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Andrew Sullivan: Spreading the greater lie about Israel
The Sunday Times ^ | December 23, 2001 | Andrew Sullivan

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 doesn’t 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.

I’m 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 Laden’s guilt.

Al-Ahram, Egypt’s 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 York’s 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 there’s 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 don’t have an approximation of Hitler. You have Hitler.

Here’s 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, don’t 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 Antonio’s 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, he’s 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 Israel’s 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. Hamas’s temporary cessation of suicide bombings in Israel last week is directly related to the Bush administration’s 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 Israel’s self-defence in these perilous times and shame anyone who trafficks in it. Yes, this means that Israel’s 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 Israel’s enemies to know whose side we should truly be on?

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: andrewsullivanlist
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To: Alouette; wooly_mammoth
A professor? Yes, and an acolyte of always half-wrong Noam Chomsky. I saw this in her bio link above: "l972-l976: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D. program of the Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics; Ph.D. degree awarded in August l976, Thesis Supervisor, Prof. N. Chomsky."

She's typical of the politicized lefties of non-poli-sci and history backgrounds. They are not inculcated with and are not peer-reviewed by established "fact checking" and such implicit in those departments.

Her cant is Chomskyesque. Note the lefty obsessions, but without the "post-modern" lingo by which other lefties make their work unreadable (though she uses the term "discourse" in her first sentence, but thereupon engages in plain-language insinuations a la Chomsky.)

She's pretty slick, like Chomsky. The first paragraph is an example. She dismisses "retaliation", and by proximity implicates that it was "foreplanned" by the Israelis. This is sophistry. First, the "retaliations" weren't against the PA at first, they're against Hamas and I. Jihad, which it seems Arafat has issues with too. Second, any country has a "variety" of plans for all sorts of situations. Third, she subsumes specific "retaliations" into a "plan" against "Arafat" without analyzing the very retaliations. Fourth, the focus on Arafat is a typical lefty side step, a "decontextualization" of "voices" that might upset their mindset and mental zoo of the current crisis. In other words, they don't have to confront what Hamas thinks or Islamic Jihad thinks, and publicly expresses, to wit, killing of all jews and the destruction of Israel. Read this more as the opening of the mind of a western academic rather than an analysis of the players.

I like this sentence, "The plan includes everything that Israel has been executing lately, and more." The Chomskyesque innuendo, lack of factual connection, and glibness is quite well inculcated into this worman.

61 posted on 12/25/2001 6:59:52 PM PST by Shermy
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To: Sabramerican
Ignoring the rest of the garbage.

What is it about the spirit of Christmas that brings all these Jew-haters crawling out of the woodwork?

62 posted on 12/25/2001 7:00:01 PM PST by Alouette
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To: LoisHunt
There are certain countries that the United States has a special relationship with (for various reasons) and Israel is one of them. They are after all the only democracy in the area, and if for that reason alone we should/do support them.
As for you or your loved ones(God forbid) getting killed over Israel, if Israel disappeared tommrow there are those who would still hate us and want to kill us. Why, envy. They think that the reason they are poor is because we are rich, they are powerless because we are powerful, they have no/very little freedom because we have so much.
63 posted on 12/25/2001 7:00:03 PM PST by Valin
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To: wooly_mammoth
Wooly is part of a recent article by Shamir. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but...:

"...The Jewish state of Israel is a state of mind, a projection of the American Jewish mind. The worries and problems it articulates are American Jewish problems. For Israeli 'Jews', there is no need for segregation, war, or subjugation of natives. We eat no bagels with lox, speak no Yiddish, read no Saul Bellow or Sholom Aleichem, and avoid synagogues. We prefer Arab food and Greek music. My neighbourhood has seven pork butchers to a kosher one. Forty per cent of Tel Aviv weddings are done outside Jewish framework: young Israelis prefer to go to Cyprus to get married, just to avoid contact with Rabbis. Tel Aviv is the gay capital of the Middle East, though according to Jewish law, gays should be exterminated.

If American Jews did not bribe Israelis on a large scale, we would just forget about the Diaspora and dissolve into the hospitable Middle East. If they continue to bankroll us, we shall oblige them with a small show of Jewishness.

We are master-sellers of illusion, and as long as there are buyers, we shall provide the goods..."

64 posted on 12/25/2001 7:01:12 PM PST by dlt
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To: marbren
eventually, even the 6 million Jews in the USA will be forced to leave.
65 posted on 12/25/2001 7:01:30 PM PST by marbren
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To: wooly_mammoth
I wish Israel did to her enemies but 1% of what she is accused of by the disciples of lies.
66 posted on 12/25/2001 7:02:49 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: Valin
With which other countries do we have a "special relationship" that even comes close to Israel? Israel, with a very high standard of living, gets over 1/3 of our entire foreign aid.
67 posted on 12/25/2001 7:06:47 PM PST by dlt
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To: Alouette
With gift wrapped irrational lies.

Imagine. You are to believe a Hasid in Jerusalem is oblivious to the Christianity in the City.

