Islamophobia is as widespread and acceptable as anti-Semitism used to be

Israel/Palestine
on 37 Comments

In the morning was the computer technician and in the afternoon was the dentist, and it was Islamophobia a.m. and p.m.

The computer technician tells me stories with a little smile because he knows he’s getting under my skin. He said he has a client who gets to fly free on Qatar Airways because her sister works for them, and he told her not to fly on Qatar because the Emir is helping the people in Gaza. Does she listen to you? I asked. No she just laughs. Well are you going to stop working for her if she flies Qatar. No no, he said. That little smile. Though I believe in taking action. You’re really not going to like this. But when I see those Halal food stands in the city, I never buy from them. I go right by. Because you know Hamas gets money over here and I don’t want even a little bit of money maybe ending up with people who are trying to hurt me.

I merely nodded. I wanted my computer back, and fixed.

The dentist is an assimilated Muslim who got out of Iran before the revolution. He keeps trying to get me to go out for a drink. We have a lot to talk about. OK, let’s talk, I said. Have you ever considered that the root of the problem is that these countries have done nothing for 500 years, he said, so they’re envious of the west and western progress? I said, I like to focus on my own country’s responsibility. Why are we invading them? He said, But you have to understand the Muslim mind, they’re envious. I said, I’m trying to understand the Jewish mind, we came up with Zionism. It’s not helping. That’s what I’m focused on. He said, But do you realize all that Israel has created? I shrugged. The racism really upsets me. He said, I don’t know; why can’t they be left alone, why don’t these societies look at their own problems?

I said, I’m sure you’re right but the issue is occupying and stealing land. That’s going to upset people whether they’re backward, forward or sideways.

You don’t understand the effect of Islam.

I’m sure I don’t. I don’t know that it matters.

Once anti-semitism was just this acceptable. Anyone got to express the ideas because you didn’t pay any price for them. Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, they all caricatured Jews. Henry Ford put out anti-Semitic literature and sold cars. Because Jews were different and had a different culture, different ways and values, and Jews were assuming a new role in western society. It’s no different with Muslims today. The anti-Muslim feelings are completely acceptable. The government acts on them, and so do the people. No one’s paying a price for prejudice.

Back when Jews were persecuted, the Jewish community and friends of Jews had to organize. The American Jewish Committee got started after the pogroms. The ADL started because of the Leo Frank lynching. The New York Times crusaded for Leo Frank, and the Methodist bishop in Atlanta refused to lift a finger to help: “I have been annoyed by letters from all over the country trying to draw me into the case on behalf of Mr. Frank.” There was a real reason for the organizations fighting anti-Semitism. They changed American attitudes, and government policy too. People of conscience have to do the same thing now for our Muslim brothers and sisters—kill the bigotry, fight the evil policies, show that Muslims are just part of the human family.

37 Responses

  1. geofgray
    May 18, 2013, 11:13 am

    amen, brother.

  2. just
    May 18, 2013, 11:13 am

    Bravo and amen, Philip!

  3. gingershot
    May 18, 2013, 11:45 am

    The whole Israeli Lobby/AIPAC agenda for the last 11 yrs has been to create the most virulent racist Islamophobia imaginable – and they have succeeded, as every poll demonstrates

    Arabs/Muslims/Iranians are thoroughly demonized at this point – every Hollywood film from Iron Man to Homeland has the evil Muslim terrorists as the pivot of their plots

    All Americans agree – the Muslim must be hated as much as the Israelis hate the Palestinians.

    Mission Accomplished [...]

    The Israelification of American foreign policy, military action, and ‘Homeland Security’ is complete at this point. We are Israel and Israel is us and there is no daylight between us. We are all Israelis now, and Sen Joe Lieberman wouldn’t have it any other way

    The Israelis/Neocons lying us into attacking Iraq was all about teaching Americans how to kill Arabs – as a cover and adjunct to making it alright for Israelis to kill Palestinians

  4. Ecru
    May 18, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Except once it was the majority that drove anti-semitism.
    With Islamophobia it’s a minority (Jewish Zionists) driving it forward. And they’ve been doing one hell of a job too.

