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July 29, 2014

Asymmetrical Tolerance Alert!!!

Remember back when we were told that "violent rhetoric" and imagery inevitably leads to violent attacks and thus cannot be tolerated in a civil society? Well, the Editorial Staff are shocked.... SHOCKED, WE TELL YOU!... to find yet another brave defender of civility and tolerance, refusing to apply that noble standard to hate speech against an historically oppressed minority group!

Oh. Wait a minute. We didn't realize they were talking about Jews...[yawn]. Hey, the "community" doesn't need to defend them:

The page in question, is named, "Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews." The page, which spells "Zionist" incorrectly, features an Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a vampire with blood dripping down his chin as he feasts on a child. It was started on July 25.

Individuals complaining about the page were greeted with the following message (screen captured below):

072814-facebook-community-standards.png

Last Thursday, a mob of more than a dozen men assaulted a Jew in his suburban Paris home who had been identified through a French Facebook page that listed the faces and identities of Jews to be attacked. The social network declined to remove the page until after the assault had taken place.

It's almost as though these folks only promote these standards so they can silence speech they don't like while promoting hate speech against disfavored out-groups. You know: the dreaded "Other". One wonders what it would take to violate these folks' community standards? Something like this, perhaps?

People who are "visibly Jewish," people wearing identifiably Jewish dress, have found themselves targeted for abuse. Demonstrators at the biggest central London march assaulted and verbally abused a Jewish woman who had expressed her support for Israel, calling her a "Jew Zionist" among other things, before stealing her mobile phone. In North London, a rabbi was abused by a group of 'youths' who shouted "F*** the Zionists," "F*** the Jews" and "Allah Akhbar."

All of this is mild compared to what has been going on across the English Channel in France. In suburbs and parts of central Paris the violence being perpetrated against the Jewish community culminated in the disturbing spectacle of Parisian Jews barricaded in a synagogue by a crowd of young North Africans seemingly intent on violence. When the police failed to turn up in any numbers, the Jews fought for themselves. These were not all "Jewish vigilantes" as some of the press disturbingly reported -- Jews in their 40s and 50s fighting their way through a mob.

Since then, the French authorities have banned -- as French authorities have the right to do -- some other planned "pro-Palestinian" protests. But the bans seem not to have worked. "Youths," as the media are prone to title the rioters, who mainly come from the suburbs of Paris and other cities, have taken to the streets, anyhow. There are videos of them smashing up pavements in order to get chunks of asphalt to hurl at police. A Paris suburb with a large Jewish -- not Israeli, just Jewish -- population has been a particular focus of protestors. In some video footage, protestors have been shown attacking police cars and assaulting public and private property. The French authorities are clearly trying to get a handle on the protests, but to a considerable extent, events have slipped from their control.

Similar scenes have been seen across the continent. In the Netherlands -- fresh from witnessing a pro-ISIS rally in Amsterdam -- there have been serious incidents at protests. There have been anti-Semitic chants, and the home of the Chief Rabbi in the Netherlands has been attacked twice in one week. In Austria, a soccer game involving an Israeli team had to be called off after Palestinian demonstrators broke onto the pitch. The stands had people waving anti-Israel banners and Turkish flags. But once they were on the pitch, the protestors assaulted the Israeli players, doing flying kicks at them and then further kicking and punching them. Some of the Israeli players fought back and the game was halted.

Most disturbing of all, perhaps, have been events in Germany. During pro-Palestinian protests in Berlin and other German cities, there were chants of "Death to the Jews" and "Gas the Jews." The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, described some of the demonstrations as "an explosion of evil and violence-prone hatred of Jews. Never in our lives did we believe it possible that antisemitism of the nastiest and most primitive kind would be chanted on the streets of Germany."

And it is in Germany that such sentiments have met their most appropriate public and political opposition. There, at least, the nature of these protests has not been glossed over. On the contrary there has been a suitable soul-racking over this. How could such a cry have gone up in this country, of all countries? The major German magazine, Bild, has run a cover with the headline, "Raise your voice: Never again Jew Hatred!" The cover is dotted with famous figures in German public life from the President and Chancellor Merkel to other political and public figures. The montage sends out a powerful message. The question is, of course, whether that is enough.

Or maybe this?

Throughout Europe, the historical stain of anti-Semitism continued to be a fact of life on Internet fora, in soccer stadiums, and through Nazi-like salutes, leading many individuals who are Jewish to conceal their religious identity.

