Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bumps and Bruises in the Blogosphere

The Internet can be a wonderful place. Through this blog, I’ve been able to connect with other bloggers from all over the world. I’ve discovered like-minded Israeli bloggers such as this one and this one, exchanged hopes for peace with Jordanian bloggers like this individual or this one, discovered some interesting Norwegian bloggers who seem to share my world outlook and sardonic sense of humor, and joined forces in a battle against evil with the folks over here. And these are just a few of my regular reads. This blogger makes me cry with laughter on a regular basis, and the writings of this blogger never fail to entertain.

It’s been an enjoyable ride, though certainly not without its bumps and bruises along the way. I enjoy the writing immensely, the often fascinating exchanges of ideas on a veritable plethora of topics. Blogging fills a void for me, providing me with the opportunity to write creatively (and often provocatively) that I so desperately need. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about others, and discovered the awesome power of the written word. Through the blogosphere, I’ve seen how good people can be, Arabs and Israelis who truly believe in peace, people who brilliantly use their blogs to try to break down the barriers and the stereotypes. It’s writers like her and those mentioned above who give me hope for the future, hope that we can come to understandings with our neighbors, that we can stop the bloodshed and work towards what I hope is the common goal of peace for our region and mutual respect for all its inhabitants.

Of course, alongside the good that the Internet brings, there is bound to be bad as well, people who use their blogs and websites as platforms for spewing hate, people whose primary goals seem to include spreading divisive propaganda as truth. I am sadly awed by the depths of their hatred, their rudeness, the lengths to which they will go in order to publicize their own agendas even in the most incorrect of forums. It is clearly not enough for these individuals to promote their twisted cause via their own sites, as they purposely seek out other forums simply to create a furor, hijacking the blogs of others and sprinkling them with noxious comments in order to do so, and then crying foul when the predictable flurry of angry responses begins to flow. Sometimes the comments are simply left for shock value, but in other instances, the agenda is quite clear.

What brought this post on, do you ask? There has been a recent flurry of vitriolic commenting on one of my favorite blogs. The writer of this blog portrays herself as liberal, a strong believer in the possibilities for peace. She writes beautifully about her experiences, her encounters with a wide variety of Israelis and Palestinians, presenting their stories without judging, and providing a window for her readers into events that they might otherwise never get to see. Her frequent descriptions of life in Gaza and the West Bank have raised the ire of right-leaning Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora, and have earned her no small amount of vicious comments, as have many of the more left-leaning blogs including this one. It is for this reason that I’m puzzled as to why certain individuals chose her blog, of all the blogs in the Israeli blogosphere, to hijack. These individuals espouse beliefs that are intolerable to most left-leaning Israelis, and their comments provoke both sadness and anger, so malicious are they. Comments that leave no room for discussion, written for the sole purpose of provocation, or so it would seem, based on the wording and the intended audience. There is no point in trying to reason with these individuals, as they are not there to reason or to share opinions, but you just can’t help yourself, because you simply cannot believe that not only does such hatred exist, but it is literally being shoved in your face, right in your very own home.

While I do read some blogs whose content I don’t always agree with, I continue to visit those blogs because they are well-written – they make me think, and sometimes they make me smile. I read them because somewhere in there, there is room for common ground, something to agree on. If there is no common ground or nothing to make me smile, then there’s no reason for me to be there. You will never find me lurking around a blog that questions Israel’s right to exist. I would not be welcomed, and I would probably find nothing but aggravation and frustration. What would be the point? Even at my most liberal, I would have nothing to “positively” contribute, so why bother? In such an environment, I imagine that my comments would cause nothing but trouble, would be met with harsh responses and jibes. Why willingly subject one’s self to attack in what would clearly be a hostile atmosphere?

In much the same way that I seek certain qualities in my friends, I seek certain qualities in a blog and in its writer. Aside from a few demonstrations in my long-forgotten university days, I would never actively seek out and join a group of people whose opinions I despise for the sole purpose of pissing them off, so why do it in a blog? Maybe people do it because it’s easy, or because it’s exciting, but what does that say about you as a person? What does that say about the standards to which you hold yourself as an individual?

