[Marxism] report on anti-Semitism in Egyptian society

MOTECK1457 at aol.com MOTECK1457 at aol.com
Tue Apr 13 22:32:42 MDT 2004


In a message dated 4/13/2004 11:37:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
davidquarter at sympatico.ca writes:
What I'm more generally eager to know is how showing the 
parallels between Sharon's behaviour and Nazism becomes, in 
your mind, "inherently anti Semitism" and "holocaust denial"?
The cartoon does not show or demonstate "parallels between Sharon's behaviour 
and Nazism." The cartoon shows and demonstrates parallels between Nazi 
propaganda tactics and the propaganda tactics of contemporary anti-Semitic 
cartoonists.  Sharon is cynical and abusive but he is not a Nazi.  If he was (and God 
forbid, if he was!) we would not be having this discussion because by now there 
would be no Palestinian people left to discuss.  The situation of 
Palestinians in 2004 is bad, but it is not the situation of European Jews in the 1930s 
and 1940s.  News about the genocide against Jews was deliberately suppressed.  
News about Palestinians and Israelis is abundant. That is just one of many 
differences. I'm against house demolitions but the Nazis did not stop at 
demolishing houses.  They demolished all Jews found within them. Likud and Sharon may 
not like Rabbis for Human Rights http://www.rhr.israel.net/ and B'Tselem  
http://www.btselem.org/, but they have websites and supporters.  If Sharon was a 
Nazi, he would have rounded up their members and had them killed.  Ditto for 
left opposition parties in Israel such as Yahad and Ratz.  Ditto for 
editiorialists in Haaretz (and other Israeli publications) who are very critical of the 
Sharon government  Ditto for independent and autonomous lesbian and gay and 
feminist and trade union organizations (for example:  
http://www.datalounge.com/datalounge/news/record.html?record=15212 ) that operate openly in Israel; but 
not in Palestine. (Palestinian gay men run for their lives across the border 
into Israel, because pervasive, violent homophobia in Palestine turns their lives 
into a daily hell.) Ditto for Israeli refusniks, some of whom have been given 
prison terms but none of whom have been executed.  It sickens me that anyone 
on the left thinks that a Sharon/Nazi analogy has any value or validity at 
all.  Things are bad enough without pandering to anti-Semitism.  How is it 
inherently anti-Semitism?  I wish I still had a copy of Ellen Willis' article "The 
Myth of the Powerful Jew."  Jewish evil becomes the quintessential evil.  
Jewish power, the quintessentially evil power. ("Leftists" who play "let's count 
the Jewish neo-conservatives in the White House" are playing the same 
anti-Semitic game) So many other countries are doing things that are as bad or worse 
than Israeli government abuses, and yet Israel and Israeli politicians are 
demonized as the quintessentially Nazi ones; thereby obviating their right to exist. 
 That's not principled criticism of an Israeli government policy. That's 
anti-Semitism. (And it's Holocaust revisionism too, because the first waves of 
immigration into the modern state of Israel were largely composed of Holocaust 
survivors who had nowhere else to go.  So it's insulting to Holocaust survivors 
on its face.) 

And it's an anti-Semitism borne of hypocrisy, projection and obscene bad 
faith, because many Christians (and/or people of Christian origin on the left) 
still find it psychologically threatening to take a look at the enormity of the 
history of anti-Semitic oppression, and do some honest criticism/self criticism 
around that.  So some of their criticism of Israel is legitimate, and much of 
it is a way of using Israel and Zionist as code words for Jew. They think 
they can get over and get off by demonizing Israel and Zionists; thereby getting 
the "high" that overt anti-Semitism would be getting them; only anti-Semitism 
is not cool so they demonize Zionists and Israel instead. (One example of 
this:  the French diplomat at a British party who referred to Israel as "a shitty 
little country.")  I mention the European context because it accounts for the 
flaccid European response to this form of anti-Semtiism in the Middle East, 
and to the resurgence of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe; including the recent 
synagogue bombings in Istanbul.

The holocaust denial is interwoven with the homophobia of the cartoon.  The 
cartoonist uses homophobia to reinforce anti-Semitic bigotry.  Hitler did not 
embrace men and he did not embrace Jews.  He authorized the persecution and 
murder of gay men as a part of his totalitarian project. So an image of Hitler in 
an embrace with Sharon (a Jew) is inherently revisionist and denies what the 
Holocaust was about.

If anything, the bigoted Egyptian cartoonist resembles a Nazi propagandist 
far more than Sharon resembles anything approaching a Nazi.

The Saudi government commits horrible human rights abuses in it's prisons 
everyday but I have yet to see anyone publish a cartoon of a Saudi royal in an 
intimate embrace with Hitler. Only Israelis are accorded this disgusting special 
treatment. 

Marion



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