Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An example of Israeli/Jew elision and modern anti-Semitism

Please read at least some of the following. The piece came from a comment in today's Scotsman online, a respectable newspaper that assumes an intelligent readership. I've reported it as anti-Semitic, but it's actually more than that. I've put all of it here, obnoxious though it is, to ilustrate an important point, that, when anti-Israel activists claim they are not anti-Semitic, they ared for the most part lying. It could not be clearer: the writer shifts between Israelis and Jews with gay abandon. Add in some gratuitous anti-Americanism, and you have in its full glory the modern answer to knowing anything about anything. Apart from the eliding of Israelis and Jews, we can see the use of exaggeration and outright falsehood typical of much earlier anti-Semitism, now re-expressed in terms of Israel. Thus, Israel is a tyranny that oppresses Europeans and Canadians, the President of the US takes his orders from the Israeli PM, the US is a 'slave state' of Israel, and so on. In other words, the Jews/Israelis possess almost supernatural powers and are simultaneously the most powerful people on earth yet the most persecuted and hated. The author is clearly not well educated, but he's not entirely ignorant either. I present it to you as a particularly vivid example of the new anti-Semitism (on which, do read Walter Lacqueur's The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism). It appeared, as I said, on the website of a very respected paper, showing just how far this bigotry is spreading. I had to object to another anti-Semitic posting on The Washingon Times today as well. Here it is:

'Talking about blood on the hands and lying I thought you might want to reflect on the following.
Bush invaded Iraq on the strength of his lie that Iraq possessed WMD. According to the New England Medical Journal some 100,000 civilian Iraqis died as a result of co-lateral damage in that initial rape of Iraq. American troops and foreign mercenarie hired by the Americans continue to add to the Iraqi death toll. "Baiting" of Iraqis seems to somehow ligitimise the murder of these suspects by American snipers.
In 1953 Iran had its first democratically elected government headed by Mohamed Mosaddeq. He soon gave notice that he would not be an American puppet like Maliki. The CIA covertly engineered a coup and the compliant American puppet, the Shah was installed. He kept power by torturing the Iranians on an industrial scale as in Abu Ghraib under the American occupying forces. This led the Iranian people to turn to their religion and thus fall prey to the mad Mullahs. On 3August1988 an American Captain on a state of the art warship murdered 290 Iranian civilians by shooting down their Jumbo jet. Americans talk about freedom, why then do you not "liberate" Europe and Canada from Jewish oppression? Israeli tyranny does not allow Europeans or Canadians the intellectual freedom of thought to critically and analytically investigate what the Jews force us to believe is history! If you demand the right to question what the jews dictate we must believe then prison awaits. The Jewish population of the Western world have become the new Spanish Inquisition dictating what the world will be forced to believe regarding the theology of the Holocaust. The joke is ultimately on America as the President of the USA has to take instructions from the Israeli Prime Minister. Israel will never allow the USA to leave Iraq! What is more you will be forced to invade Iran and Syria or whoever Israel wants you to. You are a slave state of Israel. The only way you will regain your freedom is by armed revolt against your slave-masters. You are mislead by the fact that you worship the son of the bloodthirsty Asian god that the Jews worship. The Jews exploited your religious guillibility and effected the intellectual equivalent of a pre-frontal lobotomy on you. Return to the worship of of the gods that are indiginous to the European people and the Jewish hold on your collective minds will weaken. The Muslims were content to practice their barbaric religion on their own people until the terrorist state of Israel was established. On 22July1946 Jewish terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem killing 90 people. Begin was the head of the Irgun gang that perpetrated this introduction of terror to the Middle East. Israel was established by terror, ethnic cleansing and genocide.'


Anonymous said...

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SnoopyTheGoon said...

Quite a rant, indeed. But I wonder whether in this case we deal with a psychotic personality that could be safely discarded.

Denis said...

Snoopy, I'd like to think so, but I fear he isn't psychotic. Much of what he says appears regularly enough elsewhere. Hisa extreme style seems to me just that, the ardent bashing of someone with relatively low intelligence or education, spouting lies he has picked up from cleverer people. His style isn't representative, but his sentiments are.

Anonymous said...

The best way to end what we have long known as "anti semitism" (more properly "anti jew feeling"), would be to cease using the term altogether.

It is a phrase that is employed by everyone & anyone to suit their chosen agenda & is used solely for that purpose...let's stop pretending that "people" figure in the equation.

Israel's founding fathers promoted anti semitism as a powerful tool to serve their cause...their heirs are reaping what Hertzl & co. sowed. They used the suffering & death of fellow jews as a bargaining tool...provide a liberal defence of that.

How can there be a defence, liberal or otherwise, for a nation founded on lies, deceit & the blood of both Jew and Arab? Political dogma & rabid nationalism serves groups...not individuals.

