Noa’s (peace) Ark Leaks

One of the nice things about “comments” here is you can learn while contributing. Earlier today, I posted a largely positive note about the two Israeli singers who will compete in Eurovision in May. From the recent New York Times account, we get the impression that Achinoam Nini (Noa) and Mira Awad were being criticized from the left because their appearance (as a Jew and a Christian Arab) constituted “an effort to prettify an ugly situation.”
Alas, thanks to an alert jwn reader (h/t Richard Parker), we discover that Ethan Bronner left out something — that “Noa” recently uncorked some screeds that raise questions about what rail her peace train rides.
Even as Israel’s bombs were “falling down like acid rain” on Gaza (in the words of one Syrian-American singer), Noa on 8 January wrote a long open letter to Palestinians that justified the slaughter. After condemning the “one joint enemy… of fanaticism, of all who who claim “god” as their sword and shield,” she moved to a rabid depiction of Hamas and called for its eradication:

Now I see the ugly head of fanaticism, I see it large and horrid, I see its black eyes and spine-chilling smile, I see blood on its hands and I know one of its many names: Hamas.
You know this too, my brothers. You know this ugly monster. You know it is raping your women and raping the minds of your children. You know it is educating to hatred and death….
I can only wish for you that Israel will do the job we all know needs to be done, and finally RID YOU of this cancer, this virus, this monster called fanaticism, today, called Hamas.

So much for finding “a better way.” One self-dubbed Noa fan, Richard Silverstein, on Jan 27th observed that,

The level of sheer condescension and cultural superiority represented by this statement is mind-boggling. It shows that even those who speak out of heart-felt passion and concern can sometimes make fools of themselves. Passion must be informed by judgment and analysis. This Noa lacks. She blames Hamas for all the evils of Palestinian society. She claims she is critical of her own government and society, but whispers not a word about WHY there is poverty, suffering and misery in Gaza.”

After the Israeli blitz on Gaza ended, a more restrained Noa apologized for her “harsh… finger pointing” and said that

“we all brought this catastrophe upon ourselves and now it is our responsibility to do what we can to change it! That means…exchanging negative, violent rhetoric…with a rhetoric of peace, acceptance, dialogue and joint recognition.”

But barely a month later, Noa was back in hasbara mode, attributing the rightward drift of Israeli politics to the:

“INCREDIBLE propaganda spread around the world by the ENORMOUS amount of Anti-Semites and Jew- haters who are bent on destroying Israel. When the Israeli population sees the lies spread around, the hypocrisy of the world who sees Israel as the aggressor rather than a country acting in self defense, a world whose eyes are blind to the killing and the massacres by the MUSLIM fanatics of the Palestinian people… then it is clear that the elections will go right.”

So does that mean that if the world just loved Israel more, then Israel would go “left,” would stop building settlements, would replace the “iron fist” with the dove?
While she was at it, Noa excused Israel’s recent wars with the Nazi card:

Israel was acting in self defense against fanatic, cruel, Nazi-like organizations, the Hamas and Hezbollah, who are holding innocent people captive, Arabs and Jews as one, and using them as human shields in their death-loving Jihad.

Just yesterday, in a commentary worth reading whole, Silverstein laments,

I’m sorry to say that Noa has done a “Benny Morris” on us. Like that New Historian and former progressive who turned against his former liberal beliefs to become as anti-Arab as the most noxious of Israeli politicians, Noa has taken leave of her intellect and her senses.
I’ve got news for Noa: you can’t detest a legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and claim in the same breath that you’re all for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. What you really mean is that you’re all for peace as long as the Palestinians put forward leaders you like. If not, then what are you for? Meaningless platitudes…

…. a canoe without a paddle, an ark that leaks.