Sad is the person who derives their greatest joy from upsetting others.

33 comments:

Irina Tsukerman said...

My guess is many of such people just want attention. They are venting out their frustration by taking it out on others. I noticed many of them try to "shame" others into making concessions to their ideology... But such guilt trips have grown so old and whining that they now make an opposite effect.

zahava said...

Well said. We've been extremely upset at our house as well by the vitriol over there. One commenter took a particularly vicious swipe at you (your comment) as well.... glad you took the time to articulate these thoughts.

Ziad said...

I too have enjoyed our interactions, and hope to see them continue :)

Cathy said...

An excellent piece. I'm sad that the israbullies are still at it. I'm all for informed debate and exchange of views. But closed-minded use of definitive statements with a view to intimidation and silencing are something one would expect of islamists not Jews. Does this mean that those Jews (I struggle with what to call them as "rightwing" seems too simplistic) have more in common with other extremists than us? Sad.
Ta for the blog mention!

Liza said...

Actually, Cathy, it's certain Islamicists who have hijacked Lisa's blog. Pretty ugly stuff.

Liza said...

This whole incident seems to have sparked the latest topic du jour on a number of blogs across the blogosphere, whether they be here in Israel, in the US, and at least one in the Arab world that I've seen. People are getting fed up with the gratuitous use of hateful spew, and lots of people are blogging about it. Not surprisingly, it is mostly related to the whole Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Anonymous said...

I also like Lisa's ontheface blog - but I was banned from posting on it - not for any troll-like behavior, but for actually pointing out that many Israelis disagree with the left-liberal perspective put forth.

And so all the warm cuddly talk about meeting new people and exchanging views turned quickly to ash and vinegar.

Blogs are strange hybrids of the personal diary and the public forum - and one of the pitfalls is that the blog can close itself to dissenting opinions.

Unfortunately, I have seen this a lot among the left-leaning blogs - both the Israel-based ones, and those from elsewhere.

I certainly don't wish Lisa any harm - but perhaps now she can tell the difference between posters who really intend harm, and those who just disagree.

Anonymous said...

Actually, they are not Islamicists. They are Christians.

Anonymous said...

One of them is called Nancy Harb Almendras. She is a teacher, I believe in US Military schools previously in Okinawa and now in Weisbaden Germany.

Liza said...

And that would be umkhalil, correct?

Anonymous said...

From what I have seen, yes. Guess if they want to plaster other peoples identities all over the web they should be just as open.

Cathy said...

"they should be just as open."

Nu, mi at/a? So, who are you?


I'm confused. Are the perps israbullies posing as islamists posing as anglo-saxon Yank academics posing as islamist sympathisers or vice versa or some other permutation or????

Liza said...

Hi Cathy,

Here's a brief summary of what's been going on. Lisa over at On The Face wrote a post about an experience that a Palestinian journalist acquaintance of hers had, and asked readers to guess what the outcome of the story was. Her comments section was then hijacked by a couple of strident anti-Israel individuals, and it turned into an all-out battle, as the comments by the anti-Israel folks were way out of line, especially given the forum and the blogger (Lisa). My post here is in response to what happened on Lisa's blog.

And, in addition to what happened on Lisa's blog, another of the major anti-Israel blogs went so far as to have a post about new olim, focusing on Rinat from Balagan and Yael from Oleh Girl (and she was attacked in her comments section as well for her latest post, by one of the same individuals who had a go at Lisa). The post even went so far as to include the photos that Rinat and Yael have of themselves on their blogs. It's all becoming very ugly and personal, and frankly, it's quite sad.

Anonymous said...

Cathy,
Mi ani? You're absolutely right, it is a little bit hypocritical to be anonymous, but having been harrassed by people in this situation before, and having to take a lot of time and effort to extricate myself, I am more than happy to help but do not need the hassle of exposure.

Haitham said...

