November 19, 2004

Nazis are from Mars, Fascist Jihadists are from Venus

Posted by Jeremy Brown

This is my first guest post on Michael's blog so I don't mind explaining myself a little before I tell you what the title of this post means. The first thing is that I am very much in favor of a two state Israel/Palestine solution. But to me this means two independent, democratic states, each intolerant of terrorism.

I'm no knee jerk supporter or opposer of Israel and I'm wary of Arial Sharon's motives, but I think the security wall was a necessary measure. There is a lot that's right with an ugly wall that helps save innocent people from being brutally murdered. What I dislike about the wall is that it has violated the 1967 borders it should have stayed within.

And I shouldn't have to state this for the record, but I oppose fascism, terrorism, and anti-Semitism regardless of context. This gets back to the title of the post.

But first, here's an example of anti-Semitism in one of its oldest formal manifestations: the 'blood libel' (an all-purpose method of demonizing an entire race or religion by spreading the idea that they sacrifice babies to drink their blood for religious rites. So this too makes context irrelevant, though blood libel seems to have endured as a form of anti-Semitism almost exclusively).

If anti-Semitic blood libel was good enough for 1st century Greece then why shouldn't it still be happening in 21st century Westchester, NY (via Solomonia):

This Saturday (Nov. 20), a fundraiser will be held at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York, raising money to bring a Palestinian art exhibit to the New York metro area. Here's one of the paintings from the proposed exhibit (previously shown in Houston, TX), portraying Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon collecting and boiling a young Palestinian's blood:

sharoncooking2.jpg

Also included in the exhibit would be art and text that glorifies terrorist murder:

[t]o several of the artists, the subject of the martyrs is an all-important topic. A true martyr is anyone who gives his life in service of his people, including…suicide bombers that attack Israeli civilians.

I can anticipate the objections some people will have to my characterization of this, so let me say that I have little patience for those who denigrate the Palestinian populace as a whole. But I can think of no greater insult to a nation, race, or creed than to purport to represent the soul of its culture through the words and images of its most sociopathic element. Let's see Palestinian art that tells ugly truths, that challenges comfortable assumptions, by all means. But — does this really have to be said? — let's please not make apologies for the murdering fascistic militants who are just as poisonous to the future of a free Palestine as they are to the future of Israel.

To continue with this notion that there is no socially redeeming form of fascist terror, no kinder gentler terrorism, I was going to share a few thoughts about the murder of Margaret Hassan and the strange things a few people are saying about her killers, but I've taken up a lot of real estate here already. I'll just say that Robert Fisk is deluded to the point of dementia if he is truly trying to parse out the relative levels of compassion between one group of terrorist kidnappers and another.

Other abducted women were freed when their captors recognised their innocence.

But not Margaret Hassan, even though she spoke fluent Arabic and could explain her work to her captors in their own language.

If anyone doubted the murderous nature of the insurgents, what better way to prove their viciousness than to produce evidence of Margaret Hassan's murder?

What more ruthless way could there be of demonstrating to the world that the US and Interim Prime Minister Iyad Alawi's tinpot army were fighting “evil” in Fallujah and the other Iraqi cities?

At best this is a case of confusing survival strategy with journalism (in the same way that you might want to know which guard at Auschwitz was less likely to summarily shoot you than some of the others but you'd be wrong to impute compassion or human decency to such a person) and at worst it's…well it's classic Robert Fisk. Here's a bit more from Norm Geras.

Posted by Jeremy Brown at November 19, 2004 12:31 PM
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