Almost all the feedback so far on my new book, " What’s Wrong with the One-State Agenda?" has been positive and encouraging and it has sold a lot better than I had expected, especially when free downloads are available. But the first negative evaluation has emerged, on Facebook of all places, by someone called Remi Kanazi (no, I’ve never heard of him either, sorry). And, it’s simply priceless.
"Fatah’s Hussein Ibish has a new book out telling the world what Palestinians really think. While not Palestinian, he pretends to represent them, and judging by his new book title, he is ready to tell the world their national agenda. Grasping for the remnants of his once flimsy career, Hussein Ibish wins again!"
I absolutely love this!
First of all, it’s completely obvious that he hasn’t read the book, has no intention of reading the book, and doesn’t care what it says. He judges its arguments simply by the title, the fact that he doesn’t like or know anything at all about me, and the fact that…(drum roll)… I’m not a Palestinian! Of course, I never claimed to be a Palestinian, or to represent the Palestinians. I do, however, work for a Palestinian-American organization, with an all-Palestinian leadership and board of directors. More the point, I’ve been active on the issue of Palestine for decades, and until the one state agenda emerged to challenge the goal of ending the occupation and establishing Palestinian independence, not only was the fact that I was not a Palestinian never raised to invalidate my advocacy on behalf of Palestine, it was actually a feature of certain forms of praise. Neither praise nor condemnation are called for, of course. The question is, what is the substance of my ideas, and do people agree or disagree with them based on the merits of the argument, and why. I fully expect a sharp disagreement from numerous quarters based on an honest difference of opinion and the details of the arguments, but it certainly hasn’t happened yet. I think my old friend Ali Abunimah was the first to pull this stunt, and suggest that my national origin and ethnicity simply invalidates me making any contribution to the discussion of Palestinian national strategy (but only when people don’t agree with me, needless to say). This reeks to high heaven of chauvinism and ethnocentric bias being invoked for the narrowest of ideological purposes, as you can be sure that if I were advocating the one state agenda, such people would be singing my praises.
It’s also absolutely hilarious to be described as a member of Fatah, when I’ve written so much that is critical of that organization and never had the least association with it. Finally, I simply have no idea what the last sentence even means. Did I used to have a flimsy career, but now have a robust one? Did I used to have a flimsy one, but now none at all? I’ll agree with what’s-his-name on one matter only: if his response is anything to judge by, I certainly do win on the merits, and devastatingly. I hope someone can do a little better than this. Reading the thing might be recommended as a starting point for any critique.