Saturday, July 03, 2010

Lies, lies, and lies about lies

I'm going to start this by talking about anti-Semitism. You're probably all aware that anti-Israel activists, when told they are anti-Semites, hotly deny the charge, saying they are just opposed to Israel and its policies. I don't believe them, any of them. Let's start with anti-Semitism itself. We know that for some 2000 years, Jews have been persecuted across Europe and the Middle East, and that this persecution culminated in the Holocaust. The Holocaust had all sorts of knock-on effects, especially in Europe. I was brought up in the shadow of it. All my generation were. One thing the Holocaust did was to make anti-Semitism unpopular. You couldn't admit openly you were an anti-Semite. Only ex-Nazis in the comfort of their private homes in South America or Cairo could get it off their chests, that they still hated Jews, that they still longed for another Holocaust. Everybody else avoided any association with the Nazis and far-right politics. Of course, as time passed, little groups of far-right lunatics stood around in wet fields making the Hitlergrüss and saying Seig Heil, because it made feel better to be absolute nonentities in funny suits. People on the left became pro-Jewish and, for a time, pro-Israeli.

But gradually, mainly in the past twenty years or so, there came a point when people couldn't keep their hatred of Jews pent up any longer. These weren't fascist thugs any longer so much as self-proclaimed liberals and leftists. They became infected with anti-Semitism because they wanted someone to pity and the Jews were no longer pitiable. In Wanderings, Chaim Potok's very readable history of the Jews, he says 'there are no more gentle Jews'. This time round, he argues, the Jews will not let themselves be herded onto railway trucks and shepherded into gas chambers. The young men and women of today's IDF exemplify Potok's declaration perfectly. Pity the Nazi who tries to herd them anywhere.

For some reason, a lot of people don't like this. But they still don't like to be called anti-Semites, because anti-Semitism is a form of racism, and they aren't racists. They think they aren't racists because anti-racism is the keystone of modern right-on politics. But they are racists, so they have a problem. They have a lot of circles to square, and to do that they have employed a range of lies that cast a spell on the media and most of the general public. It goes something like this. The Jews are no longer suffering, but someone must be suffering in order to deserve our pity, and the obvious candidates for victimhood are the Palestinians, because those nice Arabs I met at our conference tell me they are. This must mean that the Jews are... A hard think here, I suppose, then the obvious answer. The Jews, sorry, the Israelis are Nazis. Not 'like the Nazis'. They are Nazis. That sweet young Israeli girl doing her first year in the IDF and feeling pangs of homesickness every night is a Nazi. That boy with a kippa dovening in a field full of tanks is a Nazi. Gilad Schalit is a Nazi.

Next, if there's to be some sort of equivalence, there has to be a Holocaust. What? you say. What? But it's obvious, they reply. There has been a Holocaust of the Palestinians. If this makes you feel nauseated, I don't blame you. You ask, when, how many, where? They sneer and talk about Jenin (51 dead) and say it's worse than gas chambers. And to make this worse, a lot of them deny the real Holocaust, aided and abetted by a UN member state, Iran.

As a result of this warped style of thinking, we are living in a fantasy world. It doesn't matter how many rockets Hamas fire, they are some sort of friendly prank. The separation fence isn't a fence but an 'apartheid wall'. And it doesn't matter how racially mixed and free and democratic Israel is, it is, as we all know, an apartheid state. It's unimportant how many times the Palestinians say they refuse to recognize Israel and to make peace, because we know they are the true peace-makers, and it's the Israelis who are the obstacles to peace.

