Daniel Pipes: Radical Islam vs. Civilization





[Mr. Pipes is the director of the Middle East Forum. His website address is http://www.danielpipes.org. Click here for his blog.]

Text of a talk presented by Daniel Pipes on January 20, 2007, in London in a debate with the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, as transcribed by the 910 Group with the help of others. The original posting of the video can be seen at YouTube; for a single clip version, see the posting at the Global Defense Group. For accounts of the debate, see the bibliography at"My Debate with London Mayor Ken Livingstone."

Thank you so much. I'd like to begin by thanking Mayor Livingstone for his kind invitation to join you today and I thank the Greater London Authority for the hard work it put into what is obviously a successful event. I am delighted by the interest that you, the audience, has shown. And I'm grateful to my supporters who have come from four different countries to be with me today.

The Mayor is an optimistic man. I'm generally invited to bring along some gloom, and I will, true to form, provide some for you. [audience laughter]

Let me start with my position on the question of world civilization or clash of civilizations. One: I am for world civilization, and I reject the ‘clash of civilization' argument. Two: The problem is not so much a clash of civilizations, but a clash of civilization and barbarism.

I'd like to begin by looking at Samuel Huntington's idea. He argued that cultural differences, in his 1993 article, are paramount."The fundamental source of conflict … will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural." And in all he finds seven or eight set civilizations, namely,"Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African."

My response is that civilization is useful as a cultural concept but not as a political one. There are three problems with seeing civilizations as actors in the way that Huntington suggests. It can't account for tensions within a single civilization, it can't account for agreement across civilizations, and it doesn't account for change over time. Let me give you three quick examples. I'll take them from the area that I have studied, which is the Muslim world.

First, it cannot account for Muslim-on-Muslim violence, of which there is a great deal: We have the civil war in Lebanon, the Iraq-Iran war, the Islamist insurgency in Algeria, the Sunnis vs. Shi‘is in Iraq at present, the near civil war in the Palestinian Authority, the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur. This cannot be accounted for in civilizational terms.

Second, it ignores the agreement across civilizations. I'd like to take a UK-based example, namely the edict of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 against Salman Rushdie, who at that time was living in London. It appeared, at first glance, to be a question of Muslims on one side and Westerners on the other. Muslims were burning The Satanic Verses novel, there was violence in India, etc. But a closer look showed that in fact it was quite something different, it was far more complex. There were plenty of Westerners who were against Rushdie and plenty of Muslims who supported him.

Let me give you just a couple of quotes,. The foreign secretary of Britain at that time, Sir Geoffrey Howe, said"the British government, the British people do not have any affection for Rushdie's book." On the other hand, the Egyptian foreign minister said"Khomeini had no right to sentence Rushdie to death." And another Egyptian minister said"Khomeini is a dog, no, that is too good for him, he is a pig." [audience laughter]

Third point, Huntington in his analysis can't account for change over time. And I can best illustrate this by giving you a quote from his 1993 article, He said"The economic issues between the United States and Europe are no less serious than those between the United States and Japan, but they do not have the same political salience and emotional intensity because the differences between American culture and European culture are so much less than those between American civilization and Japanese civilization."

Well that was true enough in 1993, but it sounds pretty silly in 2007 where there are virtually no tensions between the United States and Japan and I'm sure you are aware there are tensions between the United States and Europe. The vituperation is far more severe across the Atlantic than the Pacific.

What Huntington did was to take an incident of the moment and turn them into something civilizational and it didn't work. In short the clash of civilization idea fails, it does not fit the facts, it is not a good way to understand the world.

What about then a world civilization? Can it exist? If one defines it as Huntington does, as a culture, basically then, no, it can't. As he puts it, correctly,"for the relevant future there will be no universal civilization but instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others." I don't think there is anyone who would dispute that.

But yes, there can be a world civilization if one defines it differently. Civilization can be the opposite of barbarism. And civilization in this sense has a long history. In the Bible, there is a passage,"And ye shall… proclaim liberty throughout all the lands and unto all the inhabitants thereof." In the Koran,"you are the best community ever raised among mankind, you advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and believe in God." The American byword is ‘the pursuit of happiness', the French is"Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" Winston Churchill in 1898, writing about the Sudan, said that civilization is"sympathetic, merciful, tolerant, ready to discuss or argue, eager to avoid violence, to submit to law, to effect compromise."

So the question is, can this state of being, of being civilized, can it exist on a world level?

It can, in so far as those who are civilized confront those who are not civilized. The world civilization exists of civilized elements in every culture banding together to protect ethics, liberty and mutual respect. The real clash is between them and the barbarians.

Now what do I mean by barbarians? I do not mean people who are of lower economic stature. What I mean by barbarians – and I think all of us mean by barbarians in the past two centuries – are ideological barbarians. This is what emerged in the French revolution in the late 18th century. And the great examples of ideological barbarism are fascism and Marxist Leninism – they, in their course of their histories have killed tens of millions of people.

But today it's a third, a third totalitarian movement, a third barbarian movement, namely that of radical Islam. It is an extremist utopian version of Islam. I am not speaking of Islam the religion, I am speaking of a very unusual and modern reading of Islam. It has inflicted misery (as I mentioned Algeria and Darfur, before), there is suicide terrorism, tyrannical and brutal governments, there is the oppression of women, and non-Muslims.

It threatens the whole world:. Morocco, Turkey, Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, you name it, Afghanistan, Tunisia, and not just the traditional Muslim world, but also Russia, France, Sweden, and I dare say, the United Kingdom.

The great question of our time is how to prevent this movement, akin to fascism and communism, from growing stronger.

Now, I believe the mayor and I agree on the need to withstand this menace, but we disagree on the means of how to do it. He looks to multiculturalism, and I to winning the war. He wants everyone to get along; I want to defeat a terrible enemy.

The mayor defines multiculturalism as"the right to pursue different cultural values subject only to the restriction that they should not interfere with the similar right for others." And he argues, as you just heard, that it works, that London is a successful city. I won't dispute his specifics, but I do see the multicultural impulse creating disaster by ignoring a dangerous and growing presence of radical Islam in London.

One evocative sign of this danger is that citizens in your country have become a threat for the rest of the world. In 2003, Home Secretary David Blunkett presented a dossier to a Special Immigration Appeals Commission in which he"admits that Britain was a safe haven for supporters of worldwide terrorism" and in which he said Britain remains a"significant base'" for supporting terrorism.

Indeed, British-based terrorists have carried out operations in at least fifteen countries. Going from east to west, they include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Algeria, Morocco, Russia, France, Spain, and the United States. I'll give you one example, from the United States: it was Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, who I am primarily thinking of, but there is also the [End of clip #3; Start of clip #4] British involvement in 9/11 and in the Millennium Plot that did not take place in Los Angeles.

In frustration, Egypt's President Husni Mubarak publicly denounced the UK for"protecting killers." After the August 10th thwarted Heathrow airline mega-plot, of a few months ago, two American authors argued in The New Republic, that from an American point of view,"it can now be argued that the biggest threat to U.S. security emanates not from Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan—but rather from Great Britain."

And I believe this is the tip of the iceberg. I believe it refutes Mr. Livingstone's opposing view.- that there isn't a problem. This is the problem, the problem is radical Islam, also known as fundamentalist Islam, political Islam, Islamism. It is not, again, Islam the religion, it is radical Islam, the ideology.

Let us focus on three aspects of it. The essence of radical Islam is the complete adherence to the Shari'a, to the law of Islam. And it is extending the Shari‘a into areas that never existed before.

Second, it is based very deeply on a clash of civilizations ideology. It divides the world into two parts, the moral and the immoral, the good and the bad. Here is one quote from a British-based Islamist by the name of Abdullah el-Faisal, who was convicted and is now in jail."There are two religions in the world today - the right one and the wrong one. Islam versus the rest of the world." You don't get a more basic clash-of-civilization orientation than that. There is a hatred of the outside world, of the non-Muslim world, and the West in particular. There is the intent to reject as much as possible of outside influence.

The third feature is that this is totalitarian in nature. It turns Islam from a personal faith into an ideology, into an ism. It is the transformation of a personal faith into a system for ordering power and wealth. Radical Islam derives from Islam but is an anti-modern, millenarian, misanthropic, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, triumphalist, jihadistic, terroristic, and suicidal version of it. It is Islamic-flavored totalitarianism.

Like fascism and communism, radical Islam is a compelling way of seeing the world in a way that can absorb an intelligent person – to show him or her a whole new way of seeing life. It is radically utopian and takes the mundane qualities of everyday life and turns them into something grand and glistening.

There is an attempt to take over states. There is the use of the state for coercive purposes, and an attempt to dominate all of life, every aspect of it. It is an aggression against neighbors, and finally it is a cosmic confrontation with the West. As Tony Blair put it in August of 2006,"We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values."

Now how does one respond to this?

The mayor is a man of the Left, and I am a classical liberal. We can agree that neither of us personally wishes to be subjected to the Shari‘a. I will assume, you [looking at Ken Livingstone] will correct me if I am wrong [short sporadic applause] that neither of us want this as part of our personal life.

But our views diverge sharply as to how to respond to this phenomenon. Those of my political outlook are alarmed by Islamism's advances in the West. Much of the Left approaches the topic in a far more relaxed fashion.

Why this difference? Why generally is the right alarmed, and the left much more sanguine? There are many differences, there are many reasons, but I'd like to focus on two.

One is a sense of shared opponents between the Islamists and those on the left. George Galloway explained in 2005,"the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies," which he then went on to indicate were Israel, the United States, and Great Britain.

And if you listen to the words that are spoken about, say the United States, you can see that this is in fact the case. Howard Pinter has described America as"a country run by a bunch of criminal lunatics." [big applause and shouts] And Osama Bin Laden [stops … ] I'll do what I can to get an applause line. [laughter] And, get ready for this one: Osama Bin Laden called the United States,"unjust, criminal, and tyrannical." [applause]

Noam Chomsky termed America"a leading terrorist state". And Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, a leading Pakistani political leader, called it the"biggest terrorist state." [scattered applause]

Such common ground makes it tempting for those on the Left to make common cause with Islamists, and the symbol of this would be the [huge, anti-war in Iraq] demonstrations in Hyde Park, on the 16th of February 2003, called by a coalition of leftist and Islamist organizations.

At other times, the Left feels a kinship with Islamist attacks on the West, forgiving, understanding why these would happen. A couple of notorious quotes make this point. The German composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen termed the 9/11 attacks"the greatest work of art for the whole cosmos," while American novelist Norman Mailer, commented that"the people who did this were brilliant."

Such attitudes tempt the Left not to take seriously the Islamist threat to the West. With John Kerry, a former aspirant to the [U.S.] presidency, they dismiss terrorism as a mere"nuisance."

That is one reason; the bonds between the two camps. The second is that on the Left one finds a tendency to focus on terrorism – not on Islamism, not on radical Islam. Terrorism is blamed on such problems as Western colonialism of the past century, Western"neo-imperialism" of the present day, Western policies—particularly in places like Iraq and the Palestinian Authority. Or from unemployment, poverty, desperation.

I would contend that it actually results in an aggressive ideology. I respect the role of ideas, and I believe that not to respect, to dismiss them, to pay them no attention, is to patronize, and to possibly even to be racist. There is no way to appease this ideology. It is serious, there is no amount of money that can solve it, there is no change of foreign policy that make it can go away.

I would argue to you, ladies and gentlemen, it must be fought and must be defeated as in 1945 and 1991, [applause] as the German and the Soviet threats were defeated. Our goal must be, in this case, the emergence of Islam that is modern, moderate, democratic, humane, liberal, and good neighborly. And that it is respectful of women, homosexuals, atheists, whoever else. One that grants non-Muslims equal rights with Muslims.

In conclusion, Mr. Mayor, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, on the Left or on the Right, I think you will agree with me on the importance of working together to attain such an Islam. I suggest that this can be achieved not via the get-along multiculturalism that you propose, but by standing firm with our civilized allies around the globe. Especially with liberal voices in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with Iranian dissidents, and with reformers in Afghanistan.

I also propose standing with their counterparts in the west, with such individuals as Ayaan Hirsi Ali [applause], … formerly a Dutch legislator and now in exile in the United States; with Irshad Manji, the Canadian author; [applause] with Wafa Sultan, the Syrian in exile in the United States who made her phenomenal appearance on Al-Jazeera. Individuals like Magdi Allam, an Egyptian who is now a leading Italian journalist; Naser Khader, a parliamentarian in Denmark; Salim Mansur, a professor and author in Canada, and Irfan Al-Alawi, here in Britain. [applause]

Conversely, if we do not stand with these individuals, but instead if we stand with those who would torment them, with the Islamists, with, I might say, someone like Yusuf al- Qaradawi [applause] we are then standing with those who justify suicide bombings, who defend the most oppressive forms of Islamic practice, who espouse the clash of civilizations [notion that] we ourselves reject.

To the extent that we all work together, against the barbarism of radical Islam, a world civilization does indeed exist – one that transcends skin colour, poverty, geography, politics, and religion.

I hope that you and I, Mr. Mayor, can agree here and now to cooperate on such a program.



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More Comments:


Sherri Boner - 3/22/2010

First time poster: I cannot find in the Quaran where this term is mentioned. I have gone to 5 or so online Quaran's. Can anyone tell me where I can find it? Thanks


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Having discoursed on the subject in a manner to serve his end purpose, self avowed Zionist Pipes is too eager, patently impatient, to come to a confirmation of his ideologically based and derived biases.
He is too happy, truly jubilant, to proclaim, triumphantly , that:
" It is an extremist utopian version of Islam. I am not speaking of Islam the religion, I am speaking of a very unusual and modern reading of Islam. It has inflicted misery (as I mentioned Algeria and Darfur, before), there is suicide terrorism, tyrannical and brutal governments, there is the oppression of women, and non-Muslims."


Pipes' criterion, determining factor, for the "barbarism " of Islam is that :"It has inflicted misery "!

I welcome this criterion of "inflicting misery" to measure , to determine, barbarisim .
Applying this same criterion on some relevant situations what is it that comes out?

1- The huge amount of misery to which Iraq has been subjected to for the last three years, the "barbarism" by excellence by any standard, is the direct out put, and the aimed at objective , of American willful and conscious break down of Iraqi instruments of law and order .
It is the desired fruit of the Bush/Perle/Wolfowitz doctrine; their current neocon/Zionist, "civilizing mission" to Iraq .

2-The untold miseries inflicted on the Arab Palestinian people, in their homeland and in their diaspora, for the last 50+ years, through their dislocation,
dispossession,disfranchisement and subjugation from and in their homeland is the fruit of the imperialist(GB then USA)/Zionist "civilizing mission" to Palestine.

3- The huge amount of misery inflicted on the Middle East through its radical dismemberement (Sykes/Picot) and utter destabilzation by implanting the alien, expansionist and hostlie hostile "nation/state", Zionist Israel, was the major "civilizing mission", of Western civlization to the hearland of the Arab/Moslem world.

Relative to the above
"achievements", in only one part of the World ,of Western (Judeo-Christian) culture "radical Islamists", for all their misdeeds, crimes (9/11) and lunacies, seem to be no more than naughty, over zealous boy scouts!

So much for Pipes triumphalisim who, however, fails to note that the hyper Barbarisim of the Holocaust begot an equally barbaric idelogical/political monster: nationalistic Zionism.



omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Prof? the misery inflicted on Iraq is the DIRECT output,the inevitable outcome, from the break down of law and order as consciously worked out by the Bush/Wolsfowitz adminisration according to the principles worked out for the US and Israeli governments by your beloved Perle.
If you fail to see that you need some...examination.

"Lunatic Jihadists", Mossad, Irani and CIA operatives were severely checked prior to the US invasion and were totally incapable, though always willing, to create the kind of hell currently inflicted on Iraq by the Bush/Wolfowitz adminisration.

Now, having been let in, some (CIA &Mossad) invited ,they have a free hand .
Your apologetic crocodile tears that:"The Americans can be gravely faulted for not having enough of them, once they decided to go in."
is so much hot air in as much as it shows that you fail to understand that it was meant to be so from conception stage.
Only the innocnt few, in the BW administration, who failed to see the real objective of the invasion, as you do, advised more troops and against the disbandment of the Iraqi army and of ALL security forces including the first US "viceroy" to Iraq whose name I , and few others, recall.
Get real or spare us your erudition; we are fortunate enough NOT to be among your luckless students!

Ask the least knowledgable of your students what happens when you disband the army and ALL security services in a country with all the external enemies and internal tensions that Iraq had prior to US invasion .It will be very interesting to see what you teach them and how much they know!
(More later)


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007


Prof?
You state:

"Question: You (Omar)describe how Arabs see a virtue in never admitting a mistake"

Where ever did I state or claim that?
It seems You are back to your lying habit or is that your first nature?
"Lying, fabrication and putting words in other people's mouths"..is that the course you teach your hapless students?
You seem to be eminently qualified for that!
You state:
"The Judeo Christian culture concentrates heavily on the concept of “we are all sinners and only through the grace of God we can be saved". That is a big relief to the Western psyche. "
Admit your "sin" that you lie as a matter of habit and daily practice; to your and our relief.


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Prof
There is nothing to indicate that the (Question:) was addressed to Darwish; no quotation marks and/or clear attribution to a specific source.
It came in after four paras two of which started with the exclamation "Omar" including the one immediately preceding the(Question:).

With your record of putting words in my mouth I had ample reason to believe it was addressed to me.

I had no way to tell that it was your lousy mode of sentence construction...Prof!!!

However you, Prof, of all people is the last one, the least capable, to inspire fear or cause me to feel paranoic.

I do apologize to the readers if they deem my response as aggressive and /or unwarranted


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Prof?
With your past record of putting words in my mouth, your lousy sentence construction and ignorance or inability to use quotation marks and /or identifying the questioner, I had reasons to believe that the question was addressed to me.
Had it been with somebody else, say the gentlemanly Friedman, I would have apologized readily, but certainly NOT to YOU Prof ???


omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007




For reasons of their own, though not hard to fathom, Pipes, a self declared propagandist for the Zionist/Israeli cause, and pseudo Pipes i.e. Profs Furnish and Eckstein have waged an unrelenting campaign against Islam; which is their undeniable right!

Patently they hope they will be among those many others that work in the West for an allover West anti Islam tsunami.
Should they ever succeed in their efforts what would the, their, next phase be?

-World wide it would certainly poison, further more, the relations between the West and the Arab/Moslem World.
I see no interest for either party in that.

-Pipes &Co wide their next phase would, almost certainly, include a direct call for an all out military war, starting immediately with Iran, against Islam , a la Afghanistan and Iraq ie to include, as a final objective, the total destruction of all sizable Moslem nations: Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Malaysia, Nigeria etc etc ;
Some 1.5-2 billion Moslems.

Except for their Alma matter, Zionism, I see no interest for any other party in that


art eckstein - 2/19/2007

Depressing figures, N.F. But better to be realistic than live in a dream-world.

Thanks for these.


All best,

Art


N. Friedman - 2/19/2007

Please see my polling data.


N. Friedman - 2/19/2007

That is, now that I have re-examined the data.


N. Friedman - 2/19/2007

Q.5 And what way is your feeling about suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians in Israel? Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat appose, or strongly oppose suicide bombings against Israeli civilians?

Strongly support 54.4 49.6 62.7
Somewhat support 19.3 17.9 21.8
Somewhat appose 10.1 10.0 10.2
Strongly appose 5.8 7.8 2.3
Don’t know 7.1 10.3 1.6
No answer 3.3 4.4 1.4

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 40, April 2001. That is 73.7% overall in favor of massacring civilians in Israel proper. In Gaza, the percentage is 84.5%!!!

Q.12 What about the suicide bombing operations? Do you see them as a suitable response in the current political conditions or do you oppose them and see them harmful to national interests?

I see them as a suitable response in the current political conditions
68.6 63.1 78.2
I oppose it and see it as harmful to Palestinian national interests
23.1 26.4 17.5
I don't know
6.2 8.1 2.7
No answer
2.1 2.4 1.6

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 41, June 2001. These are astonishing figures.


********************

Q. 23 Do you accept giving up the "1948 lands" in return for a final solution in which the Palestinian will have their own state in the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital (1967 borders)?
Yes 16.4 12.7 23.0
No 72.7 74.7 69.3
I have no idea 10.9 12.6 7.7

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 42, Sept. 2001. The question on suicide bombing does not appear. There is a question regarding whether the best strategy is to focus on bombing in Israel, the territories or both.

Q.13 What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?

Strongly support 43.5 39.0 51.4
Somewhat support 20.58 18.9 23.2
Strongly oppose 10.5 12.5 7.0
Somewhat oppose 15.5 15.8 15.0
I don't know 7.5 10.2 2.7
No answer 2.5 3.6 0.7

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 43, Dec. 2001.

18. What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?

Strongly support 49.2 45.0 56.1
Somewhat support 22.8 25.1 18.9
Somewhat oppose 14.7 14.0 15.9
Strongly oppose 7.0 6.5 7.7
I don't know/No opinion 4.3 6.1 1.4
No answer 2.0 3.2 -

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 44, March 2002.

Q.11 What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?

Strongly support 38.8 35.6 44.3
Somewhat support 29.3 30.9 26.6
Strongly oppose 16.2 16.8 15.2
Somewhat oppose 9.8 9.2 10.7
I Don’t Know/ No opinion 5.2 6.8 2.5
No answer 0.7 0.8 0.7

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 45, May 29- 31, June 1-2 , 2002

Q.15 What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?


Strongly support 35.1 29.2 45.2
Somewhat support 29.2 28.3 30.7
Strongly oppose 18.3 1.4 18.2
Somewhat oppose 9.4 12.6 3.9
I don't know/No opinion 5.9 8.8 0.9
No answer 2.1 2.7 1.1

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 46 , September 21 - 25, 2002.

Q.13 What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?


Strongly support 42.4 37.5 50.9
Somewhat support 20.3 20.3 20.2
Strongly oppose 9.3 10.9 6.4
Somewhat oppose 20.5 21.6 18.6
I don't know 5.1 6.3 3.0
No answer 2.4 3.4 0.9

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 47, Dec. 2002.

Q.11 What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?


Strongly support 37.8 31.1 49.3
Somewhat support 22.1 20.8 24.5
Strongly oppose 11.7 15.4 5.2
Somewhat oppose 18.6 19.6 16.8
I Don’t Know 6.7 9.3 2.3
No answer 3.1 3.8 1.9

JMCC Public Opinion Poll No. 48, April 2003.

Q11. What is your feeling towards suicide bombing operations against Israeli civilians, do you support it or oppose it?

Strongly support 30.5 24.0 41.6
Somewhat support 31.3 33.6 27.3
Somewhat oppose 11.4 13.5 21.8
Strongly oppose 23.5 24.4 7.7
I Don’t Know/ No opinion 2.7 3.4 1.4
No answer 0.6 1.1 0.2

Poll no. 49, October, 2003.

I stand corrected, not that I have examined the data. The averages tend to be in the high 50's to the mid 60's in percent. In Gaza, however, the numbers are higher - often in the mid 70's, percentage wise.


art eckstein - 2/19/2007

Exactly so.


N. Friedman - 2/18/2007

John,

One has to have some facts and argument somewhere that dispute the analysis. Saying you disagree is meaningless. I disagree with President Bush. However, that is unexceptional. What matters is why. So, that means you need to absorb the facts we have presented and show why you think they are wrong.


John Charles Crocker - 2/18/2007

I read what you write and consider it, I simply do not agree with the analysis.


N. Friedman - 2/18/2007

John,

Looking back, my data collection ends in 2003. I can organize and post some of it. Before doing so, I note this from a December 2006 poll:

26) After reaching a peace agreement and the establishment of a Palestinian state that is recognized by
Israel, the following are steps that may be taken in order to enhance normalization between the state
of Israel and a Palestinian state. For each of the suggested steps please tell me whether you support or
oppose it:

***************

26-4) Item #4: Take legal measures against incitement against the Israelis
1) Strongly Support 3.4 3.5 3.2
2) Support 32.4 31.3 34.4
3) Oppose 47.2 48.1 45.6
4) Strongly Oppose 14.5 14.1 15.1

5) DK/NA 2.5 3.0 1.6

***************

26-5) Item #5: Adopt a school curriculum that recognizes Israel and teaches school children not to demand
return of all Palestine to the Palestinians

1) Strongly Support 1.2 1.5 0.7
2) Support 8.6 7.7 10.1
3) Oppose 58.6 58.0 59.6
4) Strongly Oppose 29.6 30.2 28.4

5) DK/NA 2.0 2.5 1.2

****************

27) And on a personal level, would you, under conditions of peace, invite a Israeli colleague or
acquaintance to visit you in your home?
1) definitely yes 4.8 5.9 2.8
2) Yes 27.6 27.7 27.4
3) No 41.5 39.2 45.4
4) Definitely no 25.1 26.1 23.4

5) DK/NA 1.1 1.1 1.0

28) And would you, under conditions of peace, visit an Israeli colleague or acquaintance in his home?
1) Definitely yes 4.9 5.6 3.8
2) Yes 26.9 27.1 26.6
3) No 40.7 38.1 45.4
4) Definitely no 26.3 27.9 23.4

5) DK/NA 1.2 1.3 0.9


[The varying numbers are for overall, West Bank and, lastly, Gaza.]

Source: December 2006 poll by Palestinian Center for POLICY and SURVEY RESEARCH.

I think you will find basically the same attitude going backward. I note that the poll did not sufficiently examine the HAMAS hudna proposal. I also note that I have the same methodological concerns about this polling, although it is more thorough than the polling you cite.

What follows is some information from 2002:

14. After reaching a peace agreement between the Palestinian side and Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state that is recognized by Israel, the following are steps may be taken in order to enhance relations between the State of Israel and a Palestinian State. For each of the suggested steps please tell me whether you support or oppose it:

14-4 Take legal measures against incitement against Israel

1. Strongly Support 3.2 3.7 2.4

2. Support 29.4 31.9 25.4

3. Oppose 47.6 45.2 51.5

4. Strongly Oppose 15.3 14.1 17.4


5. Don’t Know 4.5 5.2 3.4

14-5 Adopt school curriculum in the Palestinian state that recognizes Israel and teaches school children not to demand return of all Palestine to the Palestinians

1. Strongly Support 0.8 0.6 1.0

2. Support 7.4 7.4 7.3

3. Oppose 51.7 53.5 48.9

4. Strongly Oppose 36.3 34.0 40.0


5. Don’t Know 3.9 4.6 2.8

15. After reaching a peace agreement between the Palestinian side and Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state that is recognized by Israel, would you, under these conditions of peace, invite an Israeli colleague to visit you in your home?

1. Definitely yes 6.5 6.9 5.9

2. Yes 30.5 33.0 26.6

3. No 37.0 38.3 34.9

4. Definitely no 25.0 20.4 32.3


5. Don’t Know 0.9 1.4 0.2


PSR - Survey Research Unit: Public Opinion Poll # 5, Results of Public Opinion Poll # (5)

My data cannot improve on this. And note: Art finds that in your data, support for massacres in Israel is not that far below 80%. But, as I said, I promised to provide data. I shall.


N. Friedman - 2/18/2007

Art,

What you write is very true. I note that it will not sink into to John - who I otherwise respect. He refuses to read things he does not want to see.


art eckstein - 2/18/2007

John, why do YOU discount the same data that show that 75% and 77% support the most grotesque atrocities committed intentionally against Israeli civilians?

YOU started with data that was "nice," and I pointed out a possible problem with the source. I didn't deny the existence of that data but complicated the data-situation by pointing to other and contrary data (from that same source but they usually put it in subordinate clauses in their reports)--data you cannot ignore. That data supported N.F's hypothesis. He has more data to come, which he will post tomorrow, on the site from this week that discussed the debate between Pipes on the one hand, and Red Ken and his Islamist ally (Red-Green, John!--You just don't want to face it.)

You now know, if you bothered to read Ben Cohen, what the constituen parts of the Respect Party are. Red Ken and Salma perfectly symbolize it. BTW, apparently she alienated even a biased audience with her defense of 7/7.

N.F. seems to me perfectly correct that in the Middle East if you have (say) 30% still committed to violence (and we must add another significant percentage, the 80% who are unwilling to let the PA punish those who DO break the peace, as the PCPSR stats show), then you do not have a recipe for peace.

Of course public opinion changes with the situation, and Palestinian public opinion may one day be ready for Permanent Peace.

This would be as opposed to a hudna to recover their terrorist breath, or a temporary peace while violence on an even larger scale is prepared and the population inundated with anti-semitic propaganda on an even larger scale, as they have been since the 1950s, if you bothered to read Nonie Darwish's important column). Judea Pearl's discovery of what the Muslim leaders really meant by "peace" and a "solution", which N.F. posted, is important here. You should read that one too, and it has a relevance concerning how to interpret the "nice" stats.

Yes, Palestinian public opinion may change, but in the PA right now you have a culture which puts up large posters honoring the intentional murderers of Jewish civilians, including Jewish children.

And I emphasize what Omar was honest enough to say: this culture is NOT"a natural response to oppression", for several other peoples have suffered larger and worse and more violent dispossessions than the Palestinians have suffered, but don't react with hyperviolence. It is a cultural CHOICE (the others "are not as honorable as Arabs and Muslims," Omar said). As is the suicide-bomber weapon the weapon of choice, with its savage racist and genocidal political message. The choice of THAT weapon also has political consquences among the victims--as we see in the Wall. The users of that weapon intended, precisely intended, it to have a political impact, though they misjudged what it would be.

In terms of understanding the Red-Green alliance,--which is where we started-- I think that Ben Cohen hits the nail on the head. "The orthodox Marxist notion that the Jews--as an economic agent--performed a distinctive function within a system desgined for the extraction of surplus value has been replaced by the anticolonialist notion that the Jews--as a national collective--are integral to the maintenance of American hegemony on a global level. Accordingly, there has been a conceptual shift on the Left from the politics of class to the politics of identity; and, again accordingly, a practical alignment with those forces, most notably the Islamist movements, opposed to that hegemony. (One should add the toxic impact of multiculturalism, which allows Norwegian government officials to allow the sexual enslavement of protesting 14-year-old Muslim Norwegian female citiizens--or the French official who refused to issue a visa to a British child because in her passport picture she had bare shoulders.)

Three consequences, Cohen says, flow from this realignment:

1. "Visceral opposition not to Israel's security politiciea lone but to its very legitimacy means that, as in Islamist discourse, the terms "Jew," "Israel" and "Zionist" are increasingly interchangable in contemporary left-wing discourse;
2. this discourse has been standardized and globalized;
3. this discourse is increasingly finding recognition outside the activist margins, for example among politicians broadly described as "progressive", among prominent academics, and liberal media outlets."

Cohen is talking about the political situation on the Left in Britain in 2004. Things in the U.S. are going in that direction, I see it in the humanities and social sciences where I make my living (maybe not in the sciences). They have not "progressed" as far yet even now, in the U.S., but that's the trend.


N. Friedman - 2/18/2007

John,

I do not discount the polling. I consider it to have a propaganda purpose, since the questions are not sufficient - and probably not intended to be sufficient - to get at what people think. And, I question the polling methodology if it is still the same methodology (e.g. the selected polling universe) which led to the about 50% error in the election. Such is a pretty remarkable error.

I do not think the polls, taken on face value, show improved inclination toward a peaceful position. I do not think the polls ask enough questions to know what anyone wants on that score, even assuming the methodology is flawless. The most that could be said from such data is a trend toward preferring a lull in the fighting.


John Charles Crocker - 2/18/2007

The same organization with largely the same questions and methodology shows a considerable movement towards a more peaceful position over time. Why do you discount this?


N. Friedman - 2/18/2007

30%, that is, not 30 people.


N. Friedman - 2/18/2007

Professor,

I look at the data regarding normalcy after a settlement. In particular, the data on incitement contradict the idea that this is about a peace rather than an interim deal. If I remember correctly, there is also bizarre data about having normal relations with Israelis after a settlement.

To John, I use to collect data regarding Palestinian attitudes. I shall, if I have time tomorrow, post what I have in my cache. It will, I promise, not disappoint on what I have previously written. However, that will take time to dig up. If this page vanishes tomorrow, I shall post it on the page that concerns Dr. Pipes' speech at the London conference. OK?

I note lastly: I would not rely primarily on data. but consider that even if 30 do not want peace under any circumstances that would leave Israel in tact, there could not be a peace. This is not a part of the world where majority rules. It is a part of the world where violence rules. And the group opposed to peace has no interest in it. They aim for mass murder.

Another point to John, on the London conference page, I have said some testy things about your position. I really find what you are writing offensive. But, I know you are good guy so, while I have stated my anger, I also enjoy the dialog - although not that one.


art eckstein - 2/18/2007

1. Here is another interesting poll, though like the first one, it is not up to date, but from autumn 2003. The poll showed lots of other things, often contradictory, but it also showed this:

"15 October 2003
PRESS RELEASE
Palestinian Public Opinion Poll No. 9
 
WITH ARAFAT’S POPULAIRTY REACHING ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN FIVE YEARS, THREE QUARTERS OF THE PALESTINIANS SUPPORT THE MAXIM RESTURANT SUICIDE BOMBING.
 
07-14 October 2003
 
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah has conducted a public opinion poll in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the period between 07-14 October 2003. A representative sample of 1318 adults was interviewed face to face in 120 locations, with 3% margin of error.
  
 
In the realm of peace and security, the findings show widespread support, reaching 75%, for the suicide attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa."


The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing occurred on October 4, 2003, when a 28-year-old Palestinian terrorist, female suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat, exploded inside the Maxim restaurant in Haifa. 21 Israelis, Jews and Arabs were killed, and 51 others were wounded. Among the victims were two families and four children, including a two-month-old baby.


2. And then there's THIS poll result, from December, 2005. Again, this poll showed many different things, but among them was this:

"Poll: 65% of Palestinians Support Al-Qaeda Attacks in U.S. and Europe

According to a survey of Palestinian opinion financed by Norway's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 65% support al-Qaeda actions in the U.S. and Europe.

Some 69% of Palestinians see violent action as legitimate and half believe that suicide attacks are necessary to force Israel to make political concessions. However, 57% believe the intifada should stop and 74% think that attacks from Gaza should cease. 83% think it is in the Palestinian people's interest to keep the ceasefire with Israel, but only 26% support the use of force by Palestinian security services against those who break the calm."

[Note, the latter two self-contradictory poll-results support N. Friedman's original point, which kicked off this particular sub-thread, about the contradiction between what the Palestinian people's interest is, and they know it, and what they actually want.

And since 65% support terror in the US, and Europe against innocent civilians, you can be sure that their support of terror crimes on innocent Israeli civilians is far higher.

3. And then there's THIS. The same organization above (the PSR), reported on 30 September 2004 that there was a 77% Palestinian approval of the Beersheba Bus attacks. And what were those bus attacks, that got a 77% approval rate?

In Be'er-Sheva on 31 August 2004, sixteen people were killed in two suicide bombings on buses in Be'er-Sheva for which Hamas claimed responsibility. All on the buses were civilians; among the dead was a 3-year old child.

4. I also think we must take very seriously the question raised by N. Friedman concerning whether "peace" in these questionaires means hudna (truce) or even "interim peace" (during which we build up for the Real Destruction of Israel), or whether it really means Real Permanent Peace. Do we have any way of knowing the answer here, in terms of the question of Palestinian willingness to live with Israel?

The above poll numbers are hardly encoouraging, it seems to me, in terms of Palestinian acceptance of intentional genocidal actions.


art eckstein - 2/18/2007

Poll: Majority of Palestinians support homicide/suicide bombings and wish for the destruction of the State of Israel

Yahoo news (www.yahoo.com) reports that a majority (66%) of Palestinians support the murder of unarmed Israeli civilians, including kids, through homicide/suicide bombings.

