Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Further Musings on Edward Said, San Francisco State University, and Western Civilization

As I noted yesterday at the Campus Watch blog, a mural has been erected at San Francisco State University (SFSU) honoring the late Columbia University English and comparative literature professor Edward Said.

Said was the author of the 1978 book, Orientalism, which posited that Western Middle East studies scholars were motivated solely by colonialist sympathies and racist attitudes. The rhetoric of post-colonialism inspired by Orientalism took hold in the field of Middle East studies and, from that point on, the historical and political narrative was framed in terms of colonialists vs. subjects, oppressors vs. victims, occupiers vs. resistance movements, white vs. brown, and, of course, West vs. East.

It is fitting that the Said mural appears on the wall of SFSU's "Cesar Chavez Student Center," which is located in "Malcolm X plaza." Such altars to political activists seen as opposing the powers that be have a long tradition at San Francisco State University, and Said's inclusion is just the latest.

Perhaps not coincidentally, a common theme of anti-Zionist and, at times, anti-Semitic sentiment seems to be a pattern in these murals. I was a student at SFSU during the years the Malcolm X mural was under construction and remember well the inclusion of none-too-subtle imagery of Stars of David and dollars signs dripping with blood. The mural was eventually destroyed and replaced with the more palatable version that appears today, but, for many, the negative feelings – compounded by a series of anti-Semitic incidents on campus – remained.

In the case of the Said mural, it was the initial inclusion of a character named Handala – created by the late Palestinian political cartoonist Naji Al-Ali – which courted controversy. Handala is a symbol for the Palestinian "right of return" and the diminutive refugee boy comes armed with the ubiquitous key and sword--the former representing the mythic homes that Palestinians left behind and the latter the campaign of annihilation against Israel they've been engaged in ever since.

After objections by local Jewish and pro-Israel groups and the temporary halting of the project by SFSU president Robert Corrigan, Handala was eventually dropped. But the fact that the character was ever included speaks volumes about the political intent of the Said mural. That the mural was sponsored by the highly political and disproportionately influential General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS), as well as being supported by various leftist groups, only adds to this impression.

No doubt, Said would have approved heartily. For he dedicated much of his career to romanticizing Palestinian "resistance." The notorious photo-op of Said hurling a rock at an Israeli Defense Forces tank comes to mind.

Despite my contention that the Said mural represents an ideological defeat for those interested in preserving Western civilization, an anti-Said backlash appears to be underway. Several books have come out in recent years that seek to overturn Said's false and damaging attacks on Orientalist scholarship and, in a larger sense, the West. Daniel Martin Varisco's Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid and Robert Irwin's Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents are among them.

Then there's ex-Muslim and stalwart guardian of the West Ibn Warraq, whose book, Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism, came out just last month. Bruce S. Thornton's review of Warraq's book at City Journal is especially insightful in regards to overturning Said's prejudicial attitude towards the West. As he puts it:

Warraq then turns to Said’s misrepresentation of the West as a xenophobic culture, fearful of the “Other” and cultural difference. Warraq explodes this canard by identifying what he calls the “three golden threads” woven through Western culture since the time of the Greeks: rationalism, universalism, and self-criticism. As Warraq argues, Western intellectual curiosity has driven an interest in other cultures and peoples and created a magnificent edifice of scholarship formalizing that interest. The Western notion of a universal human nature reinforced this intellectual openness to other cultures. And self-criticism has been the engine of the West’s improvement, leading to the rejection of traditional practices that were unjust or inefficient, as Warraq shows with his discussion of the British Empire’s war on slavery. In fact, the West’s most trenchant critics, Said included, have always been Westerners.
Classical historian Victor Davis Hanson also made note of the Western predilection for self-criticism at a Hillsdale College symposium I attended in September. But, as he pointed out, self-criticism, "beginning with the Vietnam War began to veer dangerously close to nihilism." Nonetheless, it is the very lack of self-criticism that, according to Warraq, has rendered the Muslim world seemingly incapable of progress in recent history.

