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In every generation...

Posted on 2003.10.21 at 13:22
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: Neil Young - Wonderin'
The Passover hagaddah has a line that in every generation, people have risen up and tried to destroy us. That often seems overblown in today's world, and especially feeds into the wrong-headed proposition that political criticism of the state of Israel amounts to Jew-hatred. It doesn't, although the two do sometimes go hand in hand.
That said, there have been several out-and-out, open declarations of old-fashioned racist Jew-hating in the media lately, which have kind of shocked me, and which I feel compelled to publicize.

The better known one has been the speech of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohamed, who said that "Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them...They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy, so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others.
"With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power.
We cannot fight them through brawn alone, we must use our brains, also."
Mahathir said the world's "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews,"

That doesn't really need that much comment.

Another, somewhat less widely publicized event was the New Republic column, in which one of their senior editors, Gregg Easterbrook, complained about the violence in the new Quentin Tarantino movie, Kill Bill. "The producers,' he claimed, 'are Jewish executives,' who 'worship money above all else." The magazine has apologized, as has Easterbrook, who claimed that he was guilty of "mangling words."

I don't think he mangled words, I think he was completely and perfectly clear about what he meant. One of the things that bothers me about both these is the lack of hue and cry about them. Certainly, representatives of the U.S. criticized the Malaysian Prime Minister, but no one else really seems to be doing so; he will certainly have no consequences for talking that way. Can you imagine the outcry if he had said something like that about blacks, or hispanics, or chinese?
Similarly, nothing is going to happen to Easterbrook. The New Republic published a completely and straightforwardly racist article, and then gets away with a mealy-mouthed half-apology. No one really cares, no one will do anything.

Similarly, Lt. Gen. Boykin, the Deputy Undersecretary of State, stated over the weekend that we had been successful in our wars against Islamic powers because "Our God was bigger than their god." Back to the middle ages, everyone!

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