Thursday, January 08, 2009

Who Are the Real Nazis?

by Jonah Goldberg

"Go back to the oven! You need a big oven, that's what you need!" This is what one young woman thought passed for acceptable discourse during an anti-Israel rally last week in, of all places, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Other chants were similarly unlovely. You can watch it on YouTube if you like.

But why bother? The Fort Lauderdale outburst is just one window on the upside-down world of Israel hatred. Across the Islamic world, and in too many points West, it is still considered a penetrating and poignant insight to call Zionists the "new Nazis." For instance, in Sunday's Gulf News, Mohammad Abdullah al Mutawa, a sociology professor at United Arab Emirates University, penned an essay titled "Zionists are the new Nazis." He began: "Today, the whole world stands as a witness to the fact that the Nazi Holocaust was a mere lie, which was devised by the Zionists to blackmail humanity."

At a Saturday protest in New York against Israel's military assault on Gaza, some carried signs that read: "Israel: The Fourth Reich," "Holocaust by Holocaust Survivors," "Stop Israel's Holocaust," "Holocaust in Gaza" and "Stop the Zionist Genocide in Gaza." Type "Israel" and "Nazi" into any news search engine and you'll be rewarded, or punished, with a bounty of such statements from just the last week or so. Gaza is the new Auschwitz, the Israeli Defense Forces are SS troops ... I find myself tempted to simply write "et cetera" because it's all so familiar by now. But to do that is to dismiss, and therefore accept, such grotesqueries as trivialities, when in fact such charges are deeply revealing -- just not about Israel.

First, let us note that if supposedly all-powerful Israel is dedicated to exterminating the Palestinian people, it is doing a bad job. The Palestinian population has only grown since 1948. There are more Arab citizens living in Israel proper today than there were in all of Palestine the year Israel was founded.

Perhaps one reason Israel fails at genocide is that it isn't interested in genocide? That would explain why Israel warned thousands of Gazans by cell phone to leave homes near Hamas rocket stockpiles. It would clarify why, even amid all-out war, it offers aid to enemy civilians. It would even illuminate the otherwise mysterious clamor from Israelis for a viable "peace partner." But no. For millions of Israel haters, the more plausible explanation is that the "defiant" Palestinians have miraculously survived Israel's determination to wipe them out.

Meanwhile, calls for the complete extermination of Israel are routine. The Hamas charter, invoking the fraudulent "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as justification, demands the destruction of Israel. Hamas exists solely because it is dedicated to the complete obliteration of the "Zionist entity." Remove that "principle" and Hamas is meaningless.

A sick mixture of Holocaust envy and Holocaust denial is the defining spirit of Hamas. Indeed, Holocaust denial passes for a scholarly pursuit not just in Gaza but throughout much of the Arab and Muslim world. The head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, literally earned a doctorate in it. His doctoral thesis became a book, "The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism," in which he denounces "the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that 6 million Jews were killed." In Hamas' eyes, Abbas is an incorrigible moderate. It's Palestinian Islamists who have ideological and political ties to Nazism stretching back to the days of "Hitler's Mufti," Haj Amin al-Husseini, a happy warrior for the Nazi cause.

So why the obsession with casting the Israelis as the new Hitlerites? One answer is surely that critics know such charges are painful to a country largely born of the Holocaust and marked by its scars. It also grabs attention, galvanizes radicals, vents legitimate frustrations and anger, and helps demonize the enemy and, hence, justify the murder of "Zionists everywhere," as Hamas often declares in its communiques.

But I think the desire to cast the Israelis as Nazis is fueled, deep down, by the haters' need to see their own hatreds and ambitions mirrored in their enemy's actions. Hamas has an avowedly Hitlerite agenda. The only way to make such an agenda defensible is to convince yourself and others that the Israelis deserve it. Hence, Hamas and its allies insist that when they aim rockets at grade schools and playgrounds, they are resisting the "new Nazis." It brings to mind Huey Long's reported prophecy that if fascism ever came to America, it would be called anti-fascism. Well, with Hamas, Hitlerism comes to the Middle East wearing the mask of anti-Hitlerism.