And yet, amidst the darkness of religious strife lay inspiring and unheralded acts of interfaith solidarity. Following the deadly Peshawar church bombing in Pakistan resilient Muslim community members formed human chains around churches during services in a show of solidarity and to stand up against senseless violence. In Egypt, Muslim men stood in front of a Catholic church to protect the
congregation from attacks. And after an increase of mosque attacks in the United Kingdom, a local orthodox Jewish neighborhood watch team began assisting Muslim leaders to ensure safe access to mosques and alert them to possible attacks

Here's a thought: if you're really opposed to hate speech and even more hateful actions, oppose it ALL. Not just verbal (or physical) attacks on people you sympathize with. Better yet, don't go all outrage-y against the latest display of online Tourette's syndrome unless you're willing to apply that same standard when your own side does exactly the same thing.

Otherwise, people will be tempted to conclude that you're not really interested in promoting tolerance, diversity, or civility.

Posted by Cassandra at July 29, 2014 07:12 AM

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Comments

"Otherwise, people will be tempted to conclude that you're not really interested in promoting tolerance, diversity, or civility."

Jumping to conclusions.
Isn't that a Rethuglican thing?

Posted by: DL Sly at July 29, 2014 12:08 PM

As a young adult reading about the Holocaust, I used to wonder how people could have gone so crazy. I actually thought it was over. Then for a long time I thought liberalism was the faction that opposed it and would continue to oppose it. My disgust goes too deep for words now.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 29, 2014 02:22 PM

I don't get it - Europe has had major appeasement issues with trouble-causing Muslims for as long as I've been blogging (11 years now) combined with a downright surreal blindness to real anti-Semitism in their midst.

I would be the last person ever to want to tar all Muslims with the same brush, but I just don't understand the mindset that is so afraid of confrontation or appearing racist/faithist/otherist (or whatever jargon they're using this week) that they would ignore outright criminal behavior and the intentional violent targeting of law abiding Jews.

It's like they can't conceive of condemning individuals or extremist groups because someone might get the wrong idea!

Well, I'm getting the wrong idea. Just not the way they're worried about.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 29, 2014 02:53 PM

What long astonished me was that those on the left are quite vocal in their opposition to a modern, Western democracy which actually honors the rights of women and homosexuals, unlike their opponents who (to put it beyond mildly) do not. Quite literally, they are backing people who would be more than happy to stone a gay man to death, or beat a woman for daring to walk in public with her face uncovered if they were in charge. And frankly, that's ridiculous.

Posted by: MikeD at July 29, 2014 04:37 PM

"It's like they can't conceive of condemning individuals or extremist groups because someone might get the wrong idea."

Maybe they're doing it wrong.
0>;~/

Posted by: DL Sly at July 29, 2014 04:40 PM

You know, the strange thing is, I don't even especially support Israel. I just understand what they're doing. It's what I would probably do under the circumstances.

Set aside all that Holocaust stuff if you want. Set aside the whole history of Anti-Semitism. Say you've got any given country, of small size, and somebody's bombarding it with rockets. Say that somebody is a poor, badly-defended country you could easily invade to stop the rockets.

Leaving aside everything else, there's a kind of basic rationality to the policy.

Posted by: Grim at July 30, 2014 01:02 AM

You know, the strange thing is, I don't even especially support Israel. I just understand what they're doing. It's what I would probably do under the circumstances.

That's pretty much where I come down, Grim. There's a faction on the Left that seems inclined to reflexively defend Arabs and condemn Jews/Israel. And a matching one on the Right that responds in the opposite way.

What never ceases to amaze me is that Israel is a creation of the United Nations (you know, that wonderful mechanism that's supposed to magically airbrush away good and evil and replace them with some kind of loopy global Kumbaya-esque sense of bonhomie and goodwill?). If these twits aren't even willing to uphold the actions of the UN in creating Israel in the first place, then what possibly hope is there for anything legitimate ever coming from such multi-culti, joint endeavors?

Posted by: Cassandra at July 30, 2014 07:55 AM

What long astonished me was that those on the left are quite vocal in their opposition to a modern, Western democracy which actually honors the rights of women and homosexuals, unlike their opponents who (to put it beyond mildly) do not.

Mike, you ignorant slut :p

The secret is that you have to start by applying two entirely different moral standards: a strict one for civilized, Western nations and an endlessly forgiving one for all those primitive brown-skinned people out there.

This used to be called The White Man's Burden (she typed, with no little irony).

I'm reminded of the continual refrain from the anti-war types that the Iraqis didn't really *mind* all those pesky mass graves or being led by a tyrant who fed his opponents feet-first into plastic shredders.

They're not like us, you see. *We* would never tolerate such treatment, but it's OK for them.

*sigh*

Posted by: Cassandra at July 30, 2014 07:59 AM

Every time I ever hear "it's a cultural thing, they just aren't equipped for democracy/freedom/whatever", I resist the urge to slap them and ask "so the poor wogs aren't smart enough to handle basic concepts that the rest of the world embraces, is that what you're saying?"

For some reason, they get upset when I call them on their blatant racism.

Posted by: MikeD at July 30, 2014 11:09 AM

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