On Bret Stephens’ hate speech

US Politics
on 85 Comments

For Israel and her allies it seems that panic mode is on, and Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, who somehow manages to pass himself for a psychologist in his latest column, is freaking out.

His article “Palestine: The Psychotic Stage” bears the subtitle, “The truth about why Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust.” In typical desperate fashion of the pro-occupation ilk, Stephens manipulates the tragic deaths of Israelis reported over the past two weeks. Meanwhile, he conveniently pretends that Palestinians are immortal. They don’t die. Hence, not one mention of a Palestinian death is worth his words — never mind that one of the world’s strongest armed forces is flexing its muscles against them. The issue is not so much with reporting on who died. Stephens’ dangerous propagation in this regard is that a Jewish death is a tragic one and worth reporting, while a Palestinian death is just not worth it because a Palestinian is a psychotic blood thirsty terrorist. Stephens writes:

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Stephens sets the stage with Israeli deaths, he moves on to point the causes of this “Palestinian blood fetish”: President Abbas “declared the Oslo Accords null and void,” which is a lie. President Abbas simply said that “as long as” Israel behaves in a manner contrary to the Accords, then Palestinians cannot be bound by them. Instead of reassuring the world of its commitment to the peace agreements, Israel jumped on the opportunity to betray Abbas as an anti-peace leader, opening the floodgates of Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

The inescapable irony is that Stephens’ understanding of what caused the surge in hostilities is incitement, leading to “a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment,” fueled by “the goading of the Muslim clergy. ‘Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews…Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats…My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”’

He probably did not get the memo that Israeli officials, rabbis, and settlers call Palestinians snakes, inferior gentiles and sons of bitches among other hateful slurs. Not only do these figures make these remarks, they in fact repeatedly encouraged their communities to act upon them. Hence, the price-tag attacks. Worst yet, once such hate and racism come to light through vandalism or burning Palestinians to death, nearly next to no legal recourse against the perpetrators is pursued. And when “Israeli justice” is delivered, it simultaneously discriminates against Palestinians and appeases the perpetrators.

But, does any of it matter? Not really. Certainly not when Stephens is simply blowing a gasket and cannot possibly be engaged in a rational conversation anymore.

Disturbingly, Stephens’ propagation of the hate thesis leaves the question of how Israel is currently behaving untouched. The extra-judicial and cold-blooded killing of Palestinians does not seem to have any effect on how he would like to see Israel behave. Rather, he expects that it should only influence how Palestinians should behave — submit and welcome a status quo of oppression with open arms. It is then unsurprising that Stephens closes in such a polemical style without a practical alternative:

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy. Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Here lies the failure of Stephens at grasping the reality of the situation on the ground. He offers no alternative, which is a cowardly copout from stating the obvious: Israel is the occupier, period. Israel has oppressed an entire people for nearly seven decades now. And Stephens does not appear to have a problem with being an unapologetic accomplice. If anything, the current surge in hostility exposes the simple truth that the occupation as a way of life is not working. It will never work, and so it must come to an end.

About Dorgham Abusalim

Dorgham Abusalim recently graduated with a Master in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland. You can follow him on Twitter @dabusalim.

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85 Responses

  1. unverified__5ilf90kd
    October 14, 2015, 11:42 am

    Stephens understands everything about the current situation. He is merely a liar for Israel, one of many such Zionist apologists who occupy important positions in the media. Three cheers for Mondoweiss who expose all of his distortions and falsehoods. Millions of people are reading Mondoweiss every year and the truth about Israel is building in acceptance and momentum. The African/American Comcast repairman who came to my house recently mentioned Obama so we had a political discussion. He told me that he was enlightened because he got his news from rt.com – in fact, he knew more about Syria than Hillary Clinton revealed last night. He knew that a US imposed no-fly zone in Syria would be total BS. My point is that despite Stephens pontificating about his love for Israel in the WSJ, the people are turning to the internet in vast numbers and the WSJ is becoming more irrelevant every day.

    • JWalters
      October 14, 2015, 6:20 pm

      Completely agree. And the big lie is the relentless omission of Israel’s massively unjust, illegal, barbaric, cruel actions.

      Some rabbi said that a Palestinian life is not worth a single Jewish fingernail. This Biblical belief in ethnic supremacism is WHY Palestinian deaths are considered not worth reporting. This core belief underlies all these desperate psychobabble “explanations” for Palestinian resistance. It’s time for a “Palestinian Lives Matter” movement.

  2. Krauss
    October 14, 2015, 11:50 am

    Very well-written, and you kind of wonder why I have to read this class act on a blog while a hatemonger and a racist like Stephens gets a Pulitzer price for Op-Ed writing. That says just about everything you need to know about just how tolerated virulent racism against Palestinians is in American contemporary culture.

    • JWalters
      October 14, 2015, 6:39 pm

      Promoted, then tolerated. I second your appreciation of this article.

      • Marnie
        October 15, 2015, 2:32 am

        I third. Bret Stephens is just another ignorant white supremacist.

