week, after Israel targeted Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi
and, instead, got a woman passer-by and a three year-old
child, while 27 others were injured. George W. Bush
came out with some very mild criticism of Israel:
am troubled by the recent Israeli helicopter gunship attacks.
I regret the loss of innocent life. I also don't believe that
the attacks help Israeli security."
the hysterical reaction, one might have thought that he had
uttered a blood libel, or suddenly taken to wearing a kaffiyeh.
Such a commotion! House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas),
strode into the Oval Office and threatened to push a resolution
through Congress offering unconditional support to Sharon
and implicitly rebuking the President.
forbid the President of the United States should mourn the
death of a three-year-old child whom the Israelis say was
inadvertently killed. That this troubles him troubles DeLay
and that is more than a little troubling. I mean, what are
we talking about here: aren't we supposed to be against
the taking of innocent life? And why, pray tell, shouldn't
an American President say out loud what he really thinks about
the immoral and self-destructive behavior of a foreign government,
albeit one that is ostensibly our faithful ally?
hear constantly about the supposed rise of anti-Semitic sentiments
in Europe: this is not neo-Nazi activity, or the "old"
anti-Semitism of the Protocols, but the "new anti-Semitism,"
which boils down to criticism of Israel and its supporters.
As officials of the Anti-Defamation League recently
put it in the Denver Post:
strain of anti-Semitism usually targets Israel in some form.
The most socially acceptable way to vent anti-Semitism today
is to criticize Israel, the only state controlled by Jews,
by holding Israel to standards not applied to any other country.
Of course, it is not anti-Semitic to express sympathy with
the Palestinian people or to disagree with Israeli government
policies. But a hateful bias is revealed when critics subject
Israel, and Israel alone, to invective and demonization, while
human-rights abuses of other countries are overlooked or excused."
you criticize "the only state controlled by Jews"
you aren't necessarily anti-Semitic but you probably are.
And just what are these standards that Israel alone is held
to? Any other country that separated out the majority of the
population on the basis of ethnicity, and subjected them to
draconian controls, controlling their movements, and keeping
them penned up in special ghettos, would long ago have been
declared an international pariah. How has Israel managed to
get away with it and, not only that, but how have they managed
to go on the offensive, and target their critics as "bigots"?
no mistake about it: they are indeed on the attack, and not
only in the occupied territories. At a recent international
conference on anti-Semitism called by the O.S.C.E. , addressed
by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a number of Orwellian
proposals were floated
idea advanced by some delegates that would certainly provoke
disagreement if it ever became actual policy by O.S.C.E. governments
was that ways need to be found to control publications and
Web sites that promote anti-Semitism. One delegate, for example,
Jean Kahn, president of the Union of French Jewish Communities,
argued that the Arab television network Al Jazeera fomented
anti-Semitism and that it should be suppressed."
American representatives, far from dissenting, sat complicit
with this totalitarian proposal, and hailed others just as
bad if not worse. Giuliani, whose Mussolini-like reign in
New York City made the trains run on time, endorsed
the totalitarian spirit of the proposals:
aren't going to suffice to turn the tide of anti-Semitism,
which is once again growing in Europe and other parts of the
international amen corner is hoping that criticism of the
Jewish state is now going to be made a "hate crime,"
at least in Europe. So that if harsh words for Ariel Sharon
aren't accompanied by equally harsh words for, say, Yasser
Arafat, the author may find him- or herself fined, jailed,
and silenced. The ever-expanding definition of "anti-Semitism"
is certain to put a chill on Israel's critics, as the socialist
EU imposes limitations on speech throughout the continent:
even, now, in England. The campaign to stamp out all but the
mildest criticism of Israel is also likely to impinge on the
Internet, as the New York Times reports:
idea [the banning of Al Jazeera] was not challenged, given
the nature of the conference proceedings, but it also did
not become a main theme of the conference, though worries
about the power of the Internet to spread anti-Semitism did.
'Hypertexts and cybertexts are mostly imitations through which
the social deviancy present in society speaks,' Jacques Picard,
a professor at the University of Basel in Switzerland told
the conferees. His point was that the ideas being expressed
on the Internet hate sites are imitations of old anti-Semitic
notions but that they have gained new force both by the power
of the Internet and by the anonymity of many of those who
new here is that the Internet disseminates these ideas with
the protection of anonymity,' Mr. Picard said. 'Anonymity
should be lifted.'"
pompous frog flapping his lips about "hypertexts and
cybertexts" is the voice of the new Euro-commies, at
once absurd and deadly dangerous. "Hate speech"
as defined by some committee of commissars is a crime throughout
Europe, including the once-free British isles, as well as
Canada. And our own would-be commissars on this side of the
Atlantic are all too eager to start implementing the same
totalitarian methods here.
Simon Wiesenthal Center,
to its ever-lasting shame, has been especially
active on this front, leading the charge to enforce and
extend "hate speech" laws that could never be enacted
in the United States without first overturning the First Amendment.
That hasn't happened, as yet. They can get away with banning
newspapers and prohibiting speech in Iraq on the grounds
of an "incitement" to violence, but treating U.S.
citizens like the inhabitants of a conquered province is still
out of bounds. For how much longer is an open question
really disgusts me is the silence of the so-called "libertarians,"
who are so quick to pounce on instances of censorship, both
real and imagined, especially when it comes to the Internet.
