Rants and Raves

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Israel and anti-Semitism, decision time

In a discussion group I sit in on, the following was contributed by an elderly English gentleman, who is sort of the "odd man out" in the group. He was invited in under circumstances I'm not up on, to contribute another point of view.

A fair number of his contributions amount to, in the words of the moderator, "your country, form of government and people are despicable. I know it's true because I say so. There is no discussion about it."

For the record, though I've had pleasant enough discussions with the gentleman, I think that's a fair assessment. We got much the same from his Canadian daughter, who contributed also that Canadians are "more kind" than Americans.

How sad. There was a time when Canadians might boast they were tougher than Americans.

I am quoting without attribution, because I don't have permission. Some of you know that doesn't always stop me.* But in fact I rather like the gentleman, and he's old and alone.

He said:

"Earlier history is irrelevant. One need go no further than the Ottoman Empire becoming our enemy on aligning itself with the German Confederation in WW1. Then, as in WW2, the Germans sought, with Turkish help, to take the Suez Canal - towards which their railroad project was already within 400 miles.
We British ejected the Turks in 1917 from what became Palestine, mediating and keeping the peace between Arab and Jew for 31 years.

The Holocaust was of course a prime motivator towards the establishment of a Jewish state. The UN had neither mandate nor authority to recognise the state of Israel - but it had the votes of the western world, led by America, for an ultra vires resolution.. (A recent count showed GW Bush Administration contained at least 43 Jews in senior appointments (on merit?), including 8 ambassadors - Muslims NIL - perhaps little proportionate change since 1948). One needs also to consider the massive Jewish influence, then as now, from Wall Street to LA, particularly in finance and media - despite comprising only about 1.4% of US population. US Administrations cannot ignore that influence to which it is 'in hock', let alone bring it to heel.

Against such pressure there was no chance of the UN insisting upon a secular state of Israel. So non-adherents to Judaism effectively became non-citizens - Palestinians not only dispossessed but made pariahs in their own land. Israelis now claim 'God given authority'. What of Allah?

So what if Israelis boast about "settling in a barren land neglected by its shiftless inhabitants, making it a vital country and making the desert bloom".
That 'get up and go' appeals to Americans but is no justification for stealing the land. None of you would take kindly to foreigners 'invading and 'improving' your back-yard !' You may despise Palestinians for their grubby track suits, night-shirt style garments, and apparent indolence but that is their prerogative, making them no less human beings with equal rights. - and accords no entitlement to colonize and partition their land. Would you not fire rockets in defiance, lacking the means of proper defence against modern weaponry, much provided by benevolent Uncle Sam.

One must presume the UN did not consider the impact on resident Palestinians already in situ - trusting the Jews to treat them fairly !. It has been argued that Palestinians refused to negotiate. I would not negotiate with invaders over my real estate, particularly in the face of force majeure.. Of course inevitably 9/11 enters the equation. Palestinians are mostly Moslem as were the 9/11 perpetrators - there must be a connection?.

One senses an intention to draw a parallel -- Redskin has accepted Paleface, so why does not Palestinian yield to Jew? Why the hell should he? He is the ultimate loser, and doubtless recognises that. In other places we would applaud the heroism of fighting to the end against insurmountable odds. And we have seen the ruthlessness of Israeli forces, including use of white phosphorus weapons against civilians, obliteration of UN HQ and stores, point blank shooting of children. Israeli /Nazi. What's the difference? Bush openly declared for the Israeli government (having no option) - and I had thought Americans fair minded. They now just want the case 'wrapped up' - regardless of humanity. The US should first put its own house in order. Obviously the US considers its sheer might adequate cover for their blind ignorance of other nations and races - vitally necessary before assuming a mantle of world leadership - as claimed yesterday.

At least the Koran forbids usury - which has brought western civilisation(?) to the brink.
Well intentioned Yanks have caused more harm than good in many parts of the world. Get your act together."

In a follow-up discussion he claimed:

"Yanks now seem to have a fixation that all Muslims are wicked. Are all Christians, Hindus and Jews saints? There is no trace of anti-semitism; only fierce criticism of wicked deeds. Of course I could have taken a pragmatic view 'Palestinians were always destined to be losers'. Perhaps you think they should now quit. But my view is supported by the Law Faculty at Cambridge University walking out - so I have some brains on my side - should you doubt mine!"

I'm sorry, I know the claim that "anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism," and I've made it myself. But if you look at the above, it just doesn't wash.