      • Chu
        October 15, 2015, 10:03 am

        Marnie, he’s a Jewish supremacist, both his parents are Jewish – he’s not ignorant about things at all. Jewish people I know rarely consider themselves white, although their entitlement often far exceeds any white person’s entitlement that I’ve met.

  3. Kay24
    October 14, 2015, 12:56 pm

    Sometimes you have got to wonder what makes them become unprofessional and compromise their principles and values. Are the Israeli lobby buddies with them, or a birth right trip to the motherland that brainwashes them. Eventually, they become liars and ignore the real facts.

  4. eljay
    October 14, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Zio-supremacist hatemonger writes:

    Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

    Yup, let’s not bother making excuses for the victims chained in the rapist’s basement. Their inexplicable and unjustifiable violence against him – a nice man who feeds them, clothes them and gives them shelter – cannot be permitted to go unpunished. And he knows just the guy to deliver the punishment…

    Mr. Stephens is a truly hateful and immoral human being.

  5. Mondowise
    October 14, 2015, 1:02 pm

    yo, stephens! got a message or two for you, lest YOU forget:

    1) UNGA Resolution A/RES/33/24, 29 November 1978:

    “2. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly ARMED struggle;” (3)

    …and…

    2) UNGA Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX), 29 November 1974:

    “3. Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle; …
    7. Strongly condemns all Governments which do not recognize the right to self-determination and independence of peoples under colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation, notably the peoples of Africa and the PALESTINIAN people;” (4)

    the RIGHT to use ARMED resistance against the occupation by the PALESTINIAN people has been reaffirmed REPEATEDLY in MANY UN resolutions!!

    now, don’t forget brettie boy, k? thanks.

  6. amigo
    October 14, 2015, 1:35 pm

    I had to duck when this jumped out of the screen at me.

    “Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/stephens-hate-speech#sthash.IyvIIS8e.dpuf” Bret (BS ) Stephens.

    It is the strong against the weak and Palestinians want the same for their children you moron.

    And please do not mention empathy mr stephens.You have none.

  7. a blah chick
    October 14, 2015, 1:45 pm

    “Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.”

    Translation: We are failing to see how vile, unprincipled and disturbed Palestinian society is. Don’t let the fact that they are the weaker party fool you-they are out to kill the Jews because they are evil.

    “Here lies the failure of Stephens at grasping the reality of the situation on the ground. He offers no alternative”

    I must disagree. If Mr Stephens’s characterization of Palestinians as evil, wanton killers, lacking empathy and driven by anti-Jewish blood lust is accurate then there is only ONE solution that will put an end to their madness forever.

    He hasn’t got the guts to use the g-word yet but give him time.

    • kalithea
      October 14, 2015, 10:59 pm

      Spell it out: g-e-n-o-c-i-d-e! By reducing Palestinian society in general to a bunch of blood-thirsty savages with no possible redemption; he appears to be constructing a legitimate excuse for what is already being implemented by Israel through cyclical mass murder-genocidal intent by quota.

      What else besides pure HATE is he spelling out here? Obviously not a two-state solution! But no doubt there’s a hate-filled solution hidden under that pile of manure.

  8. Les
    October 14, 2015, 1:53 pm

    We should keep in mind that while Bret Stephens mouths white racism in support of Israel’s efforts to eliminate the Palestinian people, it is the 24/7 work of NPR, the New York Times, et. al., that actually deliver the goods.

    • tree
      October 15, 2015, 7:08 pm

      We should keep in mind that while Bret Stephens mouths white racism in support of Israel’s efforts to eliminate the Palestinian people,

      It’s not white racism. Its Jewish racism. He isn’t bemoaning the death of whites, he’s upset about the deaths of Jews and calling all Palestinians evil for wanting to “kill Jews”. Why is there this need to call it “white racism” when the compelling factor in the whole horrible mess in Israel is Jewish racism, there and here? If we can’t name the problem but instead feel the need to blame it on white racism, which is at fault for its own set of problems, then how are we ever going to confront it and overcome it?

      • Annie Robbins
        October 15, 2015, 7:20 pm

        Why is there this need to call it “white racism” when the compelling factor in the whole horrible mess in Israel is Jewish racism, there and here?

        thank you

      • Mooser
        October 15, 2015, 7:34 pm

        “Why is there this need to call it “white racism” when the compelling factor in the whole horrible mess in Israel is Jewish racism, there and here?”

        Isn’t that nice, our own noxious racist brew, branded with our name. How far we’ve come.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 15, 2015, 7:40 pm

        it doesn’t mean all jews are racist anymore than referencing white racism implies all whites are racist. but stephens racism here is not a result of the whiteness of his skin. or is it?

      • Mooser
        October 15, 2015, 7:53 pm

        “it doesn’t mean all jews are racist anymore than referencing white racism implies all whites are racist”

        Of course. But there may very well be a “Jewish racism”, related to, but in some way distinct from white racism.

