Focus below the line: Guardian readers ‘reflect’ on Israel and the Jews (June 18)

This post is part of a series which will re-focus on the problem of biased moderation at the Guardian’s blog ‘Comment is Free’ (CiF) – particularly, reader comments which are off-topic, ad hominem or antisemitic, and yet not deleted by their team of professional moderators.

All of the following reader comments have been posted under ‘CiF’ op-eds which have nothing to do with the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

It starts here with a commenter with the moniker ‘StephenStafford‘:

09 June, 6:43pm

1

09 June, 6:34pm

2

09 June, 6:49pm

3

09 June, 5:36pm

4

09 June, 2:44pm

5

The thread continues with a commenter named Morgenrot.

 10 June, 6:18pm

6

11 June, 8:56pm

7

11 June, 7:04pm

8

11 June, 7:04pm

10

11 June, 3:06am

11

Again, none of these comments have been deleted by ‘CiF’ moderators.

 

Guardian film critic downplays Hitler comments of director Lars von Trier

Here are a few passages from a Feb. 20 review by the Guardian’s  of a new film by Danish director Lars von Trier called ‘Nymphomaniac':

For the very first time, I think Von Trier has given us a film without any of the tiresome hoax provocation that has always been a part of even his most admired works. heartfelt and even passionate, especially in one image of Joe, utterly alone in a stark landscape, reaching towards a gnarled tree trunk: the part her father had once told her was the “soul” of a tree. That is not to say that the director has gone without any of his old tricksiness. He playfully alludes to his earlier films Breaking the Waves and Antichrist, and is still clearly very prickly about the “Nazi” controversy of two years ago, when he was thrown out of the Cannes film festival for making a Hitler joke at a press conference.

Bradshaw is referring to a press conference in 2011 at the Cannes Film Festival, for the film Melancholia, where Von Trier was asked to expound on a recent interview in which he expressed interest in his German roots.

Here’s a video clip of the press conference with Von Trier and the film’s star Kirsten Dunst. 

Though Von Trier apologized after the row, he later retracted his apology during an interview with GQ.  

Moreover, as you can see in the clip, the director may have attempted a bit of humor towards the end to break the tension, but seemed quite serious when stating that he sympathized with Hitler “a little bit”.  And, the French Police evidently didn’t think it was merely a joke when they investigated Von Trier for a possible violation of French laws against the justification of war crimes.

Finally, this episode may evoke memories for some CiF Watch fans of a previous episode in which a Guardian culture critic downplayed remarks by an artist which were sympathetic to Adolf Hitler.

 

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What about the Grand Mufti’s desire to ‘liquidate the Jews’ doesn’t Robert Fisk understand?

Fisking “Middle East expert” Robert Fisk can be especially challenging, as he often pivots seamlessly between mere distortions and outright fabrications within the same essay.  His latest op-ed at The Independent, The real poison is to be found in Arafat’s legacy, Nov. 18, represents a great example of his talent for such multi-faceted misrepresentations.

fisk

Though he dismisses recent accusations that Arafat was poisoned, Fisk, in attempting to explain the legacy of the late Palestinian leader, whitewashes his decades-long involvement in lethal terrorist attacks against Israelis, and risibly claims that his biggest character flaw was that he was in fact ‘too trusting’ of Israeli leaders.

Fisk writes:

He made so many concessions to Israel – because he was growing old and wanted to go to “Palestine” before he died – that his political descendants are still paying for them. Arafat had never seen a Jewish colony on occupied land when he accepted the Oslo agreement. He trusted the Americans. He trusted the Israelis. He trusted anyone who appeared to say the right things. And it must have been exhausting to start his career as a super-“terrorist” in Beirut and then be greeted on the White House lawn as a super- “statesman” and then re-created by Israel as a super-“terrorist” again.

However, the most egregious lie by omission appears later in the essay when he addresses comments Arafat reportedly made about the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, per a conversation he had with Edward Said:

Edward Said told me that Arafat said to him in 1985 that “if there’s one thing I don’t want to be, it’s to be like Haj Amin. He was always right, and he got nothing and died in exile.”

Hunted by the British, Haj Amin, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, went to Berlin during the Second World War in the hope that Hitler would help the Palestinians.

His claim that the pro-Nazi Haj Amin was merely attempting to “help the Palestinians” represents an extraordinary obfuscation.  

