Magdi Cristiano Allam: Halte à l’antisémitisme sous couvert d’antisionisme!

Alexandre del Valle has posted at his blog an interview with France Soir of the Egyptian-born, Italian journalist and European deputy, who has just published a book, in response to Islamist terrorism, a hymn to life entitled, « Pour que Vive Israel » (ed du Roche). Since his conversion to Christianity, there are fatwas out on his life.

Apparently he’s been reading Fiamma Nierenstein.

Must say, it reminds me of the political cartoon Ellen Horowitz did for me some years back and I posted as part of an essay she had done on the way Arabs project their brutality onto Israelis:

Magdi Cristiano Allam: Halte à l’antisémitisme sous couvert d’antisionisme!
Lundi, 2 novembre 2009

L’avis inédit du célèbre journaliste italien député européen sur l’actualité internationale. Bientôt de passage en France, il publie en réponse au terrorisme islamiste un hymne à la vie intitulé « Pour que Vive Israel » (ed du Rocher),

Magdi Cristiano Allam, ancien Vice-Directeur du Corriere dela Sera, est l’une des personnalités politico-médiatiques les plus populaires d’Italie. D’origne égyptienne, auteur de nombreux best-sellers sur l’islam et l’Occident, il est menacé de mort par le Hamas et Al Qaïda en raison de ses positions sur l’islamisme, sur Israel et depuis sa conversion au christianisme. Député européen sur les listes de l’Union du Centre (UDC) parti membre comme l’UMP du Parti populaire européen, il a créé son propre mouvement, Io Amo L’Italia, Anima d’Europa, qu’il ambitionne d’implanter dans toute l’Europe. Protégé en permanence par de nombreux gardes du corps, France soir l’a rencontré au Parlement européen ;

France Soir : Les fatwas contre vous ont été renouvelées depuis que vous avez quitté l’islam, le fait de lier l’islamisme à l’islam a–t-il agravé votre cas ?

MCA : Je me bats plus que quiconque en faveur de la reconnaissance de droits des Musulmans en tant que personnes, mais je suis opposé à l’islam en tant que religion, que j’ai essayé en vain de réformer mais dont les textes fonateurs légitiment la violence. Hélas, les Musulmans modérés sont moins orthodoxes que les Islamistes.

FS : Votre combat contre l’islamisme est un combat politique de civilisation ?

MCA : Je suis entré en politique dans le cadre d’une double volonté de défendre l’Europe menacée par l’islamisme conquérant et par le vide spirituel, ethique et identitaire de l’Europe. Le voile et la burka apparaîssent partout en Europe, où l’on banalise le nouvel antisémitisme sous couvert d’antisionisme, signes qui ne trompent pas sur la progression de l’idéologie de mort islamiste. En Belgique, des amis juifs font accompagner leurs enfants à l’école par des gardes du corps. La police ne pénètre plus dans les quartiers hors-la-loi où l’ordre islamiste progresse. Ceci est très inquiétant. L’Europe n’est pas une terre de conquête !

FS : Dans « Pour que Vive Israel », vous liez le droit d’Israel à exister à la dénonciation des islamistes Frères Musulmans « coupeurs de langue ». Qu’entendez-vous par là ?

MCA : L’idéologie des Frères musulmans, prétendus pacifiques dénonçant tactiquement les « coupeurs de tête », est la même que celle des terroristes. Ils veulent empêcher l’intégration des musulmans en Europe, réclament des droits différents, empêchent la critique de l’islam (d’où « coupeurs de langue »), au nom de la lutte contre l’islamophobie, et nient la légitimité d’Israël à l’existence. La lutte contre l’islamisme commence donc par la défense de ce droit à la vie, car l’islamisme justifie leurs massacres contre les non-musulmans et les Musulmans au nom de la haine des Juifs et d’Israël. Ce droit à la vie doit être inaliénable, indépendemment du droit de critiquer tout Etat, dont Israël.

FS : On parle beaucoup du retour des Talibans en Afghanistan et au Pakistan, êtes-vous inquiet ?

MCA : L’échec de la strategie militaire et politique internationale en Afghanistan et la croissance du pouvoir des Talibans au Pakistan sont dus à la myopie d’un Occident qui croit pouvoir vaincre le terrorisme avec les armes. Or c’est un défi de valeurs, d’identité et de culture. Nous devons libérer les Afghans de ceux qui lavent les cerveaux et poussent à vendre les vies en échange de la farce du paradis islamique et de récompenses matérielles.

FS: Que pensez-vous des négociations autour du projet nucléaire militaire iranien ?