      • yonah fredman
        October 15, 2015, 9:11 pm

        Bret Stephens is guilty of colonial racism. The colonists are Jewish in this case and that is the organizing principle of their identity and colonial enterprise. In most cases of colonialism the organizing principle may have been national (French in Algeria) or racial (American whites against “red” Native Americans) and there are glaring similarities to those attitudes expressed by Jewish colonialism. To insist on emphasizing the Jewish aspect seems extraneous (or perverse), since the determining factor is the colonialism aspect.

      • johneill
        October 15, 2015, 10:40 pm

        Yonah, it makes sense to emphasize the religious aspect of israeli racism insofar as israeli society defines itself by its religious character. Zionism is both a religious and colonial enterprise – or at least uses one in service of the other.

      • Kris
        October 15, 2015, 10:43 pm

        @yonahfrdmn: “To insist on emphasizing the Jewish aspect seems extraneous (or perverse), since the determining factor is the colonialism aspect.”

        The determining factor is the Jewish Zionism aspect, since that encompasses both the Jewish colonialism and the Jewish racism. Zionism is a racist ideology using Judaism as a cover, and Stephens is supporting Jewish Zionism and Jewish colonialism.

        Do you imagine for a moment that anyone but Jews would have been allowed to get away with these crimes against humanity committed by “the Jewish state” for so long, 70+ years? The “Jewish aspect” is exactly what this is all about.

      • Sibiriak
        October 15, 2015, 10:48 pm

        tree: It’s not white racism. Its Jewish racism.

        —————–

        True, if you mean it is racism espoused by a Jew (embraced also, no doubt, by more than a few other Jews and whites and even some non-whites).

        Problematic, though, if you mean Stephens’ racism has a peculiarly Jewish quality.

        Demonizing the violence of the oppressed by labeling it savage, irrational, psychotic, hate-driven, pure evil etc., is standard fare in racist colonialist/imperialist discourse–a broader category than just “white racism” — and wouldn’t appear to be particularly Jewish in character.

      • a4tech
        October 15, 2015, 11:25 pm

        Annie said

        “it doesn’t mean all jews are racist anymore than referencing white racism implies all whites are racist. but stephens racism here is not a result of the whiteness of his skin. or is it? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/stephens-hate-speech#comment-803020

        No, it’s still white racism regardless who actually does it. Racism itself as a concept is integral to the white identity as it was created by people who claim to be “white” to oppress every other non-white outgroups with impunity.

        Just like white feminism, white racism encompasses a wide framework of history, culture and identity politics, not just skin colour. Any person can be a white racist, just like a black policeman who go out of his way to oppress and abuse his fellow black men and in this case, Bret Stephens.

        Again, racism is a purely white-centric concept, created and propagated exclusively by a certain group of people who labelled themselves as “white”, originally somewhere in Western Europe during the 1400’s. Everyone else are just copycats.

      • a4tech
        October 15, 2015, 11:35 pm

        Mooser said

        “Of course. But there may very well be a “Jewish racism”, related to, but in some way distinct from white racism. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/stephens-hate-speech#comments

        The concept of Jewish racism makes little sense. There are Jews from every colour of the human race spectrum, pitch black to bluish white. Bigotry maybe, but then every person who adhere to a specific religion is technically a bigot, as he/she must have felt their own religion is superior for them to make the decision to follow it.

      • Sibiriak
        October 15, 2015, 11:47 pm

        Kris: Do you imagine for a moment that anyone but Jews would have been allowed to get away with these crimes against humanity committed by “the Jewish state” for so long….
        —————–

        Non-Jews have gotten away with vast, horrific crimes for centuries. Simple fact, but no excuse for Israeli crimes.

      • Sibiriak
        October 15, 2015, 11:54 pm

        Johneill: Zionism is both a religious and colonial enterprise – or at least uses one in service of the other.

        ———————

        Good point. But there is nothing peculiarly Jewish about that alliance . Western imperialism for centuries was a religious as well as political-economic enterprise–and even contemporary imperialism has a strong religious undercurrent.

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 11:11 am

        Yonah in one paragraph:

        1)”The colonists are Jewish in this case and that is the organizing principle of their identity and colonial enterprise.”

        But, wait for it, here it comes:

        2) “To insist on emphasizing the Jewish aspect seems extraneous (or perverse),”

        And we are owed this little favor, of very nicely leaving “the organizing principle of their identity and colonial enterprise” out of the discussion ‘because why’?
        Because you suddenly figured out what an incredibly stupid thing that was to do? So everybody should just stop talking about it? I don’t think that will happen. You got any way to stop it? From “emphasizing the Jewish aspect”?
        Judaism can only be used as an explanation or an excuse, or a reason, but never any other way? When we slapped Judaism down on the Zionist table and said “Use it, to get what we want” didn’t you know there’s a price for that?

        It was, “Yonah” also very easily anticipated that if we made Judaism-Zionism”the organizing principle of their identity and colonial enterprise” people would notice.