You say: "...comments section was then hijacked by a couple of strident anti-Israel individuals, and it turned into an all-out battle, as the comments by the anti-Israel folks were way out of line..."

I don't see, and still can't understand why everyone from the Israeli side would like to call that hijacking? I mean, I personally heard the story from Lisa in our "Walk and Talk", and after I've seen the comments (or what was left of them after deletion), I could not conceder it but a heated conversation, which ended up in a flame war between 'two' pro-Palestine bloggers (that is umkahlil and thecutter, maybe one more), and a dozen of pro-Zionist. This is normal when you are talking in subjects that are sensitive such as that one. On the others hand, mistrust fans flames and everyone gets upset and angry.

Of course I understand Lisa's position and her right to accept reject who comments and who don't, however, no one has the right to label a commenter as troll just because he fails to answer him for any reason.

99.9% of the cases is pro-Palestine bloggers publishing a story that present the situation from there perspective, then Israelis start attacking with labels such as "hate, racist, antisemitic, etc..." Why is that the case? Why can't the answer be, "I don't agree with you, and this is why?"

It looks that it is easier to accuse such activists with negative labels than answering their question. Mistrust is a result of wrong perception, which everyone like to call "hate". At the same time, why do you expect that everyone should love Zionists, while Zionists don't love everyone (at least that not what is evident).

Anyway, I guess this whole thing was unfair to umkahlil and thecutter. They are doing what they believe is right, just like everyone else thinks he is right, and there is nothing wrong in that!

thecutter said...

Haitham is absolutely right. I was the original "troll", who said, this sounds hoaky. That comment (hoaky) was construed as an all out invitation to completely abuse me. If you read the comments, even you "she", will note that I respected everyone and acted in a civil way the entire time, and it was others who "reacted" and created the heated situation you see, stooping to insult, defamation and lies. I don't like that blog, and I don't care about it, so why would I want to "hijack" it? I have hundreds of my own readers so I don't need or want any zionists to bother with my board, unless they want to see what the anti-zionist side has to say, but they don't. So, I really couldn't give a toss about them.

But, when I see an UNCORROBORATED story of that sort, where Lisa is turning it into a morality play to demonstrate how there is a good Palestinian, the one who shows something to an Israeli that he wouldn't show to a Palestinian, the red flags do tend to go up. I still believe this story to be hoaky, and I will continue to do so unless given some material that demonstrates the contrary, not forthcoming...

She should have treated it as a crime and gone to the Palestinian Authorities and commented that she had witnessed a tape of an execution. This seems to me to be the moral thing to do. Yet, mentioning that, I became smeared as having insulted humanity somehow since I challenged that she would publicise such a thing and do nothing concrete about it. Sounds like a rumour to me then. Didn't she ask "what would you do?" ah, if the answer is, "Do what Lisa did or be damned", she has some things to learn about human interaction. Not everyone is going to go to her blog to stroke her ego, there will be some who see no reason to do so.

Of course, Umkahlil reported all of this honestly, which is much more than you seem to be able to muster up.

Liza said...

Haitham and Cutter,

To be quite honest, I think that a lot of it had to do with the tone that was used. You certainly have a right to disagree with other points of view, and one of the things that is so wonderful in the blogosphere is that we can explore different points of view and discuss them with people we ordinarily wouldn't have an opportunity to come in contact with. The flip side of this is that when these discussions are being held, we are not looking each other in the eyes. There is no body language, no changes to tone of voice, facial expressions, etc. There are only words, and they will be understood in the way that the reader chooses to understand them, which may not have been the original intention. So, Cutter, even though you may have had valid points, they were buried in a tone that came across as condescending, and given sensitivity of the Israel/Palestine issue, the grittiness (sp?) in your words (and by that I mean not padded in niceties and politeness, and I'm not saying that this is a good or a bad thing) suddenly changed the usual dynamic of Lisa's blog, and in the eyes of many, not for the better. In the blogosphere, it is only your words that define who you are.

