February 12, 2006

New Age Zionists

One striking spin-off of the cartoon controversy has been the apparently sincere support and sympathy that many Jewish organizations and individuals in the “Diaspora” have expressed for Moslems. Being experts at recognizing the kind of defamation that is usually a prelude to far worse things, Jewish organizations have been denouncing the cartoons in a very vocal and conspicuous manner.

While this sudden concern with justice on their part is highly commendable, it does make me wonder where they have been during the last sixty or more years. How could they possibly have missed the daily demonization of Palestinians that has always been a staple of news reports and commentary within Israel? Have these Jewish organizations never realized that the demonization of Palestinians has been a tool in the Israeli state’s arsenal of weapons in its long-term project to eradicate the Palestinian nation?

Meanwhile the Zionist entity itself (that is, “Israel”) has been mute on the current controversy. It is perhaps caught between a rock and a hard place. Were it to denounce the cartoons, it would be showing sympathy for Moslems, which would be contrary to the racism that is of the essence of the Zionist entity. Were it to express support for absolute “freedom of speech,” it would be opening itself up to a plethora of risks, both domestic and external. After all, the very existence of the Zionist entity depends on the world’s continued silence regarding its illegitimate and illegal existence and expansionism.

We are still left, though, with the puzzle regarding the expressions of sympathy by Diaspora Jews. I find it hard to believe that the recent events have been so extreme that they have inspired some sort of conversion on their part. After all, we are talking about a bunch of cartoons, albeit a highly offensive bunch of cartoons. The Jews have for decades “endured” with great equanimity the spectacle of the Palestinian genocide, which many of their own leading figures have compared to the Nazi Holocaust. Surely there is nothing in the current situation that is more troubling than that endless tragedy. And I find it difficult to believe that something has touched them viscerally, so as to make it impossible for them not to react as they have. Had they been so strongly susceptible to being touched viscerally as witnesses to injustice, they themselves would have taken up arms against the Zionist entity long ago.

I am forced to conclude that their expressions of sympathy must be rooted in self-interest. Not so many years ago, the Western newsmedia contained no significant amount of criticism of Israel and its actions. Now, thanks to the Iraq Holocaust, the floodgates of criticism, indeed of vilification, of the US and its minions have begun to open up. And, thanks to President Ahmadinejad of Iran, the status and meaning of the Jewish Holocaust, and even its reality, has become a legitimate subject for debate. Perhaps the said Jewish organizations and individuals wish to restore and reinforce the possibility of assigning to specific events, entities, and persons an aura of immunity from discussion and debate.

My other posts on related topics:
Myth and Myth-take (with Update)
Intolerance masquerades as tolerance
Unity, progress, and purpose


Patented Moves said...

While I can appreciate some of the observations of this post, it vilifies Israel a bit too much. The Jewish State has always been about survival and living in the middle of a group of nations where many are committed to the extermination of Israel has never been easy.

The truth is, in this debate on the cartoons, Christians, Jews, Muslims and all others who truly believe in their faith should be together to denounce these cartoons. I firmly believe that the Danish paper and all the others who followed suit had every lawful right to publish them, but to do so was irresponsible and had no place in a mainstream paper. It is the same with many ways our press degenerates itself in the portrayal of Jesus Christ and other important religious figures.

Unfortunately, because of the exagerated response of the Muslim populations, Christians and other faiths are having a hard time supporting them and, in many cases, must fight with the passive weakness shown by many of their own leaders when their own religions are under fire.

Al S. E. said...

P.M., what was the reason for the founding of the State of Israel by the Western Powers? Was it because the Anglo-American Empire, softhearted as it is, wanted to protect Jewish people from harm? I think few people are naïve enough to believe that line.

Zionism, ever since its inception in the 19th Century, has been a project of world imperialism/neocolonialism. Jews, Palestinians, and others had already lived together in Palestine in relative peace and harmony for millennia. There was no need to set up a Jewish state.

