This isn't good news.
This isn't good news.
In re: Rev. Wright's recent comments, Goldblog reader Doron Arazi shares this Soviet-era joke:
A prominent scientist is being summoned to his institute's party secretary.
"Comrade professor", says the secretary gravely, "the Party has started a new anti-Zionist campaign. Our institute was ordered to purge all residual Zionist influences among intellectuals and scientists. So, you're fired."
The professor is shocked. "But I am a loyal party member!"' he protests. "I have never been a Zionist!"
The party secretary knits his eyebrows very tight. "Comrade professor, do not try to deceive the party!" he says. "We checked. You have a Zionist grandmother."
Benjamin Netanyahu crossed the Rubicon yesterday. In order to serve the country, he abandoned his father's ideological home. The decision to leave his home came at great emotional cost. The prime minister agonized for 10 days over the text that would redefine him. But in the end, Netanyahu did the right thing. He neither stuttered nor blinked. Instead, he placed the spotlight squarely on one irreplaceable phrase: a demilitarized Palestinian state next to a Jewish State of Israel.
We should not acknowledge international "rights" of countries that deny fundamental rights to their people. I would think that would be at the core of any Obama foreign policy (in fact, it seems to be with regard to Cuba, for example). Nor, as a practical matter, should the U.S. base critical proliferation decisions on the promises of countries that so callously break their fundamental promises to their citizens and then lie about it to the world. In fact, how about amending the Non-Proliferation Treaty to limit the right to the pursuit of peaceful nuclear programs only to democracies?
This election should lead us to meet with our allies and reconsider our approach to the Iranian nuclear question -- especially because through a major multilateral rebuff of the regime we might further weaken them in their own country, a place where the opposition seems so vital and poised to make such a promising change.
I've argued for engagement with Iran and I still believe in it, although, in the name of the millions defrauded, President Obama's outreach must now await a decent interval. I've also argued that, although repressive, the Islamic Republic offers significant margins of freedom by regional standards. I erred in underestimating the brutality and cynicism of a regime that understands the uses of ruthlessness.
-- Roger Cohen, June 14, 2009
Brutal and cynical? Really? Who would have thought that the Iranian regime could be so brutal and cynical and ruthless and undemocratic? Well, perhaps gay people, who are executed by the regime for their sexual orientation. Perhaps peace-loving Baha'is, who are mercilessly persecuted by the regime. Perhaps Iranian Jews, who are forced by the regime to abase themselves before gullible Western journalists. Perhaps the families of women stoned to death after being accused of adultery by the regime. Perhaps the dissidents of the universities, who know that a country led by a dictator who calls himself "Supreme Leader" isn't actually an incipient democracy. Perhaps the liberal Shia reformers, who know that their country has been hijacked by obscurantist fundamentalists. Perhaps Israel, which is regularly threatened with extermination by these same obscurantist fundamentalists. Perhaps men like Elie Wiesel, who know that Holocaust denial is a crime against history. Perhaps the moderate Arab states of the Gulf and beyond, who quake in fear of a nuclear-armed Iranian empire. Perhaps the International Atomic Energy Agency, which watches helplessly as the regime defies the demands of the U.N. Security Council. Perhaps the families of Iranian terror victims around the world, including those in Argentina, where Iranian agents bombed a Jewish cultural center, killing 85 innocent people.
I'm sure there are others who could have told us about the nature of this regime, if only we had asked.
Netanyahu succeeded overnight in taking back a very major concession that previous Israeli governments had made and turning it into a significant bargaining chip. For years - surely ever since Ehud Barak made his famous magnanimous peace offer - Israeli support for a two-state solution was more or less taken for granted. In a surprisingly short period, Netanyahu has put Israel into a position in which if it agrees to two states, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will be able to say that they and Obama have wrested a major concession from Israel's "right-wing government."
Goldblog reader Jeff Bergman writes, in reference to Michael Gerson's excellent column:
Here's a question -- has any good ever come out of the comments section of a major on-line content provider? You don't provide a blackboard for every hater out there at the bottom of your blog -- why does the Washington Post think that it's a good idea? Why not make these guys at least get their own damn blogs?
