Sunday, March 27, 2011

Interesting Quotes:

I have not been in the mood for writing anything lately. But I have been reading some hitherto unknown (to me) stuff on the internet. So here are a few quotes that caught my attention:

From "National Journal"

"[Gertrude]Stein's seemingly paradoxical views about Hitler and fascism have never been a secret. As early as 1934, she told a reporter that Hitler should be awarded the Nobel peace prize. "I say that Hitler ought to have the peace prize, because he is removing all the elements of contest and of struggle from Germany. By driving out the Jews and the democratic and Left element, he is driving out everything that conduces to activity. That means peace ... By suppressing Jews ... he was ending struggle in Germany" (New York Times Magazine, May 6, 1934).

"During the first decade of this century, Stein became enamored of Austrian-Jewish psychologist and philosopher Otto Weininger, whose major work, Geschlecht und Charakter ("Sex and Character"), had tremendous influence on European thinking. Following its first publication in 1903, the book was quickly translated into various languages, and went through 30 editions. Weininger contrasted the masculine "Being" of Aryanism and Christianity with the feminine "non-Being" of Judaism. Jesus was the only Jew to overcome Judaism, he argued. Zionism, in Weininger's view, is the negation of Judaism, because it seeks to ennoble what cannot be ennobled. Whereas Judaism stands for the world dispersion of Jews, Zionism strives for their ingathering."


Who is an Arab Jew? Albert Memmi (1975)

"As to the pre-colonial period, the collective memory of Tunisian Jewry leaves no doubt. It is enough to cite a few narratives and tales relating to that period: it was a gloomy one. The Jewish communities lived in the shadow of history, under arbitrary rule and the fear of all-powerful monarchs whose decisions could not be rescinded or even questioned. It can be said that everybody was governed by these absolute rulers: the sultans, beys and deys. But the Jews were at the mercy not only of the monarch but also of the man in the street. My grandfather still wore the obligatory and discriminatory Jewish garb, and in his time every Jew might expect to be hit on the head by any Moslem whom he happened to pass. This pleasant ritual even had a name - the chtaka; and with it went a sacramental formula which I have forgotten. A French orientalist once replied to me at a meeting: "In Islamic lands the Christians were no better off!" This is true - so what? This is a double-edged argument: it signifies, in effect, that no member of a minority lived in peace and dignity in countries with an Arab majority! Yet there was a marked difference all the same: the Christians were, as a rule, foreigners and as such protected by their mother-countries. If a Barbary pirate or an emir wanted to enslave a missionary, he had to take into account the government of the missionary's land of origin - perhaps even the Vatican or the Order of the Knights of Malta. But no one came to the rescue of the Jews, because the Jews were natives and therefore victims of the will of "their" rulers. Never, I repeat, never - with the possible exception of two or three very specific intervals such as the Andalusian, and not even then - did the Jews in Arab lands live in other than a humiliated state, vulnerable and periodically mistreated and murdered, so that they should clearly remember their place"

This description of Muslim tolerance stands in stark contradiction to Slavoj Zizek's hyper-euphoric imaginings about which I commented here.


A new look at Zionism from the perspective of universal rights / Ruth Gavison

"The Law of Return is a prime example. The law serves a number of crucial aims, including offering refuge for every Jew and strengthening the Jewish majority in Israel. Its most important task, however, is symbolic. After all, the right of Jews to settle in their land, and the belief that the Jewish state would offer Jews everywhere a place to call home, has always been the lifeblood of Zionism. Thus, when the Law of Return was enacted in 1950, there was a widespread sense that the right of any Jew to immigrate to Israel preceded the state itself; it was a right that the law could declare but not create. Perhaps this particular claim was a bit questionable: There is, in fact, no “natural right” of Jews to immigrate to Israel. Had a Palestinian state been established instead of a Jewish one, it is reasonable to assume that it would not have recognized the right of Jews to move there, nor is it likely that international law would have done so. But once the idea of a Jewish national home became internationally recognized and a Jewish state was established, Israel was fully justified in including the right of all Jews to immigrate there as one of the state’s core principles.
There are those who argue that the Law of Return is racist, one of the clearest proofs that Arab Israelis are the victims of state-sponsored discrimination. This claim is baseless. The law does not discriminate among citizens. It determines who may become one. The principle of repatriation in a nation state is grounded in both political morality and international law. The United Nations’ 1947 resolution approving the establishment of a Jewish state was meant to enable Jews to control immigration to their country. Similar immigration policies based on a preference for people whose nationality is that of the state have been practiced in European countries, including many of the new nation states established after the fall of the Soviet Union. The need to preserve a national majority, especially in cases where the minority belongs to a nation that has its own, adjacent state, is not unique to Israel."