As a CAMERA report (based on documentation in a book by Jennie Lebel titled ‘The Mufti of Jerusalem: Haj-Amin el-Husseini and National-Socialism‘) makes clear, Haj Amin’s desire to ‘help the Palestinians’ was superseded by a greater passion – to annihilate the Jews.

Haj Amin El-Husseini, who was appointed Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921 aided by sympathetic British officials, advocated violent opposition to Jewish settlement in the Mandate for Palestine and incited the Arabs against the growing Jewish presence. Lebel describes the violence of 1929, where Haj Amin spread the story that the Jews planned to destroy the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque. Using falsified photos of the mosque on fire and disseminating propaganda that borrowed from the anti-Jewish forgery, the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the mufti instigated a widespread pogrom against Jews in Palestine. On Aug. 23, Arabs streamed into Jerusalem and attacked Jews. Six days later, a second wave of attacks resulted in 64 dead in Hebron

Hebron_massacre_newspaper

The Mufti injected a religiously based anti-Jewish component into the emerging Palestinian national consciousness….Presaging modern boycott proposals against Jewish settlement, Haj Amin called on all Muslims to boycott Jewish goods and organized an Arab strike on April 10, 1936.

He saw in the Nazis and Italian fascists natural allies who would do what the British were unwilling to do — purge the region of Jews and help him establish a unified Arab state throughout the Middle East…Believing that the Axis might prevail in the war, the mufti secured a commitment from both Italy and Germany to the formation of a region-wide Arab state. He also asked for permission to solve the Jewish problem by the “same method that will be applied for the solution of the Jewish problem in the Axis states.” 

On Nov. 28, 1941, he met for the first time with Adolf Hitler, relaying to the German leader the Arab conviction that Germany would win the war and that this would benefit the Arab cause. 
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husayni, meets Hitler for the first time. Berlin, Germany, November 28, 1941.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, meets Hitler in Berlin

While Hitler shared the mufti’s belief that the present war would determine the fate of the Arabs, his priority was the struggle against what he saw as Jewish-controlled Britain and the Soviet Union. Lebel reveals Hitler’s promise that when the German army reached the southern borders of the Caucasus, he would announce to the Arab world their time of liberation had come. The Germans would annihilate all Jews who lived in Arab areas.
… 

[Haj Amin's] conspiratorial view of Jewish ambitions are reflected in the widespread dissemination of such publications as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in the Arab and Muslim world. The view of the Jews as contaminators of society and malevolent conspirators resonate today in the founding Charter of Hamas.

In a radio broadcast from Germany on Nov. 16, 1943…Haj Amin laid out his vision of the conflict with the Jews:

“The Jews bring the world poverty, trouble and disaster … they destroy morality in all countries… they falsify the words of the prophet, they are the bearers of anarchy and bring suffering to the world. They are like moths who eat away all the good in the countries. They prepared the war machine for Roosevelt and brought disaster to the world. They are monsters and the basis for all evil in the world ….” 

As Nazi official Wilhelm Melchers testified after the war:

The mufti was an accomplished foe of the Jews and did not conceal that he would love to see all of them liquidated.

It’s clear that Haj Amin’s relationship with Hitler was no mere ‘alliance of convenience’, but was based on shared eliminationist antisemitic fantasies.  As Jeffrey Herf wrote in his 2009 book, ‘Nazi Propaganda for the Arab world‘, the Mufti “played a central role in the cultural fusion of European with Islamic traditions of Jew-hatred [and] was one of the few who had mastered the ideological themes and nuances of fascism and Nazism, as well as the anti-Jewish elements within the Koran and its subsequent commentaries.”

Robert Fisk’s innocuous description of Haj Amin as ‘pro-Palestinian’ is as morally perverse as characterizing Adolf Hitler as merely  ‘pro-Aryan’.

Israel boots Wagner: Harriet Sherwood chides state for uniting behind its Holocaust survivors

A guest post by Gidon Ben-Zvi, an Anglo-Israeli writer who blogs at Jerusalem State of Mind.

German Composer Richard Wagner

On Tuesday June 5th, the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood reported that Tel Aviv University had denied the request of the Israel Wagner Society to have an Israeli symphony orchestra perform works by Hitler’s favorite composer Richard Wagner (Tel Aviv Wagner concert cancelled after wave of protest).

The university announced that it would not permit a scheduled Wagner concert to take place on its campus after vehement public protests.

Tel Aviv University accused Yonathan Livni – the founder of the Israel Wagner Society – of deliberately concealing the intention to perform Wagner compositions. The university also claimed that Livni did not mention the name of the organization he represented.

