Chesler Chronicles

A Day in the Life of the New York Islamic Times: The Subject is Anti-Semitism.

I am getting to dread the weekends because then I have even less of an excuse not to read all the newspapers. And that means I have to read the New York Islamic Times. Well, I don’t have to but in order to keep my–and your–disgust fresh this is what I must do.

This past weekend, The Paper of Record had a ball. A columnist attacked Israeli settlers HERE and the rather interesting lead story HERE attacked American military interrogation methods as practiced on known, al-Qaeda terrorists. The magazine had a piece by my very favorite journalist, Harvard law professor, Noah Feldman, who once more defended the rights of Muslims and Muslim immigrants in Europe HERE. (Yes, he’s the one who finds orthodox Judaism barbaric but defends Islam’s rights to veil its women; go figger. The Jews are a little crazy.)

The fact that Ethan Bronner actually penned a fourth piece HERE which was somewhat sympathetic to Israelis who are being rocketed and shelled is like throwing a bare bone to a starving dog. This kind of piece is the exception, not the rule, and it will disappear beneath the radar of the steady propaganda.

I have written about Feldman before HERE and HERE. This time, Feldman argues that Muslims are, regrettably, becoming “pariahs” in Europe and he cautions Europeans to remember that they once perpetrated a Holocaust on another “pariah” people: Jews. Feldman fails to note that Jews were never violent and that, for the most part, both wished to assimilate and did so with pride. The problem today with many first-, second-, and third-generation Muslims (and yes, of course, there are many exceptions), is that they do not want to become assimilated, modern Europeans but wish to re-create the Punjab in Britain; Algiers in France; Istanbul and Tangiers in Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia, etc.

But please understand that what Feldman is doing is this: He is sacralizing regrettably hostile, radically fundamentalist and anti-assimilationist Muslims by falsely or at least glibly confusing them with six million dead Jews. He is trying to transfer the sacred power of Ultimate Victimhood to all Muslim immigrants, including the Islamists and the terrorists. Feldman writes:

“This leaves another, more controversial explanation for anti-Muslim attitudes in Europe: Even after 60 years of introspection about the anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust, Europeans are not convinced that culturally and religiously different immigrants should be treated as full members of their societies…Hitler’s’ horrifying success at killing so many Jews meant that the burgeoning postwar societies of the continent never had to come to terms with difference.”

I disagree with this analysis and have suggested another approach in my book, The New Anti-Semitism and in many subsequent articles. Europe has reaped the karmic whirlwind. Because Europeans refused to integrate the non-violent, Semitic group that respected their ways and that were at their mercies, (that’s my people, the Jews), Europe has inherited the Semitic group that is violent and wishes to Islamify Europe. Also, guilty but tired-of-being-blamed-for-the-Holocaust Europeans, including Europe’s intelligentsia, are now ready to embrace a far more traditional Semitic group in the service of thanatos, Death.

Opera composer Wagner and Hitler, his most ardent fan, would understand what is happening. It is the Gotterdammerung.

Finally, last but not least, is Nicholas Kristof’s column at the back of the Week in Review. This was unexpectedly shocking. Kristof’s work on sexual slavery and Islamic gender apartheid is so inspiring. How did he come to write such a biased piece about Israel in Hebron without checking his facts more carefully?

I am not saying that what he saw with his own eyes is not true. He saw Palestinians waiting at checkpoints and he saw Israelis whizzing by on Israeli-only highways. He does not really present the history or context for either reality. And, Kristof repeats what he has been told about pregnant Palestinian women who lose their unborn babies because they are forced to wait at checkpoints. He has been totally taken in by both Palestinian/Islamist/western propaganda and by the valorously obsessional propaganda of left Israeli groups.

Thus, in effect, Kristof damns Israeli settlers, especially in Hebron, and praises both Palestinians and left-wing Israelis who critique Israeli policy. He fails to note that the Israeli left has few Palestinian counterparts. Kristof has been told that Israelis are interlopers, colonialists, in Hebron. Mind you: I was opposed to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza from the start. The Intifada of 2000 forced me to rethink my position as did what happened after Israel pulled out of Gaza entirely.

But my oh my: Kristof has absolutely no idea that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in Hebron for thousands of years; that Abraham purchased a burial cave there more than 4,000-5,000 years ago. Psycho-analyst Perry R. Bransom, citing Professor Barry Rubin, has an excellent blog about how Kristof’s piece demonstrates routine unconscious biases against Israel. Bransom also quotes our mutual colleague, colleague, Ed Bialek, who is also a member of LiberalHawks, a fairly wonderful listserv group. Bialek musters the requisite passionate indignation and information:

“How is it that the NY Times editorial page just outdoes itself Sunday after Sunday? How is that Nicholas Kristof talks about an impractical Jewish settlement (in Hebron) that has no right being there? How is it that he talks about Jews “stealing” the land? How is it that he paints a picture of the Jews as a completely alien presence in a land where he implies the Palestinians are the sole indigenous population?

How is it that an article such as this never even mentions the Jewish presence in Hebron for thousands of years? How is it that he fails to mention that Hebron is the site of the oldest Jewish community in the world? How is it that he never mentions that the downtown area “expropriated from the Palestinians” by the Israelis is the site of the “expropriated” historic Jewish community? How is it there is no historical context to provide an understanding of the complexities here, as if there were none? How is it there is no discussion and no mention of the Cave of Machpela? How is it that there is no mention of how and when that Jewish presence came to an end, how the Jews were “transferred” from that city?

How is it that he talks about the patient Palestinians who are only now beginning to support terror against the Jews? How is it he implies that the patient Palestinians have just put up with being pushed around by these invading, thieving Jews for too long? How is it he fails to mention the brutal massacres of Jews in Hebron in 1929 long before there ever was an Israel, long before there were ever so-called Jewish settlers?

How is it that he states that the only decent Jews are the ones documenting and condemning these colonial, imperial Jewish settlers, these Jewish interlopers?

How is it that the demonization of Jews is consistently promoted by the Times, in one ahistorical rant after another lacking nuance and fact, masquerading as level-headed, moderate analysis while really proselytizing Jew hatred?

How is it that this editorial page still has a shred of credibility?”

I have taken the time to visit only one issue of the New York Islamic Times. Imagine the effect of such a newspaper day after day, week after week, year after year.

My friends: Here is our problem. Many more people will have read Kristof’s words than will have read Ed Bialek’s words, which I gratefully quote above. Day after day, the mainstream media continue to publish unbalanced and half-truth propaganda which inevitably brainwashes its readers. Yes, Ed and I still have a First Amendment right to criticize propaganda–but how many people will read our words?

Those of us with blogs are essentially standing on brave little soapboxes in the cyberspace park but we’re up against 21st century satellite technology which commands millions, possibly billions of captive viewers and readers.