Perhaps it's not the Orientalists that Western intelligentsia should be worried about, but, rather, its own reinforcement of cultural failings rightly left behind in the dustbin of history. Would that we could say the same thing about Said, but, for the moment, his ideas (and, now, his visage) will continue to hold sway on college campuses.

Update: Historian/blogger Ralph Harrington weighs in on the matter at The Greycat Blog, including linking to the blog of a Said fan who provides a detailed look at the mural.

31 Comments:

Anonymous GM Roper said...

Excellent!

Friday, November 09, 2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Russ said...

Looks like I have some reading to do this weekend! Thanks for the info and the visibility into something that the media is reluctant to portray.

Friday, November 09, 2007 2:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Ralph Harrington said...

Thanks for this excellent post, and for referencing my Edward Said mural musings at The Greycat Blog. Just for information, the direct link to the most recent post is:

http://blog.greycat.org/2007/11/09/that-mural-again/

Friday, November 09, 2007 2:52:00 PM  
Blogger AWOL Civilization said...

In an article in Commentary in Sept. 1999, Justus Weiner tore Said to pieces, demolishing his "I'm a poor little Palestinian" myth. The fallout was immense, as the Arab propagandists and their Western cohorts circled the wagons. Here's an interesting response by Weiner to the controversy:

http://www.jcpa.org/jl/vp422.htm

This of course gave Weiner the opportunity to further deconstruct the whole Palestinian garbage can.

Friday, November 09, 2007 5:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex Bensky said...

Said's assertion that the West was uninterested in "the Other" is, of course, pretty much the reverse of the truth...as was a lot of what he wrote.

Western writrs have inquired into the Orient for centuries. Sometimes they did not approach their studies with the objectivity that might have been wished, but most genuinely wished to understand what they were studying.

One of the most significant features of Arab Muslim culture, on the other hand, is its lack of curiosity about anyone else. I read somewhere--and I can't track down the reference--that Greece translates more books into Greek every year than the Arab world translates into Arabic over a period of years.

Saturday, November 10, 2007 5:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy J. said...

San Francisco State does indeed have a long history of being a hot bed of left wing culture.

I was a recruiter of Navy pilots in northern California during the late 60s. UC Berkeley was bad but SFO State was the most hostile place we had to go. Being spat upon, having our literature burned, and being physically threatened were quite common.

In the ensuing years, it appears that it has continued to be a bastion for lefties who would love nothing more than to see the U.S. go Communist.

It's discouraging, but not surprising in the case of SFO State, to see that academia is not becoming more open and tolerant.

Sunday, November 11, 2007 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger An Muc Gorm said...

I don't approve of Said throwing a rock either but how can people like you condemn it? Is resistance only allowed for the English-speaking peoples? How come it was OK for Churchill to talk of fighting Germans on beaches and everywhere else and no surrender etc. but wrong for Palestinians to fight for their land?

Sunday, November 11, 2007 2:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Lonie said...

Gorm,
Had the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine agreed to the partition plan they could have had a state in 1948. All the Arabs in the Israel part of Palestine could have stayed where they were and received full citizenship rights in Israel. The experience of the Druze is instructive. Druze units fought against Istrael in the 48 war, but afterwards the elders of the Druze community figured that they'd be no worse off in a state ruled by Jews than the had been for so long in one ruled by Sunnis, so they stayed. They even agreed to conscription, on the same basis as Jews in Israel. Since then they've had full rights and no persecution. They even pursue careers in the Israel Defense Forces. In the 1990s one of Israel's few Major Generals, the second highest rank in the Army, was a Druze officer. So the offer of civil rights to Arabs was no idle one.

Instead the Arabs started a war to ehtnically cleanse the land of Jews. They lost, so five Arab armies invaded to destroy Israel and kill the Jews. They lost. If you start a war intending the destruction of a neighboring state and the genocide of its people, as the Arabs did, and lose, as the Arabs did, you may expect to lose some land as a result. You may thank your lucky stars that you did not lose more. If you are in any doubt about this I suggest a trip to Poland and a search for German habitation in what were once East Priussia and Silesia. You'll find Germans have been absent since 1945. Guess why?