 Ms. Sherwood’s reporting of this story is riddled with subtle distortions and logical fallacies which should be examined.

First off, Ms. Sherwood repeatedly used the term ‘boycott’ without further elucidation. The ‘boycott’ is not official and in fact the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that it is not illegal to play Wagner in Israel. Rather, the ban is merely a custom that goes back to the founding of the Jewish state.

Next, she refers to this “unofficial boycott” of Wagner and draws an elegant parallel between it and the BDS Israel campaign which, after all, also has the word ‘boycott’ in it. Specifically, Sherwood quotes Mr. Livni, who responded to Tel Aviv University’s decision thus:

“The issue is that here is an academic institution that is threatened daily with boycotts because of Israel’s policy in the occupied territories doing exactly the same thing: imposing a boycott.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote the following:

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

While the BDS Israel movement seeks to purge Israel, both inside and outside of the ‘Green Line’, of every last vestige of Jewish character and sovereignty, Israel’s unofficial Wagner ban serves as a crucial reminder that ideas have consequences — and that those who spread evil ideas should be held responsible for their consequences.

And this dovetails into Ms Sherwood’s next logical evasion.

The tired “divide man from his art” cliché’ is invoked in this quote, once again courtesy of Mr. Livni:

I have no regard for the composer – he was the worst kind of anti-Semite and I despise him. But God gave him a wonderful gift with which he wrote this beautiful, sublime music.

Simply put, none of this is about Wagner’s music. Rather, it’s about the strength and corrosive influence of his ideas. While Richard Wagner lived decades before the birth of Nazism, his influence on the National Socialist movement and especially on its leader was enormous.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote that Wagner was one of “the great warriors in this world who, though not understood by the present, was nevertheless prepared to carry the fight for their ideas and ideals to their end.”

Wagner’s music was prominently featured at Nazi Party functions. And the operatic festival that he founded at Bayreuth in 1876 became a citadel of racism and reaction, and the cultural showpiece of the Third Reich and Hitler’s artistic centre.

Upon coming to power in 1933, Wagner’s works were used by the Nazi regime as part of its plan to ‘Nazify’ German culture.

In some Nazi concentration camps prescribed music was forced on the inmates by way of radio or gramophones that played over permanently installed loudspeakers.

The music, which included the works of Richard Wagner, was used along with propaganda speeches in order to re-educate the inmates. As such, the argument can be made the Wagner’s music served as soundtrack to many who lived through, and died during, the Holocaust.

Later in the article Ms Sherwood once again cites the eminently quotable Mr. Livni:

It was hypocritical of Israelis to boycott Wagner but ride on German-built trains and drive German-made cars, and for the state to buy German submarines…

The Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany  was signed in 1952 in order to:

“…address the calling for moral and material indemnity … The Federal Government are prepared, jointly with representatives of Jewry and the State of Israel … to bring about a solution of the material indemnity problem, thus easing the way to the spiritual settlement of infinite suffering.”

Although public debate in Israel was among the fiercest in the nation’s history, the aim of the reparations was undeniably to address and perhaps begin to come to terms with one of the great human tragedies ever known. While a blunt and highly controversial tool, reparations that sought to seek a smidge of redemption for an irredeemable act of cruelty were guided by a higher moral imperative.

What does this have to do with Wagner being performed in Israel?

Those who advocate for Wagner compositions being performed in the Jewish State usually rely on the ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ argument.  Whether or not one concurs, this focus on the aesthetically pleasing attributes of Wagner’s works is devoid of any appeal to redemption, forgiveness or spiritual healing.

By politicizing history in order to bludgeon Israel into illegitimacy, Ms. Sherwood does a disservice to the discipline, whose purpose is “…to reconstruct the past as accurately as the intelligence of the historian and the fullness of the historical sources permit…”

“Modern” Turkey: Where using Hitler to promote a men’s shampoo is considered “edgy”

Per Elder of Ziyon:

Biomen is a Turkish cosmetics company trying to make a splash in the local market. They hired M.A.R.K.A., an advertising agency known for its “edgy” ads.

The resulting ad( (aired on March 21) shows footage of Adolf Hitler, dubbed and subtitled as if he is speaking about men’s shampoo.

Guardian changes course & (permanently) removes Gilad Atzmon’s book from their online shop

H/T Al

A quick summary:

Within 24 hours of our post in October of 2011 on the fact that the Guardian’s online bookshop was selling Gilad Atzmon’s egregiously antisemitic book, The Wandering Who?, they removed the book from their shop.

