Friday, April 01, 2011
by Mudar Zahran (A Palestinian)
The concept of the "evil Jew" has made a well-disguised comeback: Criticizing Israel and Zionists, is now deemed a legitimate option to cursing Jews and Judaism. Not only is it open, socially acceptable and legal, but it can actually bring prosperity and popularity.
This new form of anti-Semitism 2.0 is well-covered-up, harder to trace and poses a much deeper danger to the modern way of life of the civilized world than the earlier crude form of it, as it slowly and gradually works on delegitimizing Jews to the point where it eventually becomes acceptable to target Jews, first verbally, then physically -- all done in a cosmopolitan style where the anti-Semites are well-groomed speakers and headline writers in jackets and ties; and not just Arab, but American and European, from "sanitized" news coverage of the most bloodthirsty radicals, to charges against Israel in which facts are distorted, selectively omitted or simply untrue, as in former President Jimmy Carter's book on Israel.
Why would a Palestinian be writing this? The answer is simple: The Palestinians have been used as fuel for the new form of anti-Semitism; this has hurt the Palestinians and exposed them to unprecedented and purposely media-ignored abuse by Arab governments, including some of those who claim love for the Palestinians, yet in fact only bear hatred to Jews. This has resulted in Palestinian cries for justice, equality, freedom and even basic human rights being ignored while the world getting consumed with delegitimizing Israel from either ignorance or malice.
Worse, just as the old form of anti-Semitism has proven itself a threat as poisonous to its supporters, as it was to the Jews, the new form of anti-Semitism 2.0 could prove itself the same -- all the more likely as we see the world tolerating Iran's nuclear ambitions not necessarily out of love for the Mullah's regime, but instead because of mental fixation against Israel.
Such bias against Israel cannot be "accidental" or merely "unfortunate." No other nation has received the amount of scrutinizing, criticism, coverage, demonization and delegitimization. In fact the question to be asked is not whether there is bias against Israel; but rather why there is bias against Israel?
While honest coverage is a pride claimed by all modern media, news reports are assigned according to every editor's choice, this has resulted in a wide editorial bias against Israel and its actions. What makes things worse is the fact that there are no adverse consequences -- such as "lack of access" or physical retribution -- against whoever writes lies about Israel, an open society with a free press. More than 80 human rights non-governmental organizations operate within Israel, constantly monitoring and criticizing it with nothing to worry about -- either professionally or politically --therefore, anyone who misreports or misrepresents facts, or even who lies, is free to keep doing so -- including the the Israelis.
For example, the English language newspaper of choice for foreign journalists, Ha'aretz, does not even contain a corrections column. Reporters are told only to write about "The Conflict," and if they do not file by six pm, they are out of a job -- while conflicts which are claiming lives, such as the slaughter of the Assyrians in Iraq, are forgotten. The global media seem to be so consumed by the conflict in Israel which, as dramatic as this may still be, still has claimed only a fraction of the total number of victims of other conflicts.
Bias against Israel does not stop with the media; international organizations exhibit a similar pattern. The recent governmental meltdowns in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya have exposed that Arab dictators keep cash and property in Western countries, where they are able to roam freely, while many Israeli politicians have to think twice before they set a foot in Europe for fear of being arrested for "war crimes."
Also, Israeli military actions seem to receive more scrutinizing from the international community than the rest of the world's militaries: the UN Security Council still stands reluctant to tackle Qadafi's ongoing atrocities against protesters, but shows no hesitation in investigating even wild claims against Israel.
Recent protests in Arab countries have provided further proof of the media's selective coverage. While young peaceful protesters are being shot by the Jordanian King's guards or attacked by what doctors describe as "a mysterious teargas" in Yemen, the media fail to provide proper coverage for any of that; on the other side, a car accident involving a Palestinian boy and an Israeli driver made global headline news.
Further, amid recent protests in Arab countries, most global media outlets refrained from taking a position on the power-contested Arab dictators; but they have never failed to present pre-packaged anti-Israeli positions when they cover Palestinian uprisings. This extends to perplexing twists: when the protests in Libya started, for example, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim scholar and no friend of Israel,, appeared on Al-Jazeera, saying, "Qaddafi has done to his people what the Zionists would never do to the Palestinians," yet this strong statement from an unlikely source never made it to the Western media.
Media bias against Israel does not harm only Israelis; it comes at very dear price to us, the Palestinians. In July of 2010, for example, a seasoned journalist Robert Fisk interviewed a group of right-wing ultra-conservative East Bank-Jordanians who were calling on King Abdullah of Jordan to strip the Palestinian majority of their citizenship and property. The group, mostly made up of retired Jordanian servicemen and journalists were also calling for ending the peace treaty with Israel and "establishing it as an enemy state."
