Friday, June 20, 2008

Self portrait of an Antisemite

Here's a fine example of why freedom of speech is so important. The parents of Rachel Corrie, ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, have published her letters. Roberta P. Seid has read them carefully, and tells of her findings. They are depressing but also illuminating, detailing the cynicism with which the Palestinians and their useful fools manipulated impressionable young men and women, innocent of any knowledge, into the Palestinian war against Israel. These young people came fervently to believe the worst about Israel, even when the facts staring them in their faces proved them wrong, not to mention all the other facts they willfully looked away from. And of course, at one point in the story there's an Israeli professor in America who encourages Corrie onward on her path of hatred.

Did Rachel Corrie regard herself as an antisemite? I expect not, though I doubt she really worked through her convictions on this issue. But she clearly was one. Her animosity towards Israel was anything but "criticism of Israeli policies". It was overt rejection of Israel's right to defend itself, indeed, even of it's right to define its own interests, formulated with systematic lying. That's conclusive enough evidence for antisemitism. Does it make any difference if she realized the import of her positions? Not in particular. Most antisemites throughout the ages were not articulate nor conscious about it, they simply were.


Anonymous said...


Thinking about Anti-Semitism all the time, can be a disease (or a business), all to itself.

We're way past WW2. We're way past the point Jews of Europe didn't defend themselves. And, we already know to count the Jews who managed to go to seaports; and onto wooden boats, for the harrowing journeys, in steerage, for the most part. When America threw her doors wide open. (Following the Civil War. Following America's expansion out West.)

Millions came.

But Jews who did come, for some reason, stayed in New York (and her boroughs). Others took chances deeper inland.

And, yes, by 1920 there came a time Jews became synonimous with socialism. It was as if a man could toss off his Tallis. And, become a member of this new movement. So people you don't know, became party leaders. On the Liberal Ticket. The Socialist Ticket. ANd, a whole arm-stretch worth of tickets.

Heck, you could vote for the democratic choices, on the Liberal ticket. Which was separately counted.

SO, it's no wonder to me Jews ran into trouble; just as things got worse in Europe.

My father, for instance, always sent money home to his sister, and her family in Krakow. Then, in 1941, an FBI agent came into my parents retail store, to "talk to my dad." And, to tell him all his checks were going to hitler. And, he should just stop sending money back home. (By then? Well, in 1939 you get Auschwitz up and running.) No. I have no idea when my dad's sister, her husband, and their 3 sons were killed. I only knew that they were.

I also knew, having once had the chutzpah to follow friends of my ... on our walks home for high school (which was a mile long hike). Into a Catholic Church. Where I heard with my own ears, the priests telling those who were seated "Jews killed da' Lord."

For thousands of years this kakamamie story circulated throughout the churches. And, yes. In Europe this led to Progroms.

Do you kow what WW2 did to Europe?

Do you know what socialism in Europe is still doing to Europe? Let me help you out. It's weakened government after government.

Yet, in America, the anti-Semitism didn't turn into progroms. Perhaps because New York City was so Jewish who would you go out and attack?

Also Jews lived happily among ITALIAN Catholics. (Irish Catholics became cops. Happy to get a five dollar bill when they stopped you for breakinbg a traffic law. And, you kept the fiver with your license.) Those days are now gone forever. But cops get better salaries, too.

And, Italians, for all they heard about how Jews "killed their lord," (hey, maybe, the Latin Mass made it seem uneccesary to blame people who couldn't speak Latin?) I do not know.

I do know, because my mom's family left the Lower East Side for Coney Island, that she not only learned a little bit of Italian. She was happiest living among them.

Maybe, it's America, but anti-Semitism doesn't leak into the center. Trust me on this. Pat Buchanan, just like Ross Perot, from a different vintage, goes nowhere near America's center. Or heart.

You can't fool me.

I know believing in socialism; (while it helped Eleanor Roosevelt to remain popular after her husband's death) ... is more the cause of why Jews failed to find traction. Heck, today, even the unions are past history. The people asked to join them, hate them more than you can imagine.

Rachel Corrie's story garners laughs. Is that anti-Semitic? She's been compared to the International House of Pancakes.

And, ya know what? It's good that free speech brings her dead center, again, because now that the 8,000 Jews were taken, against their wills, out of Gaza, the whole place has been circling the drain!

All the millions of infrastructure? Stolen. Sewage loose in the streets. (This is true in lots of parts of Iraq, as well.) And, the world that used to go to the palestinian's door, hasn't even seen a trickle in. Plus, the media? They depend on the crap produced by "bollywood." And,yes. Then they get caught.

Since I have a Catholic friend, and I know she doesn't hold it against me that her lord, as I said "didn't fly." All she tells me is that there are 10 Commandments; and she thinks I keep breaching the first one.

If this were a test. ANd, you screw up on your first answer; you gotta be in trouble with the rest of the test.

Okay. And, when she talks about the list of ten? I talk about "Thou shalt not steal." And, I point out to her how Jews read the Bible (through interpretations) ... so that I know the sentence containing the "shalt not steal" gem, flows, run-on, from not to commit murder, or adultery. Which were punishable by death.

So, how come stealing?

Or better. How come no one bothered to go to the list and make a correction? Here, I have no answer.

All I know is "thou shalt not steal," means "thou shalt not KIDNAP." Death to humans that steal other humans. Does the translation help?

Religions, all of them, create great divides.

But it's up to people to find other people they like. And then? Yes, with my friend, I cannot intone "Jesus" under my breath ... when something happens and I don't want to use the "F" word. Out loud.

Go figa. My Friend's right.

Me, not so much.

And, I do realize that religion has done more harms to my friend, because of her belief system, than just about anything else.

Yes. I asked her "how Mary got pregnant," and this woman, who thinks sex is evil (so it cost her, her marriage; and closeness to her son) ... She's very old fashioned. Told me that Mary got pregnant, when the Angel Gabriel came and asked her permission. And, when she said yes ... God hit her with a shaft of life ... This was aimed at her belly.

I kid you not.

Oh, I should add: I don't really care what Rachel Corrie believed. And, while I don't care about her parents, either ... I do know her dying before them causes parents grief.

It's sad to bury your own child.

You just have to pray that statistics minimize such terrible chances.

Corrie's parents had no idea this was even a possible outcome. Go figa.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Actually, it's her diaries, not her letters, and the Commentary magazine review itself doesn't charge Corrie with being an antisemite. That you, based on the article, not the book, should conclude she was one, is indicative of where prejudices lie.

That said, the review is, of course, composed of cherry-picked quotes from the diaries. The author quotes Corrie as saying "When IDF soldiers entered a house to position themselves on the roof, no one was bothered or harassed. The children just watched cartoons on TV," as though this quote were representative of the whole diaries, or even of regular IDF behavior. In real life, however, the IDF tears down the occupied houses' walls to get safe access to neighboring houses. See here for a video of this practice, took by the soldiers and accidentally released, in which the children are not precisely watching cartoons.

Commentary magazine is not the place to look for balanced reporting.