Just Don’t Touch their Symbol: Ben-Dror Yemini tackles the al Durah affair in the pages of Maariv

Just Don’t Touch their Symbol

(Article by Ben-Dror Yemini, Ma’ariv, 20.6.08, Weekend Supplement, pp. 18-19)
En français au site de l’UPJF.

Everyone remembers the death of Muhammad Al-Dura. France 2 accused the IDF; the Israeli media went along. One Frenchman dared to doubt and began a kulturkampf; the Israeli media was silent. It has now become clear that he was right. Israel is still silent.

The Muhammad Al-Dura affair refuses to die. In Israel, it is mainly the first part that is recognized. In France, in recent weeks, there are those who are already calling it a new Dreyfus Affair.

The beginning is well-known. The pictures that were broadcast seven and a half years ago shocked public opinion in the country and around the world. They saw a father and boy hiding behind a barrel. They shout for their lives as the bullets strike them. The father tries to protect his son. Unsuccessfully. Tal Abu-Rahma, the France 2 cameramen, delivered the material to the network’s well known and veteran Jerusalem correspondent, Charles Enderlin. From the raw material, the latter filtered less than 60 seconds of harsh and horrifying footage, and added commentary that cast the responsibility on IDF soldiers. Within a few days, this item became the harshest propaganda ever against the State of Israel. Whoever tried to cast doubts then was considered a heretic. After all, there was photographic evidence and there is nothing higher.

Muhammad Al-Dura became a symbol. Public squares have been named after him. Stamps have been issued in his honor. The Palestinian poet Muhammad Darwish dedicated a poem to him. His pictures became much better known than that of the Jewish boy raising his hands opposite a Nazi soldier. Already, one can no longer count the number of times Al-Dura has been cited in articles written against Israel around the world. And not just against Israel. For some of the writers, well-known authors, Nobel laureates, Israel became a Nazi, child-murdering country. This did not happen solely due to Muhammad Al-Dura’s 60 seconds. But the weight of that short clip was very high. This was biting, ultimate evidence of Israel’s murderous character.

But there were a few among us, and around the world as well, who thought that something was amiss in those 58 seconds that became a global sensation. Among those was Israeli physicist Nahum Shahaf, who was a member of the committee of inquiry that was appointed shortly afterwards. There was also Esther Schapira from German television, who came to curse because she was convinced that the IDF had killed the boy, but it became clear to her that France 2′s version had more holes in it than Swiss cheese. There was also Luc Rosenzweig, a respected French journalist, formerly of Le Monde, who had prepared his own investigation. His editor did not believe what he saw. They went together, along with another journalist, to the heads of France 2 in order to view all of the footage that was filmed that bitter and hasty day. They saw and were surprised. Their doubts only grew. The investigation was published in L’Express.

Among Charles Enderlin’s and France 2′s most outspoken critics was Philippe Karsenty, a young and successful Jew, who set up a media criticism internet site (“Media-Ratings”). Karsenty claimed that Enderlin had lied and that he and the channel had to draw conclusions.

France 2 is not just another television station. It is a superpower. It is a flagship and establishment channel in one. The channel and Enderlin sued Karsenty for libel. Karsenty demanded one thing: Show the full film that was shot of the event. The court refused. Karsenty lost and was convicted of libel. He did not give up.

In the appeals court, Karsenty reiterated his demand. This time his demand was met. It was a turning point. The full film, to all those who have seen it, leaves no room for doubt. The verdict was handed down four weeks ago on May 22. It was determined that Karsenty is not guilty of libel. The verdict analyzes the item that was broadcast, the full film, the evidence, the contradictions. The conclusion is unequivocal. The plaintiffs, Enderlin and France 2, come out not well at all.

The verdict did not cause many reverberations. In France, there was scant mention. In Israel, the affair came up against the Olmert affair and the talks with Syria, so that the story received very little coverage. What could have been a great achievement for Israel was about to go out with nary a whisper. But this is not what happened.

Before we continue, it would be worthwhile to recall the Israeli side. Articles appeared in Israel that were critical of Karsenty. What does it matter who killed him, wrote Arad Nir on Ynet. Gideon Levy went further and wrote that it did not matter since it is known that Israel kills children. It is certainly known. There is an old hobby to this effect. Jews. Children. It is a matter of history. Even journalist and historian Tom Segev mocked the inquiry of German journalist Esther Shapiro, who prepared a report for German television. It was not really proper on her part to exonerate the IDF soldiers of blame for the killing. She is not serious.