6 thoughts on “Noa’s (peace) Ark Leaks”

  1. Well, cheer up Scott, you did bring back memories for me with your mention of the Eurovision music competition. What made this event BIG, IMHO, was the victory of Abba doing Waterloo 35 years ago.
    I remember visiting Caterpillar tractor in Iowa (Waterloo, Iowa) on a trip from Europe shortly thereafter on business and told them that the (music) world had changed. Of course later on it was an Israeli Cat that ran over Rachel Corrie, and has destroyed Palestinian houses, which ties in Israel, and I’m currently in Wellington NZ which ties in Waterloo (Duke of). The stars have aligned!
    Which is a long-winded way of saying that I’ll stick with Abba rather than these new political ‘experts,’ thank you very much. (But then, as McCain said about himself, I’m older than dirt.)

  2. Thanks, Scott, for tipping your hat to me.
    The Eurovision Song ‘Contest’ has always been used for political and nationalist purposes.
    Any country which has a winner can rely on a wave of benevolent feeling towards it, and this is why Noa and Mira have been appointed as Israel’s songstress ambassadresses.
    Since 1973, when Israel was first admitted to this daft, fixed contest, they have won 3 1st places, 2 second, and 1 third.
    So … 10% of the firsts.
    Which is a lot, from 75 participating country broadcasters.
    So, it’s not peanuts. The Eurovision Song ‘Contest’ is good propaganda.
    They haven’t won anything since 1999, which is obviously due to rabid anti-Semitism.
    Or a conscious move to bring in the Eastern European countries, who have won every ‘contest’ since 2000.
    Noa should perhaps concentrate on the plight of the Sephardim in her own country.

  3. Editorial note. I just removed a very lengthy reposting here, as a comment, by someone claiming the name “Michael Toteen”, of an item that appeared on Totten’s blog a month ago. Also, a short response to that.
    This is not the first time the phantom Totten has shown up here reposting old posts from that young adventure-seeker’s blog.
    I don’t know who’s doing this, but please don’t do it again. it completely violates the commenters’ guidelines, which all commenters should read. (And yes, that includes you, Joshua and N. Friedman, who’ve been hogging the discourse a bit over at a recent comments board.)

  4. This is quite entertaining. Totten collects these stories as if they’re war trophies. Fancies himself the next Hemingway or Lawrence of Arabia.
    Did the dips*&t ever consider what he was doing allowing Hitchens to carry on his junvenile delinquent behavior in such a dangerous place. Totten & Hitchens have just proved themselves the true ugly Americans–or should I say neocons.
    Totten shouldn’t wonder & complain as he has in his blog that Lebanese constantly ask him if he’s with the CIA. With a performance like this it’s no wonder.
    I wonder what might’ve happened if I’d visited Philadelphia, MS circa 1963 & defaced the car of the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan? Why would I have been so stupid as to want to find out? I’d say that Hitchens has a death wish of some sort & that Totten was his enabler.
    WHy would he want Helena & her readers to know of this sordid tale unless he thought we’d actually be sympathetic to him & want to denounce his attackers & their politics.
    But worst of all is Totten’s imposition on this blog spamming her w. a prepared piece he’s obviously published prob. at his blog & elsewhere. Not to mention that he’s hijacked this thread & his contribution is entirely off topic.
    Typical Totten. It’s all about him. His politics are the same way. Everywhere he goes he sees not the place & people themselves; but he sees them as some reflection of his own personal experience. Incredibly self-centered & ultimately boring.

  5. It’s all about him. His politics are the same way. Everywhere he goes he sees not the place & people themselves; but he sees them as some reflection of his own personal experience. Incredibly self-centered & ultimately boring.
    My reaction was that it was the most incredibly adolescent snooze-fest I had ever forced myself to endure. I can’t believe I actually read the whole thing except that it was kind of like sitting through a really bad movie in the mistaken belief that surely if I watched the whole thing its value would at some point become clear.

  6. Abba… YES. (we’re from the same generation!)
    Knowing you, knowing me. Aaaahaaa.
    My own waterloo relates to a fine university in Canada, which contains within a humble Mennonite College, where they had some unusual exchanges going on between western and Iranian theologian types…. even blogged it here at jwn, the fuss it stirred among those who found such peace-chatting to be too offensive.
    “it’s history repeating itself”
    abba yaba doo.

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