Monday, March 21, 2011

IDF Corporal Levin and Palestinian baby, Jude -->

Hadas Fogel
("He who creates peace
in His celestial heights,
may He create peace
for us and for all Israel;
and say, Amen.") -->


Mother's day:
Malevolence and beneficence

Here is how the blogger, "Angry Arab" sneered at Mother's day celebration in Israel:

Comrade Riyad sent me this: "As a civilized nation, with a deep and abiding commitment to human rights and dignity, the government of Israel is pleased to announce that it will not kill, torture or otherwise abuse any Palestinian children on Mother's day, March 21. The usual torture and killing will promptly resume on March 22, at 12 AM. Happy Mother's day to all."

Why would I even note this calumny?

Here is why:

IDF forces and local paramedics helped save the life of a Palestinian woman and her newly born infant Wednesday, at the settlement where Fogel relatives are sitting Shiva for the five Israelis brutally murdered last week.

Just as IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Neve Tzuf to offer his condolences, a Palestinian cab raced towards the community's entrance. In it, soldiers and paramedics discovered a Palestinian woman in her 20s in advanced stages of labor and facing a life-threatening situation: The umbilical cord was wrapped around the young baby girl's neck, endangering both her and her mother.

The quick action of settler paramedics and IDF troops deployed in the area saved the mother's and baby's life, prompting great excitement and emotions at the site where residents are still mourning the brutal death of five local family members.


Update: I forgot about this precedent

Sunday, March 20, 2011

TNR Comments

Atrocity at Itamar
page 2
page 3

Libyan Intervention

Another TNR article about Libyan intervention

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Persecution of Roma in Hungary

Via Harry's Place

"When we got there all the adults were standing outside their houses, guarding the place, frightened, angry, fed up. About 30mins before we got there the Gárda marched through the main street again, with weapons, chanting words of hatred. The parents grabbed their kids out of bed (around 10pm) and ran to relatives a few streets furthe"

"We were there until around 3am, talking to people, who havent slept for weeks, and told us what has been going on. Their kids are afriad to go to school and some havent been for 2 weeks now – as a result, the state can withdraw their family aid! The teachers and the director at the school are also threatening the kids, saying things like you’ll all die, we’ll kill you, we’ll call the gárda if you dont behave. The gárda gets entry to the school and the kindergarden- which is when parents run there to take their kids. So most of them dont take them anymore. The kids cant sleep, many of them pee themselves; kids are running home after the gárda was chasing them, crying, peeing their pants, refusing to leave the house again. The whole community is terrorized."

The Roma are the most vulnerable minorities in Europe. No other minority is as openly harassed and persecuted, with impunity, as they are. They do not seem to be organized, or to have any lobby that would plead their case to the authorities or report these occurrences to the international media.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The newest Jewish conspiracies in the Arab Street

Israel assists Qaddafi

Israel attempts to thwart Amr Moussa's presidential bid:

I've read that Israel is currently trying to maneuver between the political forces (in Egypt) in a bid to thwart my candidacy. I am not ruling this out, but I don't think the national political forces will cooperate with Israel to block the candidacy of an Egyptian citizen."