        And that you are complaining about Bret Stephen’s “colonial racism’ is sorta weird. Isn’t he squarely on your side?

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 11:16 am

        “The concept of Jewish racism makes little sense.”

        I see. So what kind of racism ‘makes sense’? If you would give me an example of a racism which ‘makes sense’ maybe I will understand why “the concept of Jewish racism makes little sense”

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 11:33 am

        “Just like white feminism, white racism encompasses a wide framework of history, culture and identity politics, not just skin colour. “

        Well, aren’t you clever! ” Just like white feminism, white racism…”

        Sure, feminism is just like racism.

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 11:46 am

        “The concept of Jewish racism makes little sense. There are Jews from every colour of the human race spectrum, pitch black to bluish white.”

        Funny, they don’t look bluish. Okay, I get it, Israel is a color-blind society, as long as you are Jewish? You bet it is! No discrimination against Jews. Nobody wants to see Tribal Unity upset.

      • Kris
        October 16, 2015, 12:48 pm

        Racism:

        the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

        Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

        Isn’t this exactly what Jewish Zionism is about? “Jewish” supremacy?

        Of course, no one knows what “Jewish” actually means at any given time, since it may or may not mean any or all of the following: belief in and adherence to the religion called Judaism; familial descent from an ancient biblical tribe; observance of certain cultural practices.

      • a4tech
        October 16, 2015, 1:25 pm

        The key operative word here is “white” Mooser. This is an invented identity crafted to fulfill a political role by the ruling class who just happen to have white skin in Western Europe as a desperate attempt to counter the influence of Moors and Arabs of southern Europe, and Turks and Persians of the east. These opportunists also found the identity to be extremely convenient later on when they would go on pillaging foreign lands for wealth and power they never fathomed to be possible. So they would go on and work tirelessly on a continental scale to create an identity out of thin air as means to access the said wealth and power.

        By tying the political agency of an individual solely on his physical appearance,a “white” person was invented. In doing so, racism is naturally fermented within the populace as anyone who has a different physical appearance no matter how beneficial they are to society will be seen immediately as an outgroup due to the perception that they cannot possibly share the same political trajectory as the “white” populace.

        As generation passes, these perceptions build and solidify into culture and societal practices and forms a positive-feedback loop that steadily increases animosity between the “white” populace and any outgroup that falls outside it. After several generations, the hate and hostility of outgroups will be seen as natural as drinking after a hard day’s work or getting married and having kids.

        Some Nazi official said (and I’m paraphrasing), “You could tell a lie as big as you want but you can only maintain the lie so long as the people who you are lying to are divorced from the consequences of your lies.”

        Which is pretty obvious statement to make. The “white” people is a big lie, and the lie has been peddled without much resistance for over 500 years. But now the lie is starting to unravel quickly as people are experiencing the consequence of their past history, culture and actions.

      • a4tech
        October 16, 2015, 1:56 pm

        Kris said :

        “Isn’t this exactly what Jewish Zionism is about? “Jewish” supremacy? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/stephens-hate-speech#comment-155397

        So what? There are supremacist and bigots of every kind and creed. Not everyone though can be racist, because if that was the case the word would have no meaning at all.

        A white supremacist in Zimbabwe is a no more than a proud farmer clinging to his heritage, the American counterpart is a far more sinister and insidious. The power afforded to the American white supremacist allows him/her to oppress entire races of people across multiple generations affecting millions of lives. Something he/she has taken to task with the utmost glee and enthusiasm for the past 500 years.

        Apply the same reasoning to the Zionist supremacists.

      • YoniFalic
        October 16, 2015, 2:26 pm

        British, French and Czarist imperialists often expressed appearance-based racism rooted in colonial rule over non-European populations. Whiteness offered no immunity to this racism. N.African, ME, Caucus, and Central Asian Turkic peoples could be subject to this racism even if white by race. Such racism is not exactly the same as US color racism, which is rooted mostly in slavery.

        In Central and Eastern Europe racism was mostly based in ethnic supremacy. Sometimes this racism is called volkisch/völkisch. Völkisch Jewish racists were not always Zionists. E. European Jews have a long history of claiming superiority to Slavs and Romanians.

        Sometimes nobles in Slavic or Romanian areas also claimed origin superior to local (peasant) Slavs and Romanians. Many Russian nobles claimed Germanic or Scandinavian origin. Many Polish nobles were of Germanic origin, and others adopted the ideology of Sarmatism (belief in descent from Sarmatians — Hassidic dress is based on Sarmatism). Jews in Israel express a combination of volkisch and colonialist appearance racism.

      • echinococcus
        October 16, 2015, 4:19 pm

        The essential, deeply hostile expression of nationalist (völkisch-) racism is tribal solidarity.

      • RoHa
        October 16, 2015, 7:20 pm

        “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

        “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

        “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  9. Another Dave
    October 14, 2015, 2:28 pm

    “We understand {the power of hatred} especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak.”