The thing is, this is all so transparent a three-year-old could see through it. It's like those Visible Man dolls, all its veins and organs and bones on display. Why do so many people fall for all this? A lot of them are students. Where on earth are they studying, what subjects, with whom? Because something basic is wrong with their education. Two weeks ago I went to a lecture on Islamophobia by a rabid anti-Israeli speaker. This man was in his 40s and dressed as if he was sixteen. He spoke in a very loud voice, and he thundered home the message that racism was wrong and islamophobia was wrong. He is a senior lecturer at a university near me. He could not tell the difference between racism and feelings of disquiet about a religion. This is the standard that passes for rigorous across the board today. Nobody wants to think any more, least of all about Israel. They hate Israel with a viciousness that can only originate in dark psychological problems with Jews. I don't know why that is, and I don't know how to solve it, but it's the most dangerous single thing in the world today. I mean it. Hatred of Israel is going to provoke another war in the Middle East, and that war is capable of spreading to Europe, America and beyond. Iran is in the hands of lunatics, and other lunatics have made hatred of Israel the only political issue of any importance in the world. If we don't do something to stop this, a lot of people are going to die. And they won't all be Israelis.

24 comments:

Yosef Bates said...

Denis, it's too bad that some individuals are so pathologically incapable of reflecting upon their own decisions and certain policies of the Israel Government that they can only resort to the "anti-Semitism" charge when they can't refute arguments rationally. Yes, the "separation barrier" is functioning as an apartheid wall, and yes there is a Nazi-like siege against one-point-five million civilians in the Gaza Ghetto. That does not mean every Jew who serves in the IDF is a Nazi, but consider the similiarities: Nazis created the Warsaw Ghetto; the Israeli Government created the Gazan Ghetto. Nazis controlled the perimeter around the Warsaw Ghetto, the skies above the Warsaw Ghetto; the Israeli Government controls the perimeter around the Gazan Ghetto, the skies above it and the waters adjacent to it. Nazis targeted civilians during their assault on the Warsaw Ghetto, the IDF targeted civilians during "Operation Cast Lead" etc. Go to ProtestGazaSiege.blogspot.com for more information. Of course, you don't mention the Nazi-like siege when you say that Hamas has fired missiles. And you conveniently forget the 10 offers of a truce with Israel. Also, Israel is a racial melting pot; you are right; excepting it is not melting (for the most part). Most are Jews from a variety of countries who are herded together (if they are Falasha or true Semites eg Jews from Arabic countries) into their own tightly segregated communities. Then, at the bottom of the ladder are Palestinian Arabs. Yes, Israel does have problems with race and racism, and I don't have to be a self-hating Jew to say it although you and your friends will call me that because you can't refute arguments rationally. Isn't it sad (actually pathetic) that Jews have to rely on the "anti-Semitism" charge when they can't justify questionabe behaviors. What kind of a religion is Judaism anyhow that must have outsiders to hate it in order for its members/culture to have a sense of self-validation? Now you know why many younger Jews are totally fed up both with religious hypocracy as well as the bogus anti-Semite charge. Yosef Bates

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Dennis. I too have watched with horror what has happened in particular, to the Euro Left which, what can I say, has lost all sense of proportion.

You have to look at CiF and The HuffPost to see the sickness manifesting itself in print. Both these two platforms will go down in history as rabid in their demonisation of Israel and the space that they make available for rabid antsemites.

Jerusalem Mite

YMedad said...

Excellent. Thanks.

Oliver said...

Spot on.

M.Oliver said...

Spot on.

YMedad said...

YB: there are no similarities. To call someone a Nazi means concentration camps, crematoria, real ghettos, forced marches, me3dical experiments, etc. Call us cruel, call us brutal - but to use the term Nazi is soemthing else entirely just like the Holocaust is something else entirely. It is sui generis. And if you attempt the comparison, it cannot be "oh, well, you Israelis are like Nazi". Either we are or we aren't - and we aren't. Not halfway, not one-thrid of the way.

Lani said...

Yosef Bates your post is typical of the tunnel vision so often exhibited by anti ISRAEL (I didn't say anti-SEMITIC) useful idiots.
The separation barrier (it's not a wall) has been proved to be totally successful in halting suicide bombings of Israeli civilians - end of.
Calling people Nazis because they will not allow the Nazi supporting Hamas to butcher them does not add to your spurious argument.

