Friday, January 16, 2015
While Jews are slaughtered, the Left worries about Islamophobia
THE parallel moral universe inhabited by Europe’s chattering classes and celebs was starkly exposed last week.
In Paris, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, an extremist stormed a kosher store, terrorised its patrons, and murdered four of them. Their crime? Jewishness.
And yet as this act of anti-Semitic barbarism was taking place, what were the opinion-forming set and the right-on glitterati worrying their well-groomed heads about? Islamophobia. The possibility of post-Charlie Hebdo violence against Muslims.
They fretted over violence that hadn’t occurred, rather than violence unfolding before the world’s eyes in a store frequented by Jews.
So we had the bizarre spectacle of British newspapers thundering about a possible outburst of anti-Muslim madness at precisely the moment an outburst of anti-Semitic madness was taking place. Beware “Islamophobes seizing [the Charlie Hebdo] atrocity to advance their hatred”, hollered The Guardian as an anti-Semite was seizing a kosher shop to advance the world’s oldest hatred.
The day after the assault on the kosher store, three of the top 10 most-read articles on The Guardian’s website were dire warnings about potential Islamophobic violence post-Charlie Hebdo. Some folk seemed more concerned about possible attacks on Muslims than they were about actual attacks on Jews.
The gaping disconnect between observers’ fears of what would happen in France after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and what actually did happen was summed up in comments made by George Clooney. On Monday, as the bodies of the four murdered Jews were being prepared for the flight to Israel, Clooney was telling fawning hacks about the scourge of “anti-Muslim fervour” in Europe. It got to a point where it wouldn’t have felt surprising to hear a journalist say: “Oh no, Jews have been attacked — will this cause yet more problems for Muslims?!”
Of course, it’s entirely legitimate to worry about a backlash against Muslims in the wake of Islamist terror. That some blank grenades were thrown into the courtyard of a mosque in France suggests there are indeed Muslim-loathing hotheads. But there’s no escaping the fact that observers struggle to acknowledge the seriousness of anti-Semitism.
They find it easier to fantasise about a mob-led war on Muslims than to confront the real, growing problem of Jew-baiting.
We saw this last year, too, when there were numerous anti-Semitic outbursts during the Gaza conflict. Those who pose as progressive, who instantly reach for political placards whenever Muslims or another minority suffer abuse, didn’t say much.
They fidgeted, ermed and aahed, or, worse, offered an apologia for the new anti-Semitism. “If Israel didn’t treat Palestinians so badly, maybe Jews wouldn’t get attacked”, they hinted. This ugly excuse-making for anti-Semitic violence reared its head again this week when a BBC reporter in Paris, Tim Wilcox, said to a shaken French Jewish women that “the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well”.
In short: maybe there’s a logic to anti-Semitic violence. Maybe it’s just a reaction to Israeli — or as Wilcox put it, “Jewish” — wickedness. Maybe you deserve it. Wilcox expressed a common view in right-thinking sections of society: that anti-Semitism isn’t quite as bad as other forms of racism because it’s often misfired anger with Israel.
We’re witnessing the terrifying meshing together of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, with those who claim merely to hate Israel often slipping into expressions of disdain for “the Jews” and targeting Jewish shops for boycotts.
Indeed, if Amedy Coulibaly, the killer in the kosher store, thought a simple shop was an appropriate place to act out his foul radicalism, it isn’t hard to see why: anti-Israel protesters have been targeting Israeli-linked or just Jewish-owned shops for years now. Jewish produce, Jewish shoppers — all fair game, apparently.
The increasingly unhinged nature of many leftists’ loathing for Israel has led them to problematise the Jews themselves. They speak darkly of Jewish lobbies, of super-powerful forces making our leaders kowtow to Israel. Their swirling, borderline conspiratorial fear of Israel means they often cross the line from yelling at Israel to wondering about the trustworthiness of the Jews.
It’s a rehabilitation of the idea of the Jewish burden. Once, Jews were made to carry the burden of having “killed Christ”; now they’re forced to shoulder responsibility for everything Israel says and does. They’re marked, suspect, not as sympathetic as other minorities.
This is really why many European leftists find it hard to stand up to the new anti-Semitism: because they played a key role in unleashing it.
MSNBC's Maddow Shows ‘Piss Christ’ But Not Latest ‘Charlie Hebdo’
On MSNBC Tuesday night Rachel Maddow described the cover of the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo because, “NBC News will not allow us to show it to you.” A different perspective than Maddow and MSNBC had in 2011 when showing the image of the “Piss Christ” photo by Andres Serrano.
“The cover is a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed shedding a tear beneath the words ‘all is forgiven’ he’s also holding a sign that says ‘Je suis Charlie’", Maddow said on her program. “The reason I’m describing it to you rather than showing it to you – is because we operate under NBC News rules and NBC News will not allow us to show it to you.”
On April 18, 2011 Maddow and her network had no difficulty showing and discussing the “Piss Christ” photo by Andres Serrano after it was destroyed in a museum in France by protestors upset with the image of a crucifix submerged in urine.
