Who recently said: "These Jews started 19 Crusades. The 19th was World War (1). Why? Only to build Israel." Some holdover Nazi? Hardly. It was former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan of Turkey, a NATO ally. He went on to claim that the Jews - whom he refers to as "bacteria" - controlled China, India and Japan, and ran the United States.
Who alleged: "The Arabs who were involved in 9/11 cooperated with the Zionists, actually. It was a cooperation. They gave them the perfect excuse to denounce all Arabs." A conspiracy nut? Actually, it was former Democratic U.S. Sen. James Abourezk of South Dakota. He denounced Israel on a Hezbollah-owned television station, adding: "I marveled at the Hezbollah resistance to Israel... It was a marvel of organization, of courage and bravery."
And finally, who claimed at a United Nations-sponsored conference that democratic Israel was "much worse" than the former apartheid South Africa, and that it "undermines the international community's reaction to global warming"? A radical environmentalist wacko? Again, no. It was Clare Short, a member of the British parliament. She was a secretary for international development under Prime Minister Tony Blair.
A new virulent strain of the old anti-Semitism is spreading worldwide. This hate - of a magnitude not seen in over 70 years - is not just espoused by Iran's loony president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or radical jihadists.
The latest anti-Semitism is also now mouthed by world leaders and sophisticated politicians and academics. Their loathing often masquerades as "anti-Zionism" or "legitimate" criticism of Israel. But the venom exclusively reserved for the Jewish state betrays their existential hatred.
Israel is always lambasted for entering homes in the West Bank to look for Hamas terrorists and using too much force. But last week the world snoozed when the Lebanese army bombarded and then crushed the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp, which harbored Islamic terrorists. The world has long objected to Jewish settlers buying up land in the West Bank. Yet Hezbollah, flush with Iranian money, is now purchasing large tracts in southern Lebanon for military purposes and purging them of non-Shiites.
Here at home, "neoconservative" has become synonymous with a supposed Jewish cabal of Washington insiders who hijacked U.S. policy to take us to war for Israel's interest. That our state department is at the mercy of a Jewish lobby is the theme of a recent high-profile book by professors at Harvard University and the University of Chicago.
Yet when the United States bombed European and Christian Serbia to help Balkan Muslims, few critics alleged that American Muslims had unduly swayed President Clinton. And such charges of improper ethnic influence are rarely leveled to explain the billions in American aid given to non-democratic Egypt, Jordan or the Palestinians - or the Saudi oil money that pours into American universities.
The world likewise displays such a double standard. It seems to care little about the principle of so-called occupied land - whether in Cyprus or Tibet - unless Israel is the accused. Mass murdering in Cambodia, the Congo, Rwanda and Darfur has earned far fewer United Nations' resolutions of condemnation than supposed atrocities committed by Israel. A number of British academics are sponsoring a boycott of Israeli scholars but leave alone those from autocratic Iran, China and Cuba.
There are various explanations for the new anti-Semitism. For many abroad, attacking Jews and Israel is an indirect way of damning its main ally, the United States - by implying that Americans are not entirely evil, just hoodwinked by those sneaky and far more evil Jews.
At home, there are obvious pragmatic considerations. Some Americans may find it makes more sense to damn a few million Israelis without oil than it does to offend Israel's adversaries in the Middle East, who number in the hundreds of millions and control nearly half the world's petroleum reserves. Cowardice explains a lot. Libeling Israel won't earn someone a fatwa or a death sentence in the manner comparable criticism of Islam might. There are no Jewish suicide bombers in London, Madrid or Bali.
This new face of anti-Semitism is so insidious because it is so well disguised, advanced by self-proclaimed diplomats and academics - and now embraced by the supposedly sophisticated left on university campuses.
When national, collective or personal aspirations are not met, it is far easier to blame someone or something rather than to look within for the source of the failure and frustration. More recently, someone must be blamed for getting terrorists (with oil and its profits behind them) mad at us. That someone is - no surprise - once again Jews.
A few days before the sixth anniversary of 9/11, a young man ranting in Arabic accosted a rabbi walking home from his synagogue in an upscale neighborhood of Frankfurt, and stabbed him. As he shoved the blade of his pocketknife into the rabbi's stomach, he switched from Arabic to German and told the man: "You sh---- Jew, I'm going to kill you." The rabbi survived, and Jewish leaders in Germany were outraged and condemned the barbarism, but moderated their criticism.
"We oppose leveling blanket accusations at the Muslim community because the majority of Muslims in Germany condemn acts of violence in the name of Islam," Dieter Graumann, the vice president of the German Jewish Council, said. But he observed that Islamist hate preachers regularly exhort young Muslims to carry out jihad against Jews, and asked why so few leaders of the Islamic community in Germany speak out against violence in the name of Mohammed.
