« Coping With Deployment | Main | Our Ass Kicking President... »

June 08, 2010

Blind Hatred and "The Helen Thomas Treatment"

I don't know what is uglier: willful ignorance, or the blind hatred it makes possible?

What was the meaningful difference between Helen Thomas saying Jews in Israel should “go home” to Germany or Poland or America, and Joe Biden saying that refugee relief volunteers should just let Israel decide whether humanitarian supplies can go through to Palestinians who are imprisoned inside the Israelis’ blockade of Gaza? Why was it callous and even anti-Semitic for Thomas to use language that implied it should be no big deal for Israeli Jews to go back “home” to countries they lived in before the Holocaust, or before they moved to Israel; but not callous or anti-Arab or anti-Palestinian for Biden to explicitly state it should be no big deal for Palestinians to wait patiently in their open-air prison while Israel decided if they could have what they needed to live, and if so, how much? Didn’t Biden’s “What is the big deal?” show at least as much cruelty in its trivialization of Palestinian suffering as Thomas’s “They can go home to Germany or Poland or America” showed in its trivialization of Jewish suffering? And yet Thomas’s remark was considered so beyond the pale that she had to be completely banished from her profession, whereas Biden’s remark was a throwaway line that attracted almost no attention at all.

Let's look at a few of the differences between Europe's treatment of the Jews and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Here's one:

holocaust.jpg

The moment Ms. Kattenburg provides proof that Israel has carried out the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of 6 million Arabs - two in three people living in Palestine - I'll seriously consider her question.

When Ms. Kattenburg picks up a history book to find out why the United Nations took the unprecedented step of creating an internationally sanctioned refuge for European Jewry, I'll seriously consider her question:

... after World War II, many Jews did attempt to "go home" to Poland. This resulted in the murder of about 1,500 of them -- killed not by Nazis but by Poles, either out of sheer ethnic hatred or fear they would lose their (stolen) homes.

The mini-Holocaust that followed the Holocaust itself is not well-known anymore, but it played an outsize role in the establishment of the state of Israel. It was the plight of Jews consigned to Displaced Persons camps in Europe that both moved and outraged President Harry Truman, who supported Jewish immigration to Palestine and, when the time came, the new state itself. Something had to be done for the Jews of Europe. They were still being murdered.

When Ms. Kattenburg finds the energy to actually read the Hamas Charter (and then shows me the comparable passage of Israeli's founding documents that calls for Palestinians to be wiped from the face of the earth), I'll seriously consider her question:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

When Ms. Kattenburg's laudable concern for the welfare of ordinary Palestinians extends to protecting them against their own government, I'll seriously consider her question:

During recent fighting in the Gaza Strip, armed Palestinian groups have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, in some cases amounting to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In internal Palestinian fighting over the last three days, both Fatah and Hamas military forces have summarily executed captives, killed people not involved in hostilities, and engaged in gun battles with one another inside and near Palestinian hospitals. On Saturday, armed Palestinians from Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade used a vehicle with a “TV” insignia to attack an Israeli military position on the border with Gaza.

“These attacks by both Hamas and Fatah constitute brutal assaults on the most fundamental humanitarian principles,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch. “The murder of civilians not engaged in hostilities and the willful killing of captives are war crimes, pure and simple.”

More on the sickening murder, torture, and oppression of Palestinians by Palestinians here.

When Ms. Kattenburg's moral outrage extends to the innocent Jewish victims of Palestinian war crimes, I'll seriously consider her question:

"Hamas can spin the story and deny the evidence, but hundreds of rockets rained down on civilian areas in Israel where no military installations were located," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Hamas leaders at the time indicated they were intending to harm civilians."

Since 2001, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have fired thousands of rockets deliberately or indiscriminately at civilian areas in Israel.

During the December 2008-January 2009 fighting, rockets launched from Gaza killed three Israeli civilians and wounded dozens. Hamas's armed wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for all three fatal attacks. Two Palestinian girls also died when a Palestinian rocket struck inside Gaza.

When Ms. Kattenburg can show me anti-Palestine hatred that rivals the ongoing Jew hatred that exists in Europe today - a hatred that is both tolerated and condoned by Europeans - I'll seriously consider her question.

When Ms. Kattenburg can show me that Europe welcomes and protects Jews from corrosive hatred and violent attacks, I'll seriously consider her question:

According to the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, there were 517 anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2002. In 2004, the French authorities recorded 298 anti-Semitic acts between Jan. 1 and Aug. 20 alone.

There have been dozens of synagogues and community centres firebombed, Jewish schools covered with anti-Semitic graffiti and set on fire, kosher shops peppered with bullets, and tombstones toppled and desecrated, a domino effect of nauseating proportions. In Paris, on the statue of Alfred Dreyfus, the words "sal juif" -- "dirty Jew" -- were painted in 2002, an epithet that has made a comeback in parts of France, although perhaps not spray-painted on brick or stone as often as "Jews Get Out."