MCA : Le régime nazi-islamiste d’Ahmadinejad n’est pas du tout fiable. La République islamique iranienne poursuit son programme d’enrichissement de l’uranium, elle détiendra d’ici un ou deux ans de la bombe atomique et elle veut détruire le peuple et l’Etat juifs. Cela devrait déclencher une très vive réaction de la communauté internationale. Seule la naïveté et la pavidité de l’Europe et des USA de l’Administration Obama poussent à croire que Téhéran respectera un jour la légalité internationale et le droit d’Israël à exister. Cette lâcheté rappelle ce que Winston Churchill appelait « la politique d’apaisement » consistant à « donner à manger à un crocodile dans l’espérance que celui-ci le mangera en dernier »… Munich nous a montré face au nazisme que le dialogue ne mène à rien avec les idéologies de destruction.

FS : Etes vous satisfait de la signature du Traité de Lisbonne par le Président tchèque?

MCA: Oui. Avec l’espoir que le Traité de Lisbonne rapproche plus l’UE de la réalité d’un Etat de droit dans lequel il y ait une rélle et claire séparation des pouvoirs constitutionnels, avec un pouvoir législatif dévolu au Parlement européen et plus en cogestion avec la Commission et le Conseil européen. Mais le problème de fond demeure irrésolu: la reconnaissance de la verité historique des racines judéo-chrétiennes de la civilisation européenne sans laquelle l’Union continuera d’être un colosse de materialité sans âme.

Alexandre del Valle est géopolitologue, auteur de nombreux articles et ouvrages dont “Le Totalitarisme Islamiste” et “Le Dilemme Turc” parus aux éditions des Syrtes.

48 Responses to Magdi Cristiano Allam: Halte à l’antisémitisme sous couvert d’antisionisme!

  1. Eliyahu says:

    Allam’s book, called in the Italian original, Viva Israele!, was translated into French. But will it be translated into English? Which major American or British publisher would want to publish it?

    I think English-language publishing is the largest in the world, with more titles and more copies sold than books in any other language. So English-language publishing is the biggest book market in the world. But will this book be published in English? After all, many important books published in other languages never make it into English, and particularly books on the Arab-Israeli issue that do not toe the MSM/State Dept line. Recall that Abdel-Razek Abdul-Kader’s books that were favorable to Israel, although from a Marxist viewpoint –and written by an Arab– were never translated into English, although Le Conflit judeo-arabe was translated into Spanish and Italian. Likewise, Robert Misrahi’s Marx et la Question juive, an important book on how Marx’s Judeophobia developed out of Kant and Hegel’s philosophy, inter alia, was never translated into English. I could mention Jacques Givet’s book on Israel and many others.

    Yet all sorts of Third-Worldist [tiers-mondiste] drivel
    has been translated into English. So there seems to be a pattern at work here.

    Does the publishing industry put profit first when a good, marketable book takes the wrong political line? Or does political correctness [as pontificated by the State Dept and the university "leftists"] outweigh possible profit-making?

  2. Cynic says:

    From your link
    the way Arabs project their brutality onto Israelis:

    one Loki says in his comment #11:
    Of course the Palestinian tactics above are disgusting, but it does not reflect on all Palestinians, you know that.

    and one has to ask now: “Then why is it that when it comes to a Jew doing something that the non-Jews disapprove of, all Jews are collectively castigated?”

  3. E.G. says:

    Cynic #2,

    It’s like riding a bicycle.

  4. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Somewhat off-topic but still pertinent as it is in reference to the discussion with sshender about cultures and might, just might, interest you
    Are Mizrahim still marginal? Rachel Shabi reviewed

    As with the dates, so with the people. If we are to believe Rachel Shabi, the author of Not the enemy, the Jews of the Orient, or Mizrahim, transplanted to Israel, somehow “did not grow right” in their new land.
    ……………
    The author speculates with the conviction that: “if Israel could find a way to reconnect with its own Middle-Eastern self, the chances are that this would result in the country having entirely different relations with the region. Because long before they were apparent arch enemies, Arabs and Jews were culture collaborators, good neighbors — and friends.”

    I agree with the blogger. We could have a field day fisking the book.

  5. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    The blogger (Lyn Julius?) is spot on.

    Anything Galuti (diasporic) used to be frowned upon. All children used to be discouraged to speak their parents’ and grandparents’ native languages, and encouraged to forsake the old customs. It was a new beginning, a renaissance, and most parents/immigrants fully participated in this direction.

    among the half-a million Mizrahi refugees flooding into the Jewish state in the ‘50s and ‘60s were ‘primitive’ Jews -‘poor human material’ – from the Atlas and Kurdish mountains and Yemenites who had never even seen an airplane. Any Jew with education, resources and connections went to the Americas or Western Europe rather than endure years in a leaky ma’abara or tent camp in Israel.

    Not “any” (as some Israeli friends of mine can attest) but definitely most. And the wealth-culture/education correlation is strong. I suppose the wealth-Zionism correlation was not very strong in the ’50s-60′s, or that the Mizrahis’ Zionist aspirations were different in intensity by comparison to others (Sephardi and Ashkenazi). But at a LIBI fund-raising event in recent years, we are among the very few Ashkenazi (less than 5%) attending. It’s a bit less disproportionate on other occasions (e.g., friends of Israeli Universities), but diaspora Jews’ Zionist orientation seems to follow the Israeli path: the difference between Sephardi-Mizrahi-Ashkenazi tends to fade away.