    (Though granted a bunch of loony salafists haven’t exactly been helping things.)

    • just
      May 18, 2013, 6:04 pm

      Islamophobes are the “majority” today, as well.

      Do not kid yourself, Ecru. You do yourself a disservice.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 19, 2013, 3:28 pm

      “With Islamophobia it’s a minority (Jewish Zionists) driving it forward.”

      Baloney. Right wing Christians are, on average, more Islamophobic.

  5. gingershot
    May 18, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Here’s a good example of racism in the media – reported on Ynet today:

    Gene Simmons calls Muslims ‘vile’

    Legendary rock legend Gene Simmons sparked outrage in Australia earlier this month when he made anti-Muslim comments on a Melbourne radio station.

    “This is a vile culture and if you think for a second that it’s willing to just live in the sands of God’s armpit, you’ve got another thing coming,” the Israeli-born musician said on Melbourne’s 3AW radio.

    • Ecru
      May 18, 2013, 4:26 pm

      Not as bad as his Alice Copper wanna be sub-par music. But isn’t it nice, “God’s Armpit” – did he miss the geography class that clearly shows Israel to be right there too.

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 19, 2013, 3:34 pm

      It seems that that an israeli like Simmons can move out of occupied Palestine, change his name, and yet the racism of zionism remains.

    • RoHa
      May 19, 2013, 10:16 pm

      Did he really say “you’ve got another thing coming”?

      The idiom is ” you’ve got another think coming”.

      • Ecru
        May 21, 2013, 10:45 am

        @ RoHa

        Is it? I was always told it was “thing” not “think.” But then I was raised in the British Isles so maybe it’s a bit different in North America.

      • RoHa
        May 21, 2013, 9:07 pm

        ” I was always told it was “thing” not “think.” But then I was raised in the British Isles ”

        I was born in the UK, brought up in Australia, and then spent a long time back in the UK. I have never heard of using “thing” in this idiom. It makes no sense. The meaning is “If you think A, you need to have another think (= think again) about it.”

        Perhaps the people who told you it was “thing” were trying to counter the common mispronunciation of “thing”, and didn’t think about what the idiom means.

      • Ecru
        May 22, 2013, 10:09 am

        No, everybody I knew who ever used the phrase used “thing” not “think.” And it is logical but the sense is slightly different.

        If you think you’re getting ice cream, you’ve got another thing coming

        It’s an implied threat, where the “thing” can be anything, such as a clip round the ear, it’s left to your imagination.

        As for the mispronunciation – not in Sligo, Yorkshire or Durham – those places don’t add the “k” terminal found in other areas so that can’t be it. I think it’s just local variations, neither more “correct” than the other.

  6. yourstruly
    May 18, 2013, 12:57 pm

    How convenient, too, that at a time when there are so many reasons for the public to question our political/economic system (perpetual wars, a precarious economy, global warming, etc. etc.), lo & behold, a new scapegoat appears on the scene to take the pressure off the system. So much easier to blame someone other -yesterday the Jew, today the Muslim, tomorrow who knows who or what – rather than trying to figure out what’s wrong with and what to do about the damn system. Scapegoating, the oppressive system’s safety valve.

  7. Citizen
    May 18, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Maybe Phil’s dentist is projecting in the freudian sense? My dentist is Indian, and he won’t talk politics; actually he just moved with his family back to London. My latest computer help is also from India–actually may live in India–I’m not sure. What they both have in common is a big taste for the good material upper middle class life, and they work hard to earn it, buy it. They have nice, tight-knit families. They are highly educated.