A large number also wish for the destruction of the State of Israel (51%) and do not wish only for a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish State, but instead of her.

The JMCC interviewed 1,179 people in the West Bank and Gaza in late May and early June. The poll had a three percent margin of error.

Fifty-one percent of people surveyed said the end result of the uprising should be "liberating all of historic Palestine," referring to British-mandate Palestine, part of which was recognized as Israel in 1948.



Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war and these territories have since been the focus of internationally sponsored peace negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Forty-three percent of respondents said the aim of the uprising was to end Israeli occupation and establish a state only in the West Bank and Gaza



It is interesting to note that the poll was organized by an independent Palestinian group, the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC). The JMCC has a history of a strong pro-Palestinian bias and there's no reason not to believe their polls in matters related to Palestinian racism and intolerance).


Art's comments:
1. Now, this data is from 2002. The idea that Palestinians now have a MORE peaceable view of Israel than in 2002 is counterintuitive.

2. Note that the JMCC, on which John depends, is a pro-Palestinian organization. I doubt John knew this.


John Charles Crocker - 2/18/2007

Whatever the reason, according to the latest polling data more Palestinians oppose than support both suicide bombings of civilians and military action against Israel.

Can you reference the polls that show 80%+ support for terrorism or the earlier polls that you mentioned?


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

Thanks so much, N.F.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

Support for blowing up Israelis has, at times, exceeded 80%. I think you are living in dreamland. If Palestinian Arabs show less support today, it is because their life has been turned into garbage by their policy and they want a break.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Coming from a first rate scholar like you, you make my entire day.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

Could you point to the specific polls that support your position. I did not see them.

The election of Hamas by a plurality (not a majority) had more to do with the failures of Fatah than the appeal of Hamas.

That the Palestinian people are split over how to deal with Israel is not in question. Some of them supported blowing up civilians, more rejected blowing up civilians. Some of them supported military action against Israel , more rejected military action against Israel. Some thought Hamas was better than Fatah, more thought Hamas was worse than Fatah. Every time here you have rejected the opinions of the majority or the plurality in favor of the opinions of the minority.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

You write: How is it that polling data on supporting a two state solution, rejecting military action against Israel, rejecting suicide bombings of Israeli civilians and displeasure with the Hamas government are not pertinent to discussion of the interests of the Palestinian people? The poll I referenced had both bread and butter issues and issues of Israeli Palestinian relations. I fail to see how this is not pertinent.

My question of whether Palestinians see their interests being addressed is asked in the context of ending the dispute with Israel. These polling results do not mostly address that issue at all.

The issue to explore with polling is what peace would entail. It would not, according to every poll I have read over the course of years, entail ending incitement to massacre Israelis. Etc., etc. The data available suggest interest in an interim solution and that is reading the data generously.

Look back on the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center website. They used to some questions about what would be after a two state solution. As did the other polling institution in that area. I forget its name.

I might also note: I do not trust any of these polls too far. Note that the FATAH was supposed to win an easy election victory. The polling was off by more than 50%, if memory serves me correctly.

But, such is the only available polling and it does show something about the views of Palestinian Arabs. I think that the problem with the polling is mostly a failure to explore questions that might negatively impact on the perception of Palestinian Arabs. So, that information is largely invisible to people who wear rose colored glasses. Hence, to pick at the polling, you need to extrapolate from the more exploratory questions. Even then, the polling is insufficient.

In the material you site: if Palestinian Arabs want peace, how can they support blowing up Israeli civilians? That is sort loony since it has quite obviously had the opposite impact: driving the Israelis to believe there is no peace even possible, which is the conclusion reached by, for exampled, renowned historian Benny Morris. And, such view is, evidently, the view of most Israelis. But, go figure.

I, for one, do not think Palestinian Arabs are too stupid to see that they have driven most Israelis to believe that Palestinian Arabs want to kill all of Israel's Jews, not make peace. And, I think Palestinian Arabs are sending the message they intend. I note that Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian Arab most associated with making peace with Israel, has said exactly that. So, if he knows it, surely he is not alone.

That Palestinian Arabs want peace is discredited by the words of their leaders. They voted for them. The platform was on the table at the time the vote occurred. They voted for the world's only party ever to openly advocate genocide. And, such is exactly equivalent to favoring the massacre of civilians en masse, which you noted was a preference of Palestinian Arabs as shown by the polling data. If they wanted peace, some Palestinian Arab would say publicly - and none has ever done so - that there needs to be peace between two legitimate movements.








art eckstein - 2/17/2007

I did. You are careful and scholarly as always.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

"On the polling question, the issue you asked was whether the PA government represents the interest of Palestinian Arabs. That, however, was asked in the context of the dispute with the Israelis, not about delivering bread and butter to the table. So, your evidence is not pertinent to the question."

How is it that polling data on supporting a two state solution, rejecting military action against Israel, rejecting suicide bombings of Israeli civilians and displeasure with the Hamas government are not pertinent to discussion of the interests of the Palestinian people? The poll I referenced had both bread and butter issues and issues of Israeli Palestinian relations. I fail to see how this is not pertinent.

"I said that the polling does seem to support a two state solution but... That breaks down as soon as questions about what that means are asked.

Hence, the polling more accurately supports the idea of an interim solution only."

Again, where is this polling data you speak of?

"As for the notion that Palestinian Arabs want peace, that is so thoroughly a discredited a notion that I find it difficult to believe that you believe it."

Discredited by whom and where?


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

That is ok. I really just wanted to be sure that you saw it.


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

You did indeed get Benny's quote basically correctly, N.F.--forgot to say so.

Art


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

Another point. On the polling question, the issue you asked was whether the PA government represents the interest of Palestinian Arabs. That, however, was asked in the context of the dispute with the Israelis, not about delivering bread and butter to the table. So, your evidence is not pertinent to the question.

As far as the best interest of the Palestinian Arabs is concerned, that is not a reasonable question to ask me. If the goal of Palestinian Arabs is to destroy Israel, they have the government that represents their wildest dreams of an ideal future. If they want the good life, they have a true nightmare. It is not mine to choose their goals, however.

Historically, people have often seen their interests in a long term picture. So, one can imagine a Palestinian Arab - take Omar, as an example of a person who would wait for Godot before actually sitting down and ending the dispute - taking the long view. The dream to destroy Israel is a long term strategy.

History is filled with examples of people who held onto goals for very long periods of time. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. Maybe not. However, that is the reality.

If you ask me whether Palestinian Arabs ought seek a good life rather than Israel's destruction, it would be my preference. But, the evidence does not show it to be the desire of Palestinian Arabs. They, after all, elected the genocide advocating group, the HAMAS. Only a moron did not know that party's plank. So, either making peace with Israel was a low priority or such people agree with the HAMAS. I am inclined to believe the latter, as such is consistent with the trend in the region to favor implementing Shari'a law (with 65% of Palestinian Arabs, of Jordanians and of Egyptians hoeing to that line). And that line, by definition, does not allow for peace with infidel, most especially on land that is claimed to be part of the dar al-Islam but stolen by the infidel non-dhimmi Jews and joined by their dhimmi Jew cousins, in Islamic religious parlance.


As for the notion that Palestinian Arabs want peace, that is so thoroughly a discredited a notion that I find it difficult to believe that you believe it. It is like saying: we want free enterprise while voting for Stalin.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

You did not read what I wrote. And the polling that you cite does not ask the pertinent question.

Again - AND READ ME CORRECTLY THIS TIME - I said that the polling does seem to support a two state solution but... That breaks down as soon as questions about what that means are asked.

Hence, the polling more accurately supports the idea of an interim solution only.

Look at polling that asks about ending incitement to hate and massacre Israelis after any settlement. The polling shows a lack of interest in such.

Again: you are not being very careful.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

Regardless of whether you think the Palestinian leadership has represented the actual position of the Palestinian people (which at this time and many others I do not), the Palestinian leadership has not represented their best interests. Do you really disagree on this point?

The latest polling data I have found (Sept 2006) by the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center indicates a strong plurality believe in a two state solution, the second choice is a bi-national state. These two choices account for over 76% of all respondents.

A majority rejects military operations against Israel as harmful to Palestinian interests.

An unfortunately slight plurality either strongly or somewhat oppose suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.

Half again the number of Palestinians say that the Hamas government is worse than the prior government (35.5%), than say it is better (22%).

This would collectively indicate that the current (Hamas) is not representing the opinions of the Palestinian people and it is certainly not representing their best interests.

www.jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2006/no60.pdf+palestine+two+state+poll&">http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:vT-dNiqpj-0J:www.jmcc.org/publicpoll/results/2006/no60.pdf+palestine+two+state+poll&;hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

"That is correct data until you see the details of what that means, namely, only (for most Palestinian Arabs) as an interim solution while violence against Israel would continue to be advocated after the settlement (as stated in poll after poll)."
Where do you come by this?


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Professor,

I think I also basically got Benny Morris' assertion correct as well. His, however, was not limited to intellectual but drew in even comparative peaceniks like Sari Nusseibeh.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

No. I think that Palestinian leadership has represented the actual position of most Palestinian Arabs.

I think, rather, it is the world that fails to consider what that position actually is. And, that includes real scholars who just assume - as it seems reasonable to assume in theory about any group but does not always apply in fact - that Palestinian Arabs merely want independence, not Israel's destruction.

And, it includes uncritically examining - really applying wishful thinking or, in some cases, dishonest thinking about - polling data that show that Palestinians supposedly want a two state solution. That is correct data until you see the details of what that means, namely, only (for most Palestinian Arabs) as an interim solution while violence against Israel would continue to be advocated after the settlement (as stated in poll after poll).



N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

That is, previously read one of them.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

I no longer recall the full context of that particular Pipes comment. If the intent of his comment is as you say, it was at the least an impolitic way to put it.

The Palestinian leadership in general since at least WW II has done a remarkably poor job in representing the interests of the Palestinian people. On that point I think that most people agree.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

And, to you, Professor for the interesting articles you posted - even if I read one of them.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Professor,

My comments about the Kurds were based on general reading, not from my collection of articles. I believe - in fact, I feel quite sure - that what I said is correct as I think I know reliable information when I read it.

I note that the person who has collected, so far as I know, the most about Kurdish institutions and the like is Peter Galbraith. Try googling his name and various words that relate to Kurds and Kurdistan, etc. I also offer below what follows from Wikipedia - which, of course, is not to be fully trusted. But, it does provide some information about institutions and the prosperity that has reigned for quite a long while in the Kurdish parts of Iraq. What is described is clearly a region that has the institutions of a state and has had them for quite some time.

Iraqi Kurdistan

I hope that this is helpful to you.


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

And as I said, the Kurdish non-parallel with the Palestinians is an important point as well. THEY have been subjected to far more displacement and violence than the Palestinians. I must say, this suggests how honest Omar was when he disdainfully described other displaced populations as "not as honorable" as Arabs, and hence acknowledged that both the total violcence against Israel was a cultural CHOICE, not a "natural response to oppression."

best,

Art


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

I'm certainly going to show the depressing Judea Pearl piece to my Honors student.

Thanks, N.F.

Art


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Professor,

Regarding the Kurds, such has been in the papers. It was noted in particular during the period prior to the US invasion. But, I have not collected documents on that subject, so my documentation is insufficient for your purposes. However, I am quite sure that I am correct, as I have read it in multiple sources and by reliable people. You might read non-scholarly discussion of the matter by Peter Galbraith, as that is his big topic.
See e.g. The constitution and the Kurds, ty Peter W. Galbraith, The Boston Globe, July 25, 2005. See Plan Floated to Divide Iraq Along Ethnic Lines, (Interview of Peter Galbraith) on PBS Newshour. From the latter article:

Kurdistan in the north is already a de facto independent state. It has its own elected government. It has its own army. It flies its own flag.

I note that such was the case before the US invasion.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Professor,

My comment about Morris was made without his article in hand but, nonetheless, I have Morris 99/100 correct. The comment I had in mind is:

The Palestinian leadership, and with them most Palestinians, deny Israel's right to exist, deny that Zionism was/is a just enterprise. (I have yet to see even a peace-minded Palestinian leader, as Sari Nusseibeh seems to be, stand up and say: "Zionism is a legitimate national liberation movement, like our own. And the Jews have a just claim to Palestine, like we do.") Israel may exist, and be too powerful, at present, to destroy; one may recognise its reality. But this is not to endow it with legitimacy. Hence Arafat's repeated denial in recent months of any connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, and, by extension, between the Jewish people and the land of Israel/Palestine. "What Temple?" he asks. The Jews are simply robbers who came from Europe and decided, for some unfathomable reason, to steal Palestine and displace the Palestinians. He refuses to recognise the history and reality of the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the land of Israel.

From Peace? No chance, by Benny Morris, February 21, 2002, The Guardian.

I might also note that Judea Pearl takes the matter even further. He wrote the following in the Jerusalem Post:

Dialogue of the deaf, The Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2005

The age of terror, it seems, has sprouted an era of dialogue. A host of conferences meant to bring together East and West have been cropping up. There was World Economic Forum's recent Middle East regional summit in Jordan. A few weeks before the star-studded Mideast "Davos" conference, I had the opportunity to attend the similarly high level US-Islamic World Forum, held in Doha, Qatar.

The Doha conference was packed with hundreds of progressive pundits and activists from all sides who diligently discussed both the needs and the means for achieving democracy, reforms and renaissance in the Muslim world. And, as expected, there was hardly a Muslim speaker who did not stress the pivotal importance of seeing progress toward settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, kicked off the discussion by stressing that hot conflicts in the Arab-Islamic world had to be resolved if we hoped to make progress on reform issues. He was followed by Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Muhammad Dahlan, who called on America and the Muslim countries to pressure Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to stop what Dahlan saw as delaying tactics. Indeed, almost every speaker ended his or her speech by arguing that American credibility hinged on resolving the Palestine issue.

Rami Khouri, executive editor of The Daily Star in Lebanon, summarized these sentiments, noting: "Democracy is essential, but it is incomplete without full sovereignty, and cannot be promoted credibly under conditions of foreign occupation. Resolving the Palestine issue in this respect is vital for progress, and should be addressed alongside movement toward democratic reform."

As a person sensitive to this issue, I was deeply impressed by the civility with which the issue was discussed. The word "occupation" was scarcely mentioned, and the usual accusatory terms "brutal," "racist" and "apartheid" were pleasantly absent from the main discourse.

This stood in sharp contrast to another East-West conference that took place earlier that month in Putrajaya, Malaysia, in which the Malaysian prime minister reportedly stated that Israel should cease to be "an exclusively Jewish racist state," where the leftist Israeli delegation was snubbed for being overly concerned with "Israel's racist needs and wishes." The overwhelming majority of participants at the event stated that Israel was founded on pillars of injustice and must be dismantled (peacefully, of course).

ENTICED BY this aura of civility in Doha, I was curious to find out what the participants had in mind when they pressed for "progress" on the Palestine issue: progress toward what?

Deep in my heart, I had hoped to find the Doha participants more accommodating of the so-called "two-state solution" and the road map leading to it. If this were not the case, I thought, then we were in big trouble again. Muslims might be nourishing a utopian dream that the US cannot deliver and, sooner or later, the whole dialogue process, and all the goodwill and reforms that depend on it, would blow up in the same conflagration that consumed the Oslo process.

I was not the only American with such concerns.

Richard Holbrooke, America's former ambassador to the UN, who was on the same panel with Dahlan, stated that the Arab world must contribute its share toward meaningful movement of the peace process. He reminded the audience that, by now, two and a half generations of Arabs have been brought up on textbooks that do not show Israel on any map, and that such continued denial, on a grassroots level, is a major hindrance to any peaceful settlement.

I had a friendly conversation on this issue with one of Dahlan's aides, who confessed that "we Palestinians do not believe in a two-state solution, for we can't agree to the notion of 'Jewish state.'" "Judaism is a religion," he added "and religions should not have states."

When I pointed out that Israeli society is 70 percent secular, bonded by history, not religion, and that by "Jewish state" Israelis mean (for lack of a better term) a "national-Jewish state," he replied: "Still, Palestine is too small for two states."

This was somewhat disappointing to me, given the official Palestinian Authority endorsement of the road map. "Road map to what?" I thought, "to a Middle East without Israel?" Where was the reform and liberalism among the post-Arafat Palestinian leadership that was expected to breed flexibility and compromise?

I discussed my disappointment with an Egyptian scholar renowned as a champion of liberalism in the Arab context. His answer was even more blunt: "The Jews should build themselves a Vatican," he said, "a spiritual center somewhere near Jerusalem. But there is no place for a Jewish state in Palestine, not even a national-Jewish state. The Jews were driven out 2,000 years ago, and that should be final, similar to the expulsion of the Moors from Spain 500 years ago."

The problem with Muslim elites could be seen again, even at the University of California at Irvine, where the Muslim Student Union organized a meeting entitled "A World Without Israel" - cut and dry. Also in May came a colorful radio confession by the editor of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Arabi Abd al-Halim Qandil: "Those who signed the Camp David agreement ... can simply piss on it and drink their own urine, because the Egyptian people will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli entity."

Qandil's bald statement drove home a very sobering realization: in 2005, I still cannot name a single Muslim leader (or a journalist, or an intellectual) who has publicly acknowledged the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a dispute between two legitimate national movements.

One side dreams of a world without Israel, the other sees Israel as a major player in the democratization and economic development of the region. Will this clash of expectations burst into another round of bloodshed?

My heart goes out to all the Europeans and Americans who believe they have found a spark of flexibility on Israel's legitimacy in the progressive Muslim camp. But looking ahead at the plentiful attempts to build bridges to the Muslim world, one wonders whether this outpouring of goodwill should not first be harnessed toward hammering out basic common goals and educational campaigns to promote them, rather than glossing over oceans of fundamental disagreement. Failure to address uncomfortable differences has a terrible way of extracting higher costs later on.

The writer is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, an organization that promotes cross-cultural understanding named after his son, a Wall Street Journal reporter murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002.



art eckstein - 2/17/2007

There is much food for thought in what you write,N.F. I've been having a long conversation about this topic with an excellent graduating Honors in History senior, and I will show him some of what you say. The point about the difference between Zionists and Kurds on the one hand, and the Palestinians on the other, is really striking. Tell me more about the Kurds.

Where did you find Benny Morris' quote that he has yet to find a Palestinian intellectual who even recognizes Jewish nationalism as legitimate? I'd like to be able to cite that to my student.

Best,

Art


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

Here are the final footnotes for Ben Cohen's article. You can read the whole thing by clicking on "read the rest of the post" in my previous posting--and it's well worth reading. It was published in 2004, and things have "progressed" on the Left substantially in the same terrible direction in the two years since its publication.
John (and N.F.) you might also benefit from reading NICK Cohen's piece, which I posted on my comments at 11:39 a.m. today
(# 105635)

Rest of the footnotes:

2999219.stm.
24. Jewish Chronicle, 25 June 2004.
25. Trevor Asserson, "What Went Wrong at the BBC," Jerusalem Viewpoints, No. 511, 15 January 2004. Asserson's detailed research is available at www.bbcwatch.con.
26. See, e.g., Gerald Kaufman, "The Case for Sanctions against Israel," The Guardian, 12 July 2004. Kaufman is a Jewish Labour MP who has become a virulent opponent of Israel.
27. Upholding its liberal principles, The Guardian ran a fairly critical review of a book by the Israeli journalist Daphna Baram, Disenchantment: The Guardian and Israel, which the newspaper itself published. The reviewer, Bryan Cheyette, observed that Baram had "something of a tin ear when it comes to the experiences of Jews as a minority in the diaspora." Brian Cheyette, "What Became of Zion?" The Guardian, 24 July 2004.
28. Paul Foot, "In Defence of Oppression," The Guardian, 5 March 2002.
29. See especially Dave Hyde, "Europe's Other Red-Green Alliance," Zeek, April 2003, available at http://www.zeek.net/politics-0304.shtml.
30. Anthony Browne, "This Sinister Brotherhood," The Times, 11 August 2004.
31. In a 2002 speech at Cambridge University, Galloway declared: "We shouldn't allow a group of gangsters called Zionists to hold us to ransom on the issue of anti-Semitism." See http://www.cambridgeclarion.org/Galloway. quest.12jul2002.html.
32. Many British Jews were scandalized when, in December 2003, Jews for Justice for Palestinians held a Christmas-carol service in central London. Among the carols they sang was "Little Town of Bethlehem," rewritten to condemn IDF operations in that town.
33. See http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID>;SD75304.
34. Lenin (supposedly) referred to those western leftists who unconditionally defended the USSR as "useful idiots."
35. A notorious example of the abuse of Holocaust imagery involved the poet and critic Tom Paulin, who, after telling Al Ahram in 2002 that "Brooklynborn" Jewish settlers should be shot, wrote a poem that described Israeli soldiers as the "Zionist SS." See David Cesarani, The Left and the Jews, the Jews and the Left (London: Profile, 2003), p. 75.
* * *

BEN COHEN is a London-based writer and broadcaster. A former producer and reporter with the BBC, he now works on a freelance basis for a number of international broadcasters. He has also worked as a consultant on media development projects in the Balkans and Asia.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

John, as N.F. has pointed out, the best thing now would be for you to give up this grotesque and fallacious "parallel" as a mistake . Don't go to Peter Clarke land. It's beneath you.

Meanwhile, for something substantial, take a look at this. Note that this is from 2004: things have "progressed" signficantly since then:


Jewish Political Studies Review 16:3-4 (Fall 2004)

The Persistence of Anti-Semitism on the British Left

Ben Cohen





Much of the recent analysis of leftist anti-Semitism focuses on developments since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. This article, which takes Britain as a case study, seeks to situate what is commonly referred to as the "new" anti-Semitism in a historical context, arguing that many of the anti-Semitic themes currently present in leftwing and liberal discourse have been observable in the past. The article analyzes the evolution of leftist anti-Semitism, concentrating in particular on the motif of delegitimization that marks discussions of Zionism and Israel. It concludes that the organizational alignment of leftist and Islamist organizations, and the ongoing integration of Islamist and leftist attitudes toward Jews, represents a qualitative shift in the nature of leftist anti-Semitism in Britain.


Although egalitarian, cosmopolitan, and internationalist principles are common to all variants of socialist doctrine, these have not immunized the Left from anti-Semitism. What the German socialist leader August Bebel denounced as the "socialism of fools" is as old and as resilient as the Left itself, even if its original thesis, famously expressed in Kautsky's prognosis1 that the Jews would disappear with capitalism's demise, has turned out to be a fallacy.



Like other forms of anti-Semitism, left-wing anti-Semitism has survived by mutating; whereas once the Jewish question (or problem) was viewed through the prism of economics, now it belongs to the realm of politics. The orthodox Marxist notion2 that the Jews - as an economic agent - perform a distinctive function within a system designed for the extraction of surplus value has been replaced by the anticolonialist notion that the Jews - as a national collective - are integral to the maintenance of American hegemony on a global level.3 Accordingly, there has been a conceptual shift on the Left from the politics of class to the politics of identity; and, again accordingly, a practical alignment with those forces, most notably the Islamist movements, opposed to this hegemony.

As a result of this alignment, three points warrant consideration. First, visceral opposition not to Israel's security policies alone but to its very legitimacy means that, as in Islamist discourse, the terms "Jew," "Israel," and "Zionist" are increasingly interchangeable in contemporary left-wing discourse; second, this discourse has been standardized and globalized;4 third, this discourse is increasingly finding recognition outside the activist margins, for example, among politicians broadly described as "progressive," among prominent academics, and in liberal media outlets.

In the United Kingdom, the phenomenon of left-wing anti-Semitism has been somewhat overshadowed by the attention paid to similar problems elsewhere in Europe, particularly in France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Nevertheless, the anti-Semitism of the British Left deserves closer examination, not least because Britain was the former Mandate power in Palestine and a Labour government was in office when the State of Israel was created in 1948. The aim of this article, therefore, is to take a long view of the development of anti-Semitism on the British Left. While much of the analysis concentrates on attitudes toward Zionism, it needs to be stressed that in the United Kingdom, as elsewhere, hostility toward Zionism and Israel often functions as a Trojan horse for anti-Semitism.

The primary argument underlying this article is that the classic anti-Semitism associated with the xenophobic Right and its leftist version are linked by a profound enmity toward the empowered, autonomous Jew. For the extreme Right, anti-Semitism is based on a dark fantasy about the malign effects of Jewish power, which integrates the financial and the political spheres. In the leftist imagination, the only good Jew is the invisible Jew, one who is assimilated totally by his surroundings; by contrast, Jewish national consciousness is, a priori, reactionary, supremacist, and politically aligned with imperialism. For many on the Left, the concrete expression of this consciousness, the State of Israel, is the last colonial outpost in the world.

Origins of the "New" Anti-Semitism

"Why do you come to me with your special Jewish sorrows?" wrote the Polish Jewish revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg5 to a comrade. "I feel just as sorry for the wretched Indian victims in Patanago, the Negroes in Africa....I cannot find a special corner in my heart for the ghetto." Those who would position themselves as Luxemburg's heirs have, perhaps, taken her sentiments a step further. Jewish suffering is relativized or denied outright, while the supposed crimes of Jewish nationalism are seized upon with gusto. Moreover, in the collective heart of the modern Left there is a "special corner" for the Palestinians, whose particular narrative of exile has elevated their trials far above those of other unfortunate nations.

It is at the farthest reaches of the Left, where there is a fixation with the Palestinians, that we find the brashest expressions of anti- Semitism. Among the mosaic of groups that compose the "antiglobalization" movement, as well as among the remnants of the New Left, anti-Semitic rhetoric and symbolism is rife. The UN World Conference against Racism in Durban in September 2001, the conferences organized by the World Social Forum in India and Brazil, and the marches in several European cities against the U.S.- led intervention in Iraq are all examples of public events where Jews have been actively denigrated. Such displays have commonly been presented as manifestations of the "new anti-Semitism," generally dated back to September 2000, when the second Palestinian intifada began. Decidedly, this "new" anti-Semitism, which would deny selfdetermination to the Jews even as it celebrates this principle for other nationalities, is driven by the Left, and not the Right. Even so, it is far from new.6

In the British case, it should be borne in mind that contemporary manifestations of leftist anti-Semitism are loosely related, if at all, to the hostility - rooted in a conflict between indigenous and immigrant workers rather than opposition to Zionism - that Jews encountered from sections of the British labor movement at the turn of the 20th century. In addition, among some British social democrats there is a parallel tradition of solidarity with the Jews and Israel. As in other countries, the adversarial position toward Zionism was the effect of an encroaching New Left agenda during the 1960s and 1970s, so that by 1982 W.D. Rubinstein could state: "Fringe neo-Nazi groups notwithstanding, significant anti-Semitism is now almost exclusively a left-wing rather than a right-wing phenomenon."7 Rubinstein also identified the factors that distinguish current leftist discourse as anti- Semitic, in particular the questioning of Israel's legitimacy as a state. This strategy of delegitimization was accompanied by a steady buildup of pro-Palestinian opinion. In a case study of the United Kingdom, Rubinstein noted that as early as 1969, pro-Palestinian groups were being formed within the Labour Party; by 1978, one-sixth of Labour's parliamentary contingent was identifiably pro-Arab. These developments reflected the growing influence of the far Left within and outside the party's ranks.8

Much of the ire directed toward Zionism on the British Left drew strongly on motifs found in Soviet propaganda, specifically the equation of Zionism with Nazism and the accusation that the Zionist movement collaborated with the Nazis or even engaged in the killing of Jews to further its own ends. Rubinstein cites the example of the British Anti-Zionist Organization (BAZO),9 a left-wing group active on university campuses during the late 1970s and early 1980s. In an especially insidious example of the collaboration charge, BAZO claimed that the Struma, a ship carrying Romanian Jewish refugees to Palestine that was sunk by the Soviets in 1942, was in fact destroyed by Zionists because the sole survivor, David Stoliar, went on to fight for the Haganah.

Aside from the facile logic involved here, claims like this one, and those contained in the play Perdition discussed below, demonstrate the difference between the anti-Zionism of the ancien Left and that espoused by its new incarnation. As Robert Wistrich has argued, in becoming a "code word for the forces of reaction in general," Zionism has assumed a global importance for the contemporary Left that not even Marx and Lenin could have foreseen. Consequently, "[t]he extreme left in western societies not only denigrates Israel and Zionism in a systematic manner, but its irrational hostility frequently spills over into contempt or antipathy towards Jews and Judaism as such."10

The Lebanon War of 1982 afforded many instances of leftist publications in Britain engaging in ferocious attacks on Israel that drew on classic anti-Semitic images and themes. These attacks bore striking similarities to the anti-Semitic crudities evident during the formative years of English socialism. In 1884, for example, Justice, the newspaper of the Social Democratic Federation, railed against the "Jew moneylenders who now control every Foreign Office in Europe."11 Almost a century later, the newspaper of the Workers Revolutionary Party - an organization distinguished by the presence of the actress Vanessa Redgrave among its members and for the generous funding it received from Libya - employed similar terms when it opined that it was "Britain who sold the Palestinian people out to Zionist money power."12 Aside from the typical association of Jewish influence with financial muscle, what is arresting about this statement is the exaggeration of the power of Zionism to the extent that it, and not the British Mandate, is the starting point for what passes as an analysis of the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A related tendency is the ascribing of collective guilt for Israel's actions. As this is an important feature of the "new" anti-Semitism, it should be remembered that this was also pronounced during the Lebanon War. A British anarchist paper captured the two prongs of this argument - that all Jews are responsible for what Israel does and that Jews are therefore responsible for their own misfortune - extremely well.13 The massacres at the Sabra and Shatila camps, blamed automatically on Israel, could not fail to spark "acts of revenge" across the world; it was not fanciful to assume that the targets of revenge would be Jewish communities. The consequent claim, namely, that Zionism is the "monster" that fuels anti-Semitism, holds the Jews themselves accountable for prejudice against them.

This recasting of Zionism as a causal factor of anti-Semitism, rather than an authentic Jewish response to it, is a uniquely leftist contribution to anti-Semitic doctrine. It is, moreover, intimately linked to the accusation of Zionist collaboration with the Nazis. As Rubinstein points out, whereas for the neo-Nazis the Shoah is a hoax, for the far Left "[t]he Holocaust now emerges as the Jews (or Jewish nationalism's) greatest crime - the autogenocide of the Twentieth Century."14



Perdition: A Dress Rehearsal

In 1986 the play Perdition,15 by the Marxist playwright Jim Allen, brought the accusation of Zionist-Nazi collaboration to the British public's attention for the first time. Until that point the Left's discussion of Jews and Israel, like most of its discussions, had been conducted internally, with leaders defining the doctrine and foot soldiers repeating it to each other. Now, a thesis that had been dismissed by scholars of the Shoah was suddenly granted a wider audience.

Perdition was based on a well-known trial brought to the Jerusalem district court in 1954.16 The defendant in the trial was an elderly Hungarian Jew, Malkhiel Grunwald, who was charged with defaming the Hungarian Zionist leader Rudolf Kastner when he accused him of collaborating with the Nazis as they prepared to exterminate Hungary's Jews in 1944.Kastner's intent had been to negotiate a deal whereby the German army would be supplied with ten thousands trucks in exchange for a stay of execution. But according to Grunwald, Kastner had facilitated, through his negotiations with Adolf Eichmann, the destruction of Hungary's Jews while enriching himself personally. The court found in favor of Grunwald. Kastner himself was assassinated just before Israel's Supreme Court overturned the Jerusalem court's decision.

In the hands of a talented dramatist, this story could have probed the nature and limits of the moral choice confronting the leader of a beleaguered community, as well as the complex motives of the survivor who made these allegations. In Allen's hands, any nuances and subtleties were purged. In his own words, Perdition was a tale of "privileged Jewish leaders" collaborating "in the extermination of their own kind in order to help bring about a Zionist state, Israel, a state which itself is racist."17

The announcement by London's Royal Court Theatre that it intended to stage the play sparked a furious public debate. Many Jewish scholars and leaders pointed to gross distortions and inaccuracies in the text, asserting that Perdition was little more than standard anti- Semitic conspiracy theory with a leftist tinge. European Zionists, the play charged, betrayed Europe's Jews while "all-powerful American Jewry" (a line from the play) discreetly approved the strategy. Indeed, the text was replete with lines that equated the power of Zionism with that of Nazism ("the Zionist knife in the Nazi fist") and highlighted the selfishness of Jewish leaders ("To save your hides, you practically led them to the gas chambers of Auschwitz").

In January 1987 the artistic director of the Royal Court, Max Stafford-Clark, declared that his doubts about Perdition were grave enough for him to cancel its performance. Although Stafford-Clark made the decision on his own, left-wing activists were quick to point to a Zionist "conspiracy."18 The film director Ken Loach, a close colleague of Allen, claimed that the theater had caved in to pressure from prominent British Jews such as Dr. Stephen Roth, Lord Weidenfeld, and Lord Goodman; men, Loach said, "who can pay their way."

For anyone exploring the recent history of anti-Semitism on the British Left, the Perdition affair is seminal for at least two reasons. First, the immense press coverage the affair generated meant that extreme anti-Zionist claims won wider attention, particularly among Britain's liberally inclined intelligentsia; as the past was interpreted through the prejudices of the present - the perception of Israel as a racist, militarist state - it is not surprising that these claims were given serious and sometimes sympathetic attention. Second, the affair rehabilitated the old canard of the nefarious, transcendental power of Jewish individuals and organizations, whether manifested in wartime Hungary (the subject matter of the play) or modern-day London (the reason for the play's cancellation). Since 2000, a similar discourse of uncompromising anti-Zionism, which carries both implicit and explicit warnings about the dangerous extent of Jewish power, has resurfaced in Britain. As has been demonstrated thus far, its authors belong to the far Left, but those who echo it are spread, politically and demographically, more widely.



Anti-Semitism and the Liberal-Left Elite

In January 2002 the New Statesman, an august journal of the British Center-Left, published a cover story about the "Zionist lobby" in Britain.19 The magazine's cover displayed a golden Star of David stabbing a pliant Union flag and carried the legend: "A Kosher Conspiracy?" In the days and weeks that followed, Jewish and non-Jewish critics excoriated the New Statesman for its revival of anti-Semitic iconography. The magazine eventually ran a qualified apology from the editor, Peter Wilby, who conceded that the cover "used images and words in such a way as to create unwittingly the impression that the New Statesman was following an anti-Semitic tradition that sees the Jews as a conspiracy piercing the heart of the nation" (emphasis added).20

Wilby's assertion that the New Statesman did not realize the historical import of the imagery it used must be regarded as disingenuous. Is it really credible that no one among the culturally sensitive editorial staff of a political weekly would have been struck, in examining the cover before it went to press, by the echoes of the Protocols or the agitational rhetoric of Maurras or Streicher? That no one at the New Statesman was aware of the Left's own anti-Semitic idiom, from Fourier's "parasites" to Stalin's "rootless cosmopolitans"? These points were never addressed by the magazine.

The article on the Zionist lobby itself, by Denis Sewell,21 amassed evidence for one conclusion and then ended with another. After writing about the web of clients assembled by an Israeli arms dealer, including the Shah of Iran and Indira Gandhi; after claiming that this same arms dealer was financially supporting a pro-Israeli lobbying group in London; and after pointing to instances of journalists at The Times and the Daily Telegraph allegedly being censored by media barons with Zionist sympathies, Sewell ended his piece with the argument that the Zionist lobby was ineffective and "clueless" because it opened itself up to criticism by accepting funds from a man involved in the sale of weaponry.

