I have been having an exchange of emails with our good friend Andrew Hingston , aka Jerimiah Wails and First Amendment. Here’s what he writes,
I think perhaps you’ve confused me with someone else.
First, I am not a peacenik. I have made this clear numerous times, and I have also explained that my support for Peace Now is relative not absolute:I support them because their position is increasingly drowned out by those of the War-niks, such as most of your participants.
Second, you and most of your participants keep putting words in my mouth. If people read more carefully, we would all avoid the need for so much repetition and tedium.
Third, facts on this website (and for that matter most facts everywhere) are like statistics. There are lies, damned lies, and facts. For example, in Posting No. 173, Teshuvah cites to the Reverend Charles Baldwin, leader of a Pentacostalist Church in Pensicola, Florida, to give “facts” on the question of is the Christian God the same as the Muslim God? Go to the Rev. Baldwin’s site and what is there: a lot of Survivalist rant that would have been right at home in Timothy McVeigh’s death row cell. Not only are these not “facts,” but they are not even close to being reputable opinions. Teshuvah apparently can’t tell the difference between the Rev. Baldwin’s website and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. His sense of self-assurance and his “facts” come from unreliable sources.
Fourth, most of your participants seems to feel that the time has been worthwhile and they keep coming back for me. As one of your clique put it, “Ted, have you ever had so many postings before?” That was about 50 postings ago. The problem is that you and your friends agree on everything. How can there be a discussion without difference?
Fifth, I have never once argued that the “destruction of Israel” would be good for anything or anyone. I have repeatedly stated that the State of Israel, as constituted in 1948, deserves everyone’s respect and support. I have also said that without respect and support nothing beyond those original borders will or should service. There is an Israel. It should live within its borders. If it lives within its borders it should receive the world’s support. No support = no survival (in the long run); therefore Israel must find a balance of interests that the rest of the world is willing to support. At the moment it is overstepping that limit, and reaping the reward for its hubris.
Yes, I believe that the return of European Jews to Europe would be a better solution (for *everyone*) than the continuing quasi-warfare and recent ratcheting up of tension in the Middle East. It may surprise you to learn that a number of Israelis have apparently considered it as an option, for Israelis are buying apartments and homes all over Europe, even in Germany
and Poland. Not as investments, but as places of retreat for when things become unbearable in the Jewish Homeland. It’s also interesting that so few of your participants write from Israel — a few, like Rambo-Rambo, do, but not many. I am not sure of the explanation, but it is curious that at least on your website so many of the Israel Right of Wrong opinions come from
people located in countries considered among the world’s safest. It’s awfully easy to tell other people to go to war in defense of something when you are thousands of miles away.
I think it would make more sense to wait until people moved on naturally. But it’s your website and I understand that you might feel uneasy or even embarrassed by the amount of time and effort that has gone into this. But are your unease or embarrassment the best measures? Maybe, maybe not. You could poll your participants: Shall we wrap this up, or do you want to keep going? Two, I think, of your participants complained they were bored. Other of your participants (and both of those two!) nevertheless kept posting. Go figure.
I started by dealing with the article in question, but your other participants kept ascribing to me views that are antithetical to those I actually hold. To say that I advocate the destruction of Israel is not only incorrect — under the circumstances it amounts to slander. One might as
well have said that I worship at the tomb of Yasser Arafat. It isn’t even close to true, and it amounts to unwarranted character assassination.
When have I attacked you? I’ve attacked Laura and I’ve attacked Yamit. I regret that I attacked them, but it’s done now and they seem to have survived. In Yamit’s case, he even seems to enjoy it — toughens him up for the coming Armaggedon, and all that. But please show me where I have attacked you personally. I have said that your “facts” come too often from unreliable or unverifiable sources. You may believe that the Ariel Center for Policy Research is a reputable source, but I don’t, and I doubt many people do. It’s like getting facts about communism from the John Birch Society.
Are you impugning my professionalism or my ethical standards, Ted? Kindly show me your “facts.”
Please post this.
This was in response to my allegations about his comments. For a number of reasons, I hope he stays with us. Included among them is that he brings to the discussion a lot of knowledge. He may not know what we know, but he knows what he knows. He whets the appetite as does Ami Isseroff, whom I keep coming back to. Let us say, he is our own resident “progressive”.