This was then followed up by another commenter (my pleasure, if I remember correctly) and the combination of your comments and pleasure's comments, along with the responses they elicited, completely drew everyone away from the original topic and into an all out flame war. This is what I mean by hijacking.

Also, not all of the commenters were Zionist/pro-Zionist - at least one of them is living in Europe, not Jewish, and in favor of self-determination for the Palestinians, and she was also quite offended by your tone and pleasure's tone.

Lisa, in her blog, does not tend to deal directly with the political issues, rather using them as a backdrop for her human interest stories. This is what her usual readers like, and it is what keeps them coming back. She presents stories and introduces topics without judging, and this is what she did in her original post, as she relayed the story of someone else's experience.

As far as blogs themselves, each blogger designs his or her blog as he or she sees fit. Some are political and others are personal. Some report the news. Others combine different genres. Some people see their blogs as a forum for free commenting, no matter what is said, and others see their blogs more as a party that they are hosting, where they expect their guests to display a certain degree of politness and respect, follow certain rules of behavior. It is the right of each blogger to designate their blog as they see fit, and it is up to the visitors to either follow the set rules or expect to pay the consequences. Perhaps some might disagree with this, and that is certainly their right, but it's not going to change anything. Haitham, I even noticed on your blog that you asked people who didn't agree with what you had written in a certain (brilliantly written) blog entry not to bother responding (or something like that), and that is within your rights as the owner of your blog. Cutter, you choose to let anyone comment, and this is your right as well.

Sometimes blog comments take a different direction than what was expected by the owner, and it often makes for a more interesting exchange. Other times, this happens, and it simply turns ugly. The blog owner has the right to deal with the situation as he or she sees fit, in order to maintain whatever agenda has been set.

With regard to umkhalil, she has gone out of her way to draw attention to two young women living in Israel, publishing their photos on her blog and slandering them for simply having made the choice to move to Israel. A provocative act for provocation's sake, and cutter, your comment on one of their blogs was quite rude, so you are not innocent here. You made presumptions about the blogger and about me that are not true and ended with an insult (unless, of course, you really why do want to know why these aliyah girl blogs have bios that always look like something from JewDate.com?).

thecutter said...

It is useless to insist. My tone was not condescending. You seem loathe to criticise the responses to what I had written, including lessons of how a human being acts in the world of internet.

I really and truly don't need lessons from people who cannot read the text and react to the subtext with defensive allusions to me, dehumanising me and setting the tone in order to perpetrate the continuation of such an approach. Where I come from they call it mobbing.

I believe the flames were coming from those who felt they were defending something without really reading or understanding it. Yes, one person was actually quite reasonable, but the rest joined in on the game, and the hostess upped the ante by considering those who were the designated anathema as "trolls". Strangely (or not) no one seemed to have problems with that, and it illustrates the political and social tendencies of Zionists, do not acknowledge the humanity or the validity of arguments of those who are the "enemy". It has been quite blatantly illustrated.

and yes, I really do want to know why the aliyah girls present themselves as if they are an advert in JewDate.com. Is it important for people to know that they are smokers? But, that is just my own curiosity. What I really am more interested in is if they think their right of return is more important than the right of return that a Palestinian has to the land he was deported from.

Remember, I too am the legacy of a deported family, I too am an immigrant, of immigrant parents, so I do know of what I speak.

Udge said...

Insulting each other in the comments section of a blog seems a strange way to bring about peace and understanding, but what do I know?

Or maybe their intention is to prevent peace and understanding...

thecutter said...

udge, why not take a look at Lisa's comments section and make a mental inventory of who is insulting who. Be honest, and see that it is Lisa and her advocates who launched the most violent, insulting and vitriolic words.

I of course KNOW they don't consider a real peace an option. Peace is leave me in peace.

Anonymous said...

mary/cutter - I have gone over the comments, and it seems that people were insulted that you accused Lisa of fabricating a story or being fooled by someone she trusted. You also implied that she had an agenda to spread false information.

