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Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm With Groucho

Related Link » How I’m Losing My Love For Israel
The Polymath

“I admit that my exhaustion is exacerbated because, in my social circles, supporting Israel is like supporting segregation, apartheid or worse. I know this is a sign of weakness of will on my part, and I hope that the Times-magazine-sanctioned rise of J Street changes things, but I don’t think advocates of Israel understand exactly how bad the situation is on college campuses, in Europe, and in liberal or leftist social-political circles. Supporting Israel in these contexts is like supporting repression, or the war in Iraq, or George W. Bush. It’s gotten so bad, I don’t mention Israel in certain conversations anymore, and no longer defend it when it’s lumped in with South Africa and China by my friends. This is wrong of me, I know, but I’ve been defending Israel for years, and it’s gotten harder and harder to do so.”
— ‘By Jay Michaelson (Forward)’
“What we got here is ... failure to communicate.”
— ‘Strother Martin (as the Captain in Cool Hand Luke)’
“I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
— Groucho Marx
I'm with Groucho. I've had similar difficulties in dealing with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, the vast majority of whom have been leftist liberals, and not only concerning Israel but also concerning President George W. Bush.

Like any other quandary, if the situation reaches the point where it becomes intolerable, one must pause to do a proper cost/benefit analysis. In all such cases, there are few alternatives to choose from: (1) abandon your support of the entity at the center of the dispute; (2) abandon your association with your adversary; (3) make the dispute off limits for your interactions with your adversary.

For the specific cases concerning Israel, as well as concerning President Bush, in most instances I have resorted to option (2). In a few cases, I have opted for (3), because abandoning my adversary/relative would have been too costly for me emotionally.

But I have not had to resort to option (1). That would have been much too costly for me in terms of sleep deprivation.

Post #952 I'm With Groucho

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