Saturday, April 09, 2005

Another Dreadful Article at CounterPunch

Having sullied myself with the Jensen article, I figured why not just keep going? I'm already's a quaint little number by William A. Cook taking on that other global monster, Israel (don't look for denunciations of Islamic extremism from the Radical Left - after all, Islamic terrorists are fighting the bad ol' U.S., so they can't be wrong).

I don't have the patience for another fisking, so here's just a sampling of the garbage:

...Shamai Leibowitz, an Israeli human rights attorney from Tel Aviv and a reserve sergeant in the Israeli tank corps[:] "For years, American taxpayers money has funded the occupation � the torture chambers, the military apparatus, the bulldozers used in house demolitions, the building of settlements and now the construction of the West Bank wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Americans should be held accountable for where their money is going"...

...[in considering the rise of anti-semitic incidents in Europe as found in 'The Report on Global Anti-Semitism' by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, there is]...[n]
o mention of the Intifada and Israel's occupation of Palestine, no mention of the million bullets fired by the IDF in the opening days of the Intifada, a bullet for every Palestinian child according to Noam Chomsky ("Anti-Semitism, Zionism, and the Palestinians" 3/22/05), no mention of the military crackdown in the West Bank or Gaza, the destruction of homes, the torture chambers, the wanton killings of civilians, the checkpoints and humiliation of the indigenous population, or the illegal continued construction of settlements... short, while the report reflects a renewed anger and frustration against the Israeli state beginning in 2000, it does not address what may have caused this rise in what it terms anti-Semitism; it merely lists the incidents and denies the possibility that people across the globe, including member states of the EU, which it condemns outright, could have as much reason to express resentment and outrage at the government of Israel as they do about the government of George W. Bush.

Alright, hold it a minute - did you catch that? Cook has just excused anti-Semitism as a legitimate means of opposition to Israel. I challenge you to explain that paragraph in any other way. Realizing how monstrous this admission is, he then tries to explain away anti-Semitism using the tired old 'hey,I don't hate Jews, just their homeland' tactic. I'm not bothering to excerpt that; you can read it in the article, but the following is too good to resist:

If I place Bush's National Strategic Security Report objectives, its expressed empirical goals, in context with those of former leaders with visions of empire, including Hitler, I do not criticize an American for being American or convey a veiled hatred for Americans because they voted Bush into office.

Perfect: the obligatory Bush-Hitler comparison, right out of the blue, apropos of nothing...this has apparently become a badge of 'street cred' among the Radical Left.

Having made that point, let me extend the analysis even further to explore the rationale behind the use of the term "anti-Semitism." Joseph Massad, Professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University, published an article on this very term in Al-Ahram Weekly On-Line, (2004/720/op63.htm) wherein he presented the evolution of the term and its various misunderstandings in different countries of the world.

This is too rich (alright, I'm lapsing into fisking, I realize). To explain why we misuse the term 'anti-Semitism', Cook relies on the notoriously anti-Semitic Joseph Massad of Columbia University! This is akin to Bill Clinton explaining that a certain sexual act isn't really sex.

...Noam Chomsky questions even the need for such a document in the United States directed at anti-Semitism, "You find occasional instances of anti-Semitism, but they are marginal. There's plenty of racism, but it's directed against Blacks, Latinos, and Arabs that are targets of enormous racism. Those problems are real, but anti-Semitism is no longer a problem, fortunately. It's raised (by privileged people) because they want to make sure there's no critical look at the policies the US supports in the Middle East"...

Is Noam Chomsky the most repulsive man alive? All signs point to yes (oh, all right, Mugabe's worse, and Saddam - still, he makes the top 1000)...

Dr. Massad closes his piece with these observations: "Today we live in a world where anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hatred, derived from anti-Semitism, is everywhere in evidence. It is not Jews who are being murdered by the thousands by Arab anti-Semitism, but rather Arabs and Muslims who are being murdered by the tens of thousands by Euro-American Christian anti-Semitism and by Israeli Jewish anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is alive and well today worldwide and its major victims are Arabs and Muslims and no longer Jews. The fight should indeed be against all anti-Semitism no matter who the object of its oppression is, Arab or Jew."

This is just a case of semantic game-playing. Massad thinks if he shuffles the shells around enough, we'll forget which one the ball is under. Regardless of the merits of Massad's view of the origins of anti-Semitism, its worldwide accepted meaning is irrational hatred of Jews.

Of course, it will come as no surprise when I tell you that Mr. Cook's occupation is college professor...

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