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Author Topic: For fear of the Jews
Joe Sobran
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posted 07 April 2004 09:41 PM      Profile for Joe Sobran     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Been reading with interest the threads on these pages. I thought some of those posting might be interested in a column written a year or so ago. It addresses the issue of criticizing Isreali actions, while trying to avoid the label 'anti-semite'. The column title was deliberatly chosen to reflect this.

I hope you might find it inspirational, and educational. Here are some excerpts;

What, exactly, is “anti-Semitism”? One standard dictionary definition is “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious or racial group.” How this applies to me has never been explained. My “hostility” toward Israel is a desire not for war, but for neutrality — out of a sense of betrayal, waste, and shame. Our venal politicians have aligned us with a foreign country that behaves dishonorably. Most alleged “anti-Semites” would wince if Jews anywhere were treated as Israel treats its Arab subjects

........

" The very word anti-Semite is reminiscent of the term anti-Soviet. It serves a similar function of facilitating imputations of ill-defined guilt.

The strength of Western law has always been its insistence on definition. When we want to minimize an offense, say murder or burglary, we define it as clearly as possible. We want judge and jury to know exactly what the charge means, not only to convict the guilty but, also, just as important, to protect the innocent.

Clear definitions put a burden of proof on the accuser, and properly so. If you falsely accuse a man of murder or burglary, not only is he apt to be acquitted — you may pay a heavy penalty yourself. As a result, few of us are afraid of being charged with murders and burglaries we didn’t commit.

By contrast, the Soviet legal system left prosecutors with a wide discretion in identifying “anti-Soviet” activities. Almost anything irritating to the Soviet state could qualify. An impossible burden of proof lay on the accused; guilt was presumed; acquittals were virtually nonexistent. To be indicted was already to be convicted. Since the charge was undefined, it was unfalsifiable; there was no such thing as a false accusation. As a result, the Russian population lived in fear.

The word anti-Semitic functions like the word anti-Soviet. Being undefined, it’s unfalsifiable. Loose charges of “anti-Semitism” are common, but nobody suffers any penalty for making them, since what is unfalsifiable can never be shown to be false. I once read an article in a Jewish magazine that called the first Star Wars movie “anti- Semitic.” I was amazed, but I couldn’t prove the contrary. Who could? And of course people in public life — and often in private life — fear incurring the label, however guiltless they may be.

If you want to distinguish between the innocent and the guilty, you define crimes precisely. If, however, you merely want to maximize the number of convictions, increase the power of the accusers, and create an atmosphere of dread, you define crimes as loosely as possible "

........

" In the mid 1980s, the neoconservative Earth Mother Midge Decter, wife of Norman Podhoretz, accused Russell Kirk of “anti-Semitism.” Kirk’s offense? He had made a mild quip that some neoconservatives appeared to believe that the capital of Western civilization was Tel Aviv. Never mind that he had a point. Kirk had been a founding father of modern conservatism and a National Review columnist for many years, yet the magazine not only failed to rally to his defense against this smear — it didn’t even report the incident! Decter’s attack was the biggest news of the season in the conservative movement, but Buckley was afraid to mention it. So was most of the conservative press.

At about the same time, Israeli troops shot up a Catholic Church on the West Bank during Mass — a horrible sacrilege that sent worshipers fleeing for their lives and provoked an angry protest from the Vatican. ( The congregation had planned a march after Mass to protest the beating of a Palestinian priest by Israeli soldiers. ) I mentioned the incident to Buckley, a fellow Catholic, at an editorial meeting and gave him a news clipping describing the event in detail; as I expected, the magazine ignored this too. Even the violent persecution of Catholics by Jews was unmentionable — in a “conservative” magazine owned and run by a Catholic "

http://www.sobran.com/fearofjews.shtml

I hope you enjoy the column.

Joe

[ 07 April 2004: Message edited by: Joe Sobran ]


From: East Coast | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 April 2004 10:19 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Uhm, yeah.

The title is offensive the defense and promotion of a holocaust denier is worse. The article is full of hate. "The Holocaust has become a device for exempting Jews from normal human obligations." That sentence is an example of what Jews and everyone who believes in a just society free of fear and persecution rightly fear.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joe Sobran
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posted 07 April 2004 10:22 PM      Profile for Joe Sobran     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mr Wingnut, have you not written similar things yourself?