The Arabs are not fighting for their land, which they abandoned to get out of the way of the invading Arab Armies. They are fighting to carry on the job Hitler started, the genocide of the Jews. In 1922 three quarters of the Palestine Mandate was sliced away, with the agreement of the Zionists, to form Transjordan (now Jordan). So there is a Palestine state already.

After 1948 hundreds of thousands of Jews were driven out of the Arab lands, although the Mizrahi, the Jews of the Orient, had very little to do with the political Zionism that brought Israel into existence. Most found refuge in Israel and were integrated into the society. They and their descendents make up half the population. The Arabs should have done the same with the fewer than 500,000 Arab refugees who ended up on the rolls of the UNRWA when it was formed. Insread the Arabs kept them as a weapon against Israel, treating them like dogs. They treat the Palestinian Arabs worse than the Israelis do, certainly they've killed many more of them than Israel has. The whole Palestinain narrative, as you might call it, is a false mirror image of the Jews' actual experience over the last century. Decades of propaganda have turned them into nihilistic, racist terrorists, pursuing the oldest racism in history, antisemitism.

The Palestinians seek genocide and injustice, that's what is wrong with their "resistance".

Sunday, November 11, 2007 3:55:00 PM  
Blogger AWOL Civilization said...

an muc gorm,
The Jews have an uninterrupted presence in Israel for at least 3,000 years and it is the Palestinians who are resisting?! And who is this mysterious Palestinian "people" who don't have their own language, religion, history (before 1948) or even their own name for themselves ("Palestine" being a Roman term)? Edward Said is Egyptian; the PLO itself was an Egyptian creation. Gaza is filled with Egyptians--go see how many people there are named al-Masri (the Egyptian).

The crux of the matter: The Arab world tried to crush Israel with traditional military invasion in 1967, and lost the "West Bank" and Gaza. So they turned the whole affair overnight into the "oppression of the Palestinian people" in the territories they lost. Those people all of a sudden stopped being members of the great Arab ummah, and were magically transformed into Palestinians. Said hopped on the bandwagon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007 4:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll have more comment soon, but here are some earlier postings on my blog:

http://kavanna.blogspot.com/2007/03/falling-star-of-edward-said_05.html
http://kavanna.blogspot.com/2007/10/mahmoud-we-hardly-knew-ye.html
http://kavanna.blogspot.com/2007/11/clarification-of-language.html

Monday, November 12, 2007 6:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It speaks volumes that a millennium later, such intellectual curiosity about the “Other” and his ways is hard to find in the Muslim Middle East—whose inhabitants, the United Nations reports, have translated fewer books over the last 1,000 years than Spain translates in one year.

Monday, November 12, 2007 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger An Muc Gorm said...

Talk of Arab reprisals is classic colonialist fare - angry Indians attack the wagon train simply because they are savages and love mayhem. Before 1900 Palestine had a very small Jewish population; by 1945 Palestinians found themselves overwhelmed by an uncontrolled flood of aggressive immigrants. It was way, WAY worse than Arizona today and people have tended to respond with violence in such situations throughout history.

Nobody has a right to live where their ancient ancestors did; ask any Israeli about the Palestinian right of return which only involves a few DECADES of absence.
Am I entitled to a slice of East Africa because my species arose there?

You seem to think that everything won in war is properly yours - a 'might is right' argument that Hitler, Stalin or Andrew Jackson would have agreed with heartily.

Monday, November 12, 2007 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprised that Columbia University has yet to erect a statue to Said.
After all, as the leading antisemitic institution in the US it is expected.

Monday, November 12, 2007 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriel Hanna said...

An mac Gorm, where are the Germans of Koenigsburg today? In fact, where is Koenigsburg today? All I can find on the map is a little isolated slice of Russia called "Kaliningrad".

Hmmm.

So, Germans have the right to blow themselves up in discoes and pizzerias in Warsaw and Moscow until such time as they are allowed to move back to Koenigsburg? Agree, or disagree?

Where are the Jews of Hebron?

Where are the Jews who lived east of Jordan, until 1948, when Jordan became the world's first completely Judenrein nation?

Where are the Jews of Yemen, of Baghdad, of Cairo?

Do Jewish refugess in Israel have the right to blow themselves up in discoes and pizzerias in Cairo, in Aden, in Baghdad, in Amman, until such time as they get their land back?

Do Tibetans get to blow themselves up in discoes and pizzerias in Beijing until they get their land back?

As you've chosen a Celtic moniker, perhaps I don't need to ask you about Belfast.

Monday, November 12, 2007 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger An Muc Gorm said...

I would prefer if nobody blew anybody up; we have had quite enough of that in Ireland. The Buddhist approach is best. What annoys me are snotty Anglophiles who seem to be unaware of their own role in causing some of this chaos - in places like Belfast now that you mention it. Your buddy Churchill had quite a bit to do with that spat as did his Dad. I'm not saying that people don't have personal responsibility for their own actions; but please, less of the lets-give-peace-a-chance preaching from countries like Britain and America whose histories are steeped in blood.

Monday, November 12, 2007 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gabriel Hanna said...

Way to not address the question, An muc Gorm.

The point is that even if we restrict ourselves to the last one hundred years there have been numerous examples of ethnic cleansing of one form or another. And it seems like the only people who lost their land who are given carte blanche to do whatever is the Arabs who used to live in Israel.

Now my question really is, is this because of some Arab fetish, or is this because the Arabs are killing Jews?

Nota bene, the Tamil Tigers who pioneered suicide bombing are Buddhists.

Historically, Jews have as much right to live in Israel as Arabs do. It's really not fair to focus only on Arabs who left Israel, and ignore the Jews driven out of every other country in 1948, or to ignore the Jews driven out of Israel continuously since Arabs first colonized the area in the seventh century.

Monday, November 12, 2007 4:57:00 PM  
Blogger An Muc Gorm said...

When it comes to ethnic cleansing, by far the worst offences these days are committed in Africa and NOBODY talks about these. I am not blind to the crimes of Arabs either, slavery's most enthusiastic practitioners; but the expulsion of Jews from Iraq hardly justifies stealing orange groves in Jaffa. Two wrongs and all that. BTW with my moniker ('blue pig' in English) I am hardly a friend of Hamas.

Not that it matters, but the Tamil Tigers who pioneered suicide bombing are not Buddhists but Hindus of a Deep Southern Indian persuasion. The guys giving them a hard time are the Buddhists, unfortunately. And needless to say the Brits were stirring up the pot there too.

The current problem in Israel/Palestine is everybody's fault. The reason Germans don't fight for Konigsberg is because they have a perfectly nice country to go to. The Arabs have held their Palestinian 'brothers' as hostages in filthy refugee camps for 60 years. So there is lots of blame to go round. But again you can't absolve Israel of all blame, anymore than you can say that Native Americans have no right to complain over losing their continent. There is a COLONIAL component to Israel's history, rough hew it how you will. It ain't the whole story by any means but it sure is part of it.

Monday, November 12, 2007 6:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gabriel Hanna said...

An muc Gorm, you say there is a colonial component to Jews returning to Israel. Please give a list of other peoples, ethnically cleansed from their lands, who are finally going home, and you refer to it as "colonization".

Your list seems only to include Jews on it. When Arabs return to lands they left in 1967, its "right of return", and when Jews return to lands they were expelled from in 1948, it's "colonization". Noted.

Monday, November 12, 2007 6:48:00 PM  
Anonymous an muc gorm said...

The most infamous example that springs to mind of conquest dressed up as 'going home' was Operation Barbarossa. The Nazis considered the forests of Eastern Europe to be the natural haven for Teutonic tribes driven Westward by A.T. Hun and his friends.

Coloniser or colonised? In Ireland, Africa and America it's easy to tell. Israel is a special case - many of the settlers' remote antecedents did indeed hail from that neck of the woods originally (more on the male side than the female and rather less so right now) and dire necessity was involved, through no fault of the Palestinians BTW. But most of the new arrivals and their immediate relatives had never lived in Palestine, unlike the Shatila equivalent.

After 1900, the flight from Europe destroyed the delicate ethnic balance in Palestine and the settlers developed a narrative that was partly colonial - of a land nearly empty and totally neglected, of ungrateful shifty natives, of having the law and God on one's side - which persists to this day. Such attitudes could have come just as well from contemporaries of Cromwell, Kipling or Andrew Jackson. There are elements of this story that clearly echo so many tragic European adventures abroad since 1492. You'd have to be blind not to see it.

Monday, November 12, 2007 8:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most infamous example that springs to mind of conquest dressed up as 'going home' was Operation Barbarossa. The Nazis considered the forests of Eastern Europe to be the natural haven for Teutonic tribes driven Westward by A.T. Hun and his friends.

Coloniser or colonised? In Ireland, Africa and America it's easy to tell. Israel is a special case - many of the settlers' remote antecedents did indeed hail from that neck of the woods originally (more on the male side than the female and rather less so right now) and dire necessity was involved, through no fault of the Palestinians BTW. But most of the new arrivals and their immediate relatives had never lived in Palestine, unlike the Shatila equivalent.

After 1900, the flight from Europe destroyed the delicate ethnic balance in Palestine and the settlers developed a narrative that was partly colonial - of a land nearly empty and totally neglected, of ungrateful shifty natives, of having the law and God on one's side - which persists to this day. Such attitudes could have come just as well from contemporaries of Cromwell, Kipling or Andrew Jackson. There are elements of this story that clearly echo so many tragic European adventures abroad since 1492. You'd have to be blind not to see it.

Monday, November 12, 2007 8:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most infamous example that springs to mind of conquest dressed up as 'going home' was Operation Barbarossa. The Nazis considered the forests of Eastern Europe to be the natural haven for Teutonic tribes driven Westward by A.T. Hun and his friends.

Coloniser or colonised? In Ireland, Africa and America it's easy to tell. Israel is a special case - many of the settlers' remote antecedents did indeed hail from that neck of the woods originally (more on the male side than the female and rather less so right now) and dire necessity was involved, through no fault of the Palestinians BTW. But most of the new arrivals and their immediate relatives had never lived in Palestine, unlike the Shatila equivalent.

After 1900, the flight from Europe destroyed the delicate ethnic balance in Palestine and the settlers developed a narrative that was partly colonial - of a land nearly empty and totally neglected, of ungrateful shifty natives, of having the law and God on one's side - which persists to this day. Such attitudes could have come just as well from contemporaries of Cromwell, Kipling or Andrew Jackson. There are elements of this story that clearly echo so many tragic European adventures abroad since 1492. You'd have to be blind not to see it.

Monday, November 12, 2007 8:47:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

An Muc -- since you've quite rightly said let's have historical accuracy, then you must be aware that the lands in and around what is today Israel were sparsely populated prior to the influx of Jews from Europe post-1880. After Jews started immigrating in significant numbers after 1880, there was also a large immigration of Arabs from surrounding areas as well.

For a very thorough treatment of this subject, see:
http://www.mideastweb.org/palpop.htm

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Rich Rostrom said...

It is arguable that the Zionist project was a mistake, and that the British government had no authority to issue the Balfour Declaration or open Palestine to Zionist immigration. (Don't cite the League of Nations mandate: the League was a creation of Britain and its closest allies, and did what they wanted.) It is arguable that the UN vote for partition of Palestine was illegitimate.

But it is indisputable that the Arab response has been, almost without exception, violent, criminal, stupid, and destructive.

Arab rhetoric has been equal parts murderous bombast, blatant lies, and pathetic whining.

Said was a major practitioner of this form, dressed up in academic style. Which is bizarre, because as Christian Arabs, his family was persecuted and robbed by Moslem Arab nationalists. He was far too intelligent and knowledgeable not to know what he was doing; but the rewards were too great for him to resist.

Said is thus an exemplar of the rot of the Western academy: it offers irresistibly lavish rewards for fraudulent anti-Western advocacy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 8:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriel Hanna said...