  6. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Like Fiama Nirenstein, Magdi Cristiano Allam seems to try to exert influence by going into politics. Is it more or less effective than writing a book or an article? Maybe if he gains enough notoriety as an EU parliament member his writings will be more widely translated?

  7. Eliyahu says:

    From what I understand, Fiamma Nirenstein is making an impact in the Italian parliament and the EU. She put the Swedish foreign minister, Bildt, on the spot at Strasbourg in a committee meeting. Of course, the EU continues on its disastrous course but her voice seems to be heard and she encourages others of like mind.

    In the long run, books and articles make an impact but the other side, which means psywar services of certain Western govts, are very busy and working intensely to besmirch Israel, also using the so-called “NGO”s. So there is a great deal of manipulation of public opinion operating on various levels, which also involves withholding information from the public. My view is that major American publishers are influenced by political fashions and official [or officieux, semi-official] suggestions. So certain ideas do not get a hearing. I don’t call this phenomenon “left” since I don’t believe in “left-right.” I think that my position on this is justified by new events every day. Look, I have some connections to publishing in Israel and I know that books with the wrong ideas or “wrong” information [politically speaking] do not get published in the USA even if they have had some publishing success elsewhere, and in Israel in particular.

    Of course, it’s possible that some American publisher might appreciate the commercial possibilities of a book written by an Arab intellectual with the two novelties that he defends Israel’s rights and that he converted to the Catholic Church. I see the commercial attractiveness of Allam’s books on those grounds. But I say that the publishers in the USA are not first and foremost concerned with making money if it goes against the grain of the political line. As to Allam gaining fame for his activities in the EU parliament, America pays little attention to the EU parliament. The American press avoids all sorts of subjects. Likewise, according to Wm Gilles Goldnadel of the Association France-Israel, the French press avoided reporting on the embarassing findings about HRW, about Garlasco and the fund-raising trip to Saudi Arabia.

  8. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    I don’t call this phenomenon “left” since I don’t believe in “left-right.”

    How accurate would it be to describe one side as wanting to hold power and control, whereas the other while wanting power would not mind sharing control?

  9. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Maybe if he gains enough notoriety as an EU parliament member his writings will be more widely translated?

    What, do a “Cicciolina”?

    I think we need to remind ourselves that books and other written material do not influence the proletariat, which is how I describe the majority of the electorate who are not capable of absorbing and contemplating more than the 30 second sound/video bite/byte so insinuatively inculcated in them by rotting educational standards and the media.
    Wait, it’s going to get worse as the tweets for twits shrink the”30SB”.
    I think we have sufficient examples lately of politicians in the US Senate and Congress incapable of coping with reams of printed words and of course that creme de la creme of the electoratelawyers, Goldstone, who from one photo-op to another misrepresents his various distortions/dreams/nightmares which are so at variance with his understanding of the role the UN provided for him and his finished report.
    How can one expect to get people interested in reading, (sufficiently to encourage the publishers to take on the “critics”) and also capable of understanding the material to make a cogent argument, when one has the mass ignorance and illiteracy observed on the “Comments/HYS are/is/was Free” type reply forums the media makes available?

    To be notorious enough he is going to have to get the media hyped up to MJ levels of hysteria for them to let on about his books and for that his notoriety cannot be at odds with their agenda.

  10. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Goldnadel is right and charitable.
    As for the US publishing – Nonie Darwish did find (at least) one. And other pro-Israel non-Jews also get published in the press. So I’m not so sure it’s a matter of publisher reluctance.

  11. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Have you gone through an accelerated updating training programme from your youngest grandchild?
    What does HYS mean? and MJ?

  12. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    I thought you were all of a twitter with these symbolic gestures at communication, going by earlier comments of some months back, that is.
    HYS – Have Your Say
    MJ – Michael Jackson

    I can’t keep up, or is it down, with the changes and the incorrect use of words is making it harder for me to understand what “they” are trying to say, let alone expect me to go with the gibberish of SMS.

  13. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    We’re all getting older… TY ;-) for deciphering!

    Well, Allam definitely can make a sensational participant in a talk show. And IMHO, it’s in the MSM’s best interest to bring people like him in/on, if only to show that Arabs are nice people…

  14. Eliyahu says:

    EG, but he’s a renegade to the Arabs. The MSM doesn’t want to acknowledge that the Arabs have renegades.

  15. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Ils insistent vraiment beaucoup pour mériter le nom d’idiots utiles.
    It’s so (too?) simple to frame the thing as diversity among the more-than-Billion! And, if Allam did get edited and translated and elected in Europe, that means that there is a public that’s sensible to his message.

