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Thursday, August 21, 2008

The First International Jewish Bloggers Convention

Okay, I was there. Not to promote "agenda driven blogging" or to engage in "Hasbara" as some of the Elitists On The Left seem to claim:

On The Face's author Lisa Goldman told the press that she has no interest in attending the conference: "I'm more interested in the complexities of Israeli life than in blogging about aliyah-related themes," she said, adding she would have preferred a conference for Israeli bloggers where Arabs could participate, also. {Bakanote: this was proposed at last night's Conference--an Israeli Bloggers Conference as well as a Jewish Bloggers Conference}Furthermore, she said the conference "seems to be politically slanted," with a preponderance of bloggers who represent right-wing or center-right views. "I prefer a holistic approach," Goldman said. "I don't like agenda blogging."

Uh, no, Goldman is the very soul of agenda-driven blogging, as Aussie Dave so neatly pointed out [http://www.israellycool.com/2008/08/12/the-egos-have-landed/]

Shmarya Rosenberg, whose Failed Messiah blog is critical of Orthodox Judaism, also slammed the convention. "At first glance, the conference seems stacked in favor of Orthodox bloggers with right-wing political leanings," he told AngloFile. "I think what Nefesh B'Nefesh is doing is deceitful. A true Jewish bloggers' conference would be both open to all Jewish bloggers and far more balanced." [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009650.html]

Guess what? It WAS open to all Jewish bloggers, and had these cyber-snobs bothered to come, they would have lent the Conference the "more balance" they claimed it lacked. (It didn't, BTW--there were a lot of left, secular bloggers present).

The problem with this somewhat self-satisfied elitist "I'm too good to mix with THEM," approach, is that these are the very bloggers who opted out of coming. NBN didn't NOT select them--if you wanted to attend, you simply had to go to the website and sign up. Just come. The registration didn't require anything more than entering your name and URL.

I'm old enough to remember that theme of the Sixties: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."

It is disingenuous to the extreme for someone with secular and/or left-wing credentials to choose not to attend, then to go to the press to vilify the rest of us as "Right wing" or "Orthodox" or "agenda driven" or focused solely on "aliya-related themes."

Sorry. You chose not to come. You chose not to come and to brand the rest of us without ever meeting us, without reading our blogs, without knowing who we are or what we write about. Most of us do write about the complexities of living in Israel, including everything from politics to education to Palestinians to shopping in the souk. But you don't know this because you don't read anyone that's different (or supposedly different) from you. YOU are part of the problem.

You, Goldman, Rosenburg et al, are elitist snobs whose supposed critical thinking skills are hampered by your knee-jerk dismissiveness of anything and anyone that doesn't conform to your narrow secular-left world view. You're like the orthodox Catholics of the last century who eschewed anything on their church's list of forbidden books, forbidden movies, forbidden thoughts and forbidden opinions. Your Leftisecularism is your Faith, and anyone who deviates from it is a heretic that you dismiss as irrelevant or demonize as different.

I'm sorry you didn't come. I particularly would have liked to meet Lisa, as I admired her Lebanon War coverage. And I'm sure she would have liked to meet the pro-Palestinian blogger I know who was there, as well as two of the secular Tel Avivian bloggers who were on the panel, as well as the extremely interesting African Jewish blogger who told me more about African Jewish history than I've ever heard before!

You know what? You guys on the secular left need to stop singing Hosannas to yourselves and your self-appointed-politically-correct agenda, and get out more with the rest of us. Build some bridges instead of tearing other people down.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely stated

Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 8:52:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Baila said...

Very well stated. It was my pleasure to meet you last night. Keep up your intelligent posts--I missed them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 10:00:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Thank you, both--it was a pleasure to see you in person again, Baila. I'll try to keep up but I'm not sure I have David's stamina or organizational ability!

Friday, August 22, 2008 at 1:36:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Gila said...

OOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!! You are Aliyah06! I was feeling rather bummed thinking that "wow, this person is commenting on my blog and I did not meet her at the conference. "

But I did!

Ummm, why yes, I am rather slow in real life. :)

Well stated.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 9:24:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger rutimizrachi said...

You go, GIRL! Sorry I didn't get to meet you. (I know we gazed at each other's name tags periodically; but having not yet been introduced, we hadn't anything to say.) I look forward to reading you, and to chatting with you at the next convention.

Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 9:46:00 AM GMT+3  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put. (Remind me not to get on your bad side - ;)

Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 3:16:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger Jack Steiner said...

Nicely done.

Monday, August 25, 2008 at 4:45:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Ruti--next year, then!

WBM--my bark is much worse than my bite. (smile)


Monday, August 25, 2008 at 8:05:00 AM GMT+3  

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