No such sophistry was evident in the accompanying article by John Pilger, the extreme left-wing journalist.22 Pilger has been a stalwart critic of Tony Blair's project to remake "old" Labour as "new" Labour, whereby many long-established socialist principles were abandoned and a greater distance was placed between the party and the trade unions. For Pilger, as for many on the Left, Blair's personal sympathy with Israel reflects the party's sharp turn to the right, as well as being emblematic of British subservience to American foreign policy.

Indulging in the conspiracy theorizing beloved of the far Left, Pilger identified Blair's friendship with "wealthy Jewish businessman" Lord Levy, who also serves as his envoy to the Middle East, as the principle reason for his support of the Sharon "regime." Hence, the New Statesman gave us two contrasting views of Jewish power. For Sewell, it is incompetent,whereas for Pilger, it is ruthless and proficient; for both writers, though, Jewish power undoubtedly exists in the shadows of political life, manipulating and shaping policy as it tries to escape scrutiny.

This stress on the intersection of Jewish power with Jewish wealth was evident during the furore over Perdition, demonstrating that it is one of the more favored anti-Semitic themes of the Left and is easily revived. Indeed, in 2003 the veteran Labour MP Tam Dalyell told a Vanity Fair journalist that Blair's views on the Middle East had been subverted by a "Jewish cabal" that included, along with Lord Levy, Peter Mandelson, a key ally of the prime minister, and Jack Straw, the foreign secretary (both Mandelson and Straw have Jewish ancestry, but neither is Jewish).23 Moreover, this highlighting of Jewish influence is not restricted to the British Left's appraisal of their own country's Middle East policy. Numerous denunciations of American foreign policy under the Bush administration have dwelt upon the Jewish origins of the neoconservatives in Washington. In 2004, a former BBC Middle East correspondent was even more brazen. At a speech in Glasgow, Tim Llewellyn accused President Clinton's former Middle East envoy Denis Ross of hiding behind "a lovely Anglo-Saxon name." He went on to say that Ross is "not just a Jew, he is a Zionist...a Zionist propagandist."24

The passage of the anti-Zionism of the extreme Left to the Center- Left, along with its attendant disdain for Jewish concerns, is visible in other media outlets. A good deal of attention has been paid to the BBC, which, despite a public broadcasting remit and "Producer Guidelines" that are meant to enforce impartiality, has been consistently biased in its reporting on the Middle East. One analyst has suggested that to understand why this is the case, the BBC's own culture needs to be examined: "It is full of reporters holding left-wing, so-called 'liberal' viewpoints, including very negative ones about Israel. They then recruit people under them who have a similar outlook. In this way, the liberal left-wing system propagates itself."25
Similar criticism has been directed at the United Kingdom's two main liberal dailies, The Guardian and The Independent, both of which regularly publish comment questioning Israel's legitimacy and portraying it as a pariah state.26 Although both papers have, on occasion, acknowledged the Jewish community's anxieties about their reporting, they have also, on occasion, been dismissive.27 For example, Paul Foot, Britain's leading leftist commentator until his death in 2004, wrote in his Guardian column: "Especially pathetic on the part of our apologists for Israeli oppression is their bleating about anti-semitism. For the sort of oppression they favour is the seed from which all racialism, including anti-semitism, grows."28

This brief survey of attitudes toward Jews on the British liberal- Left would not be complete without some mention of the campaign for an academic boycott of Israel, begun in April 2002 by the biology professor Steven Rose. As in the media, liberal and leftist viewpoints are disproportionately represented in Britain's universities. Despite the profusion of human rights crises around the world, from Sudan to North Korea, it is the Palestinian cause that has seized the imagination of Britain's leftist academics and has fueled calls for a boycott; one practical result has been the reporting of a number of cases of discrimination against Israeli scholars and researchers in British academic institutions. The boycott campaign is perhaps the most transparent illustration of the Left's determination to depict Israel as the ultimate rogue state.



The Red-Green Alliance

The spillage of anti-Zionism into anti-Semitism noted by Wistrich is an increasingly perilous feature of British political life, as it is elsewhere in Europe. This tendency has manifested itself everywhere from the literary pages of liberal newspapers to resolutions on the Middle East passed by trade unions, as well as in the escalating calls for an academic boycott of, and economic sanctions against, Israel. It has been argued here that any examination of anti-Semitism on the British Left without a strong sense of historical context is compromised, but it is equally true that the conditions that enable the expression of anti-Jewish sentiment on the Left have never been as permissive as they are now. To understand why this is the case, it is necessary to explore in greater detail an issue raised at the beginning of this article: the growing intimacy between the Left and the Islamists.29

The very existence of this alliance represents a critical shift for the Left. Radical socialism and radical Islam are far from obvious bedfellows, and a strict focus on the key texts of both does not yield any synergies. Even so, text and doctrine cannot be regarded as the sole substance of politics. Otherwise, one cannot explain why the left-wing mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, known for his previous support of feminist causes, would enthusiastically host an obscurantist Muslim cleric, or why a party claiming allegiance to Trotskyism would join forces with a group identified with the Muslim Brotherhood.30

Demography partially explains this shift. There are approximately 1.5 million Muslims in the United Kingdom, and the population is growing. Many British Muslims originate from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and their ranks have been swelled by arrivals from other Muslim countries, notably in the Arab world. In tandem, there has been a corresponding political radicalization. Some British Muslims identify with groups like Al Muhajiroun, which openly declares its support for Osama bin Laden (indeed, the first foreign homicide bombers to carry out an operation in Israel were two British Muslims). Many more identify with the ostensibly moderate Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), which, despite forswearing terrorism, proudly declares its support for Hamas.

Since the end of the Cold War, the Left has been groping for a mass response to the "New World Order"; by allying with the Islamists it may have found one. Of all the marches held in Europe in 2003 opposing the Iraq War, the largest took place in London, involving over one million protestors. An outgrowth of this march was a new political party, Respect, sponsored by the Socialist Workers Party, MAB, and George Galloway, a Scottish MP expelled from the Labour Party in part because of his links with Saddam Hussein's regime. Although Respect failed to win any seats in the 2004 local and European parliamentary elections, it enjoyed a strong showing in those areas of the country, such as East London and the Midlands, with large Muslim populations.

Galloway, in particular, is known for his detestation of Israel; of only a handful of principles expressed in Respect's founding document, solidarity with the Palestinians is one. At the same time, Galloway has rejected accusations of anti-Semitism.31 Such denials, however, ring ever more hollow for the following reason: despite all the demonization of Israel and Zionism that the British Left has engaged in for the last four decades, leftist groups stopped short of organizational alignment with anti-Semites. With the advent of Respect, this is no longer the case. MAB's admiration for Islamist ideologues such as Sayid Qutb and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who expressed their loathing for Jews as Jews and not as Zionists, has begged some sort of clarification from its left-wing partners; but none has been forthcoming, save for the standard response that the participation of several Jews in the Palestinian solidarity movement renders accusations of anti-Semitism inadmissible. What is not recognized is that these Jews, whether acting as individuals or through organizations such as Jews for Justice for Palestinians,32 have no real base inside the British Jewish community and only identify as Jews for the purpose of disavowing Israel.

Fear of alienating Muslim activists and voters is certainly one reason for the reluctance to acknowledge and condemn Muslim anti- Semitism. Mindful of the importance of the Muslim vote in London, Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, offered his hospitality to the Egyptian Muslim cleric Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who visited the British capital in July 2004. Despite being confronted with Al Qaradawi's anti-Semitic pronouncements - he has declared, for example, that there can be no dialogue with Jews "except by the sword and the rifle"33 - Livingstone continually dismissed objections to his presence in the United Kingdom as "Islamophobia." Gay rights activists, once an important base of support for Livingstone, were similarly dismissed when they expressed displeasure at Qaradawi's visit. Thus did the new Islamist-leftist constellation in Britain reveal those political constituencies that are excluded as well as included: Muslim distaste for those issues that were at the heart of the Left's agenda, such as women's emancipation and homosexual rights, has finally won out.

As well as the electoral imperatives of local politics, geopolitics is another explanatory factor for the Left's startling shift. Opposition to the United States is axiomatic to the Left's credo, even if that means joining with other currents with which there is little ideological commonality. This necessarily affects the Left's attitude toward the Jews. In this regard, the "socialism of fools" derided by Bebel might be said to have given way to the "useful idiots" phenomenon derided by Lenin.34

Much has changed, but much has stayed the same. The denial of victimhood to the Jews, the plundering of the Shoah to condemn Israel,35 the conspiratorial portrayal of Jewish power and the inherent illegitimacy of Jewish self-determination, are all constants. However, the anti-Semitism distinctive to the British Left has integrated, ideologically and organizationally, with its Islamist counterpart. Consequently, British political discourse in the mosque, the street, and the salon has been infected. This last assertion is not intended to subsume peculiarities and differences into a single framework; rather, the aim has been to discern a general pattern of leftist anti-Semitism in Britain that, ominously, continues to develop.

* * *
Notes


1. Kautsky argues that the disappearance of the Jews is also a desirable outcome: "We cannot say we have completely emerged from the Middle Ages as long as Judaism still exists among us. The sooner it disappears, the better it will be, not only for society, but also for the Jews themselves." Karl Kautsky, Are the Jews a Race? (Jonathan Cape, London, 1926), also available at: http:// www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1914/jewsrace/index.htm.
2. For a classic exegesis of this view, see Karl Marx, "On the Jewish Question," in Early Writings (London: Penguin, 1992).
3. The view that Zionist imperatives control U.S. policy in the Middle East is increasingly finding favor on the Left, as several scholars have noted. See, for example, Shlomo Lappin, "Israel and the New Anti-Semitism," Dissent, Spring 2003.
4. See Daniel Goldhagen, "The Globalization of Anti-Semitism," Forward, 2 May 2003.
5. Quoted in Walter Laqueur, A History of Zionism (New York: MJF Books, 1997), p. 435.
6. For an incisive perspective on the novelty of the "new" anti-Semitism, see Anthony Julius, "Is There Anything 'New' in the New Anti-Semitism?"
in Paul Iganski and Barry Kosmin, eds., A New Anti-Semitism? Debating Judeophobia in 21st-Century Britain (London: Profile Books, 2003).
7. W.D. Rubinstein, The Left, the Right and the Jews (London: Croom Helm, 1982), p. 9.
8. Ibid., p. 56.
9. Ibid., p. 110.
10. Robert Wistrich, "Left-Wing Anti-Zionism in Western Societies," in Robert Wistrich, ed., Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism in the Contemporary World (London: Macmillan, 1990), p. 48.
11. See Steve Cohen, That's Funny, You Don't Look Anti-Semitic: An Anti-Racist Analysis of Left Anti-Semitism (Manchester: Beyond the Pale Publishing, 1984), p. 20.
12. Ibid., p. 42.
13. Ibid., p. 53. The newspaper in question was the now defunct Big Flame.
14. Rubinstein, The Left, p. 115.
15. Perdition was published in 1987 by the anti-Zionist publishing house Ithaca Press (London).
16. See Leora Bilsky, "Judging Evil in the Trial of Kastner," Law and History Review, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2001).
17. Quoted in David Cesarani, "The Perdition Affair," in Wistrich, Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism, p. 54.
18. Ibid., p. 57.
19. See Winston Pickett, "Nasty or Nazi? The Use of Antisemitic Topoi in the Liberal-Left Media," in Iganski and Kosmin, A New Anti-Semitism? pp. 148-166.
20. The New Statesman, 11 February 2002.
21. Ibid., 14 January 2002.
22. Ibid.
23. Dalyell later said: "I am fully aware that one is treading on cut glass on this issue and no one wants to be accused of anti-semitism, but...." See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk-politic 2999219

Other footnotes follow.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Correction:

Strike the sentence that reads: "So, he was looking for basically the same thing - yet, he was lionized by the scandalous thinking of European Arabs."

Substitute:

So, he was looking for basically the same thing - yet, he was lionized by the scandalous thinking of European supporters of the Palestinian Arabs.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

Again, you still are insisting on an interpretation of Pipes' comment that is mistaken. He was not referring to anyone in particular. He was stating that Palestinian Arabs caused their own mess. Such is Prince Bandar's view also. That is all that was said. You are reading things into Pipes' comment by insisting that he exclude children, etc., as if he was actually suggesting that people ought to have a miserable life.

In other words, you completely misread his comment.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Art,

I actually remember reading Cohen's comment when it was first published.

I mostly agree. I find troubling, however, that even he cannot pull himself out of Palestinian nationalism as Europeans fantasize it to be. Even he fails to notice that Palestinian nationalism is not an independence movement by any normal understanding - but, instead, a liberation movement. And, he fails to remember that the state of Palestinian Arabs was very, very different before all the violence began.

Which is to say: before the first Intifadah, whether or not the Israelis ought to have ceded or settled in the captured territories aside: Palestinian Arabs were likely the best treated Arab population outside of Israel proper in that entire part of the world. They certainly had the best education system, the longest life expectancies, the best health care system, among highest incomes, etc., etc.

Now, I well see a Palestinian Arab desire for independence and have no objection. But... That does not appear to be what Palestinian Arabs were or are fighting for. And, one need only look at the difference between the Zionist or Kurdish movements' behavior in working for a state and that of Palestinian Arabs to see that the claim that they seek an independent state is mostly nonsense. [As your colleague Benny Morris notes: he has yet to meet any Palestinian Arab intellectual who thinks that Jewish nationalism is even legitimate.] In any event, my point in noting how Zionists and Kurds worked to create Israel and a possible Kurdistan is that they created all the institutions necessary for an actual state, institutions with utilitarian functions. Palestinian Arabs have done none of that. The Palestinian Arabs have not even built upon the institutions they have so that they might work in utilitarian ways. The institution that function best are those which teach people to hate, which is anti-utilitarian and a curse if the goal is to build a state.

So, Cohen, while he has written an excellent article for brainwashed European readers of The Observer, has done the factual world a disservice. Rather, it is the fantasy that Europeans have projected onto Palestinian Arabs that is at the heart of the matter. And that fantasy includes the "Palestinian cause." It is a bogus cause. Which, again to make clear, is not to say that Palestinian Arabs ought not find the good life or independence. It is, instead, to say that one needs to reject the Palestinian cause that actually exists which has exactly nothing to do with what Europeans project onto it. Unless Europeans begin to see that such is the case, the longer they will continue to delude themselves - Cohen included.

So, Cohen notes the world that would be under the HAMAS. But, he fails to recognize the absence of a Palestinian Arab cause to make a permanent settlement. So, we have the HAMAS which favors a hudna and a FATAH which favors an interim settlement - two versions of the very same position. One is direct and within the Islamic tradition. The other is disguised under the rubric of settlement or, as Arafat said when he signed onto Oslo, understand his deals with Israel the way one understands the Treaty of Hudaibiya. And, as anyone remotely familiar with Islamic history and theology knows, the Treaty of Hudaibiya is the historic justification by which the hudna comes into Islamic thinking. So, he was looking for basically the same thing - yet, he was lionized by the scandalous thinking of European Arabs.

So, even the brave Mr. Cohen is not thorough enough in his thinking. He is not able to think the matter through to exactly where the facts are. That, perhaps, comes from living in the UK and having a diet consisting mainly of The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent. But, I think he clearly fails to think the matter all the way through to where the facts actually point.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

I stated in my comment that she said these things tongue in cheek. I fully realize that not all of what she writes is meant to be taken literally. When she says certain people should be killed she is just trying to promote hate for that group not their literal extermination. If you can stomach it read one of her books.

I also stated that she was not the moral eqivalent of pro Islamist groups. She is odious but considerably less so.

Re: Pipes He said they deserved their misery. He did not exclude from that comment the children who had no part in bringing that misery on themselves. He also is not in the same moral category as Coulter, though in the other direction.


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

I am not a Coulter reader. However, she has appeared on TV enough that I have some idea of her views. And, I have occasionally read her views in passing.

I think you misrepresent what she says by drawing them out of their context. On both of the comments you mention, she speaks by way of exaggeration, not literally. Which is to say, she is not advocating anyone's death in either of the comments.

I trust you understand that language is a communication tool. Words are not always meant literally. One needs to read them in context to draw the intended meaning.

Among my favorite writers is Friedrich Nietzsche. He, like Mark Twain, employed nasty and exaggerated language to make a point - Twain about blacks and Nietzsche about Jews. People who do not know how to read carefully sometimes think that Nietzsche hated Jews when, in fact, just the opposite was the case.

Such literal minded people pull the comments out of their actual context, applying literalism when he might have been using a literary vehicle to make a point. And, a careful reading of what he wrote makes that clear, while a literal, out of context, reading does not. (And, I might add, in his private letters - especially to his stupid sister - he makes clear in literal language that he actually hated Antisemites on principle. As Walter Kaufman's excellent compilation shows, Nietzsche's very last gasp of coherence was to have all the Antisemites shot.)

Yet, literal minded people fail to recognize his rather clearly stated opinions. They do what you appear to be doing here, namely, removing her words from their actual comment, as vehemently expressed opposition to whatever liberal notion she found offensive. But, that is very different from saying to shoot liberals or do in the Supreme Court. Do you see the difference?

But occasionally, words are meant literally. Take those who organized the marches in Europe. Some of those people do, in fact, advocate mass murder. And the signs used at such marches are intended as they are, since such is a widely held view among Islamists.

Somehow, since you are not a dumb guy, I think you realize that you said something you did not mean to say. Consider saying you made a mistake and moving on. Alternatively, show that she meant things as you suggested she did.

I think, for what this is worth, that what we have here is another example of what you did with Pipes' comment about Palestinian Arabs and their misery, when Pipes was expressing the thought that Palestinian Arabs had made their own bed, which you took to mean that he wished them ill - which was not the case.


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

Grotesque.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

The point of the comment was not that Coulter and Islamists are morally equivalent. Both are contemptable, but Coulter is less so. She only advocates the death of all liberals, the bombing of the NYT building, and the poisoning of Supreme Court Justices in a tongue in cheek fashion to promote divisiveness and hate in US political discourse.

The point is that Art agrees with and even engages in alliances of convenience with odious people, but condemns others for that offense.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

What do you mean by "not a small percentage"? Is this the same as the as yet undefined "significant percentage"?

"...it's like your argument that the Red-Green election of people such as Galloway doesn't prove the power of that coalition in Western culture because you were only talking about the U.S.--go ahead."
That wasn't what I said and you now it. I said my original comment related to the US. I accepted your widening the comment to encompass the UK without complaint. Widen it further if you like. I allowed your characterization of Galloway and the other two politicians as being in bed with the Islamists without argument, though I have not researched it myself to see if I agree. Even so I pointed out that no such politician has been elected in the US and even with those three in the UK that amounts to far less than 1% of left leaning US and UK politicians. Do you really think that is significant?

"But if you want to use percentage argument to mean "I haven't defined the terms", so you don't have to discuss the problem..."
You continue to characterize my complaint as only being about percentages, which for some inexplicable reason you still refuse to give, but you also refuse to define what you mean when you say "the Left."

Why do you continue to use terms that you refuse to define? Why won't you define what you mean by "the Left"? No math is required for that.

As far as a "significant percentage" is concerned, once again you do not have to say exactly what percent you think it is. Just give a range or at the very least a basement value. For example, at least 20% or at least 50% etc.
Is there some reason that you either cannot or will not do this?

Why do you continue to hide behind imprecise and undefined terms?

Regarding Ellison his press secretary, Rick Jauert, called the superintendent who referred him to the police. Smoking is prohibited in public areas of the Capital Building but allowed in private offices, so this was likely a mistake of the superintendent combined with an overreaction by Jauart who made the call. Certainly it would have made more sense to address the matter personally than to call any outside party. Apparently Ellison has since sent a note apologizing for the incident.


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

Dear N.F.,

Well, I'd prefer a two-state solution but that may now be a pipe-dream. The Palestinians are the first people to have elected as a government a party (Hamas) with an overtly genocidal project. Not even the Germans did that.

I think the American version of Euston did address the specific issue of how "the Palestinian cause" has turned into a permission for Jew-hating.

N.F., you'll be interested in the following piece by Nick Cohen. Perhaps Mr. Crocker will bother to read it, too:



Nick Cohen

New Statesman Essay, 10th October 2005

If you challenge liberal orthodoxy, your argument cannot be debated on its merits. You have to be in the pay of global media moguls. You have to be a Jew.

On the Saturday of the great anti-war demonstration of 2003, I watched one million people march through London, then sat down to write for the Observer. I pointed out that the march organisers represented a merger of far left and far right: Islamic fundamentalists shoulder to shoulder with George Galloway, the Socialist Workers Party and every other creepy admirer of totalitarianism this side of North Korea. Be careful, I said. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq has spewed out predatory armies and corpses for decades. If you’re going to advocate a policy that would keep a fascist dictator in power, you should at least talk to his victims, whose number included socialists, communists and liberals - good people, rather like you.

Next day I looked at my e-mails. There were rather a lot of them. The first was a fan letter from Ann Leslie, the Daily Mail’s chief foreign correspondent, who had seen the barbarism of Ba’athism close up. Her cheery note ended with a warning: “You’re not going to believe the anti-Semitism that is about to hit you.” “Don’t be silly, Ann,” I replied. “There’s no racism on the left.” I worked my way through the rest of the e-mails. I couldn’t believe the anti-Semitism that hit me.

I learned it was one thing being called “Cohen” if you went along with liberal orthodoxy, quite another when you pointed out liberal betrayals. Your argument could not be debated on its merits. There had to be a malign motive. You had to support Ariel Sharon. You had to be in the pay of “international” media moguls or neoconservatives. You had to have bad blood. You had to be a Jew.

My first reaction was so ignoble I blush when I think of it. I typed out a reply that read, “but there hasn’t been a Jewish member of my family for 100 years”. I sounded like a German begging a Gestapo officer to see the mistake in the paperwork. Mercifully, I hit the “delete” button before sending.

Rather than pander to racism, I directed my correspondents to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a member of the Socialist International which had decided after being on the receiving end of one too many extermination drives that foreign invasion was the only way. No good. I tried sending them to the Iraqi Communist Party, which opposed the invasion but understood the possibilities for liberation beyond the fine minds of the western intelligentsia. No good, either.

As the months passed, and Iraqis were caught between a criminally incompetent occupation and an “insurgency” so far to the right it was off the graph, I had it all. A leading figure on the left asked me to put him in touch with members of the new government. “I knew it! I knew it!” he cried when we next met. “They want to recognise Israel.”

I experienced what many blacks and Asians had told me: you can never tell. Where people stand on the political spectrum says nothing about their visceral beliefs. I found the far left wasn’t confined to the chilling Socialist Workers Party but contained many scrupulous people it was a pleasure to meet and an education to debate. Meanwhile, the centre was nowhere near as moderate as it liked to think. One minute I would be talking to a BBC reporter or liberal academic and think him a civilised man; the next, he would be screaming about the Jews.

Politicians I’d admired astonished me: Tam Dalyell explained British foreign policy as a Jewish conspiracy; Ken Livingstone embraced a Muslim cleric who favoured the blowing up of Israeli women and children, along with wife-beating and the murder of homosexuals and apostates.

I could go on. The moment when bewilderment settled into a steady scorn, however, was when the Guardian ran a web debate entitled: “David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen are enough to make a good man anti-Semitic”. Gorgeously, one vigilant reader complained that the title was prejudiced - the debate should be headlined: “David Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen are enough to make a good man, or woman, anti-Semitic.”

Mustn’t forget our manners now, must we?

I resolved then to complete two tasks: to apologise to Ms Leslie, which was a matter of minutes; and to work out if there was now a left-wing anti-Semitism, which took a little longer.

As I’d had little contact with Jewish religion or culture, I’d rarely given anti-Semitism a thought. I suppose I’d assumed it had burned out in the furnaces of Auschwitz. When the subject came up, I dutifully repeated the liberal mantra that “not all anti-Zionists are anti-Semites” and forgot the corollary “but all anti-Semites are anti-Zionists”.

You have to clear away a heap of rubbish before you can distinguish between the two. At first glance, there’s a good case for saying that the liberal left is Jew-obsessed. Israel receives more criticism than far worse societies, most notably Sudan, Syria and pre-war Iraq. You can call the double standard anti-Semitism if you want, but I’m not sure it gets you anywhere. It is simply the ineluctable workings of what is known in the human rights trade as “selection bias”. Israel is a democracy with an independent judiciary and free press. Inevitably, it is easier in an open country to report abuses of power than cover, say, the deaths of millions and enslavement of whole black tribes in Islamist Sudan. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, came up with “Moynihan’s Law” to encapsulate the process. It holds that the number of complaints about a nation’s violation of human rights is in inverse proportion to its actual violation of human rights.

He wasn’t absolutely right, and the law certainly doesn’t work in Israel’s case, but you get the point. As long as people know biases exist, no harm is done. In any case, it’s not a competition, and it’s no defence of Israel to say it’s better to be Palestinian than Sudanese. Human rights are universal.

The issue is whether the liberal left is as keen on universal principles as it pretends. An impeccably left-wing group of Jewish academics, who are against the war in Iraq and occupation of the West Bank, gathered recently at [http://www.engageonline.org.uk as they could see parts of the left retreating into special pleading. Their union, the Association of University Teachers, had proposed that academics abandon the freedom to exchange ideas, on which intellectual life depends, by boycotting Israeli universities. Asked why the boycott applied only to Israel and not nations with far greater crimes to their names, the AUT had no reply.]

Racism is often subtle in England. David Hirsh, an Engage supporter, caught it well when he wrote that “the act of singling out Israel as the only illegitimate state - in the absence of any coherent reason for doing so - is in itself anti-Semitic, irrespective of the motivation or opinions of those who make that claim”.

I’d agree, if it weren’t for a brutal counter-argument that few have the guts to make. Get real, it runs. Universal values are for the birds. The left had a respectable record of exposing the dark corners of the right in South Africa, the Deep South, Pinochet’s Chile, Franco’s Spain and the Colonels’ Greece. Only the bravest had much to say about the Soviet Union, China or Cuba. On the whole, those monstrosities were opposed by the right. Looking back, you can see that good came out of the activism of both sets of critics. Equally, good will come from our obsession with Israel. The Palestinians need help and you shouldn’t ask too many questions about the helpers.

All of which sounds reasonable, until you ask a question that I’ve delayed asking for too long: what is anti-Semitism?

In its 19th- and 20th-century form, it was a conspiratorial explanation of power from the radical right. In this it differed from standard racism, which is generally resentment of powerless outsiders who look odd, lower wages and take jobs. The template was set by the reaction against the American and French revolutions. How could Americans proclaim such insane ideas as the rights of man, the counter-revolutionaries asked. How could the French overthrow the king who loved them and Holy Mother Church which succoured them? They couldn’t admit that the Americans and the French wanted to do what they had done. Their consent had to have been manufactured by the new rulers of the world. Originally these were the Freemasons, who were damned for peddling enlightened ideas. Only after Jewish emancipation opened the ghettos were the Jews press-ganged into the plot. They represented everything that was hateful about modernity: equal rights, religious toleration and the destruction of tradition.

I don’t like the term “Islamo-fascism” - fascist movements are national movements, not religions. Still, no one can fail to have noticed that in one indisputable respect the west is the “root cause” of Islamist terror: militant Muslims have bought the ideology of the European counter-revolution wholesale.

The appeal is understandable. There is a chosen people: the Germans, the Italians or the Spanish in classic fascism; Sunni Muslims in totalitarian variants of Islam. Domination is theirs by right, but they are denied their inheritance by a conspiracy of infidels, be they westernisers, Jews, sell-out leaders or the corrupters of women and youth.

You can read for yourselves the histories of the links between Nazism and the Arab world in the 1940s, but to bring you up to date, here is what Article 22 of Hamas’s covenant says of the Jews: “They were behind the French revolution, the communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.”

That’s right, Rotary Clubs.

Please don’t tell me that it helps the Palestinians to give the far right the time of day, or pretend that Palestinian liberals, socialists, women, gays, freethinkers and Christians (let alone Israeli Jews) would prosper in a Palestine ruled by Hamas. It’s not radical, it’s barely political, to turn a blind eye and say you are for the Palestinian cause. Political seriousness lies in stating which Palestine you are for and which Palestinians you support. The Palestinian fight is at once an anti-colonial struggle and a clash between modernity and reaction. The confusion of our times comes from the failure to grasp that it is possible to have an anti-colonialism of the far right.

While we’re at it, don’t excuse Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all the rest by saying the foundation of Israel and the defeat of all the Arab attempts to destroy it made them that way. Anti-Semitism isn’t a local side effect of a dirty war over a patch of land smaller than Wales. It’s everywhere from Malaysia to Morocco, and it has arrived here. When the BBC showed a Panorama documentary about the ideological roots of the Muslim Council of Britain in the Pakistani religious right, the first reaction of the Council was to accuse it of following an “Israeli agenda”. The other day the Telegraph reported that Ahmad Thomson, a Muslim lawyer who advises the Prime Minister on community relations of all things, had declared that a “sinister” group of Jews and Freemasons was behind the invasion of Iraq.

To explain away a global phenomenon as a rational reaction to Israeli oppression, you have once again to turn the Jew into a supernatural figure whose existence is the cause of discontents throughout the earth. You have to revive anti-Semitism.

The alternative is to do what the left used to do. If you look at the list of late-20th-century leftist causes I have mentioned, you will see that the left, for all its faults and crimes, was against fascism. It used to know that the powerful used racism to distract the powerless, as they do to this day in Egypt, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, where the deployment of Jew hatred is positively tsarist. Although I know it’s hard to credit, the left also used to know that the opponents of fascism, including the opponents of Saddam, had to be supported.

But the liberal left has been corrupted by defeat and doesn’t know much about anything these days. Marxist-Leninism is so deep in the dustbin of history, it is composting, while social democracy is everywhere on the defensive. Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Christian fundamentalism are beating it in the struggle for working-class and peasant minds. An invigorated capitalism is threatening its European strongholds. There’s an awful realisation that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton may be as good as it gets. The temptation in times of defeat is to believe in everything rather than nothing; to go along with whichever cause sounds radical, even if the radicalism on offer is the radicalism of the far right.

In 1878, George Eliot wrote that it was “difficult to find a form of bad reasoning about [Jews] which had not been heard in conversation or been admitted to the dignity of print”. So it is again today. Outside the movies of Mel Gibson, Jews aren’t Christ killers any longer, but they can’t relax, because now they are Nazis, blood-soaked imperialists, the secret movers of neoconservatism, the root cause of every atrocity from 9/11 to 7/7.

It’s not that the left as a whole is anti-Semitic, although there are racists who need confronting. Rather, it has been maddened by the direction history has taken. Deracinated and demoralised, its partisans aren’t thinking hard enough about where they came from or - and more pertinently - where they are going.

Source: http://www.nickcohen.net/?p=13


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N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

Professor,

You write: "And what N.F. said was that while it was theoretically reasonable to ask for percentages, in this case it is not so reasonable."

My point is not that the question is unreasonable in principle but that the answer does not land on a particular part of the left. To me, it is those on those who allow Islamist agitation to trump what they claim otherwise to believe. But, you are correct that those who believe into multiculturalism and Anti-imperialism in its British variety almost certainly overwhelmed by Islamist agitation.

And, I think, if I understand you correctly, that multiculturalism and Anti-imperialism make common cause, by and large, with the Islamists. On this point, Melanie Phillips' research come to mind. I actually just read her book Londonstan, which, while it has the unfortunate habit of being argumentative in the manner expected of a newspaper column - and she is a columnist, so that is, to some extent, to be expected -, is, nonetheless, quite an interesting book.

Another point. I resist the Euston Manifesto. I think that it is not appropriate for a manifesto to take the specific positions taken, and on a whole host of different things, from intellectual property law - about which the document says nonsensical things (and that is a field I am quite knowledgeable about) to the Arab Israeli conflict.

On the Arab Israeli conflict and Euston, while the two state solution is a very good idea in principle - one I would in principle prefer -, the path to such a settlement may never lead to one. The Arab side seems to see it as part of a project to dismember all of Israel and, in any event, the HAMAS will never allow it. So, while I would personally prefer that solution, I think that the thing that would be appropriate is any solution that those involved will allow that ends the dispute in a fair manner - including to the Jewish side, not just to the Arab side, which is the habit of lazy European minds.

What is not fine is those who make "the Palestinian cause" the causa celebre. The "Palestinian cause" has turned into a morally offensive position as it has played out in the world. Just pick up a British paper any given day of the week. Such position has become the home for modern day Jew haters. And, that is something the Euston manifesto ought to have addressed, not the specifics of a settlement. At least that is my view.

If I have understood John correctly, I think his more interesting - and telling - comment is: You allied with Horowitz allied with hate monger Coulter perfectly reasonable.
Anti-war protesters associated with groups allied to hate mongers terrible.


If that is correct, he thinks that allying with a right wing conservative is equivalent with siding with a person who advocates mass murder of innocent civilians - and not as unfortunate victims of war but as the target of a war!


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

You write: "You allied with Horowitz allied with hate monger Coulter perfectly reasonable.
Anti-war protesters associated with groups allied to hate mongers terrible.
I stated before that I read several of the articles you had on FrontPage before joining this discussion."

If I understand you correctly, you think that allying with people who advocate mass murder is comparable to allying with people who hold reactionary or conservative views. Is that really your view?

Did you read your comment?


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

All right, John, --just keep your eyes closed. You know darned well that I'm not talking about a small percentage of the Left. You refuse to accept that maybe if you've got large groups of fairly important intellectuals and academics such as the Euston Manifesto group who see there's a problem,--or a Greenham Common supporter forced to issue a cri du coeur--then there's a problem. Why can't you admit that?

But if you want to use percentage argument to mean "I haven't defined the terms", so you don't have to discuss the problem, well, it's like your argument that the Red-Green election of people such as Galloway doesn't prove the power of that coalition in Western culture because you were only talking about the U.S.--go ahead. But it puts you in a dead-end. You should listen to N.F. Then we could actually have a serious conversation.

By the way, Ellison called in the Capitol Police against a fellow- legislator who was smoking in the office next to him (!). But smoking is not prohibited in the Capitol Building (!). He's off to a great start.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

"And what N.F. said was that while it was theoretically reasonable to ask for percentages, in this case it is not so reasonable."
He said that it would be difficult not unreasonable.

You should not make statements with terms that you are either unable or unwilling to define. It is truly unreasonable is to expect your assertion to be taken seriously when you refuse to define what is meant by it. Would you accept such behavior by your students? Would whoever is publishing your academic work accept it from you?

"I've defined the terms as much as is needful."
You have in no way defined the terms in your assertion that a significant percentage of the Left is in bed with the Islamists. You have not defined any of the key terms in that assertion. You have not defined what you mean by the Left and it is not clear what you mean by this term. You have not defined in any way what you mean by a significant percentage and it is not clear what you mean by this. You have not defined what you mean by "in bed with the Islamists", though the anecdotes you have provided have clarified that. So what exactly does that leave us with? A --- of --- is in bed with the Islamists. I can safely say that the above is effectively a meaningless assertion. You have claimed that I am the one hiding here, but it is you who hides behind a meaningless assertion that will remain meaningless until you define the terms of that assertion.

I have said multiple times that I will be glad to respond to your points when you have defined your terms.


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

I think the existence of the Euston Manifesto Group should demonstrate to you that we are not talking about a small problem, John. The people who are in that group are not cranks, but prominent academics and intellectuals, of the center and moderate left. You just refuse to accept the evidence, hiding behind "scientific percentages" argument.

And what N.F. said was that while it was theoretically reasonable to ask for percentages, in this case it is not so reasonable. Don't quote him out of context--it doesn't help you. I'm not going to give a "percentages" number: as I said, in my own Dept it's a majority of the Left (so there's an idea of percentages in my own Dept, which is a large History Dept at a major state university). It varies from place to place and activity to activity, and I've described a wide variety of activities.

