Skip to comments.Andrew Sullivan: Spreading the greater lie about Israel
Posted on 12/25/2001 4:08:58 PM PST by CrossCheck
A gaffe is perhaps best described as what happens when a politician accidentally tells the truth. Among professional practitioners of the political arts this doesnt occur too often. But every now and then the truth emerges. So God bless the French ambassador. All he was saying is what many also privately believe. That shitty little country, Israel, has become, among many European elites, the object of hate that dare not speak its name.
Im not talking merely about editorials that seem to deny the right of Jews to emigrate to Israel; or leaders that come close to blaming Israel itself for the mass murder of its own citizens by Hamas terrorists. It is simply routine at this point to see balanced news reports from the BBC and the broadsheet British press that morally equate the actions of Israeli self-defence with the deliberate murder of civilian Jews by Palestinian terrorists.
While Britain and America are allowed to fight a war against terrorism, Israel is urged to practise self-restraint every time another terrorist massacres another group of civilians in a restaurant or disco. Supporting Israel as a matter of right versus wrong is almost unheard of in polite society.
In normal times, this is lamentable but not disastrous. The Jews know something about survival. They can and will defend themselves. But in abnormal times, when anti-semitism is spreading across the globe like a brushfire, it is deeply dangerous. Not since the 1930s has such blithe hatred of Jews gained this much acceptability in world opinion. Across the Arab world, in particular, the past decade or so has seen a shift from mere passive resentment of Jews to a paranoid anti-semitism. That European elites want to ignore it, or worse pander to it, suggests we have learnt nothing from history.
Am I exaggerating? I wish I were. The massacre of September 11 has merely exposed and accelerated this trend. In the aftermath, a Gallup poll of Pakistanis found 48% believing that the Jews actually flew the planes into the World Trade Center, after warning their compatriots to stay away. This unhinged lie was routinely reproduced in dozens of Middle Eastern newspapers and remains the biggest single obstacle to getting Arabs and Muslims to acknowledge Osama Bin Ladens guilt.
Al-Ahram, Egypts biggest newspaper and the official mouthpiece of the government, controlled by President Hosni Mubarak, recently published a particular gem as a compilation of the investigative work of four reporters on Jewish control of the world. It stated that: Jews have become the political decision-makers and control the media in most capitals of the world (Washington, Paris, London, Berlin, Athens, Ankara). It claimed: The main apparatus for the Jews to control the world is the international Jewish lobby, which works for Israel.
Or take the official moderates. Consider the view of the former imam of New Yorks Islamic Cultural Center, a man described until a short time ago as a western-leaning mullah sent to New York to spread inter-faith understanding. After September 11, he disappeared and then popped up in the Middle East with the following statement: You see these people (the Jews) all the time everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism and drugs. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world. Now, they are riding on the back of the world powers.
Then theres the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda: the Muslim-Jewish conflict resembles the conflict between man and Satan . . . this is the fate of the Muslim nation, and beyond that the fate of all the nations of the world, to be tormented by this nation (the Jews). Replace the word Muslim with German and you dont have an approximation of Hitler. You have Hitler.
Heres one fact, reported earlier this autumn by Agence France-Presse: Mein Kampf was recently as high as No 6 on the Palestinian bestseller list. Last week, Reuters ran a photograph that was barely picked up elsewhere. It was a picture of Hezbollah youth brigades gathered in a square and all performing the Nazi salute. If that picture had shown American children doing the same, dont you think it would have been splashed on every front page in the world? In fact, it is a function of condescending racism to the Arabs that we believe this kind of hate-filled pathology is somehow normal for them.
The left is particularly complicit in this evil. Many western liberals chided America for withdrawing from the Durban conference on racism last August. But that conference was the latest high-water mark for Jew-hating. The infamous, fabricated tract, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was widely distributed at the meeting. Questioners were shouted down with cries of Jew! Jew! Jew! The Palestinian Authority refuses to include the fact of the Holocaust in its own history books.
What about the following statement by one Ali Aqleh Ursan: The covetous, racist, and hated Jew Shylock, who cut the flesh from Antonios chest with the knife of hatred, invades you with his money, his modern airplanes, his missiles, and his nuclear bombs. Is Ursan some fringe extremist? No, hes the chairman of the Arab Writers Association.
There are, of course, completely legitimate criticisms of Israel and Israeli policy that have nothing to do with anti-semitism. The settlements policy of the prime minister, Ariel Sharon, is extremely hard to justify. There are Jewish extremists as well; and there is brutality in Israels conduct in the West Bank and Gaza that deserves rebuke.
