Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Update

If you recall my pre-Rosh Hashanah post on my discomfort with the National Book Critics Circle blog (and specifically, its tendency to express/promote distinctly anti-Israel views), you may be interested to know what's happened since.

At times, that anti-Israel preoccupation (primarily on the part of the organization's president; one other blog reader posted a comment in which s/he called it the president's "kvetching about Israel") seemed to fade. So I was a little more comfortable with remaining a member. Not that I didn't still put my two cents (or more) in when it seemed necessary. Even while I was away on the residency.

But it became emotionally draining. And when I saw myself mentioned on the blog (the words "NBCC member" prefaced my name and a link to a piece published several weeks earlier) just a short scroll away from a post I found (once again) utterly biased (and, frankly, offensive to anyone who even attempts to understand that Arab-Israeli conflicts, whether involving the Palestinians or Lebanon, simply cannot be viewed through a stubbornly reductionist lens in which the Arabs are always Israel's "innocent victims") I'd had enough.

So last week, I resigned from the National Book Critics Circle. I may not have done my career too much good through this episode. But I've eased my conscience.

And an ancillary benefit: now I don't feel compelled to check in at that blog every day to see what new mischief's going on. Which, I have to tell you, is a real relief. Though I admit I can't help wondering if my message finally got through and if someone on the board may finally have persuaded the president to keep his personal political opinions separate from the organization's blog.


Anonymous said...

Good for you. It's so important in this life to live one's beliefs.

Anonymous said...

But what good is resigning, if no one knows about it? Shouldn't you post it on the blog site?

("if a tree falls..."

Erika D. said...

The good is primarily personal--I simply feel better.

Posting at that site does no "good" whatsoever. Every time I've done so where this subject is concerned I've only been attacked, misinterpreted, etc. As I say, it was very draining (and very upsetting), and there are other ways I'd rather spend my energy (and support Israel).

By the way, I also tried to involve others behind-the-scenes. That didn't get me very far either. So to reduce the frustration level for myself, I bowed out altogether.

Some people there do know about the resignation. For the moment, that's enough for me.

And of course, now all you good people will know about it. You're not "no one"!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! I'm glad to see another person not boiling the issue down to a 15-second sound bite on the evening news! It's complicated! Otherwise it would have been solved by now.