Yes it is too bad some individuals are so pathologically incapable of reflecting on their own decisions. In this case the individual concerned is you - and your decision to support a terrorist organisation that has no compunction in murdering its own people if they don't toe the line, and who is, yes, anti-Semitic and willing to murder every single Jew if it could.

And you say we Jews can't tell the difference between honest critcism of Israel (which we take part in, often, and say so)and Jew hatred. It's plain you can't tell the difference,isn't it?

Gentile Zionist said...

That sweet young Israeli girl doing her first year in the IDF and feeling pangs of homesickness every night is a Nazi.

http://www.slideshare.net/lotharm/soldatinen
http://www.mediafire.com/?dj0znmlwmdk

Gentile Zionist said...

Denis has correctly pointed out the twisted logic of the left, which for a brief moment in history acknowledged the evil done to the Jews.

But what are we to say of the Muslim worldd, which to this day will not acknowledge, express remorse for, or recompense its 14-century-long subjugation of Jews?

The recompense should go beyond simple compensatory damages to Mizrahim; it should involve a moral obligation of Islam to fully suport, fund, and aid the Jewish national project in Israel.

ZZW/Remember The Real Warsaw Ghetto said...

Yosef, that you are a troll is without a doubt, sent in to pollute sensible chat rooms with the stench of hate. You give yourself away with you anti-Jewish comments: "What kind of religion is Judaism anyhow that must have outsiders to hate it in order for its members/culture to have a sense of self-validation?" In other words the Judaism, the religion of the Jews for thousands of years, is the source of anti-Semitic hatred-it causes Jews to do evil to get others to hate the Jewish people. Somehow by your "reasoning" the Jews also must caused the Crusades, The Almohades persecutions, The Iberian Massacres/Inquisition, the Cossacks and the Holocaust, not to mention the Palestinian leaderships' promotion of the last tragedy in the Balkans.
Oh and Gaza is another Warsaw Ghetto? Really...there would have to be currently 80,000 to 100,000 murdered in that territory by forced deprivation, torture and outright murder within a one year period to make it as such-something which has not occurred. Unfortunately, the Hamas that holds power in Gaza has made it clear that it in fact would like to have the Jews in a real Warsaw Ghetto right before a Treblinka or Auschwitz through a Final Jihad. The people, such as yourself, that yell hateful and slanderous things against Israel about "Apartheid Walls" , "Gaza is Warsaw", "Ansar is Auschwitz", "genocidal cleansing" are projecting their own evil intentions upon the peace seeking majority of Jews of Israel and their state. You need to free yourself of hatred and then come back here to actually reason with those who want peace.

Michael Upton said...

Excellent - well said. More power to your elbow.
Michael Upton
9 South-East Circus Place,
Edinburgh.

Michael Upton said...

Excellent - well said. More power to your elbow.
Michael Upton
9 South-East Circus Place,
Edinburgh.

Anonymous said...

Today, there are many countries that have a profound sense of cultural identity, which clearly shows in their traditional approach to answering life’s great questions by way of religion.

Many countries for instance adhere to traditional Buddhist concepts that have shaped their identity, like Japan, Taiwan or Thailand. Hinduism has shaped India. Many countries on the other hand recognize themselves as inheritors of Christian traditions (at the very least in the nominal sense), and quite a lot of others would define themselves as Islamic states by default. (even if some of them are officially considered secular governments)

Alas, some religious adherents are likely to emphasize and embrace a particular part of their traditional religious ideology as one of the main core concepts, making all spiritual content de facto redundant. To such fanatics, Anti-Semitism overrules all ethical/spiritual concepts such a religion might hold.

Regardless of my own opinions on religion (being a secular humanist, rather than religiously inspired in any way), I find it strikingly odd that there seems to be such an awful lot of disproportionate opposition to the notion of Zionism as a logical outcome of Jews' desire to constitute the boundaries of a nation-state that has its profound roots in Judaism. It is quite clear to me that the concept of cultural identity stems from a longing to feel secure and united among those who share a more or less common culture and ancestry and share the same vision on what the future of this cultural identity should look like. A nation-state therefore is the best means to preserve cultural identity. It is quite worrying today that Western self-proclaimed intelligentsia have taken it upon them to pursue the inherent Anti-Semitic rhetoric which is inherent to Islam as a totalitarian ideology, to revile the policies of a nation like Israel, whereas the same people would never find cause to stick their noses in the internal policies of other nation-states, such as the ones mentioned above.