In 2002, the same year Jean-Marie Le Pen's extreme right Front National party came second in the general election, the same year hundreds of anti-Semitic crimes were recorded, the same year Le Monde published an article so searing in its anti-Jewish sentiment that a French court has since found its writers and editor guilty of "racial defamation," French President Jacques Chirac admonished a Jewish editor to "stop saying there is anti-Semitism in France. There is no anti-Semitism in France."

When Ms. Kattenburg can show me that Poland, Germany, Sweden, or America are now safe for Jews, I'll seriously consider her question.

When Norway's schools are no longer a "Jew free" zone, I'll seriously consider Ms. Kattenburg's question:

“They say that all Jews should be killed, and use nicknames such as “Jewish pig” and “fucking Jew”. It’s blatant anti-Semitic harassment that escalates both verbally, and physically,” a mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells NRK.

She says her son has been harassed for several years by fellow students with a Muslim background.

A father of another boy says his son was stopped by a gang of older youths on the way home from school, and that were going to take him into the woods and hang him because he is Jewish. The boy managed to break free, but is still affected by what happened.

His father goes on to say harassment by Muslim boys became so severe, they decided to move somewhere else.

Even setting aside Ms. Kattenburg's blissfully fact free characterization of the Helen Thomas debacle (Ms. Thomas was not fired, but resigned voluntarily), it is hard to get past her willful ignorance with regard to the reasons for Israel's existence. Lefties love to beat America over the head with the supposedly morally binding nature of international consensus. But when it comes to Israel - a U.N. mandated solution for the unspeakably horrific slaughter of over 6 million Jews - their unthinking support for global governance is nowhere to be seen.

The fact is that Israel has never called for the extermination of Palestine or Palestinians.

The fact is that Israel's budget, unlike that of Hamas, is not openly and inextricably intertwined with state sponsored terrorism:

It is not possible to separate the Dawa activities conducted for humanitarian purposes from the direct and indirect funding of terrorism: All the monies flow into a common fund, and are then channeled to the relevant activities, in accordance with needs and in coordination with the functions of the organization in the territories and abroad. The monies are transferred using the following means: bank transfers, moneychangers, private money services, unofficial networks for the transfer of funds and "unsuspecting" assistants. Thus, in view of the great difficulty in tracing the source of the money, its address and the motives behind the transfer of funds, it is essential that a strict and vigilant approach be adopted towards the entire fundraising network, operating within the framework of Dawa activity.

Ms. Kattenburg's "argument" seems to be that the American people would be better off if the press declined to report events she finds distasteful and inconvenient. I'm sure she genuinely believes that.

In fact, that's what scares me.


Posted by Cassandra at June 8, 2010 07:41 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.villainouscompany.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/3704

Comments

Would it be okay with you if I cut and paste this to send to some via email and on to my Facebook page? Thank you, VERY WELL DONE!

Posted by: Merry at June 8, 2010 11:28 AM

Absolutely :)

Posted by: Cass at June 8, 2010 11:40 AM

Remind me never to become your target. Most well done, ma'am.

Posted by: htom at June 8, 2010 11:57 AM

The larger lesson learned by the Jews is that no state can ever be trusted, except a Jewish state.

Posted by: Allen at June 8, 2010 12:05 PM

Uncle J from Blackfive wears a shirt that says everything you need to know about the Israeli conflict. It shows an Israeli solder protecting a baby carriage fighting with a Hamas terrorist who is hiding behind a baby carriage.

I agree with htom, you do have a sharp pen.

Posted by: Russ at June 8, 2010 12:29 PM

Bravo, Cass! One of your best efforts.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 8, 2010 01:47 PM

Well said!! ;-)

I'd venture to say that the press has left off reporting events they find distasteful or inconvenient. The outcry regarding Helen Thomas's horrendous remarks were not reported by the MSM - BECAUSE it was inconvenient and distasteful . . .to them.

As I said on a friend's FB thread about this: the press, the WHCA, and the White House still truly don't understand what was so bad about what she said. And Ms Kattenburg is of that ilk.

And actually, my first thought after reading this was 'That's gonna leave a mark!" ;-)

Posted by: Nina at June 8, 2010 02:33 PM

Cass, I could have gone a long time without seeing that concentration camp picture. I'm sorry but it's strong stuff for a Tuesday morning.

As for the rest of the post--spot on.

Posted by: Mike Myers at June 8, 2010 04:08 PM

Thank you so much. That is exactly it.

Posted by: airforcewife at June 8, 2010 04:22 PM

Cass, I could have gone a long time without seeing that concentration camp picture. I'm sorry but it's strong stuff for a Tuesday morning.

I could have gone a long time without seeing it, too.

But these days people equate all sorts of things that aren't even close to being the same. Sometimes - not all the time, but sometimes - I think there is value in being forced to confront evil, full strength.

Posted by: Cass at June 8, 2010 05:04 PM

Great post, Cass. As for the picture, I agree I could have gone a long time without seeing it - and I also agree it's something we should all face up to from time to time.

Posted by: Elise at June 8, 2010 05:43 PM

Elise!

It's so good to see you! (well, your name anyway)

Thanks for understanding.

Posted by: Cass at June 8, 2010 05:56 PM

I could have gone a long time without seeing that picture as well. But the same could be said for pictures from 9/11...


