Monday, December 03, 2012
There is a REAL Jewish plot -- but it's a very strange one
It's a plot AGAINST Israel
by Lawrence Solomon
“Why is Jewish-owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?” tweeted News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch, in reaction to the overwhelmingly negative coverage Israel was receiving during its war with Gaza. Many in the left-wing press immediately pounced on Murdoch’s comment, claiming, as a Guardian writer did, that Murdoch had “slipped into an anti-Semitic usage.” A CNN commentator called Murdoch’s tweet “beyond outrageous to offensive, truly offensive … reviving the old canard about Jews controlling the media.”
Anti-Semites do commonly claim that Jews dominate the media out of all proportion to their numbers. But Murdoch, a Christian who heads the world’s largest media company, is no anti-Semite — he is as unabashedly pro-Zionist as they come. Neither are the anti-Semites wrong — Jews do exercise vast influence in the media, as they do in many industries, whether cultural such as fashion and entertainment, financial such as banking and insurance, whether the industries involve computer software or hardware, or retail or real estate. In all these areas and more, Jews often hold commanding positions as owners and managers.
Among newspapers, The New York Times has long been the world’s best-known newspaper and the decider of what constitutes news — the rest of the media often takes its cue from the Times. It has been owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family since 1896, when the son of a Jewish Bavarian immigrant, Adolph Ochs, took it over.
The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, also prestigious papers, are owned along with many other papers by Tribune Co., one of America’s largest newspaper groups. It is chaired by Sam Zell, son of Polish Jews who fled to America prior to Hitler’s invasion in 1939.
National Broadcasting Corp., America’s first national broadcast company, had its origins in RCA, and both owed their success to David Sarnoff, a Belarussian Jew who also pioneered the AM radio business. NBC today is owned by Comcast, America’s largest cable company, which was co-founded and then run for 46 years by Ralph Roberts, a Jew, and is now run by his son, Brian Roberts.
NBC’s long-standing rival, Columbia Broadcasting System, was built by William S. Paley, the son of an Ukrainian Jew. CBS is now majority owned by the family of Sumner Murray Redstone (born Sumner Murray Rothstein), also a Jew, who is also CBS’s executive chairman. (Redstone also owns Viacom, MTV and BET.) CBS’s president and CEO is Leslie Moonves, also a Jew.
American Broadcasting Corp., the third major U.S. network, was hived off from the NBC network in the 1940s and is now run by Bob Iger, a Jew, who succeeded Michael Eisner, another Jew.
Anti-Semites who believe Jewish ownership leads the press to show favouritism toward Jews haven’t been paying attention. The New York Times during the 1930s and 1940s played down the Nazi atrocities, burying stories of concentration camps and Jewish mass murders in small stories in the paper’s interior. In recent decades, the Times has been consistently anti-Israel.In these and many other media companies, Jews play a dominant role, often an entrepreneurial founding role in creating media empires. It will give anti-Semites no comfort to realize, though, that the Jewish media does not work in concert in a conspiracy to control the world. Jewish-owned firms compete with each other as well as with non-Jewish media companies such as Murdoch’s. Jew or non-Jew, they all play against each other to win, giving no quarter on the basis of religion or ethnicity.
A current controversy that demonstrates its biased coverage involves New York Timesreporter David Carr, who on Sunday lambasted Israel for bombing a vehicle of journalists working for Al-Aqsa, a Hamas-owned TV station. The article, provocatively titled “Using War as Cover to Target Journalists,” took issue with Israel’s explanation, that the targets, whose vehicle was marked “TV,” were relevant to terror activity. As Carr summed it up for Times readers: “So it has come to this: killing members of the news media can be justified by a phrase as amorphous as ‘relevance to terror activity.’”
Carr could have explained to Times readers that Al-Aqsa TV is designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, that one of the “journalists” was in fact a Hamas commander who headed its military training programs and that another person he refers to as a “journalist” wore a military uniform and was referred to by Hamas as a “mujahid,” i.e., a jihadist. Had Carr been keen to understand Israel’s justification, he might further have realized that a journalist for a terrorist organization was more akin to a propagandist following orders; that under international law, Israel was permitted to target “the installations of broadcasting and television stations of fundamental military importance,” as NATO had when it bombed the Serb Radio and Television headquarters in 1999 during the Kosovo War, killing 16 civilians.
