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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is Larry Derfner representative of Jpost's values and views?

To The Editor In Chief, Jerusalem Post ([email protected])

Dear Sir,

I'd like to add my voice to those who are currently expressing outrage over the screed posted by Larry Derfner on his personal blog justifying, and even encouraging, lethal terrorism against Israelis.

By all indications, Mr. Derfner has bought into the criminal idea that anything and everything is justified in trying to 'end the occupation'.  Arguments that palesinian terror predates Israel's control of Judea, Samaria and Gaza would be lost on anyone who could write something as reprehensible as the piece to which I've linked.  

I don't know if Mr. Derfner is suffering from some sort of Stockholm syndrome or if he is so full of self-hate that he can't identify the line between legitimate political expression (his or the Palestinian's) and condoning/encouraging murder.

Granted, Mr. Derfner usually stops short of outright incitement in his Jpost columns, but it seems to me that someone in your position should be asking himself at what point balance/fairness are no longer being achieved by offering a soapbox to someone who encourages terror against his own countrymen as a legitimate form of resistance.

I hope that the relevant authorities will see fit to file criminal charges against Mr. Derfner for his incitement, but I would also expect his employer to take the appropriate disciplinary steps after so clear a breach of journalistic norms and guidelines.  Dismissal comes immediately to mind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Best.

David Bogner
Efrat, Israel

Posted by David Bogner on August 25, 2011 | Permalink

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David,

While I'm just as outraged as you over Larry Derfner's column, I disagree with you when you write "I hope that the relevant authorities will see fit to file criminal charges against Mr. Derfner for his incitement." I don't believe that it rises to the level of incitement. Terrorists don't need permission from Jews. The incitement laws in Israel are implemented far too widely. Derfner's column should be categorized under free speech.

I'm pretty much on the left, and feel Israel should withdraw from Yehuda & Shomron. I even agree with Derfner that Palestinians have a right to resist. But there is a HUGE difference between attacking military personnel and bases and attacking civilians. While I'm horrified at any death of Jew at the hands of those who want to destroy us, I don't call it terrorism when it's soldiers.

But there is never any excuse, ever, to intentionally attack civilians. THAT is the definition of terror and anyone who engages in it loses any right to call themselves resistance fighters. They're murderers, pure & simple. Larry Derfner, by not understanding the distinction between these two vastly different types of attacks, loses all credibility on any moral issue.

Posted by: Philo | Aug 25, 2011 7:57:44 PM

Yikes! Larry Derfner is really out to lunch. Forget that, he's having a 12-course banquet on the graveyard of Israeli terror victims. Ugh...

I agree with 95% of what you wrote, except for the part about him being arrested. Suspended, yes, fired, maybe, arrested, no. Not just because it comes uncomfortably close to government-sponsored censorship, but also because it would turn Larry Derfner into a political prisoner / martyr and give the article an international publicity boost. Better that it sinks into obscurity.

Then again, I'm sitting safely on this side of the Atlantic, so what do I know.

Posted by: Chantal | Aug 25, 2011 9:17:05 PM

What Larry Derfner wrote is pretty sick. For me oit is hard to understand why Europeans can think this way, but someone living in Israel? This is completely irrational. While fighting against military target can be understood as resitance, killing civilians at random, including even there own people is pure terror and can never be justified. I'm agreeing with Philo and Chantal in that what he is writing is not fit for criminal charges. There are many things that makes Israel distinct and superior to any other country in the region, one of them is freedom of speech. He rather needs a shrinq.

Kurt.

Posted by: Kurt | Aug 25, 2011 10:58:42 PM

I try not to read his garbage. He obviously wants to go back to the pre 1967 situation of apartheid,no Jews allowed in Jordan(including the West Bank)no Jews within the walls of Jerusalem.Would this lead to peace? I don`t think so. I wouldn`t make him a martyr,but shun him,what the English call," Sending him to Coventry".

