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Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Baraka_Guru, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I really don't get the current of far-right extremism that runs in Europe. The U.K. and France are particularly bad from what I've heard, but I now hear Denmark is getting worse. This is the topic of another thread, sure, but I want to state that I blame global capitalism's creation of wealth disparity and the tendency for capitalism's "losers" to find a scapegoat that, for whatever reason, is misguided. If only these far-right folks would redirect their hatred at corrupt politicians and greedy corporations.

    I read how the students were mistaken. The guy was retaliating against food vendors who "stole his seat" or something. That's what the cops say, anyway.

    That's not to say that antisemitism isn't rearing its ugly head in the U.S.
  2. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    Except it's not far-right extremism, it's a combination of muslim extremism and the far-left. BDS, SJP, all of these groups are left wing and disturbingly being shielded from criticism by the mainstream. The far right just wants us all alive and in Israel so Jesus can come and kickoff judgment day. The near, middle, and far left all share to varying degrees the belief that Jews are controlling governments, the media, the banks... that Jews are simultaneously weak un-manly cowards and yet violent bloodthirsty conquerors, poor mooches who leech off of society yet rich plutocrats who control it, white yet not white, all the old anti-semitic canards coming out again.
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    You're grouping Muslim extremists with the BDS and SJP? And no mention of neo-Nazi organizations that are numerous in Europe? No mention of the National Front?

    And then you go ahead about the International Jewish Conspiracy as though it's predominantly a left-wing problem. This despite the fact that anti-semites and conspiracy theorists alike are typically right-wing. Every prominent conspiracy theorist I know of is a right-wing ideologue.

    Any anti-semitism we find in the BDS and SJP movements is a feature of them, sure, but antisemitism is the raison d'être for the likes of Muslim extremists, neo-Nazi groups, and the National Front.

    Criticism of Israel isn't anti-semitism unless it's anti-semitic.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  4. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    Unfortunately, there is a lot of crossover. There are a lot of BDS'ers and SJP'ers who actively support Hamas and other, more fringe, Palestinian terrorist groups. To be fair, I do think a lot of the college kids who are BDS'ers and SJP'ers offer this support more out of ignorance than out of truly calculated anti-Semitism, but casual, ignorant anti-Semitism still counts. I've heard some pretty appalling things from kids who support these organizations, and who laud Hamas, and even defend specific terrorists and suicide bombers.

    You're absolutely right that anti-Semitism amongst the far right is alive and well and still a virulent problem.

    But it is actually anti-Semitism on the far left, that cloaks its classic Jew hating (and its Islamophobia and xenophobia, for that matter) under a guise of humanist universalism and concern for human rights or other apparently legitimate concerns that is the more pernicious right now. This is an acute problem in Europe, where my French cousins can't wear their kippot (yarmulkes) in public anymore, and my friend who was touring Scandinavia barely slipped past an "anti-Israel" rally where they were blaming Jews for all sorts of ills and evils, and so on.

    But it's also a problem in the US: I had to give up going to progressive political rallies and demonstrations, because even when the rally or demonstration was ostensibly about protesting this or that US foreign policy or economic injustice or whatnot, there was inevitably a large contingent of people allegedly there to protest for Palestinian liberation or curtailing US aid to the Middle East who were spreading virulently anti-Semitic propaganda, and riling up the crowds with rhetoric that was as rich in Jewish conspiracy theories as anything I've heard from the right wing. Some were straight out of The Protocols. I kid you not. It's gotten really bad. And when it comes to anti-Semitism, the far left is curving round to meet the far right.

    Yes, but. It is absolutely true that criticism of Israel need not automatically equate to anti-Semitism. I say that in part as a Jew who has and does criticize Israel's government for various things, including occasionally its choices in regard to the Palestinian situation.

    But it's also true that the most vehement criticism of Israel, from BDS, SJP, and other organizations of that sort, and even from allegedly neutral organizations like various arms of the UN (who, let's not forget, have a human rights council currently headed by Saudi Arabia) often slide smoothly into anti-Semitism, either explicit or obliquely hidden by euphemisms. The degree to which this is pervasive in Western society, and is encouraged and informed by corporate media which is subtly or not so subtly biased against Israel (see the "reportage" on the latest round of stabbing attacks in Israel), or by far-left "alternate" media that is quite explicitly anti-Israel, is shocking especially in the degree to which non-Jews fail to notice the bias or critique the anti-Semitism.