How better to win the hearts and minds of freedom-loving Egyptians than to accuse Israel of trying to stop Moussa's candidacy? All that remains is for some wikileaks leaks to provide the secret minutes of an Israeli cabinet meeting instructing the Mossad to torpedo Moussa's chances, and Mousa becomes a national hero. Who will dare not vote for him?

Wave of uprisings in the Arab street orchestrated by Tel Aviv

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh addressed about 500 students and lecturers at Sanaa University on Tuesday, where he claimed that protests had been orchestrated by Tel Aviv, under the direction of Washington DC.

A Zionist Olympic logo
Iranian Olympic Committee has launched an official complaint to the International Olympic Committee concerning the design of London 2012 Olympic games logo.

Baharm Afsharzadeh, the secretary general of Iran’s Olympic Committee told reporters the logo depicts the word ZION, a totally irrelevant symbol for what it is supposed to depict i.e. the spirit of Olympics.



@ the Egyptian blog "Pyramidion" a few more conspiracies are provided:

After being internationally recognized as a new nation amidst Arab countries in 1948 and in order to serve its aggressive and expansionist policy in Palestine, Israel needed time-more than anything else- to make those new Zionist geo-political findings as facts on the ground and nothing seemed to serve those end goals better than ever new Israeli aggressions, strong and blind support from the united states and backstage deals with authoritarian and corrupt Arab rulers, whom while trying to guarantee their grip on power, were willing to give Israel more than she even asked for.

Arab rulers gave Israel the long peace and quiet on the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, they gave her the normalization of political relations with Tel Aviv offered by many capitols in the Arab world from Doha/Qatar in the east to Rabat/Morocco in the far west and even some of the corrupt negotiators of the Palestinian authority have offered to give Israel unbelievable concessions regarding the hot topics of the west bank and East Jerusalem thus denying millions of Palestinians the right to return to their homeland as revealed lately by the Palestine papers leaked by Aljazeera. "

"Mubarak Toppled by CIA Because He Opposed US Plans for War with Iran; US Eyes Seizure of Suez Canal; Was this the Threat that Forced Mubarak to Quit?"

"you are truely tuned into the egyption “uprising”, you’d see that this was a CIA-Mossad operation punishing Mubarek for his failure to support an attack on Iran. Your cry for a unified arab people is precisely what hillary clinton , et al. sought in order to create their “nuclear umbrella” in order to “protect” the arab peoples (Egypt, Saudi Arbia, etc) and poor little Israel from “evil” Iran. Instead, as everyone understands, this would have been used to launch an attack on that nation. Your petition for pan-arabism is just a ploy to pit sunnis against shiites. If not, take a look at the facts and reconsider."

Gaza Celebrates

This and this (graphical gore, be warned)


These photos are all of the same person passing around a plate of pastry in the street, not a mass celebration. However, Hamas has officially praised the murder.

Update II:

A little belatedly, I remembered these final lines from
Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children

"Tell her, tell her about the army, tell her to be proud of the army. Tell her about the family of dead girls, tell her their names why not, tell her the whole world knows why shouldnt she know? tell her there's dead babies, did she see babies? tell her she's got nothing to be ashamed of. Tell her they did it to themselves. Tell her they want their children killed to make people sorry for them, tell her I'm not sorry for them, tell her not to be sorry for them, tell her we're the ones to be sorry for, tell her they cant talk suffering to us. Tell her we're the iron fist now, tell her it's the fog of war, tell her we wont stop killing them till we're safe, tell her I laughed when I saw the dead policemen, tell her they're animals living in rubble now, tell her I wouldnt care if we wiped them out, the world would hate us is the only thing, tell her I dont care if the world hates us, tell her we're better haters, tell her we're chosen people, tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? tell her all I feel is happy it's not her. "

I wonder what Churchill feels these days.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Racists, Anti-Racists, Anti-Zionists and Antisemites

An interesting and at times rather vitriolic discussion has developed on a TNR thread (5) (6) in which this statement by Marty Peretz

"It is clear to me that Obama hasn't the faintest idea of what's going on in the AfPak region, and is in strategic rescue mode by his commanders who grasp what he cannot. Or refuses to."

was interpreted by one poster to imply the following meaning:

"Poor little nigger boy become prez; he needs to be saved by white generals."