  16. Eliyahu says:

    EG, of course there is a public ready to hear his message and that of Oriana Fallaci & Caroline Fourest and others. So if the publishers don’t pick up his books –particularly Viva Israele– to publish in the USA, then that means that they are guided more by political criteria than by commercial interest. I know that Oriana Fallaci’s The Rage and the Fury was published in the USA. But that book was a very big bestseller in Italy and also related to the 9-11 massacre in a way very flattering to the Americans. Otherwise, I think that the political line ist uber alles.

    As to the Western press being useful idiots, some are indeed ignorant fools, idiots. But some see themselves as part of the cause. They too are romantic revolutionaries struggling against Judeo-Capitalism, Zionist colonialism, or whatever it is that they see as the enemy. Some are very well aware of what they are doing and do it willingly, not because they are threatened by Fatah or Hamas goons. And they may feel very comfortable wrapping themselves in the updated, 21st century version of 1900 year-old Western Judeophobia. They like being traditional and modern at the same time.

  17. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu #15

    SNAP!

    I wanted to make a similar statement about the Media not having him on their show but what I wanted to point out, to my way of thinking, is that they do not want anything positive said about the Jews, especially not from an Arab.

  18. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    How big is that public? Does it hold enough sway to project itself across the Atlantic to where most of the books in English would be marketed?
    It seems from what I’ve read that most American media and publications take their marching step from the NYT.
    The type of book you are discussing I should imagine, would only have reasonable publicity in conservative magazines.

  19. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Of course I have no idea of the market size for an Allam-style book. How big a success was Steyn’s? Yet it did get translated into French, and published in France where anti-Americanism is still alive and kicking. So the NYT network (they have accords with Al-Ard and le Monde, among others) is an illuminating piece of news (for me) but not an exclusive condition.

    I think people like my concierge, a Moslem from Morocco, are very receptive for Allam’s ideas (he once told me he was looking for a European wife, definitely not a Moslem one, because he thinks it’ll help him improve his condition, and have well integrated children). But he needs to see Allam and similar persons on TV, because his reading skills are a bit limited…

  20. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Somewhat off-topic but WRT #12, #14 etc here’s an article I think you find entertaining and expressing some of my feelings:
    C’mon, Admit It. Twitter Is Useless

    This need for conciseness, in fact, induces normally articulate friends of mine to write in Prince lyrics — recklessly using “2″ and “4″ and “U” as words.
    …………
    But the deepest mystery of Twitter is why celebrities and elected officials take part. After all, we all know they can’t write their own lines.
    Now, admittedly, Twitter can be entertaining on occasion, as it turns out that 140 characters offers a great chance to be misunderstood — and an even greater chance one will expose his inner troglodyte.

    Steyn was originally published in English and caused that huge fracas with Kanadia’s inhuman discriminatory human rights.org ONG who took him to court for quoting a European Imam’s opinion on the procreativity of Muslims (they breed like mosquitoes) which was the best publicity he could have received for his book in the US, and most probably was published in France because of that and what he was prophesying; their proclivity for cultural suicide.
    It is the opposite of trying to get something said in French translated into English when the topic refers basically to what a European is saying about Jews while the expected audience in the States has largely abandoned the fate of Israelis for obamanism.

  21. Joanne says:

    I cannot resist sharing this with you, even though it’s not on-topic. If you ever read again about some Frenchman, especially a diplomat, saying how awful and undemocratic Israeli policy, just get a load of this article in the New York Times about what the French are doing in Africa:

    http://tinyurl.com/yj6kbul

    Schadenfreude on my part? You bet!

  22. Joanne says:

    Oh, and nice interview.

  23. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Twit 4 2, and 2 4 Twit,
    Your cup O’T, 2B or not 2B…

    My view of these signs is that they’re like ideograms or hieroglyphs or acronyms. A code that needs to be decrypted. Same as with funny expressions such as “Net Neutrality”.

    Magdi Allam writes in Italian, not in French (to the best of my knowledge). I wonder whether Christopher Caldwell’s latest book will be translated into other European languages: it’s even more Euro-relevant, at least in the short term, than Steyn’s.

  24. E.G. says:

    Joanne,

    Merci beaucoup!
    Sorry I don’t share your Schadenfreude.

  25. E.G. says:

    Another somewhat O/T paper that can be read/DL:

    The main argument of this paper is that the Palestinian national identity developed not as an accidental product of external historical developments (e.g. Zionism or British colonialism), but rather through a directed effort by the Palestinian intellectual class to endow the ethnic community with a Palestinian national consciousness.

    The Emergence of a Palestinian National Identity: A Theory-Driven Approach

  26. E.G. says:

    And, in case other share my ignorance, Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini (who had been protected for a while by some French “authorities”, before making Yasser Arafat his protégé in Egypt) was actively and directly involved in the extermination of European Jews. Despite Nazi Germany’s willingness to let some Jews leave Europe during the war, Al-Husseini wrote letters urging them not to let any Jews (including a convoy of children) immigrate to Palestine but rather send them to Poland.