    I do think there are people who are too quick to instantly presume that criticism of Israel means the critic is an anti-Semite, and that is neither accurate nor helpful. But I also understand why Jews are tending to be wary and defensive about this. The situation scares the shit out of us. We are a people with a long memory, and it seems a lot of the current crop of far-left anti-Semites are either in denial or are blissfully unaware of how their sentiments and actions arose from a centuries-long tradition of Jew-hating, Jew-baiting, and Jew-blaming.
  5. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    I'll address this more closely when I have time, but I want to be clear that I do not deny that there's anti-semitism on the far left. I was merely pointing out that a huge aspect of anti-semitism was overlooked by ignoring (leaving out? downplaying?) the well-entrenched far-right groups, especially in Europe. These aren't just anti-semitic groups; they're racist and xenophobic groups.

    I'll also admit current problems on the left when it comes to how a lot of people rationalize things. I can't get into it now, but there is a current trend of social media hysterics that irks me to no end. But it's not limited to anti-semitism. Virtually all minority groups are targeted. It's like people are losing their collective minds on the Internet. It frightens me to think what people are like in person these days. I tend not to get out much anymore, but Toronto is pretty tame (Blue Jays victories notwithstanding).
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  6. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    The thing is right-wing anti-semitism is almost universally recognized, despised, and ostracized/ridiculed. In some places even it's even literally illegal. Neonazis and other far right groups are more fringe than the westboro baptist church, and westboro is already so fringe they can't even get their cars repaired when someone slashes their tires. Being a Nazi basically means the entire western world openly and pretty much universally hates you and wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire.

    Left wing anti-semitism on the other hand is all but wholly denied or erased, actively embraced under the guise of fighting "islamophobia" or defended with the "anti-zionism isn't anti-semitism" canard, and is incredibly pervasive at all levels of society.

    Neonazis do not fill the United Nations. They do not have sizeable registered student organizations at almost every major university in the west, they do not dominate the mainstream media (including and especially Reuters and the Associated Press), they do not fill the streets with frighteningly large crowds of people proudly and publicly supporting their cause, they do not have globe-spanning nonprofits which funnel significant quantities of money to their cause while simultaneously organizing worldwide ostracization of the Jews and Israel.

    We're at the point where the newsmedia shows pictures of a crying mother and claims that Israeli police executed an innocent child on his way to buy candy in cold blood when it's really a picture of a jewish mother crying over her 13yo son after two terrorists slit his throat in the street... one of whom is in fact still alive and being treated in an Israeli hospital.

    And that's a mild example

    I'm not downplaying or leaving out far right groups, it's just that there's simply no comparing the two anymore. Levite wasn't being rhetorical when he said this scares the shit out of us. Right now there's a mass exodus of Jews from Europe in numbers not seen since the Holocaust, and even here in America we're preparing for the worst as anti-semitic attacks continue to rise all while the media raises the shrill cry of "islamophobia" and the evils of "zionism".
  7. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    I basically agree with the above, but I would just want to parse out that part of what is dismaying about the way far-left anti-Semitism shrouds itself in other issues is that quite often, the issues are legitimate when not tied to anti-Semitism.

    There is such a thing as Islamophobia, and there is an overabundance of xenophobia directed at Muslims and other religious peoples from the Third World and the Middle East (and sometimes from other places as well). There are legitimate concerns with ethical slaughter of animals, forced mutiliation of minors, and so on, which have nothing to do with the twisting of those issues to cover pushes to make illegal or delegitimize kosher/halal slaughter and ritual circumcision and similar things.

    Right-wing anti-Semitism is at least up-front about what it is: they come right out with "Fuck the Jews, fuck the Muslims, etc." Why? Because they're Jews and Muslims. I hate it, but at least they get props for honesty.

    It is just a whole different layer of awful when the same essential message is hidden under a frosting of humanitarianism and alleged concern for the rights of all people, etc. It's just so sleazy.
  8. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    There was a protest against Israel the other day which included two Swedish govt officials who spoke at the event. In it hundreds of people filling the streets chanted Slaughter the Jews over and over, encouraging "heroes" to continue the knife attacks in Israel, and calling for a third intifada.

    Do you think the any right wing group has this kind of power? The ability to act with this kind of freedom? To command support from supposedly one of the most enlightened governments in the west, fill the streets with hundreds shouting openly for bloodshed and murder, and not have a shred of opposition or even make the news? It's not just about seeing not just these massive groups of people call for my death time and time again, it's also seeing them go utterly unopposed and even defended by people who claim to be the "good guys". That no one is willing to truly stand up to this and call it for what it is, to recognize and admit to the sheer size and scope of the problem, and try to do something instead of just continuing along the line of denialism and apologia... or worse blaming you for being "islamophobic".

    I really don't know if it's possible to convey to you the pure unadulterated fear that comes with all of this.
  9. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    What's not to say these people aren't right wing?

    You might be interested to know, that the two "enlightened" government officials were duped by the protestors:

    Swedish Lawmakers Attended Pro-Palestinian Rally Featuring Arabic Chants of ‘Slaughter the Jews’ | Video | TheBlaze.com

    This is Malmö, a city whose immigrants are predominantly Muslim. About of a third of the population is Muslim, most of whom come from the Middle East.

    This is Malmö, where ten people were injured last year at an anti-Nazi demonstration against the arrival of Stefan Jacobsson, the leader of the Swedish neo-Nazi party, Svenskarnas parti (Party of the Swedes).

    This is Malmö, which is now the murder capital of Sweden.

    This is Malmö, where arson, bomb, and grenade attacks target both Muslims and Jews.

    This is Malmö, where this stuff doesn't "make the news."

    I can't imagine not condemning what happened in Malmö.

    Sure there are problems on the left regarding this issue, but this isn't one of them.

    I'm wondering if a lot of it is tied to the general anti-religious positions I see a lot on the left take. I see all too often people who take the New Atheism to a disturbing extreme. I've seen it used mostly against Muslims, basically decrying Islam as a cult of violence and world domination, but I've also seen it used against Christians and Jews. They don't really distinguish; they simply go with the flow of what's in the news, which happens to focus mostly on Islamic violence.

    So I think where it gets problematic is when these people take the Israel/Palestine issue to an extreme by attacking the Jewish aspect of Israel (or, more generally, the "Jews are evil narrative.") I've been out of the loop lately, so I don't know about recent developments in the region, but I'm pretty sure this is a part of it that isn't likely to change.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  10. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    I'm not sure about "a lot of it." I would absolutely imagine that at least some of it is tied up with such positions. I confess, I'm not entirely sure what "the New Atheism" is, as opposed to the old atheism (which I'm not sure really needed an upgrade. "New Atheism 2.0! Even more certainty that there's no God, now in delicious milk chocolate and strawberry flavors! Plus the recommended daily allowance of 25 important vitamins and minerals!"). But I think at least some of this anti-religious sentiment is tied into hardcore anti-theism, and the intolerance that goes with that.

    Intolerance is, overall, definitely the name of the game. Whether it's pure anti-Semitism, or xenophobia with an extra side of anti-Semitism, the key is the refusal of people to accept the idea of differing viewpoints. I do also tend to think that it's linked to cultural imperialism, and the tendency of Western (Euro-American), mostly white, Christian (or ex-Christian) culture to presume itself as "normal," and all other cultures as "strange" (and, implicitly, frightning) and requiring assimilation into the practices and values of Western culture. In some ways, Jews were the paradigmatic model upon which this viewpoint was constructed over the course of the past millennium.

    Yeah, probably true. It's actually been dismaying, as Israel has suffered through a wave of terrorist knife and handgun attacks, to see how the media are framing the stories so as to downplay or ignore Jewish casualties (e.g., Palestinian guy stabs two Jews in the street, gets shot in the act by cops, media headlines run to things like "Palestinian shot dead in knife attack," or after wave of knife attacks wherein Jews get stabbed by Palestinians, headlines run "Four more Palestinians shot dead on streets."). Also, vastly insufficient coverage and analysis being given to successful efforts by Arab powers (in the name of the Palestinians) to get UNESCO to designate Jewish holy sites (Joseph's Tomb, Rachel's Tomb, Tomb of the Patriarchs) as specifically Muslim holy sites. They also attempted to get UNESCO to designate the Western Wall as a Muslim holy site, which fortunately did not occur. But several media commentaries I've seen have essentially taken Jews to task about not "sharing" holy sites with Islam, as though our holy sites were some building blocks we'd been monopolizing too long in the kindergarten free play area.

    On top of that, at a recent community discussion of current events in the Middle East near where my synagogue is, several individuals took the Jews to task for supporting Israel's right to exist, based on their objections to the argument that, among other things, a Jewish State represented a potential safe haven to which Jews might flee from persecution elsewhere. Their objections amounted to saying that Jews were "over-playing the Holocaust card," and that it had been a long time ago, and we basically needed to get over it.

    Just in general, I'm not sure that objection holds much water. But it absolutely reflects a massive ignorance about Jews and Jewish history, which I am afraid is deeply pervasive....
  11. redravin

    redravin Cynical Optimist Donor


    The New Atheism is a combination of social media, The Flying Spaghetti Monster (humor as a way of presenting the subject) and Richard Dawkins et. al.
    The more rabid can be antisemitic but they are also anti-Muslim and anti-Christian usually to a point of being really unpleasant about it.
    The support for Palestine as the underdog to a point where Jews become the bad guy as apposed to the government of Israel isn't to uncommon is certain circles but that the can be legitimate blame placed at the feet of the government for that one.
    When you have Bibi Netanyahu saying that Hitler didn't have the original idea for the Holocaust, instead it was mufti, it is understandable that people think Israel is a bit one sided on this issue especially when you consider that it's just as likely that Hitler got his ideas from American Eugenicists.
    Sadly the ignorance of Jews and Jewish history is just as pervasive as the ignorance of Muslims and Muslim history.
    And any effort to fix this in public school is met with horror and great public resistance.
    There is a law being introduced now in Tennessee to ban the teaching of comparative religion.
  12. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    I wouldn't call Dawkins "new atheism", that title belongs to Atheism+ and the likes of Rebecca "women and minorities are stupid" Elevatorgate Watson more than it does Dawkins. It's impossible to look at the left wing's rampant and virulent antisemitism without also inevitably winding up looking at social justice. The jews are colonialist, the jews are white imperialists, the jews are capitalist oppressors, the jewish state is an apartheid state...

    Of course they were. They always were. Everyone is always duped or tricked or misled whether it's yet another set of photoshops, fake headlines that are half-true or outright falsehoods, or another rally of people screaming "slaughter the jews". How many times before that excuse wears thin? How much overwhelming evidence of genocidal racism and admissions of violent intent needs to be provided before people stop being "duped" over and over and over again? The entire Israel/Palestine "debate" is nothing more than the entire world being "duped" repeatedly... just look at Levites example of headlines regarding the stabbings. Were they "duped" too?

    It's like the political equivalent of being an anti-vaxxer and putting bleach up your child's asshole to try and cure autism. At some point you have to put your foot down and say "Yknow what? This is your fault for being this deliberately and willfully ignorant. You don't get to claim innocence on the grounds of being too stupid and negligent to know any better or care. If anything that makes it worse."

  13. Charlatan

    Charlatan sous les pavés, la plage Donor

    The issue here is that nothing is cut and dried anymore.

    Islamaphobia is a thing.
    Israel has questionable practices when it comes to Palestine.
    Well intentioned people are just as often duped as they are back peddling from horrible points of view.

    What I would have called a post-modern world of splintered meaning has splintered even further into smaller and smaller niches and special interests (and I don't use that in the pejorative way -- See? even this commentary has to comment on itself for clarity).

    To be clear, I am not taking a position on the clear rise in antisemitism (other than that it is on the rise).

    I am more interested in the continued deconstruction of the "grand narrative". I don't even know how we communicate with each other anymore. Perhaps we don't and that's the problem.
  14. Blacky_Graves

    Blacky_Graves New Member

    yeah fucking jews am i right

    *really just needed to post something guys
  15. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    So the New Atheism is just anti-theism with a seasoning of assholery? I'm not sure that's much of an improvement on the old atheism....

    Which government? The government of Israel? And which government of Israel? The situation with the Palestinians has been going on for decades, through the tenure of Israeli governments from the left wing Labor party, the right wing Likud party, the moderate center Kadima party, and even a coalition government or two.

    At the turn of the millennium, the Palestinians rejected two final peace deal offers that got them, respectively, 96% and 97.5% of the land they wanted (with the remainder being made up by land swaps), plus generous terms of aid both financial and material for the creation of infrastructure and industry, and for reparations for those claiming displacement during the Israeli War of Independence. Instead, they started a second Intifada and, following that, elected Hamas-- an actual terrorist organization-- to power.

    And yet, somehow it's always Israel's fault.

    I admit, I am far from a fan of Bibi Netanyahu, but that was heinously idiotic, even for him. Granted, the Mufti of Jerusalem was an enormous douchebag, and a rabid anti-Semite, and he did both meet with Hitler and approve of Nazism. But it's the worst kind of cheap historical revisionism to suggest he was the author-- or even an author-- of the Final Solution. My friend and colleague, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt (an internationally known Holocaust historian and opposer of historical revisionists) properly excoriated Netanyahu for his remarks; and I am far from the only rabbi to add his name to petitions demanding Netanyahu abjure his remarks and apologize for their speciousness, and demanding the Israeli government to censure Netanyahu for what he said.

    What bothers me, though, is that there has been a veritable tsunami of Jewish voices (and not just from the Jewish left) expressing outrage over what Netanyahu said, and rejecting it as both patently false and crassly fear-mongering. Yet you would never know it from the media coverage.

    Part of what outrages Jews about Netanyahu's false history is that this is the same kind of historical revisionism that Palestinian school textbooks routinely engage in in order to demonize Jews and fabricate a historical narrative that coheres with the political agenda of their leadership. Jews have objected loudly to that, as well, and again, no hint of it appears in the Euro-American media.

    Unfortunately, there are few things Americans cherish as fiercely as their claimed right to be ignorant.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. omega

    omega Very Tilted

    So some knocks against atheism in this thread. I'd like to point out that for every militant atheist, there are a thousand or more militant religious assholes calling for the death of America or Israel or Palestine or gays or blacks or women or goats or whatever stupid shit they want to freak out about. The thing about atheists is that they don't have anything to prove. They are not the ones selling bullshit. But they are tired of the bullshit that every religion brings to the table. Especially when someone claims they know "god's" will. Prove your god is real or shut the fuck up and let us deal with the real world.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    First of all, I think I was fairly clear that most atheists, just like most religious people, are neither militant nor assholes. It is usually anti-theists who are more radical and assholish.

    Second of all, technically, it is agnostics who have nothing to prove. Theirs is the only truly unassailable position. Religious people cannot provide objective and conclusive evidence to prove their belief in the existence of God or gods, but neither can atheists provide objective and conclusive evidence to prove their belief in the non-existence of God.

    Religions are neither monolithic en masse or of a piece within themselves. It does no good to point out that there have been "more religious radicals and assholes" than atheists of the same sort, since religious radicalism in each religion is its own unique system of thought, twisting the concepts of the religion whose mantle it claims into something horrifying. Just as radical anti-theism takes the mantle of thoughtful skepticism and humanism in its best sense and twists it into just another vessel for hate and intolerance. But the issue in both cases is the hate, not the mantle claimed by the haters.

    To dismiss or condemn all of religion, or all of atheism, because of the radical assholes claiming those mantles is akin to condemning or dismissing all political systems because Nazism organized itself around a political party and fascism is a political system.

    What it really boils down to is, whether a person feels certain God is real or certain that there is no God at all, nothing excuses hateful intolerance or cultural imperialism.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    UCSC in the news this time, for telling a jewish student government member he's not allowed to vote because he was elected by a "jewish agenda". At this point I'm just wondering just how blatant they'll get... BDS already pissed off a good chunk of spain by acting like basque seperatists.
  19. Levite

    Levite Levitical Yet Funky

    The Windy City
    Yeah, this one really hurt. UCSC is my alma mater. Place was pretty low on Jewish population when I went there, but I never encountered any anti-Semitic bullshit. Of course, that was long before BDS....
  20. Shadowex3

    Shadowex3 Very Tilted

    So youtube has been formally asked to pull down videos on "How to stab a jew" and other liveleak grade recruiting materials/agitprop. The media has promptly rallied around the palestinian hue and cry that big bad Israel is censoring videos of "summary executions" (ie armed terrorists that are actively attacking civilians getting shot).

    Cue another round of "khazars stole land from ethnic palestinians". The left is starting to sound more and more like the old right every day.