Thursday, January 22, 2015

The dialectic of culture and barbarism

Theodor Adorno in "Cultural Criticism and Society,":

  The more total society becomes, the greater the reification of the mind and the more paradoxical its effort to escape reification on its own. Even the most extreme consciousness of doom threatens to degenerate into idle chatter. Cultural criticism finds itself faced with the final stage of the dialectic of culture and barbarism. To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. And this corrodes even the knowledge of why it has become impossible to write poetry today. Absolute reification, which presupposed intellectual progress as one of its elements, is now preparing to absorb the mind entirely. Critical intelligence cannot be equal to this challenge as long as it confines itself to self-satisfied contemplation. (Prisms, 34)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sartre, on defeating anti-Semitism:

“The cause of the Jews would be half won if only their friends brought to their defense a little of the passion and the perseverance their enemies use to bring them down. In order to waken this passion, what is needed is not to appeal to the generosity of the Aryans- with even the best of them, that virtue is in eclipse. What must be done is to point out to each one that the fate of the Jews is his fate. Not one Frenchman will be free so long as the Jews do not enjoy the fullness of their rights. Not one Frenchman will be secure so long as a single Jew – in France or in the world at large – can fear for his life”

Finally, a Frenchman who answers that call in no uncertain voice:

Friday, January 09, 2015

Beinart's impaired sense of irony

Peter Beinart's tweeted complaint:

"Watching @FoxNews you would literally think rest of American media is portraying Charlie Hedbo killers as victimized + misunderstood".

Peter Beinart's first response to Paris murders (a few minutes after news of the massacre broke out):

"... France has a very large Muslim population, larger proportionally and in raw numbers than its neighbors. It's also done a relatively poor job of integrating its Muslim population into the larger society. There were riots several years ago in largely Muslim and immigrant areas around Paris.
So you have this combustible mix of this very toxic global Salafi jihadist ideology, with a lot of people who just have the same kind of resentment that people who are poor, unemployed, maybe [f]eel some degree of racism. "

From an interview with Andrew Bostom: 

[Q] Which are the most important antisemitic motifs in the foundational texts, as you see it?

[A] I think 5:82 is an important motif but it is hardly the most important. The central anti-Jewish motif in the Koran is found in verse 2:61, repeated at verse 3:112. This is where the Jews are accused of slaying the Prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah, and so they are condemned and cursed eternally. Verse 2.61 says ‘shame and misery’ are ‘stamped upon them.’ And this verse is coupled to verses like 5:60, and other verses about the Jews being transformed into apes and pigs, which is part of their curse. Verse 5:78 describes the curse upon the Jews by David and Jesus, Mary’s son. There is a related verse, 5:64, which accuses the Jews of being spreaders of war and corruption, a sort of ancient antecedent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas cited this verse during a diatribe against the Jews of Israel, in 2007.) More generally, the Koran’s overall discussion of the Jews is marked by a litany of their sins and punishments, as if part of a divine indictment, conviction, and punishment process.

[Q] Some would say the seventh century is a long time ago.
[A] These central motifs are still being taught. That’s the point

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The True Rudolph 

The imp on my shoulder urges me to be cynical and attribute this to just another ploy in the catalog of the Elders of Zion's millennial scheme to dominate the Christian mind and through it, the entire world.

The story of Rudolph, in particular, should alert the perpetually wary to this intent:

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeers
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!

Consider how Rudolph, the natural underdog, is jeered at by his fellow reindeers, because of his nose(!!!). Not only jeered in words, but physically shunned, pushed aside, forbidden to join in the games (!!!!) This very Rudolph, visible minority of one, is then chosen (!!!!!) by Santa Claus(!!!!!!) to lead (!!!!!!!) the way to Christmas cheers and and gifts.

Could any storyline be any more Jewish than the story of Rudolph with his bright glowing red nose? I mean, think about it. Here is Rudolph, who constitutes no more than an eighth portion of his kind in the reindeer population, being assigned to leadership position, over-representing the proportion of his number in general reindeerdom. 100% percent of Santa's leadership are Rudolph, while, according to CIA secret records (as recently leaked out by a whistleblowing elf), only 12.5% percent of the North Pole population is Rudolph.

Does that make Santa Claus, Rudolph's handler, a closeted "Elder of Zion"?

He is the right age, and he has almost the same beard as that of the most notorious Zionist elder:


With some creative thinking, we could claim his cap is a sort of an over sized, overworked kippah

But then, so does this guy's head gear, which is closer in shape and size...