An muc Gorm, if I understand you correctly, you are comparing Jews peacefully returning to Israel--a land which has, through all of recorded history, always maintained a significant Jewish presence--to the bullshit propaganda put out by Nazi Germany when it invaded the Ukraine.

Are there any other ethnic groups you compare to Nazi Germany, or do you limit those comparisons to Jews?

And you don't compare the Arab desire to annihilate Israel to Nazi Germany, despite that Mein Kampf has always been a best seller there (translated as "My Jihad"), despite their genocidal intentions expressed every day in their media, despite their history of collaboration with the Nazis, despite their history of ethnic cleansing of Jews from lands they'd lived in for centuries, despite four openly genocidal wars in the last fifty years.

If Jews can do so little to elicit Nazi comparisons from you, and other ethnic groups do so much and not get them, what does that tell the rest of us about your attituteds toward Jews?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger An Muc Gorm said...

Hanna, you asked me for an example of conquest dressed up as return and I gave you one - I'm sorry if it was not the one you wanted. You choose to ignore the numerous references I have made to many other conflicts around the world and instead pigeon-hole me in the usual way. You also ignore my deliberate association of Andrew Jackson (a brutal imperialist) with two of the worst tyrants of the twentieth century or my references to the disgraceful slave-holding tendencies of Arabs.

The Arab fondness for Mein Kampf is deplorable. Unfortunately this fact is often mentioned to insinuate that Arabs had something to do with the Holocaust which is just not true. You cannot blame Palestinians for not liking Israelis. Their hostility is rational and justified, unlike European anti-Semitism.

I would never characterise massive unregulated immigration by foreign-born settlers to another country as entirely peaceable if they arrive without the consent of the majority of the inhabitants. It was, in and of itself, an assault on the integrity of Palestine and was bound to lead to trouble. You want another another non-Nazi example of what I am talking about? Fine. Imagine if 200 million Hispanics turned up in Texas saying their ancestors came from there - do you think there would not be a problem? Or violence?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger An Muc Gorm said...

Let me expand on the whole idea of mass immigration. There is surely something innately aggressive about turning up in large numbers on somebody else's shore and saying "God sent us. Half (or more) of this is ours now. So clear off." Nothing nice about that at all, v. bad manners actually, whether it happens in Newfoundland, Tasmania, Virginia, Ireland, Palestine or the Amazon. Let's hope we have seen an end to it after a 1000 ignoble years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriel Hanna said...

you asked me for an example of conquest dressed up as return

No, I didn't. I asked you for an example of a actual return, such as Crimean Tartars, or Chechens, or perhaps a hypothetical one such as Germans going back to East Prussia or Tibetans back to Tibet, that you would call "colonization". Instead, you gave an example that involved hundreds of tank divisions and millions of deaths and involved no actual historical precedent, which is not remotely comparable to anything that Jews have done in settling in Israel.

You reach for strained analogies, and as negative as possible, ignoring much closer ones to the subject at hand--because these reflect negatively on Arabs. What happened to all the ethnically Jewish communities in Jordan, Gaza and the West Bank, that have existed since Roman times, in 1948? They were made Judenrein, by force. There is a significant minority of Israeli Arabs with full civil rights, including seats in the Knesset and on the Israeli Supreme Court. Nothing comparable exists for Jews anywhere in the Arab world. And you compare Jews in Israel to Nazis in Ukraine, when it's Arabs who act much more like Nazis.

insinuate that Arabs had something to do with the Holocaust

I don't know who you are responding to here--I've said no such thing. I said the Arabs collaborated with the Nazis, as indeed they did, but there were no death camps in Palestine.

You cannot blame Palestinians for not liking Israelis.

I don't. What I blame them for--Arabs, I mean, since "Palestinians" are no different from Jordanians or Egyptians--is their expressed intent to commit the same ethnic cleansing in Israel that they have committed elsewhere in the Arab world, and I blame you for making excuses for them. They may hate Jews all they want, with no criticism from me, but they have no license to murder them.

if they arrive without the consent of the majority of the inhabitants

So, when you sell your land to an immigrant you don't give "consent" to that immigrant's presence? So when Pakistanis and Bangladeshis and Indians moved to Britain in the last thirty years they were "colonizing", right, and Paki-bashing is a lamentable, yet rational and justified, response to immigrants who came "without the consent of the majority of the inhabitants"? Somehow I don't think you're willing to make that argument unless it involves Jews.