This attack on the rabbi coincided with a visit to Washington by my daughter's family from Berlin. They brought rave reviews of Germany's largest synagogue, just now reopened in their neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg in East Berlin. The Nazis set the synagogue afire on Kristallnacht and, adding insult to injury, used the ruined synagogue as a stable for horses. The renovation is hailed as a symbol of regeneration and revival of German Jewish life annihilated by the Holocaust. Like all synagogues in Germany, 24-hour police protection is required to prevent violence from Neo-Nazis and Islamist terrorists.
While the Germans have made enormous efforts to atone for the Holocaust, the attempted murder of the rabbi invites attention to a contemporary problem. Radical Islamists who go undercover in Germany fuse anti-Semitism with hatred for America, and the antecedents of this hatred are rooted in the Germany of Adolf Hitler.
Matthias Kuntzel, a Hamburg-based political scientist, writes of this in the current Weekly Standard. In "Jew-Hatred and Jihad: The Nazi Roots of the 9/11 Attack," he traces the connection to Arab and Muslim hatred of the Jews that fed the fantasies of der Fuehrer. He suggests it's no coincidence that assaults on the World Trade Center were orchestrated by an al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, where five of the conspirators -- from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Yemen and Morocco -- met with sympathizers for regular meetings of a "Koran circle."
He, like a growing numbers of Germans, is astonished that reporters and commentators along with policy-makers have made so little of the Islamist rhetoric that links Islamism with Nazism in both ideology and strategy. "After World War II, it became apparent that the center of global Jew-hatred was shifting from Nazi Germany to the Arab World," he writes. The Muslim Brotherhood, which may have begun as a rebellious group against British colonialism before the war, aimed violence directly against Jews and Zionism when the war was over. They took the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories as their own, drawing on "Mein Kampf" and the infamous czarist fiction, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." They borrowed rhetoric from the German and Italian radio broadcasts that inflamed Arab anti-Semitism during the war.
A major figure connecting Nazi and Islamist ideologies was Amin al-Husseini, a self-styled "grand mufti" of Jerusalem who fomented riots against the Jews in the 1920s and ordered the murder of any Muslim who traded with Jewish settlers. Adolf Eichmann visited him in Palestine in the 1930s; he was a friend of Heinrich Himmler. He was a guest of Hitler in Berlin from 1941 until the end of the war in 1945 and directed the Muslim SS in the Balkans. He was responsible for stopping the Bulgarian government from releasing thousands of Bulgarian Jewish children to travel to Palestine. "It was he," says historian Paul Johnson, "who first recruited Wahabi fanatics from Saudi Arabia, transforming them into killers of Jews -- another tradition that continues to this day."
What's important about the Nazi-Islamist connection is the way it inspires terrorists today. It's fashionable to say that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, but that's misleading. In its charter, the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, which has morphed into the terrorist organization Hamas, lists conspiracy theories blaming the Jews for everything from the French Revolution to the communist revolution.
Hitler dreamed of building a huge warplane able to fly from Berlin to Manhattan and back to launch a small, light suicide-like bomber into the skyscrapers of Wall Street, which he believed was the "center of Jewry." Mohammed Atta, the 20th conspirator of 9/11, regarded Wall Street as a nest of Jews as well. Matthias Kuntzel describes Hitler's obsession as the fantasy foreshadowing 9/11. Hitler's fantasy bomber, meant to be shoved into the belly of Wall Street, foreshadowed the knife shoved into the belly of a rabbi in Frankfurt.
Louisiana town law makes "annoying" someone a crime
ADF attorneys file lawsuit to help Christian denied his constitutional rights due to oppressive ordinance that bans offending another person
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund have filed a lawsuit and a motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of a Christian man whom a policeman prohibited from sharing a religious message on a public street outside of a bar in the city of Zachary. The officer cited a city ordinance prohibiting speech that is "annoying" or "offensive" to another person.
"Christian expression is not second-class speech and should not be treated as such," said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. "Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened when a policeman for the city of Zachary threatened a Christian with arrest and prosecution simply because the expression was religious and some people might not like it. The Constitution prohibits government officials from singling out religious speech for censorship."
On the evening of Nov. 18, John Todd Netherland stood outside on a public easement to speak about his Christian faith about 75-100 feet from the entrance of a local bar. Even though Netherland stood on public ground and not on private property, a police officer told Netherland he could not preach there and instructed Netherland to move instead to the far side of the public easement, closer to the street. The officer then warned Netherland that if he stepped back to the place he'd been standing, he'd be arrested and sent to jail.
Netherland assured the officer that he would comply. Nevertheless, the officer told Netherland that if he continued to preach, even in the new location, he would arrest him anyway, for "disturbing the peace." Netherland yielded to the officer's demand and left the area. Soon after, he called ADF for legal help, and on June 11, ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit on Netherland's behalf. On Tuesday, ADF attorneys also filed a motion for preliminary injunction, asking the court to keep city police from stifling Netherland's speech at that location while the case moves forward.