  8. American
    May 18, 2013, 2:32 pm

    I imagine some Muslim-Iranian-Etc-Etc -Americans feel they need to denounce their brethren/connections/etc. to not come under suspicion or lose standing and any gains they have made in the US…considering the current demonization of Islam and Arabs.
    Then again we’ve seen examples of other Muslims saying the same things about Islam or Muslim/ME countries—-we’ve seen some Jews/Israelis saying the same things about Judaism and Israel—-we see comments here saying the same things about religious fanatics and the US.

  9. DICKERSON3870
    May 18, 2013, 3:02 pm

    RE: “The dentist is an assimilated Muslim who got out of Iran before the revolution. He keeps trying to get me to go out for a drink… Have you ever considered that the root of the problem is that these countries have done nothing for 500 years, he said, so they’re envious of the west and western progress?” ~ Weiss

    THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK: This dentist sounds like a devotee of the CIA-installed Shah of Iran and his CIA-trained secret police, the SAVAK (which had a practice of torturing and executing opponents of the Shah’s regime)*!
    And, I would be remiss were I not to mention that the CIA supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (and Chabad in the Soviet Union) back during the Cold War in an effort to counter Soviet influence in Egypt (and to destabilize the Soviet Union in the case of Chabad).

    * SEE: “Notes on Nationalism”, by George Orwell, 1945

    [EXCERPTS] . . . All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side. . .

    . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. For quite six years the English admirers of Hitler contrived not to learn of the existence of Dachau and Buchenwald. And those who are loudest in denouncing the German concentration camps are often quite unaware, or only very dimly aware, that there are also concentration camps in Russia. Huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English russophiles. Many English people have heard almost nothing about the extermination of German and Polish Jews during the present war. Their own antisemitism has caused this vast crime to bounce off their consciousness. In nationalist thought there are facts which are both true and untrue, known and unknown. A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind. . .

    SOURCE (“Notes on Nationalism”, by George Orwell, 1945) – link to orwell.ru

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 18, 2013, 3:17 pm

      P.S. RE: “I would be remiss were I not to mention that the CIA supported . . . Chabad in the Soviet Union . . . back during the Cold War in an effort to . . . destabilize the Soviet Union . . .” ~ me (from above)

      A LITTLE OF THAT INFAMOUS “CIA BLOWBACK”: “U.S. publisher who called for Obama assassination proves ‘Israel-firsters’ exist” ~ by Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine, 1/21/12

      [EXCERPT] . . . Adler has since issued a non-apology: “I very much regret it, I wish I hadn’t made reference to it at all,” he told the JTA. It is worth noting that Adler is a Chabadnik, i.e. a member of a religious faction which has already shown an unhealthy interest in assassinations. Harry Shapiro, a Chabadnik, was convicted of planting a pipe bomb in a synagogue visited by Shimon Peres in Jacksonville back in 1997. A leading Chabad rabbi in Israel, Dov Wolfa, has flirted with the supporters of Yigal Amir, Rabin’s assassin. I think it is safe to assume that an Islamic movement with this sort of record would find itself under, shall we say, intense scrutiny by the authorities.
      Now, no one would mistake me for a supporter of either the Netanyahu government or Israel’s out-of-control security establishment, but I am certain that had anyone suggested such a covert operation to Netanyahu, that person would be fired on the spot. And that even had Netanyahu entertained such an idea, the leadership of Mossad would submit their resignation rather than going along with the plan. What Adler wrote was a fantasy, unrelated to Israeli reality.
      Which, alas, is true about much of what Jewish Americans think of Israel. However, Adler did prove a point, albeit not one he intended: He showed us that there are, in fact, American Jews who are “Israel-firsters”, that is, people who put the interests of Israel ahead of their own country. In Adler’s case, to the point of supporting the assassination of his own duly-elected president – which skirts very closely to treason . . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to 972mag.com

      • DICKERSON3870
        May 18, 2013, 3:24 pm

        P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Inciting to kill Obama: Another Judeofascist from Chabad”, by Larry Derfner, +972 Magazine, 1/21/12