The title is taken from the Gospels. Are the Gospels offensive to you? Or did you just not read the article?


From: East Coast | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Joe Sobran
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posted 07 April 2004 10:26 PM      Profile for Joe Sobran     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
promotion of a holocaust denier is worse

Let me highlight some of what this article actually states;

I am not, heaven forbid, a “Holocaust denier.” I lack the scholarly competence to be one. I don’t read German, so I can’t assess the documentary evidence; I don’t know chemistry, so I can’t discuss Zyklon-B; I don’t understand the logistics of exterminating millions of people in small spaces. Besides, “Holocaust denial” is illegal in many countries I may want to visit someday. For me, that’s proof enough. One Israeli writer has expressed his amazement at the idea of criminalizing opinions about historical fact, and I find it puzzling too; but the state has spoken.

Of course those who affirm the Holocaust need know nothing about the German language, chemistry, and other pertinent subjects; they need only repeat what they have been told by the authorities. In every controversy, most people care much less for what the truth is than for which side it’s safer and more respectable to take. They shy away from taking a position that is likely to get them into trouble. Just as only people on the Axis side were accused of war crimes after World War II, only people critical of Jewish interests are accused of thought-crimes in today’s mainstream press.

But for you in particular;

> We are told incessantly that Israel is a “democracy,” and therefore the natural ally of the United States, whose “democratic values” it shares. This is a very dubious claim. To Americans, democracy means majority rule, but with equal rights for minorities. In Israel and the occupied territories, equal rights for the minority are simply out of the question.

Majority rule itself has taken a peculiar form in Israel. The original Arab majority was driven out of their homes and their native land, and kept out. Meanwhile, a Jewish “majority” was artificially imported. Not only the first immigrants from Eastern Europe, but every Jew on earth was granted a “right of return” — that is, “return” to a “homeland” most have never lived in, and in which none of their ancestors has ever lived. A Jew from Brooklyn (whose grandfather came from Poland) can fly to Israel and immediately claim rights denied to an Arab whose people have always lived in Palestine. In recent years Israel has been augmenting its Jewish majority by vigorously encouraging Jewish immigration, especially from Russia. Ariel Sharon has told a group of American senators that Israel needs a million more Jewish immigrants.

In recent negotiations, Israel has flatly rejected demands for a “right of return” for Palestinians exiled since 1948. It frankly gave as its reason that this would mean “the end of the Jewish state,” since an Arab majority would surely vote down Jewish ethnic privileges. If Israel remained democratic, it wouldn’t long remain Jewish.

This confirms the contention of hard-line Revisionist Zionists from Vladimir Jabotinsky to Meir Kahane that in the long run, Israel must be either Jewish or democratic; it can’t be both. And in order to remain Jewish, it must reject the equal rights for its minorities that Jews everywhere demand where they are a minority. Israel must be the only “democracy” whose existence depends on inequality.

Put otherwise, Zionism is a denial of the “self-evident truths” of the Declaration of Independence. To acknowledge those truths, and to put them into practice, would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Again, honest and rigorous Zionists have always seen and said this.

American gentiles, bemused by the propaganda claim that a beleaguered little democracy is fighting for its very right to exist, are vaguely baffled, unable to comprehend what is before their eyes. They still haven’t figured out that Israeli “democracy” is essentially and radically different from — even repugnant to — what they understand as democracy. <<

Do you disagree with this? If so, why?


From: East Coast | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 07 April 2004 10:27 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am quite uncomfortable with the language you've used in that article, Joe Sobran.

The Holocaust, being that it has occurred, has unfortunately warped the cultural gestalt of the Jewish religion and the Jewish population in the world.

It is not so surprising that this has occurred, since the express intent was to wipe (at the very least the European portion) the Jewish religion off the map of Europe in the most literal sense imaginable.

So while the Holocaust alters the "filters" through which Israelis might view the world, I do not feel that it is appropriate to characterize it as being used as a bludgeon to escape "responsibility". Even Dr. Finkelstein restricts his accusations of those who he feels use the Holocaust for personal gain, to a comparatively few people.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joe Sobran
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posted 07 April 2004 10:34 PM      Profile for Joe Sobran     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You wrote:

quote:
The Holocaust, being that it has occurred, has unfortunately warped the cultural gestalt of the Jewish religion and the Jewish population in the world.