To wit, conspiracy thinking and:

"(A recent count showed GW Bush Administration contained at least 43 Jews in senior appointments (on merit?), including 8 ambassadors - Muslims NIL - perhaps little proportionate change since 1948)."

A count of Nobel Prize winners would show a hundred-plus Jews, and Muslims amounting to a number I could count to without taking my shoes off.

Bias? Favoritism?

Not from the freaking Nobel Prize Committee, I assure you.

And, I've been encountering this kind of attitude from English and other Europeans for a while now.

One English correspondent claimed the Israeli's were "as bad as" Islamists, (actually, I believe he said "Jews" - he didn't make the distinction between Jews and Zionists.) To this end he forwarded articles on 1) a bunch of idiot frat boys who turned out to be Jewish, who'd gotten caught burning down a church somewhere down south, and, 2) some Hasids in Israel who'd beaten up some tourists on a bus.

For 1) he had to search the KKK/neo-fascist sites to find particular mention that, gasp!, some criminals are Jewish.

I could have pointed him here: http://www.amazon.com/Tough-Jews-Fathers-Gangster-Dreams/dp/0375705473/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232901968&sr=8-1

to the book "Tough Jews," a history which shows that the so-called Mafia in America is also largely a creation of Jewish gangsters.

By a Jewish author, by the way.

Lo and behold, the Jewish minority has a criminal class. Show me a group without one please.

For 2) he found that Jews also have nutty cults that behave obnoxiously. In fact, I have it on good authority that Chasids are widely disliked - in Israel, by Israelis. Who nonetheless tolerate them, because that's what free people do.

I could point out that Chasids are a small minority, compared to say, the number of Wahabbis within Islam. And Wahabbis, to the best of my knowledge, have never produced any literature as inspiring and uplifting as the tales of the Baal Shem Tov.

Bottom line: If Israel decisively wins yet another war, what's going to happen?

If Israel decisively loses for the first time, what's going to happen?

Does anyone have any doubt there won't be any Israelis left, beyond those that might be saved by emergency evacuation to America?

So, because it's time to take a stand, my view:

There's actually a fair amount I agree with in the gentleman's post - I just reach different conclusions.

The justifications offered for the right of European Jews to colonize the area of ancient Israel strike me as very thin indeed. An absence of 2,000 years is not like stepping out for a beer and returning to find squatters in your home.** And who did give the UN the right to dispose of other people's territory?

A startlingly sensible suggestion was made to FDR by the late King Saud of Saudi Arabia, "Give them the lands and possessions of the Germans who oppressed them."

(Is it too late for that one?)

I supported these points back when it was dangerously unpopular to do so. I haven't changed my mind, now that anti-Semitism is again popular on the Left.

It's just that now I don't give a damn.

When it comes down to the crunch, you've got to choose between people who: practice chattel slavery, treat women like chattel, have no concept of the rights of man whatsoever (and it's rather odd that the gentleman is claiming "rights" for a people who recognize none), and demand that when a woman is raped (or just seen in a compromising position with an unrelated man) her husband, father, mother, brother or son must murder - her.

Versus: a people whose law released John Demjanjuk (accused of being a concentration camp guard "Ivan the Terrible") because the evidence didn't rise to the bar of proof demanded by their law.

That choice was not forced on us by the Israelis, but by the Islamists, so screw 'em.

And you can't blame their behavior solely on the Israelis. It doesn't explain the barbarous behavior of the Islamists in Algeria to their fellow-Algerians.

Remember that forgotten conflict?

That's where the Islamists invaded school rooms and cut the throats of little girls who weren't wearing head scarves.

That's where the Islamists cut off the heads of vile people who for example, read books, and arrange them artisticly on staircases.

Nor for that matter, does it explain the easy-going Tunisians. They've got a police state, but a rather nice one, with a wine and spirits industry and an attitude of, "Have fun and make money. Just don't forget who's in charge."

Their contributions to the ranks of terrorists are minimal. Evidently, they could care less about Israel. And I've had it on good authority many of them don't like to make the Hajj, "because of those damn fanatics."

To put it bluntly, 5 million obnoxious Jews are worth more to me than 500 million obsequious Arabs who'll kiss a Brits backside the way they love so well.

And I want them to know that.

* I recently excised the name and contact data of a lady who asked me nicely. Among other reasons, it was pointed out to me that true Bulgarians and other victims of communism, rather forcefully resent apologists for communism coming from their kind and tend to consider them traitors and collaborators, with all that implies.


** See here: http://www.ilanamercer.com/phprunner/public_article_list_view.php?editid1=316

a piece I give as an example of possibly the worst piece of reasoning that reaches a conclusion I support.