A series of prominent Israeli journalists were recruited not only to enshrine the libel that it was Israeli soldiers who killed or murdered Al-Dura. They were against the very idea of an inquiry. After all, they are energetic journalists. They had vigorous conclusions. Why confuse them with facts?

Let us return to France. Just as the affair was due to expire, Enderlin’s supporters decided to organize a petition of support for him. True, Enderlin said that the full footage included harsh segments of Al-Dura dying and it became clear that this was a lie. True, the verdict is unequivocal regarding the lack of credibility of those who were involved in broadcasting the doubtful segment. True, that Enderlin himself was nowhere near the scene when the events took place. But Enderlin’s friends, or those who believe that their enlightened state finds expression in besmirching Israel, lined up alongside one of their own. After all, he belongs to ‘the vanguard.’

The initiative for the petition came from Le Nouvel Observateur, an important and prestigious weekly, founded by Jean Daniel. His daughter is Sarah Daniel, a journalist in her own right. We will return to her. Nobody among the signatories is familiar with the affair. But all of the signatories, without exception, are identified, to one degree or another, with the anti-Israeli line. Most, like Daniel and his daughter, are Jews. And this is strange because Daniel himself, as a leftist, has criticized the French media in the past for exaggerated hostility towards Israel. It is interesting when he will write the article against himself.

Among the signatories are Hubert Védrine, former French Foreign Minister, and Theo Klein, former president of CRIF, the French Jewish umbrella organization. The petitioners also succeeded in recruiting an Israeli supporting player, who is only a millimeter away from comparing Israel to the Nazis. He is Avraham Burg, the former Speaker of the Knesset.

What is strange is that the petition is not only a defense of Enderlin’s impugned integrity. The petition, in a precise manner, supports the first version, on Israel’s guilt: “Seven years. For seven years a despicable campaign of hate has been trying to stain the professional honor of Charles Enderlin. For seven years, there have been those who have tried to present as ‘fabricated’ and as a ‘staged scene’ his report that shows how a twelve-year-old boy was killed by shots fired from an Israeli position.” Yes, that is their one-sided conclusion despite the court’s verdict. Like the anti-Dreyfusards, who also stubbornly clung to the first version.

The signatories are correct about one thing. For seven years, in their words, “A despicable campaign of hate has been conducted”. But the campaign has been waged against Israel, not against Enderlin. The many and the prominent were on Enderlin’s side. The few and the negligible came out against him. The French system of justice, after entering into details, after viewing the entire footage, after having heard expert testimony, after uncovering the lies, arrived at a sound verdict. It was a victory of David vs. Goliath. One stubborn, unknown young man forced the large network and the celebrity journalist to reveal the truth. The libel was refuted. The verdict leaves no room for doubts.

So how exactly did the signatories reach the conclusion, which has already been refuted in court? As usual, hostility against Israel forced the hand. It is possible to assume that none of the signatories were well versed in the details. But they all share one thing in common: They all belong to the same loathsome and fashionable anti-Zionist stream, in France as well as in Israel. Not all are on the same level of hostility. But they are all in the same direction.

Among the signatories, as we have mentioned, another name pops up, unknown to most Israelis: The journalist Sarah Daniel. In November 2001, this same Sarah Daniel wrote about Muslim girls murdered for reasons of family honor. Except that she added one paragraph: “Palestinian women raped by Israeli soldiers are systematically murdered by their own families. The rape, in practice, is a war crime, because the Israeli soldiers act in full awareness of the consequence of their deed”.

From where did Daniel take this fabrication? That is it. From nowhere. In fact, this is another libel disseminated in very marginal circles. And where was it published? In Le Nouvel Observateur, the journal of her father, Jean Daniel. The same paper and the same people who just sponsored the petition for Enderlin.

The petition took flight. In the last two weeks, it has become the focus of conflict between opposing camps in France. The defensive text of the signatories, against journalists in service of the truth, recalls the text of the anti-Dreyfusards, against officers working in the service of the state. One must not criticize them. The truth is theirs. Harming them is harming the holiest of holies. Then they were anti-Semites. Today they are anti-Israelis.