        [EXCERPT] Chabad is the largest, most energetic Jewish movement on earth, and it gives a place of honor to people like Andrew Adler, the Atlanta Jewish Times publisher who suggested that the Mossad kill Obama.
        Unfortunately, Chabad enjoys this heimishe image for bestowing yiddishkeit on Jews the world over, holding Passover seder for young Israelis traveling in the East, laying tfillin at the airport – strictly mitzvah-doers. The other side of Chabad – the violent, Jewish supremacist side – is less well-known. Maybe that will change now, though, with the op-ed by Chabadnik Andrew Adler, publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, who suggests that Israel assassinate Obama so it’ll be free to bomb Iran. (Disclosure: I wrote about Israel for the Atlanta Jewish Times in the 1990s, years before it was sold to this lunatic.) . . .

        ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to whattheysayaboutisrael.blogspot.com

    • DICKERSON3870
      May 18, 2013, 3:32 pm

      P.S.(#2) RE: “I would be remiss were I not to mention that the CIA supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt . . . back during the Cold War in an effort to counter Soviet influence in Egypt . . .” – ~ me (from above)

      A LITTLE MORE OF THAT INFAMOUS “CIA BLOWBACK”:
      “The CIA and The Muslim Brotherhood: How the CIA Set The Stage for September 11″ (Martin A. Lee – Razor Magazine 2004)

      (excerpts) The CIA often works in mysterious ways – and so it was with this little-known cloak-and-dagger caper that set the stage for extensive collaboration between US intelligence and Islamic extremists. The genesis of this ill-starred alliance dates back to Egypt in the mid-1950s, when the CIA made discrete overtures to the Muslim Brotherhood, the influential Sunni fundamentalist movement that fostered Islamic militancy throughout the Middle East. What started as a quiet American flirtation with political Islam became a Cold War love affair on the sly – an affair that would turn out disastrously for the United States. Nearly all of today’s radical Islamic groups, including al-Qaeda, trace their lineage to the Brotherhood. . .
      . . . For many years, the American espionage establishment had operated on the assumption that Islam was inherently anti-communist and therefore could be harnessed to facilitate US objectives. American officials viewed the Muslim Brotherhood as “a secret weapon” in the shadow war against the Soviet Union and it’s Arab allies, according to Robert Baer, a retired CIA case officer who was right in the thick of things in the Middle East and Central Asia during his 21 year career as a spy. In Sleeping with the Devil, a book he wrote after quitting the CIA Baer explains how the United States “made common cause with the Brothers” and used them “to do our dirty work in Yemen, Afghanistan and plenty of other places”.
      This covert relationship; unraveled when the Cold War ended, whereupon an Islamic Frankenstein named Osama bin Laden lurched into existence. . .

      SOURCE – link to ce399fascism.wordpress.com

  10. Justpassingby
    May 18, 2013, 4:39 pm

    Some exile iranians and zionists often demonstrate together under the islamophobic parole.

  11. ckg
    May 18, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Speaking of Islamophobia, Terry Jones and a guy from California parading with a pig’s head have managed yesterday to get Dearborn Michigan to cancel its annual Arab International Festival, due to rising insurance costs associated with the financial risk of confrontations and lawsuits. From the Detroit Free Press: link to freep.com

  12. biorabbi
    May 18, 2013, 6:20 pm

    Vilification of Jews historically had numerical consequences… in terms of immigration levels, admissions to colleges of higher education, as well as admission to many blue blood law firms in NYC. You cannot formally discriminate in such a manner today, but you can informally do so. Immigration is another matter. Here the government can and does discriminate. 9/11 led to security based discrimination that really hasn’t been seen in this country since 1919. Muslims are especially helpless targets after events such as Boston or 9/11. They are easily identified, unprotected, and can be targeted through guilt by association.

    On the other side of the coin, Muslim integration in American life is a success story in terms of areas such as the medical profession and other professions. I can speak first hand on medicine. Nothing breaks down suspicion and bias like having a family member successfully treated by a physician who happens to be Muslim. I see it every day in a very rural part of America. This appears to be especially true of Palestinian physicians as they are well represented in the US.