Suffering in a death camp, suffering in Gaza. End the dogma, end the nationalism, end the suffering.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding. 100,000 Iraqi "civilians" murdered in the Iraq invasion? CNN video reports show precision bombing and extra efforts to hit military targets only. What propaganda. What nonsense. You stick up for Israel in one breath and justify Saddam's existence as a mass murderer and deranged despot.
And, by the way, any discrepencies in the matter of intelligence reports on WMD and related information was from coalition intelligence - to include British intelligence agencies. After finding mass graves and eye-witness testimony of his application of torture and death to the Iraqi people, to include the Kurds - how can you justify this article?
Absurd. Read the truth at other sources, like my e-journal/blog.

Denis said...

Keith, why not read my posting befoer blasting away at it? I made it pretty clear that I disagreed with the posting. I post it for no other reason to show its elision between Jews and Israelis. It could talk about blue-veined cheese on the moon for all I care, that's not relevant to my purpose in posting it. You say the truth is to be found on your blog. Given this sortie, I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Denis, God bless you! You are proof that at least some Europeans do have the clarity and moral courage to speak up for the Jews.

Please keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea why you have used this as an example of the elision of 'Israel' and 'Jewishness' in contemporary political commentary. It is a nakedly antisemitic rant posted by some nutter on a news blog; I could find a thousand posting by bigots on the blogosphere at any one time. What on Earth does it tell us about wider tendency to elide Israel with Jewishness when discussing global politics?

Surely the question you need to address is not if people talk about Jewishness when talking about Israel (it would be absurd not to, surely??), but how that connection is made and understood. To suggest that by simply acknowledging that Israel is a Jewish state one is guilty of some form of antisemitism is ridiculous, and I'm sure you're not seriously trying to do that. To enquire of the wider Jewish community whether they are content with Israeli policies in the occupied territories (just as the wider Muslim community is required to address issues of policy in Islamic states which many people find distasteful) is, I would argue, entirely reasonable. To suggest that there is some global Jewish conspiracy is silly and antisemitic - but that is an entirely different matter. You give the impression of having confused some very separate issues here.

Anonymous said...

What would YOU do if a bunch of very heavily armed Romans turned up at your house in Newcastle, announced that this was their rightful home (based on historical 'fact'), and told you to leave?
You seem stuck on blaming the Palestinians for their own oppression. Do you really believe that there is some sort of collective masochism at play here? Or could their actions be a legitimate response to the terror that is inflicted on civilians by an overwhelming military force?

Denis said...

dfcs writes: What would YOU do if a bunch of very heavily armed Romans turned up at your house in Newcastle, announced that this was their rightful home (based on historical 'fact'), and told you to leave?'

I'd be angry and resentful. Unfortunately, if you are trying to draw a parallel with the founding of the state of Israel, none of this applies. The Jews never invaded mandate Palestine. Some had been there for centuries, most had started to arrive in a province of the Ottoman empire in the late 19th century. They bought and worked land, they built settlements, and they started to work towards a Jewish state at a time when Arab nationalism (let alone Palestinian nationalism) was still in its infancy. Following WWI, the Ottoman empire broke up. It was a period of new states. Lebanon came into being, Syria, Saudi Arabia, modern Turkey. The League of Nations created mandate territories and envisaged the legal creation of a Jewish state. Meanwhile the 'Palestinians' were given Transjordan, a huge tract of territory taken from land promised to the Jews. In 1948, following the greatest crime in history, five Arab states attacked the fledgling Jewish nation. They, not the Jews, invaded someone else's home. Since then, they have attacked Israel again and again, used terror against civilians, and declared that there canm be no compromise, and that their aim is the destruction of Israel and the deaths of all Jews living there. Is this boring you? The Palestinians have suffered greatly, but their suffering could have been ended at any point over the past 60 years if they had only acknowledged the legality of Israel's establishment. Or perhaps you don't believe in international law and the UN? Unfortunately, you don't get to make international law, nor do the Palestinians. Israel has, by and large, abided by UN rulings. By refusing to recognize Israel, the Palestinians and most other Arab states, Iran, etc. have rejected one of the most basic principles of international law. There are historical reasons for that, mainly related to the fact that there were no nation states in Islam, just empires, regions, fiefdoms, etc. But we live in a different world today, and the Palestinians only go on hurting themselves by refusing to accept peace and co-existence.

Anonymous said...

mmm - it seems that your definition of 'liberal' doesn't extend the curtesy of a reply to my last post. You made a number of contentious opinions dressed up as historical facts, which I felt that I had to answer. Why have these not appeared on your blog? If they are elsewhere on your site, please let me know where they are.
I read your letter in this Saturday's Guardian magazine and I must say that it was really cheap - to use the suffering portrayed in an article about nazi concentration camps to yet again conflate anti-zionism with anti-semitism. Shame on you.