But these valid arguments are light years away from the Jew- hating that has been fomented by Arab governments for years and tolerated by western elites for far too long. Such anti-semitism is the fundamental reason why no peace is possible in the Middle East, because it has so infected every possible Arab interlocutor that Israel simply has nobody to make peace with. In fact, unless western governments expose and condemn such anti-semitism no peace will ever be possible.
And the minute real pressure is put on the Palestinians by the West, we get results. Hamass temporary cessation of suicide bombings in Israel last week is directly related to the Bush administrations clear backing for Israel after the latest terrorist wave. Appeasement is not necessary for peace. In fact, it perpetuates war.
Do we remember anything? Sixty years ago such hatred of Jews unchallenged, appeased, excused, ignored led directly to Auschwitz. Its prevalence now in the Middle East should remove any doubt about the morality of Israels self-defence in these perilous times and shame anyone who trafficks in it. Yes, this means that Israels war against terrorism is the same as our war against terrorism. And, yes, it is good versus evil all over again.
How much more do we need to know about the nature of Israels enemies to know whose side we should truly be on?
Not intended as a rhetorical question. If theres a reason I should give a damn, I'd really like to know.
If you tell us exactly what you were doing with your mouse and keyboard we may be able to reconstruct how you accidentally arrived at this thread.
Didn't you leave something out?
Sound familiar? Maybe Andrew reads FR!!
Anything to say about this article?
Blessed Christmas to you both. :)
By Israel Shamir
It is not much fun to be a Muslim in the West today. Not even to be taken for one. I felt it on my own skin while flying into the US. A Mediterranean man with mustachio complete, I was asked by the US customs officer whether I read Koran a lot. A chewing gum wrapping paper with a comic strip suggested to the officer an instruction to pray on board the plane, probably to call Allahu Akbar and attack the crew. You are up to no good, he concluded. I was taken aback. Our Palestinian brothers and we Israelis are facially quite similar; I was often taken for a Palestinian by both sides, but I did not expect the US immigration to copycat Israeli Border Police.
Should I say plainly, I am not a Muslim, occurred to me. It did not seem fair. In occupied Denmark of 1940, Germans ordered the Jews to wear the yellow Star of David. The king of Danes wore such a star as a sign of his solidarity with his Jewish subjects. Would I fail this test of common humanity and proclaim my non-Muslim kosher origin? It would feel like sacrificing a Muslim in my stead. I tried to compromise: I do not read Koran a lot, said I. The officer Gomez, a big dark man, did not relent. But you read Koran? Occasionally, I tried again.
This pusillanimous response was a beginning of my undoing. I was searched, verbally abused; every piece of my luggage was checked and double-checked.
The personal affront did not matter. In 1812, a French soldier on the streets of occupied Moscow turned back Pierre Bezuchov, a Russian nobleman in Tolstoys War and Peace. The soldier had stopped my immortal soul, thought Bezuchov, and laughed. St Francis of Assisi found even more joy at being refused entry to a monastery one cold and rainy night. A go of humiliation is good for the soul, he explained to his sidekick St Bernard.
It was more upsetting to see Islam as the accused in Judeo-American culture. In the US newspapers and on the Internet, theological debates are back in vogue with vengeance after an eight hundred years lull, as subtle as ever. Even good friends of Muslims began to hesitate, as the powerful brainwashing machine began to produce its hateful output. Islam is accused of being the faith of Jihad, the permanent war with infidels, of intolerance and cruelty, of providing theological basis for terrorism. The allegations do not stop at politics.
The semi-literate Crusaders of 12th century accused the Muslims of having orgies in front of their divinity, Baphomet (probably corrupted name of the Prophet). The latest frontal attack on Islam in the American public opinion also has amusing sexual overtones. An appeal to bomb the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine usually contains a weighty disapproval of the Prophets sexual mores and of alleged Muslim ill treatment of their womenfolk.
Love of the Prophet to his youngest wife, Aisha, causes much consternation in America; almost fifty years after the US Supreme Court removed the ban of that ode to underage love, Vladimir Nabokovs Lolita. For the prude accusers, it does not matter that Muhammad, peace upon him, was in love with the girl, as she with him. They know better what is good for everybody. If the Prophet would choose a boy of Aishas age, one feels that fear of homophobia would soften the blows. But the Prophet was a man of Catholic tastes.
A modest Talmudic scholar from Jaffa, I would rise to his defence in the name of our Jewish tradition. Far from being a sinner, Muhammad (peace upon him) acted according to the letter and spirit of our holy faith. Biblical Jacob fell in love with Rachel, 7, and brought forth a line of saints including Mary, mother of Christ.