68 posted on 12/25/2001 7:07:11 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: dlt
We eat no bagels with lox, speak no Yiddish, read no Saul Bellow or Sholom Aleichem, and avoid synagogues. We prefer Arab food and Greek music. My neighbourhood has seven pork butchers to a kosher one.

That's the delusional, secular, atheistic leftist Israeli mentality in a nutshell. They are losing control, and losing it fast. The Haredi ("ultra-Orthodox") population is growing at a much faster rate than the seculars, and the most extreme of seculars hate Judaism so much they would rather turn the country over to the Muslims than share power with the Haredim.

69 posted on 12/25/2001 7:08:33 PM PST by Alouette
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To: XBob

There are self-hating Jewish Palestinians on the staff of Hebrew University, which is the Israeli equivalent of UC, Berkeley. They ought to move to France for a while.

70 posted on 12/25/2001 7:09:36 PM PST by womanvet
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To: dlt
I'm totally confused. One minute Israel is an evil Jewish theocracy. The next it is hardly Jewish.

I'm beginning to think this "author" makes up facts to fit his essays.

71 posted on 12/25/2001 7:10:32 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: Alouette
Alouette, when I lived in Jerusalem, the only place to get a bagel was in one Arab bakery in the Old City, and it only vaguely looked like a bagel as it was about 10 inches in diameter.

Sabramerican, I can tell you stranger stories than the one about a Hasid who asks what Gentiles are doing in the Old City.

72 posted on 12/25/2001 7:12:42 PM PST by dlt
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To: dlt
Send them to Ripley's
73 posted on 12/25/2001 7:13:57 PM PST by Sabramerican
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To: College Repub
Great news. Where did you get the stat?

60% of the Under 30 Jewish crowd (at least the ones that voted) voted for Bush in the last election.

74 posted on 12/25/2001 7:14:48 PM PST by GOPJ
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Was published by Jewish World Review (I dont have the URL but it was talked about on FR in its own thread 3-4 times last month). Perhaps someone here has the link?
75 posted on 12/25/2001 7:18:15 PM PST by College Repub
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To: wooly_mammoth
Israel Shahak, a survivor of the occupied Europe, died this year. Israel Shamir, a younger man, is still alive. They have both been strong critics of Israeli policy.

The problem with so much writing on the Middle East is that tempers run so high and there is so much at stake in practical terms, that it's hard to find out what is true in any particular case. The larger "truth" that each side wants to persuade people of takes precidence in so much that we read over the actual, smaller truths about any particular event, person or situation.

76 posted on 12/25/2001 7:18:50 PM PST by x
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To: dlt
the only place to get a bagel was in one Arab bakery in the Old City

Boiled water bagels are an American thing. My relatives in Meah Shearim had these things made out of cake dough they called "bagels" but not what we're used to. Anyway, bagels are not anymore "Jewish" than pizza is "Italian."

77 posted on 12/25/2001 7:19:59 PM PST by Alouette
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To: wooly_mammoth; dlt
You guys a match made in heaven? I don't know what's worse, the insane rantings of "Israel Shamir", a man who exhibits a paranoid identity crisis, even implying that because he doesn't eat bagels like New Yorkers do is somehow a relevant basis for understanding his country, and says american jews put minorities in Ghettos, or the "Rape of Dulcinea" which reads as a architectual critique converted into an quasi-anti-semitic diatribe about the city of Jerusalem, grounded in some old internationalization idea for the city which I haven't heard advocated in years. Have you considered what the agenda of the writer of this piece is? Or is understanding motive relevant?

How do you guys collect this stuff? REally, its amazing that jews are subjected and analyzed via this stuff. Does it happen to any other people in the world? Weirder is the self-hating jew phenomenon and the screeds they produce, which feeds into various paranoia around the world. What a world!

78 posted on 12/25/2001 7:20:32 PM PST by Shermy
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To: x
They have both been strong critics of Israeli policy.

In much the same way that Jane Fonda was a critic of US policy.

79 posted on 12/25/2001 7:21:03 PM PST by Alouette
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To: Valin
Israel sounds more like a theocracy than a democracy but what does that matter anyway when we (the US) certainly support the survival of monarchy in Saudi Arabia vs any kind of government that the people there would vote for themselves. And there are plenty of other examples all over the world so democracy is a phony rationale.

If the purpose of 9/11 was to get the attention of the American people (as bin Laden told journalists would be the aim of attacks on US civilians), we ought to get serious. Our pols have been doing whatever they felt like doing for their own interests and it wasn't a big issue to the average American. Now we can get killed for what our government is doing; thats serious; thats not something to be silly and bravado about.

25 years ago we left Vietnam because the American people made clear to their government that whatever the heck that war was about, it wasn't worth any more Americans dying for it. Several years before that, the government ended conscription so no American could be forced against his will to die for it. But now, only 25 years later, what American pol will defend the Vietnam war? Reagan used to call it a "noble cause" but that was sloganeering and pandering; he sure didn't make any effort to make the case for that war. So, you say that we've supported Israel historically, but this country can make an absolute 180 as we did with Vietnam, if the American people decide to turn on the pols.

80 posted on 12/25/2001 7:21:17 PM PST by LoisHunt
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