Originally published on May 24, 2004
Over the weekend, someone who calls himself “The Exile” put up some pro-palestinian comments in this post. I found them to be rather offensive, as they began with, “I can’t believe someone of your intelligence level can’t tell the difference….”
That, for the uninitiated, is one of the most common ways a bad-faith debater calls someone stupid without seeming to call them stupid. Most people of my intelligence level have figured out that it’s an insult. And one thing I won’t stand for is flamewars in my comments section, particularly when the insults are directed at me. So I deleted the comment, and my pal Exile got upset and put up a few more comments until I banned him. Now he’s emailing me (I knew that was coming), trying to explain why I should allow him to post, and calling me more non-insulting insults (he’s smarter and a better writer than me, nyah, nyah, and oh, yeah, I’m insecure, too). Yeah, that’ll work. I’ll just change my mind right now, let him post in my comments, and not only that, link to his blog!
But here’s the thing that struck me while I was thinking over the real points he brought up about debating subjects on my weblog. To be completely serious for a moment, I know damned well how sensitive I am about Israel. I started wondering if perhaps I was being too sensitive. Perhaps, I thought, I should just let people like The Exile have their say (preferably without insults), and get a debate about Israel going in my comments thread. And the more I thought about that, the more I realized: No. Not. Gonna. Happen. Not here. And I don’t really care who calls me what sorts of names over it.
This weblog is a No Israel-bashing Zone. I simply won’t have it here. I read negative articles about Israel in all the world’s media. I see negative news reports on Israel on nearly every television channel. I hear Israel-bashing news on radio stations. I read Israel-bashing articles all over the web. And I have seen comment thread after comment thread devolve from a discussion on Israel or anti-Semitism into neo-Nazis throwing around the same tired anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks. So, no. I won’t have it here.
This is my weblog. This is where I get to say my piece, and where my readers, now that I have comments enabled, get to put in their two cents. The overwhelming majority of my readers are pro-Israel. The ones who are not have pretty much kept their silence, probably for the same reason I keep my silence on vehemently anti-Israel websites: Nobody’s really going to listen to me there, and nobody’s going to change their minds because of something I write in the comments.
People may call me biased. People may call me unfair. People may call me close-minded. I don’t really give a damn. I turn off the TV in anger more times than I can count. I fisk Israel-bashing articles here all the time. But I won’t put on my own weblog the same lame arguments, the same bullshit statistics, the same lies, and the same sugar-coated, slightly disguised anti-Semitism that I see in so many so-called “balanced” news media.
You don’t agree with me? Fine. You want to write about it? No problem. But do it on your own dime. And don’t expect me to read it, or respond. Been there, done that, don’t want the t-shirt.
This blog is a No Israel-Bashing Zone. And it’s going to stay that way.