In the wake of the petition, a courageous and important verdict, that almost foundered in deep water, received a new lease on life. The debate on the petition put the Al-Dura affair back on center stage, in France, not in Israel. The historian, Professor Richard Landes from Boston, who followed the affair and even testified himself, wrote a comprehensive and very un-complimentary article about the signatories. Landes is the one who coined the phrase “Pallywood”, about the media of Arab and Palestinian propaganda. He also investigated the Al-Dura affair in depth. He came to Karsenty’s side.

The argument also spread to France’s leading newspapers. Professor Eli Bar-Navi, former [Israeli] Ambassador to France, wrote a scathing article against the signatories. “Since Deir Yassin,” he wrote “there has not been an affair which has caused so much damage to Israel.” Afterwards, additional articles appeared, most in the same vein. An editorial appeared in Le Figaro this week asking the signatories whether media personnel are beyond criticism. Also the big guns, like philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, expressed serious doubts about the petition, and the CRIF has already announced that it has joined the appeal for a commission of inquiry into the entire affair.

Enderlin’s supporters are trying to paint him as the new Dreyfus. Poor guy. It is a little hard for him on Devil’s Island. He made a nice little career for himself out of the Muhammad Al-Dura story. Now the achievement has become a stain. Enderlin is not an Israel-hater. He is no different than most of the foreign journalists in Israel, and he is even an Israeli citizen. He is part of the herd. A herd which is also well-represented in the Israeli media.

And where is Israel? It does not exist. It is the Dreyfus in this affair, but a strange Dreyfus. A Dreyfus who has had a libel stuck to it, but who remains nonchalant. Others fight for it. Official Israel has never bothered to thank Karsenty, or others who have fought to dispel the libel. Regarding assistance, there is nothing to even discuss; on the contrary. Unofficial Israel was on Enderlin’s side. Most of the articles, mind you, were against Karsenty and for Enderlin.

Justice came to light, in France, not in Israel. This is not by chance. If the trial had been held in Israel, there is concern, only concern, that the result would have been different. Freedom of speech is indeed a supreme value but on one condition: That it is found in the hands of very specific people. But that is the subject of a different article.

37 Responses to Just Don’t Touch their Symbol: Ben-Dror Yemini tackles the al Durah affair in the pages of Maariv

  1. Arius says:

    Thank you for publishing the article. I first detected how the western media operates in the 1990′s when researching the fighting in Yugoslavia. One example among hundreds is the photos produced by ITN (the British TV news giant) from footage shot in a refugee center in the town of Trnopolje. While ITN was shooting another film crew happened to film ITN, and their film shows that the ITN reports broadcast in the UK that Trnopolje was a prisoner camp was a deliberate hoax.

    is this footage available? i’m often asked about non-Arab-Israeli examples of this kind of coverage.

    Azerbaijan tried to use CNN to pull the same stunt on the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. In this case it didn’t work because the Armenians stopped it in its early stages. Actually the Armenians threatened CNN with physical violence, a little known fact.

    again, do you have some references?

    This is why Islamic violence in Europe works against anyone that speaks ill of Islam. The western media is staffed by little people that are cowards that know it’s safe and makes money to take a cheap shot against a western interest vs publishing the truth about Islam.

    Israel is now the convenient bad guy, like the Serbs in the Balkans. The Jewish Left had better wake up from their soporific stupor. Israel will soon be fighting for its life.

    it already is. -rl

  2. Aviv says:

    Good translation, btw

    t’was done by the Govt Press Office by that subversive Danny Seaman.

  3. Sophia says:

    How much of the defense of Enderlin has to do with simple friendship and respect? And how much of his error has to do with friendship and respect for his photographer, as well as shock and outrage at the course of the Intifada?

    There is so much guilt – guilt that Jews should be bearing arms at all – we’re ready to assume the mantle of wanton destroyer because even to pick up a gun is unsettling for so many of us. One principled antizionist position argues that the moral dilemmas confronting the defense of a state, including the conduct of wars and police actions, contradict higher Jewish moral codes – even the basic principles of Torah – THOU SHALT NOT KILL – the voice of Ha Shem resonates through the ages.

    This argument is not so easy to deflect as more spurious antisemitic or racist claims against the Jewish state or even the universalist argument against the existence of a “Jewish people”. The universalist argument works toward one world, one global people; thus any particularism in an affront to that scheme. One can argue rationally against this.

    But how do we argue with G*d?

    I submit, many Jews, including many Israelis, maybe not even consciously religious, assume guilt that isn’t even theirs because the incredible moral conflicts involved in self-defense, let alone in war, can so outrage the soul.

    There’s another possibility – one that threatens whales – perhaps they are simply so depressed after their endless battle for survival, their war against man, that they no longer wish to live. That is maybe even more disturbing. It means that many Jews would rather die as a people, or would rather kill their own state, than fight for life.

    ?

  4. giora says:

    Yemini wrote Verdin . He cannot change it but you can.
    The name of the ex french minister is Hubert Vedrine !
    Everybody should know who signed the “Appel” !

  5. fg, Budapest, Hungary, Central-Europe says:

    2 points, not – 3.

    1. It is – in my opinion – is very-very lucky and favourable that their petition drive and campaign is conducted in French. Though they have an (undue)influence in their home state, their impact (Le Nouvel Observateur here, Le Nouvel Observateure there) INTERNATIONALLY is – Thanks God – may not be overwhelming. They might shout and cry what they want, but they do it in French, which is still not the same as if it was conducted in English. Finally, that it is stuffef with some high-profile Anti-Israeli (racist in my view) figures, just diminishes their credibility.

    2. As far as I know, the former socialist FM is called Vedrin, not Vardin, but this is really insignificant. Just some semantical error…

    3. I hope that Mr Landes’s second “right of reply” will be given the go-ahead by The Jerusalem Post paper in reply to Larry Derfner’s article in which he attacked him personally, again. I obsessively watch the paper every single day and simply can’t wait for the rebuttal-piece to appear. Will it or will it not Professor Landes? Please do your utmost to make sure…

    they’re reviewing it now, it’s a question of whether they give me the same space as they did Derfner — two full pages! in any case the full piece will be up here.

    Gábor Fränkl

  6. E.G. says:

    Sophia,

    It’s rather THOU SHALT NOT ASSASSINATE.

  7. Eliyahu says:

    Sophia, there are who oppose particularism in general, but not Arab particularism in particular. They go so far as to welcome a new particularism, one that never existed in history before 1948, the “palestinian people.”

    EG, in English, we should say: Thou shalt not murder. אל
    תרצח

    as to the original list of signatories, I don’t think that most of them are Jews. I am not familiar with the added signatories.

    What is curious is that the signatories, almost all “gauchistes” ["leftists"], have taken up –even eagerly– the old European blood tradition, which did not appear in the Arab-Muslim world until the 19th century, particularly in the Damascus Affair of 1840. So the European Gauche ["left"] of today has not gone too far away from some of the uglier parts of their European cultural/religious roots.

  8. Asher Pat says:

    I never commented on this site, god bless you Landes and Karsenty.

    However, both Sophia and E.G are wrong:

    “Lo Tirtzakh” in the ten commandments is translated neither as “though shall not kill” nor “though shall not assasinate”,rather as “though shall not commit murder”, and there is a big difference.

  9. E.G. says:

    TY Eliyahu,

    The differential translation (kill/murder) dawned on me recently. When I realized that Christians meant “any killing is forbidden” and reproached Jews their killing for self-defense on the grounds of one of the 10 commandments, I was troubled. Why, killing is Biblically permitted – under strict conditions (in particular, self defense)!

    This mistranslation is one of the major causes of defeatist, appeasing-at-any-and-all costs attitudes. Worse: using “kill” instead of “murder” helps blurr the difference between Shaheed ops and retaliation/ preventive IDF actions.

  10. oao says:

    even the basic principles of Torah

    at least the muslims die by taking their perceived enemies with them. the jews opt for letting their real enemies kill them. whichever way you look at it, religion is a root problem.

    The universalist argument works toward one world, one global people; thus any particularism in an affront to that scheme.

    sounds like islam to me.

    It means that many Jews would rather die as a people, or would rather kill their own state, than fight for life.

    if everybody wants you to die and makes it impossible for you to defend yourself, at some point you may have no choice.

  11. Barry Meislin says:

    THOU SHALT NOT ASSASSINATE

    How about “Thou shalt not character assassinate”?

    Keeping in mind that slandering Jews and the Jewish State has become the international sport of choice for the past nine or so years.

  12. Sophia says:

    As Eliyahu points out, the fact that so many “universalists” don’t have a problem with arguing on behalf of “the Palestinian people” is one of the biggest holes in their case.

    That’s interesting isn’t it. So go figure.

    And, thanks to all for the clarification of “kill” in terms of Torah. Of course this is also part of modern legal systems. There are degrees even of murder.

    Nevertheless I submit there is a huge moral weight assumed by most idealistic Jews, certainly by Israel; and that’s reflected in the history of the IDF, the idea of restraint in arms.

    It makes failures of this doctrine, even accidental disasters, that much more striking and it’s used again and again in anti-Israel propaganda; ironically, as wel all know, if Israel really were like the Nazis or even most Western states, the propaganda wouldn’t be so effective. For example there’s nothing unusual about the US missing a target and the Brits just used “vacuum bombs”, a particularly lethal weapon, against the Taliban, the Soviets disappeared millions; and terrorists strike anybody and everybody who happens to be in range. Peace movements to the contrary notwithstanding, ideological and even religious justifications support even the bloodiest of these deeds.

    Children are killed in war, many deliberately – as in attacks on Israeli children, the masses of Basij. But the idea that Jews would kill a child – even accidentally – instant abomination. There must be atonement. Did this, consciously or otherwise, drive media coverage of al Dura?

    Is it a particularity of Israel that even accidental deaths in the conduct of a war are fodder for the international press as well as self-loathing? It’s a toxic combination: guilt, the need for atonement, a press hungry for sensation, a public perhaps unconsciously seeking the familiar image of a crucified innocent.

    And – what about the assumption, both on the part of Jews and non-Jews, that Jews should be on a higher plane? Surely this struggle to reach a higher plane is one of the driving motives of civilization. But – isn’t it one thing to try and demand that of ourselves on a spiritual plane, even a communal plane, in the attempt to lead a righteous existence, and something else again though when one isn’t permitted even to try and keep living?

    Gandhi advised the Jews of Europe to go willingly, en masse, to death rather than fight for life in the Middle East. Others say, “The Jews have suffered so much. They should know better than to inflict pain on the Palestinians.”

    Yet, excuses are made when other abused and oppressed people break the law or otherwise fail, or even commit atrocities like terrorism – why are survivors of expulsion, Shoah and war supposed to act like no other oppressed survivors on earth? Not least, we demand it of ourselves – and if we fail, the self-loathing sets in.

    Maybe we have survivors’ guilt too, for not having died in the Holocaust, in the pogroms preceding it, because our grandparents escaped, because we haven’t been destroyed yet in Israel. Otherwise I don’t understand this willingness to assume responsibility for something we didn’t do.

    I think we need to look at this, maybe Richard can shed some light on it.

    It’s a factor among us left wing Jews in particular. We have channeled Thoreau; our inner Gandhi is repelled by violence; there are universalist arguments within Reform Judaism. We defend underdogs on principle. Some us seek mirrors in the Arab world, our Oriental roots a source of nourishment.

    But isn’t it one thing to point out real bigotry among our own, real abuses by the West and by Israel, to “tikkun olam”, and another to internalize the worst of the world’s perceptions of ourselves as a people? One of the original core Jewish arguments against Israel was the argument that we don’t even exist as a people. Does this paradox persist today?

    How else do you explain so much self-hatred, and lack of tolerance even for Israel’s mistakes in war?

  13. Eliyahu says:

    corrections to #

    There are THOSE who oppose particularism…

    …the old European blood LIBEL tradition…

  14. Eliyahu says:

    corrections to # 7

  15. oao says:

    How else do you explain so much self-hatred, and lack of tolerance even for Israel’s mistakes in war?

    Internalization of the hatred of others, delusion that by the hatred can be reduced by replicating it. essentially fear.

  16. [...] Al-Dura. France 2 accused the IDF the Israeli media went along. One Frenchman dared to doubt and b…Balkanalysis.com Balkanalysis.com Edward Joseph’s grand report on Macedonian governmental corruption [...]

  17. John Gordon says:

    I think the considerations Sophia raises are profound.
    As a psychoanalyst and group analyst working with severely disturbed patients, I find that any self-affirming or protective effort they make which may entail another person experiencing the fear,pain or anger that they have known so well as children is almost impossible. Even as part of a process of allowing (through their behaviour) others to feel slightly what they have endured, a healthy move from isolation to becoming known by others, such patients severely attack themselves if they believe that, through their impacts, others now know and suffer what they have felt. Clinically, this is called a negative therapeutic reaction: what should be experienced as a helpful understanding by another leads to deterioration. Sophia is describing this at a large group level.

  18. Cynic says:

    our inner Gandhi is repelled by violence;

    Sophia,
    I hope your version of Gandhi is not based on Attenborough’s movie:

    During the `Kaffir Wars’ in South Africa he was a regular Gunga Din, who volunteered to organize a brigade of Indians to put down the Zulu uprising and was decorated himself for valor under fire.
    Gandhi said on September 26, 1896 about the African people: “Ours is one continued struggle sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”</em.

    THE MYTH OF THE MAHATMA: M.K. GANDHI IN SOUTH AFRICA

    Again on December 24, 1903, in the Indian Opinion Gandhi stated that: “so far as British Indians are concerned, such a thing is particularly unknown. If there is one thing which the Indian cherishes more than any other, it is purity of type.”
    When he was fighting on behalf of Indians, he was not fighting for all the Indians, but only for his rich merchant class upper caste Hindus!

  19. Roze Carni says:

    This writer, Ben-Dror Yemini, published a series of comparative studies about the Middle East conflict.
    It was the most brilliant analyze of the conflict, from new points of view. It should be distributed all over.

    Here some links:

    The liberal enemies of liberty: (an answer to some very common arguments against Israel) http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archive/2008/04/bendror-yemini-we-are-right/index.shtml

    A Homemade Genocide (a comparative study about the mass killing of Arabs & Muslims against Arabs & Muslims): http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/483/521.html

    And the World is Lying (a comparative study about Palestinian refugees)

    http://www.solomonia.com/blog/archives/009518.shtml

    The trap of self-delusion (The Israeli Arabs, in comparison with Muslim minorities in the west, and the question of the status of woman

    http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/571/620.html

  20. E.G. says:

    John Gordon,

    Sorry, I don’t understand your comment.

    Sophia,

    Jews have always been concerned with moral considerations, and often set higher moral standards for themselves relative to anyone else, privately and collectively. Consequently, there is high tolerance for “other’s” mistakes and little, if any, tolerance to “own” mistakes. I think this is the basis upon which (self) judgment and criticism operates.

    With some notorious exceptions, I’m not sure there is much self-hatred or loathing. There are many expressions that sound like it.

  21. lgude says:

    The worm turns. It is interesting from a media perspective how the positive cultural prejudice enjoyed by photography – seeing is believing – the camera never lies – that originally led to the uncritical acceptance of the al Durah images are now being turned against Enderlan and his supporters. Mr Yemini exhibits the prejudices quite openly when he says:

    “After all, there was photographic evidence and there is nothing higher.”

    It is, of course, precisely the lack of an actual death scene, despite Enderlin’s claims that he edited it out because it was too horrible, that now raises the biggest credibility problem for him. Any continuing public discussion of the issue, including the petition, just increases public doubt. We may be approaching critical mass – when the story spins beyond control. Even if Karsenty loses the final round too many people are learning that photography is routinely manipulated for dramatic effect and, more often than we think, to manage public opinion.

  22. Cynic says:

    It is, of course, precisely the lack of an actual death scene, despite Enderlin’s claims that he edited it out because it was too horrible, that now raises the biggest credibility problem for him.

    No, one does not need an actual death scene because there is lots of other negating evidence such as the lack of the “hail” of bullets hitting anything in the vicinity of the father and child. Nobody running away alongside the jeep,or the jeep itself, being hit by the rain of fire. And so on ……
    In all the rushes divulged there is no substance to support Talal’s claims. If they had hidden material it should have been brought forth at the trial.

  23. Cynic says:

    With regard to the last link Roze Carni provided, BenDror writes with regard to Multiculturism:

    The Arab heritage is ancient, rich and profound. It has given a great deal to world culture. If multiculturalism means deepening the knowledge of the Arab heritage and becoming acquainted with all levels of Arabic culture – that would be welcome.

    one does not need multiculturism to discover what some of us now know about their culture based on the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira.
    It is enough to know that in their state one is forced to conform to their culture and in our state we are still forced multiculturally to conform to their culture.

  24. Mal says:

    The real story on Gandhi. Long but worth it.

    http://history.eserver.org/ghandi-nobody-knows.txt

  25. Reverberations of Al-Dura…

    On Wednesday, Richard Landes translated an article by Ben-Dror Yemini discussing the recent developments in the Al-Dura affair. Just Don’t Touch their Symbol: Ben-Dror Yemini tackles the al Durah affair in the pages of Maariv Everyone remembers the d…

  26. John Gordon says:

    E.G. – Sorry, it was probably too convoluted. I’ll try again. The patients I work with feel profoundly alone and believe no one understands their suffering, even that their suffering would be too much for others. In attempting to emerge from their isolation, they may stir up something of their terrible feelings in others, through treating them as they had been treated. This is not always simple identification with the aggressor in a sadistic (and defensive) reversal of the original relationship, but an attempt to get the recipients of their behavior to catch the drift of their chidhood suffering. It can be a sadistic reversal but may be a communication. Yet, any sign that the recipient has understood means they have suffered, and this triggers omnipotent guilt in the patients. This dynamic can occur between groups as well as individuals, and that is what I think Sophia is describing.

  27. E.G. says:

    Thank you, John Gordon,

    for clarifying. Hardly qualified to assess your analysis, I do doubt its relevance to what some French sociologists coined “alter-Jews” – similar but not identical to the self-hating concept.

    These persons can’t be characterised as either solitary or marginal, nor have they suffered in their childhood or adolescence more than other Jews. They don’t dislike their own selves (or maybe they do despise their former, pre-enlightened persons), but the collective image of Jews (as they perceive it) in the eyes of their reference group: enlighted progressives, Jewishness being merely an accessory feature.

    I’d interpret the behaviour of some of the prominent alter-Jews in terms of “newly convert over-zealotry”. What an alter-Jew does is use her Jewishness to show her distinctive nature, affirm her individual originality: s/he’s different, above the retrograde mass of her brothers. Not only has she joined another, better group (whose religion is progress and Universal Human rights, and some particular cults and idols), but within this group she has her unique voice – by virtue of her Jewishness, sometimes Israeliness.

    And this phenomenon does have a lot to do with mistranslations and reinterpretations of Jewish principles and moral standards.

    They use guilt in their expressions but I doubt they actually feel it. Guilt is what they’d like their brethren to feel, along with shame. Like the stereotypical Jewish mother, they’re versed in inducing culpability, extracting themselves from the lot.

  28. [...] History repeats itself, the first time as a tragedy. The second as a farce. [...]

  29. lgude says:

    Reply to Cynic.

    I think I was unclear – I completely agree there is plenty of evidence on which to question the authenticity of the footage without a death scene. I was trying to point to the credibility problem Endelain created for himself by claiming to have cut a death scene that, so far as I know, never existed. As his story unwinds such a sin of commission is, if not his biggest political problem, certainly a major one.

  30. Cynic says:

    They don’t dislike their own selves (or maybe they do despise their former, pre-enlightened persons), but the collective image of Jews (as they perceive it)

    E.G.,
    Maybe it’s as simple as the dislike for the ultra-Religious dress and appearance, for example, with which they are collectively associated by the rest of the world, which association they would like to disown?
    While in their “progressive multicultural miasma” they tolerate other sects and groups because they are not associated collectively with them by their co-ideologues, they react irrationally against the façade instead of against those painting them into it.

  31. Eliyahu says:

    What we have to realize is that nowadays psychological warfare is very prevalent throughout the world and in the West in particular. Part of this psywar endeavor involves the rewriting of history. It affects not only Jews but Serbs too, since books appeared at the beginning of the 1990s, especially by one Misha Glenny, described as a BBC journalist, that cleverly rewrote the modern history of the Balkans. Glenny did NOT for instance deny that the Croat enemies of the Serbs had collaborated big time with Hitler, and had in fact persecuted and massacred Serbs. But he totally overlooked the collaboration of Bosnian Muslims with the Nazis, and the formation of a Bosnian Muslim SS division. This division, called the Handschar [khanjar], committed its own massacres in Bosnia and elsewhere and also cooperated with the Croatian Nazi Ustashi government. It was organized and held together by the Muslim preaching of Haj Amin el-Husseini, the British-appointed mufti of Jerusalem [often called "the Mufti"], who spent most of WW2 in the Nazi-fascist domain.