The extent to which the media has distorted the war between Gaza and Israel is mind-boggling. During the eight-day conflict, casual consumers of news could have easily missed that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza only occurred after it had warned Hamas to stop attacking Israeli civilians over a period of months — some 800 Hamas rockets had rained on Israel this year prior to the war. Much of the press rarely if ever mentioned that Hamas, the terrorist group running Gaza, was violating the Geneva Convention by targeting Israeli civilians; that it was also violating the Geneva Convention by using its own civilians as shields; that Israel was going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza and that Israel’s only reason to invade Gaza — rather than safely from on high bombing the rocket launchers that Hamas had placed in schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings — would have been to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.
Anti-Semites looking for media coverage sympathetic to Israel would be hard-pressed to find it in the Jewish-led press (Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News and U.S. News and World Report being notable exceptions). The narrative the anti-Semites are most comfortable with, ironically, comes from Jews.
Brains on tramtracks: Leftist emotional needs trump the facts every time
I’d like to introduce a new term: Rekab Street. That’s Baker Street spelled backwards, and it represents the opposite of Sherlock Holmes’ approach: rather than notice the anomalies and detect evidence of criminal or shameful activity that people have deliberately tried to conceal, residents of Rekab Street systematically ignore any clues that violate the expectations/demands of their preconceived narrative, sweeping aside the anomalies and highlighting precisely what has been created to mislead. It is, in a sense, a process of stupefaction.
Rekab Street exists in many fields.
In a sense, Thomas Kuhn’s book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, focuses on the problem, in particular, on the resistance to anomalies that contradict the paradigm. He cites a study by Bruner and Postman about how the resistance to anomalies that violate expectations can be so strong that people can literally not see that a deck has some playing cards with red spades and black hearts. The authors note the psychological discomfort felt by people confronting these anomalies (which their minds literally do not want to see).
In my own chosen field of medieval history, I have found precisely this kind of resistance. My early (and now current) work focused on a substantial trail of evidence indicating that for over half a millennium, Latin Christians had been tracking the advent of the year 6000 from the Creation (at which point the millennial kingdom would begin), but that as the date approached, the clergy (our unique source for documentation) dropped the dating system and adopted another that pushed off the apocalyptic date. Among the many events of note that coincided with the advent of these disappeared dates was the coronation of Charlemagne, held on the first day of the year 6000 according to the most widely accepted count, but dated by observers as AD 801.
I argued this “silence,” on something so critical reflected not indifference, but deep anxiety. Like Conan Doyle’s “Silver Blaze,” the main clue was the dog who did not bark. In response, I found that medievalists clung to their view of Charlemagne as someone with his feet firmly planted on the ground, who would never be moved by such silliness. As a result they handled the evidence in ways that resembled the work of clean-up and construction crews rather than that of detectives and archeologists.
Since 2000, the reigning approach for understanding the Middle East conflict between Israel and her neighbors has focused narrowly on the what’s called the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The resulting (or founding) paradigm for such an approach is what I’ve called either PCP 1 (politically-correct paradigm) or PCP 2 (post-colonial paradigm). In both cases, the framing conceit is the Israeli Goliath and the Palestinian David. And so powerful is the underdogma that governs this view that all evidence to the contrary gets swept aside. So insistent are the demands to support the underdog, that the cost of ignoring empirical reality seem a small price to pay.
What results, is a process of determined, deliberate stupefaction, in which we must inhabit Rekab Street, wemust ignore critical evidence, bow down to ghoulish idols, literally render ourselves stupid. We must not talk abouthonor-shame culture much less adopt a paradigmatic view that privileges such concerns in understanding the Arab/Muslim hatred of an independent Jewish state in Dar al Islam. We should not discuss Islam’s triumphalist obsession with dominating and humiliating non-believers. We cannot discuss anti-Semitism or the Holocaust without equating it with Islamophobia, lest we offend people we might identify as agents of a new blood-dimmed tide. We cannot discuss the repeated evidence that our humanity is being systematically abused to benefit people who literally embody everything that we progressive, democratically-minded people abhor.
And as a result, we are fully misinformed by our media and our academics, who think that “attacking the most powerful” is a sign of courage regardless of who’s right, who prefer to preen about their moral superiority even at the direct cost of empowering those who hold their morality in contempt, who attack their critics savagely even as they embrace their enemies; who can’t tell parody from reality because the procrustean beds they impose on the evidence have led them to invert empirical reality.
Thus babies killed by Hamas become the occasion of cries for sympathy for Gazans assaulted by Israel. And terrorists who disguise themselves as journalists become the occasion for accusing Israel of deliberately killing journalists. An army which undergoes a disastrous defeat, gets handed laurels of victory for their performance. The world’s army with (by far) the best record when it comes to reducing civilian casualties on the other side in urban warfare get’s painted at the world’s most brutal army.
