Thursday, March 14, 2013

Carrying the Debate to New Matilda

Che Gorilla

Islamist/Leftist Humour
Following is a recent exchange at a thread at hard left Australian blog, New Matilda, that lionised the rabid old Israel basher and anti-American, anti-Western post-Enlightenment revolutionary and antisemitic enabler, Noam Chomsky, with another commenter who I would pigeon-hole as a university leftist with a brain and an open mind. That rarest of all academic leftists.

Posted Thursday, 14 March 13 at 11:18PM
Right, so zerocliche is engaging in pigeon-holing but your statement about “the dickhead left, especially in the universities” is completely free from classification or bias? Look in the mirror lately?!?
I’m sorry, but your offensive comments completely undermine any valid arguments you might have to make. Making statements such as “Chomsky is madder than a cut disco dancing jihadist lemming on Christmas Day” might sound amusing in your mind, but completely lack any substance. Why is he mad, in your opinion? You make no effort to explain your objection to his views. You then go on to insult the author of the article with the equally substanceless statement: “Anybody capable of saying can only be the product of a depraved education system in terminal decline and poor parenting. There is something rotten at the very core of the modern self proclaimed “liberal left”.” Once again - why? You might as well have written “The author smells bad and his mother is lacking in moral fibre” for all the sense your ‘objections’ convey.
For your own sake, and for the sake of constructive debate on issues that you obviously agree are important (otherwise I would assume you wouldn’t be on here commenting) perhaps you should simply stick to clearly stating your objections to the views conveyed and why and avoid the attempts at amusing (at least to you), sensationalist insults. After all, you may well have some valid points to make, but your approach to commenting simply doesn’t allow anyone to find out.
Posted Friday, 15 March 13 at 1:41AM
Che Gorilla
“ I'm sorry, but your offensive comments completely undermine any valid arguments you might have to make. … but your approach to commenting simply doesn't allow anyone to find out.”
I dunno. My approach to commenting couldn't be that bad. After all, I got your attention.
Someone here reflexively categorised me as of the “far right”. In fact I come out of the progressive left. I'm an actual person with opinions out there for all to see. When I pigeon-hole “the dickhead left, especially in the universities” I am categorising an abstract. They pigeon-hole themselves. Moreover I know what I'm talking about.
Just like I know about Chomsky. I have no way of knowing but my guess is that I first read a piece by Chomsky before either of these authors were born.
I find the lionising of Chomsky offensive just as I find “Israel Apartheid Week” a racist lie and BDS the most vile antisemitic campaign since the Nazi era. This is not a game. There is a reason why there is so much focus on Israel and the Jews even though it is a tiny country and the Jews are such an extraordinarily tiny minority and it has nothing to do with the Palestinians whatsoever. It is about something else entirely and it is not pretty. There is more at stake here than just Israel and the Jews and Chomsky and his colleagues are the key.
It is quite simply disgusting that the dominant political classes in the media and academia are indifferent, ignorant or outright sympathetic to the campaigns from extremist right elements outside of the West and you can expect no soft language from me. I'm an activist and I've had a gutful. There is much at stake here. If you have any doubt about this then look to NM for what counts for comment on the ME. Wait until DrGideonPolya arrives on this thread if you want to see something truly offensive.
When I get the time I will write a fuller response with more links at my blog in a separate post. In the meantime if you want to know more about what we are on about then go to my blog and if my style offensive then skip over my posts and go to the linked blogs and read any of the recent posts. Especially Israel Thrives and Daphne Anson. There is something profoundly disturbing going on in the world and the “liberal/left’ will not be allowed to stay agnostic.
For now go to just one link picked at random about something close to home and tell me that this is not obscene and alarming. Ignorance cannot explain this and it is quite simply a lie that this is about sympathy for “Palestinians” in the remotest.


Posted Friday, 15 March 13 at 7:12AM
Thanks for the clarification, Geoffff - much clearer where you’re coming from now. I had to laugh at your “I dunno. My approach to commenting couldn’t be that bad. After all, I got your attention.” A little ironic given that I had to tease a sensible post out of you whilst the rest on here simply dismissed you, understandably as a loony - but I digress :)
The Israel-Palestine conflict isn’t something that I feel at all qualified to comment on (I, too, belong to the category of people who probably weren’t born when you first read an article by Chomsky, and I actually first came across him in the field of linguistics during my undergraduate degree) - it’s not that I’m indifferent or sympathetic to the extreme right, but I may well be somewhat ignorant given that this is not a fight I’ve chosen to put my energy into. I do agree that the media, and the academic world at large, are often guilty of framing issues in ways that reflect the political landscape more than the harsh realities (and again, I couldn’t say how this applies to the Israel-Palestine conflict). I’m not completely convinced, though., that Chomsky is a major part of this problem, though, given my limited understanding here. It strikes me that Chomsky should, if anything, be congratulated for trying to shift the focus away from the issues that have the most ‘political’ importance to those that are more important for humanity itself. I agree whole-heartedly with his assertion that “What we see on television isn’t democracy, its autocratic rule, it’s a farce” and I tend to agree with his views on how governing and organisation of society should occur (and if I had to pigeon-hole myself politically I would probably say I am an Anarcho-Syndicalist). He’s someone who is really sticking his neck out to point out the flaws in our current system of doing things, and for that I have to admire him.
BTW, before I get pigeon-holed (as I’m sure you’re assuming I’m a left-wing academic) - I do see myself as left-wing, and I am an academic, but these two things don’t tend to interact as I’m not in political science but mental health research. I’m in my early 30s, am male, have a son, have been married and divorced and re-partnered (so to speak, although I’ve always found this term a little too much like it’s talking about a process of engineering), have a cat, vote for the greens. I’m a vegetarian (but only as of relatively recently), I strive for minimalism in my belongings (but often fall short), I eat local, organic food where possible, I think that the greed of big corporations, combined with the misguided view that economic growth is a good idea and the ever-increasing pressure to consume more and more, are sending us in a very bad direction as a planet. In general, I try to tread lightly. That’s probably enough to pigeon hole me :) You could even look at my facebook page if you like and pigeon-hole me further based on the avatar I have as my profile picture :)
Happy debating :)

I want to get off Chomsky for a while to talk about something more pressing. The post-Chomsky world that we are going to be left with after Chomsky passes to the most definitely Anarcho-syndicalist paradise in the sky. Not that Chomsky alone is the sole intellectual responsible for the hell on earth that we are likely to be left with and that he has swapped for the Anarcho-syndicalism that comes only with oblivion. He is not even mainly responsible. That would be to give the scrawny old git too much credit. He is however a useful symbol.

The link I chose at random and posted to the New Matilda site happened to be to a recent post at The Blank Pages of the Age  that addressed the openly and increasingly genocidal antisemitism of the "Pro-Palestine" movement and which much of the left would prefer to shrug off, ignore or excuse as an understandable by-product of "Israel's behaviour". Stop "oppressing the Palestinians" and the antisemitism will pass is the thinking. The antisemitism is Israel's fault.

Sure it is. Just as the Nazis were the Jews' fault,  the Ku Klux Klan was the Afro-Americans' fault and  rape is the fault of women. The hard left needs to be consistent here. After all their allies in the Islamist extremist right are.  The rest of the left has to stop being agnostic or as wilfully blind as Chomsky peering through a pin hole facing south without his glasses.

Since then by coincidence  blog friend Shirlee  has emailed me a press release  from the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council  that I will reproduce in full.

Australians for Palestine's graphic prejudice

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz
In Australia and elsewhere, proponents of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions ('BDS') campaign against Israel consistently claim that the campaign is about human rights and has no racial element. When their actions are described by others as "antisemitic", their standard response is to contend that "everyone who criticises Israel is always accused of antisemitism". Of course, this claim is not only false, but provides an easy "out", saving the BDS supporters from having to reflect on their actions and beliefs.
Yet time and again, leading BDS figures are exposed for supporting various neo-Nazi and/or Islamist thinkers because of what those thinkers say about Jews. As occurred recently with the Free Gaza Movement's Greta Berlin, these incidents provoke feigned outrage from some BDS figures and indifference from others, but never seem to cause much self-reflection.
The degree to which casual antisemitism has become acceptable in the pro-BDS discourse is probably what led to Australians for Palestine ('AfP') deciding that this was an appropriate image to use on their website:
The image accompanied a news report from the Palestinian Authority's Ma'an news agency on the Dutch Foreign Ministry's recent recommendation that goods produced in Israeli settlements be labelled with "product of Israeli settlement" rather than "made in Israel".
In what may pass as some kind of sick joke in AfP's circles, they illustrated the report on their website with an image of oranges labelled with the yellow stars that Jews were forced to wear under the Nazis to distinguish them from the rest of the population. The stars have nothing whatsoever to do with Israel, they are pure Holocaust imagery.
While the image's creator may have been likening the singling-out of Israeli products by BDS activists to the singling-out of Jews by the Nazis, as AfP are in proponents of BDS, one can only assume that they viewed this message as positive. Oranges in particular seem to have resonance with Australian antisemites. In 2011, a Perth man was convicted of racial harassment for an incident that began when he attended a rally to protest the sale of what were supposedly Israeli oranges.
AfP is based in Melbourne, which is also home to the largest population of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel. This image would be extremely traumatic for the Melburnians who were themselves forced to wear stars like the ones on the oranges. It could be that the use of the image was inadvertent, that the AfP web editor put it there without a second thought.This, however presents little comfort.
The image is sufficiently striking that it should give any rational person pause. That it felt "normal" for AfP to use it goes to show how far antisemitism has become normalised in amongst BDS supporters.

Not just BDS supporters I would suggest. The default position of the progressive left is to ignore, shrug off or increasingly excuse this sort of thing. There is a reason for this. Being hostile or indifferent to Israel and the Jews in their struggle for self determination, freedom from vilification and peaceful coexistence is increasingly a threshold qualification for admission to the progressive left. It is just too difficult and courageous to be anything else. Far easier to accept the conventional wisdom and this shows at every opportunity.  This is why much of the progressive left is in mind lock down. This is what comes of ideology.

What comes next no one has a right not to know. However this time there is a difference. The Jews are not helpless. They are not reliant on "friends" in the left or the West.  It is no longer acceptable to ignore the true cause of the Israel/Arab-Islamist conflict in favour of blaming Israel and the "Occupation" or the "Settlements". Those lies and all the others that pour out of "Pallywood" and the West-hating, women-hating Islamic world  are as morally depraved  as Goebbels.  To be agnostic about the terrible threat to Israel and the West is to be pro-war. There are no two ways about it.

Welcome to the modern progressive left.

cross posted Geoffff's Joint

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