Your friend Umkhalil's post was what put ppl over the edge and caused tempers to flare, as it (though now revised) called Lisa a 'ziolite jewish princess'. I don't fling around anti-semite as a term very often, but that was hateful. Umkhalil has continued a stream of very personal attacks against bloggers that lisa links to - naturally, I assume she seeks to intimidate and insult everyone involved - attacking people is a whole different ballpark than attacking ideas.

You were the person who decided that when people were criticizing your blog etiquette (Lisa's decision/right to remove your comments) that it was because she was anti-palestinian. As you will know from your own blog, it doesn't take much to turn your comment section into a playground for people who only want to assert their opinion, and not discuss anything. Erasing certain tones of comments is the right of any blogger - it is your living room, not an ampitheatre.

I do think that had you posted: "I am concerned that stories like this spread false information about Palestinians. Are you sure it was a real story? Are you sure you understood the Arabic?"
It would have been retained.

Do you really, in all seriousness think that an Israeli journalist can simply alert/contact the palestinian authority about what she saw, or are you mocking her? Because it sounds like you are mocking, though who knows, it is so hard to tell tone in these comment boxes.

I also know that this story would be interesting from any side of the conflict. Israelis also feel misrepresented by the media. They also feel initial skepticism when they hear that an Israeli has commited an act of violence, as we have all winced at the strange charicatures drawn by the press. Therefore I think that most of us saw it as a universal case and not one that unfairly pegged palestinians - we all have senseless violence in our societies, and we all dread that those stories will come to represent us in the media.

When Lisa posted this story, it was not with ill-intent. She really saw it as a simple journalistic dilemma. But then I know this because I asked her privately.

Haitham said...

Well, what can I say? Everyone has got a point, and that’s the beauty of the discussion.

I think this conversation is worth following from a different point of view.

The question is, why don’t we try to look at issues from others point of view? If one can’t be honest enough and is afraid of losing the chair of the party where s/he stand for, just skip. Otherwise, talk in honest and respectful way.

I agree with most of what “she” said regarding dilemma of comments/tone and intentions. This is a real problem of blog posts and comments, specially when enemies (sorry to say that) are talking to each other. And this is what exactly what luckily didn’t happen to me. When Lisa and I made those two hours of “walk and talk” in London streets; had I read Lisa’s post and followed the comments as they are now, I would have fallen in the same trap of misunderstanding and judgment.

People, we need a little of understanding, a little of trust and a little of hope. Otherwise, this will always be a “war fuel.”

thecutter said...

what do you mean Haitham? There was nothing in any of my posts that was insulting. In no way did I "hijack" her board. On the contrary, it was the aggressive and inflammatory reactions to my simple statement that the story sounded hoakey - and yes, you CAN to to the PA to report a crime - that brought about the aggressive campaign to paint me and other Palestine supporters as having caused some sort of rukkus.

Haban (I believe that was the name) was the only one who picked up on this, and of course, it was ignored for the most part, because people were already enjoying the tempest in the teapot they had created. It WAS enjoyable to them, from what I can gather. And it seems as if they really loved calling those who opposed the hasbara "trolls", as if - we lived for the exposure their boards gave us. As a matter of fact, my board gets about 700 hits a day, from 500 different readers, so one or two ziolights, I could and would prefer to do without.

As to Umkahlil's posts. She never used Jewish American Princess, but Zio-light Princess. Her posts were focussed, witty, poignant and very very analytical. Her writing style is in the league of the big guy bloggers, Raimondo, Nimmo... if you people can't see it, well, you can't. I can't make you realise it and really don't care to. You like another kind of writing. To each his own.

Liza said...

Haitham,

You are right with regard to looking at issues from other points of view. It was by doing precisely that that I have reached my current political thinking with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, which tends to be farther to the left than the average Israeli. My beliefs have gotten me into trouble on my blog, as well as in my personal life. As with anyone, I do have my red lines though, and there are certain issues that I won't compromise on. I am willing to listen to other points of view, as long as they are put forward respectfully. One of my friends in university was the head of the Arab students group. our viewpoints were diametrically opposed (I was farther to the right, then), yet our mutual respect allowed our friendship to flourish.