Despite my attempts to contact Mr. Fisk –-along with another Jordanian-Palestinian journalist---to warn him of the people he was going to meet, he nonetheless, published an article entitled, "Why Is Jordan Occupied by Palestinians?" -- Which was mainly a manifesto for those with whom he had met. They then publicized the article as a global media victory for themselves, and drove the Palestinians of Jordan into even deeper fear for their own safety in a country where they are already oppressed by security agencies; virtually barred from any government or local authority positions, excluded from state universities, despite paying "a university tax", as well as other taxes and tariffs --which their fellow Jordanians of Bedouins heritage are exempted from-- and regularly and openly insulted by the government-run Jordanian media calling for them to be expelled.
The day before Mr. Fisk met with the extremist group, one of their members, a retired intelligence officer now turned writer, published an article calling on the Jordanian intelligence service to "chop off Mudar Zahran's head in the UK without any observance of diplomatic restraints;" would Mr. Fisk have met with an Israeli journalist calling for the Mossad to behead a Palestinian on British soil?
Anti-Semitism and the image of the "evil Jew" find their roots deep in Europe's intellectualism, from Shakespeare to Nietzsche, not to mention the fraudulent Franco-Russian Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The pretexts for Hitler's Nazi ideology existed vigorously before he came to power. Hitler probably manifested more of a crude exposure of a public trend, exacerbated by a terrible economy, except that the suffering Hitler brought to the world was not limited to Jews. It took the destruction of entire nations and the deaths of millions for people to realize that racism and extremism can be as dangerous to the oppressors and the haters as it is the oppressed and the hated.
As a result, European societies of today collectively renounce racism and anti-Semitism, but even though the haters encountered rejection and exclusion, they were nonetheless able to find an alternative pathway by prospering on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. As it has raged -- and continues to rage -- for sixty years, the global media have found a lively source of news material that is endlessly interesting as a conflict between "two religions," "two ethnicities," and the line between the West, represented by Israel, and the East, represented by the Palestinians and Arabs in general.
This form of hatred is hurting us all; it must be countered.
Useless British police again
Harassing the innocent is all that they are good at
Boxing legend Frank Bruno told today how he was stopped by police recently on suspicion of stealing his own car. He said the 'two youngsters' involved were 'a disgrace' and should have checked beforehand that it was his car, which has its own number plate.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live that the incident had happened 'in the last month' at Berkhamsted, Herts. 'They said 'there's a lot of high performance cars, sir, being stolen around the area'. 'I could see them laughing like two hyenas in the car, but I didn't find it funny.'
Asked if they had recognised him, he said: 'They recognised me, like Tom and Jerry, and Peter Pan, and Batman, but I think, I didn't want to give them no hassle, showed them the documents, waited there for 10 minutes, and done what I had to do. 'Because the police are the police, they are the law of the land, you've got to keep up to the rules and regulations of the law of the land.'
He said there were some police officers around the area of his home, in Bedfordshire, who were 'good as gold'. 'You're going to get a little bad bunch here and there, but they were a disgrace, to stop and ask, "have you nicked the car?". 'I thought they were joking, I thought it was Candid Camera, but it weren't Candid Camera, it was serious.
'But when you're dealing with the police, don't go 'what are you saying to me', hold it down. 'No, officer, it's my car, check it out'. 'I think they checked it out, but some of them abuse their power, but there's good and bad in everything, so I don't want to diss them at all.'
Asked if they had been rude to him, he said: 'They weren't rude to me, but they've got all the gadgets in the car, the latest gadgets, that can tell what time it is in Iran, what temperature it is.'
The former world heavyweight champion added that where he lived, in Bedfordshire, he had previously been stopped for speeding. 'They warned me, and let me off, so you're going to meet good and bad in whatever you do.'
British Cafe owner wins extractor fan appeal after neighbour claimed 'smell of bacon offends Muslims'
A cafe owner was yesterday celebrating victory after a six-month legal battle to fry bacon triggered by Muslim complaints. Beverley Akciecek, 49, was ordered to tear down an extractor fan after a neighbour told council bosses his Muslim friends refused to visit his home because of the ‘foul odour’. Graham Webb-Lee said the smell made them feel ‘physically sick’.
Mrs Akciecek and her husband Cetin, 50 – himself a Turkish Muslim – spent months struggling to pay legal fees and worrying about the future of their business. Now the planning inspectorate has announced that they can keep the extractor fan at the Snack Shack cafe in Stockport. The council has been ordered to pay the entire legal bill, which could be as high as £5,000.
Mrs Akciecek, a mother of seven, said: ‘This is a victory for common sense but we shouldn’t have been put through this in the first place. We had lots of support from the Muslim community. They were infuriated.’
When the couple took over the cafe in 2007, they replaced a worn-out extractor fan with a modern one. They had not applied for planning permission but after the complaints, were told they had to. They applied retrospectively in May last year but were refused, before their successful appeal.
Yesterday Mr Webb-Lee said: ‘This is disgraceful. It makes our house stink of vile cooking smells, we can’t eat our breakfast. I will be speaking to my lawyer.’