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/17089176.html

    Three(?) such letters were presented at the Eichmann trial

    Prosecution document No. 1310 is a letter from Hajj Amin al- Husseini to von Ribbentrop. On 13 May 1943, the Grand Mufti writes:

    “The English and the American Governments recently conducted negotiations through the representatives of their interests in the Balkan countries, and principally in Bulgaria, with the aim of permitting the emigration of Jews and their transport to Palestine. In this connection, the British Minister for the Colonies, Sir Oliver Stanley, expressed his pleasure lately in the House of Commons at the fact that the negotiations with the Bulgarian authorities concerning the emigration of four thousand Jewish children, together with five hundred accompanying adults, and their transfer to Palestine, had been crowned with success, and he hoped to achieve similar results with the authorities of the remaining Balkan countries, such as Romania and Hungary, for example.”

    The letter concludes:

    “I request Your Excellency to do everything possible to dissuade Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary from implementing the Jewish-Anglo-American plan, and to give special attention to this question; by so doing, you would be rendering an unforgettable service to the friendly Arab people, avoiding, at the same time, the co-operation of these elements which are ranged against you. With the greatest esteem, Amin al-Husseini.”

    http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-063-02.html

  27. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Twit 4 2, and 2 4 Twit,
    Your cup O’T, 2B or not 2B…

    Not my cup O’T.

    Magdi Allam writes in Italian
    Ignorance knows no bounds. I thought that he spoke/wrote in French. Where would I get such an un-diversity idea from? Well it’s the European OUnion for agnostic sakes.
    My apologies.
    Anyway the American market seems to have even less respect for what Italians have to say than what Frenchmen do, unless of course it is about what Dan Brown wrote.

  28. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    With regard to that “Memo from Africa” a la France, one should bear in mind that
    Nicolas Sarkozy, now France’s president, promised a departure in relations with Africa three years ago. Instead, the nation appears to be reverting to historic type, looking past unsavory rulers for the sake of a uranium mine in Niger, oil interests in Gabon and a deep-water port in Cameroon.

    this seems to be in keeping with Britain releasing a terrorist for oil, as Germany and other Europeans ignoring the Middle East’s despots to do eet a leetel beeskneenis turn a blind eye to the atrocities being committed, and Alibama supports Chavez’s chai, Zelaya, in his attempted coup against the Honduran Constitution, while ignoring the behaviour of the Iranian thugs in chief etc., etc.

    Strains of Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” as La vita è bella flickers on the screen and realpolitik gambols in the fields.

  29. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., Joanne, Cynic and others,

    I read the NYT article about the actions of France in sub-saharan Africa, and I am not happy either about the acts described or about the tone of the description.

    I’d love democracy to extend throughout the world, but it seems to me that it does not suffice to set up formal elections for democracy to function. That thugs (French or Chinese or Martian or even African) profit from the situation in Africa is plain.

    But please, does anyone have the recipe to improve the situation? I mean, significantly and efficiently improve the situation?

    It seems that before the present economic crisis (supposedly on its way out), some countries from sub-saharan Africa recorded 5% growth, and now, they are back to 0.5%. It also seems that the social system over there does not make it easy to start a democracy. Of course, it is funny to do a bit of Sarkozy-bashing or a bit of French-bashing – but, mind you, the french do all of that themselves very well.

    Anyone’s got a solution for transforming tribal societies with highly emphasized family links, a high level of corruption, a large number of languages, little education and low levels of literacy, and economies partially destroyed by unfitting foreign aid, known for destroying local farming? Not to mention the effects of plantation and mining as main exports, including the instability of prices.

    Because, if you got a solution, you should not keep it for yourself, you know. You must absolutely divulge it, the life and happiness of many human beings depend on it.

  30. Eliyahu says:

    EG # 26, I couldn’t bring up the link about a “palestinian people”. However, there never was a “palestinian ethnic community.” Indeed, the whole notion of a “palestinian people” did not exist until the early 1960s around the time of formation of the PLO [founded January 1964]. From my information, it appears that British psychological warfare experts and UK Middle Eastern operatives were working on this idea from the late 1940s, whether before or after the rise of the State of Israel, which as everyone knows, was vigorously opposed by the UK which was aiming at a vast, Middle Eastern pan-Arab state based on Damascus [like the Umayyad caliphate] which would be sponsored by and act as an ally of the UK by treaties which would also give the UK a favored trade position in the projected state. This pan-Arab state would leave no room for Israel, JOrdan [then Transjordan], or a mainly Christian state in Lebanon.

    Many suspected some sort of plan like this in the 1940s, however, recently documents confirming those suspicions have come to light and have been summarized by Prof Meir Zamir of Ben Gurion Univ in Beersheva. Two articles that he wrote on this matter appeared in the English version of HaAretz in 2008.