I don't post on Ann Coulter. And SHE doesn't run the Frontpage site. I don't follow her columns, so I'm not sure whether your characterization of her as a hate-monger is correct. By contrast, the Islamists and ANSWER do RUN and ORGANIZE those demos and arrange the speakers, and exclude others (I gave you a specific example of their outrageous exclusions--no response; still hiding behind "percentages.").

Now, if you want to talk about Horowitz, I'd be glad to do so. I destroyed Michael Berube in a blog discussion when he claimed Horowitz was a liar about a famous case of politicized student abuse at the University of Northern Colorado.

WHY won't you respond to the cri du coeur of the Baxter piece? If you doubt my own bona fides, or think my personal experiences are just a fluke, you should accept the Euston Group and Baxter. It's not as if I'm some sort of Crazy Art pursuing a problem that no one else thinks exist. Your argument that the existence of the Euston Group only proves that THEY think a problem exists is tantamount to saying that you don't have to deal with their existence because--despite the distinguished membership of that group--THEY are all crazy. Do you really think that?

I only came back here to thank N.F., and to try to find the correction to which you referred. No wonder I couldn't find it. As far as I can see, you hide behind the "percentages" bit in order not to have to deal with the increasing number of facts I've piled up. Why don't you just stop it? Other than the Sheherizade bit, when have any of my assertions proven to be factually wrong here? N.F. thinks I've defined the terms as much as is needful. So would the Euston Manifesto Group.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

"Mr. Friedman laid out my position very well, ad more succinctly than I did, and he showed why a demand for percentages when one is talking about a vast variety of people over a vast variety of activities is inappropriate."
You read his post much differently than I do.
"First, it is fair, at least in theory, to ask a person to define his or her terms. Second, it is fair to ask whether the evidence is merely anecdotal or whether the group considered is large enough to be significant."
He notes that it may be difficult to define the Left he does not say it is inappropriate to ask or that you are justified in refusing to do so. Nowhere in his comment does he say that it is inappropriate to ask for numbers involved. When I have asked him to define his terms he has readily done so, even offering percentages when asked (#105064). You have made a rather broad indictment and have repeatedly refused to define exactly what you mean.

"If the increasing Red-Green alliance was not a serious problem, the Euston Manifesto group would never have come into being, John. Think about it. Their very existence, and the list of their membership, is proof that I am talking about a serious and real problem."
No, it indicates that some people think it is a problem.

"Horowitz is not a hate monger. He is well aware that my politics differ sharply from his. Have you ever actually read anything I've written on Frontpage?"
I stated that Coulter was a hate monger. I did not level that accusation against Horowitz.
I do note that you have made an alliance of convenience with someone that you differ sharply with. This is a courtesy that you are not apparently willing to extend to others.
You allied with Horowitz allied with hate monger Coulter perfectly reasonable.
Anti-war protesters associated with groups allied to hate mongers terrible.
I stated before that I read several of the articles you had on FrontPage before joining this discussion.

Regarding the Pelosi film, I you asked if the sections of the film I had been able to download were representative. You did not respond. I fail to see how the onus is on me at this point.

Regarding politics in the Netherlands, one I think I am considerably more familiar than you and two your account was not perfectly accurate. My correction (#105325) closely followed my initial comment. The title of the comment was intended to be correction but apparently I made some mistake and that is not how it posted.
I would suggest that you not assert that there was serious possibility of
Fortuijn becoming prime minister if you want your opinions about politics in the Netherlands to be taken seriously.

Why do you still cling to Sheherizade being an uncommon rather than incorrect spelling?

Regarding elected representatives, first my original assertion about this was to US politics. None have been elected in the US and possibly three (one of those in parliament) have been elected in the UK. This is considerably less than 1% of left leaning politicians in the US and UK. Is that really significant?

Regarding everything else, I will respond after you have defined your terms. It is beginning to feel like the reason you are refusing to do so is because it would show just how small a number we are really talking about.


art eckstein - 2/17/2007

John,

Mr. Friedman laid out my position very well, ad more succinctly than I did, and he showed why a demand for percentages when one is talking about a vast variety of people over a vast variety of activities is inappropriate. And he's right that the litmus test and common denominator is "anti-imperialism" and "multiculturalism", which now trumps among feminists in my own Department ( say) protests against women being beaten by their Muslim husbands.


Your impression of the anti-war demos is NOT that of Sarah Baxter, whose cri du coeur you simply ignore. And Mr. Friedman is perfectly correct that the anti-semites weren't occasional people in the anti-war demo crowd, they ORGANIZED it and chose the speakers. Mr. Friedman also gets right (and succinctly) the problem I raised that so many people in the crowd were indifferent to what was being said from the speakers' platform; that is disturbing.

If the increasing Red-Green alliance was not a serious problem, the Euston Manifesto group would never have come into being, John. Think about it. Their very existence, and the list of their membership, is proof that I am talking about a serious and real problem.

Horowitz is not a hate monger. He is well aware that my politics differ sharply from his. Have you ever actually read anything I've written on Frontpage? Take a look, for instance, at "The Pitt of Academic Bias", Jan. 12, 2006 (the last thing I did for FP, I believe).

You've had no reaction to most of the specific evidence I've given. You have no reaction to the evidence that Alexandra Pelosi' s snide film was exactly as I said it was from what I'd seen on You Tube, nor to the point that neither her nor her mother are in any political (let alone physical!!) danger for this anti-evangelical film.

You don't interrogate yourself as to the internal reasons why, posing as a superior expert on Dutch politics, you were so ready to attack as false what was my perfectly correct account of the relationship between the Hirsi Ali affair and the fall of the Dutch government. I'm glad you corrected yourself, and did it so quickly--you were better at this than I was, John, I admit it, over the far more minor matter of Sheherizade (though as to the 'i" in that famous dispute, I now ironically join Carl Becker, since Sharizade ALSO has an "i" as the crucial vowel, doesn't it? Suggesting, as I said, the problem with transliterating this name. Still, I mistakenly used the least common form.). I can't find your correction about the fall of the Dutch govt--I'm not doubting you did it, and I'm praising you for it, but just tell me exactly where it is.

Last week the British government announced it would no longer use the term "war on terror" because it was offensive to Muslims. Tell me, which is the part that's supposed to be offensive to Muslims: "war" or "terror"?

When Ken Livingstone the Mayor of London debated Pipes, Livingstone appeared on stage with hijab-clad Salma Yaqoob as his chosen debating partner, a Muslim defender of terrorists. A psychologist, she described the 7/7 attacks on the London subway system, in which 50 innocent Britons died, as "reprisal attacks" (hence, justified). She's vice chair of the Respect Party created by the vile MP George Galloway, and is an elected member of the Birmingham City Council (Oh, I thought the left that was in bed with Islamism couldn't elect anybody??) It didn't bother Red Ken. Take a look at the images of that debate (they're available online) and you will SEE the Red-Green alliance.


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

You seem to have set a higher bar for myself and other anti-war protesters than you have for others.

I remember an earlier discussion with you in which you said that Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al's membership in the preeminent neocon think tank (PNAC) and their signatures on its statement of principles did not indicate that they believed in that philosophy.

Art contributes to FrontPage along with Ann Coulter, is he morally tainted by his association with this hate monger?


John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

The marches are not filled with people who advocate mass murder. As I said in my comment above, I have yet to hear such slogans shouted or see such signs at any protest that I have attended. In the pictures I have seen of other protests I have only very rarely seen any signs that could be judged anti-semitic and those were on websites devoted largely to the issue of anti-Semitism. The message clearly delivered by the mainstream media coverage of these events has always been the anit-war message, not any other message that some minority of the participants may have. To do nothing in the face of this disastrous war is not a moral position. To tear down all those who are at least trying to do something about it because some few of them hold other position that are immoral is to do worse than nothing.

Is the entire pro-life/anti-choice movement immoral because a small minority of them condone bombing clinics?

How about the people who attend revivals organized by or spoken at by Falwell, are all of them immoral?


N. Friedman - 2/17/2007

John,

Professor Phares' comments are in his, so far as I know, only English language book, which is Future Jihads. He has written numerous books, as I understand it, in Arabic.

So far as attending marches filled with people who advocate mass murder, were it only incidental to the event - as in one or two people did such things -, I might understand your view.

But, the actual organizers of such events include people who hold such views and who use the events to advance that specific message loud and clear to those who attend, if not also to those who see the event on the news - most especially in the Middle East. Such is a very, very different thing than a few lunatics joining the group. Rather, that makes it morally disgraceful to be anywhere near.

I might note: what you are doing is making clear to those who say they believe in mass murder and to the world that such views are not unacceptable.

And, notwithstanding the view you hold that such material has no impact, I would be willing to bet that in the Middle East, the signs that say "Gas the Jews" do appear prominently and in a manner so that Arabs see that Europeans do not feel uncomfortable with that notion. That ought weigh on your conscience since such rather likely encourages actual massacres to occur.

You might read Martin Luther King's comments on such things. His position is that hateful people would not be allowed at his group's rallies, much less to be part of the organization of such rallies. He gave a rather clear explanation of why. And he was willing to have fewer supporters so that his message would not become one of hatred. That, not your position, is moral. Your position is truly immoral.





John Charles Crocker - 2/17/2007

Thanks for the input. I'll make an effort to look at the book when I dig myself out from under the load of reading I have to do now for my research.

Regarding people not speaking out against other groups participating in anti-war protests, this would lead to anti-war protests devolving into shouting matches between participants and destroy any value that they might have in raising awareness about opposition to the war. I am not happy that protest organizers sometimes accept as temporary allies people whose other views they find distasteful or worse, but this will not prevent me from attending these rallies to show my opposition to the war. Note also that the message actually conveyed through the media is opposition to the war, not the various other opinions held by participants or organizers. BTW I have not heard such slogans shouted or seen such signs at any of the anti-war rallies I have attended in SoCal or Europe.

Could you provide the article where Mr. Pares makes the assertion about the funding of these programs or preferably his source for this assertion.


N. Friedman - 2/16/2007

Professor and John,

John does make two good points. First, it is fair, at least in theory, to ask a person to define his or her terms. Second, it is fair to ask whether the evidence is merely anecdotal or whether the group considered is large enough to be significant.

On the first point, note that I refer to the issue being one of theory. In practice, the issue is much more difficult to define than theory might suggest it ought be. I think it is difficult because the concern Art raises is not confined to one part of the left. It, rather, encompasses the views of certain people who hold seemingly divergent opinions - hence encompassing a group that would include near centrists and the far, far left wing - and, in any event, people who claim to support, to one degree or another, liberty, equality, feminism, environmentalism, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, etc., etc. In one specific area, however, these people are willing to allow whatever specific position they might in general hold to be trumped when confronted with Islamic political and social agitation. Hence, such people do not walk out of "peace" rallies when Islamists stand up and shout "gas the Jews." That is pretty pathetic, don't you think? And there are feminists - radical or otherwise - who see fit to make common cause with Islamists who advocate for forcing the veil onto women. That is also pretty pathetic.

[Note to John: it is not all that important that political spooks on the fringe may unite with reactionary Islamists but that ordinary people say nothing and allow themselves to be carried along - and, in fact, even to stand with believers in Medieval notions - as if that were somehow progressive. Such has corrupted people's thinking beyond imagination to the point where some people think that which is illiberal is liberal.]

On the second point, most Americans - at least those outside of academia - tend not to be enamored by Islamist thought, as you surely know. And, most Americans, as I am sure you also know, tend not to take the social science views of the academy all that seriously in any event. I think that encompasses the views of most Americans, liberal and conservative. In the academy, matters appear to be different. Professor Eckstein works in a major university so, no doubt, he can speak to that. But, there are those in the general public who do hold very illiberal views yet claim to be on the left of the political spectrum. And, there is some evidence - as in the opinions expressed by seemingly traditional liberals of the type that report in establishment papers - that traditionally liberal opinion in the US is more and more failing to withstand the onslaught of the current illiberal forces at work.

I might note that Professor Phares notes that around 90% of money that funds US Middle East studies programs at universities - with, amazingly, matching grants from the US government - comes from Saudi Arabia. Such must have, if true, had a substantial impact on opinion on university campuses. Like with environmental studies by polluters, it is normal to expect such recipients of financial largess not to contradict the political agenda of the source of the funds. So, we have people essentially on the take as our experts taking a see no evil attitude about Islamism. And, we have these "experts" being taken at face value by their colleagues - presumably because it supports the political agenda that views the world as Jeremiah would - i.e. as a moral critique of the West as opposed to an analysis of events.

[Note to John: In Europe, I would defer to the scholarship of Bruce Bawer in his excellent book While Europe Slept. He details quite a bit of what worries Professor Eckstein. And, I would strongly recommend that you read the book because the book explains the matter better than either of us have done. I might note that the book has received endorsement from superstar historian Walter Lacquer. Lacquer is, in many ways, the gold standard so far as scholarship is concerned. Bawer's view is that Europe has essentially blinded itself to what is occurring on a wide scale basis. He shows both the sort of forces being exerted on the system by Islamists and the reactions of newspapers and opinion makers in response. It is really quite an interesting book.]






N. Friedman - 2/16/2007

John,

That is an interesting article. If what is said is so, it is also very important. Of course, he was not in the loop at the time in question so he may also be mistaken. So, we shall have to see.

If it is so, then the issue should somehow be revived. If it is not, then that is a different matter.

Again. I go with facts. If the facts suggest an about face, that is where I go.


John Charles Crocker - 2/16/2007

The term "the Left" is inexact. It means different things to different people. I don't know where you place the political center. Why do you refuse to define what you mean when you use the term? A few sentence definition will do.

"I'm not going to talk in percentages, I've given you plenty of examples, you know what I'm talking about."
If I was sure what you meant by a "significant percentage" I would not continue to ask. Why do you refuse to give at least a lower boundary of what you think is significant? Again I am not asking for an exact number, but I really do not know what you mean when you say a "significant percentage." If 10% of "the Left" believed as you say, would that be significant? Is 5% significant? Do they just have to be loud enough to be heard regardless of how small a percentage they make up to be significant?

In any argument that I engage in on this site I do not take anything at face value. I verify anything someone else says to the best of my ability. Barring that I answer conditionally, as I did above.

How is saying "if X is how you say then Y" rude or inquisatorial?

How is asking you to define the terms you use a jeering straw man argument?

I am doing my best to match your tone.

Regarding Hirsi Ali look back in the other thread for the comment titled correction.


art eckstein - 2/16/2007

Sarah Baxter, a Greenham sympathizer in the 1980s, writes in the U.K. Times about her reaction to the fact the same women who camped out at Greenham in the name of "peace", marched in the name of Hezbollah in August ("We are all Hezbollah Now")

Baxter writes:

"The peace movement lost a foe in Reagan but has gone on to find new friends in today’s Stop the War movement. Women pushing their children in buggies bearing the familiar symbol of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament marched last weekend alongside banners proclaiming ’We are all Hezbollah now’ and Muslim extremists chanting ’Oh Jew, the army of Muhammad will return.’...

"As a supporter of the peace movement in the 1980s, I could never have imagined that many of the same crowd I hung out with then would today be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with militantly anti-feminist Islamic fundamentalist groups, whose views on women make western patriarchy look like a Greenham peace picnic. Nor would I have predicted that today’s feminists would be so indulgent towards Iran, a theocratic nation where it is an act of resistance to show an inch or two of female hair beneath the veil and whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not joking about his murderous intentions towards Israel and the Jews.

"On the defining issue of our times, the rise of Islamic extremism, what is left of the sisterhood has almost nothing to say. Instead of ’I am woman, hear me roar’, there is a loud silence, punctuated only by remonstrations against Tony Blair and George Bush."






AND HOW ABOUT THIS ONE?

(From The Independent, Britain):

Passport photograph of girl's bare shoulders rejected 'as it may offend'
By Paul Stokes Last Updated: 2:26am BST 16/08/2006


A five-year-old girl's passport application was rejected because her photograph showed her bare shoulders.

The contentious passport photo

Hannah Edwards's mother, Jane, was told that the exposed skin might be considered offensive in a Muslim country.

The photograph was taken at a photo-booth at a local post office for a family trip to the south of France.

Because of the way the camera was set up, the picture came out showing Hannah's shoulders.

The family had it signed and presented it at a post office with the completed form but were told that it would not be accepted by the Passport Office.
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A woman behind the counter informed them that she was aware of at least two other cases where applications had been rejected because a person's shoulders were not covered.

Mrs Edwards, a Sheffield GP, said: "I was incensed. I went back home and checked the form. Nowhere did it say anything about covering up shoulders. If it had, I would have done so, but it all seems so unnecessary.

"This is quite ridiculous, I followed the instructions on the passport form to the letter and it was still rejected. It is just officialdom pandering to political correctness.

"It is a total over-reaction. How can the shoulders of a five-year-old girl offend anyone? It's not as if anything else was showing, the dress she wore was sleeveless, but it has a high neck." Hannah had her first passport when she was three months old. Her mother and her father, Martin, realised that it was due to expire during their holiday later this month and decided to renew it advance.

They aimed to complete the application on Saturday, the same day that Hannah was to be Sheffield Wednesday football team's mascot at Hillsborough stadium. Mrs Edwards was also on call from her surgery.

After the rejection at the post office, Mrs Edwards spent two hours taking Hannah for new pictures, filling in a new form and finding the necessary "responsible citizens" to endorse the photos.

"The people who had signed the original application were not available," Mrs Edwards said. "I had to chase around and eventually found a neighbour who was a teacher to sign the pictures.

"The Passport Office should set this sort of thing out in its forms if it is going to be so pedantic."

A spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service said it was not its policy to reject applications with bare shoulders.

"The guidance set out on the application form doesn't include it, this picture should have been absolutely fine," she said. "If people follow those rules there should be no problem.

"The Post Office obviously has its rules and we can't comment on that. We are aware of a case in the past where an error was made involving similar circumstances, although I don't know the exact details. Staff should be aware of the rules."

A Post Office spokesman said: "Our offices have a Passport Office template which says what the photograph should and shouldn't be.

"Bare shoulders don't come into that at all. We can't see any instruction to that effect so all we can do is apologise to Mrs Edwards. It was clearly a mistake made by the clerk at the post office.

"It is the first time we have heard of such a rejection and we will take it up with that particular office.

"We do around three million passport applications a year. It is one of our most popular services and it is normally extremely effective.

"We have a much lower rejection rate compared to applications submitted directly to the Passport Office."

























art eckstein - 2/16/2007

I said the owner of the NY Times, who controls much. The Times used to be a centrist paper but is no longer. On Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.s, political position, look up "Sulzberger Commencement Speech SUNY New Palz May 2006 and read it." The Times has over the past few months front-paged a series of fawning depictions of conservative Muslim clerics in the U.S.

I'm not going to talk in percentages, I've given you plenty of examples, you know what I'm talking about. The influence of "the Red-Green Alliance" is clear from the demos--they didn't appear out of nowhere but were organized. In the San Francisco ones, anti-semitic signs were carried by Muslims, while moderate-liberal Jews such as the editor of Tikkun were kept off the speaker's platform by the Red-Green alliance. If the Greenham Common Peace Women at the London demo didn't care that they were supporting Islamofascists complete with fascist salutes, that is also a problem--as one anguished GCPW wrote in the New Republic.

I've provided more than enough information and specifics to make my point and I'm not going to engage in percentages. Under the mask of "science", you are refusing to engage my specific evidence, and when you deign to do, it is in a polemical and inquisatorial and impolite tone even when I am correct. You imply with the 14-year olds that my information might be wrong ("IF the story is as you say..."), though I cite a book published by the University of Chicago as my source. Very unpleasant, John.
And are you SURE that the fall of the Dutch govt had nothing to do with Hirsi Ali being deprived of citizenship (though there was later an offer to give it back)?

Pelosi's snide and condescending film about evangelical Christians: about at the halfway mark she says something like, "Well, people in San Francisco and New York City probably believe different things than what you [Mr. Jesus Freak] believe, and people from New York and San Francisco wouldn't try to convince other people of their worldviews, and they wouldn't say that another worldview is totally wrong." She presents herself as the sophisticated urbanite lecturing the primitive hillbillies. The intended effect of the film is clear from the comments on YouTube. Yet...Alexandra is ALIVE (UNLIKE anyone who would make such a film about Islam, presenting practitioners as crude, stupid or hypocritical), and her mother's political career is unscathed. Suc a situation hardly supports all that bien-pensant Euro-talk about "theocracy" in the U.S.

This is all very unpleasant, and useless, John, if you won't engage specific facts, via throwing up a jeering straw-man question under the mask of "science". Give me a reason for continuing.


John Charles Crocker - 2/16/2007

The hundreds of thousands brought to the streets are there because they oppose the war not because they agree with any of the other positions held by the various groups who organized the protests (just like your friends).

The NYT is a pretty centrist paper.

I have not seen evidence that any of the people in the departments in which I have worked hold the type of beliefs you have spoken about. I have not discussed these issues with more than 25-30% of them so I cannot say what percentage might hold those views. I have not made an assertion that this group of people thinks in a certain way.*

You still have not defined what you mean by the Left. Does it include the majority (75%+) of the Democratic Party, all of the Greens and Socialists, and a significant portion of Independents (say 33%+)? Does it include more than this? less?
This is not a term that means the same to everyone that uses it. What do you mean when you say it? How can you expect me to be convinced that a group does or does not believe a certain thing when you refuse to define that group?

As for a significant percentage I do not need a specific number as I have said before. I do need at least range or at least a lower boundary or I cannot say that I agree or disagree that a significant percentage of the above group think a certain way.
If you feel that 5% is a significant percentage and you define the Left narrowly enough (much more narrowly than the above very loose grouping) then it may be that we agree. If you feel that a significant indicates a majority then I can say that I do not agree unless your definition of the Left is quite narrow (though I don't think so, since earlier you included yourself within the Left).

I am not asking something unreasonable. Why do you not want to define the terms you have used?
You have spent more time and effort in avoiding defining your terms than it would have taken to simply define them in the first place.

Regarding the Norwegian girl(s), if the case is as you describe it, I think that it amounts to something uncomfortably close to slavery and the girls should have been given asylum. I will answer the other issues when you have defined your terms.


* I can tell you that over 95% of the people I work with do think that global warming is real, is anthropogenically caused, and will likely raise sea temperatures faster than corals can adapt to those changes, as these are topics that have repeatedly come up. Middle East policy comes up only rarely.
Recently a conference in Eilat that members of my group were to attend was canceled due to the bombing there. This prompted some discussion, but not extended policy debate.


art eckstein - 2/16/2007

It's ridiculous to demand percentages. In my own Dept it's a majority of the Left that has suppressed critical discussion of Islam, and that suppression is led by the feminists for whom multiculturalism trumps even the beating of women and clitoral excision. That this is not limited to my Dept is proven by the outrageous statements of Judith Butler at Berkeley. Things may be different in the sciences but I am not lying about the situation in the humanities.

When ANSWER and its clones can bring hundreds of thousands of people into the street to listen to revolutionary rhetorical combined with "Allahu Akbar" that is "significant."

When similar groups in Britain can bring hundreds of thousands of people into the streets, including the Greenham Common Peace Women, to shout "We are all Hezbollah Now!", that is "significant."

And when bien-pensant Norwegian government officials allow the sexual enslavement of protesting 14-year-olds on grounds of being sensitive to Islam, that is "significant", and when Dutch university chancellors suppress speech on similar grounds of "sensitivity", that is "significant." And when the left-wing publisher of the NY Times refuses to publish the Muhammed cartoons--ditto.

When the left-wing Dean of Washington Cathedral--noted for his vigorous support of gay rights here in the States--praises the representative of an Islamic government that has hung thousands of gays, that is "significant." And when Harvard decides to honor this same man two weeks after the Islamic government he represents PURGES all liberals from its universities, that is "significant."

The study of society and politics isn't like the sciences, John, and we don't need "percentages". I've more than made my point, and across a wide spectrum of behavior.

You, John, by contrast, have essentially ignored all this information I've given you. You have not responded to anything I've repeatedly written here, except for a general remark about the sciences (where you, too, did not give "percentages"). Let's not be silly. I've made my point, with a large amount of specific information.


John Charles Crocker - 2/16/2007

Iran's 2003 offer of diplomacy:

"According to a copy of the proposal posted on The Washington Post Web site and cited by Leverett, it contains considerable detail about approaching issues of central interest to the United States and Iran.

This included an end to Iran's support for anti-Israel militants and acceptance of Israel's right to exist.

It carried a cover letter from Guldimann, who said the proposal was approved by Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini, and then-President Mohammed Khatami."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/14/AR2007021401352_2.html


John Charles Crocker - 2/16/2007

I'm fine with either moving all discussion to this thread or you can start another if you prefer.

I will be happy to respond to these two incidents as soon as you clarify what you mean by "the Left" and a "significant percentage" when you say a significant percentage of the Left are in bed with the Muslims. This goes to the core of this discussion. This was the disagreement that began the discussion and there can be no resolution without these terms being defined. As it was your statement you should clarify what you mean by it.


art eckstein - 2/16/2007

John, above on the other thread, you asked which questions from me you haven't answered. I have given the answers there, but I have repeated my posting here because things are getting confused and hard to find. Maybe we should just stick to this thread--or else start a new one.

Anyway, here is my posting from up above:

(#105555)
by art eckstein on February 15, 2007 at 8:42 PM
John, the questions include: have you investigated the case of the censoring of Prof. Pieter van der Horst at Utrecht, and it simplications.

As here:
Coping With Islam: Censorship in Dutch Academia
From the desk of Paul Belien on Mon, 2006-07-03 17:37
At a meeting today in Amsterdam a large majority of the chancellors of the Dutch universities agreed that "academic freedom at universities should be limited." Only two of them, Frans Zwarts of Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Taede Sminia of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said that a retiring professor should be allowed to express a personal opinion in his valedictory lecture.
Last month Pieter W. van der Horst, the retiring professor of Early Christian History and Judaism at Utrecht University, (the alma mater of James Boswell, Lord Hailes, the Earl of Sunderland, Wilhelm Röntgen, Hugh Williamson, and others) wanted to argue in his valedictory lecture that "the islamisation of European antisemitism is one of the most frightening developments of the past decades." However, his university’s chancellor, the rector magnificus, Prof. Willem H. Gispen, prevented him from doing so by censoring the lecture in advance. According to Gispen the lecture was "unscientific" and "incited different population groups against each other." Van der Horst says Gispen had also told him that "Islamic students might disrupt the lecture," in which case the university "would not be able to guarantee van der Horst’s safety."
Van der Horst, who has been a professor at Utrecht University since 1969, duly read out the censored version of his lecture "The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism," but had the uncensored text published in a newspaper. He felt deeply offended at the censorship of his text. "I have never been so humiliated in my whole life," he told the press. In the uncensored version Professor van der Horst posits that "in all probability" there have never in history been more Jew haters than today. "Every day the intensive propaganda of Islamic Jew haters successfully influences more Muslims throughout the world." He also rebukes Christian churches and academia, including his own univerity, that they do too little to counter the growing antisemitism. He hopes universities will have the courage to appoint critical professors of Islam."
Though Chancellor Gispen was criticised for his interference by some conservative Dutch media, others backed him, declaring that in a multicultural society one should avoid antagonising certain groups.
This is also the opinion of the majority of the Dutch university chancellors.
The row in Dutch academia coincides with the fall of the Dutch government over the Hirsi Ali affair. The government fell last week when the smallest Dutch coalition party, the leftist D66, withdrew its support for the cabinet because of its continued support for Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Last May Verdonk had revoked the Somali-born politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s citizenship..."

Have you considered the case of 14-year old "Aisha", a Norwegian citizen of Morrocan extraction whom the prevailing multiculturalism ideology forced to be sold into sexual slavery in a marriage to an older man, even though she protested to the government (i.e., a government bien-pensant ideology where Islamic group rights "to their own culture" trump individual rights).

Answer these questions, then we'll discuss Alesxandra Pelosi's sneering little film.


art eckstein - 2/16/2007

John, the questions include: have you investigated the case of the censoring of Prof. Pieter van der Horst at Utrecht, and it simplications.

As here:
Coping With Islam: Censorship in Dutch Academia
From the desk of Paul Belien on Mon, 2006-07-03 17:37
At a meeting today in Amsterdam a large majority of the chancellors of the Dutch universities agreed that "academic freedom at universities should be limited." Only two of them, Frans Zwarts of Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Taede Sminia of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said that a retiring professor should be allowed to express a personal opinion in his valedictory lecture.
Last month Pieter W. van der Horst, the retiring professor of Early Christian History and Judaism at Utrecht University, (the alma mater of James Boswell, Lord Hailes, the Earl of Sunderland, Wilhelm Röntgen, Hugh Williamson, and others) wanted to argue in his valedictory lecture that "the islamisation of European antisemitism is one of the most frightening developments of the past decades." However, his university’s chancellor, the rector magnificus, Prof. Willem H. Gispen, prevented him from doing so by censoring the lecture in advance. According to Gispen the lecture was "unscientific" and "incited different population groups against each other." Van der Horst says Gispen had also told him that "Islamic students might disrupt the lecture," in which case the university "would not be able to guarantee van der Horst’s safety."
Van der Horst, who has been a professor at Utrecht University since 1969, duly read out the censored version of his lecture "The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism," but had the uncensored text published in a newspaper. He felt deeply offended at the censorship of his text. "I have never been so humiliated in my whole life," he told the press. In the uncensored version Professor van der Horst posits that "in all probability" there have never in history been more Jew haters than today. "Every day the intensive propaganda of Islamic Jew haters successfully influences more Muslims throughout the world." He also rebukes Christian churches and academia, including his own univerity, that they do too little to counter the growing antisemitism. He hopes universities will have the courage to appoint critical professors of Islam."
Though Chancellor Gispen was criticised for his interference by some conservative Dutch media, others backed him, declaring that in a multicultural society one should avoid antagonising certain groups.
This is also the opinion of the majority of the Dutch university chancellors.
The row in Dutch academia coincides with the fall of the Dutch government over the Hirsi Ali affair. The government fell last week when the smallest Dutch coalition party, the leftist D66, withdrew its support for the cabinet because of its continued support for Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Last May Verdonk had revoked the Somali-born politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s citizenship..."

Have you considered the case of 14-year old "Aisha", a Norwegian citizen of Morrocan extraction whom the prevailing multiculturalism ideology forced to be sold into sexual slavery in a marriage to an older man, even though she protested to the government (i.e., a government bien-pensant ideology where Islamic group rights "to their own culture" trump individual rights).

Answer these questions, then we'll discuss Alesxandra Pelosi's sneering little film.



John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

Which questions do you feel I haven't addressed?

You still have not addressed the most important question of the thread.
What do you mean when you say "the Left" and a "significant percentage"?
This discussion cannot be resolved without an answer to that question.


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

1. You said that ALL people in attendance were in bed with the Islamists at one point and that some people in attendance were not at others. That is contradictory.
You have now clarified your position.
If your friends can participate without being in bed with the Islamists then attendance does not mean that one must be in bed with the Islamists. The only evidence you have offered for Conyers being in bed with the Islamists is his participation in the rally. I'm sure you can see my your charge against him fails here. As for the NY councilman directing the administration's rhetoric back at the administration (axis of evil), that does not mean he is in bed with the Islamists unless vehemently opposing the administration means being in bed with the Islamists.

"People who declaim "End the Immoral and Illegal War" (to quote Cynthia McKinney, one of the elected Lefties you've since stopped claiming don't exist... mean "Lose the War."
1. No, they mean to end the war.
2. You have provided no convincing evidence that elected "Lefties" (to use your epithet) are in bed with the Islamists. Your evidence in support of this so far is:
You think Ellison will prove to be, but you can't point to anything now.
Conyers spoke at an anti-war rally your friends attended, but apparently didn't say anything there that you could use against him. Neither has he said anything or taken any policy positions that you can use against him.
The closest you have come is a NY councilman who made vitriolic comments about the administration at the rally. You have pointed to nothing else that this person has said or done or to any policy positions taken that would incicate he is guilty of your rather serious charge.
McKinney was a nut, I'll give you that.
Your position on Iraq seems to be that calling for the war to end means calling for US loss, and Islamist victory. You have no idea what to do in Iraq, but calling for it to end is not acceptable since this is calling for an Islamist victory. That leaves us in the untenable position of sitting in the middle of a civil war or worse with more dead and wounded every day and no measurable positive consequence other than being able to say at least the Islamists haven't won yet. We leave our military tied down and degrading while other threats grow, but to not do so means victory for the terrorists so we better stay.

Were you in bed with the communists when you were in college?

"I'm not making this up--though of course you may accuse me of that, as you've falsely accused me of making up the material about van Gogh."
Point to where I said you made that story up or stop crying about it. Are you really so thin skinned, or is this just a rhetorical tactic?

I am still waiting on you to define your terms.


N. Friedman - 2/15/2007

John,

You write:

Kerry's position as I understood it was that combating terrorism would largely be the role of police, intelligence agencies, special forces, diplomats.

Phares point amounts to saying that invading Iraq was better than this approach, which he equates to doing nothing.


I think that is sufficiently accurate for our purposes.

You write: "The way I see it we would have been better off doing nothing (continuing the status quo) than invading Iraq. Do you disagree on this particular point?"

I think this is a complicated matter.

First, I would not have invaded Iraq. My views on that point have been essentially unchanged since before the war began. And, I still do not favor the war.

Second, I do not think, notwithstanding all the bad things which have occurred in Iraq - and much of it is very, very bad -, that we are, in the long term picture, worse off due to the Iraq war than we might have been had we done nothing. In fact, I think we are likely, over the very long term, very, very slightly better off than had we played defense only - but, I still do not favor the war: too many people killed to gain precious little -. And, on the bad side, it has deeply divided the West, which could have serious consequences, at least for a short while.

On the other hand, the issue remains of how to address a religiously based world-wide Jihad. That, I submit, cannot be done on the defensive. The only way to defeat a religiously based ideological campaign - one that ties into a religion's central tenets - is to show the campaign to place the pertinent religious community in existential crisis, so that the only imaginable way forward for the community is to break the campaign.

In other words, the only way that the personal Jihad campaign is going to go away is if Muslims en masse conclude that personal Jihad is a danger to the faith, just the way that the early Caliphs concluded. And, that will, given that there is no Caliph, only likely come if there is something akin to a catastrophe due to private Jihad. As Professor Eckstein put it:

Catastrophe on the Muslim world on the scale necesary to bring about real cultural change at this point could happen, and it could take at least two forms. One would be a hyper-violent Sunni-Shia Muslim civil war with millions or even tens of millions of dead. Things on that front are currently so bad that the "civil war" is already occurring here in the United States in the form of violent vandalism of businesses on the one hand (note the recourse to immediate violence against the designated unbeliever) and, on the other hand, the increasing exclusion of Shiites from the Wahabi-dominated U.S. Muslim student unions on college campuses.

Another possible calamity would be an atomic attack on israel by the fanatical Iranian mullahs which leads not merely to the destruction of Israel AND the Palestinians, but to the retaliatory atomic destruction of Tehran, the Gulf Oil Coast (destroying the main source of Muslim wealth) and perhaps even of Mecca and Medina.


From: Re: reply to N.F. and LOL! (#105265).

Like the good professor, I do not want either of the above to occur. I merely note his point that change of the type that will bring the current Jihad to an end will not come easily, will not come by means of defense or anything of that kind. Rather, Muslims must be shown that the current Jihad is a very, very bad thing - most especially for them.

As for the negotiation issue...

