Today marks the 77th anniversary of the Rafle du Vel d’Hiv in Paris. It took the French over 50 years to admit their very proactive role in this tragedy, and Jacques Chirac was the one to finally tell the truth. For this reason, I will always have respect for him, in spite of his being — in my view – politically objectionable on other matters. There was absolutely nothing for him to gain from this in terms of votes. It was simply the right thing to do.
Or both? As I have written before, I have at least one relative who is anti-Semitic, possibly more, and several who constantly act as apologists for anti-Semitism. One of them even said to me, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, that there were “shades of grey” in the story. Dear Lord. The moral bankruptcy.
This is why I am not surprised at the public indifference to AOC’s most recent stupid, bigoted comment. (She makes so many it is hard to keep track.) I am, sadly, accustomed to ahistorical, anti-Western, Chomskybot “thinking,” as I am exposed to it at every family event I attend.
As Daniella Greenbaum-Davis writes:
Ocasio-Cortez is either willfully ignorant, or purposefully anti-Semitic. Ignorant because if her convictions are genuine, she is entirely uneducated about a crucial part of world history, or educated only to the point of knowing the phrase ’Never Again’ without knowing who said it and why. Anti-Semitic because her inability in this, and only this situation, to utter the words ‘I’m sorry’ is highly unusual.
What’s curious — and deeply troubling — is that if a minority expressed discomfort about something, it’s typical progressive etiquette that the politician that caused that discomfort would quickly apologize and embark on a ‘learning journey’, to correct the ignorance that had led them astray. Instead, AOC is doubling and tripling down. She has chosen this as a hill to die on. This compounds historical ignorance with political vanity, and it compounds the insult too.
This is the best. Sad that it needs to be explained.
Asked if he believed Corbyn himself was anti-Semitic, Blair said yes.
“Some of the remarks are not explicable in any other way, I’m afraid, and that is sad,” said Blair. “Does he think he is? No, he doesn’t think he is at all.”
This is quite a common thing with bigots, in general, but specifically with anti-Semites. They convince themselves they are “anti-Zionists” or “critics of Israel” and so on. I have a sibling like this (possibly two) and there is no question this person is an anti-Semite. But they will say till the cows come home that they are not. Alan, my late brother, had this person’s number years ago – but then, Alan was always the smartest in our family.
While I find the anti-Semitism of certain of my family members appalling, what is even more appalling is the number of apologists they have among our relatives. Same could be said for Corbyn’s apologists, as well as those of Ilhan Omar and her ilk. Alan used to point out to me that both the anti-Semite(s) in our family and their apologists totally lacked self-awareness. Is this a trait of all bigots? Does Ilhan Omar not know she is an anti-Semite? Or is she well-aware of her bigotry but deeply cynical? Do white supremacists not know they hate black people (and so many others)? One wonders.
A hero was celebrated in France last month. Michel Bacos was the pilot of the jet hijacked at Entebbe, the man who stayed – by choice – with the Jewish hostages, though he was not Jewish. What he was, was a veteran of World War II who had obviously learned the lessons of that nightmare. Hatikva, the Israeli anthem, was played before his burial.
This week marks the 71st anniversary of Israeli independence and so, predictably, Hamas has to try to ruin the party. What was also predictable, sadly, was the reaction of so many in the West. Melanie Phillips has written a long blog post about it. Choice quote:
The Jews are often referred to as “the canaries in the mine.” With Western civilization in existential free-fall, the symbiotically linked contagions of Israel-bashing and antisemitism are both the cause and effect of this crisis.
Subscribing to the Arabs’ murderous falsehoods about Israel has destroyed the West’s moral compass – leaving it open to the murderous falsehoods about the people who gave it that moral compass in the first place and further blinding it to the forces threatening its own continued survival.
Read the whole thing here.
Israelis went to the polls earlier this week – a propos, this wonderful commentary from David Hirsh (I stole it from his Facebook page).
Israelis are voting today and determining their own future. This fact makes the hearts of all democratic people soar. This signifies the defeat, so far anyway, of the antisemitisms, Nazism, Arab Nationalisms, Islamisms and the Communisms which tried to prevent the endurance and the self determination of Jews.
Some Israelis are people whose families never left Jerusalem, the Middle East or North Africa; people ethnically cleansed from the great cosmopolitan civilizations by Arab nationalism and Islamism, from Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Yemen, Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia…
Some were driven out of Europe at the time of the pogroms in Kishniev and elsewhere.
Some are descended from the undead of Europe, survivors of the largely successful campaign across Europe to define, seek out and kill them.
Some limped away from the ideological and physical attempt to wipe them out which was called Russian Communism.
Some trace their ancestry to the expulsions from England in 1290 or from Spain in 1492.
Some Israelis come from Africa, ancient communities of Jews, endangered by famine and by isolation.
The continued existence of Israel is a victory for democratic life, democratic thinking and democratic practice.
Young Israeli men and women fought and died to defend their freedom against annihilationist aggression, notably in 1948, 1967, 1973. Israel still has to fight for its right to exist and Israelis still have to fight for their right to be part of the global community of human kind.
If you cannot celebrate Israel’s existence, if you do not feel that its survival is also your survival, there is something wrong with the way you think and the way you feel.
True, Israel and its neighbours might have done better in getting on with each other. But that thought does not constitute a *but* to this post. It is another, separate, thought.
(Emphasis mine.) That second to last paragraph represents precisely my views on what Israel means – and it represents why I have distanced myself from certain relationships. I refer not just to my anti-Semitic relatives (of whom I have written from time to time on this site) but also to some old and new friendships of mine that have gone to the wayside. (I have had an experience similar, though not identical, to this.)
It’s really not hard to get to the bottom of this: When you say that Jews have magical hypnotic powers to control other people, you’re an anti-Semite. When you say Jews control other people through money, you’re an anti-Semite. When you say Jews have conspired to force you to apologize for saying anti-Semitic things, you’re an anti-Semite. Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite.
Yeah, she is. As I have written before on this site, I am related to anti-Semites and watching the Democrats twist and turn to avoid calling a bigot a bigot reminds me so much of all of the apologists in my family. Very sad. Yet another area where I miss my oldest brother, who was always clear and true on these matters.
Ilhan Omar’s behaviour in this clip (as with her many anti-Semitic tweets) is a disgrace. She is nasty, bullying and stupid, and displays an extraordinary lack of knowledge about history and American foreign affairs. And she is happily oblivious to her ignorance! In fact, she seems rather confident. (What is really sad about her sophomoric world view is how many relatives of mine share it, along with the same confidence – one reason I avoid numerous family events.) I think it is fair to ask of people who hate the West and Western values — like Omar and like said relatives of mine — “why on earth do you live here?”
Elliott Abrams here shows far more grace than Omar deserves.