However, as we noted recently, at some point following October the Guardian placed the book back on their online shop.

Last week, however, we learned that, following an email exchange with the Guardian’s book editor by a CiF Watch reader, the Guardian reversed course and, noted that “The Wandering Who has now been removed from the Guardian Bookshop site”. They attributed the availability of the book to “a problem with [their automated] feeds.”

Yesterday, Chris Elliott, the Guardian’s Readers’ Editor, addressed the issue in “…On the inclusion of controversial titles in our bookshop“, March 11.

Wrote Elliott:

If you put the words Mein Kampf into the search function of the Guardian’s online bookshop you get two editions offered for sale…the second carries the following text:

“Hitler’s infamous political tract…contains a detailed introduction which analyses Hitler’s background, his ideology and his ruthless understanding of political power.”

It espouses a rabidly antisemitic view of the world among other things….I am entirely convinced that it is a book that should be available to be read because it has an important lesson from history; suppression would only lend an unjustified mystique. In this area waders or a wet suit are more suitable than a standard pair of wellington boots to navigate through the depths of this subject. 

Should every book legally published be available in the Guardian’s online bookshop? This is where it becomes even more difficult. Part of me says, yes. I am opposed to the suppression of books and believe in the power of readers to make rational and intelligent decisions. Bring things into the light. But even where the sale of a book is legal, there will always be a selection process. Where the Guardian is involved in that selection process, it has the right to do what all good bookshops do and select what it offers according to its own principles such as when it is publishing its own books. Where the Guardian is not involved in selecting the title, then it has a duty to tell potential shoppers that that is the case.

…Gilad Atzmon’s The Wandering Who? was removed because of the controversy it has caused. Atzmon says he is anti-Zionist but he has been accused of making antisemitic remarks, including past praise for the “prophetic qualities” of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a falsified tract purporting to show plans for Jewish domination of the world that was written by agents of Tsarist Russia. [emphasis added]

…After strong protests last November about the inclusion of Atzmon’s book in the Guardian’s online bookshop, we removed it from the electronic feed but it was later restored on our bookshop lists and therefore other newspapers’ feeds. One reason was the technological problem but the others were considered to be broader issues. At the time Guardian executives considered that:

• If a book is removed, the impression may be created that the Guardian “approves” of all the other books on the Guardian’s bookshop feed.

• Removing a book lends an unjustified cachet to it.

When the book was restored to the list, a much clearer explanation of what the list represents for the Guardian was used:

“In addition to our recommendations, our browsable selection of books also includes a feed of the top 5,000 bestselling titles through independent booksellers (not including Amazon) as supplied by Bertrams. Inclusion in this automated feed does not necessarily denote recommendation by GNM.”

Now the book is off the list again following renewed protests.  It will remain so. [emphasis added]

While I applaud their decision to remove Atzmon’s book from their shelves, it is necessary to address Elliott’s comparison with Mein Kempf.  As Elliott noted, the synopsis of Mein Kempf on their site notes, “Hitler’s infamous political tract…contains a detailed introduction which analyses Hitler’s background, his ideology and his ruthless understanding of political power.”

That is, the book is being characterized as a hateful book, whose availability is owed to its historical significance in understanding the Nazi regime’s murder of six million Jews.

The Guardian synopsis of Atzmon’s book, however, included the following:

So, the publisher’s synopsis characterized an overtly antisemitic book – by an author who has claimed that Hitler’s views about Jews may one day be proven right, and who explicitly charges that Jews are indeed trying to take over the world – as a “unique crucial book” which tackles the issues of Jewish “ideology and their global influence”. [emphasis added]

Finally, unsurprisingly, a Guardian reader wrote the following below Elliott’s post:

Yes, the Guardian cravenly caved to the weight of “pressure” exerted by groups who fight antisemitism!

As I noted in a subsequent comment on the thread, the word “censorship” refers to a government which legally prohibits certain books from being sold. What we’re dealing with here is an independent bookseller making the decision not to sell a truly vile book. That is their right. 

As I’ve argued before, if David Duke’s books (or books by the BNP, or other extremist groups) were among the top 5000 in their automated feed, would the Guardian be obligated to sell them?  

Of course not.

“Censorship” or “Zionist pressure” has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Galliano found guilty of racism. A short postscript on the Guardian’s initial coverage

Here was the Guardian’s first report about accusations, in late February, that fashion guru, John Galliano had uttered ugly antisemitic remarks (including praise of Hitler) to Jewish patrons in a Paris bar, by the paper’s expert on antisemitism fashion, Jess Cartner-Morely.