    It seems to me that once that grand strategy failed, since the French learned of it and sabotaged it, the Brits fell back on trying to destroy Israel and the Jews, a job that hitler had failed to complete. Brit psywar experts worked on the whole idea and its various connotations and collateral ideas, such as the “palestinian Jesus,” that is, Jesus as a “palestinian” and the “palestinian” Arabs as a collective Jesus.

    I reject the claim that there was “a directed effort by the Palestinian intellectual class to endow the ethnic community with a Palestinian national consciousness.”

    Everybody who uses the term “palestinian” as a noun for the period before the early 1960s is being anachronistic at the least, actually lying. The effort to create a “palestinian consciousness” was British initiated and directed. The palestinian Arab movement before the early 1960s was Pan-Arab. In fact, the PLO charter, if you actually read it, is a very pan-Arab document and stresses pan-Arab goals.

  31. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    I clicked on the link and it works. If it still doesn’t for you, try googling the title or the author: Zachary J. Foster. It’s interesting because of the approach and the references.

    (And I did get to your paper regarding the Mufti)

  32. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Anyone’s got a solution for transforming tribal societies with highly emphasized family links, a high level of corruption, a large number of languages, little education and low levels of literacy, and economies partially destroyed by unfitting foreign aid, known for destroying local farming? Not to mention the effects of plantation and mining as main exports, including the instability of prices.

    YES. Allocate to those hundreds of millions about a third of the attention and care currently directed to the pseudo-starving genetic refugees. Create an UNRWA with the A standing for Africa. And a few UNHCR investigation missions.

  33. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G.

    and let the situation rot a little bit more by destroying the little of agriculture and local industry not already destroyed by foreign aid? Nooooooo kidding! It does not seem that the UNRWA did much good to the Palestinians, why should an analogous institution do any good to the sub-saharan Africans?

  34. Joanne says:

    Michelle,

    You’re really off the beam here.

    The article wasn’t about the frustrated efforts of the French to aid the sub-Saharan Africans, to find solutions to their economic, health, and political problems. It was about their cozying up to autocrats to gain access to lucrative contracts. Period. It’s about their cynicism when it comes to human rights.

    What’s all this about “transforming tribal societies”? What article were you reading? This article wasn’t about French aid workers or diplomats seeking solutions. Please read the article again. I have the definite impression that you read it hastily and completely missed the point.

    And the tone? You objected to a tone that sympathized with African democratic activists who are angry at French greed? Hmmmmm. Frankly, I find little to object to in that.

    E.G.,

    I was being facetious. BTW, what did you mean when you said you don’t share my schadenfreude? I certainly wasn’t referring to the Africans, who have all my sympathy. I was referring to the French. Come on, you have to admit that it’s just as well they’re taken down a peg or two.

  35. Eliyahu says:

    The same Jewish refugees blog –Point of No Return– that provided the link about Rachel Shabi’s book, also provided a link to a translation of the transcipt of the Mufti’s –Haj Amin el-Husseini– interview with hitler. By the way, this interview also refutes David Irving’s claim –if I interpret Irving correctly– that hitler didn’t know about any Holocaust or genocide. Hitler clearly referred in this interview to destroying “the Jewish element”.

    http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2009/11/mufti-intended-genocide-against-jews-of.html

  36. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Joanne,

    you did not read me either, I’m afraid. I did write the following:

    I’d love democracy to extend throughout the world, but it seems to me that it does not suffice to set up formal elections for democracy to function. That thugs (French or Chinese or Martian or even African) profit from the situation in Africa is plain.

    and also

    Of course, it is funny to do a bit of Sarkozy-bashing or a bit of French-bashing – but, mind you, the french do all of that themselves very well.

    The French know perfectly well about the change of policy of Sarkozy in Africa and how he came back to old methods, and he made it transparent when he fired Bockel from his government to hire Joyandet. So the criticism of Sarkozy and his policy in the NYT article is perfectly in order.

    What I am claiming is that the African situation is that of large political mafias, internal and external, that make a living off very poor people and I am questioning the excessively simple analysis that seems to say that one has just to establish democracy and kick out the thugs for things to get better.

    This solution has been tried in several countries and it does not work very well, because it seems that certain types of social organization do not fit with the standard notion of democracy in the “Occident”.

    I won’t repeat what RL has established on the subject, but let me say that being tribal and corrupt is not the fault of foreign thugs who take advantadge of the poor black african societies, it is a feature of these societies, which weakens them with respect to certain type of criminal activity and is extremely difficult to change.

    The idea that democracy depends on the setting up of some previous appropriate social structures has been strongly and convincingly developed by our gracious host, Richard Landes. I am definitely not knowledgeable about sub-saharan Africa.

    However, sub-saharan African countries badly faring means lots of immigration to better run places, and in particular to Europe.

