Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Jonathon Freedland puts his foot in it for all to see.

In this morning's Guardian, Freedland chastises the West for infecting the Islamic world with anti-semitism.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, over?
Jonathon, have you lost your mind, or are you really that ignorant?

Mr. Freedland starts off by saying that he generally tries to ignore what anti-semitic incidents and statements in the Umma in order to allow him to remain blissfully ignorant about the world:

Such has been my standard operating procedure, constantly trying to
see if there's a way to contextualise these incidents, to see them in
proportion. My motivation was not complicated: I prefer my Jewish identity to be
positive, rather than defined by a perennial defence against

And, to a point, there are legitimate grounds for such. When some folks complain about "rich Jews" running everything, a legit part of that is because, like every other ethnic bloc and power group, there are Jews who are a) filthy rich and b) making no bones about running as much as they can. George Soros is one of them, for better and for worse. I went to school at his private university, and have overheard him on numerous occasions. He's an okay guy prone to solipsism with a bad case of the '68er disease of seizing upon the simplest and least practical solution to any given problem. His taste in ties sucks, or did when I was around, and he's got enough money and clout to rub me out or turn my life into a living hell if he chose to do so. Admitting any or all of that doesn't make me an anti-Semite.

Saying that I hate every Jew because they're all "apes and pigs" as does Basmallah, Queen of Enlightenment (rtfa), would, though, and it would be just as ridiculous as those who blame the Palestinians for all of Israel's problems, without admitting that there are times when the Israelis do their best to make enemies and piss people off.

But Mr. Freedland was forced to come rushing back to reality, when Ahmedinejad unfurled his new Seven-Point Pogrom speech the other day... well, mostly back to reality.
"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces," said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "Although we don't accept this claim..."

Suddenly, the usual apologetics won't work. No one can say Iran's president was really complaining about Israel or Zionism, rather than Jews. No one can say he was talking about the west's colonial crimes. He was peddling, instead, one of the defining tropes of the racist hard right: Holocaust denial. It is a stance that seeks to deny Jews their history, their suffering, almost their very being. Like denying that African-Americans were ever slaves, it is a move made by those who wish only harm.
No kidding, Sparky? And what's this about "almost" their very being? Ahmedinejad wants to turn the entire world into dar-al Islam, Extreme Shia Remix, buddy, and he's willing to murder every Jew and Christian, and a whole hell of a lot of Muslims in order to achieve that vision (try being a Sunni in Iran nowadays. G'wan, go for it. Better yet, try being an Iranian Ghuzz or Kurd and Sunni).

Let's read some more:
Well, now I'm done with the charitable explanations. A man who refuses to
believe the historic truth is capable of anything.

Better take a line from your own script, Jonathon buddy, because it applies to you, too, just as plenty of 20th century Jews were more than willing to disbelieve how bad it would be, because that was intellectually more comfortable, than to get their hands on some axes and guns so that they could take the Nazi bastards with them. Yeah, that's right: part of the tragedy of the Warsaw ghetto fight is just how damned rare it was.

But now that Mr. Freedland's bubble of "they can't possibly mean that" has been mostly punctured, how does this man react? By coming up with a way of explaining the whole thing away as just another sickness of the Western world, and partially excusing the whole thing in a fog of solipsism: remember the title... "The sickness bequeathed by the west to the Muslim world?" That's right, bucko... Jonathon's way of making this all make sense is to blame the West, first and foremost, and to demote people in the Umma to the insensate playthings of western ideologies, manipulated and therefore free from the guilt and responsibility of normal human beings who choose to be assholes.
We can deny it no longer: the virus of anti-semitism has infected the Muslim
world. And virus it is, for Jew-hatred on this scale, as Christian Europe can
testify, is a kind of sickness. This is one of the grossest legacies bequeathed
by the west: that Muslims have taken to heart a form of anti-semitism alien to
their own lands, borrowing a language and iconography that was made in
Christendom. Blood libels and the Protocols were dreamed up in Norwich, Mainz or
Moscow - yet now they breathe anew in Cairo, Riyadh and Damascus.

As usual, the smaller point attempts to obscure the huge, flaming one that ought to be obvious to anybody with his forebrain in gear. Blood libels and the Protocols were the inventions of some assholes who happened to be Christians, yes, and the nastier parts of the Muslim world have taken that football, run with it, and are now doing the "AK-47 monkey dance" with it in the endzone. But they're not doing it because the West has suddenly opening up tinfoil-hat brainwashing offices in Cairo and Tehran.

I know this will come as a news flash to Mr. Freedland, but there have been plenty of muslim assholes throughout history. Half the Jewish history of Iberia involves a vociferous and bitter debate between those who say that faking a conversion to Islam under force dooms you into goyim-hood, and those who toe Ibn Maimonides' line and suggest that pretending to convert in order to avoid being beheaded is really one of those kinda-sorta excusable kind of things. Any Jew alive in 12th-century Iberia would alternately laugh and weep (but would definitely kvetch) when presented with this bit of politically-correct bullshit:
This represents a menace to Jews, of course, but also a tragedy for Muslims.
Theirs is a tradition that historically valued learning, and when an ignoramus
like Ahmadinejad denies the overwhelming weight of historical evidence he makes
a mockery of that tradition. In a period Jews still look back on as a golden
age, Muslims were the people of scholarship, of science, of tolerance and
coexistence - a contrast with the Crusader barbarians.

Dude, where'd you learn your history -- from reading Ivanhoe? Mr. Freedland goes on to congratulate some Muslims for being real people who are not assholes (assuming that, unlike CAIR here, their words are worth the paper they're written on... see a previous post, "Merry Christmas, Kaffir" for a splendid example of money being where mouth is), and for saying the obvious bit about holocaust denial needing to go away. No problems, there -- the holocaust denial movement is full of shit (although, as an aside, the German government's habit of coming down on every revisionist like a ton of bricks is rather counterproductive... but that's what happens when you live in a place that thinks "free speech = bad").

But denying and excusing the phenomenon only adds strength to the assholes who are creating the phenomenon. Islam writ large has never been at peace with Christianity or Judaism, and the definition of "tolerance" enforced by the Ottoman Sultans is a very, very different definition than that used by late-20th and early-21st-century postmodern intellectuals.

Mr. Freedland, wake up and smell the baba ganoush. (Mmmm, baba it lunchtime yet?) If you truly want "Never Again" to mean anything, then the way to achieve that is not by rearranging the world to fit your bizarre little politically-correct, postmodern/postcolonial romanticized history, but to look at the world as it actually is, so that you can find out who your friends are, and who they're not. It's likely that you've got a lot of friends in the Umma: but it's equally likely that you've got potential buds in that same West you've been so happily accusing of culture-cide.

And may I recommend a conversation or five with the wonderful people at Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership?

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