I haven’t yet gotten Aussie Dave to answer many of my questions about JIB Award procedures here. But he has been exchanging e mails with me. And they raise more questions in my mind than they answer.
First, poor Dave thinks I’ve accused him of corruption:
The point is you come out in public and accuse me of “corruption”, and ignoring the left-leaning blogs. I have been nothing but fair.
“Corruption??” Whatever is the fellow talking about? When & where did I say that? I questioned the political composition & diversity of the categories. I noted questions about whether he could be objective enough in deciding who should & shouldn’t be eligible under the incredibly fuzzy guidelines Derek Fattal quoted to me. I criticized the narrow marketing of the competition. But accusing him of corruption? I think he’s getting a little carried away.
Pro-Israel to the Core
And the following explanation of JIB Award’s purpose clearly indicates there is an ideological bias in the very conception of the competition. Here’s how Dave puts it:
…A role of Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel bloggers is to direct world opinion in favor of Israel. And to really stretch the metaphor, the object of these awards is to direct new readers towards Jewish, Israeli, and pro-Israel blogs.
I wrote back to Dave that I have no problem with the 2nd part of the statement–an awards competition that increased awareness of a broad array of Jewish & Israeli blogs would be a good thing. But the fact that he also intends the Awards to “direct world opinion in favor of Israel” perfectly illustrates my problem with it. The purpose of most JIB Award bloggers does seem to be to “direct world opinion in favor of Israel.” But that’s not necessarily the purpose of most Jewish & Israeli bloggers. You could legitimately say that a well-run competition would make the world more aware of Israel. But to have a purpose of promoting Israel really leaves you open to the charge that the JIB Award is meant to justify Israel to the world & to elicit sympathy and understanding for Israel in general & specifically for its policies toward the Palestinians. Why can’t we just have faith that a well-rounded roster of blogs would, in and of themselves increase understanding of Israel. Why do we have to expect that the JIB Award will cheerlead or proselytize for Israel?
While there is much to admire in Jewish life, culture and religion. One feature I do not admire much is a certain insularity that comes from millennia of persecution and bloodletting at the hands of various Jew haters. That’s why much of the Jewish press (including the Jerusalem Post) often seems to be engaged in cheerleading and defense of Israel rather than dispassionately examining the major issues of Jewish life (including Israel).
A blog competition that has an ideological slant which it refuses to acknowledge does no favors for itself or Israel.
How Did Little Green Footballs Get Into a “Jewish Israeli Blog Awards?”
Dave does attempt to explain the inclusion of non-Jewish, non-Israeli blogs like LGF and several others. But his explanation doesn’t satisfy:
“Nothing about having to be Jewish there [in the rules], BTW.”
What about “The Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards?” That implies that the blogs are either “Jewish” or “Israeli.” If the JIB Award intended to include Charles and the others he should change the title to include that notion.
I finally got Dave to respond to my question about whether my own blog would’ve been eligible:
…Your blog would likely have been included
“Likely” isn’t “definitely” but it’s a good deal of the way there. And that does reassure me somewhat.
But again, he loses points for this passage from our exchange in which he talks about Jewschool, one of the nominated blogs:
Mobius, by no means a friend of mine, has told you that the contest is not rigged, and he himself has been a beneficiary of my fairness.
I’ll leave aside what Mobius did or didn’t tell me because I have no right to draw others into an argument I chose to start. But to say that Mobius’ Jewschool “has been a beneficiary of my fairness” sounds condescending beyond words. What–are liberal blogs there at the sufferance of the Grand Pasha Dave, JIB Award sponsor? Dave and the others who’ve criticized me here for my JIBA posts may not like my charges but in many ways their statements only bring it on themselves.
Dave doesn’t like hearing my complaints:
…Quit the bitching.
Were his immortal words. Jews are a people who bitch when they think there’s something wrong with the world that should be put right. And I think the world’s a better place for it. That’s what my intent was. Derek didn’t seem to think there was anything in my criticisms worth taking seriously. Dave apparently believes the same. I guess I just keep bitching a bit more until I hear otherwise.
Dave creates another point of confusion in discussing the process by which a blog may be disqualified. The Post’s representative led me to believe that Dave was handling the nomination process & questions of eligibility. Dave says differently:
I do not decide this myself, as you claim, but with the JPost.
I think it’d make for more transparency if Dave told us how a blog he thought should be disqualified would be handled.