Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Autism Speaks Style Zionism: American Friends of Tel Aviv University Dream of Eliminating Autism

The American Friends of Tel Aviv offer scholarships for medical research and what do they think to offer as an example but the elimination of autism. It is not like we are lacking in real illnesses in need of a cure like cancer or anything. I never thought I would have anything in common with Palestinians, but I guess we are both potential targets of the Zionist enterprise.

How about this for a narrative. Once upon a time autistics lived happily in Palestine, flapping their hands under their olive trees. Then came the Autism Speaks Zionists, armed with bulldozers and an unshakable feeling of moral supremacy. Speaking so loudly that they could not listen, the Autism Speaks Zionists declared that they wished to cure the autistic Palestinians, who must be so miserable not being able to lead neurotypical social lives. In vein the autistic Palestinians tried to protest by chanting and waving signs, but the Autism Speaks Zionists failed to notice; it is not like autistics could possibly speak or write. Desperate to protect their olive trees, the autistic Palestinians began to throw rocks at the Autism Speak Zionist bulldozers. Shocked at such a display, the Autism Speaks Zionists sent a plea out to their funders to help them save the autistic Palestinians, whose violent behavior presented a clear and present danger to all civilized neurotypicals. The autistic Palestinians were quickly rounded up and sent to Tel Aviv University, where the friends of Tel Aviv University were kind enough to pay for a free frontal lobotomy for every autistic Palestinian.

And all the neurotypicals lived happily ever after.


Elise said...

I can't tell whether you are seriously anti-Israel, joking, or being idiotic.

The problem here is as usual that the neurodiversity crowd thinks that everyone with autism is like them. Try living as a nonverbal adult autistic in diapers who can't have their needs and want expressed and then talk to me about your illusion to ethnic cleansing and finding a cure for autism.

Izgad said...

I do not claim that every who is autistic is like me. Notice that the ad said "autism" not autistic adults diapers. As an Asperger I am on the autism spectrum. So when someone talks about eliminating autism they mean me as well. If someone said they wanted to cure people of their Judaism. It would not be much of a defense for them to later come back and say they just want to cure those Jews whose Judaism led them to steal.

Clarissa said...

Wow, this is weird. And scary.

Can I borrow your picture for my blog? Linking back to you, of course.

Elise said...

Yes the add said autism, but as someone who is highly functional you should, as I said, know that everything is not directed at you. No one would force you to change if you do not want to. I also think your analogy is way off equating it with "curing Judaism." The gentile world has already tried that and it didn't catch on with the majority of Jews in any form.

I honestly think you got way too insulted way too quickly. While I am not autistic I have two sons with aspergers syndrome. I have taught them to see beyond the prism of their own lives.That not everything is truly directed at them and that they have the luxury of choice.

Clarissa said...

So how is it wrong for people to choose to express opinions on what they observe around them?

Izgad said...


Help yourself. In general you should feel free to use any picture I put up.


Just as it is difficult for a white person to appreciate some of the subtle ways they place blacks in a situation of second class status through taking white as the standard of normal, it is difficult for neurotypicals to appreciate what they do to autistics by taking neurotypical as the standard of normal. I have spent my life dealing with tremendous pressure to conform to neurotypical standards. This is made even more difficult by the fact that most neurotypicals will not even acknowledge what they are doing as prejudice based subjective neurotypical values. An example of this would be the emphasis regular schools place on socialization despite the fact that it has no objective value. (This is not to say that, in practice, this can be a useful skill.) I see parallel problems in how more classically autistic children are taught, with neurotypical parents pushing for speech as a top priority instead of exploring alternative modes of education. This is a good example of where a more neurodiversity view of autism can help even classically autistic children.
You should know that the physical me is a lot less aggressive about neurdiversity than I am here on this blog. In real life I focus on rolling with the punches and do not make a habit of telling off neurotypical strangers. I see this blog as a forum for exploring those issues that I normally would not be able to talk about except with close family and friends.

Clarissa said...

Thank you, Izgad!!

Lauren said...

You know, I have absolutely zero problem when parents of children with low-functioning autism want to eliminate autism. Because it is not pleasant to be constantly worried about who will take care of your child when you die, or that your child will wander off without asking and get hurt, or that you won't be able to afford the medical care necessary to make sure that your child has the best options available in life, etc., etc., etc.

Elise said...

Izgad- being able to express yourself is what blogging is all about. I do it myself.I do think you misread parents of autistic children however. You need to give us more credit.
While there may be things that you find inane, as by the way my boys do as well, they are necessary social conventions in order to be able to take care of your self in this world.

By the way you never answered my original question... was calling Zionism a form of ethnic cleansing a joke or your politics. I know you from haveil havelim and they happen to be very pro-Israel and pro-Jewish blogging group.

Izgad said...

I acknowledge a practical value to social skills, just not any moral authority. To give an example, I enjoy goose stepping, a type of walk usually associated with the Nazis. I certainly get some weird looks when I do it and I admit that it is not in my self-interest to do so. For this reason I know longer make a habit of goose stepping down a public street. That being said there is nothing wrong with doing so as it causes no physical harm, is not down out of any intention to cause anyone even non-physical harm and break no prior agreement with another individual. I regularly struggle with the fact that people confuse what they subjectively do not like with the idea that I have wronged them. This creates a trap for me in that I am expected to take into consideration what might cause even non-physical harm to a neurotypical, but can have no expectation that a neurotypical, barring close friends and family, will ever take into account what causes non-physical harm to me.


As for my position on Israel, notice that I began the piece by saying “I never thought I would have anything in common with Palestinians.” This was meant as a rare non pro-Israel piece and a joking one at that. By the standards of a college campus I am a right wing advocate of Israel. I support military action against Hamas even civilians are killed in the crossfire. I am even willing to support Dresden style bombings of Palestinian cities. That being said I am significantly to the left of most of the people at HH. I am not in principle against giving up land. The two times I hosted I ended up cutting half of the submissions because I thought they were either poorly written or because they crossed a line and denied the legitimate authority of the Israeli government and implied support for the use of violence by private individuals.

Melanie Yergeau said...

Yikes! Where did you find this poster?