    Did Stephens really write that? I don’t understand why the strong would hate the weak, not really. Why would a strong person bother to hate a weak person?

    Or did he mean to say that we can justify it when a bully attacks?

    • tree
      October 15, 2015, 7:17 pm

      “We understand {the power of hatred} especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak.”

      Did Stephens really write that?

      Yes, and for two reasons that I see. Number one, it gives him an excuse to mention the Holocaust. Number two, he’s blaming the weak(Palestinians) for being trampled by the strong (Israeli Jews). Its his way of expressing his feelings of Jewish moral supremacy.

  10. Ossinev
    October 14, 2015, 2:31 pm

    I can`t believe what this creature has actually said.” Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time.” Inter alia. As opposed to Israelis burning Palestinians to death one at a time ?
    He and his ilk must truly live in a Ziovacuumed world which does not permit any reflection discussion or perspective before they spew out such racism.
    What a revolting t..d.

  11. oldgeezer
    October 14, 2015, 2:39 pm

    Typical racist drivel from a neocon/zionist. Painting Palestinians as somehow less human and deserving. No recognition of their issues or the causes so the conflict.

    Proagandist, racist., indoctrinated? All of the foregoing?

  12. rensanceman
    October 14, 2015, 2:43 pm

    Whenever I want to rekindle my passion for achieving social justice for the Palestinians, I first go the WSJ editorial page which contain editorials and Zionist polemics that normally does the job. Coffee is not needed. B. Stephens is Zionism personified offering distorted claims, breath-taking lies, and, in this article, exposing the real nature of Zionist racism. Also, on Zakaria’s CNN program “GPS” last Sunday, he was on a panel to discuss the Syrian situation, and was joined by three other Zionist buddies. CNN is not a reliable news outlet if one desires an accurate depiction of the state of affairs in Israel’s neighborhood.

  13. lysias
    October 14, 2015, 3:28 pm

    Nitpick on the headline: should be “Stephens’s”, not “Stephen’s”.

  14. David Doppler
    October 14, 2015, 3:28 pm

    Great blog and great comments. They take me back to Phil’s historical review of Lincoln, the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. As was true then, we have a social culture within which a well-established world-view incorporating some great sin against humanity is taken for granted. People like Stephens didn’t think of themselves as evil liars when they started out; quite the contrary, they viewed themselves as part of the elite in an historically important time, achieving greatness through their collective efforts, while the victims, however unfortunate their plight, were not important, themselves to blame for their obvious flaws and inferiority.

    As the evidence mounts, the social culture supporting the establishment begins to erode, first via exceptional, even radical moralists, who evoke angry opposition from the establishment, then from a broader array of liberal thinkers, including tenured academics not afraid to follow truth wherever it will lead.

    It’s a gradual process, but someday the heroes in their own stories of success and enlightenment wake up to the incongruent dissonance that follows from realizing your whole life and way of life are failing because of their own deep flaws. After the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, as Grant pressed relentlessly across Virginia on the path that led to Appomattox, he noted in his memoirs, he was aware that a growing number of Confederate forces, fleeing down familiar roads, chose to desert, to head for home, rather than slogging onward to the certainty of a final defeat.

    The same is true today. Trump’s recent tweet belittling Rubio as Adelson’s perfect little pet dog is like a harbinger of the fall of Petersburg. The Republican Party is Likud’s last redoubt in its battle for America, and its front-runner is mocking its heavy-handed lever-pullers, as well as their toadies. Daily, we will see hasbara’s lieutenants giving up in quiet despair, their former sense of passionate self-righteousness reduced to shell-shock amid the carnage, and anger at the incompetence of their leaders, as they retreat to their security blankets, wherever they are, their Taras, abandoning their visions of grandeur to more of a basic survival mode.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      October 14, 2015, 4:33 pm

      Just in case you didn’t know. Union General Grant owned slaves, during the war. Lee did not. The Civil War was not fought over slavery. Did it influence secession, yes, but Lincoln did not invade the South to free one slave.

      • David Doppler
        October 14, 2015, 5:39 pm

        That is totally false, Atlantaiconoclast. Grant never owned slaves, and was working for wages in a general store in Illinois when the war broke out, while Lee was widely known by the childhood nickname “Mars Robert” given him by the slaves who raised him at his family’s plantation Arlington.

        As to Lincoln’s motive to free the slaves, his statements on it evolved: compare his first Inaugural Address to his second. In the first he denied any intention to abolish slavery. In his second, having abolished slavery twice, first by executive order, then via the 13th Amendment, he justified every dollar spent and every drop of blood shed in the war as atonement, necessary to redeem the soul of America for the sin of slavery.

      • Bumblebye
        October 14, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Uh-huh. So who misled my greatgrandfather into giving up position and title to become an officer in the Union Army then? His own grandfather had been a plantation owner in the Caribbean (neither of them Brit, btw). What other reason could he have had?