I think that there will not be sufficient support from Europe no matter what the US does. I am not against negotiating. But, I note that we have nothing imaginable to offer a country that sees its role in the world tied to having nuclear weapons.




art eckstein - 2/15/2007

That's "melaniephillips.com" at the end of my last posting.

John, this is a conversation in which you haven't answered questions I've posted just above, and the questions down in the other thread. Answer those and let us continue.

I'm off to school right now and won't be blogging until this evening. I actually have another life. Just told my chair that Blackwell is publishing another book of mine.


art eckstein - 2/15/2007

1. John, you write: I did not castigate her for not making another movie. I merely pointed to the double standard you apply to the US and the Netherlands. How many movies critical of Islam are being made in the US?

Well, I believe your point was indeed that she hasn't continued to make the movie even though she's moved to the U.S. As for your second question: Have you seen the TV show "Sleeper Cell", the two seasons (2005 and 2006)? "24" (an absolute hit here, and this season is even more harsh about Islam than the previous second and fourth seasons were)?

There's no contradiction about my friends--I was pointing out that my friends were INDIFFERENT to the control exercized over the demos by ANSWER and the mullahs, and that the SPEAKERS at those demos (including elected Democratic Party congress people and a city-councilman from New York) were all in bed with the mullahs.

I've explained several times the power of the bien-pensant Left within the Universities, which has made discussion of Islam as it really exists impossible, and I've given you specific examples.

You know nothing about my activities in opposition to the war, John. For instance, I've encouraged criticism of the war on prudential grounds when I've been invited to give papers at the National War College here in D.C. Not that I had to do much to encourage the officers. I don't think the war was immoral, just foolish and destructive. But in part that was because the Bushites miscalculated the cultural degeneration in the Middle East.

People who declaim "End the Immoral and Illegal War" (to quote Cynthia McKinney, one of the elected Lefties you've since stopped claiming don't exist--of course, she just lost election in Nov. 2006 because she was crazy) mean "Lose the War." McKinney did, and in general I know this well as I well from my deep experience in the anti-Vietnam War movement when I was young. They use and used phrases carefully, to avoid delineating the consequences of "End the Immoral and Illegal War Now". But everyone knew what the consequences of End the War Now would be in Vietnam, and everyone knows what the consequences will be in Iraq--in general terms, victory for the enemies of the U.S. Don't be naive. In 1975 when there was a political discussion over whether to make San Francisco Bay the home base and final resting place of the U.S.S. Missouri, Leftists at Berkeley even sent a little flotilla of pleasure-ships into the Bay with Japanese battle flags. Even Japanese fascism was preferable. I'm not making this up--though of course you may accuse me of that, as you've falsely accused me of making up the material about van Gogh. (Oh, excuse me: "scholarly dubitation.") I was stunned (although--sorry, it's a bit of a contradiction--I'd already become cynical about the leadership of the anti-war movement, which wasn't so much anti-war since they were in favor of revolutionary war; they just SAID they were "anti-war").

I've seen significant parts of "Friends of God" on YouTube. It's being broadcast on HBO tonight.



I suggest you start reading Melanie


art eckstein - 2/15/2007

No one in the U.S. causes violent riots over the publication of cartoons opposing Christianity or Judaism. AS I SAID, Jay Leno appeared in American TV week after week lampooning the Catholic Church over the pederasty scandal (e.g., a skit in which priests are all standing in line at a revival of the 1963 movie "Where the Boys Are"). There were no riots, no deaths, Leno didn't face death-threats. You're totally off-base, John. Different cultures really ARE different.

The analysis in the last part of your posting, on the impact of secularism, is one in which we agree. You make some very good points.

But I would again add that different cultures really are different, jihadism and violence are MUCH more prevalent in the Koran and in Muslim theology than in modern Christianity or Judaism, and you SEE the impact in the Cartoon Jihad, as well as in the reaction to the Pope last September. It was not that the Pope was factually WRONG in quoting Manuel II about Islam being violent --how could he be, when the Muslim reaction to being called violent by the Pope was TO KILL NUNS??????
It was that the Pope, as an infidel, had NO right to criticize Islam at all. Neither did van Gogh--and he was made to pay the price. Europe had better wake up to what it is facing.

In the 1990s, in Norway, 14-year old Muslim girls were allowed by the Norwegian government to be given in arranged marriages to older men from Morocco despite their own desperate protests--on grounds that the government should not interfere with multicultural practices. Group rights won out over individual rights--the sign, at least here in the U.S., of the Left, John. On this terrible "Aisha" case, see Unni Wikan, Generous Betrayal (University of Chicago Press). This kind of betrayal of individual rights in favor of group rights (and the romanticized "East") is what Pascal Bruckner is also talking about in the essay I've recommended to you. Europe had better wake up.


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

Kerry's position as I understood it was that combating terrorism would largely be the role of police, intelligence agencies, special forces, diplomats.

Phares point amounts to saying that invading Iraq was better than this approach, which he equates to doing nothing.

The way I see it we would have been better off doing nothing (continuing the status quo) than invading Iraq. Do you disagree on this particular point?

Regarding negotiations, at this point it is the only viable path that is open to us now and it is a necessary precursor to forming a united front for anything beyond that. You may not think that negotiations will bear fruit, but do you really think that we will be able to gather enough allies to make a viable military threat absent negotiations and sanctions as a precursor? Do you think that it is ethical not to try? If your answer to the first of these questions is no, how can you oppose negotiations?


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

One clip was of Haggard and two other men talking about sex.
The other can be viewed here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnxQiCg9qpg&;eurl=

Are these representative of the film as you see it?


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

I hope these links work.
Download (9236), Download (4732)
Are these clips representative of the film as you see it?


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

Mohammed B had some support within the Muslim community. Those that supported him were/are in a clear minority. The majority of the Muslim community in the Netherlands opposed his actions and continues to do so.

"But if Christians prayed in front of a mosque in Holland, what do you suppose would happen?"
Nothing.

Can you say with any authority that a lesser percentage of people in the US would be against publishing cartoons critical of Christianity or Judaism?

Those who want theocracy in America thankfully have not achieved their ends.
If the US were as Robertson, Falwell etc. wanted it to be it would be a terribly oppressive state. On some particulars not as bad as some Islamic theocracies, but much better armed. Falwell has said that he supports the settlers in Israel BECAUSE he sees it as a necessary first step towards Armageddon.
How do you think he would act if he were leading the US?
Would his America be somewhere you would want to live? or would you hop on a plane to Europe? or to Australia?

Thank God for the largely secular nature of American and European society.

The struggle as I see it is one between secularism and religiosity, particularly fundamentalist religiosity. This is also how many if not most fundamentalists see the struggle.
More Christians and considerably more Jews have succumbed to secularism than have Muslims.
Both Christian and Muslim fundamentalism are currently growing in numbers and influence. Fortunately the Christian fundamentalists are constrained by the secular societies in which they live, unfortunately most Muslim fundamentalists are not similarly constrained.


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

1. You first said that the attendees and speakers were in bed with the Islamists. You then said that your friends attended but that they were not in bed with the Islamists. You then said that they were ALL in bed with the Islamists as far as you were concerned. Just now you said that your friends were not in bed with the Islamists and that there is no contradiction in what you said. There is clearly contradiction here. Either you think they were ALL in bed with the Islamists or not. If your friends were not it is clearly possible and even likely that there were many more there like them.

This discussion is about an assertion that you made. You have yet to define the terms of that assertion (the Left and a significant percentage). Absent this I cannot engage in the way you propose.

2. Have you watched the movie or significant portions of it?

3. The majority of people with Left wing politics I know do not do so. As far as I know none of the people I know are signatories of the Euston Manifesto though some would agree with its principles. This and your comment are irrelevant to your assertion that we are discussing. You made the assertion that a "significant percentage" of "the Left" is in bed with the Islamists. You continue to refuse to define these critical terms.

The targeting of civilians is part of the definition of terrorism as I see it. I do not condone terrorism.

4. I did not castigate her for not making another movie. I merely pointed to the double standard you apply to the US and the Netherlands. How many movies critical of Islam are being made in the US? Given the population difference there should have been 19 or 20 of them by now. How is that coming?
I did and will continue to castigate her for her deeply hypocritical position in the Taida Pasic affair.

5. You have spent considerable time on this site criticizing the Left. When pressed you will make an off hand comment to the effect that you did not think it was wise to go to war in Iraq. You have not anywhere I have seen turned this into a criticism of the Right or even of the neocons who pushed this war. There are several people on this site who regularly defend the decision to go to war in Iraq. You have not at any point that I have seen responded to any of these people, yet you regularly attack the Left. Other topics have come up on this site where there is a clear split in position between those on the Right and the Left (global warming and economic policy among others). You have at no point that I have seen engaged in any of these threads. You have so far as I have seen limited your discussions here to three topics 1) Middle East policy, 2) the threat of Islamism, and 3) how you think the Left is wrong about both.
There other topics and though Islamism and Middle East policy are important they are not the only important topics.
Just as you complain about how you see some on the Left criticize Israel more harshly for lesser wrongs and mute their criticism of the wrongs committed by her enemies, I am criticizing you for harshly criticizing the Left while muting your criticism of what I see as greater wrongs by the Right. Before you complain this is a parallel not an equivalence.

6. The overwhelming majority (95%+) of people who want redeployment do not want the US to lose (whatever it is you mean by this), though some may think it is inevitable. Some in the Democratic Party think that the war was immoral for various reasons and most think it is/was unwise. These are not mutually exclusive. At this point a significant percentage of the Right (33%+) also think the war was unwise.
"If the war is immoral, obviously those waging it should lose."
This is a fallacy. Most of those who think the war was/is immoral do so for some combination of the following reasons: the public and/or Congress were deceived by the administration about Iraqi weapons programs and/or Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, that the war was preventative rather than preemptive, it was waged to line the pockets of cronies. Some believe that it was to further the aims of the PNAC (an argument can be made for this) and some others that it was to further the ends of Israel (I have seen no good argument for this), but these are not majority positions. The point here is that the overwhelming majority of the people who oppose the war (a majority of the American people) do not do so because they think that America had a moral failing beyond a lack of skepticism and virtually none of them place moral fault on the troops waging the war. The war has been entered and those morally responsible will be gone long before the war is over. The moral/ethical responsibility that remains is to follow the course of action best for the Iraqi and American people. America losing, depending on what you mean by this, is not necessarily the right or moral outcome at this point even if the entry to the war was immoral. If it can be shown that illegal actions led us into war those responsible should be punished appropriately.
The argument you have made indicates that you think we should stay in Iraq in the same or greater numbers for the foreseeable future. Why do you think this?
Lieberman was opposed by people who thought the war was immoral and by those who thought it was unwise.
Do you think that the Iraq war was a moral war?
Following your earlier logic, if the war against Iraq was a moral war then Iraq should lose. Or is it more complex than that?

I have not yet looked into the Utrecht speech.

Re: Ellison I propose a compromise of January next year.


art eckstein - 2/15/2007

1. I said my friends were not in bed with the Islamists, but they didn't care that Islamists and ANSWER were running the demos they attended. And my friends--unfortunately--were getting ready to join the orgy organized by ANSWER etc. for reasons of Realpolitik, as I have explained. Others obviously were in bed with the Islamists--ANSWER, and the more "moderate" group I talked about, in an incident to which you have not responded. But one of them has since changed his mind about Islam, and where he tirelessly used to defend it as "the wretched of the earth with legitimate grievances" now sees it as aggressive, imperialistic, triumphistic.

There's no contradiction in what I've said, and you should answer some of my questions instead of playing prosecutor. It's a clever rhetorical strategy but not real debate. If you want to have a serious interaction, look at the substance and tone interactions between N.F. and me.

2. Excerpts of "Friend of God" have been on YouTube. Alexandra Pelosi is a self-satisfied, pompous left-wing yuppie who feels culturally superior to those she interviews.

3. Excluding the Euston Manifesto people, the majority of Leftists I know are reflexive defenders of Islam as "the third world oppressed by the West" (see above). The say they "understand" terrorism against civilians. Do you, John?

4. Hirsi Ali has been in the U.S. a month or so. She has a lot of things on her plate. Yet you castigate her for not continuing to make a film which she was prevented by death-threats from doing in Holland? In any case, the issue is the situation in Holland. In Holland, we know of a Dutch film critical of Islam that led to the death of the film-maker, and another Dutch film critical of Islam whose filming was aborted by security concerns arising from Muslims. WHY are you so reluctant to draw the obvious conclusion, John?

5. I've said repeatedly on this blog since I first started posting in the summer that I oppose the Iraq War. Now you criticize me not for not criticizing the Right and Iraq but for not opposing it more. What do wish--for me to join demos run by ANSWER and the Mullahs?

6. I oppose the war because I think it's unwise. But I don't want the U.S. to lose. Sorry that's a complex position. Many Democratic Party activists oppose the war because they believe that it is immoral. Lieberman wasn't opposed by people who thought the war unwise. He was opposed by people who thought it immoral. If the war is immoral, obviously those waging it should lose. Elected Democratic Party officials who said the war was immoral? Cynthia McKinney for one.

OH, and by the way--have you checked on what happened at Utrecht with the censoring of that professor's lecture so as not to offend Muslims? "The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism"?


N. Friedman - 2/15/2007

John,

On Phares' point, I think he largely does address what Kerry had in mind since such is what Kerry told The New York Times, in an interview. (I shall look in my cache of article if you want me to but I am correctly portraying at least what Kerry said.) Kerry saw the matter as a police matter akin to the war on drugs. But, Phares' point is that without going after that which produces the Jihadis, there will always be a nearly endless supply of them. (Of course, Kerry might act differently than what he said during the campaign. But, there would be pressure from the see no evil crowd to do nothing, waiting for another attack.)

I think that Phares' analysis is largely correct because the issue with Jihad is that it is not an aberrant view among Muslims. At most, it is an adaptation of traditional Islam under modern circumstances. I have elsewhere indicated the most pertinent technical differences between traditional Islam and Islamism. The differences are rather minor and there are other times in Islamic history where private Jihads were common.

As for your point about negotiating... I again note that we are not dealing with a normal situation. We are dealing with an ideology that pushes for conquest. And, those who hold to that view appear to think that now is the time. Whether they are willing to let Iran burn is an open question but I would not underestimate what determined people will do, especially when they are pushed by the irrational forces of religion.





art eckstein - 2/15/2007

John, do you deny that Mohammed Bouyeri had significant support within the Muslim community in Holland? If you do accept that he had significant support (not total, I'm not saying that, and there were condemnations) do you really want to ascribe it to "natural reaction to oppression"--or rather to triumphalism, and a correct triumphalism since no one is going to make a film harshly critical of Islam in Holland ever again?

If you look above in my postings, about Rotterdam vs. Amsterdam, I've already admitted what you now assert as if this is a new accusation of stubbornness.

As for the issue of "Thou Shall Not Kill"'s closeness to the mosque, in Florence in January 2005 I saw Muslims praying towards Mecca right in front of the Cathedral. Afterward they got up and shouted and laughed. A provocative act, wouldn't you say? No one removed THEM. But if Christians prayed in front of a mosque in Holland, what do you suppose would happen?

I would say that when Muslim spokesmen in Europe (and increasingly in the U.S.) say they are only asking for "respect", what they mean is the respect due to superiors from dhimmis, superiors whose religion cannot be allowed to be subjected to the criticism and give-and-take which all other religions are subject to. Hence the Cartoon Jihad (again, here in the U.S. many on the Left were against publishing the cartoons, sacrificing freedom of speech to "sensitivity"). The penalty for "disrespect", as van Gogh found out, is death. And I repeat something to which you haven't responded: while van Gogh was murdered, Jay Leno who lampooned the Catholic Church night after night over the pederasty scandal here in the U.S. is just fine and as popular as ever, while the daughter of the Speaker of the House makes an anti-Christian film for HBO. Yet those in Europe dare to talk about an American Christian theocracy equal to Osama Bin Laden. What tripe.


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

1. You previously stated that your friends at the rally were not in bed with the Islamists. Which is it?

2. I ask again, did you see the Pelosi film?

3. It is far from a false question. You have made an assertion that "the Left" has a "significant percentage" of people that feel and/or act in a particular way. If you do not define what you mean by "the Left" or a "significant percentage" then your statement is meaningless. It could mean 3% of people whose politics are aligned with Kucinich or it could mean 95% of all Democrats. Why don't you want to clarify what you mean?

4. I have said before that I don't know of anyone making any film here that is critical of ANY religion. How many times do you need me to say this for it to sink in? Your point here was that the climate of the Netherlands prevents such a film being made by the collaborators of Theo Van Gogh who wanted to make such a film. This point is undercut by the fact that the one collaborator who was most vocal about this is living in America and is not making such a film.

5. The Right argued that invasion of Iraq was the correct way to combat terrorism. You have said that you disagreed with this, but your criticism has been muted.
The Right has also cut funding to secure the "loose nukes" of the ex-Soviet Union. This has increased the threat of terrorists accessing the most deadly of weapons.
The Right talks about terrorism in the way that you like, but there actions seem to be alternately ineffectual and counterproducutive.
IMO actions are more important than rhetoric.

6. You said that you don't know what to do about Iraq, yet you think that those calling for redeployment should be castigated as calling for American defeat. This can only mean that you think that American troops should remain at their current numbers or more, or alternately you want America to fail. Which is it?
A majority of Americans do want the troops to be redeployed (in the neighborhood of 65% last I checked).
Do you really think that a majority of Americans want America to fail?


John Charles Crocker - 2/15/2007

You have been every bit as dogged in your defense of a frankly weak position as I have been in my prosecution. I am glad that you are finally able to admit your error and now we can let this bit of trivia drop.

3. Why is it exactly that you feel that my skepticism was uncalled for?
Why do you think it calls for an apology?

4. I think that I made it clear in my post giving the details of the mural that it was in Rotterdam.
"I never said which city it was..."
You said that it was at the site of the murder, which is equivalent to saying that it was in Amsterdam.
I had not said anything about this initially since you were more or less correct regarding the theme of the incident, but you were about 50/50 on the particulars (what was written and where).
The mural was adjacent to a mosque as I previously made clear. This is what gave the imam standing to complain. If the mural were at the site of the murder it would most likely have been allowed to stay. It is not in the immediate vicinity of a mosque, so no imam would have had standing to complain.
I have also mentioned before that the mayor who had the mural removed was VVD, Hirsi Ali's party.

Regarding slogan shouting youth either at the site of the murder or elsewhere, if they stayed for any length of time the authorities dealt with them. Any graffiti they might have made glorifying the murder was also promptly removed. I do not think that either of these was at all common. As I have said, tensions were very high after the murder and the authorities were very concerned with defusing them. They overstepped in the case of the mural and that is regrettable, but things here are not as you seem to imagine/fear.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

6. Because they do.

5. I do think I have a more optimistic view of Islam than does my respected correspondent N.F.

4.The issue as you well know is who is going to make a film criticizing Islam in HOLLAND, now that people know the penalty is death. Do you know of anyone working on such a film?

3. It is sufficient for me if I say a significant part of the Left; I don't have to provide percentages and you know that is a false question. In my own Department it is certainly a majority.

2. In the Pelosi film, the daughter takes a smug line that the problem with the evangelicals is that they don't understand that there are no general principles of right and wrong but every culture is relative. All progressives know this, she indicates. I ask you to think about this statement in connection with what has been the policy of the Dutch government (and the British government) towards accommodating radical Muslims (at least until recently).

1. They were ALL in bed with the Islamists as far as I am concerned. NO demo marched past the IRAQI embassies demanding that SADDAM be more forthcoming with the UN inspectors. The anti-war people that I know were happy enough to have the Islamists and ANSWER organize the rallies and organize the speakers. They failed to see the parallel when I said, "but would you go to a rally for higher education funding organized and run by Nazis who claimed it was all a plot by Jews?" (As, of course, so much of the Left thinks the Iraq War was.) Again, the atmosphere at these rallies is shown by the controversy in San Francisco over including the liberal leader Michael Lerner of Tikkun Magazine (a parallel to The Nation) as a speaker because he was in favor of Israel continuing to exist. This exclusion of Lerner was not even the work of ANSWER but of the "more moderate" UFPJ ("United for Peace and Justice").


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

I have not experienced the same in the Universities where I have been. This could be because I am in science rather than social sciences.
I cannot speak to your perceptions of the opinions of your fellow faculty, so I have left this alone.
It is certainly possible to find academics, even prominent ones who hold views that would seem to be mutually exclusive and with which I disagree. I have not seen evidence that convinces me that the world view you describe is the dominant one throughout academia.
Your experiences in University and mine are not the same. No doubt both of our opinions about University life are colored by our own views as to what it should be.
Regarding post modernism I think we are in substantial agreement. It is the genesis of much unreadable material. It is as though they want to prove the inefficacy of language with their own writing.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

1. Your friends, IVAW and a great many others there were/are not in bed with the Islamists, this includes people who spoke at the rally.
2. I was referring to the Pelosi film that you spoke about in your previous post.
3. You have not defined what you mean by "the Left."
Neither have you defined what you mean by a significant percentage. A range is acceptable. More than 10%? More than 30%? More than 50%? More than 75%? You previously said that you were a minority on the Left. Does that mean you think it is more than 50%?
Without definitions for these terms that you have been using I can't know what you really mean. As I said before, if you define the Left tightly enough and you define significant percentage small enough we may not be all that far apart.
4. By the people I suppose you mean Hirsi Ali. I have heard of no one else who intended to do this. She is in America now. What is stopping her?
5. I did read most of the thread you referenced here. I even commented that it was nice to see you arguing the other side on that thread.
The Right argued that invasion of Iraq was the correct way to combat terrorism. You have said that you disagreed with this, but your criticism has been muted. The Right has also cut funding to secure the "loose nukes" of the ex-Soviet Union. This has increased the threat of terrorists accessing the most deadly of weapons.
The Right talks about terrorism in the way that you like, but there actions seem to be alternately ineffectual and counterproducutive.
6. It is a frustrating situation that offers no easy answers. Given that you realize this, why did you criticize those who want to redeploy our troops as wanting the US to fail?


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

Yep, N.F. The article makes important points. Maybe Mr. Crocker ought to take a look at it.

But Mr. Crocker, you've never even bothered to answer the evidence I've given you from university life. I really think you need to accept that there is a big problem here. As I've said, read Fred Halliday and Pascal Bruckner.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

To Art.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

Regarding Afghanistan. I don't know that we would have caught Bin Laden had we taken the lead in Tora Bora. We certainly would have had a better chance. Had Bin Laden known that we had a large determined and mostly unbribable force he might have made a b line for Pakistan and hidden with the tribes there where he would have been largely out of our reach. Had we caught him though it would have been a pr coup. That said, the failure to catch Bin Laden is not the real failure of Afghanistan. The real failure of Afghanistan is not securing the country and making rapid and noticeable improvements in infrastructure and services that would improve the daily life of Afghans throughout the country. Had we done this effectively the Taliban would not be finding the level of support among the populace that they are now. Effectively improving the lives of Afghans would also have been a pr victory for the US with our traditional allies and others. One success, even if partial, is far better than two failures. Mr. Phares presents a false choice. He assumes that we have either Bush and war with Iraq or Democrats (here in the person of Kerry) doing nothing. First, I would choose nothing over what has been created in Iraq. Second, Kerry or any other candidate of either party would not have done nothing. We don't know what they would have done, but the likelyhood of them doing nothing is virtually nil. We could have consolidated rather than splintering our alliances and we would be in a much stronger position to deal with North Korea and Iran.

Regarding Sokolski. You are right that it would be very difficult to persuade Israel to go along with this. It is possible that given proper inducements Israel could be convinced or Israel's role could be scaled back and other inducements put in place.

We cannot get anything more than sanctions in the next two years barring a significant development. Real sanctions will make it very difficult for Iran to make significant progress toward a real nuclear program. If negotiations and sanctions fail we will be in a much better position to gather a united front. The additional time for the negotiations helps not just Iran, but us. We need time to get our military out of the middle of a civil war or worse. We need time to reequip and get our military ready. We cannot mount a credible threat at this point.

The current supreme leader is by all accounts much more moderate than his predecessor. The LA Times article
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran8feb08,0,4989084.story?coll=la-home-headlines
that I pointed to in our previous discussion on this topic had some interesting things to say about the current state of affairs in Iran and from all I have heard on NPR this week things are continuing on that track.

We should engage in negotiations now if for no other reason than that is the only potentially productive path that is open to us now and it is a necessary precursor to forming a united front for anything beyond that.

This is true whether your vision of the threat or mine is closer to the mark.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

Art,

One other point. Here is an article about the red green alliance. It is title "Europe's Other Red-Green Alliance," by Dave Hyde, Zeek Magazine, April 2003. I might note that Zeek occasionally has very good articles.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

N.F., I didn't mean to suggest that you weren't a liberal. Your summary of your position is perfectly correct and I was simplifying a complex argument perhaps too much.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

Mr. Crocker, you write:

"I don't think that you would only apologize to N.F. What I think is that once you have invested yourself in an argument your pride makes it very difficult to admit that you are wrong regardless of the evidence you are faced with."

Given that I have apologized immediately elsewhere when faced with evidence I made a factual mistake, as N.F. has testified, this is an outrageous statement on your part.

2. Nope, I thought that it was just another way of spelling a name that is difficult to transliterate into English. It seems I made a mistake. In any case to make a federal case on this while ignoring what N.F. says is ridiculous on your part.

3. And not to apologize for your own refusal to admit your uncalled for skepticism on a far more important issue about van Gogh is to strain at a gnat (Sheherizade) and swallow a camel.

4. Amsterdam-Rotterdam: that wasn't clear to me until what you just wrote. I never said which city it was, though I was under the impression that the mural was at the site of the murder itself. If it was NOT, that's even worse!! The site of the murder is where Muslim youth marched by shouting victory slogans. Again, given everything I got right about this incident (and which you wrongly doubted) it's a small point.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

Art,

You write: 5. I haven't criticized the Right on this issue of radical Islam vs. civilization because they are right on this issue. I've had a debate with N.F., who thinks the ugly jihadist Islam we see today was always the real and basic Islam, while I argued that it is historically contingent and in the 19th century "liberal" Islam was intellectually dominant for contingent reasons--although jihadist Islam was always strong as well.

You have my position slightly wrong. I said that the Jihadist movement is within the Muslim tradition. I have said that the Muslim tradition has taken the view that Islam is the property of mankind and Muslims are charged with the duty of spreading the word, by means of spreading Muslim rule, to the world by, if necessary, force. And, I have said that the positions adopted by the Jihadists are not readily subject to being countered because their arguments are supported by tradition. But, I have not said that there are no differences between Jihadis of today and those previously.

In fact, as I have said, the issue is one of communal versus individual duty. Jihad was traditionally, according to the Islamic theologians and Islamic law, a communal duty, not an individual duty. And, I have said that, historically - especially in the first six or so centuries - the religion had a difficult time with the fact that many Muslims made their own personal Jihads (as described by Patricia Crone and by Bat Ye'or). And, I have said that the issue, at least in part, is that the personal Jihad idea was impractical (especially to a Sultan attempting to advance a foreign policy) so the theologians tended to view the matter as communal. But note: the current group of individual Jihadis are acting outside the authority of the leader of the community - there being no Caliph -, in part on the theory that the leaders are corrupt and, no doubt, in part as a power play.

I think I have explained my point. Again: the Islamists are within the tradition while the modernists are, thus far not. But, the Islamists, in advocating personal Jihad, are looking back to the days of the Kharajites and those who would move to the outskirts of Islamic ruled land and strike out on their own. So, they are within the tradition without being quite perfectly within orthodox theology.

Notwithstanding your hint to the contrary, I consider myself rather liberal. I, however, take the view that liberal does not have to mean siding with those who want to bring back the seventh century.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

In no. 5 above, I mean that the debate betwee N.F. and myself over the jihadist nature of Islam was conducted in a gentlemanly and scholarly manner on both our parts, with no cheap shots and much careful consideration of what the other person has said. N.F. is in good part responsible for this tone, which was a great relief to me from savage political combat.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

"I don't think I ever said that van Gogh was murdered in Rotterdam, John."
Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam. The mural was in Rotterdam, about 50km away.

I intended to write Becker. My mistake. I admit unreservedly that I misspelled his name. See its not so hard.

I don't think that you would only apologize to N.F. What I think is that once you have invested yourself in an argument your pride makes it very difficult to admit that you are wrong regardless of the evidence you are faced with.
You have no doubt known from when I first called you on it or shortly thereafter that you had made a mistake.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John, I've answered your six questions at #105463, at 4:25 p.m. on Feb. 14. Things are getting lost on this blog right now.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John, I'm replying to your reply above.

1. My friends were not "in bed" with the islamists at the rally but they were also--amazingly to me-- morally indifferent to the Islamist-ANSWER leadershp, and organizing of the anti-war rally. IVAW was not the dominant voice in the 2002 rally. ANSWER and the Islamists were far more dominant. In San Francisco in early 2003 Michael Learner, the editor of liberal Tikkun magazine, was not allowed to speak at the anti-war rally because he favors the existence of Israel. This caused a dust-up but not much. (Look it up.)

2. With question 6 {"Have you seen the film?), I assume you mean van G's film. I've seen portions, but more importantly: are you implying that the film is so outrageous that van Gogh was "asking for it"? I repeat that in this period Jay Leno was on American national tv night after night lampooning the Catholic Church over the pederasty scandal to tens of millions of people. He didn't get death-threats,he's still alive, and still popular. Nancy Pelosi's daughter is still alive too and has her film on HBO.

3. I've already indicated that I think this is a significant percentage of the left. In the universities they are dominant. I've provided much proof, none of which you have ever responded to.

4. The people who wanted to continue van Gogh's work needed armed body-guards and gave up. When a Dutch film critical of Islam appears, that will change my mind. Do you know of any in production? Yes or no.

5. I haven't criticized the Right on this issue of radical Islam vs. civilization because they are right on this issue. I've had a debate with N.F., who thinks the ugly jihadist Islam we see today was always the real and basic Islam, while I argued that it is historically contingent and in the 19th century "liberal" Islam was intellectually dominant for contingent reasons--although jihadist Islam was always strong as well. I hope I've defended my liberal credentials to you enough now. You can read the debate on the other Feb. 5 thread and it's the best and deepest thing that's appear on these blogs in months.

6. I don't know what to do about Iraq. It was a mistake to go in, obviously. As Lincoln said, "One war at a time"--i.e., Afghanistan. But the fault in Iraq lies with the morally degenerate culture combining 35 years of Nazi-like rule plus religious fanaticism and tribalism, combined with the our critical failure to provide security. I told people in the Dept before December that the best solution was to put Saddam and his 17 secret police forces back in power. I was only half-kidding.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

Nor do I accept your implication that I only apologize to N.F. That is not correct either.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John,

I think it is not the correct spelling. But, I do note that Art is correct that it is a commonly used misspelling - which, accordingly, makes it a minority spelling, as I understand dictionary parlance - a matter which I said came up in a lawsuit I ran many years ago. So, it is an unimportant matter.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John,

Is that directed to Art or to me?


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

I apologize to Mr. Becker.

Who is "Mr. Baker"?

I don't think I ever said that van Gogh was murdered in Rotterdam, John.

I did get the wording of the graffiti at the murder-site wrong, by the way,though not the fact that there was a graffito protesting van Gogh's murder, that it was an inoffensive statement, that local mullahs protested against a sentiment what no one in their right minds and no civilized person would protest, and that the government caved in to their outrageous demands. All this you wrongly doubted.

Then, when you had to admit it happened, and honestly you found the best site and immediately put it on the blog, and that is great, you nevertheless minimized it, and sought to defend the disgraceful conduct of the government, coming up with the argument that the govt was trying to prevent riots, without considering what type of population WOULD seriously riot over the phrase "Thou Shalt Not Kill." And THERE we return to the topic: "radical Islam vs. civilization."


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

Still no answer on your Iraq position.

No answer on whether IVAW is in bed with Islamists.

You have said that you are a member of the Left. I have not see you make any serious criticism of the Right. Why do you reserve your criticism for the Left?


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

You posted identical comments. This can happen if you hit the back button on you browser. My answer is above.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

I do not doubt that he will admit a mistake to you and perhaps some others he likes or respects. The question is whether he will admit a mistake once he gets his back up. It appears at this point that the answer is no.

Come on you have to admit the Sheherizade is a misspelling. Maybe he will admit it to you.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

By "I had friends who went to that rally", John, I mean the one in DC in October 2002, not the burning of thousands of cars by Muslims in France in autumn 2005.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

Look carefully at what I have written. I have chastised you for having one particular fault (pride) that you lambasted Omar for over the course of several comments in more than one thread. This is the only parallel I have drawn between the two of you in the hopes of shaming you into admitting your error.

"--especially when you yourself refuse to apologize for something far more serious, doubting my story of the graffiti at the site of van Gogh's murder."
I do not take assertions at face value unless they are self evident or are backed up by logic or evidence. I asked for evidence and explained why I doubted this event occurred. I could have easily hidden behind the dubious value of the "National Review" as a source. I could have found alternate accounts of the incident and claimed that we will never know what happened. This is not what I did. I stepped up and posted the evidence for you. At the time I did not even point out that you were over 50km off on where you claimed the mural was painted. Van Gogh was killed in Amsterdam not Rotterdam. You still have this point wrong even after the details of the incident have been spelled out for you.

You have "admitted" to using the least common usage of the term not to misspelling the word. By this logic you should apologize to Mr. Becker as his initial spelling is more common than your correction. Is Schezerade just a less common spelling? Do you owe Mr. Baker an apology for doubting his spelling?


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John,

Art is correct that he admits mistakes.

I think this entire thread does not bring the best of you out. The same for Art, for that matter. It is time to move on.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

Professor,

I think the issue with multiculturalism is not that people on the Left embrace it but, rather, that it is widely embraced across the spectrum and, as it has been implemented, has led Europe down the toilet.

I quote Bat Ye'or from a symposium of some sort (without indicating complete agreement with everything she claims but noting that what she writes below is consistent with the evidence brought forward in her very interesting book Eurabia):

Bat Ye’or: Thank you Jamie. As the previous commentators rightly remarked, the concept of multiculturalism is implicit in the idea of “Europe des Nations,” going back to the early 19th century, and in the drive toward European unification promoted by various politicians, historians and intellectuals, including Michelet (France 1830), Berchet and especially Mazzini (Italy ), and Hegel (Germany).



Both the Socialist and the Romantic movements advocated the establishment of a United States of Europe or European Federation. With the development of the railroads that shortened distances and facilitated travel and contacts, Europeans became aware of a cultural unity above and beyond the diversity of languages, arts, and literature. The value of multiculturalism was reinforced in the context of a broad movement of European unification to counter the dangers of belligerent nationalistic rivalries and block the threat of further inter-European wars, especially after the major wars of the 20th century.



After WW II, Gaullist France thought to compensate the loss of its Arab colonies by forming a vast Euro-Arab Mediterranean ensemble that would form a strategic, political, cultural and social entity. The French and the Arabs wanted to build a strategic Euro-Arab alliance that would stand as a powerful block against America. French diplomats developed contacts with Arab counterparts, particularly the Libyans, and managed to integrate this alliance into a common European policy on oil and security.



The policy was established at the highest levels of the European Commission and within European Community organizations. Not all European States immediately agreed to the project. But Palestinian terrorism in the late 1960s and 1970s, combined with the oil boycott imposed after Arab hopes of militarily destroying Israel were dashed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, persuaded the recalcitrant nations, including Holland, to participate in the project.



