This time the goddess of mouse clicks brought to my attention Ami Kaufman, whose +972 bio says:
Ami Kaufman was chief night editor for Haaretz, for the prominent Israeli financial daily Calcalist, and correspondent on Israeli affairs for 93.6 RAM FM, a joint Palestinian-Israel radio station. His interest in food and cooking led to culinary studies at the “Israeli CIA” (Tadmor, Herzliya) and a brief stint in the restaurant business.And the above mentioned click brought me to the following tirade on his Facebook page:
He is a 2013 World Press Institute fellow.
His work has appeared in The Guardian, Haaretz, The Daily Beast, The Forward, The Huffington Post, El Espectador, The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Report and more.
Born in Tel Aviv, Ami lives in Bat Yam with his wife and two daughters.
It’s funny how American and Israeli Jews – especially people who call themselves ‘leftists’ (even though they have no idea they could not be any further from the ‘left’) – like to label +972 Magazine and the journalists who write for it as ‘fringe,’ simply because our views of human rights and justice for all between the River and the Sea are sadly a small minority in Israel. Not only is this something they shouldn’t really boast about, but if this so-called “majority” actually had enough wit to lift its head up, zoom out and see what the rest of the world thinks about Israel they’d certainly be surprised to see it is *they* who are way outside in the ‘fringe,’ seeing as how most people don't look very fondly on denying people civil rights for 47 years.Let me preface the rest of the post by saying that I don't know Ami at all and for all I (don't) know, he may be the nicest person in the world, but this is not to be a subject for this post. The quote above and some related quotes are, though.
Having said that, I love – totally LOVE – being in the ‘fringe’ in Israel. I love it so much, because I know my kids will be proud one day and tell their own kids what side their father was on in the battle to end apartheid in Israel, and that he didn’t dare vote Meretz so he could just *call* himself a leftist and feel oh so sorry about the murder of Palestinian children in Gaza but hey, it had to be done, cuz, you know, Hamas.
The first thing that practically jumps at the reader of the quote is the sense of moral superiority and a curious kind of self-satisfaction. You can't miss the way Ami splits the Jewish world into two distinct groups: one, that sparsely populated "fringe" and the second - the bovine morally degenerate absolute majority. As far as the moral landscape of Ami's Jewish world is concerned, you can imagine that endless savanna filled with huge herds of smallish mindless wildebeests following their smallish and primitive alpha male leaders, with Ami and his very few friends scattered around, riding the moral high giraffes of theirs (a simple high moral horse wouldn't do in this case).
Frankly, I would have overlooked this issue of moral and intellectual superiority, myself not being too fond of Vox Populi as a guiding factor or a moral compass of my life. But, and there comes an important but: Ami, as many of his +972 colleagues, is not exactly sharp on elementary logic, and in the very same paragraph (well, there are only two in the text above) he succeeds to contradict his own disdain of the great unwashed. In that sentence, where "but if this so-called “majority” actually had enough wit to lift its head up, zoom out and see what the rest of the world thinks about Israel". Apparently for Ami the "so called majority" is sheeple, but only if it is a Jewish majority. When it is "the rest of the world", then the majority suddenly counts. Go figure*.
Now to the rest of that text. Leaving aside that "their father was on in the battle to end apartheid in Israel", where that telling battle cry of the modern anti-Zionists - "apartheid!" - should be a show-stopper for any further discussion, I will proceed a bit further - to the general motive of that paragraph. I dare say that it is quite rare to see a more refined (and brazen) example of an attempt at self-beatification**. I wish I had me the same reserves of self-assurance and certainty, not to mention the ability of self-aggrandizement, to bequest anything of the kind to my two kids.
As for Ami's body of work: I have surfed through quite a few of his articles available on the intertubes. What can I say: I understand the whys of his current position in +972. In no article I have viewed does Ami offer anything specific (in the way of solution) on the heart of the matter that so preoccupies him: the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In no manner does he try to be objective, even as far as the sometimes fake objectivity of his former colleagues from Haaretz goes. The brunt of his aggressive writing is always that apartheid state of Israel, and "apartheid" is frequently only one - and not the harshest - of many terms used by Ami. In other words: a lot of high-altitude crapping on this here country, in the best +972 tradition.
So yes - a prophet of the fringe and for the fringe.
And the last, but not the least: does Ami really enjoy his fringe position as much as he is bravely trying to show? Nope, his consistency (just as his logic) doesn't take him very far, because in the same thread he sounds quite bitter:
Unfortunately, you aren't the only one calling us fringe, Haviv.Oh well... you made your bed, Ami.
For illustration - a clip of Ami live. Enjoy.
(*) Since Ami, like his colleagues, doesn't like to answer convoluted (OK, I know...) logical questions, you and I will have to figure out that contradiction by ourselves. Speaking about Ami's dislikes, in that same thread on Facebook he threw out a commenter - and his comments - for arguing with him. See:
- They're [the Jewish sheeple] fringe for denying civil rights on ethnic basis you asshole, now get off my wall. Any further reply will be erased.
- Fuck off
- My wall ain't no democracy
(**) To my Catholic friends: yes, I know that this is a procedure applied posthumously, the more amazing it is to see this procedure activated by Ami (may he live till 120) while alive.
For reference: a few other pieces about Ami Kaufman: