December 29, 2013

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Jon Stewart, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and the Zionist Takeover of Egypt: Anti-Semitism is the sign of profound mental and social failure — and a harbinger of more failures and errors to come.

When Jon Stewart visited Egypt in the summer, he made an appearance on ”Al Bernameg,” a (suspended) satirical show sometimes compared to Stewart’s own “The Daily Show.” He dropped a joke early in the gig when Bassem Yousseff, the host of the show, asked him what he was doing with his time (Stewart was on sabbatical): “As you know, my people like to wander in the desert. It’s been two weeks, I’ve got 50 weeks and 38 years left.”

Nothing alarming, right? Well, earlier this month, Egyptian writer Amr Ammar, in a remarkable leap into the realm of tinfoil hatted hate thought, took the joke as an effort by American leaders like Zbigniew Brzezinski and Stewart to conquer Egypt. . . .

Rabid anti-Semitism coupled with an addiction to implausible conspiracy theories is a very strong predictor of national doom; Nazi Germany isn’t the only country to have followed these dark stars to the graveyard of history. Many liberal minded Americans (though loathing both anti-Semitism and chowderheaded conspiracy thinking themselves) don’t like to look this truth in the eye. It leads to some very uncomfortable reflections about the potential for democracy in many countries beyond Egypt, and casts a dark shadow over the prospects for the development of a stable and prosperous Palestinian state. It suggests that there are narrow limits on what we can expect from diplomacy with Iran.

Indeed. Antisemitism is a mark of barbarity, and one can’t expect much from barbarians beyond more barbarity.