Just How Crazy Have Europeans Become? Insights into the Flotilla Madness

Hopefully one of the benefits of the Flotilla Madness, in which a deeply morally compromised state (Turkey, with its record from Armenian genocide to the current Kurdish situation) got to set the international agenda with high moral dudgeon, is the number of people at last willing to look at whether the Emperor’s New Clothes are real or not.

In any epistemological crisis, as the anomalies become both abundant and painful to those who must cling to their paradigm of reality, there emerge almost comic moments, moments when the absurdity of this kind of dance of denial becomes laughable.

This happened recently in Europe – more specifically in Luxembourg. For 15 years, the French philosopher Robert Redeker has published a weekly book review for the Tageblatt, even after he ran afoul of radical Muslims who threatened his and his family’s life and drove him into hiding. And just last week, without any warning, they fired him.

This happened, not because of his “Islamophobic” remarks, but because of his choice of book to review – and to review favorably. The book? The latest study of the European descent into anti-Semitic madness in the 21st century by Pierre-André Taguieff, La nouvelle propagande antijuive. The journal not only rejected the review, but ended any association with Redeker.

But perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the story is the reason the editor gave for rejecting the review:

The readers would not understand that someone might be favorable to Israel.

In an irony that only the sane can appreciate, Taguieff had written specifically about the mentality the editor articulated. As Redeker noted in his review:

The blanket demonization of Israel is the daily bread of the media. That Israel is Evil seems to be self-evident. And yet, these opinions, that mutate into passions, are ideological constructions disseminated by a clever work of propaganda which Taguieff examines exhaustively. They recyle the old – the traditional Anti-Jewish stereotypes – in new forms.

Apparently, in reading those lines, the editor found not a description of her own mentality, but an assertion so absurd she could not allow it to be published. (Alternatively, this was just an excuse not to admit the real source of her anxiety, namely the fear that a favorable review of a book that tore the mask off of the Jihadi-Leftist hatefest might alienate the wrong people.)

As Kofi Anan said in 2002 about Jenin, echoing what Ehad Ha-am said in 1892 about the pogroms: “Is it possible that the whole world is wrong and the Jews/Israelis are right?” Don’t be ridiculous.

Robert Redeker, interdit d’écrire du bien d’un livre

lundi 14 juin 2010, par Emmanuel Lemieux

Le supplément littéraire du quotidien luxembourgeois Tageblatt a refusé la critique favorable du livre de Pierre-André Taguieff, La nouvelle Propagande antijuive (PUF), mettant également un terme à une collaboration de 15 ans avec l’auteur de l’article, l’écrivain Robert Redeker menacé de mort par des islamistes.

Robert Redeker, agrégé de philosophie, écrivain et ancien chroniqueur du supplément littéraire du Tageblatt.

    “J’avais ma page dans le supplément littéraire du Tageblatt depuis 15 ans, je n’ai manqué aucun numéro. C’était l’analyse d’un livre, généralement de philosophie. Pour le numéro de juin, j’avais choisi d’écrire sur le dernier livre de Taguieff. J’ai écrit un texte favorable à ce livre. C’est ce texte qui m’a valu d’être censuré. La directrice de ce supplément m’a écrit : “notre collaboration s’arrête là”.

Sec ! Viré ! confie Robert Redeker. D’après la rédaction en chef, les lecteurs ne comprendraient pas qu’on fût favorable à Israël ! ”

Extrait significatif de l’article de 5 000 signes traitant du nouveau livre du philosophe Pierre-André Taguieff, La Nouvelle Propagande antijuive (PUF) :

    La diabolisation sans nuances d’Israël est le pain quotidien des médias. Qu’Israël soit le Mal semble aller de soi. Pourtant, ces opinions qui se muent aussi en passions, sont des constructions idéologiques répandues par un habile travail de propagande que Taguieff démonte exhaustivement. Elles recyclent du vieux – les stéréotypes antijuifs traditionnels – dans du neuf.”

Tageblatt suit la doxa journalistique selon P.-A. Taguieff

Contactée par L’Annuel des idées, la responsable du supplément Livres n’a pas, pour l’instant, souhaité répondre à nos questions. C’est en revanche la directrice du Tageblatt qui nous a répondu :

    “Notre rédaction n’était pas au courant de ce qui semble être “une affaire” chez vous. Vous comprendrez que nous ne souhaitons en rien être pris à partie. Ce d’autant que notre groupe de presse n’a jamais eu, au cours de sa longue histoire, de reproches à se faire.”