When one engages in dialog on sensitive subjects such as this one, showing respect for the other, even if in disagreement, can make all the difference in the tone of the response. When this dialog is solely in writing, additional care must be taken to ensure that there won't be misunderstandings. It's happened to me a number of times that my words were misconstrued by others, even though when I wrote them, I thought the meaning was clear.

I think that you and Lisa were very lucky in that you had an opportunity to discuss your differences face to face. Perhaps the exchanges here, on Lisa's blog and on other blogs would not have been so harsh had they been face to face, but we'll probably never know either way.

Cutter,

I have to say, the term "Ziolite princess" is highly offensive, even though you apparently don't think it is. It is one thing to attack a person's ideas, but quite another to attack someone personally, which is what umkhalil has done. Clearly, she doesn't agree with any of the Israeli bloggers, and that is her right. To post people's photos, to go after them personally as she did, with no provocation, crosses a line. I do not consider it witty to seek out and attack people personally for no other reason other than that you don't agree with them.

I agree wholeheartedly with much of what was said in the long post above Haitham's by anonymous. Whether you choose to realize it or not, your comments come off as abrasive and insulting. I can respect the fact that we have different agendas, and who knows, I would be willing to bet that there are even points on which we agree (and I see from your profile that we even share similar tastes in music), but I'm not sure that you would be interested in hearing about it, based on your general blanket statements about Zionists, Israelis, etc. Had you phrased your questions in the manner suggested by anonymous, it may have led to a more positive exchange (though there obviously would have been some crazy comments - they're hard to avoid in these situations), but the aggression in your words left no room for discussion, and served only to help heat up the situation
(along with the comments of some of the others, which were in some instances more harsh than yours, and certainly contributed to what happened).

I'm guessing that I won't be able to say anything to change your feelings with regard to everything that's happened. All I ask is that you try to understand how perhaps your intentions were misconstrued, your words misunderstood. I, for one, was more angered by how you said it, and less by what you said, and I believe I'm not alone.

Believe me, I'm one of the first people in favor of dialog, but I'm not going to reach out and try if I think the other party is going to shoot me down straight away, or not show respect for me as a person, despite our differences.

Anonymous said...

Haitham - you sound lovely and brave, and I greatly respect that. Thank you for insisting on the big picture.

thecutter said...

fine.. zio-lite princess is too much for you.

troll suits you just fine.

got it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to sound petty, but for clarity's sake: Umkhalil has since revised her post and taken out Jewish. I just wanted to be clear did not make up the Jewish part of her post.
here

thecutter said...

fine, it appears as though that's what she wrote. I didn't know Jewish princess was that offensive, one of my ex boyfriends called his sister that, and she never got that bent out of shape, in fact, she would call her litte group of friends JAPs...but I suppose if it's coming from a Palestinian woman who is pointing out the idiosyncracies of Lisa, it might be taken as offensive. But, I find it hard to argue with the points of Umka's posts. In fact, I find it impossible.

On the other hand, Blogging is based on creating clever epithets, using humour and cutting wit to say things that otherwise are pretty unspeakable. It was Lisa and Co. who personalised the entire affair, and seem to get mighty hot under the collar when they see others doing the same. I think Umka's style is quite excellent, and one of Lisa's fans even noted it.

Yet, if you felt it was a personal post (in a way, of course it was, and why not? This too is blogging... I've had lots of posts written about me, oddly enough. Some are love and some are hate, but that's what blogging brings about, haven't you noticed, or is this the first time??) that still does not take away from the valid points about the incident that Lisa wrote about, about the reactions of her commenters, and then successively the way that this tempest in a teapot was developed to continue to dehumanise the supporters of Palestinians.

I believe Umka's research on the facts of the Aliyah are very interesting, and of course, no one of these Aliyah Babes (as she cleverly calls them) seem to notice that their going to Israel and denying on the same token the Palestinian refugees to return is a-moral. But that of course is hard for people who are Zionist to want to address. It is an ugly fact.

