Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Objective JBlogging: A Case Study

As we all know, in the JBlogosphere everyone has an opinion on everything.

Put 2 Jews in a room and you get 3 opinions. One favorite pastimes among many is throwing proverbial darts at a wide range of issues, individuals, and people.

We defend and attack positions based on our backgrounds, beliefs and (for some of us) agendas. Agendas include "Just having fun exploring horizons through creative writing", "Investigating Theological and Philosophical Issues in Judaism", "Reporting on News of Interest in the Five Towns" and "Providing Unlicensed Advice Free of Charge."

My agenda is widely known -- (hopefully) promoting aliya and defending those who live here in Israel. The rest is just a thoughtful and humorous environment which I hope is compelling enough to keep readers coming back day after day.

DovBear, with the reputation of one of the baddest actors of the JBlogosphere (TM) published something yesterday which I found rather refreshing. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a DovBear defender from many perspectives. I thought the "Great DovBear Affair" was rather awful, I disagree with much of his politics, we were definitely at odds over the Disengagement, and the way he goes after certain people is a far cry from the way I would.

However. (And this is a HUGE "However").

To his credit, I must bring up the following story.

Last week, a rather unfortunate video made the rounds on the internet and in the media, showing an Israeli woman from Hevron screaming at Palestinians in Hevron. I have yet to find anyone who doesn't cringe when seeing it; some feel slightly bothered, and some are outraged.

In typical Israeli knee-jerk reaction, the police have even summoned this woman for a criminal investigation over this video incident (over what, I have no clue, she didn't threaten anyone). Yet, the Israeli Police are far from kind to the Jewish community of Hevron, and have exclusive orders for treatment of the people who live there from the Attorney General that do not apply to any other sector in Israel. Children as young as 9 can be taken and interrogated by the police, without a parent or attorney present.

But I digress.

I will tell you that since the Hevron Jewish community (and settler community in general) gets such a bad rap, that my knee jerk reaction is first to defend them and give them the benefit of the doubt. The onus of proof is not the Hevron community -- not because they are blameless, but with all the incessant hatred (and terror) aimed at them, there needs to be someone who speaks up on their behalf to defend them from the media and Israeli Left.

Last week, DovBear emailed me about the video, said he was going to post it, and asked if I had any thoughts on it.

First of all, I think it's a sign of fairness that DovBear approached me before posting.

A year ago, DovBear would have posted it hands down, and let people "roast the settlers."

Yet in yesterday's post, his treatment of the story was one the JBlogosphere's most balanced postings on the subject.

Counting to ten before posting, looking for additional sources, and reviewing the issue with others before writing a potentially scathing and damning posting against an entire Jewish community -- I am honestly impressed he wrote the article as he did; fairly and preventing needless sinat chinam.

You can (and you do) criticize him for his faults; but in his story yesterday, he did the right thing.

For that, I applaud DovBear (and I think you should too), and offer the official Muqata Seal of Approval for his post on "The Third Chapter".

May he merit many, many more.

If he keeps it up, he may even lose his "bad actor" status.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Lurker said...

You're right: DovBear's posting was fair and well-written.

The only question is: Did he write it himself?

Anonymous said...

Didn't read it yet..but sure approve of one jew praising another..

and may i say

Well Done!

Anonymous said...

But the issue is not only one video, perhaps taken out of context and not knowing, for example, that she and her baby were shot at a while back and that her nieghbor was stabbed to death by an Arab intruder. If an Arab tries to kill, "hashkem l'horgo" but don't curse back or act in a silly indefensible fashion. As I tell my Hasbata seminar participants, if you can't rationally explain what you did or feel silly after reviewing what you did, you shouldn't have done it in the first place.

But there were more video clips and with all the caveats, and as one who raised 5 children in Yesha, casually and nonchalantly tossing stones into your neighbors back yard is a bit incomprehensible. One pro-Hebron correspodent from Kedumin wrote me in an exchange "in Hebron, one must be as a Hebronite". Well, I prefer being Jewish with a better sense of morality and civility. That doesn't mean one backs down from terror threats or that one becomes a sniveling pacifist. But it doesn't mean one should adopt Arab customs either.

Anonymous said...

Hasbara (sorry for the typo)

Anonymous said...

I called the "Great DovBear Affair" DOVEGATE.
It surely commanded much attention and had an undercover agent, denial, (bad spelling) and then a type of confession.

BUT I agree with your assessment. I even thanked him.
Is DB becoming a BT? Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Lurker, Your comment afterthought was subtle and unexpected, but elicited a huge laugh!

Anonymous said...

Muqata, I agree. It's a good message.

Anonymous said...

promoting aliya
You are too honest, a more aggressive promoter would have made sure to leave those horrible Gush Katifs stories out of the campaign

Anonymous said...


You are correct. DovBear is to be commended for not jumping on the liberal moonbat bandwagon this time around.


I called it DovBearGate.

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