As readers know our PLANS for 2013 include the following:
- To improve the platform so as to create a flexible, user-friendly and attractive site. This will also allow a greater number and diversity of items and contributors.
- To continually refine and operationalise the basic vision driving SOLAR PLEXUS (see “About” page) in order to attract a wider range and greater numbers of readers. SOLAR PLEXUS has little interest in preaching to the choir or in having the anti-Israel brigade drive our agenda. We intend to determine our own agenda always bearing in mind the realities of our situation but at the same time seeking opportunities to initiate new debates and generate fresh outlooks and possibilities.
- To provide access for our readers to a range of information and analysis in the belief that the strength of the Zionist movement rests on a strong, technologically and intellectually advanced and resolute Israel supported by a well-informed, intelligent and resolute Diaspora.
- To cooperate with the broad range of publications and other initiatives which share our basic ideals and purpose. We hope in this way to help set-up a network of media outlets which offer diverse perspectives and visions sharing a common core.
- To market SOLAR PLEXUS widely both within the Jewish community and outside the Jewish community.
It is hoped that the current readership of SOLAR PLEXUS will provide many of the ideas and much of the content of the new SOLAR PLEXUS under creation. It will thereby have a communal ownership reflecting the diverse views and strengths within our community. So once again your responses are a vital component of SOLAR PLEXUS and I look forward to hearing from you.
What follows are some thoughts on this core program as well as references to some key articles and ideas which have come my way over the past week or so. But before I go further I hope our Christian readers have had a joyous and fulfilling Christmas and that all our readers are surviving the rigours of the festive season and enjoying time-off with family and friends.
A recent article by Alan Johnson in the JC (UK) entitled “Advocacy must go beyond the bumper-sticker slogans” addressed some of the issues raised above. The core quote from the article is
“In July 1926, his US tour almost finished, an exhausted Bialik addressed a gathering of the Histadrut in Ivrit. “Do not build the land of Israel out of anxiety,” he advised, because people “must be educated with joy and bliss”.
Certainly, we can’t always educate in that way. The threats facing Israel are real and impervious to joy. But there is a profound truth in Bialik’s notion: it is vital to promote a values-based, positive vision of Israel and a purely crisis-driven advocacy can’t get the job done.”
For those of us bombarded daily by lies and crude propaganda from a relatively small but fanatical anti-Israel movement, aided by a confused, ignorant or outrightly hostile media, this may seem Utopian. Yet there are members of our media contingent, Victor Gordon for instance springs to mind, who combine strength and clarity without descending into the crude polemics of our adversaries.
We cannot become so other-worldly and refined that only philosophers and academics will understand or appreciate our arguments. We must appeal to the ”common man” on whose commonsense, wisdom and basic sense of fairness a democratic order rests. So we must use accessible language, realistic concepts and solid information to make our points. But there is place for humour, satire and passion as well as abstract argument and properly researched data. We hope to get the balance right.
NOW YOU GET LUCKY. I had written out a long post but somehow lost about 2/3 rds of it, so this is all you get this time around. But the remainder will come in due course
Have a safe and enjoyable New Year and you may consider one or both of the following books to add to your library: Saturday People, Sunday People and David and Goliath (brought to my attention by David Abel). Both can be googled on Amazon and a 10 min video on the former is available.