Le quotidien luxembourgeois, sans confirmer l’information, tient essentiellement à se démarquer des choix éditoriaux de son supplément.

This illustrates a particularly important trait characteristic of our time: the bystander effect. I had a student react to the presentation of the Al Durah dossier by noting that, while it all seemed very convincing, she felt uncomfortable agreeing because it would mean “taking sides” and “I don’t want to take sides in this conflict.” If anti-Semitism is triumphant, it will be because people, good people, stood on the sidelines refusing to take the side of the Jews, the prime target of Jihadi (and European) hatreds.

Pierre-André Taguieff

De son côté, Pierre-André Taguieff fulmine :

    « La mise en accusation quasi-planétaire d’Israël est moins le résultat de la propagande palestino-islamiste qu’un effet du fonctionnement du système médiatique. Les professionnels des médias réagissent dans l’urgence, sans prendre la peine de faire un véritable travail d’investigation, en se contentant de s’inspirer des dépêches d’agence, recopiées sans esprit critique. À cela, il faut ajouter une sélection des informations selon un critère idéologico-politique dominant : les médias choisissent de privilégier les récits allant dans le sens des présupposés de la culture politique de gauche, qui est largement majoritaire dans le monde professionnel des journalistes. Or, l’anti-israélisme et le propalestinisme, depuis les années 1990, se sont inscrits dans la doxa journalistique, reflétant le parti pris « antisioniste » partagé, avec plus ou moins de virulence, par toutes les gauches. »

    [The quasi-planetary indictment of Israel is less the result of Palestino-Islamist [nice phrase] propaganda than an effect of the functioning of the media. Information professionals react in the moment, without taking the time to do any real investigative work, and are satisfied with the news agency releases, which they copy without any critical sense. To that one must add that they select their information along the criteria of the dominant ideological-political posture: the media privilege the narratives that support the presuppositions of leftist politics, which includes the vast majority of the world of professional journalists. It so happens that anti-Israelism and pro-Palestinianism, since the 1990s, have become the journalistic doxa [teaching], reflecting a partisan commitment to anti-Zionism shared, with more or less virulence, by all the leftists.]

As Bill Maher put it so succinctly:

    I think most of them do [take the Palestinian side] because I think the media, to take up your point, mostly – is way too stupid to understand the issues. So what they do is they go toward, ‘Oh, who’s a victim?’

Except that in Europe, the media are both smarter and nastier. Jim Clancy’s a country bumpkin compared to Jeremy Bowen.

Toujours sous protection policière

Professeur de philosophie, Robert Redeker, 56 ans, a du cesser d’enseigner après sa tribune intitulée “Face aux intimidations islamistes, que doit faire le monde libre ? ” et publiée dans Le Figaro. Le quotidien avait été interdit de vente en Egypte et en Tunisie. Sous la pression, le journal avait présenté ses excuses via la chaîne Al-Jazeera, tandis que l’association Reporters sans frontières soutenait Robert Redeker menacé de mort par des islamistes et placé sous la protection de la gendarmerie.

Depuis 2006, “je vis toujours dans une semi-clandestinité. Je continue d’être sous protection policière. Tous mes déplacements officiels sont encadrés par le SPHP-SPPM.” indique Robert Redeker à L’Annuel des idées. L’article du philosophe sera publié dans le numéro de L’Arche, une revue toute acquise à ses analyses et donc, sans surprise. Le non-débat continue.

How pathetic is that. I was critical of the American media not coming to the defense of the Europeans in Danoongate. But this takes the cake… so far.

29 Responses to Just How Crazy Have Europeans Become? Insights into the Flotilla Madness

  1. incognito says:

    is the number of people at last willing to look at whether the Emperor’s New Clothes are real or not.

    Obama is not among them. He has looked, has seen that emperor is naked and yet decided to do business with him as if he were dressed.

    Extreme Makeover
    Lee Smith
    http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politics/36244/extreme-makeover/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=extreme-makeover

  2. incognito says:

    Perhaps because he is naked himself.

    • thetaye says:

      Oh I could do without the imagery (!). But in all seriousness, I see the point and am inclined to agree, although with reservation. As someone quite acquainted with the world and thinking patterns in liberal arts and academia in general, I have been wondering if Obama is approaching all this as an academic, not as a leader and a politician. His ‘carefulness’ in being ‘fair’, unwilling to ‘offend’ and ‘not taking sides’ (like Richard’s student) is quite typical of too many an academic. If you’re chuffing along in that manner while doing some kind of research project, fine. But if the stakes are people’s lives, that’s another matter.

  3. Rich Rostrom says:

    For 15 years, the French philosopher Robert Redeker has published a weekly book review for them…

    For whom? Who is “them”?

    Tageblatt Luxembourg, according to the Google-translated article, but you don’t say.

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  5. andrew says:

    All Taguieff’s books are interesting. I liked ”Precheurs de haine. Traversee de la judeophobie planetaire” and ”La judeophobie des modernes. Des lumieres au Jihad mondial” the most.
    The last one ”La nouvelle propagande antijuive” is,
    again, excellent. In particular, nothing could be more precise or informative than the pages (about 100) devoted to the al-Durah case: but what can an intellectual, even of Taguieff’s level, do against the
    current ? I have not yet heard anything on TV or general media about his last book (and very little about his former ones), whereas Enderlin’s and Shlomo
    Sand’s book(s) are consistently cited, not as books of opinion but as books of absolute truth and certainty.

  6. incognito says:

    but what can an intellectual, even of Taguieff’s level, do against the current?

    Indeed, particularly since most intellectuals are anti-Israel/jewish these days (as, in fact, was the soorce of antisemitism historically).

    whereas Enderlin’s and Shlomo
    Sand’s book(s) are consistently cited, not as books of opinion but as books

    What’s more, when these books are proven rubbish, you don’t read or see it in the media either.

  7. Eliyahu says:

    I’m now reading Taguieff’s L’Imaginaire du complot mondial [Paris: Fayard-Mille et une nuit 2006]. I recommend it of course. It was conveniently published in a pocket edition that really fits the pocket, for reading on planes and trains. He surveys all sorts of world conspiracy theories.

    What bothers me is that I doubt that such a book could be published in the USA. A lot of serious books published in languages other English are never translated. Hence, those American academics –and they are many– who cannot read well or at all in a tongue other than English are left out of the movements of thought. They are pathetically provincial in their ignorance. Am I being nasty? Am I exaggerating? A big part of the problem is that publishers are not interested in works that don’t fit the narrative, particularly about Israel, the Arabs and the Middle East in general [edward sa`id not only fits the narrative but helped to create and install it]. This is what Barry Rubin complained about from his own experience and I have been told this by an Israeli publisher seeking a co-publisher in America for an English edition of an intelligent layman’s book on Jewish and Israeli history. The book in its original, Hebrew edition was elegant with beautiful illustrations, etc. A perfect coffee table book, one would think. But American publishers were not interested. The masses –even the educated– have to be protected from ideas that might interfere with their adhering to the accepted narrative.

  8. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu says,

    But American publishers were not interested. The masses – even the educated – have to be protected from ideas that might interfere with their adhering to the accepted narrative.

    Your theory makes little sense to me. Are you suggesting that Americans are generally more susceptible to conspiracy theories than the French and a book like this might disturb them? I just went to Amazon books and typed in “Conspiracy Theories”. I got 580 listings.

    I have a personal friend who owns a small publishing company. He is constantly on the lookout for works to publish that he might profit from. I can’t imagine him finding a good candidate but then declining to publish it because it did not protect his readers from some unacceptable “narrative”.

    For larger publishers the idea that they would invest the huge sums required to publish a book for any reason other than profit simply doesn’t make sense. A few decisions like that and they’d be showing poor quarterly returns and their stockholders would be shifting their assets into more profitable assets – like stocks of publishers who make their decisions with the stockholders interests foremost.

    I assure you that if The Imaginary World of Conspiracy were of sufficient interest to US readers it would be translated and published here by one of the many publishers who are hoping to survive the current economy. ;-)

  9. Eliyahu says:

    Ray, I am not saying that Americans are any more or less susceptible to conspiracy theories than Europeans. My point is that the American publishers –I mean the large publishers– avoid books that disrupt the accepted PC narrative. Maybe not entirely. But in any case, profit is not the only motive moving publishers and, with some choices of what to publish, profit is not a motive.

    Bear in mind, that a good translation costs money too and they don’t want to put out the money for a good translation if the book is not PC. So profit is a motive but other motives can override it.

  10. incognito says:

    My point is that the American publishers –I mean the large publishers– avoid books that disrupt the accepted PC narrative. Maybe not entirely.

    These days all western publishers do. They have become just like the arab/muslim publishers who have been doing it for years. That’s what dhimmification is.