  • At 12:24 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    Glad this came up.
    Stumbled upon an interesting and enlightening article not unrelated to these issues around which I centered the latest post, "Only a fool fights in a burning house."
    Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus...all killing eachother down through the centuries because greedy fatcats at the top of a given religio-political or socio-economic pyramid told them "God" said it was a good idea. I don't know about you, but I smell angus excrement, and lots of it!
    There's a tiny minority within what's broadly labeled the Jewish community that can actually claim to be semitic, and that faithful remnant are the ones for the which the city is not - nor should be - destroyed.

  • At 7:50 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    1) Would that it were a matter of greedy fatcats.

    Fact is, every indication points to the "Muslim street" being more fanatic than their rulers, in the Arab lands at least.

    Gulf rulers seem to be mostly cheerful hedonists who want to enjoy their money. If they weren't driven by their uneasy place on top of crazed mobs, peace might be possible.

    2) The Khazar hypothesis was certainly an interesting one - but in the 30-odd years since Arthur Koestler proposed it, it doesn't seem to have had much confirmation, either from historical documentation or genetic analysis.

    And, it's never been entirely clear if the whole Khazar nation converted to Judaism, or just the ruling family.

  • At 9:42 AM, Blogger Libertarian_Libertine said…

    The funny thing is that I have found that many admirers of Ghandi often excuse or even support the rocket attacks and suicide bombings of Hamas.

    I find that strange.

    Oh, and before you quote it, I am familiar with Ghandi's "the Jews should offer themselves to the knife" comment. Maybe that is why...

  • At 4:45 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    I was not familiar with that Ghandi quote - what a putz!

    George Orwell said it back before WWII, so-called "pacifists" almost always wind up being pro-facist.

  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Atomic said…

    Yeah, Gandhi was as extremist as Hamas in his own way- he wasn't so much anti-semitic (most of his unfashionably un-PC moments he reserved for blacks), but he was so committed to pacifism he truly believed it was always preferable to any form of self-defense whatsoever.

    He died pretty much completely confused about why the same tactics that worked on the British were completely useless against the sectarian militants that came in their wake.


  • At 8:59 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    Khazar hypothesis aside, you have to admit that seeking to set up shop in a part of the world where 90% of the population wants to kill, steal from and destroy anything that isn't Muslim is an ill-conceived and mind-bogglingly stupid idea...No matter how long it's been since you used to live there.
    Neighborhoods change, and not always for the better.
    "Good news is, real estate prices are really low...But there's just one catch."

  • At 5:44 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    Yep, but who knew in 1948 that the Muslim world would ever get their hands on a nuclear arsenal?

    Trouble is, back then nobody else was going to take them in.

    Ahmedinejad said aloud what I'd been thinking for a while - a state which is geographically small, is hideously vulnerable in an age of nukes.

    I'd suggest we offer to take them all in.

    And while we're at it, we might offer white and colored South Africans a refuge as well.

    And if the handwriting on the wall is as clear as it seems, we might be taking in a substantial fraction of Europe someday.

  • At 3:10 AM, Blogger John said…

    "The UN had neither mandate nor authority to recognise the state of Israel"

    Wrong on both.

    The League of Nations had the job of dealing the the remains of the Ottoman Empire. They parcelled it out to various indigenious peoples based on various criteria, and designated a portion as a "Jewish Homeland". This was long before WWII and the Shoa.

    The British were given the 'Mandate' to administer the area until such time as a local government could be in a position to take control.

    This by the way, is the same authority that created Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, etc, etc.

    So if Israel as a Jewish state is not valid, then neither is any of the rest of the political division of the Middle East. Actually, Syria continues to claim that Lebanon is by rights a province of Syria...

    The UN inherited all of the decisions of the League of Nations as settled International Law.

    To pick Israel out of the whole mix as 'unlawful' or out of bounds some how, is right up there with the UN Human Rights commission spending more than half of it's time criticizing Israel, which, let's face it may have some problems, but by any objective measure treats human rights as well as or better than any other country in the world.

    It doesn't wash

  • At 3:55 AM, Blogger John said…

    Not only did the UN have the authority to recognize the State of Israel, it was oblidged to by International Law.

    After the First World War, the League of Nations took up the job of parcelling out the remnents of the Ottoman Empire. Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, et al, along with a future "Jewish Homeland".

    At a later point, Jordan was carved out of the future "Jewish Homeland", since the British had a spare Arab Royal family to find a place for.

    The British were given the "Mandate" to handle civil affairs until such time as a home grown government could be established.