(continues)

Anonymous said...

This more or less suggests to me the ridiculous claim of the Left that Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism can be treated as separate issues is just a ruse, and basically not worth getting into further, seeing as the Left would never admit to being wrong. Therefore, being nitpicky on such a matter is futile when addressing the ‘Moonbat International’ directly. Anti-Zionism fits snugly into the main concept of anti-Judaism as a whole in my mind. So there IS a point in outlining the issue from a general perspective, rather than from a polemical one: the mere fact that so many self-declared 'morally righteous' intellectuals display such a great deal of criticism of Israel's policies (while others consistently get off scot-free) is evidence enough of the fact that both are intertwined.

Europe in particular has long carried the first wave of Anti-Semitism, starting with the advent of Christianity and the globalisation of Roman-Catholicism and therefore predating Islamic Anti-Selitism by at least 600 years. Some people I have debated with in my own personal surroundings have been trying to make me understand that, for instance, there can be no morality without religion. Something I try to disprove in many ways. One of these issues (concerning Christianity in particular) evolves around the concept of some Christians' dogmatic tendency to willy-nilly cling to the historic Christian aversion towards Jews, based on the belief that Jews have actually and intentionally killed God. (Deicide) It is quite odd that such Christians have subscribed to the contemporary Anti-Semitic mythological propaganda of the Liberal left on the one hand, and still seem to think they are able to bludgeon me with the notion that they represent ‘Ethical Christianity’ ! Conversely, the same also applies to those secular liberals who are marketing their brand of liberalism as ethical, when their Anti-Semitic propaganda seems to be deeply rooted in the same type of Christianity they traditionally proclaim to abhor ! Somehow, I wonder why on earth this concept has emerged intermittently throughout the history of Europe to mobilise people en masse against the cultural entity Jews constitute, and why it seems to have taken precedence over all other issues as of late, to both Christians and secular liberals. In my mind, it would be inhumane to conceive religion in such a way that the vehement a priori hatred of a culturally distinct group should be incorporated by default into a religion that calls itself ethical. (which also makes Islam at fault, in more than one way even, make no mistake about it)
[continues]

Anonymous said...

This more or less suggests to me the ridiculous claim of the Left that Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism can be treated as separate issues is just a ruse, and basically not worth getting into further, seeing as the Left would never admit to being wrong. Therefore, being nitpicky on such a matter is futile when addressing the ‘Moonbat International’ directly. Anti-Zionism fits snugly into the main concept of anti-Judaism as a whole in my mind. So there IS a point in outlining the issue from a general perspective, rather than from a polemical one: the mere fact that so many self-declared 'morally righteous' intellectuals display such a great deal of criticism of Israel's policies (while others consistently get off scot-free) is evidence enough of the fact that both are intertwined.

Europe in particular has long carried the first wave of Anti-Semitism, starting with the advent of Christianity and the globalisation of Roman-Catholicism and therefore predating Islamic Anti-Selitism by at least 600 years. Some people I have debated with in my own personal surroundings have been trying to make me understand that, for instance, there can be no morality without religion. Something I try to disprove in many ways. One of these issues (concerning Christianity in particular) evolves around the concept of some Christians' dogmatic tendency to willy-nilly cling to the historic Christian aversion towards Jews, based on the belief that Jews have actually and intentionally killed God. (Deicide) It is quite odd that such Christians have subscribed to the contemporary Anti-Semitic mythological propaganda of the Liberal left on the one hand, and still seem to think they are able to bludgeon me with the notion that they represent ‘Ethical Christianity’ ! Conversely, the same also applies to those secular liberals who are marketing their brand of liberalism as ethical, when their Anti-Semitic propaganda seems to be deeply rooted in the same type of Christianity they traditionally proclaim to abhor ! Somehow, I wonder why on earth this concept has emerged intermittently throughout the history of Europe to mobilise people en masse against the cultural entity Jews constitute, and why it seems to have taken precedence over all other issues as of late, to both Christians and secular liberals. In my mind, it would be inhumane to conceive religion in such a way that the vehement a priori hatred of a culturally distinct group should be incorporated by default into a religion that calls itself ethical. (which also makes Islam at fault, in more than one way even, make no mistake about it)
[continues]