Chicago comment



The bombed "school": "Allow me to propose a metric for evaluating whether a journalist is behaving responsibly or not: If he reports that Israel bombed a UN school and killed 30 civilians, he is irresponsible. If he reports that Hamas used a UN school as a weapons cache and base of operations for launching mortars at the IDF, and the IDF's return fire killed the Hamas cell along, tragically, with a yet-unspecified number of civilians, then he is behaving responsibly. If he wishes to be particularly scrupulous, he might additionally note that Hamas had rigged the school with explosives which detonated after the IDF took out the mortar team, killing a large additional number of civilians. And he might add that you can go to the IDF's Youtube channel to view footage from 2007 of Hamas using the very same school as a mortar-launching base. Journalists who abjure reporting the vital details of this story should be called what they are - activists masquerading as reporters."

Krugman deceit: "We are certainly used to the fallacious Keynesian `economics' that pours forth from most of Paul Krugman's New York Times columns. That's bad enough. But dishonesty too? What's the excuse for that? In a recent column called `Fifty Hebert Hoovers,' Krugman expressed fear that the nation's governors would follow in the footsteps of Hoover, with devastating consequences for the economy. And what did Hoover do that has Krugman so concerned? . Krugman here leads his readers to believe that Hoover tried to balance the budget by slashing spending. In fact, Hoover did not reduce spending. On the contrary, he increased it."

Speeding? You'll pay higher "taxes": "Watch out, leadfoots: Many strapped cities and towns are trying to fix their budgets by stepping up traffic enforcement. . Cities, counties and other government agencies have found that there's lots of money to be made in stepped-up traffic enforcement. . The simple fact is this: Governments have an incentive to write more tickets, says Thomas Garrett, an assistant vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and a co-author of a recent study, `Red Ink in the Rearview Mirror: Local Fiscal Conditions and the Issuance of Traffic Tickets.'"

Reminder from 2004: FDR's policies prolonged Depression by seven years: "Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years. `Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,' said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. `We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.' . `The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,' Cole said. `Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.'"

The long road to recovery: "In geopolitics, as in life, things are seldom as bad or good, easy or hard, as they appear at close range. The incoming Obama administration should keep this in mind as it takes the helm of America's ship of state. A swath of Asia stretching from Pakistan and Afghanistan west to Iran and Iraq will likely require the most attention. With some 4,800 American troops dead, eight times that number wounded, and the region still shaken by aftershocks of America's full-scale intervention after September 11, it is hard to say that things are good in Southwest Asia. But it is fair to say they are headed in a better direction than they were eight years ago."

To the dumpsters, go: "We have all heard of `dumpster babies,' abandoned newborns left to die by unfit parents. And now, courtesy of Nebraska's not-too-careful legislature, we have `dumpster teens' - near-adult youngsters left with the state of Nebraska by their parents, following last July's loosening of the state's child neglect statute. The legislature, trying to prevent dumpster babies, weakened penalties to irresponsible parents who at least show the tiniest responsibility by not leaving infants in dumpsters, or the like, to die, but rather leaving them at hospitals for someone else to take up care. Little did they expect parents to abandon growing children, including teenagers."

A brewing storm in Russia: "A year ago, Russia was in an odd place between oppressive stagnation and a glimmer of possible change. The ruling party, United Russia, had just consolidated its hold on the parliament in a rigged election; the presidential transition was revealed as the farcical anointment of a handpicked successor to Vladimir Putin - the docile Dmitry Medvedev, who quickly promised to make Putin prime minister. Yet some Russian liberals, and sympathetic Westerners, harbored at least modest hopes that Medvedev might prove more liberal than Putin and that the division of power between president and prime minister might weaken Russia's neo-autocracy. Today, the winds of change in Russia are blowing again - harsh winds that may yet turn into a storm."

Humans as livestock: "Stefan Molyneux has put out a remarkable video that takes a look at the human condition. It explains why many of us have been feeling like we are being treated like livestock lately. Human society is a farm, with the ruling class as the farmers and the rest of us as cattle. Outside of a quibble about his treatment of religion, I think he has hit the nail on the head. The ruling class may well look at us as cattle; but on the other hand, we look at the ruling class as parasites, don't we?"

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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