They need to be shown.


As for your post, Cass...incredibly well done.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at June 8, 2010 07:39 PM

I knocked off out back and came in for the evening a while ago. I popped into VC to catch up. This post stopped my dead in my tracks.

After backing away from the keyboard for a while, I can now say, M'lady, this is powerful, pointed, and excellent, as usual.

"I don't know what is uglier: willful ignorance, or the blind hatred it makes possible?"
My humble opinion is that both are, and always have been, joined at the hip.

Posted by: bthun at June 8, 2010 08:48 PM

That's why a visit to the Holocaust Museum in DC should be mandatory for the HS and Bachelor's degree matriculation.

Posted by: olga at June 8, 2010 09:13 PM

One benefit of being the kind of Army brat that I was, was going places in Europe (mostly Germany). One place I visited with my family when I was in elementary school (we were there for my 3rd through 6th grade years) was Dachau. That made a big impression on me. It may have been my imagination, but I would swear you could still smell the gas in the gas chambers. The photos of dead bodies stacked like cordwood. It may be ugly and unpleasant, but we need to see those images. We must never forget the evil that was done. If we forget, it will happen again. We cannot allow that.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at June 9, 2010 12:02 AM

I like to think they'll come out OK. It's the smartest and most advanced people in the world against some 10th century thugee armed with modern munitions and still unable to put business before pleasure. Most of the Palestinian losers still prefer to kill the low hanging fruit, which is mostly other Palestinians.

The rising tide of utter hatred for Israel and the anti-Semitic crap in Europe disturbs me. I have never understood it.

Posted by: Curtis at June 9, 2010 01:21 AM

"I don't know what is uglier..."

Helen Thomas, most definitely.

They say that true beauty comes from within; in her case, it's true ugliness.

Posted by: camojack at June 9, 2010 01:23 AM

The rising tide of utter hatred for Israel and the anti-Semitic crap in Europe disturbs me. I have never understood it.

It disturbs me, too. When you combine the growing intolerance of any sort of military response with the voluntary disarming of Western democracies and the changing demographics of said Western democracies, the result is profoundly unsettling.

I supported the GWOT primarily because at the time I saw the conditions for a world war developing and hoped a decisive response would lessen the risk.

I'm sorry to say that I now believe we only postponed the inevitable. Not a good thought.

Posted by: Cass at June 9, 2010 09:17 AM

I really wish I had something to add, either to the original post or to the comments. But it's all been said. Fantastic job deconstructing the false moral equivalency, Dear Hostess. Brava!

Posted by: MikeD at June 9, 2010 09:27 AM

"When you combine the growing intolerance of any sort of military response with the voluntary disarming of Western democracies and the changing demographics of said Western democracies, the result is profoundly unsettling."
The willingness of many, especially the western Europeans, to commit suicide though submission is unsettling.

Or is it as simple as this fellow said a while back,

"clinging to a postmodern European belief in a world where any conflict can be resolved with enough reason and mutual understanding"
What ties would the same postmodern European's have with the Israeli's when they apparently feel few to no binding ties with the U.S. or even with their own culture?

Does the West still possess a sense of esprit de corps, or is that corpse? From the dragged knuckles perspective, it's looking more and more like effete malaise.

Posted by: bthun at June 9, 2010 10:10 AM

...or Joe Biden saying that refugee relief volunteers should just let Israel decide whether humanitarian supplies can go through to Palestinians who are imprisoned inside the Israelis’ blockade of Gaza?

There are no Palestinians "imprisoned" by the Israeli sea blockade, and humanitarian supplies flow quite nicely into Gaza from both Israel and *Egypt*, which also borders Gaza. The sea blockade, which is perfectly legal under international law, BTW, prevents shipping containers full of weapons, including 122mm rockets and Scud-C missiles, from reaching Hamas -- which, in case anybody has forgotten, seized power in Gaza by killing the *elected* Fatah leaders.

BTW, any peeps out of the MSM over there about Syria shipping Scud-Cs to the poor destitute Palestinians?

Thought not.

Posted by: BillT at June 9, 2010 10:19 AM

I'm 100% with you, Cass, including about the picture.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 9, 2010 10:32 AM

"BTW, any peeps out of the MSM over there about Syria shipping Scud-Cs to the poor destitute Palestinians?"
None that I've seen, and very little seems to be published on Egypt working with Israel to destroy tunnels into Gaza.

Posted by: bthun at June 9, 2010 10:39 AM

I'm sorry to say that I now believe we only postponed the inevitable. Not a good thought.

Still worth doing, though. After all, you never know when a miracle might happen.

Posted by: Grim at June 10, 2010 12:05 AM


Whatever one thinks of her comments, Helen Thomas never interjected her personal views into her journalism. She was one of the great great journalists of her generation.

http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reportsitem.aspx?id=100453

Posted by: michael thomas at November 5, 2010 11:41 PM

Post a comment

To reduce comment spam, comments on older posts are put into moderation 5 days after the last activity. Comments with more than one link also go into moderation. If you don't see your comment after posting it, try refreshing the screen. If you still don't see it, your comment is probably in the moderation queue.




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)