Anonymous said...

Being shameful enough as this is, it also has spawned many Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to 'substantiate' the central tenet of Deicide. And as a consequence, such a prejudiced type of thinking has kept re-affirming itself even during the Reformation. (Calvinism, Lutheranism,...etc) Even the mind of Enlightenment thinkers became infested with it. And in the end, it became the staple diet of authoritarian ideologies, such as Nazism and even Stalinism.(Soviet Anti-Semitism was dressed up as Zionology, a term designed to make anti-Semitism look scientifically 'viable')

Anti-Judaism is not a concept that belongs exclusively to either the left or the right, as we well know today. It couldn't be more obvious in 2010 that even those who proclaim to be progressive liberals are still profoundly infected with what is essentially known as a deeply (and humanely uncalled for) Christian concept. Being sceptical of all religions, and specifically when they behave like totalitarian doctrines that incorporate pre-conceived attitudes toward cultural minorities, it seems to me that those who claim to be independent thinkers in this day and age in a sense still behave like medieval paupers mobilised by Christian propaganda to wage war on Jews. And therefore, it should only be natural to them (I suppose) to go committing themselves to the 'Palestinian cause'. Seemingly paradoxical, the Left clings to this cause with the sublimated religious fervor and fanaticism which is akin to medieval European Christianity !

Ridiculous as it may seem, it is quite clear to me that progressive liberals have de-'Christianized' this long anti-Semitic legacy in order to not look bigoted or conservative, but as a matter of fact nothing has changed. Today some Christians still lay emphasis on this despicable legacy of prejudice, alongside neo-Nazis, Leftists and even some secular Humanists, and across political borders they forge bonds with each other on this very issue, and taking Islamic anti-Semitism into account as a means to justify their actions and thoughts, even !

Not being Jewish myself, I can't really understand what makes some people in the Western world seem so deeply ‘traumatized’ by a type of unquestioned, ill-conceived propaganda that has been handed down from one generation to the next throughout history to still warrant such criticism of Israel. As if some layers of society are profoundly indoctrinated and predestined to cling to Anti-Semitism like the proverbial ‘shit to a blanket’. As if they behave like Pavlovian dogs that have been conditioned to drool or bark as soon as the word ‘Israel’ gets mentioned. Which inevitably begs the question how liberated these so-called liberals really are. Considering the fact that Jews have created a nation-state on the very basis that they couldn't possibly have guaranteed their long-term safety as a cultural entity in Europe at some points in history, it is quite self-explanatory to me that Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism. We have no business in meddling with the internal affairs of Israel, unless the point of this would be to openly demonstrate how intolerant we are (!)

Those who want to fanatically cling to the despicable notion that someone is identifiably perpetually guilty of some mythical wrongdoing by default, can't ever expect to point their finger of ‘moral supremacy’ at me and think they can get away with it unchallenged. Those who make such claims are not ethical to begin with, neither are they morally superior in any way. And whether they like to call themselves Christians or secular liberals or whatever is really beside the point.
[continues]

Anonymous said...