      • Another Dave
        October 14, 2015, 7:32 pm

        Lincoln was rather clear about why he fought the South. The South was also clear about fighting for slavery, they called it “State’s rights”.

    • JWalters
      October 14, 2015, 6:27 pm

      Thanks for the excellent parallel with the Civil War. Today we need an Abolitionist Movement to abolish Zionism. The human race cannot progress while tolerating such archaic, ethnic supremacist worldviews.

      • CigarGod
        October 15, 2015, 2:54 am

        Excellent.
        Zionism Abolitionist.

      • Mooser
        October 16, 2015, 11:21 am

        I don’t know, CigarGod, if that is a good idea. I mean, if it’s called “Abolitionist” isn’t that like just discarding a lot of potential support from the American Southern states?

  15. Kay24
    October 14, 2015, 4:32 pm

    This must be disturbing for the zionists because these attacks are not organized by any group but supposedly individuals with no link to other incidents. I cannot blame these young people, they are now fed up of their suffering and no end in sight. They have no faith in their leaders who have let them down, and are acting out their anger.

    The zionists are reaping what they sow. If this situation was reversed, you can bet the reactions from them, especially the vicious settlers, would be far, far, worse.

    I notice the zionists dismiss the killings of Palestinian kids by calling them all “terrorists”.
    It must be easy to kill kids who may be innocent, and justify it by calling the victim a “terrorist”.
    The zios are such liars no one will know the truth.

    Meanwhile in the Arab nations, they sit in their air conditioned palaces, and try to make lucrative deals with the rest of the world pretending the present violence is not happening. Pathetic.

  16. Atlantaiconoclast
    October 14, 2015, 4:34 pm

    I just watched a segment on CNN about the violence in Israel right now. I don’t know why, but I am still shocked that the anchor and the on the scene journalist never once mentioned the 30 Palestinians who have been killed by Israel over the last month. Jewish lives matter, always, Palestinian lives, not so much.

    • Kay24
      October 14, 2015, 4:46 pm

      I noticed that too even on MSNBC where Ayman Moheyedin is reporting from Jerusalem.

      Never a mention about the death toll of the Palestinians, nor the fact that some of those killed were kids. This is unfair and biased coverage of this situation, but then it has always been this way. The nazios have always controlled our media, and we know it.

      • JWalters
        October 14, 2015, 6:34 pm

        I have a feeling that Ayman Moheyedin and many of his co-workers are awaiting the time when they will be freed to tell the simple truth about Israel.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        October 15, 2015, 5:08 am

        In fairness, Ayman left Al Jazeera – where he was (relatively) free to tell the truth on Palestine, in order to take up a presumably more lucrative job for a US network, where he is not so free. So it’s pretty much his own choice to be muzzled.

      • Kay24
        October 15, 2015, 6:14 am

        Good morning all. I just listened to Ayman M. and he was more descriptive in his report, and mentioned that the Palestinians have lost 30 of their own, and that a kid was left to bleed to death by the brutes of Israel. At least his reporting was realistic calling it a cycle of violence, and (gasp) mentioned the world “occupation”. Now that is honest reporting.

        Al Jazeera America is the only news source that mentions the O word.

      • Boomer
        October 15, 2015, 6:18 am

        Maximus, re “In fairness, Ayman left Al Jazeera – where he was (relatively) free to tell the truth on Palestine, in order to take up a presumably more lucrative job for a US network, where he is not so free. So it’s pretty much his own choice to be muzzled.”

        I think the concern expressed is more about choice for the audience in the U.S. If we want the truth, we can look for it in places like this, but only if we are aware of the omission that needs to corrected, and if we know where to look. Most don’t.

        What’s more, for most people, the hints and bits of reality that make it through the filter are discounted. “Like seeds on stony soil,” one might say. The power of elite consensus on any topic molds social reality. Writing in another context, Bernardo Kastrup observes:

        “Social validation is often crucial to our ability to truly hold onto a belief system, both consciously and ‘sub-consciously’.”

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        October 15, 2015, 2:36 pm

        I agree. My point is just that while I admire Moheydin, he did make a free choice to work for a network where he must have known he’d be severely censored in his coverage of Palestine, and the Middle East in general. He does as well as he can under the circumstances, but they are circumstances of his own choosing. If he wanted to be more or less free to tell the truth on Palestine, he could have stayed with Al Jazeera. But that wouldn’t have paid as much or given him so high a profile.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      October 14, 2015, 5:27 pm

      “I just watched a segment on CNN about the violence in Israel right now. ”

      Not to be pedantic, but there is actually very little violence in ”Israel” right now, though you’d never think it to read the New York Times, Guardian et al. The vast majority of the ‘violence’ is taking place in Occupied Palestine, particularly Jerusalem, which no nation on earth – including the US – considers to be a part of ”Israel”.

    • JWalters
      October 14, 2015, 6:31 pm

      These gargantuan lies of omission are ordered by the controlling owners in the financial sector. Not even a half-dead, half-blind reporter today could miss the mountain range of facts being “overlooked”.

    • diasp0ra
      October 15, 2015, 9:15 am

      @Maximus

      You’d be surprised. Al-Jazeera has lost a lot of its viewership due to it actively taking sides in everything according to Qatari political agenda.

      It supported the MB in Egypt, showing a skewed, unrealistic image and manipulating people.

      It did the exact same in Palestine with its coverage of the Fateh/Hamas split, covering it incredibly lopsidedly and glossing over Hamas’ crimes while exaggerating Fateh’s crimes. Don’t take this as me siding with Fateh or Hamas, they are both terrible in my eyes.

      But Aljazeera has become very politicized and is pushing forward a clear Qatari agenda. For those of you familiar with the Qatari agenda, it is incredibly damaging to any real change or freedom in the Middle East.

      This is the Arabic Al-Jazeera btw, I don’t know anything about the US counterpart.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        October 15, 2015, 2:42 pm

        I agree with you there: When it comes down to it, Al Jazeera is basically a tool of the Qatari Emir, however much it likes to pretend otherwise.

        Even so, Al Jazeera English (as opposed toAJ America) is still WAY superior to any other English language channel when it comes to coverage of Palestine. It’s not afraid of mentioning the ‘o’ word, it doesn’t set the clock ticking when precious Israelis are killed and it doesn’t rely exclusively on Israeli sources, like most of the mainstream media do. So while I definitely have my criticisms of AJ, its coverage of Palestine is still relatively decent.

  17. inbound39
    October 14, 2015, 4:59 pm

    Stephens neurotic and psychotic ramblings to nothing more than telegraph to the people of the World that he walks around with his eyes wide shut. Does he not know an Ocuupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people has been in place for more than seven decades? Does he not know that unarmed Palestinians are gunned down daily in cold blood by IDF? Doe he not know that terrorist settlers regularly attack Palestinians run down school children with their cars and set fire to or chop down their olive trees? Did he know that these same Israeli terrorists set fire to houses and burn Palestinians alive and beat sixteen year old kids to a pulp and then burn them? Or what about the Israeli police who shoot thirteen year old Palestinians and leave them seriously wounded without medical assistance and instead abuse and kick them in the head several times? Are these the animals Mr Stephens supports? Are these the bottom feeders he wants us to get behind? I and many others will gladly get behind them alright…..I ‘d happily kick them up the rear into the dirt and treat these supremacist Israeli’s with all the disdain I could muster. Palestinian Liberation cannot come soon enough and hopefully Netanyahu can look forward to swinging like Saddam did.

    • JWalters
      October 14, 2015, 6:36 pm

      Well put.

    • Kay24
      October 15, 2015, 8:36 am

      He knows all that, but pretends it is not happening when he poisons the minds of Americans.
      He, like others in the zionist media, are deluding the public thinking they are doing it for Eretz Yisrael, falling on the sword and all that. So to hell with the facts and the truth.

  18. Elliot
    October 14, 2015, 9:24 pm

    A close friend of mine worked for Bret Stephens when he was parachuted in to run the Jerusalem Post. My friend does not care about politics. He told me at the time that Stephens was a jerk in his personal dealings. No surprise here.

  19. kalithea
    October 14, 2015, 10:20 pm

    So on the Hillary thread I wrote that intelligent Zionist is an oxymoron and I believe this because Zionism tends to dumb down an individual’s IQ and everything learned, all knowledge that’s acquired through an education meant to expand the mind beyond narrow bias goes out the window.

    So this Stephens guy, who I was thoroughly disappointed to learn has a Pulitzer and who often appears on Zakaria’s program on CNN; although I have to say that Zakaria tends to flaunt his intellectualism a little too much, and part of the way he does so is by relying on types like this guy Stephens who has a Pulitzer to show off that adds fake prestige to Zakaria’s table. Personally, I wouldn’t brag about hobnobbing with a Zionist and neocon that Stephens no doubt is and proves he is with his usual hubris bereft of all insight and visionary perception and excluding reality and impartial thought process.

    So anyway, this Stephens guy or his parents, threw a lot of money away on his education i.e. expanding his mind, only to have it sucked back out by Zionist and Neocon ideologies and he’s proving what a waste of time it all was with his comments quoted here. There’s absolutely no insight or the kind of expansive thought process that a higher education should awaken. Instead he throws up vile insinuations, biased platitudes and the usual Zionist propaganda doused in predictable Zionist arrogance and exposes the supremacist side of Zionism with comments like Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy. This comment betrays only his own hateful, narrow mind and not the shortcomings he wants to pin on the object of his hate and it is tantamount to Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.

    Again, Supremacist platitudes devoid of empathy and insight into deep human suffering is all that Zionism inspires.

  20. Talkback
    October 15, 2015, 8:23 am

    Bret Stephen is not the only Jew who seems to have learned a lot from antisemitic hate speech.