    So profit is a motive but other motives can override it.

    Academic presses are big on that — universities are now funded by rich arabs.

  11. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu, Profit is the motive. If their market research says that buyers want PC books, then that’s what they’ll publish. Because they want profit.

    Certainly there is a market for PC books and some publishers will see profit potential there. But there is also a market for pro-Western, pro-Israel books. My shelf is full of them all published in the US since 2000. They were seeking to profit from my interests – not to brainwash me into supporting Israel.

    You may be right the some, perhaps most publishers, are looking to the PC market. But if so, it is because they seek the profit available there, not because they’d rather be PC than profitable and not because they wish to brainwash their readers into hating Israel and the West, as I think you suggest.

    The West has a diversity of opinions. Western industry will seek to satisfy their tastes. That’s the invisible hand of capitalism which works quite well for publishing where there’s plenty of competition protected by the first amendment in the US.

    As a manufacturer all my life I can assure you that it is far easier and more profitable to satisfy the public’s tastes than it is to change them. ;-)

  12. Ray in Seattle says:

    I should make that:

    As a manufacturer all my life I can assure you that it is far easier and more profitable to satisfy the public’s tastes than it is to change them.

    I will most likely likely try to satisfy their tastes in a way that I have some advantage. If I was a publisher who had developed reputation for publishing political books with either a liberal or conservative slant – then I would have market a reputation that would make sales easier to outlets by staying with my reputation and building it – and not going off in some other direction and creating label confusion.

    But again, I’d do that to be more profitable, not to brainwash the readers or change their views.

  13. Ray in Seattle says:

    OTOH – It is true that a politically motivated publisher may want to support his own world-view and allow that to affect his publishing decisions. And so there is truth to your assertion that some publishers are politically motivated over profit. Regnery I think is notorious for that. Regnery is also known to be financed by its owners’ cash and not by its profits on sales.

  14. incognito says:

    And so there is truth to your assertion that some publishers are politically motivated over profit.

    These are not always mutually exclusive. It is possible to find a political niche which is profitable just as you describe.

    For example, anti-Israel books sell these days, so a publisher could focus on that and not accept any “islamophobic” books and he would probably prosper.

  15. Eliyahu says:

    Ray, Regnery does that as you say. But I say that mainstream publishers too do the same. Indeed, I believe that efforts are being made to change the fundamental thinking of the American people. Cogwar is proceeding apace.

  16. Ray in Seattle says:

    Eliyahu, Thanks for your thoughts on this. When I try to imagine the scenario you suggest I recall that one of Regnery’s most important writers, David Brock, experienced a lot of guilt for having written “The Real Anita Hill” which he has admitted was a cruel and wholly untruthful screed because he was being paid to write lies and discredit an innocent person by a politically motivated publisher.

    He since has written “Blinded by the Right”, his confessional, where he describes in detail what he did and the motivations and how politically motivated publishing works – at least at Regnery when he worked for them. Have you read it?

    Regnery is a small company. My sense is that in a larger company that purports to be non-biased in their selection of writers to publish – that claims to select projects based on the quality of the writing and the ideas – if they actually had a biased agenda – I think it would be very difficult to hide such bias for long. A disgruntled employee would eventually out them and that would cause serious damage to their reputation. So I think they may even have instructions from the board in many cases to be assiduously non-biased in their selections.

    By “mainstream publisher” I assume you mean one that chooses their projects based on the quality of the writing and ideas expressed – giving somewhat equal voice to opposing world-views. I don’t know of mainstream publishers that don’t approach their business from that position. If they admit to a political agenda then I think that would take them out of the “mainstream” philosophically. Would you agree?

    One last thought. It seems to me that if the accepted view is dominating the market that means there’s lots of competition for readers’ money by books expressing that view. I suspect a well-written book opposing that view would sell well just because of the relative scarcity of that viewpoint on the book-store shelves – on a hot topic. I’d bet publishers look for those if they can find them rather than add another book like all the others to the rack.

    I’m basing my views here on limited experience. It would be interesting if any readers of this blog had some publishing background and could possibly help me out here.

  17. incognito says:

    But I say that mainstream publishers too do the same. Indeed, I believe that efforts are being made to change the fundamental thinking of the American people. Cogwar is proceeding apace.

    I agree to that only in the sense that the publishers want to prevent any complaints that they are cowardly dhimmifying themselves, which may affect their image and sales. And perhaps to attract more anti-semites to write.
    I don’t think that most of them care much about anything else.

