Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gandhi vs. Israel

Small Answer: 

It is wrong to destroy a person's reputation or even to hold them in low repute for nothing more than criticizing the actions of a nation state, even the US or, gasp, Israel.

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma, resigned from the peace center he founded after criticizing jews.  The full story above is courtesy of the AP and the Star Tribune.

Mr. Gandhi made some remarks which were poorly worded.  He apologized for implying that Israeli policies reflected the views of Jewish people, and resigned his position with the peace institute.

We at Small Answers strongly disagree with his resignation.  

We hope that he will fight to be re-instated.   His comments were meant in protest against self imposed intellectual censorship of any idea critical of Israel - a position which is significantly undermined by his capitulation to these same forces.  

And, while this censorship is self imposed, it is apparently enforced by the so-called anti-defamation league, who I notice had no trouble whatsoever destroying Mr. Gandhi's reputation through the use of defamatory statements such as calling him a "bigot", even though Mr. Gandhi had apologized for his comments.

It seems to us at Small Answers that people ought to be careful about how they use words, but it also seems to us that some people need to get over themselves, learn how to read, and use critical thinking skills to discern the context of statements.

It was clear to us from the text of Mr. Gandhi's post that he was criticizing the state of Israel and individuals within the government of that state throughout.  

We at Small Answers think that perhaps this was clear to the Anti-Defamation league people as well, but that they crucified Mr. Gandhi anway, in much the same way former president Carter was crucified for similar remarks.

That's just wrong.  It undermines debate, and by obscuring the causes, it precludes any remedy of the problems between Israel and Palestine, which are, as Mr. Gandhi says, a major wellspring of conflicts in the world today.

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