The Lib Dem-run council originally ruled the smell from the fan, which has been in Bev's Snack Shack for more than three years, was 'unacceptable on the grounds of residential amenity' and told her to take it down. But Beverley and her husband appealed the decision. After a six-month legal battle, the Planning Inspectorate finally announced they had won their case.
She said today: 'The council have got to pay our legal fees which is a great relief because we were beginning to struggle. 'It would have cost us a couple of grand to move it which we just didn't have. 'We would have had to shut down while they were doing it, which would have taken a couple of weeks and it would have been a nightmare.
'This has really taken it out of us as a family. We were like robots, we did everything we had to do but it was always there and it caused us so much stress. 'Now we can just get on with being a normal family.'
They claim they received no complaints about the cafe, which is open from 7.30am-2.30pm six days a week, until around eighteen months ago.
Mrs Akciecek said: 'I just think it's just crazy. Cetin's friends actually visit the shop, they're regular visitors, they're Muslim people, they come in a couple of times a week. 'I have Muslim people come in for cheese toasties. Cetin cooks the food himself, he cooks the bacon.
'When we go to a cafe my husband wouldn't be offended by the smell of bacon. 'His friends are not offended by it, we have three visitors who come here for a sandwich, friends of my husband, and the smell doesn't offend them at all.
'We've never had a problem about the smell because everything is pre-cooked. We cook it in the oven so there's no foul smell. 'It's pre-cooked so the smell isn't as strong when we're frying it off.
'It's been a sandwich shop for about eight years, cooking exactly the same stuff. The lady before me did double because they were actually building new houses across the road so she was really busy.
'They were there before me but they were also there when the lady who owns the business was here. She had five staff, you can imagine how busy that shop was and they never complained at all.'
Taking Feminism Overseas
Feminism as a "movement" in America is largely played out. The work here is mostly done.
At a time when education matters more than ever, more American women attend college than men. More women graduate, with better grades and get more advanced degrees. As Kay Hymowitz writes in her new book, "Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys": "For the first time ever, and I do mean ever, young women are reaching their twenties with more achievements, more education, more property, and, arguably, more ambition than their male counterparts."
Even the fight for "pay equity" is an argument about statistics, lagging cultural indicators and the actual choices liberated women make -- to take time away from paid jobs to raise their kids (never-married women without kids earn more than men) or to work in occupations like the nonprofit sector that pay less.
These are the fruits of feminist success. And, as the father of a little girl, I'm grateful for many of feminism's achievements. And as a conservative, I'm delighted that so much of the energy and passion on the right is fueled by women, a fact that causes no small amount of cognitive dissonance on the left. For instance, when Sarah Palin was tapped as the second woman on a presidential ticket in American history, University of Chicago professor Wendy Doniger fumed that Palin's "greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman."
That is the kind of thing intellectuals say when they have nothing worth saying anymore.
The good news for those who want to continue the fight for women is that there is plenty of work left to do -- abroad.
The plight of women in other countries is not only dire, it's central to global poverty and the war on terrorism. Jihadism is largely a male problem. This shouldn't be a surprise, given that jihadis commit mass murder in pursuit of a virgin bonus in the afterlife.
Islamist extremism and oppression of women go hand in hand. And while the correlation between poverty and terrorism is often overstated, the correlation between prosperity and women's liberation is profound. Female education is tightly linked with GDP growth, lower birthrates and even higher agricultural yields.
It's also tightly linked with human freedom and decency, which is why no Islamic "spring" is possible without a feminist revolution. Countless Islamist countries practice gender apartheid and countenance wife-beating, honor killings and female genital mutilation. Islamist radicals have thrown acid in the faces of young girls for trying to go to school.
In Turkey, long the crown jewel of secular, modern and moderate Islam, the murder rate of women has gone up 1,400 percent since the country lurched toward Islamism, notes my American Enterprise Institute colleague Michael Rubin. In Egypt, those who hoped for a secular and democratic revolution are dismayed by the army's burgeoning partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood and reports that the military forced "virginity tests" on female protesters taken from Tahrir Square.
After being admitted to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, Iran shepherded to passage the only resolution this session aimed at a specific country. Apparently Israel holds back Palestinian women somehow.
Meanwhile, as Omni Ceren of Commentary has noted, "Iranian prison guards rape female dissidents before executing them, lest their victims go to heaven as virgins. Iranian men get to avail themselves of temporary marriages, de facto legalizing the institutionalized slavery and rape of prepubescent girls. Iranian women are consigned to the backs of buses, have to shroud their bodies from head to toe."
But there are signs of hope as well. In a widely circulating video, Veena Malik, a Pakistani model and actress, tears apart a smug Islamist mullah berating her for being "un-Islamic." Not only does she stand up for a modern humane Islam that can tolerate women and "fun," she tells the cleric, "I am more angry with you people than you are with me." Malik offers heroic moral clarity that should cheer anyone who has lamented the lack of moderate Muslims willing to condemn the extremists.
And she offers a reminder for us all that the real war for women's equality is now a battle to be fought in foreign lands.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.