After showing the image onscreen, Maddow said, “Museum officials say they will reopen tomorrow in order to put the destroyed pieces –still destroyed - on display so that people can see the damage that was done to them.”
“Inanimate art cannot yell back, it cannot hit back. The only way art wins against force if you can put the attack itself on display. See how that looks in the bright light of day, see how that holds up to history,” Maddow continued.
CNN joined MSNBC yesterday in declining to show images of the new Charlie Hebdo cover, citing fear of offending Muslims.
How the Supreme Court Reacted to This Town Allowing Politicians Bigger Signs Than Churches
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, a challenge by a church to a town ordinance regulating signs.
Like most other towns in America, Gilbert, Ariz., regulates when, where and how many signs may be displayed. Temporary noncommercial signs are classified by their content, and each category has its own set of regulations.
Real estate signs, for example, may be up to 80 square feet, and political signs may be up to 32 square feet; political signs may be displayed for 4 1/2 months before an election, including in the public right of way; and homeowners’ association event signs may be displayed for 30 days.
The Good News Community Church, which holds services at different facilities such as local schools because it doesn’t have a permanent church, uses signs to invite people to services. Because the signs include directional information (i.e., an arrow pointing to the location of the service), they may not be bigger than 6 square feet and can go up only 12 hours before their Sunday services start, meaning the signs are posted late on Saturday night when they are hard to see in the dark.
The church challenged the town’s sign code in 2007 as an impermissible content-based restriction on speech in violation of the First Amendment. The district court upheld the sign code, and an appellate court agreed, finding that there was no evidence that the town adopted its sign code for a discriminatory purpose.
Now, the case is before the Supreme Court, which previously held that the First Amendment forbids the government from favoring some noncommercial speakers while discriminating against others based on the content of their speech.
As the church posited in its brief:
Gilbert must explain why a 32 square foot sign displayed in a right-of-way virtually all year long is not a threat to safety and aesthetics if it bears a political message, but it is such a threat if it invites people to Good News’ church services.
If a sign says “Vote for McCain,” it can be 32 square feet … [b]ut if it says ‘Learn Why Voting Matters, Visit Good News Community Church,’ it can only be 6 square feet. If this does not qualify as content-based discrimination, it is difficult to conceive of something that would.
Many of the Supreme Court justices seemed skeptical of the reasons being given by the town to justify its different treatment of political, ideological, directional and other types of temporary signs. At one point, Justice Stephen Breyer remarked that it seemed like the town was being a bit “unreasonable,” and at another point he seemed so surprised by the town’s answer that he exclaimed “my goodness.”
Justice Antonin Scalia asked the town’s lawyer why town leaders did not limit the number and size of political signs if they were so concerned about clutter. After the lawyer said that the ordinance complied with state law on political signs, Scalia raised a laugh in the courtroom when he said, “So your answer is that the state made us do it?”
Justice Samuel Alito seemed shocked that the town thought that there was nothing wrong with only allowing the church to put up its sign at 10 p.m. on Saturday before an 8 a.m. Sunday service.
The town’s lawyer conceded that the effect of the local ordinance might “seem rather silly,” and things seemed to go downhill from there.
The town argued that a court ruling against it would cause chaos and make it very difficult for towns and cities to regulate signs. But the church said that it just wants to be treated the same as others and cited many examples of constitutional sign ordinances that satisfied its concerns, including the sign ordinance of the District of Columbia.
The court should issue a decision in the case by the end of June. Based on the questions of the justices at today’s oral argument, it seems likely that Gilbert’s elected officials may need to go back to the drawing board.
Nigel Farage: Ghettos in French cities have become no-go zones for non-Muslims
Most big French cities have areas which have become "no-go zones" which non-Muslims and even police cannot enter, Nigel Farage has said.
The Ukip leader said that Britain and European countries have suffered from "moral cowardice" and allowed "big ghettos" to develop.
He said: "It's happening right across Europe. We have got no-go zones in most of the big French cities. We've been turning a blind eye to preachers of hate that have been coming here from the Middle East and saying things for which the rest of us would be arrested.
"In parts of northern England we've seen the sexual grooming of under-age girls committed by Muslim men, in the majority, and for all of these things we are seeing the law not being applied equally, we're seeing the police forces not doing their job because we've suffered from moral cowardice.
"We have through mass immigration and through not checking the details of those people who have come to our countries, we have allowed big ghettos to develop and when it comes to confronting tough issues we're run a mile and that is why we're in the mess we're in, we've been led very badly."
Mr Farage said that he is "hoping and praying" that similar no-go zones do not develop in British cities.
He said that "tens of thousand of young women" have been victims of female genital mutilation in the UK.
He said: “We even, a few years ago, had some quite clear examples where the immigration services were actually allowing women to come into Britain from Pakistan and elsewhere to join polygamous marriages something that is against our law.
“So wherever you look, wherever you look you see this blind eye being turned and you see the growth of ghettos where the police and all the normal agents of the law have withdrawn and that is where sharia law has come in and you know it got so bad in Britain that our last Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of our church, actually said we should accept sharia law.”
He made the comments after a commentator told Fox News earlier this week that Birmingham has become a totally Muslim city. David Cameron called him a "complete idiot".
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.