And then:

quote:
Even Dr. Finkelstein restricts his accusations of those who he feels use the Holocaust for personal gain, to a comparatively few people.

You just agreed that the Holocaust 'warped the cultural gesalt of the Jewish religion and the Jewish population in the world'. I don't see how this differs from the article.


From: East Coast | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 April 2004 10:36 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, I haven't.

I did read the article. I haven't read all the Gospels.I have written, however, how ironic it is that extremist Israeli politicians have climbed into bed with the christian right which looks forward to the day when Jews either convert or die. To me it demonstrates the sheer madness behind Israeli policy in the West Bank and Gaza.

But I also appreciate Jews are not a homogenous group that can be ascribed certain charactersitics and traits. They embody a wide range of views and ideas and cultures. They are entitled to the same rights and dignity as any other human. I afford them the same respect I afford to everyone as a person whether I agree or disagree with their political opinions or ideological perspectives.

As much as Palestinians deserve the right to live in dignity free of the repression of Israeli occupation so do Jews in Israel, and everywhere, deserve the same right to live in dignity free of the fear of terrorism or hate inspired crime.

I have no grudge or ill will toward Jews or Israelis. I would not seek to punish them or demonize them. I would prefer to persuade them that Israeli policy with regard to Palestinians is without the nobility and justice that is part of the great tradition of Judaism.

I do not agree with you or your article at all.

[ 07 April 2004: Message edited by: WingNut ]


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joe Sobran
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5427

posted 07 April 2004 10:40 PM      Profile for Joe Sobran     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I do not agree with you or your article at all.

But none of what you wrote explains any reason why, or offers any objections, other than a knee jerk reaction of 'promotion'. Again, I referred you to a specific part of the article. I will excerpt it below. Do you not agree with this? If not, I'm curious why?

>>>>>We are told incessantly that Israel is a “democracy,” and therefore the natural ally of the United States, whose “democratic values” it shares. This is a very dubious claim. To Americans, democracy means majority rule, but with equal rights for minorities. In Israel and the occupied territories, equal rights for the minority are simply out of the question.

Majority rule itself has taken a peculiar form in Israel. The original Arab majority was driven out of their homes and their native land, and kept out. Meanwhile, a Jewish “majority” was artificially imported. Not only the first immigrants from Eastern Europe, but every Jew on earth was granted a “right of return” — that is, “return” to a “homeland” most have never lived in, and in which none of their ancestors has ever lived. A Jew from Brooklyn (whose grandfather came from Poland) can fly to Israel and immediately claim rights denied to an Arab whose people have always lived in Palestine. In recent years Israel has been augmenting its Jewish majority by vigorously encouraging Jewish immigration, especially from Russia. Ariel Sharon has told a group of American senators that Israel needs a million more Jewish immigrants.

In recent negotiations, Israel has flatly rejected demands for a “right of return” for Palestinians exiled since 1948. It frankly gave as its reason that this would mean “the end of the Jewish state,” since an Arab majority would surely vote down Jewish ethnic privileges. If Israel remained democratic, it wouldn’t long remain Jewish.

This confirms the contention of hard-line Revisionist Zionists from Vladimir Jabotinsky to Meir Kahane that in the long run, Israel must be either Jewish or democratic; it can’t be both. And in order to remain Jewish, it must reject the equal rights for its minorities that Jews everywhere demand where they are a minority. Israel must be the only “democracy” whose existence depends on inequality.

Put otherwise, Zionism is a denial of the “self-evident truths” of the Declaration of Independence. To acknowledge those truths, and to put them into practice, would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Again, honest and rigorous Zionists have always seen and said this.

American gentiles, bemused by the propaganda claim that a beleaguered little democracy is fighting for its very right to exist, are vaguely baffled, unable to comprehend what is before their eyes. They still haven’t figured out that Israeli “democracy” is essentially and radically different from — even repugnant to — what they understand as democracy. <<<<

Any specific objections to the above?


From: East Coast | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2077

posted 07 April 2004 10:42 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
I looked around the guy's website, and I noticed mentions and/or links to The Institute for Historical Review, American Rennaisance, David Irving, Pat Buchanon's American Cause and other radical right wing groups.

Typical signs of a "suit and tie" fascist.


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 07 April 2004 10:44 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The title of this thread is offensive. I haven't had a chance to read all of the posts, but I'm going to take WingNut's word for it for now that it's offensive as well.

I'm closing this.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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