The inhabitants of Rekab Street cannot break step with the parade of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
Of course were this merely a children’s tale for adults, the tailors merely financial tricksters, the emperor merely vain, and the court merely foolish and frightened of losing face, it might be alright (don’t want to impose too high standards here).
But when the tailors are malevolent agents of a ruthless cognitive war of aggression, the new clothes are icons of hatred designed to arouse genocidal fury against the very people witnessing the parade, and the court is aggressively dishonest, it’s another story. Something like the opposite of harmless.
If we survive this challenge, there will be an entire field of scholarly research into the tendencies of intellectuals to commit civilizational suicide.
The Fallacies That Guide Us
Republicans find themselves in the unenviable position of being forced to agree to raise taxes on those earning more than $200,000 (the actual cut off for those Mr. Obama refers to as "millionaires and billionaires"), or risk being blamed for a tax increase on all taxpaying Americans. They will probably agree, which means it's a politically unavoidable policy, not a good policy.
Why does Obama insist upon raising taxes? Not because he believes it will improve the economy, and not because he believes it will increase receipts to the Treasury. The proposed taxes would bring in about $80 billion a year, a trivial number compared with our 1.3 trillion deficits. Making the books balance is (obviously) not Obama's goal. In 2008, when it was pointed out to him that President Clinton's cut in the capital gains rate increased the revenue from the tax (because lower rates encouraged more transactions), Obama was unmoved. He'd still favor an increase in the capital gains rate, he explained, for the sake of "fairness." In another famous and revealing moment, he told Joe the Plumber that he prefers to "spread the wealth around."
That's his lodestar. The Washington Post waited until the election was safely behind us to run a story by Zachary Goldfarb examining the president's governing philosophy. "[B]eneath his tactical maneuvering lies a consistent and unifying principle: to use the powers of his office to shrink the growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else." The president, the article tells us (not that we didn't surmise this already), is determined to reduce income inequality.
The president has "an acute awareness of recent research" the Post continues, showing that the changing economy has increased the value of a college education and made it harder for those without a degree to succeed. Obama's solution? Despite budget pressures, he made a goal of having every student receive at least one year of college."
Is inequality a problem if prosperity is broadly shared? As John F. Kennedy observed, "A rising tide lifts all boats." Improving the life chances of those at the bottom should be a priority. But the way to do that is to focus on education, family structure, and expanding private sector employment, not on redistribution of income.
True to Obama's philosophy, we are pumping cash into the hands of students wishing to attend college. As the Wall Street Journal reports, "Nearly all student loans -- 93 percent of them last year -- are made directly by the government, which asks little or nothing about borrowers' ability to repay or about what sort of education they intend to pursue."
Sound familiar? It's exactly the sort of backwards thinking that, to coin a phrase, "got us into this mess." Politicians (most, but not all, Democrats) noticed that homeownership was associated with a number of social goods -- steady employment, social engagement, high test scores for children -- and decided that the homes were causing the other benefits. Make home ownership more broadly available by making mortgages easier to get, ran the logic, and everyone would benefit.
We know how that turned out. But the Democrats learned all the wrong lessons from that debacle -- fairy tales that they may actually believe about greedy Wall Street and rich Republicans. So now we are busy repeating our folly, inflating what Glenn Harlan Reynolds calls the "higher education bubble." "College is getting more expensive, a lot more expensive," Reynolds said. "At an annual growth rate of 7.4 percent a year, tuition has vastly outstripped the consumer price index of 3.8 percent. It's skyrocketed past spiraling health care increases of 5.8 percent. Even the housing bubble at its runaway peak pales in comparison."
Colleges are happy to pocket the windfall while students are being sabotaged. Half of all college graduates cannot find jobs. While homeowners could walk away from an underwater mortgage, there is no escape from student loan debt. Student loans, now in excess of $1 trillion, outstrip car loans and credit card debt, and, unlike those obligations, which are declining, continue to increase because the government is offering what seems to the unwary like a gift.
Just as the housing bubble collapse wound up increasing, rather than reducing inequality, the foolish expansion of student loan debt may hobble an entire generation with a crippling burden. Perhaps the new debtors can console themselves, as they postpone marriage and move in with their parents, that Mr. Obama "cared about the problems of people like me."
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.
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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)
Posted by JR at 1:35 AM