Israel was founded in order to act as the local agent of neocolonialism in the Middle East. Its function, which it has performed admirably, has been to promote a continual state of instability in that region, so as to impede the region’s social and economic progress and independence. It is, therefore, perfectly logical for Arabs, Moslems, and their supporters to reject everything that Israel stands for, along with its very existence as a racist state.

Contrary to Zionist propaganda that we have grown up with, it is not the survival of Israel that is in jeopardy. With friends like Uncle Sam, Israel need not have any fears for its survival. It is the dignity, independence, and progress of Arabs and Moslems that is at stake. Arabs and Moslems will continue to go around in circles for as long as the dagger of Israel continues to pierce the heart of their world.

As to “barbarism,” I call the behaviour of the United States government barbaric, which has murdered over a hundred thousand Iraqis just in this war. I call the behaviour of the Israelis government barbaric, which has murdered countless thousands of Palestinians with impunity, again thanks to unconditional support from Uncle Sam.

Burning a few flags or a couple of buildings is the desperate action of nations that are completely fed up with the current state of things, and are telling the world that enough is enough. And they are saying it not just by burning flags, but by doing things such as electing Hamas to govern Palestine. Palestine finally has the perfectly logical government for its situation. Any Palestinian government willing to go along with the hitherto-existing state of things in relation to Israel would be traitorous to the interests of the Palestinian nation.

You say that all “who believe in their faith,” whether Christian, Jewish, or Moslem, should be denouncing the cartoons. Maybe they should, I don’t know. What I do know is that I find it difficult to imagine Jewish settlers on occupied West Bank or American right-wing Christian fundamentalists denouncing the cartoons, even though I am sure they all believe in their faiths.

These issues are political, not religious, in the same way that the Danish newspaper’s decision was a political decision meant to further the ultra-conservative cause in Denmark and elsewhere, though the whole thing has backfired for them anyway. Whether the paper’s action was legal or not is as irrelevant as the degree of faith of a Jewish or Christian opponent of Islam.

And, to say it again, this whole thing had little to do with religion. What it did have to do with was dignity. Drawing ridiculous caricatures of the Prophet of Islam was only the latest in a series of attacks on Islamic civilization, rather than on Islam as a religion. Whether or how Christian and Jewish religious leaders react regarding the insult is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

DDO said...

Does this entire situation reflect a paranoid consiracy of hate against anything non-conservative, or is it an indicator of the arrogant attitude of the completely unnaccountable & irresponsible Western press?

I think that this blatant disrespect to Muslims in Europe was a grab for headlines by a very underwhelming newspaper that would otherwise be completely irrelevant.

They've taken the opportunity to back Muslims into a corner by desecrating their religion - and thus the culture of Islamic nations - that would very obviously draw passionate protests. Then the newspapers, and bigots, could point at the protests & say "look - they're all violent, just like I've been saying all along". There seems to be a culture of entitlement among members of the free press that makes these tasteless acts somehow justifiable. I suppose some could make the argument that it will pave the way for more openly discussing Islam & it's culture, maybe leading to enforcing human rights in Islamic countries, but I see it as more pornography than any progression of greater good.

We've grown accustomed to seeing Jesus drawn on the editorial page but that's more a sign of our Western protestant culture (ie: Jesus is whatever suits us right now). That's probably a good thing as it allows people to question the messages they receive from their local church which, as a result of protestantism, aren't subject to any sort of quality control and more often reflect the unfounded predjuduces of the leaders of said groups.

Is it necessarily a good idea to do the same for Islam? I think it's better to let Islamic papers take the lead on that one.
I, along with any other Christians I know (as conservative as we are), think of this as a stupid, selfish act of a very small minority of sensationalists. We're ashamed to be associated with it even though we don't have any control over a Danish newspaper. This feeling extends to the broader issue of Israel & Palestine. I don't know of anyone who wants to see Palestinians or Israelis suffer. I don't think Israel was a great idea either in hindsight. Too bad Palestinians don't have their own Stephen Speilberg!

As for blaming it on the US? I have no idea how that connection could validly be made. I think a case could just as easily be made against Russia, China, or any other non-secular state.