The thinking is that comments sections engage existing readers, and bring in new readers, especially the ones with big mouths. But I've only rarely read something in a comments section that was worthwhile. In my own case, I get enough anti-Semitism through e-mail; I'm not such a masochist that I would want to make myself even more available to douchebag Jew-haters.
A great letter in today's Washington Post:
James W. von Brunn -- racist, domestic terrorist and anti-Semite -- never knew that when he and his then-wife sold their Lebanon, N.H., home in 1982, they sold it to a Jewish family.
The von Brunns had moved to Maryland before we looked at the house, and he was incarcerated when we bought it, imprisoned for attempting to hold hostage members of the Federal Reserve Board. When we moved in, we realized we'd bought it from an anti-Semite survivalist because he'd left behind several boxes of anti-Jewish books. We immediately added them to the trash.
Anyway, James W. von Brunn, we want you to know we took great pleasure in living there despite the hate-filled man who occupied it before we did. We celebrated Passover Seders, exchanged Hanukkah gifts and raised two wonderful Jewish children there.
Rosner raises an interesting question:
It is also easy to forget that what makes Iran dangerous is not merely its pursuit of nuclear weapons but, rather, its campaign for regional hegemony, which is emboldened by nuclear development. In his Cairo speech, President Barack Obama reaffirmed "America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons." But until that goal is reached, there are big differences among the various nations armed with nukes. What makes Iran different is the goal that country is pursuing, not the means it is using. This is why Iran--and not France or India--turned out to be what experts call "one of the most critical national security challenges facing the United States."
In my conversations with leaders of moderate Arab states, it became clear to me that many of them want Ahmadinejad to stay president: His rhetoric helps makes their case that Iran is a danger to them. They don't expect Iran to change under new, more "moderate" leadership, because national security and foreign policy are not in the hands of the president, in any case.
Me, I'm slightly more hopeful than that: Maybe something extraordinary is brewing, and maybe the ayatollahs are learning that they are truly out of step with many of their people. One can hope.
From Erica Brown:
"We cannot simply feel a moment of sadness and move on, as if this is yet another example of what happens when guns get into the wrong hands."
Reading Judith Warner's column this morning on the recent upsurge in hate crimes, I was struck by what she left out. Two weeks ago, a Muslim extremist shot two soldiers, killing one, outside a recruiting station in Arkansas. Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad acted alone, just as James von Brunn apparently did. He was, like von Brunn, captive to a supremacist ideology that, in his mind, justified the murder of an innocent man. Like von Brunn, authorities said, he had mapped out Jewish targets for potential attack. And yet, no mention of the hate crime committed by a Muslim; only hate crimes committed by white, right-wing extremists were worthy of mention in Warner's column. This is true for other columnists on the liberal side of the spectrum. The murder of Private William Long seems to be of no concern, and without larger meaning.
Of course, on the other side of the spectrum, great thinkers like Glenn Beck are blaming the attack on Holocaust Museum on -- well, it's hard to figure out what he's talking about, but it is safe to say that he's not blaming white America. And bloggers like Debbie Schlussel are blaming Islam for the Holocaust Museum attack. Go figure.
The attacks in Arkansas and Washington are both manifestations of a radical type of intolerance, and they are linked in very deep ways. The left, generally speaking, doesn't want to acknowledge Muslim intolerance, and the right, generally speaking, doesn't want to acknowledge white, Christian intolerance. But they both exist, and they should both be acknowledged.
The Aspen Ideas Festival is coming up soon, and all of us here at the Atlantic have to bring an idea. Usually mine are of the "put-the-mayo-in-the-tuna-can" variety, but here's a better idea: Holocaust Museum Denial. We should try to convince anti-Semites that the Holocaust Museum itself doesn't exist, that the alleged presence of the alleged Holocaust Museum on the National Mall is actually just another aspect of pernicious Zionist propaganda. If the nutjobs don't believe it's there -- and they're gullible enough to believe that, since they already believe that the Holocaust itself never happened -- then they won't attack it.