When it turned out that there was a video of Galliano, then working for Christian Dior, making similar pro-Hitler remarks at another bar on a separate occasion, the piece by Cartner-Morely was revised, and her suggestions that such charges were improbable erased.

Yesterday, a French court found Galliano guilty of antisemitic and racist behaviour, though he escaped possible fines and imprisonment. He was, however, ordered to pay a symbolic €1 in damages to his victims and pay the legal costs of the anti-racist organizations who were represented at his trial in June.

The Guardian’s initial report, it seems, says more about the Guardian than it says about their Francophile correspondent, and represents a disturbing pattern (which this blog is continually documenting) of minimizing, downplaying, or (often) downright ignoring expressions of explicit hatred towards Jews – particularly when such racism is expressed by groups they classify as victims. 

So, while they pounce at every opportunity to label groups like the EDL as racist, radical Islamist groups in the UK rarely are held to the same level of critical scrutiny, and indeed such proponents of a decidedly intolerant and illiberal brand of political Islam are often provided forums at CiF to espouse their views under the veneer of “progressive thought.  

The Guardian’s reporting clearly indicates an editorial line much more at ease condemning Islamophobia than antisemitism.

It’s almost as if, in the mind of the Guardian Left, fierce and unapologetic polemics against antisemites are no longer fashionable – as such narratives aren’t helpful in advancing their political agenda.

No, John Galliano is not in the same league as those who possess an ideologically inspired antisemitism, who we routinely report on, but their initial coverage of Galliano’s remarks does, it seems, suggest a disturbing journalistic tick – as it represents yet another example of the paper’s continuing antisemitic sins of omission.  

 

On the anniversary of Mein Kampf: Anti-Semitism, “the hate that dares not speak its name.”

In attempting to understand and contextualize contemporary anti-Semitism – particularly its manifestation at the Guardian and Comment is Free – it’s important to understand the often misunderstood connection between what it was (historically) and what it now is.

Walter Russel Mead is one of the few bloggers who can claim the mantle of public intellectual. His blog, at the site of The American Interest, is must reading for those who seek to be informed on current events with the immediacy of a blog, and the erudition of a genuine scholar. Indeed, Mead is recognized as one of America’s leading experts on American foreign policy.

Mead is a Democrat who voted for Barack Obama.

Mead’s latest post, The Hate That Dares Not Speak It’s Name“, notes, about Mein Kampf:

“The Bible of the Nazi movement was published in July of 1925 [and] you could still buy it at the international airport newstand in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur — along with other classics of anti-Semitism like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the collected rants of Henry Ford in the Dearborn Independent.”

Mead continues:

When Hitler wrote, it was still socially OK to be an anti-Semite.   In some circles it was mandatory.  As a consequence of Hitler’s life’s work, it is now as unfashionable to be an anti-Semite as it is to name your child Adolf.

The truth is that anti-Semitism is alive and well and not even particularly rare; it’s just that many of today’s anti-Semites like to think of themselves as enlightened, modern people and get all huffy and hissy if anyone accuses them of prejudice in any form.  Many who in past times would have been open and honest about their anti-Semitism, now try to hide the truth even from themselves.

Mead then continues by listing the various views consistent with modern anti-Semitism:

1. Jews are more clannish than other people and act in concert to support a specifically Jewish agenda.

2. Jews deploy extraordinary wealth with almost superhuman cunning in support of the Jewish agenda.

3. As a religious and national minority, Jews cannot flourish without attacking the traditional values of their host society.  In every country Jews seek to weaken national culture, religion, values and cohesion.

4. Jews are not a national group or a people in the way that others are; they do not have the same right to establish a nation-state that other peoples do.

5. Where Jewish interests are concerned, the appearance of open debate in our society and many others is a carefully constructed illusion.  In reality, Jews work together to block open debate on issues they care about and those who resist the Jewish agenda are marginalized in public discussion.

Mead continues:

Since Hitler’s death, the world has defined anti-Semitism down.  Nurturing ancient fantasies of secret Jewish cabals that control the media and play politicians like puppets on a string, and making political judgments based on these fantasies isn’t sort of or almost anti-Semitic.  To believe that Jews control public discourse and the media and bend the gentile masses to their sinister agenda is the essence of old-fashioned anti-Semite.  In some countries these beliefs are so common that they are no longer recognized as an aggressive and communicable mental disease.  These ideas have become so widely accepted that they are seldom questioned or examined;

On the anniversary of Mein Kampf‘s publication people of good will everywhere should remember the need to fight one of the most vicious forms of prejudice that the world has ever known. Prejudice never recognizes itself; anti-Semites honestly think their delusional beliefs about Jews are simple, obvious truths.  They are not; all five of those beliefs are demonstrably false.

