self censorship on Israel

Yesterday, I wrote a short piece inviting all Jews in Israel to move to America. After receiving a number of emails, I have decided to engage in self-censorship. This was not an easy decision, after all, it is my blog and I should be allowed in principle to write what I want, but I am not a fiery ideolouge (this blog is titled principled pragmatism, not pragmatic principlism).

The emails were shocking, to me. There's not much point in discussing the content, most readers can probably guess what I was accused of. I'm a fairly normal person, and there are just some emotional responses to which I am not immune. Rather than subject myself to it, I have taken down the piece which generated them.

It's clear that there are some topics that - speaking as a Muslim - I need to be extremely careful about. If I am even slightly critical of Israel (even within the context of a generally laudatory piece), my faith is used to completely dismiss my arguments. I refuse to defend myself against accusations of anti-Semitism - if you want to see where I stand, go through my archives. Most of those emailing me in response to my post had already made an assumption of my positions and proceeded from there.

Is this running away? Am I a coward? maybe, in part. But it's also a personal issue - I blog for fun, and like Steven when something about blogging becomes doubleplusun-fun, I'd rather perform some surgery than ruin the experience. If anyone really wants to see the post, it's still there, but hidden (you figure it out).

UPDATE: Nick Denton has made much the same point I tried to make, by discussing a fictional book about an alternate history where Alaska, not Palestine, was the Jewish homeland. And Baja California has also been suggested in a tounge-in-cheek essay.

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