Sunday, March 8, 2009

Random Antisemitism Roundup

I once had a discussion with a fellow from the Guardian (this must have been, oh, six or seven years ago at least), in which I pointed out that one way of knowing if the Guardian was being antisemitic or not would be to wait a few decades or a century, and then see if the books being written in 2080 about antisemitism in 2000 would dedicate chapters to the Guardian. The problem with this method, of course, being that one must defer the satisfaction of being proven right by a rather long time.

My interlocutor, of course, was of the opinion that I was over-reacting to criticism of Israel, and there was no antisemitism involved. What would you expect him to think?

Unfortunately we didn't need to wait three generations; we didn't even have to wait until the end of that very decade. Here's a totally random roundup of antisemitism culled from the online reports on this Sunday, March 8th, 2009, in about 10 minutes of online rambling: I didn't even go googling.

Israeli tennis player Andy Ram responding to the violent demonstrations against an Israeli tennis team in Sweden.

Students at Oxford (Britains' top university) throwing anti-Jewish parties. I'm not really into worrying too much about sophomoric students and their drunken antics, but when their drunken antics reflect the Zeitgeist it's time to take notice. Also, my youngest son is their age, and is actually quite able to take life-and-death responsibilities upon himself as these kids never will have to - as did his older siblings at the same age. Being 20 does not inevitably mean being asinine.

Israel Apartheid Week, in New York. In which context look at this recent quote from Prof Cole:
you are a little unlikely to be denied a high government post in the US because you once criticized Milosevic or Bashir. But if we leave aside the question of how many people, exactly, they have killed, and just examine the mindset and the shape of the policy they advocate, Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are also ultra-nationalists.
See that one? Some people are mass murderers, other merely talk nasty (assuming they really do, which is moot), but essentially they're all the same if we don't like them.

Guy Bechor comes back from Europe to report. I can attest to having the same experiences.


Gavin said...

Well I find the report from Europe depressing but unsurprising, but Coles piece is hilarious! What I read from that is he's been getting a hammering from various writers so he trots out the usual excuses about the Zionist lobby, bullying etc. He's been feeling the heat from somewhere, the whole article is composed of bluster.

I don't know why you bother with Cole, Yaacov. Well I do, I bet you find him intellectually insulting, but really he's just a legend in his own mind. His blog reeks of professional envy, he's always trying to puff his chest out & claim some academic authority when we all know that professional respect is earned & granted, not claimed.

Michael Totten wiped the floor with Cole in the recent weblog awards, which puts Coles blog in perspective. When one considers that Totten writes infrequently, and only when he has something useful to say, then it's clear that Coles blog is for the most part just verbal diarrhoea that few find useful or informative.

The very title of his blog gives the man away. One doesn't have to ask who it is who thinks they're 'informed' there. Personally I think he's a pompous ass who thinks he's still in the lecture room with a captive audience. I really can't see his students having much time for him, he's far too smug.

Phew, rant over! Regards, Gavin.

Anonymous said...

Funny that Hamas and Hezbollah, who are actively pursuing the policies of Milosevic and Bashir, if less successfully at this time, don't seem to trouble Juan Cole.

Anonymous said...

One of my first memories: My mother undoing and packing a suitcase. It was mine. She did that each year at my birthday, sorting out what had become too short and replacing it with new clothes. "Because you never know" was all she would answer, always with a smile. It took me 13 years to understand that she was not thinking of a surprise trip to Rome or London.