Talmud stipulates the permitted age of marriage for girls at three years and one day. It brings us a dialogue worthy of Boccacio that took place in Sephoris of Galilee. A Roman princess Justine, daughter of Emperor Sever son of Anthony asked Rabbi Judah the Prince, the greatest spiritual and legal authority of Jews in post-Biblical period, what is the permitted age of marriage and cohabitation.
- Three years and one day, - replied the Rabbi.
- What is the age for childbearing, - persisted the Princess.
- Nine years[i], - he replied.
- I was married at six, and gave birth at seven, - she reflected with great regret, - so I wasted in vain three excellent years of my young life.
Muhammads wife, Aisha, wasted six years of her young life, as she was wed at nine. Thus, the Prophet demonstrated great prudence, also in full accordance with our Jewish teachings. Our holy Rabbis permitted very early marriage, but they were not absolutely sure that three-year old girls are sufficiently ripe. They taught: proselytes and paedophiles delay the Coming of Messiah and Kingdom of Heaven.
Who are the paedophiles in this context, asked the Talmud. They have to be persons of legitimate but objectionable behaviour, and therefore, not the sodomites (as they deserve death by stoning) nor masturbators (they merit watery grave). It is those who marry girls before the nubile age of nine. Thus, the Prophet is above suspicion according to our Jewish law.
He had a few wives, continue the accusers. Well, the Jewish law permits us to have as many wives as we can get. Nowadays, a Muslim has to limit himself to four wives in this world, but we Jews have no such constrictions.
The presumed barbarous Muslim custom of veiling women and keeping them away from a strangers lusty eye annoys the accusers. An avid reader of Washington Post would assume that the US attacked Afghans just to bomb the veil away. As the first fruit of American victory in Afghanistan, CNN presented sale of smut in smitten Kabul.
Here again, our Jewish law firmly stands on the side of the Talibs. A Talmudic sage, Rabbi Isaac taught: if one gazes at the little finger of a woman, it is as if he gazed at her you-know-what! (Do not confuse it with You-Know-Who of Harry Potter) Rabbi Hisda wistfully said: a woman's leg is also quite an incitement. Rabbi Sheshet improved on him, reminding that a woman's hair is a sexual incitement. That is why pious Jewish women don the wig. And the master of oneupmanship, Samuel, upstaged him saying, a woman's voice is a sexual incitement, as the Holy Writ quoth, sweet is thy voice. The conclusion of the debate was the rule kvod bat ha-melech pnima, meaning a good Jewish woman should stay indoors.
Enemies of Islam would not dare to attack our Jewish faith though all features of Islam they profess to dislike could be found in Judaism. It concerns not only sexual matters. Jihad is but an Arab translation of the Jewish concept of Milhemet Mitzva, the Commanded (or Preordained) War. Though in jihad, one is not allowed to kill civilians, while in milhemet mitzvah, one is commanded to do so. Look up your Pentateuch and you will find it there, without an effort. The Messenger, peace upon him, softened his Message.
If you think Islam is intolerant, let me quote you the story written by the perfect sage and excellent doctor of medicine R. Samuel Sholem in Constantinople, capital of the great King, our ruler, mighty Sultan Suleiman about Rabbi Gaon Isaac Campanton (d. 1463), the chief rabbi of the Castilian community, the most enlightened Jewish community of all times. He writes, the great Rabbi, his honorable R. Isaac Campanton burned Rabbi Samuel Sarsa at the stake. Once, Rabbis gathered to announce a marriage contract. They read such and such year since the Creation of the world, and this Sarsa fellow placed his hand on his beard and alluded to the world s existence since time immemorial. The Rabbi Campanton rose to his feet and exclaimed, Why the bush isnt consumed? Let the bush burn! They sentenced him to death by burning because he denied Creation of the World 5000 years ago, and burned him at the stake.
If you believe Islam is the reason for Muslim terrorism, probably Judaism is the reason for Jewish terrorism. Until now, Muslims succeeded to assassinate one Israeli minister. When Jews dealt with private (as opposed to state) terror, my saintly ancestors assassinated two Russian tsars and a whole row of government ministers, officials, ambassadors and statesmen of Britain, Germany, Sweden, Russia and Arab countries. Until nowadays, the records of terror established by Jews were not beaten, and as a proud Jew, I reject the futile efforts to pass this crowning achievement to Muslims or anybody else.