This was the creation of Eurabia. Eurabian ideology envisaged a united Mediterranean culture based on a symbiosis between the Northern and the Southern shores through multiculturalism and a unifying process similar to Europe’s integrative dynamics. The hope was to achieve a common Euro-Arab empire with free circulation of goods and people, a common diplomacy and culture, a common Euro-Arab Parliament, a Euro-Arab university (here and here)and a common financing organism.



Multiculturalism is in fact a crucial dimension of the Euro-Arab strategic alliance. Since 1975, agreements connecting Europe to the Arab world are frequently mentioned in texts of Euro-Arab meetings and of the European Union. The terms of Arab-Muslim immigration to Europe are outlined in these documents: immigrants should be encouraged to maintain ties with their countries of origin and integration into European culture was not essential. The texts call for the establishment of Muslim cultural and political centres in European cities, and set forth guidelines for education, publishing, and the media. Details on the most recent period can be found in the report of the European Commission for Culture, Science and Education presented to the European Parliamentary Assembly by José Maria de Puig from the Spanish Socialist group (November 2002).



The multiculturalist policy to which you refer, Jamie, is connected in Europe to the absorption of Muslim culture into the Mediterranean entity. As Laars pointed out, by the 1980s the Left had strengthened its Third-Worldism and alliance with Arab states. It supported mass immigration from Africa and Asia as natural allies against established Western cultural bastions. The spiritual father of the deconstruction of Western culture was the late Edward Said, who devoted much work in order to replace it by the Arab-Muslim perception of history.



I agree with Storhaug and Berlinski on the Stalinist methods used to silence disagreement by labeling people “Islamophobes.” We can expect a reinforcement of this policy as a consequence of a resolution passed at the Third Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit conference in Mecca on December 7-8, 2005: “Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.” This is now being initiated at the new UN Human Rights Council. The problem is: how to define “Islamophobia” according to Western criteria that do not recognize blasphemy.



I agree with Fjordman’s analysis of the alliance between the Left and Muslim immigrants as an interactive dependency. The Left shares a visceral anti-Americanism and a totalitarian propensity with the general Arab population. The dissatisfied and often unemployed immigrant masses seem like an opportunity to fill the European proletarian vacuum. But above all, the Left uses these immigrants to help destroy the traditional Judeo-Christian values of a vacillating, demographically impoverished Europe plagued by antisemitism. Those forces are endeavoring to bring to birth the world of the future: an Alliance of Civilizations, fraternization of peoples, reconciliation of Islam and Christianity through immigration and multiculturalism. They both reject Judeo-Christianism, although for different reasons.



The Project mentioned by Fjordman is in fact a strategy described in a plethora of EU documents, approved by the major parties represented at the European Parliament, and coordinated by the European Commission. It was pursued with particular enthusiasm under Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission from 1999 to 2005.



The cultural relativism of which de Winter speaks is related to the immigration policy and the integration of its values. Fear of awakening opposition to the Common Strategy of the European Council that established EU policy toward the Arab Mediterranean countries led to the repression of all discussion of the economic problems and difficulties of integration caused by massive immigration. The immigration issue was falsely connected to the Holocaust and thereby protected by the rules and taboos of post-Holocaust Europe. European Jews had no homeland at that time; they were trying to flee a genocidal policy that condemned a whole people to extermination.



Today’s immigrants are not in this type of situation, and certainly not the Muslims who have 56 countries within the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Of course, certain individuals who are threatened by totalitarian dictatorship must be helped, but this is very different from the Jewish situation. Moreover, this shameful manipulation of Holocaust history and European guilt feelings is used to cover an antisemitic Mediterranean policy that is pointedly anti-Israeli and anti-American, while Palestinianism supported by the EU promotes the destruction of Israel, thereby pursuing the European extermination policy implemented during WW2. For pointing out these elementary truths I was accused of being a racist.



On the other hand I do not agree with de Winter on multiculturalism. I think it is very well implemented in Europe. Multiculturalism is the foundation of Europe’s generalized anti-Semitism, anti-American racism, and Palestinianist subculture with its fanatical support for Arafat and Saddam Hussein, moral relativism, and loss of identity. Multiculturalism is manifest in schools: insecurity, violence, pressure for curriculum changes (for France see the Obin Report); in universities, where students and professors conduct a cultural jihad against Western values; in some museums and in all expressions of culture and public and political life.



My position is very close to that of Bawer. I think that he perfectly grasped the European situation in all its complexity. I agree totally with his analysis, especially concerning the totalitarian web cohesion of “teachers, professors, the media, politicians, government agency workers, talking heads on TV, the representatives of state-funded ‘independent’ organizations like SOS Racism” to indoctrinate the politically correct. This perfectly expresses the political directives given by the European Commission to coordinate and control in all EU member-states the political, intellectual, religious, media, teaching and publishing apparatus since the 1970s so as to harmonize with its Mediterranean strategy based on multiculturalism. Bawer is perfectly right when he alludes to the professional harassment, boycott and defamation that punish those who openly reject the politically correct discourse. This leads to the development of a type of “resistance press” as if Europe were under the “Occupation” of its own elected governments. This free press on the internet and in blogs brought some changes, including the rejection of the European Constitution because people are fed up with the supra-national authoritarian policies of Brussels that have made such a mess.



I also agree with Bawer on the divide between the people and the political establishment, on the paralysis of the latter and the impotent passivity of Europeans, which might explode in ugly xenophobic crimes, and especially that immigrants are only pawns in a Euro-Arab strategy that turned Europe into “value-neutral spaces.” For having spoken and written on Europe’s Judeo-Christian spiritual values I was attacked verbally and in texts as an Islamophobe.



Unlike Berlinski, I do not see any political shortsightedness in the integration policy, because integration was never in the cards. From the 1970s when immigration policy was being elaborated between the countries of the European Communities and those of the Southern Mediterranean under the auspices of the Arab League, no European texts or agreements mentioned the need for integration but only the need to educate Europeans to host immigrants and be tolerant. The source of Europe’s “excess of tolerance” is not the Holocaust but its political exploitation that covers current policies, while Europe shows extreme intolerance toward Israel in the apartheid mechanisms of some of its universities, its economic boycotts and divestment policies, as well as the Marcionism and replacement theology professed by some of its Churches, and the constant condemnation of Israeli policies.



Multiculturalism is a wide all-embracing doctrine whose components are not all negative. It encompasses the struggle against fanaticism, prejudice, and chauvinism; it is open to humanity in its diversity; but it has been perverted by a hidden political agenda. Multiculturalism sustains many aspects of European policy. Walter Schwimmer, the Austrian diplomat and Secretary General of the Council of Europe from 1999 to 2004, told foreign ministers at the Islamic conference in Istanbul (June15th 2004) that the Islamic component is an integral part of Europe’s diversity. He reaffirmed the commitment of the Council of Europe to work against Islamophobia, antisemitism and other forms of intolerance, and proposed the launch of a series of joint projects on the teaching of history and religious diversity. The report recommends that these projects be extended to the whole of the Mediterranean basin, ''as a contribution to our intercultural and inter-religious dialogue''.



According to the European Council report, the Council was also actively involved in the co-organisation of a Conference on the Image of Arab-Islamic culture in European history textbooks, which took place in Cairo from 12 to 14 December 2004. The event, which was held within the framework of the Euro-Arab Dialogue ''Learning to Live together;'' was jointly organized by UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The aim of this conference was to examine negative stereotyping in the image of Arab-Islamic culture presented in existing history textbooks, and to discuss ways to overcome this stereotyping.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007


1. Time-line: I suggest Ellison's first term. Be realistic. Not even Crazy Cynthia revealed her inner feelings in her first three months.

2. Don't try to sanitize "Allahu-Akbar"--it's a war cry. It's what the Muslim rioters shouted when they burned the thousands of cars during the riots in France in the autumn of 2005. I had friends who went to that rally, and they agree in my characterization of what was going on. They were embarrassed but felt it was okay "for the good of the cause."

3. Pim might well have become Prime Minister of the Netherlands if he hadn't been killed by a pro-Muslim (and animal-rights) fanatic, and made his party into a majority party at least temporarily. His murder destroyed the party. Yes, it's still around, but it's small and has no influence. Meanwhile, most of the media concentrated on the animal-rights part of the murderers motives, shielding the Muslims. But most Dutch people knew the truth. Note the dichotomy.

4. It is now considered impolite by feminists in my Department to mention Muslim derogation and abuse of women: you get frowns. The reason for their attitude is multiculturalism. That's political power attempting to stifling discussion of a legitimate issue on ideological grounds. In the aftermath of 9/11 the Dept organized a colloquium on what occurred: both speakers chosen by someone who was a well-known pc but had no special knowledge of Islam or world politics blamed the United States. These were people of the Left, erasing or excusing Islam. Bringing up the Islamic "agency" of the mass murderers was considered impolite. I was there; I witnessed the travesty. That's power of the Left.

The attempt to boycott Israeli academics while not considering any such action say, academics from the Islamic Sudan (genocide) or Islamic Iran (recent purging of the universities of liberals)--a movement in the U.S. headed by very prominent academics such as Joan Wallach Scott--that's another example of what I'm talking about.
And here's another: The Dean of Washington Cathedral, a noted and vigorous proponant of gay rights who is never afraid to use strong language suddenly FORGETTING in praising Mohammed Khatami last autumn at the Cathedral that this man represents a government which has HUNG four thousand gays. Somehow, the topic--so dear to the Dean's heart--just never came up during the love-fest. You get the picture.

How much of the Left is involved in such conduct, and it is a RANGE of conduct we're talking about--it's a significant portion; in the universities in the U.S. certainly a majority of the left. In U.S. electoral politics the power of this will grow with Muslim voting in, say, Michigan.

The result of all this has been a stifling of debate in the universities, as happened for DECADES in Holland, a stifling instituted by the LEFT in Holland who favored "multiculturalism", and where anyone protesting of Muslim extremism and violence was deemed "racist" by the bien-pensants. How can you deny this occurred?

5. Yeah, you can BET there aren't any films being made in Holland that are critical of Islam, John--MURDER is a very effective censorship advice. I believe people connected with van Gogh and Hirsi Ali was going to make another one, but everyone needed bodyguards and she gave up. Criticism of Christianity by Dutch film-makers I'm sure will be perfectly okay.

6. Pelosi-daughter's film is out on HBO, has been broadcast several times, she has a snide and superior attitude towards the evangelicals whom she views as idiots--NO POLITICAL IMPACT on Pelosi the Speaker of the House. Of course, the Right hates her, but they always did. No negative response from the Left. So much for your equating of Islamic violence and the U.S.





John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

1. I suggested 3 months because I felt that there was a chance that we might still remember this exchange in that time. I doubt that at least I will remember this exchange nearly two years from now.

2. Are those friends of yours who attended "in bed" with the Islamists?

3. Fortuijn would never have become prime minister. His party was always small and never influential enough for him to have surpassed Balkenende. The only reason it enjoyed the surge in popularity and parliamentary seats it did was because of his murder.

4. Can you define what you mean by the Left? How broadly or narrowly you define the term has a great deal to do with how significant a portion of both academics and the general populace believe as you say.
Secondly how small a percentage can it be for you to say it is significant? I don't need a specific number a range will do. 10-15%? 25-30%? 45-50%?
This matters when judging your assertion about a significant portion of the Left holding a certain view. If you define Left narrowly enough and significant as a small enough percentage perhaps I agree with you.
You did previously include yourself in the Left, keep this in mind in your definition of the Left.
5. I said that I was not aware of any films critical of ANY religion (not only Islam) being made in the Netherlands. As I also mentioned before I would not be all that surprised if another film critical of Islam were to come out of the Netherlands in the not too distant future. Opinion here is not so monolithic as you seem to think and people are not so easily deterred from expressing their opinions.

6. Have you seen the film?


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

That's really bad of you, John. I've admitted factual errors before on this site, as I'm sure N.F. will attest. I've done it quickly and willingly. There were a few.

But if you equate me with Omar, I will conclude that you're really not interested in serious discussion, just in jeering. It's a real insult--especially when you yourself refuse to apologize for something far more serious, doubting my story of the graffiti at the site of van Gogh's murder. Such "scholarly dubitation" is often used simply to cover political partisanship, and you know it. Omar used it do deny in the face of overwhelming evidence that Hezbollah was anti-semitic. So perhaps I should equate YOU with Omar, eh?

I've admitted several times to using the least common usage of the term. Give it a rest.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

"Why on Earth are you wasting your time on a spelling issue?"

I can't speak for Art, but I am hanging on primarily for two reasons.
1. Art made an accusation about Omar being incapable of admitting a mistake due to his Muslim pride. It seems that he is similarly incapable of admitting even a trivial error here. I think his earlier criticism is greatly diminished by his behavior here.
2. If I cannot get him to admit to a mistake on a matter this trivial I cannot trust him to admit when he is wrong on more important issues that are rarely ever so black and white as is this one.

In all honesty I have to admit that I have been annoyed by his initial tone in this thread and his stubborn refusal to admit a mistake and that is certainly a part of why I remain.

With further research it appears that the BBC does not use this spelling. An e-bay ad for a BBC recording uses the incorrect spelling. The BBC website does not. Additionally the radically and inarguably misspelled original title of this post enjoys wider web usage than does his particular misspelling (as measured by Google hits).


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

My point is that in a language where the vowels are unmarked and dialect common, variation is likely and none is "incorrect." I used the least common one in replying to what I took to be an equally snide remark from Becker. My fault.

But uncommon is not "incorrect." Look at how Omar spells what we usually spell as Bakr. Is John going to correct him?


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

Time-line: I suggest his first term. Be realistic.

2. Don't try to sanitize "Allahu-Akbar"--it's a war cry. It's what the Muslim rioters shouted when they burned the thousands of cars during the riots in France in the autumn of 2005. I had friends who went to that rally, and they agree in my characterization of what was going on. They were embarrassed but felt it was okay "for the good of the cause."

3. Pim might well have become Prime Minister of the Netherlands if he hadn't been killed by a pro-Muslim (and animal-rights) fanatic, and made his party into a majority party at least temporarily. His murder destroyed the party. Yes, it's still around, but it's small and has no influence. Meanwhile, most of the media concentrated on the animal-rights part of the murderers motives, shielding the Muslims. But most Dutch people knew the truth. Note the dichotomy.

4. It is now considered impolite by feminists in my Department to mention Muslim derogation and abuse of women: you get frowns. The reason for their attitude is multiculturalism. That's political power attempting to stifling discussion of a legitimate issue on ideological grounds. In the aftermath of 9/11 the Dept organized a colloquium on what occurred: both speakers chosen by someone who was a well-known pc but had no special knowledge of Islam or world politics blamed the United States. These were people of the Left, erasing or excusing Islam. Bringing up the Islamic "agency" of the mass murderers was considered impolite. I was there; I witnessed the travesty. That's power of the Left.
The attempt to boycott Israeli academics while ignoring say, academics from the Sudan (genocide) or Iran (purging of the universities of liberals)--a movement in the U.S. headed by very prominent academics such as Joan Wallach Scott--that's another example of what I'm talking about.
The Dean of Washington Cathedral, a noted and vigorous proponant of gay rights who is never afraid to use strong language suddenly FORGETTING in praising Mohammed Khatami last autumn at the Cathedral that this man represents a government which has HUNG four thousand gays. Somehow, the topic--so dear to the Dean's heart--just never came up during the love-fest. You get the picture.
How much of the Left is involved in such conduct, and it is a RANGE of conduct we're talking about--it's a significant portion; in the universities in the U.S. certainly a majority of the left. In electoral politics the power of this will grow with Muslim voting in, say, Michigan.

The result of all this has been a stifling of debate in the universities, as happened for DECADES in Holland, instituted by the LEFT in Holland who favored "multiculturalism", and where any protesting of Muslim extremism and violence was deemed "racism" by the bien-pensants. How can you deny this occurred?

5. Yeah, you can BET there aren't any films being made in Holland that are critical of Islam, John--MURDER is a very effective censorship advice. I believe Hirsi Ali was going to make another one, but everyone needed bodyguards and she gave up. Criticism of Christianity by Dutch film-makers I'm sure will be perfectly okay.

6. Pelosi-daughter's film is out on HBO, has been broadcast several times, she has a snide and superior attitude towards the evangelicals whom she views as idiots--NO POLITICAL IMPACT on Pelosi the Speaker of the House. Of course, the Right hates her, but they always did. No negative response from the Left. So much for your equating of Islamic violence and the U.S.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

You "admitted" to using the least accepted spelling when, in fact the spelling you chose appears in no dictionary or any other authoritative source.

As far as the BBC spelling, I assume that you are relying on the e-bay ad since you did not state otherwise when asked and it is listed under the correct spelling (with an a) on the BBC website. Correct me if I am wrong in this assumption.

You still refuse to admit that you were wrong. Your spelling was incorrect. No authority agrees with you spelling. Is your pride so great that you cannot admit that you are wrong on this point without equivocating?

"Now, when will you, John, admit explicitly the much more serious error of doubting what I said about the "Thou Shall Not Kill" graffiti..."
I don't think that it is an error to doubt an assertion that comes without evidence. I did indeed doubt that the incident with the mural happened, though I did not doubt that you had read it somewhere.
I have already admitted that the mural was painted and was removed as a result of a complaint lodged by the mullah in the neighboring mosque. I even provided additional details and a link with a picture of the mural. What more do you want from me in reference to this incident?


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

I will make an effort to see "Friends of God." I can't get HBO here and can't find as a torrent now so I can't comment intelligently on it. Have you seen it? Is there anything in particular in it that you found offensive?

(1) Ms. Pelosi likely will not face political harm at home for a film her daughter made that was critical of Fundamentalist Christians, though she will likely face criticism elsewhere.
(2) You have no basis in fact for making this assertion.

I know of no films critical of any religious group currently being made in the Netherlands. It is certainly possible for another film critical of Islam to be made here and it is likely that one will be made in time given the mood of the society.

Another point of trivia.
Holland North and South are provinces of the Netherlands and Dutch is a bastardization of Deutsch or German, though people here have grown used to this nomenclature and sometimes use it themselves when speaking English.


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John and Art,

Why on Earth are you wasting your time on a spelling issue?

I recall, many years ago, in a legal case I was arguing, an attorney on the opposite side - and the case involved false advertising and, hence, the meaning of a word used as a product trademark - that I was citing the wrong type of dictionary to prove that my client was using the word as it is understood by consumers. The attorney argued that I should have used a dictionary which that prescribes definitions rather than specifying definitions based on how words are actually used. I recall responding that he was off his rocker.

My point here is that if the, not by prescription, spelling is in common use to the extent of appearing in the BBC, that ought be the end of the matter. On the other hand, Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian and, unless I am mistaken, he titled his works in the Russian language and with Cyrillic lettering. So, that is not a good example at all, unless your point is that the Russian language pronunciation would lead to the spelling you note.



art eckstein - 2/14/2007

It's a trivial matter. I used the least accepted spelling. I accept the responsibility for that.

Now, when will you, John, admit explicitly the much more serious error of doubting what I said about the "Thou Shall Not Kill" graffiti being PROTESTED by Muslim Mullahs as "racist", leading to its removal by the Dutch govt?


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

1. Pim Fortuijn's party still exists. It was never very large, more a cult of personality surrounding him.

2. I'll look it up and get back to you.

3. To again restate what he actually said but with a new target.
"Pitiless war leader, pillager, butcher of innocents and polygamous, this is how Moses and David are revealed by the Bible." The Bible is "a book of incredible violence", and "Muhammad is a master of love, Jesus a master of hate." Do you think that this would even be printed in a major American news paper? If it was and the author was a high school teacher, do you really think he would keep his job? Do you really think that if he would not receive death threats?
Again I do not in any way condone the death threats against Mr. Redeker. As a parent of a child who followed the faith he so vitriolically attacked however, I would have serious concerns about him teaching my child. Would you want someone who publicly made similarly harsh criticisms of your faith teaching you children?

4. I have always acknowledged that there is a small number on the fringe of the Left who have made alliances of convenience with radical Muslims. These alliances are not only unethical in my opinion but unwise as they allow people to criticize the entirety of the Left and the anti-war movement by their existence.
You not only said that a significant portion of the Left was "in bed" with Islamists, but that it was a majority of the Left.
Are you pulling back from this position?
What do you mean by a significant proportion? 5%? 10%? 25%? 50%? more?
You have said now that it includes elected officials.
You briefly made this accusation of Keith Ellison but backed off of that when confronted with his stated policies.
You now level that accusation at John Conyers. Can you point to anything that he has actually said or any policy positions that he has taken that indicate he is "in bed" with Islamists?
I am not familiar with Charles Barron but I would be willing to bet his comment was specifically about the Bush administration not America as a whole. Equally bad things have regularly about the Left by Right wing politicians.
The rally to which I believe you were referring included Iraq Veterans Against the War. Are they "in bed" with the Islamists?
My understanding is that Allahu-Akbar means God is Great, not for the cause. Am I wrong in this? Did I mistake your meaning?
5. Let's put a timeline on this and hold each other to it. I suggest 3 months. The House is meeting regularly and will be debating the Iraq war and other Middle East policy often enough that this should give plenty of time for him to make his voice heard.
6. Regarding Iraq you have criticized those on the Left for urging redeployment of troops in Iraq. What is your position? Do you support the 'surge'? Should the 'surge' be larger? Should we continue with the status quo?


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John,

A couple of points.

First, I think it would have been nice to remain only in Afghanistan. On the other hand, I think that would have been at least as big a tactical mistake than what the US did. In that regard, I agree with the position advanced below by Walid Phares:

The Kerry campaign says we should have stayed in Afghanistan until Osama Bin Laden would have been found or killed. But would Usama play the same game with us? So if we had sent 200,000 soldiers to the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan that would have won the War on Terrorism? What if Bin Laden would have simply decided to leave this huge Hannibal Army exploring caves and valleys while al Qaida would have been hitting us elsewhere? How can the Kerry advisors project that al Qaida will be sitting ducks for our forces beyond Tora Bora? Have they read the thinking and tactics of al Qaida at all?

These arguments alone show that a potential Kerry foreign policy team will be defeated by the Terrorist Network as it was in the 1990s under Clinton. Arguing about the choice of Iraq as the next choice after Afghanistan is legitimate. Arguing for stopping at Tora Bora and searching for "Waldo" is an illogical and dangerous proposition.

Iraq: a Diversion?

Kerry’s teams have called the War in Iraq a diversion from the War on Terrorism. But what is the War on Terrorism? Is it just to find cells in Tora Bora and elsewhere and bring them to justice? Or is it a wider campaign to find and destroy the factory that produces the cells? My question to the advisors is simple: What is the War on Terrorism? You must first explain the global War on Terror so that you can argue that Iraq was and is a "diversion" from your better plan? There is none.

So, it boils down to this equation: Bush teams had a plan, which can be discussed and argued with and against. The fact is Kerry has no plans, except to attack Bush's decision to go to Iraq. In deeper analysis, Kerry's argument that Iraq is a diversion from the War on Terror is a greater diversion from the real War on the Factory of Jihad. In my sense, there were five doors to open after Tora Bora. Bush opened one. He could have also opened others. But Kerry and the critics didn't want to open any door at all.


VOTING AGAINST JIHAD (II): STAYING THE COURSE OF HISTORY
By
Nov 3, 2004, 13:48


"VOTING AGAINST JIHAD (II), Staying the course of History," by Walid Phares. I do not think the article is online anymore.

Now, I think that there should have been a lot better and better informed debate about the Iraq War and its aims. It is and was - as I have argued since the beginning - a mistake and an informed discussion might have addressed at least some of the problems in the policy. So, I suspect Dr. Phares and I would part company on Iraq itself.

But, the idea of hanging out in Afghanistan, as if that had any chance of success as a vehicle to address the Jihadist movement, strikes me as equally mistaken. In this regard, Phares' point, as expressed in his question: "Or is it a wider campaign to find and destroy the factory that produces the cells?", is well taken.

Addressing next Mr. Sokolski's position, I said before that I am not competent to determine how best to proceed. His proposal sounds logical. I, however, doubt that it is a practical idea.

I seriously doubt that Israel would, as he would want, take the lead in the subject because Israel is the country most under threat from Iran and the country's other neighbors. And, in such a situation, I doubt that the US would have leverage over Israel because Israel - assuming it has much of a nuclear program, as alleged by many, rather than more of a bluff - sees the matter in existential terms and countries under existential threat tend not to be very accommodating. And, were I an Israeli, I would not trust the International community or any other country on such an issue. So, I doubt Mr. Sokolski's idea is very practical.

In any event, I quoted Sokolski because he challenged your idea that Iran was ten years away from the bomb. He sees a much shorter period. That, not his recommendation, was important to countering your point about the long period needed by Iran to advance its nuclear program towards the bomb.


In any event, the little I know suggests that a determined country the size of Iran could, if it really wants to, hide a very substantial program - and, perhaps even hide it from inspectors. I do not know if the Iranians have the technical proficiency to so hide a program. In any event, I leave it to experts on the subject to address what is sufficient in the way of inspections or whatnot.

My point is directed to noting that absent real coercion, I doubt that anything short of a threat of war will bring out internal Iranian forces sufficient to challenge those in Iran who want to push ahead with a nuclear bomb program. And, I think it reasonably possible that the many, if not most, of the Mullah leadership of the regime are willing to let Iran burn - as the late Ayatollah Khomeini said - if Islam prevails. So, that means that something nearly foolproof should be done.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

The BBC may indeed have spelled it wrong. Did you look at the CD or just the e-bay offer. The BBC does generally spell it correctly (BBC Sheherazade 23,300 hits on Google). One of the three Google hits was an e-bay offer of the CD you referenced and another of the three was Sander Marcus' 2005 comment on violinist.com. Sander did correct his spelling two years later when he posted again on the same piece in a similar thread.
www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=10553

The producer of the BBC CD possibly misspelled it. Oxford University Press evidently has accepted use of two different spellings, but neither of them is yours. The spelling with an "a" is by far the most common and one of possibly two correct spellings.

Google hits by spelling:
Sheherazade 1,080,000
Scheherezade 176,000
Sheherezade 52,600
Sheharazade 2,910
Shezerade 1,120
Shezarade 368
Sheherizade 299

Using the Google hit standard Mr. Becker's typo is a more accurate spelling than your correction.

Why can you not simply admit straight out that you misspelled this word? Why do you feel that you must defend your spelling of this word? If you cannot admit error without qualification over a matter so trivial and where you are so obviously incorrect, how can you in good conscience criticize Omar for allowing his pride to prevent him from admitting a mistake?

"I don't understand why you say I'm just like Becker and provided no facts."
That is not what I said. I noted that no non-spelling related facts have been presented in THIS THREAD by Mr. Becker, yourself, or me. You have indeed presented facts in other threads as has Mr. Becker, but that is entirely irrelevant to what I actually said.

Just admit your mistake. You'll feel better.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John, you facilely tried to compare death-cult Muslims with Christians in the U.S. But then there's the case of the daughter of Speaker of the House Pelosi, who has just made a full-length film for the major distributor Home Box Office savagely criticizing and satirizing evangelical Christians: the satirically titled "Friends of God".

I guarantee you, John, that (1) Mrs. Pelosi will NOT suffer politically for this film, while I also guarantee you that (2) Ms. Pelosi the daughter would NEVER have dared make such a film about Muslims. She'd have been condemned as a racist by her friends while facing death-threats for daring to call Muslims violent. Of course, the chance of her making a film harshly criticizing Islam in HOLLAND is now ZERO, wouldn't you say?

You know, John, I think this is why this whole thread is called "radical Islam vs. civilization."


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

1. John, you are right to admit that the major Dutch politician Pim F. was murdered by a person who said he was acting in part for Muslims (as well as animal rights, I think it was). Lots of people ignore this. Rarely has an assassination been so politically effective, destroying an entire political party. The response of the Dutch govt at the time was to push "multiculturalism" even more.

2. If Dutch Jewish or Christian leaders protested the painting of Koranic verses near their places of worship, I suspect the response of the Dutch govt at the time (pre November 2004) would have been to accuse them of racism. Evidence: a uniiversity professor at Utrecht (I think it was) in 2006 had his leave-taking speech, "The Myth of Jewish Cannibalism", which criticized radical Islam anti-semitism, had those specific parts censored by the university administration. Only criticism of Christianity was left. You can look up the story on the Net.

3. As for Robert Redeker, apparently you are either blaming the victim (how dare he write what he wrote, what should he expect?) or equating local governments in the U.S. with death-threat Muslim fanatics. For shame. I do not believe that an American high-school teacher who wrote a think-piece in a major newspaper criticizing Judaism or Christianity would lose his job. In Colorado recently a high school teacher was tape-recorded ranting and screaming about Bush, really berating students in a totally unprofessional manner: he was suspended for a couple of days and he and the student who tape-recorded him were urged to go to a reconciliation-counselling session together.

4. I have provided PLENTY of evidence of the ranting left in bed with Islamists. I have said repeatedly that they are not the whole left, but they ARE a significant part of it. They have a lot of power in terms of organizing demos, and they are very strong in the universities, as I think I've proven. Read Fred Halliday and Pascal Bruckner on all this, as I have suggested. I don't have to provide any more facts. I've provided plenty. You just dismiss them all as anecdotal evidence.

It isn't all the left. as I said, but it is a considerable part of it. And sometimes,that includes elected officials. At an anti-war demo at the National Mall here in DC in Oct. 2002, an American imam ranted against "American imperialism", called for revolution in the U.S.,and led the crowd in chants of "Allahu-Akbar"! Among his fellow speakers was Congressman John Conyers, and Charles Barron, a Democratic city-councilman from N.Y., who told the crowd, "If you're looking for the Axis of Evil, then look inside the belly of the beast." This isn't guilt by association. It is association--a willingness to get in bed with Islamists shouting Allahu-Akbar "for the cause." Whether this was a political mistake (as Todd Gitlin wrote at the time) or not, remains to be seen.

5. As for Ellison--if he does not turn into Cynthia McKinney, I will freely admit I was wrong. If he does turn into Cynthia McKinney, then you, John, will have to admit that you were wrong. "Time will tell the wiser," to quote Fairport Convention.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

Evidently the BBC spells it, or CAN spell it "Shereizade", John:
 

CD #1 –  Volume 13, Number 12

-   Rimsky-Korsakov – “Sheherizade”

            -   Lyadov -      “Baba-Yaga”, “The Enchanted Lake”, “Kikimora”

            -   BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra

            -   Conducted by Alexander Titov        

And then there's THIS, from Violinist.com:

From Sander Marcus
Posted on December 8, 2005 at 3:58 PM (MST)

And while we're on it, an all time favorite is that old warhorse, Sheherizade (the Rimsky-Korsakov one, but spelled correctly). [REPEAT: THE RIMSKY-KORSAKOV ONE, BUT SPELLED CORRECTLY.] This has to be one of the most melodic and most beautifully orchestrated pieces of music ever written by anyone. And the violin solos are truly heavenly. I have never gotten tired of hearing it


So, as I admitted, the spelling
Sheherazade is far more common, and perhaps Sheherizade is technically wrong. (I've already said that). But that Sheherizade is ABSOLUTELY "wrong" is a leap. Since now I have the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the one hand, and Oxford University Press on the other indicating just how variable the vowel sound is, perhaps you will agree that the spelling of this name is variable, while I admit that spelling with the "a" is by far the most common.

I don't understand why you say I'm just like Becker and provided no facts. Becker just provided a rant, in the thread above Becker's rant I provided lots of FACTS. You may not like those facts, and some of those facts you doubted (wrongly) but I wasn't simply ranting.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

Mr. Becker offered his opinion of the article to which you responded by mocking his typo.

So far as I can see no facts unrelated to spelling have been presented in this thread, so I am unsure to which facts you are referring.

Back to spelling trivia.
A google search for, "Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherizade" returns the response, "Did you mean: Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherazade" and 3 entries.
The corrected google search returns over 46,000 entries. Did you see this misspelling on a CD?
Oxford University Press apparently uses both the spelling with an "e" and with and "a."
The fact remains that no authoritative source spells it with an "i."
This discussion is trivial, but I am curious to see your response. Will you admit that you were wrong here?


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

Regarding Mr. Becker's original spelling, it was obviously a typo. We are all susceptible to these. You added no facts to that thread, so your denunciation of his fact-less rant must be considered in that light.

Mohammed B was set on his path, at least in part, by a radical imam in the Netherlands who said something to the effect of, he should be struck down by a terrible disease. Many mullahs, however, spoke out forcefully against the killing of Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuijn.

I do not doubt that there may have been some Muslim youth who shouted victory slogans at the site of Van Gogh's death and possibly elsewhere. If they stayed for any length of time they were likely dealt with by the local authorities in addition to meeting an angry response from others in the area. As I have said this was an incredibly tense time. Mosques were vandalized and a few burned. People were on edge and violent demonstrations were feared. The authorities were acting to diffuse tensions. I believe that they overstepped in this case.

By way of explanation of the government response (and perhaps further condemnation), if a Koranic verse had been painted next to a Christian Church or a Synagogue and the pastor, priest, or rabbi had complained it would also have been removed. This is particularly true when tensions are high as was the case in the above case.

You have still not addressed the questions I put to you earlier. Absent answers to these I think your argument fails.

First and foremost how do you define the Left?
You earlier included yourself and Lieberman on the Left, though as a minority. This would indicate that the majority of the American Democratic Party and some independents are included in the Left. This would include nearly half of the American voting public and probably a bit more than half of the American population. You further stated that those in bed with the Islamists on the Left outnumbered those such as yourself who are not. This would indicate that you are of the opinion that 25% or more of the American public are anti-American radicals. This matches your contention that over 65% of Americans advocate American defeat in Iraq. Is this your contention? If not, what is?

You made some nasty assertions about Ellison. His policy positions are posted on his web site. Do you have specific criticisms of his policies? Do you think his position on Israel is radical or pro-Islamist?

"And advocating withdrawal of U.S. forces is obviously advocating an American defeat,"
What does this say about the majority of the citizens of the US?
If you are against the war and you are apparently against bringing our troops home what do you support?

Could someone who made comments such as Redeker did aimed at Christianity or Judaism in a major paper hold a job a high school teacher in America? Would he not receive death threats? Would this indicate an abject failure by those who failed to stand up for him on the Right and Left?

Why, despite the election of some genuine Left wing representatives in Congress, do none of them hold the views that you assert are so widespread in the Left?


I have done my best to match my tone to yours. I make this effort in all of my dealings here. I will make an effort towards greater civility if you will do likewise.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John,

Sheherizade is a widely used spelling, as you said, including by Rimsky-Korsakov. Perhaps it is technically incorrect (having to do with the question of the pronunciation of i vs. a), but Google doesn't consider it incorrect. And the name is also spelled Sheherezade (with an e)--by Oxford University Press. The "a" is indeed far more common but not universal (including at Oxford). No one, of course, says Schezerade.

But all this is a tiny matter compared to the fact that I have provided specific FACTS (as we see above), whereas Mr. Becker (below) only provided a fact-less rant under a grossly misspelled name.

But, yes, this IS a tiny matter. So I ask you again to consider the implications of what we now know: a version of Islamic culture where "Thou Shall Not Kill" is considered provocative by religioius leaders--and the government spinlessly appeases these Islamic leaders by wiping out the graffiti before the spot where a Muslim fanatic MURDERED a critic of Islam by STABBING HIM IN THE HEART AND THEN SLITTING HIS THROAT ALMOST TO THE SPINE. The Mullahs evidently did not find THAT very provocative--only the protest for freedom of speech against it! And the government went along, to prevent rioting by Muslims--rioting over "Thou Shall Not Kill"! Who would believe this if they read it in a novel--except that it happened? News stories also said that Muslim youth went by that site for days shouting victory slogans.

This disgraceful behavior by the mullahs and the government, and the literal erasure of van Gogh AND his principle of freedom of speech, is something the implications of which you need to consider carefully for bien-pensant Dutch society.