  21. Sulphurdunn
    October 15, 2015, 8:52 am

    Just count the number of digits in their salaries.

  22. blue
    October 15, 2015, 3:54 pm

    Good article, but can someone please explain why we are calling the Israeli response of shooting the Palestinian fighters “extra-judicial and cold-blooded”? It’s their job to defend their citizens and it well within the rights of any police officer or soldier to use lethal force if there is a life-threatening danger, which is certainly the case where random people are getting stabbed. Even beyond this judicial aspect, I don’t understand how they could be considered “cold-blooded” if they are acting in response to ongoing attacks.

    • Annie Robbins
      October 15, 2015, 4:25 pm

      definition of extra-judicial: “not made in court; out-of-court”

      I don’t understand how they could be considered “cold-blooded” if they are acting in response to ongoing attacks.

      so in your mind if a palestinian kills “in response to ongoing attacks” it could not be deemed “cold blooded”?

      for example, assuming the execution of 19 yr old Hadeel al-Hashlamun motivated the subsequent attack that killed a settler soldier and his settler wife in their car in the West Bank would not be considered cold blooded?

      • blue
        October 15, 2015, 6:50 pm

        Re extrajudicial: That’s a very specific definition. Here are a few others with sources:

        Oxford: Outside the ordinary course of law or justice; not legally authorized; unwarranted.
        Merriam Webster: not forming a valid part of regular legal proceedings, delivered without legal authority, done in contravention of due process of law
        Dictionary.com: beyond, outside, or against the usual procedure of justice; legally unwarranted:

        Security officers are given the power to make these decisions from their governments and the courts. Any court in the world would uphold the officer’s decisions to shoot, and it would therefore be considered to have legal authorization/within the usual procedure of justice.

        Re cold-blooded: To me a “cold-blooded” murder is when a person kills another with no reason to kill that specific person. In the case of al-Hashlamun, I suppose there was some reason to target this person as an attack against settlers, but those specific people were not involved in al-Hashlamun’s murder. I’m not sure; I think it’s a different kind of case.

        In the case of Israeli officers shooting at an attacker, there is a clear and legitimate reason for them to target that specific person. It’s not arbitrary or random. In that sense I don’t think it should be considered “cold-blooded”.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 15, 2015, 7:32 pm

        Security officers are given the power to make these decisions from their governments and the courts.

        hmm, not that i know of. Security officers are supposed to follow established policies.

        In the case of al-Hashlamun, I suppose there was some reason to target this person as an attack against settlers

        she posed no threat.

        In the case of Israeli officers shooting at an attacker, there is a clear and legitimate reason for them to target that specific person.

        unless there clearly isn’t. unless you consider screaming civilians demanding police shoot a person otherwise easily apprehended a legitimate reason to execute someone. jewish terrorists don’t get gunned down in the street by police, palestinians do. what planet are you on deciding “there is a clear and legitimate reason ” for israeli police to kill a suspect. nothing. time and again they kill with impunity.

      • oldgeezer
        October 15, 2015, 8:00 pm

        @blue

        Regerencing your own sources, it is done outside the normal legal process and it is done on an extremely arbitrary basis.

        As each case is unique I wont speculate on the potential verdicts but Israel does not have a properly functioning legal sysyem anymore. It has been perverted and corrupted by the same racism as it’s society has.

    • Mooser
      October 15, 2015, 6:15 pm

      “It’s their job to defend their citizens….”

      No, Israel is guilty of an on-going illegal occupation of Jerusalem, The only “right” Israel has in Jerusalem is the right to leave, or in any case, to not interfere with or take anything from the population.
      Unless I am very wrong Jerusalem was not part of Israel when it was founded. Can you tell me when it became part of Israel?

      • blue
        October 15, 2015, 6:52 pm

        I’m not talking about the responsibilities of Israel’s national government or higher up officers. I’m talking about the responsibilities of individual soldiers and police officers.

      • Annie Robbins
        October 15, 2015, 7:22 pm

        I’m not talking about the responsibilities of Israel’s national government or higher up officers.

        why? this oppression is systematic and institutionalized. look at the video here: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/department-statement-suggesting

        the incitement comes from the top.

  23. MichaelSmith
    October 15, 2015, 4:54 pm

    Bret Stephens was born to US parents in Mexico. Much in his attitude has to do with the hostility he felt growing up to Mexico — which he regarded as primitive and hostile to Jews. He’s said there was friction between his family and their neighbors (though he’s also stated that his parents were secular and not known by their neighbors to be Jewish).

    That tension gave him something of a chip on his shoulder. Stephens claims to have outgrown those feelings of animosity towards the gentile world when he came to the US and learned more about Judaism –“It was a revelation to me that you could be a sincere Christian and not be a peasant” — but many people will doubtless detect traces of his earlier condescension in his writing.

    • lysias
      October 15, 2015, 5:18 pm

      Hard to believe that the only sincere Christians in Mexico — especially in Mexico City, which is where Stephens and his family lived — are peasants.

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