    At this point, the structure of these populations appears very strongly as a social problem in the host countries. And we are left with a large number of enigmas about the new social structure of the European societies. Enigmas that we shoud solve, otherwise the European societies might not bear the stress and burst.

    I guess, Joanne, that we did not interact much previously on this blog, so that you are not aware of my point of view. Fine with me, there is always a time to start. :-)

  37. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    What I am claiming is that the African situation is that of large political mafias, internal and external, that make a living off very poor people and I am questioning the excessively simple analysis that seems to say that one has just to establish democracy and kick out the thugs for things to get better.

    There’s an economic paper by Moeletsi Mbeki,the brother of South Africa’s ex-president Thabo Mbeki, the link to which I published in a post some time ago on this blog.
    As I cannot find it at the moment there is this:
    Foreign Policy Briefing
    A PDF document of a speech delivered by Mbeki at the Cato Institute.

    Liberate Africa from Its Political Elites

    Successful development in Africa will not be achieved by throwing more fuel on the flames. Merely handing more aid money to African governments only reinforces the pattern of abuse. The key to development lies in a dynamic private sector. For a country to produce more, private individuals must generate savings and plow those savings back into the production process in the form of new and improved techniques, processes and products.
    Africa’s private sector is predominantly made up of peasants and, to a lesser extent, subsidiaries of foreign-owned multinational corporations. But those groups are exploited and bullied by the unproductive political elites who control the state. Africa’s private sector is powerless because it is not free to decide what happens to its savings.
    …………
    which in most countries was created by European imperial powers that had little regard for ethnic and religious differences among Africans. From the early days of independence, competing and antagonistic groups were forced together in the political process. The political elites that took over African countries in the 1960s thus saw government as a source of power and personal enrichment. “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all else shall be given,” urged Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah. The region’s political leaders have been doing so ever since.

    One must bear in mind the dumb foreign policy of the EU, for example, of banning imports of African GM crops which they grow to ward off their malnutrition and export for obvious reasons.

  38. Cynic says:

    Joanne,

    It’s about their cynicism when it comes to human rights.

    Ah, here’s where I come in :-),

    Today there is only jingoism in the political world where phrases such as “Human Rights”, “Peace Process” etc., are thrown around willy nilly as the activists joust with each other to sense the kumbaya moment on the one hand and on the other the symbolic disemboweling of the enemy as they launch their verbal assaults.

    What rights? For which humans?
    Perfectly good questions in light of the manner in which those two words have been thrown about and visibly vacuous with regard to substance as applied, mainly since the PC multiculti diversity elitists got its claws into power.

    There is no honour, there is no integrity. Those carrying the banner do so hypocritically biased against the very facts that should ameliorate their feelings.
    All those phrases today have become meaningless.

  39. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Cynic,

    I agree with the quotation you give of Moeletsi Mbeki’s speech, and I quite disagree with his notion that individual farmers should auction their production on international markets insteadt og going through state agencies.

    This opposition comes from the observation, in France, that when individual farmers are not organized, and it is the case for fruit and vegetable farmers, auctioning their production on the market leads to miserable prices forced on them by big buyers, namely buying organizations of supermarket chains, so that fruit and vegetables are much too expensive in France and the farmers who produce them do not get the kind of price that would compensate decently their work and investment. Same applies for fisheries, with interesting cnsequences in terms of destruction of fish and seafood.

    The Sub-Saharan farmers need not only sell their production on the international market without paying a class of state bureaucrats, they also need to organize and to develop a lobbying power, which would not let them be prey to the immense variations of the price of their exports. They should also work for the interior market : selling airlifted french beans grown in Senegal in January does not strike me as a terribly smart way of making a living for the farmers concerned and humanity in general. I don’t buy them, in fact, so disgusted I am by the absurdity of this kind of production.

    By the way, the other brother, former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki was known for his opposition to HIV causing AIDS, and recommended traditional remedies against the deadly disease, forbidding the import of efficient medication. I wonder what the atmosphere is between the brothers… fraternal love?

    We’ve been fed lots of misplaced compassion for Sub-Saharan Africa and its inhabitnts, since I’ve been conscious – more than half a century, now. I remember my teachers of history and geography talking and talking and talking about hunger in Africa.

    Nobody wants people to die from hunger, and to live in rotten states under the thumb of disgraceful elites, collaborating with many sharks from outside. But I remain a faithful admirer of Etienne de la Boétie (1530-1563). His “Discours de la servitude volontaire”: it is not true that people living under a dictatorship are entirely innocent of the atrocities committed by the dictator and his minions : “Celui qui vous maistrise tant n’a que deux yeulx, n’a que deus mains, n’a qu’un corps, et n’a autre chose autre chose que ce qu’a le moindre homme du grand et infini nombre de vos villes, sinon que l’avantage que vous luy faites pour vous destruire”. [That one who masters you so well has but two eyes, two hands, one body, nothing more than the least of the many inhabitants of your cities, save that you give him advantage in order to destroy you].