The City of Zachary Code of Ordinances includes a section on "disturbing the peace," which prohibits "addressing any offensive, derisive, or annoying words to any other person.or call[ing] him by any offensive or derisive name, or mak[ing] any noise or exclamation in his presence and hearing with the intent to deride, offend, or annoy him.." The city ordinance does not, however, define any of the terms used, including "disturb," "offensive," "annoying," and "noise." A copy of the ordinance can be read at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/ZacharyOrdinance.pdf.
"Both the city ordinance and the policeman's application of the ordinance are blatantly unconstitutional. There is no right for government to harass and threaten citizens exercising their First Amendment rights in public," said Theriot. "We hope the court will grant our motion for preliminary injunction so that Mr. Netherland can freely speak at his desired location on public property while this case moves forward."
A very cranky major Australian newspaper
The Age used to bill itself as one of the world's great newspapers, and there was a time when that was probably true. The paper no longer uses that slogan, and just as well. These days, the Canberra bureau apart, its standards fall far short of those set by the world's best newspapers. Things have become much worse since Andrew Jaspan, a left-wing Englishman, took over as editor in October 2004.
Jaspan, the former editor of the obscure The Sunday Herald in Scotland, has always been a puzzling choice for a self-confident Australian city such as Melbourne. His singular notoriety emerges from the astonishing story he commissioned after al-Qa'ida murdered 3000 Americans and others on September 11, 2001. Jaspan's reporter was given extensive space to make the following extraordinary claims:
"Who do you think they were? Palestinians? Saudis? Iraqis, even? Al-Qa'ida, surely? Wrong on all counts. They were Israelis; and at least two of them were Israeli intelligence agents, working for Mossad, the equivalent of MI6 or the CIA. Their discovery and arrest that morning is a matter of indisputable fact. "To those who have investigated just what the Israelis were up to that day, the case raises one dreadful possibility: that Israeli intelligence had been shadowing the al-Qa'ida hijackers as they moved from the Middle East through Europe and into America, where they trained as pilots and prepared to suicide-bomb the symbolic heart of the US. And the motive? To bind America in blood and mutual suffering to the Israeli cause." (The Sunday Herald, November 2, 2003)In the 1960s, under Graham Perkin, The Age threw off its staid conservative image and became a crusading liberal newspaper in the true sense of the word. For instance, it campaigned against White Australia and the death penalty. Under Jaspan, however, The Age's liberalism has morphed into a peculiar sort of bitter and twisted extremism, borrowed from Britain's The Guardian.
Nowhere is the corruption of The Age clearer than in its coverage of foreign affairs, characterised by systematic anti-Americanism, symbolised by horrible Michael Leunig cartoons showing Americans and Israelis as Nazis. It is to The Age's eternal shame that Leunig was welcomed by the mad bigots in Iran for their competition denigrating the Holocaust.
I am no great fan of the Bush administration, but there is a difference between criticising a particular president and the reflexive hostility to everything American that now pulsates from the columns of The Age. Australians whom I know do not have that visceral hatred of all things American. These are alien views. These views are being shoved down the throats of Age readers, mainly interested to read Epicure and know what is happening in Melbourne.
Even worse is The Age's news coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Since 2002 The Age's correspondent in Jerusalem has been O'Loughlin. Like many people, I have given up subscribing to The Age because of its primitive coverage of the Middle East. Getting angry over breakfast spoils my day. Fortunately, other people make it their business to monitor O'Loughlin's writing and expose his errors of fact and interpretation.
One of these is Tzvi Fleischer of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, who writes the Media Watch column for the Jewish News. Fleischer has documented literally dozens of cases in which O'Loughlin has got basic facts wrong, or else placed his own anti-Israel spin on stories. As Fleischer says: "O'Loughlin's bent is clearest in his longer features, which have generally been simply attempts to make and sell the Palestinian case to his readers." According to O'Loughlin:
* Palestinian suicide bombers are militants whose murder of Israeli civilians is an understandable reaction to Israel's brutalisation of their families.
* Israel's security barrier, which has saved hundreds of Israeli (and Palestinian) lives, is a wall, imposing apartheid on innocent Palestinians.
* Israel's withdrawal from Gaza was all part of a cynical Israeli scheme to occupy the West Bank forever.
* Israel and Hamas are morally no different, since neither wants peace and both are dominated by rejectionists.
The Age and O'Loughlin are, of course, entitled to their opinions. If their anti-Israel polemics were confined to editorials and signed opinion articles, I could just ignore them. But anti-Israel bias seeps into The Age's news columns as well, and that is another matter. The Age was an influential paper, and its systematic anti-Israel bias has a real effect on public opinion.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.