    Not only did Glenny leave this info out of his books but he did not describe the status of Bosnian Muslims as overlords over the Serbs and other non-Muslims in that country for 100s of years, whereas the Muslims were never the majority there under Ottoman rule. Likewise, the history of Kossovo has been turned upside down to support the anti-Serb, pro-Muslim narrative.

    The discussion on this thread reminds of what I have been reading in Bat Ye’or’s book, Eurabia [Eyro-Arabya, in the Hebrew translation just published this year]. Her chapters on “the Andalusian paradise” and “palestinism” [the only parts of the book that I've read] show a psywar effort in the European Union to depict the Arabs/Muslims as the fathers of the highest in Western culture, and also the effort, led by certain churchmen in the Catholic church and some Protestant churces, to depict Jews in the evil hues familiar from the Middle Ages into modern times, including notions which fostered the Holocaust. Some of these notions are also designed to foster a sense of guilt in Jews for supporting Israel.

    Consider in this context the way many “news” broadcasts mentioning Israel, particularly on the bbc, take on the character of a medieval passion play in which “the palestinian people” plays the role of a collective Jesus, crucified by Jews over and over. The al-Durah hoax has the character of a medieval blood libel in modern dress, albeit the suffering boy is not Christian. As another case, consider the op ed pieces by Marwan Bishara [brother of Azmi] in the Int’l Herald Tribune, a paper published in Paris, yet wholly owned by the New York Times. Bishara’s op eds often feature allusions to Israelis as crucifiers of the innocent Jesus, ritual slayers of non-Jewish children, etc. Now, one purpose of reviving these old Judeophobic themes and moods and accusations and mind-sets is to induce guilt in the Jews themselves, although I don’t think this is the main purpose.

    In my experience with Communists [inc. Trots], I noted a consistent effort to make Jews feel guilty, guilty of particular deeds and guilty in general. In this way, Commies converge in their anti-Israel, anti-Jewish policy with the European Union and activists in the Euro-Arab dialogue described by Bat Ye’or.

    On these issues, I recommend the abovementioned two chapters in Eurabia by Bat Ye’or; The Devil and the Jews, by Joshua Trachtenberg; and several books and articles by Hyam Maccoby on themes such as the Crucifixion, Barabbas, Judas, etc. By the way, I don’t agree with Bat Ye’or that the revival of old Judeophobic themes originated in the Euro-Arab dialogue, but rather back in the late 1940s and 1950s.

    To conclude, there is a certain conditioning of Jews and others going on nowadays in order to get people to see Jews and Israel in a very negative light.

  32. [...] اسراییلی ها نکشتند! از قضا روزنامه اسراییلی معاریو هم مطلب مشابهی داره. ولی هاآرتص می گه فرضا اون صحنه ساختگی بوده، ولی [...]

  33. oao says:

    cynic,

    gandhi, mother theresa — the west always falls for such fakes in their strive to find saints on the other side.

    eliyahu,

    nowadays psychological warfare is very prevalent throughout the world and in the West in particular.

    more evidence that orwell was pre-scient?

  34. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    I’m not sure it’s simple and, rather than “dislike” I’d keep despise. Otherwise, your analysis does not contradict my limited one.

  35. [...] Derridata wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptJust as the affair was due to expire, Enderlin’s supporters decided to organize a petition of support for him. True, Enderlin said that the full footage included harsh segments of Al-Dura dying and it became clear that this was a lie. … [...]

  36. Elan says:

    The oft-quoted “Thou shall not kill” is simply the wording of the translation from Hebrew in the Authorised Version of 1611 (the so-called King James version) of the Bible.
    One should remember, that in the ensuing centuries, the English language has changed somewhat. The word “kill”, which meant “murder” in 1611, has later taken the meaning of what in those olden days was called “slay”.
    There are more modern translated versions of the Bible – so why not quote from them?

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