  13. ckg
    May 18, 2013, 6:33 pm

    Nearly thirty years ago I accepted a job at a very large auto manufacturer in Dearborn Michigan. I asked my boss then why he lived in Detroit and not Dearborn. He explained that the realtor showed him many homes in Dearborn and always added the comment “nice neighborhood–no blacks, no Jews”. My boss had had enough with this bigoted realtor and moved to Detroit.

    The masks change, but the prejudices do not.

  14. CloakAndDagger
    May 18, 2013, 9:08 pm

    Antisemitism ended (declined) after the holocaust. Will the Israeli version of the “muslim holocaust” in Palestine also end Islamophobia? Bigotry must always result in blood, it seems.

  15. Kathleen
    May 19, 2013, 10:32 am

    Islamophobia is far more accepted than anti semitism. Especially with the Pam Geller’s of the world being able to go on national T.V. and radio programs and spread the hate so freely.

  16. subconscious
    May 19, 2013, 5:08 pm

    In situations of political or military conflict, demonization of the official enemy is the norm. It would precede my earliest recollections, but I don’t believe that prior to about 30 years ago (but sticking to more modern times) there was much demonization of Islam in the West. Iran, for example, used to be associated w/ fine oriental art (as in Persian carpets & poetry), ancient liberator of Jews (per the Cyrus cylinder) and friend of the West (as a hospitable client state). But now “Iranian” evokes mad hostage-taking Mullahs. Arabs fared not as well, mainly due to their conflict w/ Israel, but even the anti-Arab sentiment back then wasn’t couched in anti-Islam diatribe, as the Arab side was mostly led by seculars.
    This dehumanization of the official enemy is used by both sides to rationalize the enmity. As an example from the other side, you have last week’s speech by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, at a women’s gathering, in which he called the “European races” “savages by nature” who are violent towards women. It would be as if Obama, in a speech to a women’s gathering, were to claim that the Middle-Easterners are savages by nature, who can do no better than abuse their womenfolk, in contrast to our Judeo-Christian civilization. Or other examples of crude antisemitic views expressed in Iranian state media and by some of their high-ranking officials. Countering such irrational dehumanization on both sides would help diffuse the conflict and restore sanity.

    • just
      May 19, 2013, 5:48 pm

      Words by Khamenei mean little in face of the odious Occupation and violence by Israel, or the silence by Netanyahu with the proposed “peace plan”, or the venom that many in the West are spewing and exhibiting toward Islam, and the bulk of the billions of Muslims.

      • subconscious
        May 23, 2013, 2:55 am

        It’s doubtful if “words by Khamenei” mean less than words by Philip’s dentist & computer repair guy. Khamenei himself may be quite dismayed at hearing the pooh-poohing of his influence, given Iran’s influence in several countries in the region. And for 77 million in Iran his words may not “mean little.”

  17. PeaceThroughJustice
    May 19, 2013, 6:16 pm

    “Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, they all caricatured Jews. … Back when Jews were persecuted, the Jewish community and friends of Jews had to organize.”

    You might want to be careful about that slide from caricature to persecution. You do it without even thinking about it. (BTW, is caricature really “antisemitism”?)

    I hate to be pedantic, but if you’re going to claim that Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, and Ernest Hemingway were all “antisemitic”, then I think we deserve to see the evidence you’re basing this on. Just so we can judge for ourselves. Are fictional villains ever allowed to be Jewish?

    • Philip Weiss
      May 19, 2013, 7:57 pm

      let’s start with Robert Cohn, Fagin, Twain’s essay against the Jews. There’s a Jew in War and Peace, I believe, in a rural scene, a caricature– will dig that out later

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        May 19, 2013, 8:53 pm

        I see. So apparently you think it is “antisemitic” to have a villain who is Jewish (and in the case of Cohn or Tolstoy’s character, not a villain at all but merely a figure who is not particularly likeable). That’s an awfully tough standard you’ve set, particularly considering the unique significance of the charge of “antisemite”.