However, the main point is that you now know that I was telling the truth, John. And that should change your tone towards me, which has often been dismissive, inquisitorial and cross-examinatory. I think MY bona fides are now well proven.

Art


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

I do appreciate your apology and your tone in our discussions in general. I trust that any insult I perceived was not intended on your part. While we have substantial disagreement over Middle East policy and Islam in general you have always remained civil and offered thoughtful arguments.

"My view comes from your position that the US's concern about 9/11 is overblown as a result of the fact that the US, unlike Europe, has not had a substantial amount of terrorism."
I believe this misunderstanding is rooted in our discussion regarding Europe's motivations regarding Middle East policy. You offered the argument that Europeans were motivated by fear and greed. (Correct me if I am wrong on this) My view is that since 9/11 America has been dominated by the politics of fear, though it seems that this is having waning effect. The point remains however that Americans have been far more motivated by fear since 9/11 than have Europeans. This being said, 9/11 was certainly a hugely important event and deserving of both immediate response and sober reflection. I fully supported the invasion of Afghanistan and still wish that our effort had remained focussed there long enough to give it the best possible chance of success. What has saddened and frustrated me is the manipulation of the fear and anger 9/11 induced to justify an unnecessary and unrelated war as well as a dangerous consolidation of power in the executive branch.

I would still like to see your criticism of Mr. Sokolski's position on how to confront the Iranian nuclear program.
"Defusing Iran’s Bomb," Finding the Levers - And Pulling section.

I would still appreciate instruction on how to insert links into comments.

I look forward to your response.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John, Sheherizade is a widely used spelling, as you said, including by Rimsky-Korsakov. Perhaps it is technically incorrect (having to do with the question of the pronunciation of i vs. a), but Google doesn't consider it incorrect. And the name is also spelled Sheherezade (with an e)--by Oxford University Press. The "a" is indeed far more common but not universal (including at Oxford). No one, of course, says Schezerade.

But all this is a tiny matter compared to the fact that I have provided specific FACTS (see the thread above), whereas Mr. Becker only provided a rant under a grossly misspelled name.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

I checked Wikipedia, Webster's dictionary and my Bible and all have the spelling as Sheherazade with no alternate spelling offered. I have checked further and it appears that Sheherizade is a widely used but incorrect spelling. Look at the difference in listings you get when googling these two different spellings. Some acknowledgement of this would be appreciated.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

I appreciate your apology and will attempt to match my tone to yours.

I did not question your honesty on regarding the mural incident. If you look above my response to your characterization of this incident was, "I can find no reference for this. Where did you come across this?" You remained civil at this point offering to look further. I then gave you an update on my search that did not in any way question your honor or honesty.

I think that the real reason for the change in tone here is the "Schezerade" thread. I was annoyed by the tone of your response to Mr. Becker and so wrote snarky responses to your comments. Apparently this got under your skin.
Regarding the spelling, I checked Wikipedia, Webster's dictionary and my Bible and all have the spelling as Sheherazade with no alternate spelling offered. I have checked further and it appears that Sheherizade is a widely used but incorrect spelling. Look at the difference in listings you get when googling these two different spellings. Some acknowledgement of this would be appreciated.

In your defense, I too use google as a poor man's spell check at times and I'm sure that it has led me down the primrose path more than once.

I am cross posting the spelling bit of this on the other thread. I hope that will not effect the tone of this thread.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

Mr. Crocker, reading over what I wrote just above, I think I was being too harsh on you in tone. If so, I follow N.F. in offering apologies for my tone. My facts, on the other hand, were correct. I felt dissed in being doubted when I knew I was telling the truth. And now you know--after doing some research--that I was telling the truth as well


N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John,

To follow up, I did not complete my last sentence. I take up where I left off.

My position is that we have a very large group of people with a similar ideology that aims at a common end result. If you want to call that monolithic - a buzz word, which to me, covers a whole host of possibilities that could be true whether or not my proposition is true - that does not bother me. I would be concerned if you have some evidence that undermines my position. Thus far, you have not chosen to present evidence. You have, instead, asserted a few good arguments. But, as I see it, my argument stands unrefuted by any of your arguments and my evidence appears to be accepted by you as well. I would, if you came forward with a well presented argument, backed by evidence, have to consider such and, if I were persuaded, change my position.

As for being condescending, that was not my intention. If I came across that way, I apologize.





N. Friedman - 2/14/2007

John,

First, since unlike some other posters with whom I disagree, I respect your intelligence. I should add - and this would be the case whether or not I thought you are the bright guy you are - I would not intentionally misrepresented your position. I may be mistaken but I do not misrepresent it. My view comes from your position that the US's concern about 9/11 is overblown as a result of the fact that the US, unlike Europe, has not had a substantial amount of terrorism. My reply is that Europe has never faced terrorism, until maybe Madrid, anything akin to 9/11. And, in response, the Spaniards acted foolishly by allowing that incident to change government policy as demanded by the terrorists. That is the case whether or not the Iraq policy is a good idea.

You write: "ust not one of the monolithic proportions that you see."

My position is that we have a very large group of people with a similar ideology that aims at a common end result. If you want to call that monolithic - a buzz word, which to me, covers a whole host of possibilities that could be true whether or not my proposition is true.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John Crocker, you played "scholarly dubitation." The incident where the protest of van Gogh death was taken down by the police as "racist" happened. It was reported. You yourself have finally discovered it. I don't lie on HNN--not ever. NEXT TIME maybe you'll take my information seriously.

A professor colleague of mine two offices down also remembers discussing this incident with me at the time.

As you will see on the thread just below, John, Sheherizade is a perfectly acceptable way of spelling that name: just Google it in that spelling and see. There's no "do you mean?", etc. So you were wrong about that as well.

Now, John, don't YOU play Omar!
I mean:

1. Admit forthrightly that I was right about the wall-graffiti, and I mean, not the grudging admission above, which also now comes with "a small defense" from of the taking down of the provocative (?) "Thou Shall not Kill" mural. Tell me, John--in WHAT other culture is "Thou Shall Not Kill" PROVOCATIVE?

2. And once you do, you need to accept the cultural IMPLICATIONS of the behavior of the Mullahs' protest of "THOU SHALL NOT KILL" in that case! And you need to accept the IMPLICATIONS of the government's obscene appeasement, which you say was to prevent riots. Riots by WHOM? WHO was going to RIOT over the phrase "Thou Shall Not Kill"? THE DUTCH?????
3. Admit also that you were wrong to chastize me about "Sheherizade" , and that I was perfectly correct on that point as well.


Thanks, N.F.! And thank you, John, for being honest and showing I was correct.


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

John Crocker, you played "scholarly dubitation." The incident where the protest of van Gogh death was taken down by the police as "racist" happened. It was reported. A professor colleague of mine two offices down remembers discussing this incident with me at the time.

As you will see on the thread just below, Sheherizade is a perfectly acceptable way of spelling that name: just Google it in that spelling and see. No "do you mean?", etc. So you were wrong about that as well.

Now, John, don't YOU play Omar! mean:

1. Admit that I was right about the wall-graffiti. And once you do, you need to accept the cultural IMPLICATIONS of the behavior of the Mullahs in that case! And you need to accept the IMPLICATIONS of the government's obscene appeasement.
2 Admit that you were wrong to chastize me about "Sheherizade" , and that I was perfectly correct on that point as well.


Thanks, N.F.!


art eckstein - 2/14/2007

The way I spelled it was the way it came out on google. It's an obvious way of spelling it. Google "Sheherizade" and see.

Nice try.


John Charles Crocker - 2/14/2007

Regarding your condescending and entirely inaccurate portrayal of the world I live in.
I am a bit bogged down in my research but I manage to read not only the European press but the American press, though neither as much as I would like. I subscribe to the online versions of NYT, LA Times and WaPo among others as well as streaming American radio and downloading television programs. The internet is a wonderful thing.

You have mischaracterize my arguments here.
First I have always acknowledged Islamist extremists do pose a threat just not one of the monolithic proportions that you see.
Secondly, direct negotiations are a necessary first step in confronting Iran's nuclear program and to deny this is foolishness.
Again I think Mr. Sokolski's position on how to confront the Iranian nuclear program is quite sensible. Do you have any specific criticisms of his approach?
"Defusing Iran’s Bomb," Finding the Levers - And Pulling section.

A point of ignorance that I would appreciate your help with is how to insert links into comments.


John Charles Crocker - 2/13/2007

I have done some more checking and a Rotterdam artist named Chris Ripke painted a mural on the side of a building in Rotterdam neighboring a local mosque a few days after the murder. The mural consisted of the words "Gij zult niet doden" (Thou shalt not kill in Nederlands) in large print and the date 02-11-04 with what appears to be a patchwork bird of some kind (I assume it is intended to be a dove) in the background. A picture of the mural is available here:
www.2525.com/log/archives/2004/11/rotterdam_de_da_1.html
The imam of the neighboring mosque did complain and the mural was removed. The local authorities who ordered the mural removed were VVD, the party of Hirsi Ali. An account of the incident was carried in the Volkskrant and possibly some other papers.
It seems an inappropriate action to me as the owner of the wall had no complaint. In at least one account the mural was on the side of Ripke's studio. In some small defense, tensions in the Netherlands were quite high in the days following the murder and several mosques were vandalized. The authorities were in some cases overzealous in attempting to prevent rioting and further vandalism.


N. Friedman - 2/13/2007

Professor,

I found another google match:

The problem is not racism, but precisely a clash of civilizations, or a clash between two radically opposing views of how society should be ordered. Another news item from Holland last week vividly illustrated that fact: when Dutch artist Chris Ripke commemorated van Gogh by painting a mural featuring the words “Thou shalt not kill,” a local mosque leader complained to police. The mural, you see, was “racist.” The police obediently sandblasted away the offensive message.

Europe Confronts Racism, By Robert Spencer, FrontPageMagazine.com, November 11, 2004. Note that Mr. Spencer provides some additional detail including the name of the artist, the nature of the protest and who removed the allegedly offensive statement. So, I think your version of reality is basically confirmed.

Again: John lives in a world - and this is not his fault but the fault of the European press and its refusal to face facts even in order to report them - of see no evil, hear no evil. Such, you will note, colors his entire way of thinking, from the view that Islamist phenomena is not that big a problem - just terrorism like Europe has suffered - to the view that Iran's weapon program will be negotiated away or contained by sanctions - and not that I am advocating war but, instead, I note what even the EU noted, namely, that Iran is not likely to be persuaded of anything by negotiations. EU document: Iranian bomb unstoppable, The Jerusalem Post, February 13, 2007.

As the article states:

An internal European Union document has concluded that there will be no way to prevent Iran from enriching enough weapons-grade uranium to develop a nuclear bomb, the British newspaper The Financial Times reported Tuesday.

According to the report, the document states that the Iranian nuclear program has not been affected by diplomatic pressure, and has only been delayed due to technical limitations.

"At some stage we must expect that Iran will acquire the capacity to enrich uranium on the scale required for a weapons program," the Times quoted the document as saying, warning that "the problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone."


The world of make believe. Unfortunately, for Europe, it is they who will be most directly threatened by all this madness. And, it is Europeans who are most blind. Eventually, though, John - a bright guy - will catch on to reality. If not, he will watch while it becomes too late for Europe and then he will decide to move back stateside.



N. Friedman - 2/13/2007

Professor,

Such was noted in National Review, according to a Google search I just conducted:

The killing of Theo van Gogh is a textbook case of what happens when a tolerant but confused society takes political correctness to its illogical extreme. For Mohammed B. did not choose terrorism all by himself. He was indoctrinated and recruited in a mosque where he was pumped full of the Wahabbi doctrine "predominant in Saudi Arabia." The murder of van Gogh was an instant replay of the many murders carried out by Zarqawi and his followers in Iraq, extolled by fanatical Muslim Imams. As Allam reminds us, not all mosques are fundamentalist, extremist, or terrorist, but all the fundamentalists, extremists, and terrorists got that way in mosques.

The Dutch — like every other European society I know — were unwilling to recognize that they had potentially lethal enemies within, and that it was necessary to impose the rules of civil behavior on everyone within their domain. The rules of political correctness made it impossible even to criticize the jihadists, never mind compel them to observe the rules of civil society. Just look at what happened the next day: An artist in Rotterdam improvised a wall fresco that consisted of an angel and the words "Thou Shalt Not Kill." The local imam protested, and local authorities removed the fresco.


(Emphasis added). The quoted material appears in an article reprinted part way down on the below referenced web page, in an article titled The Killers - The Dutch hit crisis point, by Michael Ledeen, National Review, November 10, 2004. For what it is worth, I think the matter was also reported in US newspapers. However, if one follows the research presented by Bruce Bawer in While Europe Slept, it would not surprise me why John and his friends did not hear about it. Such was likely self-censored in European papers. I note that Bawer's book was rather well received by famed historian Walter Lacquer.


Carl Becker - 2/13/2007

Too bad, Art, you never wanted to have a discussion in the first place. Your selective bias mechanisms about radical Islam, the Green Peril and civilization threw you for a loop. By reducing this all to a Us-versus-Them antagonism, you lose the ability to understand the real relationship to your adversaries.


John Charles Crocker - 2/13/2007

Come on Prof you got caught with your pants down. You made a silly comment about someone else's spelling proficiency and misspelled the word you called them on. Now when you get called on it, rather than admitting your mistake you go on the attack. This looks an awful lot like what you ranted about Omar doing.

BTW I'm still waiting on those answers.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/13/2007

John, I'm looking into this myself and trying to get to the bottom of it, find the specific reference.


art eckstein - 2/13/2007

Too bad you have only rant, not facts, to offer.

We could start with the murder of Theo van Gogh and the Cartoon Jihad.


Carl Becker - 2/13/2007

Gee, Art, when you can’t argue the issue just change the subject. I’d have a lot more confidence if YOU could spell the word Sheherazade.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

I have searched the web to no avail. I asked several friends here in the Netherlands and none of them recall this and all seemed incredulous. The atmosphere in the Netherlands immediately following the murder was not favorable to the requests of mullahs. It is possible that they were able to invoke some obscure law in order to have such writing removed, I do know someone here who was given a ticket for improper use of public furniture. Flowers and candles remained at the site for some time though. It is also quite possible that such an event was mischaracterized in the American press.

If the event you describe did take place I would be disappointed in the government for caving in to such an unreasonable demand.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

Once again, the argument here has never been that there are not some misguided people on the Left who subscribe to an 'enemy of my enemy' approach and ally themselves to groups with which they otherwise disagree. Neither was it that some of these have found allies of convenience in Muslim groups, some of which have unsavory positions. The assertion you made is that this is epidemic within the Left. You claim that this is the majority position within the Left. You have failed to show this

Additionally you have yet again failed to address the questions I put to you.

First and foremost how do you define the Left?
You earlier included yourself and Lieberman on the Left, though as a minority. This would indicate that the majority of the American Democratic Party and some independents are included in the Left. This would include nearly half of the American voting public and probably a bit more than half of the American population. You further stated that those in bed with the Islamists on the Left outnumbered those such as yourself who are not. This would indicate that you are of the opinion that 25% or more of the American public are anti-American radicals. This matches your contention that over 65% of Americans advocate American defeat in Iraq. Is this your contention? If not, what is?

"As for Ellison, as I said, we'll have to see."
This is a far cry from your original assertion that he is a radical anti-American, pro-Islamist Lefty.

McKinney is and has been a fringe figure.

"And advocating withdrawal of U.S. forces is obviously advocating an American defeat,"
In that case well over half of Americans advocate American defeat. You have yet to say what you advocate.

I see little current value in post modernism other than some interesting art and theater. While I see some value in having cultural relativists in the conversation to provide a counter point I do not subscribe to their point of view. When push comes to shove few people I have encountered are really true post modernists or cultural relativists, though some have claimed to be.

I looked at the beginning of the Cliteur article, "The Postmodern Interpretation of Religious Terrorism." I will finish reading it when I have time in the next day or so.


art eckstein - 2/12/2007

I read it in the newspaper several days after the murder. Don't believe me, if you wish. No doubt that will make you feel better.


art eckstein - 2/12/2007

Crocker, I've presented plenty of evidence. You just don't want to accept it. Livingstone, Galloway, the Greenham Common Women, Buruma (who EQUATES Ayan Hirsi Ali with the murderer Bouyeri because one is a "Muslim Fundamentalist" and one an "Enlightenment Fundamentalist" and both are "warriors"--unbelievable post-modern sophistry), Chomsky, Butler, ANSWER, the position of "feminists"my own Department...I've more than made my point.

As for Ellison, as I said, we'll have to see. And advocating withdrawal of U.S. forces is obviously advocating an American defeat, though one can argue that at this point there is no choice. But if Ellison ends up ranting like Cynthia McKinney--another darling of the Left, a bitter anti-semite who became a Class of 1956 Professor at Cornell (didn't they KNOW?) after losing her seat the first time--don't claim no one told you it was coming.

Please read Paul Cliteur, professor of jurisprudence at Leiden, "The postmodern relativistic position makes Western societies easy prey for the ideology of radical Islamism," which can be found on the website of the Council for Secular Humanism.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

"You deny that Red Ken Livingstone in fact praised al-Qaradawi. Really?"
What I said was, "Regarding Livingston the search strings you suggest produce only partisan blogs. I will look further when I have time." I fail to see how this is a denial.

"If I'm wrong on the minor point of why Hirsi Ali was kicked out of Holland, so be it; the major point, that she was not defended by the Left..."
Point one, she was defended by the Left. She was a member of a political party that would be considered far left in the American context and they successfully lobbied to have the revocation of her Dutch passport overturned. This was despite the fact that she legally should have lost her status and hypocritically advocated the deportation to Kosova from the Netherlands of a girl who did the exact same thing she did months before she was to graduate high school.

The missing E explains why I could find no trace of this group on the web.

To defame the entirety or even majority of the anti-war protesters as anti-American or pro-Islamist because some of the organizers of the protest are fringe Left groups is not fair or accurate.

The argument here has never been that there are not some misguided people on the Left who subscribe to an 'enemy of my enemy' approach and ally themselves to groups with which they otherwise disagree. Neither was it that some of these have found allies of convenience in Muslim groups, some of which may have unsavory opinions. The assertion you made is that this is epidemic within the Left. You have failed to show this.

You have failed to respond on Redeker, Ellison, Iraq, and the lack of elected representatives with this view. Is this because you have no substantive response?

Could someone who made comments such as Redeker did aimed at Christianity or Judaism in a major paper hold a job a high school teacher in America? Would he not receive death threats? Would this indicate an abject failure by those who failed to stand up for him on the Right and Left?
Do you really thin that wanting the return of our troops is the same as wanting the US to fail? What does this say about the majority of the citizens of the US?
If you are really against the war and you are apparently against bringing our troops home what do you support?
Why, despite the election of some genuine Left wing representatives in Congress, do none of them hold the views that you assert are so widespread in the Left?
Your complete failure to answer any of these questions effectively is why your argument fails. Try as you might to blame it on me making unreasonable demands.

Regarding your assertions about Ellison, what do you find radical about his position on Israel?


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

"When someone wrote "Freedom of Speech" where van Gogh was murdered, the local mullahs successfully protested that this was 'racist' and it was wiped out by the government."
I can find no reference for this. Where did you come across this?


A. M. Eckstein - 2/12/2007

You deny that Red Ken Livingstone in fact praised al-Qaradawi. Really? If I'm wrong on the minor point of why Hirsi Ali was kicked out of Holland, so be it; the major point, that she was not defended by the Left but was attacked by Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash is true. If they are not Dutch, so what?


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I'm through having to prove things to you, Crocker. I've been through this before and no matter how much evidence you get presented with your answer is "Flimsy." Read Bruckner.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

The D66 withdrawal from the cabinet was related to a motion regarding Hirsi Ali's citizenship, but was the culmination of a longstanding feud between D66 and Verdonk over immigration policy that began before the Hirsi Ali controversy.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

"That Buruma is Dutch but writes in English and so has little impact in Holland is no argument"
I did not write that his writing in English was why he had little impact here. Virtually everyone in the Netherlands under the age of fifty speaks and reads English fluently. What I did write was that he writes for an American audience and does not have much of and audience here. This is true however much you might wish it to be otherwise.

Regarding Hirsi Ali your characterization of virtually particular is wrong.
The citizenship issue was brought up by Verdonk of the VVD in response to an expose on "Zembla." The Taida Pasic controversy was largely the motivation for the expose.
The dissolution of the Netherlands parliament was the result of D66 withdrawing from the cabinet over entirely unrelated issues.

Regarding Judt I had only your characterization of his comments. That was/is not enough for me to formulate an opinion, particularly given your wildly inaccurate characterization of the Hirsi Ali affair.

Regarding Livingston the search strings you suggest produce only partisan blogs. I will look further when I have time.

"You defend the destruction of Robert Redeker for telling what is, after all, the truth about Mohammed"
I did not defend his destruction, though I am not sure what you mean by destruction. He has every right to say whatever he wants no matter how hateful it may be and death threats are entirely unacceptable as a response. I did point out that if he had leveled a similar attack at Moses and or Jesus in a major American newspaper he would have lost his job as a high school teacher there as well and he likely he would have also faced death threats. Do you deny this? Would you speak out passionately about the injustice of this hypothetical teacher losing his job? Have you spoken out as passionately against the death threats received by the atheists protesting "under God" in the pledge or is it only threats from Muslims that frighten you.

I am not familiar with ANSWR and can find no mention of it online so cannot answer your characterization. I will note however that just because a group organizes a protest against an unpopular war that does not mean that most or even many of the participants support the other aims of that group. That some there may have shouted God is great is not all that surprising or alarming. Do you characterize these men as medieval for some reason other than shouting this phrase?

Mr Ellison has come out for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq this is not the same as coming out for US defeat no matter how you may try to spin it. By your logic here over 65% of America has come out for American defeat in Iraq. Is this your position?
You say you don't support the Iraq war, yet you don't support bringing home the troops. What do you support?

"The Left in the U.S. has historically rarely able to win elections"
Here you seem to have defined the Left into a minority within the Democratic party, yet earlier you include yourself and Lieberman on the Left, center/Left but still Left.
What do you mean when you say Left?
Was Carter on the Left? Clinton? any of the Kennedys?
My argument about electing people is far from irrelevant. You want to dismiss it because it doesn't fit within your narrative. The US has largely been gerrymandered. If this anti-American pro-Islamist agenda were so deeply entrenched and widespread in the Left someone would have been elected to the House if nowhere else. There are certainly Left wing politicians. If Kucinich can get elected certainly someone representing such a widespread constituency would have been elected.

"No doubt, Crocker, you will do what you usually do--claim that's not enough examples. But I'm tired of doing your research for you again. I've given you plenty of evidence"
When you make an assertion it is not up to me to research its defense for you.
Can you point to me arguing that you have provided enough examples? What I have argued is that your examples are flawed.
I wanted evidence of what you assert is a widespread phenomenon on the Left and the evidence you have provided is flimsy and at times wildly inaccurate.
You need to do much better if you expect your pretentious dismissal to carry any weight.


art eckstein - 2/12/2007

Mr. Crocker--

When van Gogh was KILLED after making a film protesting Muslim abuse of women--how many more films critical of Islam have been made by Dutch film-makers, especially on the Left? When someone wrote "Freedom of Speech" where van Gogh was murdered, the local mullahs successfully protested that this was "racist" and it was wiped out by the government. You yourself seem more interested in attacking the film than in comprehending the culture that produced the murderer. That Buruma is Dutch but writes in English and so has little impact in Holland is no argument--you said "I live in Europe" and Buruma in his attack on Hirsi for speaking out too loudly and for being an "Enlightenment Fundamentalist" writes for Europeans (and for Americans too).

The business about Hirsi's original application for asylum was well known--who investigated it anew in the Dutch government after her life was threatened and why did that lead to the fall of the government that did it? You just slough the incident off. Her neighbors were afraid of Muslim violence and blamed HER. Exactly my point: Should I now be expecting minions of Omar at my university office, coming to blow me away, followed by Crocker's comment: "Well, he went too far in debating Omar"? You think the multiculturalists WOULDN"T say something like that?

Your answer to Judt's inexcusable remark--inexcusable especially coming from Judt, someone who demands absolute freedom of speech for himself--is "I don't know the context." Essentially, on this you want to deny inconvenient facts on grounds of "scholarly dubitation". How often have we seen that tactic used by the Left (and Omar) on HNN! You will find Judt's remark reported in an important letter to the editor in The New Republic a month ago. by Lee Seigel, a senior editor of The New Republic.

As for Red Ken--google "Livingstone praises al-Qaradawi" and "Livington praises Islamism".

During the Cartoon Jihad, it wasn't a question of the Left condoning the primiitve and barbaric Muslim violence that resulted--that's a false issue--it's all the criticism of the right to publish those cartoons that came from the Left as a violation of multicultural sensitivity. The cartoons were never published in major American newspapers, nor in our own college newspaper, which daily publishes savage cartoons of Bush. Figure it out the mindset which would accept that situation. As for your attempt at American equivalence, and by contrast, Jay Leno on American TV night after night lampooned the Catholic Church during the pederasty scandal: and (1) received no death threats, let alone was he killed, while (2) no one on the Left declared that he should be more polite.

You defend the destruction of Robert Redeker for telling what is, after all, the truth about Mohammed--the truth about any ruler in the 7th century A.D. Note that the Muslim response to calling Mohammed violent was to engage in violence (same with the Pope Incident: call us VIOLENT? We'll KILL NUNS. Who on the left bitterly protested THAT? No, they were busy condemning the Pope.) Or do you think it's right that the publication of an editorial in a MAJOR newspaper (Le Figaro) should lead to death-threats from Muslims from which he was not defended by the Left? In fact, your position is the same as the French Left--He shouldn't have said it, he offended sensitivities, it's his own fault if he got death-threats. What appeasement! Toxic multiculturalism at work. Or is your point just a bien-pensant attack on the U.S., based on a hypothetical? And while Redeker is a high school teacher he is also a well-known philosopher, with at least three books.

Those who organized the huge antiwar demos in the U.S. were members of the communist organization International ANSWR, which believes that North Korea is an ideal society. They stood on platforms with medieval men shouting "Allahu Akbar!" You know I'm not making this up.

In Britain, the big "We are all Hezbollah Now" demos were partly organized by the old Greenham Common Women from the 1980s. This provoked only one appalled protest from a former GCW: "I thought we were for peace? I thought we were for women's liberation?"

Mr. Ellison has already come out in favor of defeat of the U.S. in Iraq, no matter how carefully phrased it is. Some of his major associates, such as Nihad Awad, support Hezbollah. And he's only been in office one month. I don't support the Iraq War, but let's see what else Mr. Ellison has on his plate.

Your argument about not electing people is completely beside the point: the Left in the U.S. has historically rarely able to win elections or to elect socialists (though now they have a senator). The point is not how electorally effective the Left is at this point in U.S. electoral politics. The question is whether the Left is increasingly in bed with and coddlng of the Islamists, whether an instinctive alliance increasingly EXISTS. Electoral ineffectiveness in the U.S. is no argument that it doesn't exist. Of course, in Britain the electoral story is a little different --look at the coalition that elected the vile George Galloway to Parliament.

You wanted evidence, I've presented plenty, including, at the local level, the disgraceful behavior of "feminists" in my own Department when confronted with Muslim abuse of women. But read Fred Halliday's article protesting the Left getting into bed with the Islamists. Read Pascal Bruckner on the same phenomenon (you can find it on Signandsight.com, just scroll down now to the middle of the page or so).

No doubt, Crocker, you will do what you usually do--claim that's not enough examples. But I'm tired of doing your research for you again. I've given you plenty of evidence


art eckstein - 2/12/2007

Typos combined with no facts, just a rant? Yes.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

Yes, typos do indicate a fundamental lack of understanding.


John Charles Crocker - 2/12/2007

I read the positions Ellison took when in the state legislature prior to commenting on him and none of his positions other than his support of gay marriage seemed all that controversial. In the US House he has called for US troops to come home from Iraq. Is this what makes you think he is radical? Are there any other positions that make you think he is radical? Do you think his position on Israel is radical or unfair to Israel?

What is going on in the Congress right now regarding Iraq is far less than most of the American people want. What do you think they should be doing regarding Iraq?

I am living in the Netherlands. Ian Baruma is largely ignored here. He is writing for an American audience and it seems he hit his mark. Most of the criticism of Hirsi Ali I have heard here revolved around the lies on her immigration forms and the hypocrisy of her position regarding the deportation of Taida Pasic. Regarding her film, the projection of verses of the Koran on nude women was the complaint that received the most attention. Very few suggested that she shouldn't have been allowed to make this deliberately provocative film, but some were upset that their tax money was being spent on round the clock security for her. If a similar film were made in America with Biblical verses being projected on naked people there would be a much larger outcry there than there was over her film here. The makers of this hypothetical film would no doubt receive death threats just as the 'artists' how constructed the Jesus in pee installation.
Regarding Ken Livingstone, by in bed with I guess you mean inviting him to a single conference on the wearing of the hijab by schoolgirls. If this qualifies as being in bed with then I am a terrible slut and you likely are as well.
I did indeed miss the Judt-Ali debate and a quick and lazy google search did not turn up the transcript, so I do not know the context of that remark and cannot reliably judge it or your characterization of it.
Regarding the cartoon. First it was published in a center right Danish paper that is to the Left of the NYT and the Washington Post, the two papers constantly referred to as representing the Left in America. Second the majority of the Left was horrified by the Muslim reaction to the cartoon they just didn't react as aggressively as the right. Can you name any prominent Left wing politicians who supported the Muslim reaction?
Regarding Redeker, did you actually read his comments? How long do you think an American high school teacher would keep his job if he wrote an editorial in a local paper that stated, "Pitiless war leader, pillager, butcher of innocents and polygamous, this is how Moses is revealed by the Bible." Then called the Bible "a book of incredible violence", adding: "Muhammad is a master of love, Jesus a master of hate." If this were published in the American South or rural Mid-West do you seriously think that he would not receive death threats?
Again I ask:
If the left you are talking about are so pervasive why are they not elected to office? If they train the candidates why are they incapable of enacting their agenda? Which candidates do you feel they have been so trained? Are these politicians supporting the agenda that you were speaking of? If so can you provide any examples? Why are these views rarely ever supported by anyone in the MSM?
and answer:
The most obvious answer to all of these questions is that they are not so pervasive as you think.


art eckstein - 2/12/2007

I'd have a lot more confidence in
your analysis, Carl, if you could spell Sheherizade.


Carl Becker - 2/12/2007

Pipes, the Bush loyalist, exaggerates the menace of Islam as well as the people of the Left, as usual. Supposedly the core logic goes that if a handful of radical Islamists are willing to die for a cause the people running the Arab/Muslim governments must be too. Right. So just keep creating your own reality while the rest of us go on studying it.


art eckstein - 2/12/2007

Euston Street Manifesto: my inaccuracy. Euston Street was where it was written. Official name is Euston Manifesto.

Ellison: le'ts wait until you see what Ellison's positions are. He's somewhere over near Cynthia McKinney. Ron Dellums was another person elected by the Left (he represented Berkeley) and if things had broken a different way would have been the chairman of a very powerful committee.

Can't get their agenda enacted? What do you think is going on with Iraq in Congress now, John?

You live in western Europe and didn't notice Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash's attacks on Ayan Hirsi Ali for criticizing Islam? They called her "an Enlightenment Fundamentalist." In Buruma's book on the murder of Theo van Gogh by a savage Muslim fanatic (a book in which Muslims come off as more likeable to Buruma than the indigenous Dutch), he quotes without disapproval a characterization of Hirsi Ali's film protesting Muslim physical abuse of women as a "Nazi-type film." You didn't notice Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, in bed with that vile anti-semite and proponent of suicide bombing al-Qaradawi? Perhaps because you live in Europe you missed Tony Judt of NYU telling Hirsi Ali that criticizing Islam was "something of a luxury" for her and not protected speech. And where was the Left during the Cartoon Jihad? Many, many, sided with the primitives. And who on the Left came to the defense of the French philosopher Robert Redeker who lost his teaching job because of Muslim death-threats because he dared to criticize Islamic violence in "Le Figaro"? Answer: no one on the Left; the Left thought he'd been impolite. The Communist mayor of the town where Redeker lives attacked him for mentioning that he taught in that town. The leading leftist human rights organizations, instead of seeking to protect him, denounced Redeker's "irresponsible declarations" and "putrid ideas".

I could go on. But you wanted facts, and I've now given you some.


John Charles Crocker - 2/11/2007

I read the Euston Manifesto before commenting in this thread. I don't see much of it as being at all that controversial, though it does seem a bit to overeagerly interventionist. I also read a few of your FrontPage articles. Your association with both of these groups left me guessing. If you say the Euston Manifesto reflects your politics I will take you at your word. It still seems to me that someone who holds these views would find Horowitz an uncomfortable bedfellow.

I am not sure your characterization of
Ellison is fair. It seems that he had considerable Jewish support in this past election and has renounced his former ties to the Nation of Islam. If the Jewish community of Minneapolis, who no doubt know him better than we, don't find him to be anti-semitic or anti-American why do you?

There are a few loud voices on the Left who look to have taken an enemy of my enemy approach, but these are not the majority voices on the Left.

If the left you are talking about are so pervasive why are they not elected to office? If they train the candidates why are they incapable of enacting their agenda? Which candidates do you feel they have been so trained? Are these politicians supporting the agenda that you were speaking of? If so can you provide any examples? Why are these views rarely ever supported by anyone in the MSM? The most obvious answer to all of these questions is that they are not so pervasive as you think.

I am currently living in Western Europe and the only place I regularly hear talk of a link between Islamism and the Left is on this board and some right wing blogs.

This is an entirely trivial question but I am curious. Why do you refer to the Euston Manifesto as the Euston Street Manifesto? They never seem to self identify as such.


art eckstein - 2/11/2007

Mr. Crocker, I don't speak as bluntly in my Department because I know how to operate in a University. Otherwise I wouldn't be a full professor. But just to bring up Islamic oppression of women in the context of a job talk by a candidate in Islamic history results in scowls from...THE FEMINISTS. I find that very disturbing, and so should everyone else.

I'm a member of the American and the British Euston Street people, and if you READ their manifesto you will find my politics expressed exactly there--both in foreign policy and social policy. You don't have to speculate. I agree with the statements in the Euston Street Manifesto--and it is not a document of the Right. So you don't have to speculate about me.

As for my occasional association with Frontpage, Horowitz sometimes publishes pieces that do not come from people who agree with him politically. He knows my politics, and he knows that my politics are not his. And frankly, in my dealings with him I have always found Horowitz to be more honest and more intellectually flexible than many people on the Left.

He is more honest and intellectually flexible than Michael Berube, for instance, with whom I've broken a few spears, and who consistently slanders Horowitz as a liar. But in his new book Berube presents a version of events at the University of Northern Colorado which he KNOWS is untrue--he knows it, because over a period of three days of detailed discussion on his blog I proved to him that Horowitz was telling the truth about this case.

Frontpage is a convenient place, for instance, for me to express my disdain for the chair of the Department of Political Science at Pitt who dares to write an article claiming that there are few professed Christians in the more elite universities NOT because of bias against them but because Christians are simply incapable of complex thought. [THINK ABOUT THE CONTRADICTION IN THAT STATEMENT.] This is the same article which denies that politics plays a role in the hiring and promotion of untenured faculty--a highly controversial and opinionated article, which the chair WROTE with THREE UNTENURED people on whom HE personally will pass judgment in terms of their careers! [GET IT?]

Sometimes, as Mario Savio says, the working of the machine make you so disgusted that you have to throw your body onto the gears to try to stop it.

