriotic middle ground that was historically the solid power base of this country’s Labor-Left. We sincerely yearned to applaud the renascent National Left (Smol Leumi), not least because our entire body politic must be able to count on two responsible mainstream mainstay alternatives. It must be able to count on alternatives which place Israeli security and self-preservation above all trendy inclinations and which do not observe our reality through deliberately distortive enemy lenses.

But then came the pitifully under-attended but grossly over-hyped rally in Jerusalem which let the mangy cat out of the bag. These Peace Now/Labor/Meretz activists weren’t changing course. Like classic front-organizations, they just wanted to hoodwink us and get us to believe they were. The goal was to convince the Zionist majority that the Left is its sole true expression. The idea was to parade leftist dogmas as indispensable Zionist creeds.

Subtext: If you don’t adhere to the Left’s latest ideological transmutations, you are perforce ejected from the Zionist camp. These supposedly Zionist leftists weren’t joining the Zionist majority; they were out to transform that majority in their image. Anyone who dissents from their compulsory definition of Zionism – a far cry from Berl Katznelson, David Ben-Gurion and even Meir Ya’ari and Ya’acov Hazan – is pilloried as a heretic.

Hence they carried banners proclaiming that “Zionists don’t settle” and demanded “Zionism without occupation.”

The clinchers were placards urging: “Barack Obama please force peace on us.” How delightfully obsequious. But it’s more than simply submissive. The call for coercion, which average Israelis intuitively consider inimical to our existential interests, betrays a more sinister agenda.

With ploys eerily reminiscent of George Orwell’s “Negative Utopia” of 1984, left-wing opinion-molders engage in subtle forms of brainwashing. Whatever they champion is gospel. Their postulates become infallible doctrine, which they condition the masses not to examine by any yardstick for objective validity.

Downplaying, deriding and denigrating opposing convictions, and denying them resonance, they then portray their own viewpoints as the majority’s article of faith. They haughtily posture as democracy’s spokespersons and contend that their opponents can never be right.

AND JUST as in Orwell’s world, where the concept of reality-based truth is abolished, anyone the perception-manipulators consign to marginal status must be insane, settlers and their supporters foremost.

Just look at the Newspeak, which Israeli Doublethink has produced. Here is a glossary of sample standby slogans and much-mouthed mantras:

The sane majority – i.e. Peace Now et al. All who disagree are perforce numerically inferior and of no account, election results notwithstanding. As is their custom, bona fide radicals, though sanctimoniously preaching democracy, automatically depict all dissenters as democracy’s foes, pronouncing them weird if not altogether a demented menace. Electoral triumphs by said “mad minority” constitute outrages against Orwellian Goodthink. Such upsets, however, lend no legitimacy to ideological rivals and only increase the impetus to overcome them.

Enough with occupation – inculcates in the listener’s mind the notion that Israelis willfully, with no provocation, crossed the blessed Green Line one sunny June morning in 1967, snuffed out Palestinian sovereignty (nonexistent though it was) and sadistically subjugated the ancient Palestinian nation (which never existed before the advent of Zionism). It omits to mention that the territory in question isn’t foreign but directly contiguous to our incredibly narrow-waisted state, an integral part of our ancestral homeland, yet we hadn’t taken it until forced to defend ourselves against attempted genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Occupation corrupts – it does indeed, if the occupier a priori relinquishes his deterrent potential, making do instead with containing his adversaries and reacting to their initiatives. Occupiers who don’t utilize the force they possess, don’t opt for quick victories and acquiesce to prolonged conflicts of attrition, embolden their antagonists to introduce deadlier means and escalate terror. Halfhearted responses invigorate enemy resolve and increase noncombatant casualties and suffering.

Territories are a liability – only for Israelis. All other nations regressively regard territories as assets, which none ever voluntarily ceded. Cheerfully divesting ourselves of strategic depth (compromise in Newspeak) renders us more vulnerable and allows our enemies to import more sophisticated, more accurate, more destructive and longer-range weaponry. When our survival instincts eventually kick in, bloody warfare would ensue as a direct consequence of moves to unload the liability.

Territories for peace – promotes the theory that peace must be purchased and that Palestinians are fighting for independence on a delineated parcel of real estate. It strenuously obscures the fact that, more than they hanker for their own state, they yearn to destroy ours.

There’s no military solution – this defeatist refrain promotes shirking responsibility and justifying the cop-out of appeasement at a time when the powers-that-be haven’t done their utmost to thwart existential threats and safeguard the populace.

The limitations of power – seeks to convince the citizenry that after pinpoint targeting, low intensity response and selective surgical strikes fail to impress the enemy, there’s nothing left to do. Getting down and dirty is out of the question, as is acknowledging that we’re at war and not pursuing societally ostracized and isolated criminal bands.

You make peace with enemies – applies only to Israelis, who are expected to deviate from precedent and deny history. Elsewhere treaties are signed with defeated enemies who dread their adversary’s might more than they identify its weakness. History is replete with examples of peace contracted with enemies, but only after they were unequivocally vanquished and the fight taken out of them.

Nobody ever made long-lasting peace with a side that continued to battle and press irredentist demands. Shady dubious deals with tyrannies never work – remember Chamberlain’s Munich disgrace and the Ribbentrop-Molotov fiasco. Such gambles bring bloodshed, not peace.

THESE ARE facts incontrovertibly borne out by human experience throughout the ages. With brazen absolutism, however, Doublethink-purveyors seek to persuade Israelis that historical norm and factual truth signify that aggressors deserve another chance on square one and that peace is always made with still-potent ever-implacable enemies.

But why bother with facts? In “the labyrinthine world of Doublethink” the end goal is to get folks not just to say the opposite of what they think but to think the opposite of what’s tangibly obvious, to surrender intellectual integrity and cease distinguishing between common sense and nonsense.

Doublethink, Orwell elucidates, is “reality control.” The “lie that is passed into history becomes the truth” because “whoever controls the present controls the past.” This matters hugely, since “whoever controls the past controls the future.”

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