Monday, December 20, 2010

Hatred and Destruction Can be Erotic

It's enough to skim over the stories about the Swedish police investigation against Julian Assange and his sexual antics to see that his aura of heroic campaigner for truth and justice serves as a potent aphrodisiac for some women who think that's what he is. It seems reasonable that women who think he's a megalomaniac hater of America may be less attracted to him.

It's not only Julian, however. Here's Annie, an impressionable woman who writes at Mondoweiss, rhapsodizing over Omar Barghouti, the Israeli Arab graduate student at Tel Aviv University who is a leading figure in the attempt to boycott Israeli universities now and dismantle Israel later on.
I first heard Omar speak at the End the Occupation Conference in Chicago last year. I sat in the very first row with Medea, Nancy and Ann. Spellbound, directly in front of the podium. Omar had just arrived from Palestine and informed us he hadn't slept. Helllooo, what difference did that make? This man who moves mountains, does he ever sleep? I simply do not have the skills to express my gratitude for the life he has blown into this honorable movement for freedom and equality in Palestine/Israel. This beautiful man is a Giant and the honor it gives me to announce he has offered to judge our entries, your entries...along with the amazing Susan Abulhawa and the rest out our outstanding panel of judges, excites me no end.

Should I mention Omar has an incredible biting dry wit? Of course you already know that if you've ever met him.
Can you feel the excitement? Is it conceivable there's any hypothetical set of facts, say, that would make Annie rethink her positions? She's not engaging in thoughtful analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She's operating on a totally different plane of existence, where activism towards abolishing the national state of the Jews engenders sexual appeal.

Destroying Israel as sexual foreplay.


Barry Meislin said...

Fair enough.

One might wonder if Khaled Abu Toameh elicits the same frisson....

File under: "You can't always get what you want..."?

annie said...

Oy... That Annie is NOT me! Just thought I'd better make that clear...


I ought to patent my name or something.

Victor said...

Radicalism and revolutionary male figures have always appealed to a certain subset of western women. The PLO, red brigades and all those marxist offshoots attracted quite a few groupies in the 60s and 70s. It doesn't hurt that Barghouti can play the role of the good savage, what with the accent and skin tone, and there's the whole "being raped by a savage" fantasy. Someone in women's studies can fill you in; it's a well known complex. Still, he's no Carlos the Jackal.

Silke said...

I've been told that adding a non-copyable picture to your moniker helps preventing moniker theft and also keeps your name clear.

But I take you at your word.

Anyway it's what I've been preaching for ages, these guys harness the appeal of Omar Sharif riding a camel and combine it with Rodolfo Valentino as the Sheikh. No weak-blooded woman can resist such sex appeal. (I think his Keffiyah is more handsome than the current model) - the significant action starts at 0:20

One reporter described the scene of how Assange stole his girl friend. I've seen the trick been performed time and again. It is amazing how often it works provided the woman likes to be woed in such a to me sticky feeling style.

Silke said...

I've seen that kind of swooning happen on so many office parties. A simple travelling salesman can carry it off.

Barghouti may kill more indirectly than Carlos but if he should have a similar appeal to young men than he has to women, he most certainly at least has misery on his hands.

Lee Ratner said...

Just chimming in with what Victor and Silke have noted. Its not a new or interesting phenomenon. The frustrating thing about this phenomenon is that the added sexually element makes debating people like Annie practically impossible. Even if you are trying to actually convince the audience rather than a person like Annie, the level of passion is troublesome to deal with.

Sérgio said...

It´s probably a similar phenomenon of those attracted to "bad guy" types. A mixture of boredom, narcissistic need of attention, lack of self-respect and a craving to submit to a father-figure who "knows the ways of the world". What else explains those western women that claim converting to islam and wearing a burqa is "empowering"? That´s pure rationalizing bullcrap to mask an inability to deal with the dayly responsibilities required by life in a free and law-abiding society. So they´d rather prefer the abdication of their individuality and freedom. Of course, it brings them some attention and exotic excitement to cause a little scandal(surely reverting to the 19 50´s housewife role is not fashionable0. In any case, that´s truLY a self-imposed objectification, if ever there was one.

Silke said...

this swooning thing is not restricted to women though. Somewhere I have read that Goebbels said: "WIR die Zerschossenen ..." WE the shot to pieces referring to the wounded of WW1 and they bought it though presumably everybody knew that he hadn't served and this his misshapen foot was a natural mishap.

Still the intended bonding seems to have worked and I can understand why i.e. like a pacifier on that "nobody knows the trouble I've seen" feeling.

An infatuated woman (or man) may wake up on finding out a man has abused her but I believe that the feeling "here is somebody who understands me even better than mama ever did" is even harder to wake up from.

At least the guys I have known who had been believing Hitler Youths fought with all they had against the realisation that they might have been made use of and gotten betrayed i.e. that they had been nothing but dispensable pawns. I have never met a female counterpart of that, they may have held on to very weird and sick ideas but the feeling of betrayal the denial of abuse wasn't there.

Silke said...

right now the London Times has an interview with Assange on its web site, any Link is behind the paywall, so it is now or never if you want to enjoy yourself watching the guy suffering from a really bad cold

Silke said...

this is lovely put - he also says something IMHO smart about how the private Assange reflects on the motives of the public one.