Umka and I have tried dialogue. Zionists make sure that degenerates. Every... single... time... this is the game they play.

There are some who are not as aggressive, but all of them retain an antagonistic stance well beyond the call of duty.

I'm not here to convince anyone of anything. I am just stating that which I think, like the rest of you.

Jack's Shack said...

Strangely (or not) no one seemed to have problems with that, and it illustrates the political and social tendencies of Zionists, do not acknowledge the humanity or the validity of arguments of those who are the "enemy"

Don't you see that this type of rhetoric is automatically inflammatory. You don't use Zionist in a sense that sounds like they are human, you use it in a pejorative tone and that automatically sets people off.

nrg said...

boy, this sure did get ugly.

My comment to everyone, but most specifically to cutter, is that if you want to speak your mind, make your point, be heard, be understood, contribute to a greater global dialogue, and even learn a bit along the way... take a step back. Read your own words and try to imagine how they sound to your intended (or even unintended) audience. If the purpose of your comment is to hurt, anger, or "one-up" your audience, do it on your own site. If you are visiting another site, stick to the topic and your opinions on it. Resist the temptation to comment on people and to make generalizations that will, more often than not, be off the mark. Comments like, "All Zionists are like that, it's their trademark" are as useless and incorrect as "everyone knows an Arab can't be trusted". I've seen similar types of comments in my journey around the blogosphere and they are usually dealt out by writers who would cringe, recoil, and scream bloody murder if a similar generalization came from the "other side".

There's a lot of great dialogue out there. There are also many episodes of line-crossing and below the belt hitting. Some intentional and some not. I've been down that road myself. I even righteously defended my position and choice of words until I took the step back and heard how I sounded to a different set of ears than my own.

By the way, trolls are cute little (or nasty and enormous) norwegian mythical figures with tails. Some are very nice. Some are not. I object to using them to describe bloggers!!! I also agree with cutter's point that a label is a label. If you don't want to be labeled yourself, refrain from using the word troll or any other phrase to group someone in a category. Take issue with the comments... leave the name calling to those with a lack of imagination or lack of a rational arguement. If your opinion is clearly presented, you won't need the name calling. (but on a side note, cutter... troll could be used for any blog commenter... zio-light princess has a narrower range of recipients and really is distastful. I think that you come across as a well thought-out, intelligent woman and I would like to think that you know in your heart that it was below the belt and could be read as cruel-even if you wouldn't admit it in this arena...)

ok, I'm done...

thecutter said...

fine nrg, point taken. My style is abrasive and (despite the fact that it was certainly much less abrasive and aggressive than things Adina and many others had said) you don't like it and it turns you off. I am supposed to listen with the ears of others and backpedal, even though I am the one being accused of "hijacking" and worse. In ordinary circumstances, and among people who are all acting in a mature way, that would be the logical thing to do. Yet, in this kind of circumstance, having voiced the mildest of views and having expressed my own views in a respectful, yet determined manner, I think the solution is to avoid communciation then, it seems to be the logical solution. It is impossible for me to alter my thought in order to discuss things when anything I say is shoved back at me with added aggression so as to perhaps provoke.

I will however state that it is noticed again and again on most blogs that there seems to be a rampant campaign of Zionists (sorry, they themselves claim they are, can't I call them that? And, anyone who believes that all Jews have the right to go to Israel and some even believe it is fine to go to the OPTs too simply is a Zionist) to create true havoc, and NOT dialogue or discussion of issues on Palestine blogs.

The entire point they have is to disrupt. It is annoying, but on my blog, I basically leave them alone, so that people can see that usually they cannot logically defend their arguments, because they are racially biased, yet, they do tend to show their colours, and that alone seems to be their purpose. I have had to ban a few because they resort to calling everyone Nazi, Anti Semite, Fascist, even sexually oriented insults, thinking that I and others will jump to the provocation. Some pose as ARCH anti-Semites, hoping that way to create a straw man to knock down, but we generally identify them as Zionists who are baiting. It is not fun to see these things, but I do have a comments block, and that is what goes on at Palestine boards. The Zionists try to take them over, (that is real hijacking), but I let it run its own course. My regular posters are onto it, and they know what to do.