Imagine if 200 million Hispanics turned up in Texas saying their ancestors came from there - do you think there would not be a problem? Or violence?

There are not 200 million Hispanics who can plausibly make that claim. (The population of Mexican California, for example, was about 30,000.) That would indeed be analogous to Barbarossa--because it would be an invasion, whatever the propaganda is. We do, however, have tens of millions of Hispanic immigrants, some legal, most not, and there is indeed little trouble or violence, because America has a history of immigration and we are a free people not ruled by genocidal thugs and tyrants. Furthermore, Mexican-American citizens have full legal rights, even if they were born in America to illegal parents. But this is not analogous to Jews in Israel. Roughly fifty percent of Israeli Jews are descendants of people who never left Israel. Sure, Jews were a minority in Israel before the Zionist movement--an minority oppressed by their conquerers and colonizers, the Arabs, and before them the Romans. (Awfully convenient for you that history only starts in 1900--it never occurs to you to mention how Arabs became a majority in the Roman province of Palestine.) But it's simply not true that Israeli Jews are all, or even mostly, immigrants from Europe.

Your characterization of the situation in Israel demonstrates to me that you are an anti-Semite masquerading as an anti-Zionist. You are not ignorant of history, you simply choose to make excuses for Arab behavior that is worse than anything that Jews have ever done in Israel--and you compare them to Nazis for it.

It's prefectly legitimate to criticise policies of the State of Israel, there are certainly plenty that I find objectionable, the preferential treatment given to Orthodox Jews as an example. Israel is not a land populated by saints and angels. But you are singling out the only Jewish state for doing things that are much less bad than its enemies, for whom you make excuses. And you do not do it out of ignorance.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous An muc gorm said...

When does immigration resemble invsion? There are qualitative and quantitative aspects to this.

Firstly, numbers matter. When the number coming in is a substantial fraction of the number present, people get nervous. Americans rapidly outnumbered the First Nations so this was cearly an invasion. In contrast, Pakistanis today are 1.3% of the Britsh population. 1.3% does not constitute a critical mass. That is why I mentioned 200 million Hispanics - to give an idea of why the actual number is important.

Qualitatively, the attitude of the new arrivals is crucial as well. Americans demand that new immigrants assimilate, which is kind of funny given the fact that they made no attempt whatsoever to respect the cusoms and laws of the original inhabitants themselves. When the new arrivals start waving flags and talking about a new country, then again a colonial situation may arise. The original post-War Pakistani immigrants to the UK suffered terrible abuse and just ignored it by and large - their intent was to become British. By contrast, a small MINORITY of their children and grandchildren are now talking about establishing a separate Muslim parliament in Brtian with Sharia law. Were this to happen, this would be an assault on Britain.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 7:54:00 AM  
Anonymous An muc gorm said...

When does immigration resemble invsion? There are qualitative and quantitative aspects to this.

Firstly, numbers matter. When the number coming in is a substantial fraction of the number present, people get nervous. Americans rapidly outnumbered the First Nations so this was cearly an invasion. In contrast, Pakistanis today are 1.3% of the Britsh population. 1.3% does not constitute a critical mass. That is why I mentioned 200 million Hispanics - to give an idea of why the actual number is important.

Qualitatively, the attitude of the new arrivals is crucial as well. Americans demand that new immigrants assimilate, which is kind of funny given the fact that they made no attempt whatsoever to respect the cusoms and laws of the original inhabitants themselves. When the new arrivals start waving flags and talking about a new country, then again a colonial situation may arise. The original post-War Pakistani immigrants to the UK suffered terrible abuse and just ignored it by and large - their intent was to become British. By contrast, a small MINORITY of their children and grandchildren are now talking about establishing a separate Muslim parliament in Brtian with Sharia law. Were this to happen, this would be an assault on Britain.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 7:55:00 AM  
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