I know that for the time being Wikileaks may have been good for Israel but there is a long piece by John Gray about the history/evolvement of Human Rights which adds to my concerns that this will not be beneficial in the end and not only for the list the Taliban claim to have compiled

I wrote in the Sunday Times a week ago that lefties were compromised over the chap: hero for embarrassing America, less of a hero for allegedly raping someone. Back then the very angry campaigning group Women Against Rape put out a statement which seemed to suggest that they were not unequivocally against rape, if it was committed by someone like Julian Assange.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but the fault here lies with Israel and Israeli academia. There should be no reason to allow this creep to attend TA University or any university in Israel.


Anonymous said...

Also, are you sure Omar is an Israeli Arab? This is what his Wiki bio says:

He was born in Qatar, grew up in Egypt and later moved to Ramallah (West Bank) as an adult.


Sérgio said...


Good call, as usual. Still I think we are considering two different (though related) phenomena. What you mentioned seems to be the "male bonding through war", or "camaraderie" or "elite troop" thing, which also has its ridiculous and dangerous side, e.g., the Freikorps-type of delinquency in post WWI-germany. It surely involve a surrender of individuality and critical thinking, but I think it´s a different type, more of a "social" than affective thing. I could be wrong, though...could that be the male-equivalent of the eroticism of hatred? Maybe.

Barry Meislin said...

Sorry but the fault here lies with Israel and Israeli

To the contrary, all things being relative(though some things are more relative than others),at TAU, he may well be considered a moderate.

Nor should it come as any surprise were he to be on an accelerated track for tenure (or symbolic tenure? or virtual tenure?).

File under: "...'n your chicks for free"?

Silke said...

"eroticism of hatred" ?

I can't get a reading by Elias Canetti about how masses get started and then swirl. I remember his highly suggestive reading as describing a spiral type movement on a flat surface like pictures I see from the circling of the Kaaba or like water swirling when leaving a sink, albeit a sink without a hole but a sink where they'd get forever closely packed in the middle until ... (as best I remember the reading stopped there)

(sorry he read it in German and I've tried to read him and found that for purely language reasons he is not quite my cup of tea, so lazy me gave up on him, so all I can report from his book on mass behaviour is that terrible tidbit)

Personally I can't remember hero-types as maybe Freikorps may have been with their myth of the stab in the back. Hero-types were not in fashion after WW2 with us young ones, too many bitter seeming mutilated around. There was a lot swept under the carpet as soon as the muncher was gone. Sorry, bad joke but I can't resist,

Silke said...

latest from Assange - it gets weirder by the minute -

He said: “All sorts of abusive statements were made against the Jewish people in the 1950s and before.
"I'm not the Jewish people, but the people who believe in freedom of speech and accountability [are in the same position].”

says the man who according to one lengthy interview I have read has no doubt whatsoever that what he wants for the world will be good for the world.

Silke said...

my to date best summary on Assange - what a study in weirdness - American femninists falling out over Assange's morality - beautiful - enjoy!

btw the allegation that interests me most and I find little discussed is "Condome use". If use of condome is agreed upon and the man takes advantage of the heat of the moment to get away without it, that I consider unambiguously evil behaviour.

Barry Meislin said...

...what a study in weirdness...

Well, I suppose it would depend on your definition....

Anyway, here's more weirdness...given the current zeitgeist...

(Or should that be "Dwight Geist"?...)

Silke said...

judge for yourself and "enjoy" - I listened and didn't read.

from what I understand it is based on the same kind of logic Dwight's Geist is operating.

One certainly must "Admire" Mr. Assange for the certainty and conviction with which he is able to draw an (unconvincing and confusing me) line between private und public leaking. Also he is no mean whiner.

And that kind of beyond me logic is the same, the Geist's go after (btw in German a Geist is also a GHOST like Hamlet's father) and their arguing definitely has something ghastly ghost-like about it.

Silke said...

I forgot to mention that the way I heard it and the way I read it in an earlier lengthy print interview in an aside he threatens the American economy by mentioning that CORPORATIONS need to be exposed. In the print interview he focused on banks.

The way I translate this is: US you either leave me alone or I'll do really serious damage to your economy.

(which will of course then cost people their jobs/livelihood but will prove Mr. Assange angelic righteousness)

Hawkeye said...


Interesting observation you make.

It reminds that there's a twitter user called "AntiIsraelPorn" with the bio "A useful resource for Anti Israel campaigners looking for more creativly absurd ideas of how to delegitimize Israel."

Silke said...

Latest from Assange - he is upping the defense by blackmail threat by apparently confirming that he will hit BoA next

If he really has something on them let's start praying for all the people who might lose their jobs thanks to him

which may not be as bad as being on a Taliban hitlist but bad enough for any everyday person who values the un-interesting life

Sérgio said...

So, this guy is showing what many rational people already knew: that he´s a megalomaniac self-righteous jerk (& probably rapist too). I hope he´ll be convicted and be raped by a well hung anti-globalization prison mate.

Silke said...

motion seconded
when whining in German BILD yesterday he brought up his children, i.e. he is playing the I'm a family man card now.

one child popped up on my radar. It's said to be a 20 year old male but Assane whines it as if they were first-graders.