Posted by: ED | Aug 25, 2011 11:30:57 PM

Perhaps Jews who feel they live in occupied land should move. There's plenty of room for them in Europe or America. All Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Eretz Yisroel is Jewish, No more drawing lines to distinguish one part from another.

Posted by: nanaloshen | Aug 26, 2011 3:14:12 AM

I haven't read his blog post. He usually makes my nose flare when I read his hate filled rantings. Yet, I too, think you go to far. If it were an opinion piece in the Post it would be one thing, but in a personal blog it is yet another. What could be called for is scotch boycott type protest --- i.e. we won't read or buy any Post where he is printed. Thereby the market attacks him rather than government or other type sanction. It becomes a consequence rather than a punishment.

Posted by: chaim j. | Aug 26, 2011 4:14:08 AM

David:

You are too easy on Derfner.

He is a rodef.

Posted by: Robert J. Avrech | Aug 26, 2011 6:37:06 PM

I'm a bit left of center, but I must admit, it was a pretty shocking post on his part. It can only be written by someone who has never experienced a death from terrorism in a friend's family or someone close. His belief that murder is the Palestinians' only recourse ignores the existence of passive peaceful resistance, Ghandi style.
Very disappointing.
Larry

Posted by: Larry | Aug 26, 2011 9:49:03 PM

I'm a bit left of center, but I must admit, it was a pretty shocking post on his part. It can only be written by someone who has never experienced a death from terrorism in a friend's family or someone close. His belief that murder is the Palestinians' only recourse ignores the existence of passive peaceful resistance, Ghandi style.
Very disappointing.
Larry

Posted by: Larry | Aug 26, 2011 9:49:03 PM

I'm a bit left of center, but I must admit, it was a pretty shocking post on his part. It can only be written by someone who has never experienced a death from terrorism in a friend's family or someone close. His belief that murder is the Palestinians' only recourse ignores the existence of passive peaceful resistance, Ghandi style.
Very disappointing.
Larry

Posted by: Larry | Aug 26, 2011 9:49:03 PM

"But there is a HUGE difference between attacking military personnel and bases and attacking civilians. While I'm horrified at any death of Jew at the hands of those who want to destroy us, I don't call it terrorism when it's soldiers."

"While fighting against military target can be understood as resitance[sic], killing civilians at random, including even there own people is pure terror and can never be justified."

Nazi soldiers fighting against Allied forces in North Africa and across Europe, and in the end on German soil, did so while in uniform; they had a formal chain of command; and most fought only against other combatants. So, arguably not "terrorists," though the Nazis did not scruple about killing civilians randomly or non-randomly. But that does not change the fact that they were fighting on behalf of consummate evil, that is the Nazi cause, as are those "resisting" on behalf of the Palestinians, even when targeting Israelis in uniform and Israeli military targets. Their "resistance" serves a hateful ends and stands in the way of a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something that Derfner and his ilk, who romanticize "freedom fighters," especially ones who would kill Israelis, deny. So, it isn't a great deal less repugnant to say that what these Palestinian "freedom fighters" do is "justified" by the "Occupation," as some here seem to be intimating. (Do they think that the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, who was "captured" while in uniform, was "justified"?)

Posted by: dcdoc | Aug 28, 2011 9:50:21 PM

It should also be noted that there is no group of Palestinians, at least not to dcdoc's knowledge, that limits its attacks on Israelis to ones on those serving in the military and military targets. Those Palestinian groups that seek opportunities to carry out such attacks against Israel's military also seek opportunities to carry out murderous attacks on Israeli civilians, and they go more often for the latter than the former because the latter generally offer "softer" targets, that is easier to hit civilians and inflict greater numbers of casualties. The notion that among the Palestinians there are "freedom fighters" and there are "terrorists," those being different groups, which Philo and Kurt seem to believe in, is arrant nonsense.

Can Philo or Kurt, or anyone else, point to any Palestinian group that only targets the Israeli military and never targets civilians? If they can, they should come back and name for us those who might be seen as "freedom fighters" rather than "terrorists."

Posted by: dcdoc | Aug 29, 2011 2:19:17 AM

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