However, this doesn’t necessarily imply that ALL Christians, or secular liberals are to blame. Quite the contrary, rather. Which means I also recognize the fact that those Christians, liberals, conservatives and secular Humanists (among others) in the West that have abolished this myth of 'Innate Guilt of Jews' from their personal belief system are indeed worthy of the praise that's due to them and the blogs they have created, for they realise, just as I have, that perpetuating such myths can only be attributed to those people who first and foremost want to covet a rotten mind, hating for the sake of hatred itself, and nothing more than that. To me, there is definitely a clear distinction between those who treat religion or secular ideology as a transcendent Absolute Truth that cannot be questioned in any way and those who have criticized the troublesome aspects of religion and politics from a personal viewpoint (both Christians and others alike), in order to adapt and transform both to a belief that envisions religion/philosophy as something that can be truly ethical. As long as religion and ideology behave in a dogmatic fashion and people enslave themselves to tunnel-vision, our society can’t possibly call itself liberated in any way, and anti-Semitism will remain part and parcel of a despicable legacy that to some (rather than many, I hope) still has unquestionable ‘validity’.

I am afraid though, that this issue has not been adressed sufficiently by some of these blogs however. Although some ideologies that dress up as religions, like Islam, are fundamentally inhumane, this should not make us blind to the fact that some Christian religious fanatics have made common cause with Islamists, just like the Left-wing and neo-Nazis have done. Anti-Semitism in fact is a much older 'tradition' than we would like to be reminded of, regardless of the innate inhumanity of Islam.

Rabbi yonatan said...

see
Winning the Israel PR Debate -a former national debate champ JewU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgq6azarA9U

Rabbi yonatan said...

Winning the Israel PR Debate -a former national debate champ JewU Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgq6azarA9U

Ed said...

I have a better thing to compare the siege to. The British blockade of German ports in World War I, which caused thousands to die. The siege of Gaza looks moderate in comparison.

What irritates me is how the Free Palestine groups never condemn Egypt for their policies towards the Palestinians. Some politicians do (here in the UK, the Lib Dems, the Greens) but the Palestinian pressure groups do not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (Wednesday, July 14, 2010) said:
Somehow, I wonder why on earth this concept has emerged intermittently throughout the history of Europe to mobilise people en masse against the cultural entity Jews constitute,

There's no better scapegoat than a successful minority with little political power. They're easy to demonise because they're successful; they lack a claim on public sympathy because they're successful; and they can be easily bullied because they lack political power.

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Let us colonise your land, uproot your communities, force your removal by all means possible, make your life a living hell[afer all 'our' version of God gave us this land ] and if you resist we'll brand you a terrorist.
If anyone oppses our ways we will brand him a antisemite or a self hating Jew.

Yosef Bates said...

Lani, did you even read my argument?
The "separation barrier" is a prison-like wall which includes guard-towers and motion sensors. It also functions as a apartheid wall in the West Bank. Israelis are forbidden to travel to the West Bank except for Yesha so-called 'settlers' who receive Jews only (apartheid) roads, resources, land. If the security barrier had been built on Israeli land, I would have not problem with it; it does save lives. However, it is built mostly on Palestinian land; therefore I do have a problem with it.

As for ZZW/Remember The Real Warsaw etc, Charedi and Orthodox rabbis tell us constantly that, "All (not some ALL), of the Goyim hate Jews and want to kill us). This stream of consciousness is prevalent and recurring, especially during Purim. Therefore my question was (AND IS), a valid one: What kind of Judaism (Charedi and Orthodox Judaism) is it that requires the "Goyim" to hate us in order for Judaism to receive validation? Why is hatred so necessary to the small clique of racist rabbis who tell young, impressionable minds this B.S. constantly? I DID NOT SAY that we are responsible for the pogroms through the ages.

The only Troll is one who finds it necessary (some so-called pro-Israel advocates) to twist their protagonists arguments into something totally unrecognizable in order for to feel justified by flimsy arguments.

And lastly; a siege against one-point-five MILLION INNOCENTS IS VERY NAZI-LIKE for the Nazis enjoyed collective punishment for the actions of a few. Hamas is less than 5000 people. If you don't think that policy is Nazi-LIKE then you should review the policies of the Nazis as they related to the Warsaw Ghetto to refresh your memory.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 14/07/2010 :

Bravo for your impressive denunciation of antisemitism !