Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Jews Stoned on Holocaust Memorial Day

Last week on Holocaust Memorial Day Bangladeshi yobs stoned Jews who were taking a walking tour of London's East End.

The Holocaust Memorial Day marking the genocides of the 20th century was marred on Sunday when a gang of youths stoned Jewish tourists on a guided tour of London's East End.

A group of 96 visitors looking at sites of Jewish interest were attacked by youths hiding behind a fence in a back street in Whitechapel.

Two were struck by the missiles, an American woman just starting a new post at London's Metropolitan University and a Canadian lecturer.

The woman had blood pouring from her head and needed hospital treatment.


An eye-witness said: "Stones started to come down on us and some in the group were scared and ducked.

"I looked over the fence and saw four Asian youths throwing stones. They were laughing, then ran away."

Monday, February 04, 2008

What's Cookin' in the "Global South"

In Knave's Gambit, I excerpted bits of Bobby Fischer's 9/11 Bombo Radyo interview to explore the irony of his being considered crazy for making statements you often hear from far-Leftists, albeit usually in less profane form. One example was Fischer's belief that the Jews were leading the world to its destruction like a steer by its nose ring. He said:

That's the big danger, that the Jews, that this lunatic people, are gonna take us all with them. But I'm hoping, as I say, for a Seven Days in May scenario, where [unintelligible] sane people will take over the US now.

I chose Jose Saramago's 2002 El Pais piece about the warlike racism inherent in Judaism as the "sane" Leftist's echo of Fischer. I could have cited a closer and much more current example. On January 7, Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi and President and co-founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, reminded readers of On Faith, a joint-venture blog between the Washington Post and Newsweek, that "Jewish Identity Can't Depend on Violence":

Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience -- a German burden that the Jews have not been able to shed. It is a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends. The holocaust was the result of the warped mind of an individual who was able to influence his followers into doing something dreadful. But, it seems to me the Jews today not only want the Germans to feel guilty but the whole world must regret what happened to the Jews. The world did feel sorry for the episode but when an individual or a nation refuses to forgive and move on the regret turns into anger.

The Jewish identity in the future appears bleak. Any nation that remains anchored to the past is unable to move ahead and, especially a nation that believes its survival can only be ensured by weapons and bombs...

Apparently, in the modern world, so determined to live by the bomb, this is an alien concept. You don't befriend anyone, you dominate them. We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity.

Mostly I'll leave it at that, but I do want to say that Arun Gandhi's comments are drearily predictable, coming as they are from a herald of Third World liberation. Israel and Jew-hatred are a powerful engine of revolutionary politics in the "Global South", as they are everywhere. Desmond Tutu, for instance, has been saying stuff like this for years.

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Branding Jew-Hatred

Holocaust-denier David Irving's nemesis Deborah Lipstadt posts about some especially rancid Jew-hating kitsch. This was the design for a postcard sold by Boomerang, a Dutch T-shirt and postcard company.

Classy. This could well serve as New Antisemitism's brand icon.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Constancy of Conspiracy

In the course of gathering quotes by Left-wingers that mirrored the supposedly 'crazy' utterances of Bobby Fischer, I came across this gem from Arundhati Roy, speaking "in conversation" with Howard Zinn at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Sante Fe, 18 September 2002. I didn't use it in Knave's Gambit, as it didn't have an immediate analog in Fischer's 9/11 radio interview. I'll reproduce it here:

As the War Against Terror casts its net wider and wider, America's corporate heart is hemorrhaging. For all the endless, empty chatter about democracy, today the world is run by three of the most secretive institutions in the world: The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization, all three of which, in turn, are dominated by the U.S. Their decisions are made in secret. The people who head them are appointed behind closed doors. Nobody really knows anything about them, their politics, their beliefs, their intentions. Nobody elected them. Nobody said they could make decisions on our behalf. A world run by a handful of greedy bankers and CEOs whom nobody elected can't possibly last.

This is worth quoting in a separate post because it demonstrates a key intellectual feature of anti-globalization: so much of it rests on conspiracy theory. This is true of all the far-Left and far-Right movements, which are always utopian and thus empirically resistant. Facts threaten the party line, and when they do the propagandist patches tears in the ideological tapestry by blaming remote but all-powerful forces. Totalitarian states systematize this approach on a grand scale. The elements of conspiracy theory become the gears of the propaganda machine.

Although I can't have any readers obtuse enough to require it, I will note that Arundhati Roy appears here to have lifted a passage about Jewish financiers from Der Sturmer and rewritten it with reference to Americans. I don't mean this as a literal methodological claim, of course, but Roy's remarks about American "bankers and CEOs" are identical to conspiratorial blather about international Jewish finance and its war machine.

Anti-Semitism is itself a conspiracy theory, and in turn it is the prevailing conspiracy theory of two great totalitarian movements -- Nazism and radical Islam. It was also an increasingly luminous fixture in the constellation of Soviet Communism, but not its primary driver. Roy shows that anti-globalization, which borrows many Soviet tropes, exhibits a similar intellectual hygiene. While her target is Americans, and never so far as I know Jews, she shows why the far-Left naturally trends toward anti-Semitism, and why it sees an ally in radical Islam despite major ideological incompatibilities.

Mark Strauss explains this with greater depth in Antiglobalism's Jewish Problem, a Socialism of Fools bellwether essay.

Postscript: That Roy is considered one of anti-globalization's lodestars, and can utter such a cartoonish analysis in the promotion of its viewpoint, must be, even granting the intellectual infirmity of that movement, a pitiable product of the "soft bigotry of low expectations".