Like I said, just an idea.
From Deborah Lipstadt, who was in the Holocaust Museum, teaching a class about the evil known as Holocaust denial, when the shooting occurred:
We who were here have so much to be thankful for:
For Officer Johns who gave his life defending this museum.
For the guards who did precisely what they are trained to do and did it so very well.
For the fact that this man's hate resulted in the death of "only" one man and not of scores more.
Above all, we have to be thankful for the existence of this place. It is a place that stands to teach about the consequences of hatred and prejudice. This week it taught that lesson in the most horrifying of ways.
Today the building will be full again. There will be staff members and, we hope, people who have decided not to let the haters win.
They know that the only way to defeat those who spread evil is by not letting them stop us. Who ever thought that there would be a time when coming to a museum which teaches about hatred, prejudice and anti-Semitism would itself be an act of defiance?
He meant "Zionists," not "Jews," he sez. In other words, he regrets speaking plainly instead of deploying a euphemism.
Shaun Raviv pointed me to 50 Cent's website, which features Max Blumenthal's video of drunk young fools in Jerusalem, and the comments section is rife with craziness and hate and also inadvertent humor and the occasional pungent piece of analysis. As a service to Goldblog readers, I've culled some of the most interesting comments:
We should stand back and let the Arabs have their way with them. See what they think then. I'm laughing at the tool who said "White power! Fuck the Niggers!" @ 0:55. Neo-Nazi's would stomp his semitic ass into Gefilte fish!! He's a retard!!
Note the proper spelling of "gefilte."
nobody like jews , not even eric cartman
Might be true, actually.
Jews have always felt like they are a superior race - they don't give a shit about Americans or anyone else in the world. It's crazy that they are repeating the same racism they felt in WW2 against the Palenstenians. I don't know what Israel has done for America as a so-called ally except make all the Muslims in the world our enemy. I am so proud and confident of Obama - if anyone can make this right he can.
Listen people and listen good these people are ignorant there drunk and their statements mean nothing. By the way don't believe in the hype that America is going to help the world. When in fact America is the one that needs help WAKE UP!!!!!!!!. And plus this is a very important fact their not the real Jews that the bible speaks of we are the minorities Blacks, latinos,mexicans. People of color. Their the synagoue of satan look it up!!!! DON'T BE FOOLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"FUCK THIS STINKING HOMO YA MOTHER FUCKERS WE FIGTHING YOUR WAR CAUSE YA PAIS U.S.A FOR PROTECTION RACIST COWARD WHY YA DONT SAID ALL DAT SHIT HERE IN N.Y. BECAUSE OF YA JEW HOMOS IS DAT DA WORLD IS FUCK UP BUNCH OF CHICK WITH DICKS,, FUCK ALL OF YA, 4 BEING RACIST AND COWARDS..BITCHES HOLD YOUR OWN YA SCARED FROM MUSLIMS,,AND IN U.S.A. YA PAID 4 PROTECTION FUCK YOUR MOMS=GIRL=SISTERS"]"
"Man, That Whole Nation Needs Therapy And Counseling"
Yes, well, maybe.
"THESE KINDA VIDEOS SUCK AND SHOULDNT BE PUT UP, CUZ THIS IS HOW WAR STARTS! OR ATLEAST HATE A RACE ISSUES!"
I don't disagree with that.
"Wow... I guess I really have been onto something...
Lyrics from one of the songs im working on:
Fuck an AIPAC, Israel got the states jacked/
probably label me a terrorist because I say that/
September 11th?, oh yea, you know they staged that/
with the CIA, same place Bin Laden's payed at."
I don't picture this selling big, but you never know.
"Obama and the united states are keeping you jewish fucks from getting fucked up by islamic radicals."
This last one might be from Rahm Emanuel. Finally, there's this piece of universal wisdom:
all i gotta say is...i want pussy!! lmao