I disagreed (in my contentious way) with the interpretation and much commentary followed, all of which I found unpersuasive. While I have my own opinion about Peretz's sporadic inclination towards making politically incorrect statements, I have never regarded him as even remotely favouring the type of raw and naked racism that this interpretation implies and consider it a straightforward slander.

2. Another discussion concerning the exact algorithms of an antisemitic expression/sentiment developed on Bob's blog,


I particularly liked this comment as it laid bare the antisemitic/anti-Zionist dialectic in novel and sharp clarity.

3. Commercial break

4. Anne Frank and discarded Jewish identities

5. Intervention in Libya? (Fact is, I don't know what to think)


In re-reading some of the stuff that gets revealed in Bob's threads about the Left's relationship with antisemitism, and the TNR thread about whether Peretz, a liberal devotedly pro-Israel journalist, is a rabid racist at heart, I get the impression that what I'm seeing are symptoms of a much deeper and troubling phenomenon. I get the impression that in spite of the clarity and undeniability of facts, they no longer matter. Passions, prejudices, perverted and contorted arguments are presented, in attempts to excuse or dismiss in the one case and to indict and condemn in the other.

These lines,

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

have never seemed more pertinent .

But what is that passion about? What exactly is the source? How come people who are perfectly lucid and intelligent when someone tries to explain to them certain aspects in Quantum Mechanics, seem to be overcome with a singular inability to discern fact from fiction, seem to want to look for monsters where none exist? As if the simple rules of rational thinking, presentation of evidence, making cogent arguments that would make sense even when you don't agree with them, all these are no longer considered necessary. It is enough that I feel something to justify a campaign of prosecution, if not downright demonization.

"A mathematician once said that algebra was the science for lazy people-- one does not work out x, but operates with it as if one knew it... Politics means operating with this x without worrying about its actual nature. Making history is to recognize x for what it stands for in the equation.” (Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon)

Is this where I might begin to understand, with trying to find this x, what it is, what role it plays, what premise underlies it, in the discussions (and others) I referred to ?

There is of course a political utility to accusing someone, especially a journalist, of racism. It takes away a person's moral authority. It yields double the profit when the accused is a Jewish journalist, and a triple dividend when he is a pro-Israeli Jewish journalist. A racist cannot and should not be believed when he points to antisemitic occurrences or, God forbid, that he should claim that some type of criticism against Israel is in fact concealed antisemitism. The tactic works like the weakening of a body's immune system, just waiting for it to be invaded with an infectious agent. It's rendering the target morally indefensible. It's like manufacturing defencelessness.

Concurrently, there is a persistent, consistent and insistent denial --in places where one expects to find moral authority, such as academia, media, Left-wing organizations like NGO's, or green parties or what have you-- that antisemitism is a legitimate grievance, a very present and growing phenomenon.

In effect, what we have is an attempt to fight what is perceived as paranoia by a counter paranoia. Thus, the claim of antisemitism is often dismissed as the collective fantasies of a damaged psyche (the Jews), while the same are being pilloried for being racists (mostly they are accused of being Islamophobes, or just plain racists).

So a person can be slandered but, due to his "record" as a racist, he has no defense against such vile imputations. He can explain or deny, try to prove, provide the necessary evidence, the words, the context, the arguments -- all of which he can do, of course. But who will listen, once that person has been maligned, except those who had never believed or accepted any of it, anyway?

And so it goes ...

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sabra Hummus

Why is Angry Arab calling for the boycotting of Sabra Hummus?

He is not saying.

Can one conjecture, then, that it might have something to do with the name, or the Kosher label, or the list of its managers?

A mystery.