  18. E.G. says:

    Any published material needs to be reviewed and discussed in the media, in order to gain some “fame”, so as to attract potential readers’ attention.

    By ignoring most materials that make different points about Israel, telling another “narrative” than the one they peddle, European mainstream media present a distorted picture of the “public opinion” while at the same time they do their best to shape it. It sounds more and more unanimous. Yes, dissidence is verboten.

    BTW, if one does read Taguieff’s chapter on the Al-Dura affair, one may — lo and behold! — reach this very place.

  19. incognito says:

    One does not need to read the MSM to know this reality.
    In fact, already at the time the Al-Dura occurred, it waa already clear that something was wrong for 2 reasons: one that the arabs and the media were pushing it like hell and two because anybody who knows Israel knows that it does not operate that way.

    Unfortunately, for a vast majority of the EU population the ME conflict is not something that affects them personally and they are mostly ignorant of it. The part of the population that does care are the 5th column muslims and extreme left and they are vociferous and violent. The result is that the elite and the media are cowed by them as well as pander to them for commercial or political reasons.

    Plus in the UK the BBC is a state funded institution and thus an integral part of the elite.

  20. E.G. says:

    incognito,

    Indeed the vast majority of EU population is not personally affected by the ME conflict; yet they’re not ignorant but constantly misinformed and driven to taking a position. MSM disproportionately reports, and relentlessly “tickles” the Justice nerve in each individual’s conscience about this specific issue, at the expense of thousands of innocent lives taken daily by non-Jews (mostly Moslems), while directing the sensitive and sensible European souls towards a “nonjudgmental” attitude: Al Yahood can’t be right, while Moslems are surely right though a bit too savage sometimes to be awarded full “Noble” title.

    One must be fair, isn’t it, and recognize that both parties are wrong, even though the Juice are a lot more wrong. And even “wronger” by shamelessly exploiting European guilt over that terrible-terrible episode for which nobody can be held responsible any more, especially given the unacceptable acts of the past victims’ descendants.

  21. incognito says:

    E.G.,

    You are restating what I said.

    They are misinformed BECAUSE they are ignorant. There are enough sources to learn the truth, but they don’t care enough to make the effort and accept the media story because that’s easy and because most are rather open to anti-Israel narratives and anti-semitism which is another reason they believe the media and why the media gives them what they wannna hear.

    Being misinformed is essentially a kind of ignorance, isn’t it? As long they don’t experience the cost of such ignorance they have no reason to change.

  22. E.G. says:

    An article in French, titled “When PC Censors” on the Redeker/Taguieff silencing:

    http://www.crif.org/index.php?page=articles_display/detail&aid=20733&returnto=articles_display/detail&artyd=10

    a translated excerpt:

    Could it be by corporatist complicity that the Luxembourg Tagenblatt refused to review Taguieff’s book? [...]
    Robert Redeker, a philosopher, victim of a Fatwa for having analysed too closely the Koranic sources of Jihadist fanaticism, has been collaborating for more than 13 years with the literary supplement of the Luxembourg journal. And now he’s forbidden to write. What professional mistake has he committed? What ethical breach he guilty of? Has he promoted some fanatical thinking, or has he been as vulgar as some imitators operating the radio, has he incited to hatred like other comedians do, has he defamed, has he lied, has he falsified facts as some journalists do? No, his professional misconduct was to make a (positive) argumented critique of Taguieff’s book. [...]
    Victim of a first Islamic Fatwa, here is Redeker victim of a PC (bien pensante) Fatwa.

  23. incognito says:

    What ethical breach he guilty of? Has he promoted some fanatical thinking, or has he been as vulgar as some imitators operating the radio, has he incited to hatred like other comedians do, has he defamed, has he lied, has he falsified facts as some journalists do?

    Only muslims are permitted to do all that.

  24. E.G. says:

    incognito,

    Enderlin is not a Moslem. And he’s got many non-Moslem comrades.

  25. incognito says:

    Dhimmis and anti-semites are honorary muslims for propaganda purposes.

  26. [...] Lizenz zum Schreiben entzogen. Mit anderen Worten, er wurde gekündigt, mit der Begründung (Link): The readers would not understand that someone might be favorable to [...]

  27. [...] French media about Taguieff’s book, « La nouvelle propagande anti juive ». I have already posted on this issue when Robert Redeker lost his position as book reviewer for a small Luxembourgeois paper for daring [...]

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