Monthly Archives: January 2013

Plausibility and rekaB Street: The American Economy

I posted a piece on the way that inhabitants of rekaB Street look for plausible, not accurate explanations, ones that permit one to maintain one’s set of beliefs regardless of reality. Not being an economic specialist, I’m not in a position to vouch for the accuracy of this analysis by Tom Blumer at PJMedia on the problems of the US economy, but a couple of passages caught my eye:

Just days after the November presidential and congressional elections which gave President Barack Obama a non-mandate of 50.6% of the popular vote and the demonstrated supported of less than 27% of all U.S. adults, NBC’s Brian Williams actually told viewers:

With the election now over, it is once again safe to talk about the economy and jobs. Now that it is not a campaign issue, it’s back to reality…

In other words (if I understand), we (the news media) could not discuss reality during the campaign, lest it be used by Obama’s opponents to hurt his chances of re-election. Now that he’s back in, we can. But not really:

At the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, the post-election search for an explanation clearly had two important constraints. First: do not blame the Obama administration or the federal government for anything. Second: find something to blame which appears to be plausible and can’t be immediately refuted.

Of course, AP’s explanation is anything but plausible:

For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines. … [T]he future has arrived.

In other words, stay firmly on rekaB Street, lest the news shatter the icons of authority that keep us “safe,” not matter how out of touch with reality that leaves us. Shades of Hillary Clinton.

Jewish Riots Erupt Following Netanyahu Cartoon

This is deeply shocking and I condemn this behavior in no uncertain terms!

There, I’ve said it. Now let no one say I’m an “Israel-right-or-wronger.”

My only question is, why did Chandler feel the need for the subtitle (or was that his editors at the Tablet)?

Jewish Riots Erupt Following Netanyahu Cartoon
Okay, not really

By Adam Chandler|January 29, 2013 10:15 AM|15comments

In the wake of a controversial cartoon published in the Sunday Times of London, massive crowds of angry Jewish protestors gathered in Hyde Park yesterday and, whipped into a fervor by local rabbis, took to the streets of London.

Incited by the inflammatory, blood libel-themed cartoon–which was released on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and featured a hook-nosed caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall using Palestinian blood as mortar–the crowds descended on the Harvey Nichols on Sloane Street, where they broke store windows and set fire to the Charlie Allen and Ted Baker collections. The mob, unabated, next stormed the Royal Portrait Gallery, tearing down and defacing the centuries’ old collection of British kings and queens.

“We left the new portrait of Kate Middleton up” said Gerald Stein of Stamford Hill, “it’s offensive enough on its own.”

Palestinian Projections and the Workings of Jew-Hatred

The indispensable PMW has just published a translation of an article in Ma’an, the Palestinian news agency publication. PMW emphasizes the vicious anti-Semitism of the piece (Israel and “the Jews” are interchangeable) which is pervasive in Palestinian media, and the fact that Ma’an is supported by the EU, UNESCO, and the Dutch and Danish governments, presumably to encourage their journalism which, we all know, is equally professional everywhere and therefore supportive of civil society.

I’d like to emphasize a different aspect of the text, namely the profound role that projection plays in its formulations about “the Jews.” Indeed, if it were not that they have insulated themselves entirely from real-world feedback (with the help of their European and global allies), they might have hesitated to publish so deeply embarrassing – indeed humiliating – a piece of self-revelation. But then again, projection lies at the heart of the anti-Semitic mind, as in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Text bolded by PMW, my comments added throughout.

“Israel is Trembling”
by Sawsan Najib Abd Al-Halim
“We’re used to seeing vampires in Dracula movies, where the murderer and the vampire act in the dead of night, and as soon as dawn breaks, the murderer disappears and hides during the day.
The brave warrior, who at the very least has moral values, fights in the daytime. In all wars, in all eras, honorable nations conducted their battles during the day and slept at night. But has Israel even a trace of morality?
A brave warrior is proud when he confronts another [warrior] as brave as he, and the more he is struck, the stronger he grows, proud in his struggle and respectful of his adversary. But since Jews are – as our grandparents said of them – sons of death (expression of contempt, meaning ‘a coward,’ -Ed.), they are too cowardly to confront an enemy face to face, especially if their enemy is as well armed as they…
All of this coming from Palestinians, who have never fielded an army, Arabs who, despite being better armed and vastly more numerous, have repeatedly lost to Israelis since 1948, is historically risible. But it does illustrate an element in the pathology of Palestinian honor-shame culture. The description here of the true warrior (which has no historical example among Arabs in the modern world, and on the contrary, in their acts of deliberately targeting civilians, has countless counter-examples), is a classic depiction of the values of an honor-shame culture:
A brave warrior is proud when he confronts another [warrior] as brave as he, and the more he is struck, the stronger he grows, proud in his struggle and respectful of his adversary.

New Republic’s Decline: Now I Understand

During the US presidential campaign I dropped my subscription to New Republic. I didn’t do any background research, I just found the drum-beat of pro-Obama, anti-Romney propaganda too tedious to bother with (much less pay for). Now I find out that this is because the new owner and self-anointed editor-in-chief, Chris Hughes, is a Obama campaign loyalist whose understanding of journalism, much less the storied history of The New Republic, leads much to be desired.

And just recently, Hughes unveiled the new masthead for his publication, in which, according to an article at the Washington Beacon, a host of Jewish writers have been dropped:

Daily Beast reporter Eli Lake, longtime TNR columnist James Kirchick, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, and onetime senior editor Lawrence Kaplan. Complicating the picture, former TNR editor Peter Beinart was also dropped from the masthead. Beinart is the publisher of Open Zion, an anti-Zionist Daily Beast blog sponsored by the New America Foundation.

Shades of CNN Middle East Bureau?

Not according to TNR contributing editor, Jonathan Chait, in a scathingly sarcastic post entitled “Hitler Alive and Well, Owning Liberal Magazine” (HT: Yair Rosenberg). Chait views the issue as an absurd tempest in a teapot by an embarrassingly alarmist and unrealiable source. And it may just be the long overdue cleaning up of a list, eliminating the names of writers who no longer contribute. After all, Leon Weiseltier is still there and (even) criticizing Obama and his new global “light footprint.”

But it may also be part of an alignment with a Term2Obama who will may raise the demands of  journalistic loyalty. Whatever the case, under Hughes the decline in independent thought has been pretty noticeable.

That has not, however, kept Hughes from grandiose claims to the opposite:

The journalism in these pages will strive to be free of party ideology or partisan bias, although it will showcase passionate writing and will continue to wrestle with the primary questions about our society.

Alas. It’s not a good sign when the new editor in chief engages in unconscious parody.

Goldberg and the Daniels: Of Sewage Pipes, Lethal Narratives, and DuraJournalism

A recent spat in the blogosphere raises issues worth considering. After Jeffrey Goldberg informed his ample readership that President Obama believed that Israel did not understand its own best interests – a belief that I think it’s safe to say he shares – