October 5, 2010
Letters to the Editor: Ariel’s Status, Dennis Prager
Sitting in Judgment on Ariel
It’s very comfortable for Arthur Stern and Sanford Weiner, sitting in cozy armchairs in Beverly Hills, to have a dream that Hamas and Hezbollah are for “peace now” (“Ariel’s Status,” Oct. 1). I am suggesting they take a map of Israel and measure the distance from Ariel to Tel Aviv. I am sure that Hamas already has plans to launch katyusha rockets on Tel Aviv from that area. Liberals and especially liberal media created a global campaign to delegitimize and demonize Israel.
The audacity of Peace Now co-chairs Stern and Weiner knows no bounds. How dare they tell Israel what she “needs to do.” That’s exactly what Israel doesn’t need — advice from two gentlemen sitting in Beverly Hills, espousing the Peace Now mantra that blames Israel for every ill that exists in the region. Israel is not “perpetuat[ing] the destructive status quo,” as they bemoan. It’s Palestinian incitement and the refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state or even to accept the reality of her existence that is the real reason behind the status quo, and no “settlements” such as Ariel stand as the impediment to peace when you have one side refusing to accept the legitimacy of the other.
No Room for Truth in Prager’s World
Like Ronald Reagan, his conservative idol and icon, Dennis Prager finds facts stubborn and stupid things (“A Question for ‘Progressive’ Jews Who Support the Ground Zero Mosque,” Sept. 8). And just like Reagan (and his political and media progeny), truth and nuances are annoying mosquitoes that must be swatted out of existence.
Progressives acknowledge that morality and law are not necessarilyy conflated or the same — thus the moral and legal positions of progressives are the same for the Auschwitz convent as well as the Ground Zero mosque (i.e. it is legal in both venues to build an edifice of worship, but there are moral issues involved that make the erecting and constructing of these houses of worship a source of communal/national concern and sensitivity).
Conservatives, on the other hand, with Mr. Prager leading on his white charger, not only conflate and mix morality and law but, with 100 percent certitude and probity, know exactly what is moral (anything conservative) and what is borderline immoral (anything progressive).
Marching to the hypnotic and unilateral beat of the conservative trinity of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and the echoing chamber of Limbaugh, O’Reilly and Hannity, Mr. Prager is sure that his cause is true and his logic is infallible. That presumed certainty has led to depressions, recessions, wars, foreclosures, hunger and inequalities that do not even exist in developing countries.
I sincerely hope that The Jewish Journal will reevaluate its decision to bring Mr. Prager on board, as his fast and fancy footwork as regards the facts has been the centerpiece of most of his lifelong affair with vitriol and invective toward “the other — the liberal.’’
Dennis Prager responds:
Mr. Rogers writes that progressives do not conflate law and morality.
That was precisely my argument: that no prominent opponent of the building of the Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero challenges its legality. We, mostly conservatives, but not only conservatives (e.g., the Anti-Defamation League), challenge its morality. It seems clear that Mr. Rogers either did not read my columns on this subject or did not understand them.
Aside from that, his entire letter is composed of ad hominem attacks on me.
Ad hominem 1: Prager finds “facts stubborn and stupid things.”
Ad hominem 2: Prager “marches to the hypnotic and unilateral beat of the conservative trinity.”
Ad hominem 3: Prager is “sure that his cause is true and his logic is infallible.”
Ad hominem 4: Prager’s “fast and fancy footwork as regards the facts has been at the centerpiece of most of his lifelong affair with vitriol and invective.”
What Mr. Rogers did in his letter is engage in everything he projects on to me.
I believe, therefore, that he wrote it not in order to participate in rational, let alone civil, debate, but as an act of catharsis. And if it served that purpose, I am happy for him.