 Hmm. I really don't know where to go from here. My theory held out nicely until I got to that last bit. But when we speak of the Elders, nothing and none can be ruled out of their reach ...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Misstatement is a kind of lying

Someone on twitter declared:  "Netanyahu links UN efforts on Palestine to "surge of radical Islam" . The implication being that Netanyahu falsely and unaccountably linked UN efforts to impose a deal on Israel to the violence presently roiling the Middle East.

ישראל עומדת במידה רבה כאי בודד אל מול נחשולי האיסלאם הקיצוני ששוטפים את המזרח התיכון כולו. אנחנו עמדנו עד
  היום בהצלחה והדפנו את ההתקפות הללו.
עכשיו אנחנו עומדים גם בפני אפשרות של מתקפה מדינית, כלומר - ניסיון לכפות עלינו באמצעות החלטות באו"ם נסיגות לקוי 67' תוך פרק זמן קצוב של שנתיים. לכך לא אסכים!
הדבר יביא את גורמי האיסלאם הקיצוני לפרברי תל אביב וללבה של ירושלים - וזאת לא אאפשר. לא ניכנע ללחצים הבינלאומיים שמקורם בפלסטינים. אעמוד בתקיפות ולא אתפשר על ביטחון אזרחי ישראל.

This is the accurate translation:
Israel stands much like an isolated island against the groundswells of Extremist Islamic forces that are engulfing the entire Middle East. We have withstood these attacks and succeeded in pushing back against them.

Now we are confronted by a diplomatic onslaught, namely, the effort to induce us, through UN resolutions, to withdraw to '67 borders within 2 years. I will not agree to this.  

Such an action will bring Islamic Extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and into the heart of Jerusalem. I will not facilitate such a move. We shall not submit to international pressure stemming from the Palestinians. I will firmly resist any such effort and I will not compromise on the safety and security of the citizens of Israel.

Now go back and read the tweet that pretends to deliver the gist of this message and judge for yourself how accurate or honest it is.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

For Human Rights Day that is happening today:

From "Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry” by Michael Ignatieff (2001, p.9):

Global human rights consciousness, moreover, does not necessarily imply that the groups defending human rights actually believe the same things. Many of these NGO’s espouse the universalist language of human rights but actually use it to defend highly particularist causes: the rights of particular national groups or minorities or classes or persons… The problem is that particularism conflicts with universalism at the point at which one’s commitment to a group leads one to countenance human rights violations towards another group.

Ignatieff is claiming here that a noble term which was supposed to uphold an ideal of universal justice, the kind that safeguards the equity and inviolability of all human beings, has been devalued by different interest groups to the point where it is nearly worthless. Politicization of an ethical principle can only lead to the kind of confused, dislocated application of the term “Human rights”, where some NGO’s use it to justify their support of terrorist activities.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I left the following comment here but as usual with such "media outlets" they have draconian censorship  that cannot take what the site itself dishes out so generously*:

Incident started when Palestinian shabab were doing what they always do, throw rocks at Israeli cars. These two Israelis (how do you know they are "settlers", BTW? If you consider all Israelis settlers by virtue of just being an Israeli and a Jew, you should inform your readers of this meaning which is not immediately clear to Israelis or your average readers) reacted in the way most harassed human beings anywhere in the world would, by being angry and attempting to reciprocate in kind. This behaviour, acting out of anger, is always stupid and dangerously stupid in cases like this. How do they know it was not a trap to lure them into a situation in which they would be assaulted and lynched? Another point: when acting stupidly, people lose all good judgment and do bad things, like trying to take their frustration on innocent by-standers.  Those poor eggs haven't done anything, were not complicit in endangering a driving car or the people inside it. Furthermore, smashing them caused financial damage to the man who delivered them and who had absolutely nothing to do with the cute rock-throwing Palestinian youths. Like I said, anger makes people very stupid and often mean and irrational, but it's no excuse.

And very stupid is the attempt in this article to depict this incident the way it did when the video tells a different line of narrative.

On the other hand, maybe the swollen, one-sided, demonizing tale of settlers violence against Palestinians is so popular that facts and accuracy are not really a principle that matters. All is fair in love and war is the underlying thinking in this tale and we are in love with Palestinians and at war with perfidious (Israeli) Jews, aren't we? Good versus evil, with evil instantly labelled as "settlers". Nice work.

As a parting thought, when they come for the Jews in Israel (judging from the touchingly compassionate comment by "Marnie", such a day will come) noone will pause to wonder who is the Jew and who is the exceptional good Jew.


*Checking again 4 hours after posting comment: comment appeared.