I had not been disrupting, nor were the others who were deleted, one of them is almost a brother to me, and never has he antagonised another person in his life. He is simply a Palestinian asking simple questions, pointed, but simple.

I can't believe it comes down to a question of style. It is definitely about the content. I had stuck to the subject, and if you read it, perhaps you may notice. But I agree, this is tiring, unneccesary, and unpleasant. Enough. This search for Dialogue that people claim to want seems to fall like a castle of cards once one asks specific questions or enters into specific topics.

you may be nice folks, but I realise the topic of aliyah is taboo.

Anonymous said...

For so many reasons, this has been enlightening. It has touched on the larger issues of blogging and blog etiquette as well as the struggle to address the rules of communication that encourages dialogue that we would never have had access to in the days before the internet.

It also demonstrates the worst part of blogosphere - that we, the participants, can be incredibly self-indulgent. We can be childishly insistent on bringing all the interesting dialogue that touches on larger issues into a vain discussion about our individual selves.

nrg said...

Hi cutter! Had to go surfing to find out who Adina was... I had not read the initial exchange on the other blog which started this whole "how to act in the blogosphere" until just now. I think that many of the posts I just read were out of line and disturbing. If I am to be honest, I did not think that your's were the most offensive in the first portion, but I can understand how offense was taken. I thought that the attack against you (and I agree there was one) was out of proportion to your comment and could have been fueled more by the content of your own blog than the actual statements you made on the blog in question. But I was amazed at how poorly you tackled the comments addressed to you. I am not commenting on the other reactions because I am not in a dialogue with any of the other people who posted, so please do not think I am singling you out, I am simply talking about your response because I am talking to you. If you really feel that you are a fair person who states your opinion as clearly and non-confrontationally as possible, why did you participate in the insult slinging site that poor Lisa's blog turned into. Although I didn't take offense at your early comments, I have since cringed at your repeated use of phrases like "you people" and a very apparent hatred that I am glad I have never felt for a person or group of people.

I know that I am doing a form of hijacking here, and I apologize to She for that. But, I think that you, cutter, have a right to your opinion and political view. The bloggers that are not of your thinking have a right to theirs.

One of the things I've noticed here is a form of righteousness that you have not earned. You made a choice to respond to an attack on your opinion by playing the insult game instead of being calm and defending your opinion. This is the same tactic that you dislike in your opponents (I use that as a word for those who are on an opposing side in a particular blog discussion). I think that some of your 'opponents' did the same and that it is equally destructive and does not serve either side.

If you want to defend your ideas, please do so, but be consistent. Just in the posts here you first got on the defensive with this comment: "She never used Jewish American Princess, but Zio-light Princess." and then, when shown that your statement was wrong retorted with: "fine, it appears as though that's what she wrote. I didn't know Jewish princess was that offensive". You already backpedal.

You also responded to me by saying: "In ordinary circumstances, and among people who are all acting in a mature way, that would be the logical thing to do". You don't have to be part of a mature discussion with mature people in order to behave in a mature way. "everyone else was doing it" is a shallow excuse for allowing the content and delivery of your own comments to degenerate.

In closing:
I am not a Zionist.
That is not why I take issue with your comments.
It wouldn't matter if I were a Zionist, at least not from my perspective.
I am open to dialogue.
I agree that many are not.
I do not think your point of view is invalid.
I believe that you are an intelligent individual.
I do not think that the picture you have painted of yourself as the innocent in all of this is accurate.
I believe you know you were an equal participant.
I am sorry that you feel you were unfairly treated (and I think in some cases you were).
It is more difficult to feel that emotion given your response to that treatment, which also crossed over into unfair.

I wish you good blogging and hope that this whole exchange over the past few weeks makes at least one person look at, and possibly rethink and revise, the way that they choose to communicate with other bloggers.