While, as I’ve noted continually, the Guardian’s biggest anti-Semitic sin is their sin of omission – failing to recognize and report explicit and quite ubiquitous anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world – it is important to note that they are also often guilty of licensing narratives at CiF which advance the argument that Jews “do not have the same right to establish a nation-state that other peoples do” (Mead’s #4), as well as the increasingly banal but no less insidious argument that organized Jewry works in concert (typically described as the “Israel Lobby” or “Jewish Lobby” in a context denoting its injurious influence) “to block open debate on issues they care about and those who resist the Jewish agenda are marginalized in public discussion” (Mead’s #5).

Mead concludes:

Anti-Semitism is real, it is murderous, and it is very much with us today.  Speak the truth and shame the devil.  Whatever your religion, your politics, your views about Israeli policy, fighting anti-Semitism is part of what it means to be a decent human being.

Mead’s moral imperative represents, as eloquently as I could ever state, the mission of this blog.

Guardian article about Steven Spielberg produces high volume of hostility towards Jews in comment section

 

H/T Pretzelberg

A Guardian piece in their Culture section about the alleged firing of actress Megan Fox (who was staring in the film ‘Transformers’) by Executive Producer Steven Spielberg for calling the (Jewish) director of the film, Michael Bay, a Nazi (“Steven Spielberg demanded Megan Fox be fired from ‘Transformers’, says Bay“, June 20) produced, predictably, a disturbing amount of palpable hostility towards Jews in the comment section:

Here’s a sample: 

The alleged firing of an actress for calling her Jewish director a Hitler shows that, when it comes to The Holocaust, there is no freedom of speech (259 Recommends) 

 

Spielberg’s alleged firing of Fox makes the Jewish producer a little like Hitler (606 Recommends)

 

Comparing the Jewish director, Michael Bay, with the German film maker (Leni Riefenstahl) who produced Nazi propaganda for Hitler

 

Spielberg has cashed in on The Holocaust (311 Recommends)

 

Evident advice to Jews that they “get over” The Holocaust

Guardian reader: Hitler would have opposed Israel’s trade restrictions on Gaza

H/T Pretzelberg

In the comment section beneath Charles Shaar Murray’s CiF essay (Galliano’s views have nothing to do with Nazi chick), about John Galliano’s recent anti-Semitic tirade, was this remark by “Johnny Sclerossis“:

Yes, while attempting to exterminate Jews from the face of the earth, Hitler would have been shocked – simply shocked! – at the depravity of  Israel’s restrictions on weapons flowing into Gaza.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi endorses the Holocaust, The Guardian endorses him as an Egyptian democrat

H/T Harry’s Place and Just Journalism

In a previous post on the leading Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, we failed to note a speech he gave in 2009 where he argued, to a rapt audience, that Hitler’s annihilation of the Jews should be seen as Allah’s punishment for their evil ways.

Here’s the quote, and you can see the video below:

‘Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the (Jews) people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.’

But, it’s all cool, because the Guardian yesterday blogged the following:

‘Qaradawi…who was banned from entering the United States, had previously visited the UK in 2004 at the invitation of the London mayor, Ken Livingstone, sparking protests from Jewish groups and gay people, who regard him as anti-Semitic and homophobic.

‘However, he is also arguably the most influential Sunni Muslim cleric in the world and has regularly spoken in the past in support of democracy.’ [emphasis mine]

So, in the moral world inhabited by the Guardian, since he’s popular in the (Sunni Muslim) “Arab Street” how bad could he possibly be?

Further, it seems, Qaradawi’s endorsement of the Holocaust simply isn’t sufficient to confirm with any degree of certainty that he’s an anti-Semite and shouldn’t in any way detract from his democratic credentials.

(Also, see this profile of Qaradawi by The Investigative Project.)

2010 or 1938?

Here’s the Guardian’s celebratory depiction of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s welcome in Lebanon recently.

This is from another publication:

Such photos, of tyrants who incite genocide against the Jews and yet receive a hero-like welcome by masses of citizens, really takes you back…

 

Hitler welcomed in Austria upon annexing the sate in 1938