@ Engage:
About "The Promise", a play about the Israel/Palestinian conflict seen through the eyes of a British girl who comes to visit the place for a few weeks to see for herself. Many of the comments to this review of the play respond in the predictable far-Left clichoid manner that the creator of the drama and the network that screens it probably and possibly aimed at: example.

(Engage, the website, has a rigid and ideologically-based moderation policy where quite a few comments I left in the past did not make it through. Therefore I'm reproducing my comment here by way of recording it just in case it is deemed too pro- Israel to be allowed to appear on this self-described "non-Zionist" blog.

Update: Strange. When I checked about an hour ago, the comment appeared in the thread. When I checked again just now, it disappeared again. So what happened between then and now? I noticed this
on my sitemeter:

"London, United Kingdom, 0 returning visits

5th March 201109:38:10Page ViewNo referring link
5th March 201110:05:22Exit Link
5th March 201110:22:19Page ViewNo referring link

I'm guessing that when the comment was allowed, the moderator was unaware of my sarcastic remark about the website's eccentric moderation policies. Then someone checked it out and found it and got pissed off. And action followed quickly. Either that, or another moderator disagreed with the first moderator about allowing such brazenly pro-Israel apologetics ...

Either way, a mature and well-considered reaction. )


From "Truth"'s link:

"According to Israeli authorities, the bombers entered Israel through the Egyptian border with Israel, after slipping out of Gaza when Hamas forces demolished a portion of the separation wall between Gaza and Egypt last month. "

If you wish to cast a doubt about the veracity of a statement of fact, better be attentive to the facts and what they tell us.

"Israeli statistics indicate that the barrier has substantially reduced the number of Palestinian infiltrations and suicide bombings and other attacks on civilians in Israel and in Israeli settlements, and Israeli officials assert that completion of the barrier will make it even more effective in stopping these attacks[33] since "An absolute halt in terrorist activities has been noticed in the West Bank areas where the fence has been constructed".[34] Israel's state comptroller, however, notes that most of the suicide bombers crossed into Israel through existing checkpoints.[35]

Israeli officers (including the head of the Shin Bet) quoted in the newspaper Maariv have said that in the areas where the barrier was complete, the number of hostile infiltrations has decreased to almost zero. Maariv also stated that Palestinian militants, including a senior member of Islamic Jihad, had confirmed that the barrier made it much harder to conduct attacks inside Israel. Since the completion of the fence in the area of Tulkarm and Qalqilyah in June 2003, there have been no successful attacks from those areas. All attacks were intercepted or the suicide bombers detonated prematurely.[17] In a March 23, 2008 interview, Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdallah Shalah complained to the Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq that the separation barrier "limits the ability of the resistance to arrive deep within [Israeli territory] to carry out suicide bombing attacks, but the resistance has not surrendered or become helpless, and is looking for other ways to cope with the requirements of every stage" of the intifada.[36]"


About Rachel Corrie and her legacy:

Corrie aligned herself sentimentally and seamlessly with suffering Palestinians, reserving for them her absolute anger and attendant pity to the extent that suffering Israelis merited nothing but a sneering hatred from her. Corrie’s idealism did not proceed from love but from ideologically induced hatred. She was a de-facto apologist for Palestinian terrorism, and she died trying to prevent the work of an Israeli bulldozer, which was searching for munitions buried in the ground . Contrary to Palestinian reports and what is generally claimed, the bulldozer was not there to demolish a house, (though houses used as cover for weapon-smuggling tunnels were demolished by the IDF, but not on that particular day). Any which way you slice it, those munitions were there to be utilized in attacks against innocent civilians. Corrie died protecting terrorist weapons. She was completely indifferent to the deaths these weapons spelled at a time when suicide bombings were a matter of daily, sometimes hourly, occurrence in Israel.

Btw, when I look at this photo of Corrie what strikes me is less her complete self-abandon to mindless hatred. What I notice is the difference between her semi-crazed demeanor and the baffled and smiling faces of the Palestinian kids, who surround her. What can it mean?