In America, Jews cant do wrong, and whoever thinks otherwise, is branded an anti-Semite. By proving the Jewish origin of the alleged faults of Islam, we therefore proved that the Islam-bashers are anti-Semites and probably hidden Holocaust deniers. Whoever doubted it, may look up the Washington Post of November 27. The co-ed by the ex-CIA chief James Woolsey illuminates a much-retouched hysterical close-up picture of the bestial and demonic Semite, dark-skinned and full-lipped cruel savage. Der Sturmer, the Nazi newspaper, would like it[ii]. The contents of the article are also eminently suitable for Der Sturmer. Woolsey, in an Orwellian-named article, Objective: Democracy, calls to take out Iraqi air defences and hit Iraqi ground forces as we did to Afghanistan.
The great Russian playwright, Anton (The Seagull) Chekhov, established the law of scene: if there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it will fire in the third act. Life imitates theatre, or, as Shakespeare put it, this world is but a stage. The gun of anti-Semitism fired as expected, but it shot at real Semites, the Arabs. Paradoxically, among new anti-Semites, there are many persons with Jewish names, or known by their sympathy to Jews. How could it be?
It brings us back to the adage of our sages, regarding paedophiles and proselytes. Jewish faith is extremely suspicious of proselytes. They are like scab on the head of Israel, taught Rabbi Helbo, and modern practice supports his learned opinion. Judaism is too complicated to receive in mature age. People born and raised as religious Jews got used to be the Chosen folk, and take it easy, but neophytes go dizzy at the thought.
It is not strange. The true English aristocrat Tony Benn supports the rights of ordinary folk, while freshly created parvenu Conrad Black promotes the oppression of Europeans and Muslims alike in his numerous newspapers. Some of the worst racists in Hebron, this frontline of Israeli apartheid are actually proselytes who took literally some risky Biblical ideas. Witness the converted American Gentile Nazi who took the name of Eli Hazeev (the Wolf) and was slain by Palestinian guerrillas, or this scourge of cyberspace, Dr Andrew Mathis who converted and began to defend his version of Judaism on various Internet localities.
A reader sent me a disturbing letter: my sister who converted to Judaism years ago (although we're WASPs) has gone over the edge. Last night when I asked her to interrupt her niggerization of Arabs long enough to cite just one example...anytime in history...when Israel did something...anything...wrong (pointing out that peace cannot possibly be attained when one party thinks itself totally OK, and thinks the other party is completely at fault), the best she could do was "collateral" damage id the unintentional bombing of civilians when a "legitimate" target was the intent. My sister is quite active in the Jewish community in St. Louis, and perhaps in a position to do a fair amount of damage to whatever chances remain for world peace.
Yes, Rabbi Helbo had a good reason for his suspicion. Real Jews knew they live in real world, and left their fantasies for Sabbath. They remained humble, studied Talmud and did not try to find a modern equivalent of Amalek or the Red Heifer, to retake the Holy Land by force or stealth, or preach hate of Gentile. They knew: these concepts should be left untouched as hidden files in the Windows operational system. They are there for an historic reason and one should not meddle with them. Neophytes lack this humbleness.
It is not a question of race: neophytes, whether of Jewish or Gentile extraction, are equally blind to reason. That is why the ferocious Neo-Cons of America, Gentile Israel-firsters like Jeanne Kirkpatrick and secular Jews like infamous Podgoretz, her mentor from Commentary, relentlessly push for destruction of the Islamic world and poison the minds of Americans.
Islam is a form of Christianity particularly close to the Jews. While Eastern Orthodox Church was influenced by Greek culture, and Catholics partook of Roman world, Islam returned the ideas of Christianity into the Semitic milieu. The Prophet, peace upon him, upheld the Jewish concepts of strict monotheism, of fear of graven images, of protectiveness towards women and integrated them with the universal message of Christ and apostles. The cowardly enemies of Islam besmirch it, as they fear its unbroken spirit, courage of its warriors and chastity of its maidens.
 Alluding to the verse in Exodous 3:3
[i] Twelve in some manuscripts.
[ii] Osama Bin Laden's shifty, oily, Semitic features leer from every news bulletin, in a barely concealed appeal to the American viewers' racism. Dr Joseph Goebbels could not have done it better, reported from America the British historian, David Irving. He should know, he was a biographer of Goebbels.
The Holocaust denier? That David Irving?
BTW I visited the website of your hero, Israel Shamir. He is a champion of the "right of return" i.e. flooding Israel with millions of Muslims who will then, according to the "one man, one vote" principle, overturn the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state and turn it into yet another turd world Muslim dungheap in which the Jews (and Christians too--the "Sunday people" are next on the list) are dhimmis or dead.