        But I’m mainly interested in the way you elided caricature and persecution, because it’s something you’ve done before. Are there any minority groups you can think of who are not caricatured? In fact, can you even think of any who are caricatured less than Jews? Is all caricature bad?

  18. yonah fredman
    May 19, 2013, 11:03 pm

    Phil wrote: “Once anti-semitism was just this acceptable. Anyone got to express the ideas because you didn’t pay any price for them. Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, they all caricatured Jews. Henry Ford put out anti-Semitic literature and sold cars. Because Jews were different and had a different culture, different ways and values, and Jews were assuming a new role in western society. It’s no different with Muslims today. The anti-Muslim feelings are completely acceptable. The government acts on them, and so do the people. No one’s paying a price for prejudice.”

    First: Henry Ford was an A#1 Jew hater, the writers were in a different category.

    Second: There were and are political elements to anti Yehudi feelings: anti Bolshevik, anti capitalist (contradictory but true) and today anti Zionist. There was an element of the Jews are smarter and more clever (and more devious, have better connections with their fellow tribesmen) and therefore we cannot compete with them and therefore there must be a quota on them.

    The Islamic population of the world is about a billion and even if Shlomo Sand is right in attributing irrationality to the fear of Islam when Islamic countries are primarily powerless (a fear of China makes sense to Sand, whereas a fear of Islam seems irrational to Sand, and he’s a historian, so I will accept this for the time being), the fear of a billion people compared to a fear of 18 million people (Jewish world population in 1939) are two totally different things.

    No matter what the underlying causes of Mohammed Ata and his crew and the Tsarnayev brothers, these were Muslims who saw their duty as Muslims to attack and murder en masse Americans qua Americans, even if Bolshevism and Judaism can be combined in the thoughts of the right wing, no attack by Jews qua Jews against Americans qua Americans comes to mind. So the irrationality of anti Yehudi feeling is much greater than the irrationality of anti Muslim feelings.

    Anti Muslim feelings are for the most part quite irrational. (For example, both the September 11th attacks and the Boston attacks could have been stopped if warnings about flight school students and Russian secret service tips had been adequately attended to. The net does not need to be cast wider. More money should be put in paying attention to those that are already fingered by the net.)

    There are commonalities between anti Yehudi feelings and anti Muslim feelings and it may be useful in pointing out these commonalities. But there are differences as well.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      May 20, 2013, 10:05 am

      “The fear of a billion people compared to a fear of 18 million people (Jewish world population in 1939) are two totally different things.”

      “So the irrationality of anti Yehudi feeling is much greater than the irrationality of anti Muslim feelings.”

      And right on cue, Wondering Jew jumps in to defend the sanctity and honor of his favorite (only?) topic. How dare anyone even compare antisemitism to other puny forms of prejudice? Why, that would be “antisemitic.”

      (And as a bonus, he gets to put in a few digs at Islam. How could he have resisted.)

    • Woody Tanaka
      May 20, 2013, 10:13 am

      Yonah,
      You demonstrate the same kind of irrationality as you appear to attack when that irrationality is directed towards Jews.

      “There were and are political elements to anti Yehudi feelings: anti Bolshevik, anti capitalist (contradictory but true) and today anti Zionist.”

      First, they were not really contradictory claims. They made perfect sense and were quite rational to those who espoused them. To them, the Jews were after power, and had no real care as to what system it was that was doing their work for them; so long as they had the power. So, to the antisemite (especially one in interwar Germany), it made perfect sense that the Jews would attempt to take over, from the inside, both the Communist East and the Capitalist West, so that there would be no one to oppose the Jews. He saw Jews in power in the USSR; saw Eugen Leviné try to make Bavaria a Soviet Republic; saw Léon Blum in Paris; saw the Jews who were successful in the finance industry and reached a conclusion that was wrong, but which was consistent with his suppositions.