    A translation into english is available here:

    http://www.constitution.org/la_boetie/serv_vol.htm

    There are many translations, anyone can find them with a search engine.

  40. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Just to add something about Moeletsi was that he was banned from appearing on the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) TV cause he was at odds with his brother and the party.
    One thing he does know is that state agencies for organising the sale of the farmer’s produce are just as corrupt as those politicians taking kick-backs etc.

    There were lots of things done to Africans by the World which was just not correct and one was the use of outdated medicines by the so called Albert Schweitzers of the late 20th century, the doctors without frontiers.

    There were also things done to other people and my own horrid experience was in 1986 when in Brazil we suddenly had a scarcity of different foods.
    And along came Europe in its many state forms and sent frozen and tinned foods. Thank goodness it was discovered in time that the produce so generously sent was all contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout; the frozen meat, fish, the tinned milk etc.
    The only positive thing was that we able to return the stuff and have our money refunded.
    All those European manufacturers operating in Brazil of powdered milks, cheese etc., had sent it to Europe in return for poison.
    A country of millions of head of cattle suddenly had no meat and had to import from stuff from Europe?
    What was wrong with Uruguay, Argentina?

    Anyway Bush right or wrong about trying to help countries develop democratic societies after all those years of siding with the despots was mocked by the very hypocrites who continue to fill their coffers by abetting the monsters.

    Please bear in mind that in Africa one is dealing with the tribal/clan culture and it is not that easy to oppose. Moeletsi in one of his talks said that in a manner things were better under colonialism as roads were built, sanitation maintained, that, because there was one powerful colonialist force getting things done; one could almost make the comparison to the tribes and clans in the Knesset wrecking many improvements that should be implemented because of their eternal selfish squabbling.

  41. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Maybe the Africans will use the/an UNRWA differently? I mean appropriately.

  42. E.G. says:

    Joanne,

    As Michelle put it above, Sarko and his Administration take more than enough local fire. Mostly for the wrong reasons, though. It may be a bit early to judge his “African policy” now – though it looks like plus ça change…
    Anyway, my Schadenfreude is extremely selective.

  43. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Cynic,

    can you give sources about the use of outdated medicines by doctors without frontiers? And about the contamination of food sent to Brazil in 1986 by Chernobyl fallout?

    I spent a month in Italy around that time, in Rome, living close to a wonderful market, full of incredibly cheap and delicious strawberries that the Italians did not buy, because they thought that they were contaminated by Chernobyl fallout. Sure, they were, but how much? I bought them, washed them, ate them with relish, and I know that my present cancer is most probably not caused by the important quantity of very, very slightly radioactive strawberries I ate in 1986.

    Of course, the french authorities did pretty silly things at that time, and they pretended that the Chernobyl cloud had, for some unfathomable reason, stopped before entering our borders.

    It was of course false, and it was found out that fallout had reached Corsica in particular, with extremely variable levels of contamination from place to place : there were thunderstorms when the fallout arrived in the area, and thunderstorms do distribute rain in a very uneven way. In any case, if you wanted to get sick from the consumption of corsican mushrooms, you had to eat maybe 20 kilograms of the delicious stuff everyday.

    I do not know how much food was thrown away in western Europe at that time.

    Not very realistic, and as of now, there is no evidence that the number of thyroid cancers has increased due to Chernobyl fallout in France. I do not know about Germany or Italy, but I have heard no terrifying statistics concerning western Europe.

    It is quite another matter in the region proper of Chernobyl. But did industrialists send contaminated food from that area to Brazil? Certainly not western industrialists, since it was still Soviet Union, which was importing food, not exporting it.

  44. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    All I can recommend is to try and read the archives of Journal do Brasil, O Globo and others.
    Maybe Nelson has some sources one can link to.
    Yes, we got Danish and Dutch butter and tinned milk, dried milk in return for our production of e.g Nestle’s Nino (powdered milk)etc. Frozen fish and meat from France and other countries.

    As for the medicines I have nothing noted and I am going by what I read in the media at the time.
    A lot of medicines given to Medicins sans Frontiers was outdated but still used at the time.
    Maybe I was wrong to ascribe all the guilt to those Drs out in the bush, but I’m still mad as hell at what I saw in the manner that Africans were treated. I don’t include SA in this because in general the medical facilities provided at the time were good; but north of the border …..

  45. Joanne says:

    Michelle, again, this article was not about the problems of Africa, and the genuine obstacles aid-minded policies come up against.

    This article was about cronyism on the part of the French. Your quotes that you repeated again are not on the point.

    Never mind. We’re talking in circles. Let’s drop this, as it isn’t important.

  46. E.G. says:

    Joanne,

    You’re G…mn right (even leaving out the military actions).
    Not sharing your Schadenfreude does not mean not sharing your assessment.

  47. E.G. says:

    There’s this too.

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