Yet a campaign that seeks to ban plain speech about Israel
and its supporters is ignored. If only Israeli radio had been
forbidden to play the
music of Eminem, perhaps then the gang over at Reason
might have noticed what's up. And then there's that fearless
defender of freedom, Glenn
Reynolds, who hails the "liberation" of Iraq,
but can't be bothered to notice a major American politician's
endorsement of Ba'athist methods. As the Thought Police go
after the Internet, the fake "libertarians" have
nothing to say, because they're just soooo wound up
over Senator Orrin Hatch's anti-"rave"
goal of this O.S.C.E. initiative is to apply the same standards
to criticism of Israel that have been enforced in regard to
matters of race, religion, and ethnicity. Taki
Theodoracopoulos, the British columnist and socialite,
is now under "investigation" for his
politically incorrect remarks in The Spectator
on Britain's growing criminal underclass. In Europe, today,
opposition to an open borders policy on immigration is for
all intents and purposes an illegal act, along with displaying
Nazi paraphernalia and denying the Holocaust.
enemies of Israel are supposed to be infused with an ungodly
hate, and in the socialist utopia of a united Europe, such
nasty emotions are verboten. This has historically
been a leftist idea: if we ban hateful expressions, we can
socially engineer society in a less hateful direction. That's
what campus "speech codes" are all about. But who
really hates whom? Who is trying to shut up whom? And who
has now arisen to parrot the politically correct thought control
methods once confined to the multi-culti left? Giuliani is
a Republican politician, albeit one from New York City, and
not just any Republican, mind you, but one who has been prominently
mentioned as a candidate for high national office as
a replacement for Cheney on the national ticket, if the Vice
President should be felled by health problems, or even in
the top spot in 2004.
passage of a constitutional amendment forbidding Giuliani
from holding any office higher than mayor is, perhaps, just
a thought. Short of that, however, I cannot think of a single
measure that would ensure us protection from the draconian
designs of Manhattan's Il Duce, unless it's an outcry from
the supposedly oh-so-influential "blogosphere,"
whose yipping and yapping drove Trent Lott from the Republican
leadership. If only we could somehow shame Giuliani into retracting
or somehow modifying his rash endorsement of a radically anti-American
proposal. After all, he's advocating the abolition of the
First Amendment and he did it on foreign soil! So, where's
the outrage, bloggers?
tactics of the pro-Israel crowd are bound to backfire. Americans
don't like to be told what they can read, or hear, and they
aren't easily intimidated, either physically or intellectually.
Israel's amen corner can scream "anti-Semitism"
all they want, but the actions of the Israeli government in
the West Bank and Gaza are not winning them any friends in
the President of the United States can be forced to make an
abrupt about-face, is it a "hate crime" to point
to the power of the Israeli lobby? Is it "anti-Semitic"
to wonder how and why Tom DeLay can threaten the President
of the United States, the leader of his party and win? Is
it a "conspiracy theory" to observe that Israel
always gets what it wants from the U.S. government,
come hell or high water, and to wonder out loud: now, why
supporters are well-organized and well-funded; what's more,
they are strategically placed within the Republican coalition,
with unconditional support for the policies of the ruling
Likud party coming from fundamentalist Christians and the
influential neoconservative faction, which dominates the making
of foreign policy at the highest reaches of this administration.
What amounts to an Israeli fifth column in the U.S. is not
only well-placed, but exceedingly militant: they don't just
attack their enemies, they go for the jugular, branding them
with the stain of alleged "anti-Semitism" and cutting
off all debate. Increasingly, they are seeking to use the
power of the State to silence their enemies.
Kurtz, writing in National Review, is right on
the cutting edge of this battle: he recently testified before
Congress that "one-sided" criticism of Israel in
publicly funded institutions of higher learning must be banned.
Mideast scholars are "anti-American," avers Kurtz,
especially the followers of Edward
Said, and he proposes nothing less than a "supervisory
board" to conduct investigations of scholars who might
be guilty of a "hate crime." Senator
Rick Santorum is also on board this Orwellian campaign
to purge the universities of voices not amenable to the Amen
single-minded, and increasingly desperate, Israel's lobby,
in the U.S. and internationally, is a force for evil. In the
realm of foreign policy, its advocates are the loudest and
the shrillest calling for war. In the domestic policy arena,
too, the pro-Israel camp is increasingly unafraid to call
for outright repression. We all remember
what the outspokenly pro-Israel New York Sun had to
say about denying a parade permit to the anti-war protests:
they opined, furthermore, that in the event the protest was
allowed to proceed, the FBI ought to have shown up and started
even a wartime President at the height of his popularity cowers
before the power of the Lobby, it's almost as if the perpetrators
of this dangerous nonsense realize that it will provoke real
anti-Semitism, and fuel the fires of hate to what end,
is hard to say. But let them consider, for a moment, the possible
consequences of their success. This kind of stuff can backfire
all too easily on the would-be ayatollahs of Middle East scholarship
and deniers of parade permits.
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