      Further, linking antisemitism to anti-zionist feeling is both inane and morally corrupt, as it attempts to blame the victims of zionist aggression and crime with wrongdoing for opposing that aggression and crime. Those people who hate zionism because they hate Jews are a small, insignificant minority and it is a bush-league play to even reference such non-entities.

      “There was an element of the Jews are smarter and more clever (and more devious, have better connections with their fellow tribesmen) and therefore we cannot compete with them and therefore there must be a quota on them. ”

      I understand that the impulse for one who is bullied to cry “You’re just jealous” to his tormentor, but the quota on the Jews had little if anything to do with a fear that the Jews were smarter and that the non-Jews couldn’t compete. Rather, the quotas were put in place because of religious and cultural factors. Those same factors, for example, kept quotas on Asians and Italians, to name just two examples.

      The religious reasoning is a big one that is so often overlooked or ignored. From the Christian perspective, if one takes the religion seriously, as many have and do, the rejection of the Christ by the Jews is the ultimate spit in the face. Imagine if you offered someone a gift literally beyond measure; worth more than everything else in the world, including more than your life, the lives of your children, you family, worth more than the lives of all who live or have lived or who will live, the Earth and the Universe combined. You offered someone that gift and they rejected it in a most horrible way. That is the core of the Christian enmity towards Jews, not some notion that Jews will out-compete the Christians.

      “The Islamic population of the world is about a billion and even if Shlomo Sand is right in attributing irrationality to the fear of Islam when Islamic countries are primarily powerless… , the fear of a billion people compared to a fear of 18 million people (Jewish world population in 1939) are two totally different things.”

      Nonsense. They are both completely irrational. The notion that you have to fear a billion people (who speak untold number of languages, in dozens of countries, and hundreds of ethnicities, who live under an umbrella of different political systems, and espouse many different views of the same religion, often antagonistically) is as irrational as fearing that a small cabal will pervert the world’s powers to their own ends. It’s nothing other than putting a blind eye to reality and fearing a hobgoblin you create in your own mind. It’s different, but not in any relevant respect.

      “these were Muslims who saw their duty as Muslims to attack and murder en masse Americans qua Americans”

      Wrong. They saw it as their duty to attack Americans as the perpetrators of murder, terror and oppression against their fellow Muslims. They may or may not be wrong in that, but it’s clear that they did not simply pick Americans at random.

      “…no attack by Jews qua Jews against Americans qua Americans comes to mind. So the irrationality of anti Yehudi feeling is much greater than the irrationality of anti Muslim feelings.”

      Yes, and just as you are selectively picking through the facts to make any-Muslim animus seem reasonable, the antisemite will pick though the facts (real or not) to make his pathology seem reasonable. If you really, truly believed that the Jews stabbed Germany in the back in 1918, would antisemitism in 1935 be justified?? No, of course not. And if you believe that Muslims attack Americans “qua Americans” for no reason, or “because they hate us because of our freedoms” you would be as wrong and as unjustified in anti-Muslim feelings.

      “There are commonalities between anti Yehudi feelings and anti Muslim feelings and it may be useful in pointing out these commonalities. But there are differences as well.”

      And the commonalities are relevant and the differences are not on the important questions.

  19. American
    May 20, 2013, 12:26 am

    Everyone has been caricatured in books, cartoon, films…..greedy Jews, sneaky Arabs, retarded Hillbilles, the snobby Rich, the sloppy poor, the drunken Irish, snoty WASP, lazy Southerners, rude New Yorkers, screaming Italians , heel clicking Germans, dumb blacks…..you name it, they’ve been caricatured.

  20. IL1948
    May 21, 2013, 9:39 am

    I see… So when the computer technician boycotts Qatar Airways and Halal food vendors because they support Hamas and Gaza, he is a islamophobe.

    But when someone boycotts sodastream or an academic conference with Israeli participants, it is a “smear” to call them anti-semetic?

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