As for my bluntness to people such as Omar--they deserve it. He's an ignorant hate-filled barbarian, and he should be told so. Or that British guy a month ago, whose reaction to the murder of the Palestinian by Palestinian terrorists who were looking to kill ANY Jew and happened on this Palestinian who was jogging in an upscale Jewish neighborhood and just blew him away by MISTAKE--the British guy's reaction was to attack the Palestinian mistaken for a Jew! Why, they must have known that he was a collaborator, etc. That was his position when Fateh ITSELF apologized for the "mistake"--they were only after any Jews around. (Sound racist to you? ) THAT guy with his increasingly desperate slanders of the dead didn't deserve to be treated with respect either. You may have noticed that I started OUT talkin' to him nice, though...

The Left I'm talking about aren't elected to office (except for the new ex-Farakhan respresentative from Minneapolis), they just TRAIN them. Chomsky is no marginal figure in academia and neither is Judith Butler. The link between the Left and the Islamists is commonly discussed in Europe nowadays. See the recent article by Fred Halliday, a man who is no friend of the Right, protesting it.






John Charles Crocker - 2/11/2007

Ms. Butler's statement, if accurate, is ridiculous and is not a position that will find support anywhere but on the fringes. Chomsky and Butler are the go to voices of those who want to tar the Left as anti-American and anti-Western. Absent here is the voice of any of the elected representatives of the Left. If it is such a large slice of the American Left that holds to these positions why is it that no one in the US House or Senate is pushing this agenda? Surely if this agenda is so prominent on the Left they would have been able to elect someone with this view in one of their strongholds. Can you point to any prominent elected representative of the American Left that holds such views?

On this site you often voice your opinions in a blunt, impolitic manner. As far as the feeling you get from your fellow faculty, if you voice your opinions in a similar manner with them as you often do here, I can see why many would see it as impolite. This is not to say you should be silenced, merely that your style of discourse, at least here, tends toward the combative and as such can draw a similarly combative response.

You claim here to be center/left. The articles you have contributed to FrontPage cast serious doubt on this assertion. This is not to say that it cannot be true, but I have seen no evidence of it in your writing.

As a side note, why do you choose to associate yourself with FrontPage?


art eckstein - 2/10/2007

Sure, James. Interesting discussion.

best,

AE


James Spence - 2/10/2007

Professor,

I agree. And thank you for your patience.


art eckstein - 2/10/2007

James,

Judith Butler declared her solidarity with Hezbollah, at Berkeley last September, with the statement that "It is important to understand that as a movement, Hezbollah is part of the international left." (Hezbollah--with its antisemitsm, fascist salutes, derogation of women! Can you imagine?)

No, Butler and Chomsky don't speak for everyone, but in my own Department it has become "impolite" to mention the vast and violent history of Muslim aggression: the bien-pensants' position is that only the intellectual unsophisticated (or even bigotted) bring up such issues. Similarly, it is now considered by many in my Department intellectually unsophisticated (or even bigotted) to bring up in public the Muslim issue of oppression of women (and this from the supposed "feminists" in my Department--they pressure people not to discuss it, and express disapproval wheni t is brought up-- on grounds that this is insensitivity to multiculturism! The hypocrisy is unbelievable.)

So I know whereof I speak.

No, this isn't the entire left. But it's a large slice of it: they identify with the alleged "victim", they identify with the enemy of the West, and they are (I fear) secretly tickled by the violence unleashed upon the Western society that feeds them, but which they are too comfortable to challenge in that direct sort of way.

But there are people on the left who do not feel or think this way. As I said, the center/left Euston Street Manifesto Group--of which I am a memo in its American branch. Our statements are not hard to find on the net. But, James, I fear we are a minority.


James Spence - 2/10/2007


Not exactly sure what you mean by 'other-than-Muslim' but I agree that society in Britain and Europe is becoming more violent because of this religion. But caused ONLY because of Islam? No other factors that are being overlooked? Maybe the violent attitudes in Britain toward the society they live in have more than one origin.


James Spence - 2/10/2007

(dominant voices on the left see that "any enemy of the U.S./capitalism/the West")

Okay professor. I don’t deny the views some dominant Leftists have, but once again I’m saying, that doesn’t mean the voices of Chomsky or Butler speak for the majority of the Left. This seems an assumption by Pipes and others of which I see no evidence that backs it up.

Part of my earlier point is the generalizations public figures like Pipes and the media use which control the tone of the dialogue in our society and which gives rise to unfair assumptions by the public of what Left means. Does it also mean those aligned with the Enlightenment? I don’t like the political use of the word “enemy” either. What does that suppose to mean? that Chomsky and Butler, if given the opportunity, would blow up the Pentagon to make a political point or because they hate America?

“the left is allying with social and cultural groups that have been associated with the Muslim community” doesn’t mean they are with the Muslims who want to cut our heads off. The groups you speak of within the Left, America and Europe, as I see it, are not “bedding down” but only voicing disagreement with the way the America and Europe has approached its conflicts with the Islamic world.

What I know of the complexities of the conflict between Islam and the West, the origins of Arab nationalism, is far beyond my scope and I hope to learn more. At the moment though there are some ideas put out that are harder to chew than others. What Pipes and others say, sounds logical at first, but when I think about it more it seems there’s a bit of ideology mixed in with their dialogue about the menace of Islam. They are careful of course to exclude the moderate Muslims as the menace but I think they are really talking about all of Islam and the looming Islamic Caliphate. This sort of thinking ramps up the insanity. And also, it is difficult to see how all this is supposed to happen when Arabs exhibit such poor political cohesion.

I am not denying there’s no threat from radical Islam because there’s always a threat from anything radical. Something I think less noticeable in the threat category is that Russia today still has enough of an arsenal to kill most of us, and when I think of Putin, I think of the new James Bond breed, a sort of thug who just might have no compunction at all to dominate Europe if he thought he could get away with it.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/10/2007

There are groups on the Left or somewhat left of center such as the Euston Street Manifesto Group which are as you describe the Left MIGHT be, Mr. Spence.

But I don't see how you can deny that dominant voices on the left see that "any enemy of the U.S./capitalism/the West" is fine with me. Noam Chomsky is a fine example. Judith Butler is
another. That much of the left--including, appallingly, many feminists--has chosen to bed down with Islam faute de mieux as the only game in town against the U.S. is obvious to many Islamic radicals themselves. Such as:

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
December 27, 2006

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In much of the western world, progressive political and social forces have rallied to the defence of Muslim immigrant communities that face systematic discrimination following the launching of the ‘war on terror’. In the anti-war movement in the United States and Great Britain for example, Muslim associations have worked closely with secular groups that broadly associate themselves with the political left. This intriguing alignment of forces would appear to be a logical and measured response to the jingoism of many western governments as well as the attendant suspicions and harassment that have become commonplace within larger society.

It is important to be clear that in most cases the left is allying with social and cultural groups that have been associated with the Muslim community, as opposed to overtly political entities that could be categorized as ‘Islamist’. However the effective result of this policy of alignment of progressive groups in Europe and North America is enhanced interaction and even cooperation with political forces that are currently at the forefront of resistance to imperial invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ongoing brutal occupation of Palestine.


James Spence - 2/9/2007

“…the Left feels a kinship with Islamist attacks on the West, forgiving, understanding why these would happen.” I like the way Pipes generalizes that EVERYONE who is a lefty as sympathetic to Islamic radicalism, that all lefties don’t take the Islamic threat seriously, that all lefties focus on the terrorism linked to Western colonization, , that this results in an “aggressive ideology”. I’d like to see some more information on this before coming to the same conclusion he has.

He gives some examples and but assumes this is all the scholarship he needs to nail his black and white evidence on the entire Left American population. This is like saying that ALL fundamentalist Christians in America are the dumbest sobs on the planet without producing enough convincing evidence.

Are we supposed to read Pipe’s mind and figure he means something else, or is this just another instance of him wanting to increase the tension between the “barbarians” and the West and between the liberals and conservatives in America? There is no doubt that fundamentalist Muslims can be “anti-modern, millenarian, misanthropic, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, triumphalist, jihadistic, terroristic, and suicidal. “

Pipes is “alarmed by Islamism's advances in the West. Much of the Left approaches the topic in a far more relaxed fashion.” Then he equates all the those on the Left as having the same “opponents” and as having the same “enemies” as the radical Islamists. That this is a “temptation” for lefties to join ranks with the Islamic radicals in their attacks on the West. This is one hell of an idiotic assumption to expect anyone to seriously believe.

I’ve personally seen the growing Muslim population in Europe and it makes me very uneasy as I watch the minarets rise one by one each year– and these are the peaceful Muslims. So, in a way, I understand, Pipe’s alarmism but this doesn’t give him the right to point fingers exclusively at the Left or to imply that the Muslim world has an ideology that cannot be appeased – can Pipe’s ideology be appeased? If he admits he has one that is.

And after he says “There is no way to appease this ideology” and “no change of foreign policy that make it can go away” he talks about the goal to have an ideal relationship with, I assume moderate, Muslims which can only be achieved by “standing firm with our civilized allies around the globe”. Well, I don’t believe the moderate Muslims are going to save you Mr. Pipes. Fundamentalists have the Koran to point to justify violence, moderates will only step aside. They wouldn’t be overjoyed if the jihadis cut off our heads, but they wouldn’t stop it from happening either. Thus your plan in this area seems naïve.

Off the subject here but I must say don’t I trust the Islamic radicals. But then I don’t trust the Religious Right in America either. Both have ideologies that come from their supposedly flawless biblical interpretations. One side has secret terrorist cells with suicidal maniacs, the other has God’s Army or Christian Embassy. One side is violent, the other gentle but just as effective. People in Christian and Islamic nations can find loopholes even in the most carefully crafted modern legal documents, and we're supposed to trust the perfection of holy books written by people who didn't even have flush toilets?

What is Pipes’ bottom line? Same foreign policy? More war if there is no plan B? That there is no clash of civilizations since only the West is considered a viable civilization and the other not?


art eckstein - 2/9/2007

E.S., on the other article today, someone wrote that Omar actually does us in the West a favor by being a living, continuous and inescapable exemplar of every Islamicist intellectual and moral pathology. He makes it clear what the problem is.


E. Simon - 2/8/2007

He also humiliates and shames any potential audience that would accept his apology, for merely allowing them to witness what he would unapologetically do to someone else.

As I said, only the weak-willed would accept a friend who only wishes to shield them from witnessing what he knows they consider to be wrong to do to anyone else.


art eckstein - 2/7/2007

1. The usual Inaccuracy and slander. Pipes isn't waging a war on Islam, and my understanding of the crisis within Islam is similar to his (and N. Friedman thinks we're naive). Pipes is quite famous for distinguishing between Islam in general and what he calls radical Islam: This is what he wrote in the HNN article: "TODAY THERE IS A THIRD TOTALITARIAN MOVEMENT, A THIRD BARBARIAN MOVEMENT, NAMELY THAT OF RADICAL ISLAM. IT IS AN EXTEMIST UTOPIAN VERSION OF ISLAM. I AM NOT SPEAKING OF ISLAM THE RELIGION, I AM SPEAKING OF A VERY UNUSUAL AND MODERN READING OF ISLAM."

How does THIS get turned into a war on Islam? You know, in the thread up above Omar showed himself incapable of reading a simple sentence in English from me, and then slandered me, and then, when caught at it, and urged to apologize, he refused, and just responded with more insults. Here he shows that I'm not the only victim of his poor reading skills. He can't read Pipes either,

2.. The inaccuracy and slander is then followed by a grotesque paranoid fantasy. Paranoia is the projection onto others of feelings of aggression you cannot acknowledge in yourself.

Another performance from Omar which humiliates himself and anyone who claims to be a Muslim intellectual.


art eckstein - 2/7/2007

There he goes, folks--blaming the other person not himself, even when he is clearly in the wrong. And having been SHOWN to be in the wrong, his response is more insults. The only problem with my posting, Omar, as Simon has made clear, was that you didn't bother to read what I wrote before insulting me and calling me a "liar" when it is YOU who made a gross mistake. Omar, you humiliate and shame yourself.

FOLKS, IN HIS POSTING ABOVE, OMAR PROVIDES A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF NONIE DARWISH'S COMMENTS ABOUT MUSLIM CULTURAL INDIFFERENCE TO TRUTH AND INABILITY TO APOLOGIZE WHEN CAUGHT IN AN ATROCITY, AN ERROR, A MISTAKE OR AN OUTRIGHT LIE--BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE A SIGN OF "WEAKNESS." As I predicted, Omar's behavior shows only too tragically how correct Darwish is.. After this, no one can take him seriously.

Disgusting. Even though I had made it perfectly clear to anyone who could read--INTRODUCING the who passage with "This is Nonie Darwish's testimony" and DIRECTLY PRECEDING the question with "This is what SHE says, " with SHE in capital letters, Omar blames me for his inability to read.

Omar, no one else made your mistake. Look at the statement by E. Simon. The fault lies with YOU, and no one else--and you humiliate and shame yourself when your response to being caught is to heap more abuse on the person you have victimized via your lack of reading skills.

Grotesque.


art eckstein - 2/7/2007

E. Simon, I doubt that Omar will apologize.

It's simply beyond his culture and his personality, even when caught red handed in an offense (in this case an intellectual offense). He will still blame someone else--ANYONE else. To accept blame, to admit error, is shameful and humiliating and "weak" in his culture, even if the result is to stick him with advocating a lie in the face of overwhelming empirical evidence.

Read closely what Nonie Darwish says here about honor and shame and the non-value of truth in Muslim societies in the posting I posted on Feb. 5 at 4:33 p.m. (#105055). As the daughter of the Egyptian colonel who created the Fedayeen in Gaza in the 1950s she was speaking from the inside, of course--and Omar's disgraceful behavior proves just how right Darwish was in what she said.


art eckstein - 2/7/2007

The British left-wing newspaper The Guardian reports the results of a new poll last Sunday (Feb. 4, 2007): 30% of British Muslims between the ages of 16-24 advocate DEATH for anyone who engages in apostacy from Islam.

These were people born in Britain.

THIS kind of barbarous, violent attitude has NOTHING to do with israel or colonialism or the West, folks.

It may not be the only Islam there is, but it is an attitude coming from DEEP within Islam, and it is powerful. It's the same violent attitude to be seen in blowing up universities in Baghdad (and Jerusalem), or using suicide truck-bombs to kill hundreds of civilians at a market in Baghdad. And NO amount of blaming the other-than-Muslim can escape this empirical fact.


E. Simon - 2/6/2007

Omar,

Think.

Why would an apology to a reader (such as myself) who has deemed your response as "aggressive and /or unwarranted", mean anything when you can't even apologize to the person to whom you behaved - in the eyes of these readers - in an "aggressive and /or unwarranted" way?

If you can't apologize to the person whom you have wronged, then only a weak-willed person will care if you apologize to them for doing it to a third party; it just shows that you're not worth being trusted, at least not willingly, or without fear. Are such weak-willed friends the only kind you can bear to have...?

You are just trying to get out of something without first putting it behind you and moving on.

What are you afraid will happen if you apologize to Eckstein?


A. M. Eckstein - 2/6/2007

Of course, that's "learn how to READ", Omar. It's important when engaging in an online debate. Good luck.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/6/2007

OMAR WRITESThere is nothing to indicate that the (Question:) was addressed to Darwish; no quotation marks and/or clear attribution to a specific source.
It came in after four paras two of which started with the exclamation "Omar" including the one immediately preceding the(Question:).

There follows more insults to me.

Well, folks, HERE IS THE EXACT QUOTE FROM MY #105055, FEB. 5 AT 4:33 P.M.:

Omar, grave U.S. mistakes have indeed contributed to the chaos in Iraq. But this savagery is coming from within Iraqi society and from within religions and ideological fanaticisms which you yourself support. As for your instinctive blaming of the other, I am going to conclude with a long quote from Nonie Darwish. Her father was the Egyptian colonel who created the Fedayeen, the first anti-Israeli guerrillas in Gaza in the 1950s. Here is what SHE says now about the Muslim deep instinct always to blame the other and never to look in the mirror:


Question: You describe how Arabs see a virtue in never admitting a mistake. To say the least, this kind of psychology necessitates pathology and the failure of a culture. No? Tell us about this mindset and its effects.

IT IS PERFECTLY CLEAR TO ANYONE WHO CAN READ TO WHOM THIS QUESTION IS ADDRESSED; I INTRODUCE THE WHOLE QUOTATION BY SAYING I AM NOW GOING TO CONDLUE WITH A LONG QUOTE FROM NONIE DARWISH. THEN, JUST BEFORE THE QUESTION IS POSED TO HER, I WRITE, 'AND THIS IS WHAT SHE SAYS" (AND SHE IS EMPHASIZED, Omar--'SHE' IS EMPHASIZED).

AND YET YOU SAY THERE WAS 'NO WAY TO KNOW IT WAS HER'? ONLY IF YOU CAN'T READ--OR DON'T WANT TO.

OMAR I demand an APOLOGY--AND a promise that you learn how to rad

As it is, you PROVE Darwish's POINT--ALWAYS BLAME THE OTHER, EVEN IF YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS AT FAULT.


N. Friedman - 2/6/2007

Thanks.


A. M. Eckstein - 2/6/2007

In my opinion Goldhagen tends to be over-the-top, N.F. Doesn't mean I don't read him, because he is often very interesting, but I do so with care.

best,

Art


N. Friedman - 2/6/2007

Art,

This is very helpful.

As for your other point about this being 1938, I largely agree to the extent that I understand that period. I note, however, Bat Ye'or view that we are already well past that point.

I also gather that since you do not mention Goldhagen by name that he is not among your favorite historians.


art eckstein - 2/6/2007

And now I require an apology for your calling me a "liar," when what happened was that you misread the posting, and thought the question was directed at you, when it is a question directed at NONIE DARWISH, concerning something she had already written about it being culturally very difficult for Arabs to publicly admit mistakes.

Let's see if you do it.


art eckstein - 2/6/2007

NO NO Omar, you can't read: the "YOU" is a question directed at NONIE DARWISH, part of her interview.

That's why it says "QUESTION." IT IS A QUESTION TO HER, TO NONIE DARWISH, IT IS WHAT SHE HAS SAID, followed by her ANSWER.

It has nothing to do with YOU.

Omar, you humiliate yourself when you make paranoid mistakes such as this.


art eckstein - 2/6/2007

As I wrote, I am not sure of the position of the Mullahs. Morris has a lot of evidence that they are just as genocidal as Ahmedinejad; so-called moderates such as Rafsanjani also have a bad history of genocidal statements. On the other hand, in the last weeks they've given public indications of some distancing of themselves from him. But this may just be public relations, as you say.

It is worth remark that if any Israeli politicians made remarks such as these Iranian primitives get away with,--e.g., "we are going to wipe the Palestinians off the map"-- the world press would crucify them, and the UN would rush to pass resolutions and sanctions. As it is, however, we're living in the 1930s. where barbarians are invited to tea by diplomats and treated with kid gloves.

To cite two examples:

Khatami is invited to speak at the National Cathedral in Washington, whose Dean is a noted and very energetic supporter of gay rights. The Dean forebears to remonstrate with Khatami over the fact that the government he used to head has hung 4,000 gays, including teenagers as young as 16. The issue just doesn't come up.

Again, Khatami is invited to speak at Harvard--a week after the Iranian government begins a purge of all "liberal" professors at the University of Tehran. No Harvard professors mentions the purge.


N. Friedman - 2/6/2007

Professor,

Are you sure that the Mullahs really disagree so much with Ahmadinejad? They have also been belligerent, as noted by Benny Morris, right from the beginning of the regime. The underlying belligerency is also Goldhagen's position, if I understand his reference to the supposed moderate Rafsanjani.

So, is it that Ahamadinejad is merely the front person who provides plausible deniability for the Mullah class - i.e., they can disown him or embrace him while, either way, quietly supporting him - or are there real ideological differences involved?


art eckstein - 2/6/2007

I'm afraid I side with you, Bernard Lewis, Benny Morris (whom I happen to know), etc. I believe that Ahmadinejad means what he says, and that it is culturally patronizing to think that he does not--that "he's just like us in the West but with funny clothes."

There are two questions relevant:

One is the balance of power between Ahmadinejad. and the ayatollahs, who (as far as I can see) are the real power in the Iranian government. How will these theocrats react if they get the bomb? Will they restrain this new Hitler, or not?

The other is the race against time between the development of the bomb and the growing unpopularity of Ahmedinejad himself among the middle classes. The Iranian parliament passed a resolution very critical of Ahmedinejad's irresponsible words and actions a couple of weeks ago. Quite extraordinary. Inflation and unemployment is skyrocketing.

I believe the Iranian economic disaster is because the Saudis don't want a Shiite power or an Iranian power and are intentionally lowering the price of oil in order to put pressure on the Iranian economy (i.e., less and less income). In any case, it puts Ahmedinejad in the position of not being able to keep his economic promises.

But will this work? My instinct says no. Ahmedinejad, like Hitler, has the willpower to resist minor problems such as the ones I have described above.

best,

AE


N. Friedman - 2/6/2007

Correcting the Lewis link: Bernard
Lewis Article


N. Friedman - 2/6/2007

Professor,

Have you seen these three articles by eminent historians Bernard Lewis, Benny Morris and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen - who indicate that Iran, if it obtains the bomb, will not likely be deterred from using it?

Morris: http://www.nysun.com/article/47111
Lewis: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467834546&;pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Goldhagen: http://www.wadinet.de/news/iraq/newsarticle.php?id=1903

Do you think they are correct? I note that I have attempted to discuss these articles with a number of our favorite interlocutors (e.g. Peter C. and John C.), asking them to post evidence and arguments that suggest that the scenarios inherent in the articles are wrong. I am told, with bald assurance, that the noted historians are wrong but no one has any evidence or arguments to justify disagreement. I kind of wish that there were such evidence or arguments.

My gut reaction is that the noted historians are, in the broad detail, that Iran would not be deterred from use the bomb if it gets it, correct although Morris may be mistaken that the Israelis will behave like a deer caught in a headlight and that the rest of the world will sit by and let that nightmare occur without retaliation.

What do you think? I might add that this ought concern Omar since, if Morris is correct, the Palestinian Arabs at least in Israel proper would also be wiped out. And Morris does not even account for the possibility that Iran would not have such good aim and land the A-bombs only in Palestinian Arab areas. Or, would it be a mistake since, as Morris notes, the Persians hold Arabs and, most especially Palestinian Arabs, in lowly contempt.



N. Friedman - 2/6/2007

Art,

Regarding failing to see others as they are, you might read Bernard Lewis' book The Muslim Discovery of Europe. The failure to think that anything coming from infidels is worthwhile - and the contempt for infidels and, most especially, those from Europe - had, on Lewis' account, far more to do with the decline of Islamic power and society than anything the West did. I might add, the book is the probably the best Lewis book I have ever read.


art eckstein - 2/5/2007

Mr. Friedman--I think you will see that Nonie Darwish's comments, which I have posted just above, support your concept of Muslim society as a "coercive society", vs. individualism.

best,

AE


art eckstein - 2/5/2007

This belongs here in response to Omar, not above, in response to NF.


Omar, the invasion of Iraq was a terrible U.S. error, and the disbanding of the army was another terrible error.

BUT... no one FORCES Muslim suicide bombers to intentionally kill hundreds of innocent people (Muslims, as it happens) at the time. This is not a "natural" response to the breakdown of law and order. No one FORCES,nor is it a "natural" response to "oppression" for suicide-bombers to blow up markets and universities. That savagery is coming from within ideological and religious fanaticism. These barbarous, appalling acts are, the 34,000 intentional civilian dead last year, the 500 intentional civilian dead last week--actions perpetrated NOT by Mossad, NOT by the CIA, NOT by the US at all or the West but by MUSLIM fanataics upon Muslims--all this is a shame and humilation upon Islam, especially because it is perpetrated by those who claim to be the purest practitioners of Islam.

In fact what you are arguing for is Saddam's regime--which DID maintain order, with its 17 separate secrete police organizations, its 300,000 dead, its torture chambers where people were fed into wood-chippers and dipped in acid, wives in front of husbands, children in front of parents....

Omar, grave U.S. mistakes have indeed contributed to the chaos in Iraq. But this savagery is coming from within Iraqi society and from within religions and ideological fanaticisms which you yourself support. As for your instinctive blaming of the other, I am going to conclude with a long quote from Nonie Darwish. Her father was the Egyptian colonel who created the Fedayeen, the first anti-Israeli guerrillas in Gaza in the 1950s. Here is what SHE says now about the Muslim deep instinct always to blame the other and never to look in the mirror:


Question: You describe how Arabs see a virtue in never admitting a mistake. To say the least, this kind of psychology necessitates pathology and the failure of a culture. No? Tell us about this mindset and its effects.
 
Darwish: The Arab culture is famous for its concept of pride.  Image is very important and pride and shame are great motivators. Protecting the image of Muslims in front of the non-Muslim West is vital. Thus elaborate behavior is done to saving face. Admitting to a mistake can bring terrible shame and is not regarded as a virtue; those who admit to mistakes are not rewarded for their honesty but ridiculed and shamed or even severely punished. Until today most Muslims blame 9/11 on a Jewish conspiracy. The father of Muhammad Attah in Egypt, for 4 years denied that his son headed the 9/11 terror attack even when the whole world saw him checking into the airplane that slammed into the twin towers. Only recently Atta's father come out and admitted he is proud of what his son “the Shahid” and not the terrorist has done. 
 
There are people in Arab jails right now who are accused of defaming Islam or their country in front of non-Muslims. This defamation can be a simple praise of Christians or Jews and of being critical of radical Islam. Fear of being accused of defaming one’s tribe, nation or religion leads to a culture that tends to blame others rather than look within. The Judeo Christian culture concentrates heavily on the concept of “we are all sinners and only through the grace of God we can be saved.” That is a big relief to the Western psyche.  Muslim education views members of other religions as sinners; the infidel non-Muslim sinners can only be saved by announcing they are Muslims. It is a prominent part of the Jewish faith to talk about God’s punishment when they are disobedient to God’s laws.
 
That honest admission by Jews is not viewed by Muslims as a virtue and a step towards self-improvement, but as an admission of wrong doing and that Jews are bad and deserve God’s wrath; that is why to many Muslims Jews do not deserve land or a nation. “They themselves even admit that they are sinners,” I once heard a Muslim say.  There is also a concept in Islam called “taqueya” which allows lying to non-Muslims if it is in the best interest of Islam. That concept is very deep in Muslim culture that we don't even think of the term “taqueya” any more; it has simply penetrated every aspect of Muslim life. Because of it there is very little self-criticism.
 
Thus, saying sorry, admitting guilt or looking within for solutions is not a strong value; it will surely get a person in deep trouble instead. Such a person will bear the blunt of the blame for everything -- even for what he did not do; thus you have Muslim denials and defensiveness over matters that many in the West cannot comprehend. Muslims are in denial when they say that Muslim women have more rights than Western women; even many Muslim women convinced themselves with that and defend Sharia Law rather than say the truth in front of the non-Muslim West. 
 
Muslims are in denial when they say Israel is behind all Muslim terrorism across the globe, even 9/11; they are in denial when they say that Arab tyrants are the product of American foreign policy, but when America takes out Saddam, they say “you are interfering in our internal affairs.


art eckstein - 2/5/2007

The invasion was a terrible error, and the disbanding of the army was another terrible error, Omar.

But no one FORCES Muslim suicide bombers to kill hundreds of innocent people (Muslims, as it happens) at the time. This is not a "natural" response to the breakdown of law and order. No one FORCES,nor is it a "natural" response to "oppression" for suicide-bombers to blow up markets and universities. That savagery is coming from within ideological and religious fanaticism. These barbarous, appalling acts are, the 34,000 intentional civilian dead last year, the 500 intentional civilian dead last week--actions perpetrated NOT by Mossad, NOT by the CIA, NOT by the US at all or the West but by MUSLIM fanataics upon Muslims--all this is a shame and humilation upon Islam, especially because it is perpetrated by those who claim to be the purest practitioners of Islam.

In fact what you are arguing for is Saddam's regime--which DID maintain order, with its 17 separate secrete police organizations, its 300,000 dead, its torture chambers where people were fed into wood-chippers and dipped in acid, wives in front of husbands, children in front of parents....

Omar, grave U.S. mistakes have indeed contributed to the chaos in Iraq. But this savagery is coming from within Iraqi society and from within religions and ideological fanaticisms which you yourself support. As for your instinctive blaming of the other, I am going to conclude with a long quote from Nonie Darwish. Her father was the Egyptian colonel who created the Fedayeen, the first anti-Israeli guerrillas in Gaza in the 1950s. Here is what SHE says now about the Muslim deep instinct always to blame the other and never to look in the mirror:


Question: You describe how Arabs see a virtue in never admitting a mistake. To say the least, this kind of psychology necessitates pathology and the failure of a culture. No? Tell us about this mindset and its effects.
 
Darwish: The Arab culture is famous for its concept of pride.  Image is very important and pride and shame are great motivators. Protecting the image of Muslims in front of the non-Muslim West is vital. Thus elaborate behavior is done to saving face. Admitting to a mistake can bring terrible shame and is not regarded as a virtue; those who admit to mistakes are not rewarded for their honesty but ridiculed and shamed or even severely punished. Until today most Muslims blame 9/11 on a Jewish conspiracy. The father of Muhammad Attah in Egypt, for 4 years denied that his son headed the 9/11 terror attack even when the whole world saw him checking into the airplane that slammed into the twin towers. Only recently Atta's father come out and admitted he is proud of what his son “the Shahid” and not the terrorist has done. 
 
There are people in Arab jails right now who are accused of defaming Islam or their country in front of non-Muslims. This defamation can be a simple praise of Christians or Jews and of being critical of radical Islam. Fear of being accused of defaming one’s tribe, nation or religion leads to a culture that tends to blame others rather than look within. The Judeo Christian culture concentrates heavily on the concept of “we are all sinners and only through the grace of God we can be saved.” That is a big relief to the Western psyche.  Muslim education views members of other religions as sinners; the infidel non-Muslim sinners can only be saved by announcing they are Muslims. It is a prominent part of the Jewish faith to talk about God’s punishment when they are disobedient to God’s laws.
 
That honest admission by Jews is not viewed by Muslims as a virtue and a step towards self-improvement, but as an admission of wrong doing and that Jews are bad and deserve God’s wrath; that is why to many Muslims Jews do not deserve land or a nation. “They themselves even admit that they are sinners,” I once heard a Muslim say.  There is also a concept in Islam called “taqueya” which allows lying to non-Muslims if it is in the best interest of Islam. That concept is very deep in Muslim culture that we don't even think of the term “taqueya” any more; it has simply penetrated every aspect of Muslim life. Because of it there is very little self-criticism.
 
Thus, saying sorry, admitting guilt or looking within for solutions is not a strong value; it will surely get a person in deep trouble instead. Such a person will bear the blunt of the blame for everything -- even for what he did not do; thus you have Muslim denials and defensiveness over matters that many in the West cannot comprehend. Muslims are in denial when they say that Muslim women have more rights than Western women; even many Muslim women convinced themselves with that and defend Sharia Law rather than say the truth in front of the non-Muslim West. 
 
Muslims are in denial when they say Israel is behind all Muslim terrorism across the globe, even 9/11; they are in denial when they say that Arab tyrants are the product of American foreign policy, but when America takes out Saddam, they say “you are interfering in our internal affairs.”


N. Friedman - 2/5/2007

Hi Art,

Well said, by the way.

I would, however, call such societies coercion consensus societies. I think that captures the societal aspect of the matter while honor captures more of a psychological portion of what is involved.

I think there is also an important ideological component that drives what occurs. It is in large measure religious in response to a modern world which basically post religious - at least so far as public life is concerned. But, none of what we are seeing would be occurring were it not for the religious ideological element.


art eckstein - 2/5/2007

Similarly, Omar, the blowing up of the University of Baghdad two weeks ago, with 65 students (all Muslims) murdered by Muslim Jihadists--Muslim students whose only "crime" was seeking to learn--
that is a cultural CHOICE as well. It has nothing to do with Israel. It is coming from within Islam. Such atrocities may be a perversion of Islam (as some people think), but it is coming from WITHIN Islam. Nowhere else. And no one else does things like this even to foreigners--let alone to each other.

Similarly, the Sunni-Shiite "civil war" was provoked by al-Zarkawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq: al-Qaeda, a group whose goals YOU explicitly support, though you are a bit unhappy about their methods because they are sometimes "counter-productive". Look in the mirror to find the source of violence, Omar.

Similar, here in the U.S., we know have vandalism of Muslim enterprises, yes we do! But it is Shiite enterprises being vandalized BY OTHER MUSLIMS (Wahabist Sunnis). It is a big problem in Detroit and Dearborn. The violence is coming FROM WITHIN, Omar. This has nothing to do with israel or the U.S. It has everything to do with Wahabism. And Shiite Muslim university students are increasingly excluded from the Wahabi dominated Muslim Student Unions on U.S. university campuses. "American Imperialism" or Israel isn't causing THAT, either.

I know it is extremely difficult for honor cultures such as yours to accept responsibility for their actions--to accept responsibility = shame. But every such action such as the ones I describe above, and the market-bombing on Saturday, brings shame and humiliation on Islam before the entire world. And if you want the source of this shame and humiliation, Omar, I say again--Look in the mirror.


art eckstein - 2/5/2007

The misery inflicted in Iraq is the direct result of vile barbaric jihadists--not American troops. The Americans can be gravely faulted for not having enough of them, once they decided to go in. BUT the violence in Iraq--including Saturday's marketplace suicide bombing that killed 130 civilians--is coming from Muslims who are directing their barbaric terrorism at other Muslims. The actual number of Muslim civilians killed by Muslim fanatics in iraq on Saturday was 160 This is coming out of a degenerate culture--not the U.S..

The Wahabis and Shiites started out murdering Jewish innocents in cafes and supermarkets, and justified the murder of women, teenagers, children and babies on various sleazy or fanatical intellectual grounds. Now they have turned this weapon on themselves. But THEY invented the weapon, Omar, and it comes out of a society sick with "honor" and violence and religious fanaticism.

By the way, that number of civilians is equal to more than 1/10 the total number of civilians (many used as human shields by Hezbollah) that were killed by the israelis in a MONTH of fighting in Lebanon. The latter caused huge uproar in the Muslim world. The former massacres--much more intense (the total number of Muslim civilians killed by Muslims in Iraq last year was 34,000!!!) are passed by in silence. Conclusion: the Muslim masses are NOT upset about such intentional atrocities per se, as long as they are carried out by Muslims. They are only upset if Israelis ( = Jews) or the U.S. (= Christians) happen to kill civilians accidentally. In other words, the entire Muslim response is hypocritical in terms of human rights. And, insofar as any action in self-defense by Jews creates outrage, whereas the murder of 34,000 Muslims by Muslims creates none, it is RACIST.

(I note in passing that Hafez al-Assad's murder of 20,000 Muslims at Homs in ONE WEEK in 1982 passed by without a squeak from the Muslim masses or governments. And Omar, much as you might like to, you can't blame that atrocity on Israel or the West.)

As you've also made clear when you wished to, this violence is NOT a "natural reaction" to imperialism, repression, etc., but a CULTURAL CHOICE. Hence when I pointed out how many OTHER groups were displaced in 1945-1956, the post war and decolonialism (INCLUDING 200,000 MORE JEWS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST THAN PALESTINIANS FROM WHAT BECAME ISRAEL), and yet NONE of those groups engage in violence, let along suicide-bombing of civilians, your answer was that those other groups were not as noble as the Arabs.

Think about that one, folks.

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