    Jews had been returning to Israel while under Ottoman rule, and continued to do so during the mandate. There was also substantial arab immigration into the Mandate (often illegal) since the Jewish population built a working economy for the first time in centuries and there were jobs to be had.

    The British did not want to leave anytime soon, and began to play the old game of Empire by setting the Arabs against the Jews. They let a violent anti jewish leadership come into positions of power (c.f. The Mufti of Jerusalem) and left them alone, even when the preached anti British sentiments.

    Many suspect that the goal of the British government was to put the local Jewish population into a position where they would not dare to ask the British to surrender the Mandate out of fear for their lives.

    The UN inherited all of the decisions of the League of Nations as settled International Law.

    The creation of a Jewish homeland was mandated by international law.


    The Khazar thing is a cute theory, but better than 50% of the Jewish population of the State of Israel are Sephardic Jews, whose families had lived in Northern Africa, Ethiopia, and the Middle East for thousands of years.

  • At 6:53 AM, Blogger Steve Browne said…


    IMHO, Israel has a de facto right to exist because it claims to be a state and can back it up with force.

    De jure rationals for the existence of most any state, I find less than convincing. States are created by force, or the threat thereof. Legalistic bases seem to me post facto justifications.

    Arguments for a moral right to exist revolve around the fact that they're the only state around that area with even minimal respect for human rights. Or even minimal competence at creating and maintaining infrastructure unaided, for that matter.

    Th UN? From whence came their authority? And where is their capability of projecting force, minus the U.S.?

    You said: "This by the way, is the same authority that created Jordan, Saudia Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, etc, etc.

    So if Israel as a Jewish state is not valid, then neither is any of the rest of the political division of the Middle East..."

    Excellent point. One we'd do well to keep in mind.

    We do not disagree on the conclusion.

    However, I think deriving an argument from the alleged legitimacy of the actions of a body where the Soviet Union had a permanent seat on the Security Council, and Muammar Khaddafi served as chairman of the Human Rights Commission, is dangerous.

    I remember an anecdote about Eric Hoffer.

    Hoffer was invited, along with a bunch of political luminaries, to address a Jewish organization in New Orleans.

    After all the big wigs had made speeches heaping encomiums on the Jews, Hoffer got up and said, "They all lie. They would sell you out in a minute. Support Israel, it's your only hope."

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger John said…

    fair enough...

    Can't argue with you about the value of the UN...

    btw I live about 7 kilometers east of Gaza so it's kinda personal with me.

    I see the UN Vehicles on the road from time to time and it's hard not to give them the old one fingered salute.


  • At 5:42 PM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    As we say in the South, Gaza? Sheeeeeeeit.

    I got another piece of that slanging match with the old Brit, by the way.

    In it he said Israel has no right to exist, and must cease to exist as a state.

    I don't know if he knows, that what he's saying is, Israelis must be exterminated, and I'm afraid to ask. (Does anyone doubt that would be the immediate consequence of an Arab victory?)

    Either he's impossibly naive - or he's possessed by pathological hatred.

    I've heard he has a Jewish son-in-law, so I'm leaning towards naive.

  • At 2:58 PM, Blogger Ted said…

    It's past time to recognize Israel's right to exist, especially since it does, and trying to live in/change the past doesn't work (Palestinians have been trying it for decades).
    The question needing an affirmative answer from Israel today is, can you sustain yourself, on your own terms, and function independently, without American aid?
    If that state can do so, a large block of "anti-Semitism" will evaporate like an ice cube on a hot tarmac, because present generations are sick and tired of being blamed and extorted for the alleged injustices of their ancestors through "social(istic in)justice".

  • At 2:10 PM, Blogger woodhen16 said…

    Back to the subject of the blog:
    The man in question was an British officer in WWII whose unit was the first into Bergen-Belsen, so he experienced at first hand the reality of the Holocaust.
    I am a volunteer at the Holocaust museum in Richmond. This man contributed his persona, in effect, uniform & insignia for a mannequin in a display representing the liberators of the camps.
    I nave always found him a good correspondent and we have had many interchanges, all of them friendly until I started a web discussion group, which Steve contributes to.
    Some of my friends are pretty jingoistic, and this uncovered a mean streak in my English friend. He took to argumentum ad hominem, and got some in return. I felt it wise to cloture him for his own and some of my friends' good (we are mostly in the apoplexy range.).
    I remain astonished at the depth of his feelings against America and Americans, and Israelis.
    I think he has succumbed to the spirit of the age, which has produced "all races and cultures are equal at birth and keep on being equal regardless of evidence to the contrary. Jack's as good as his master."



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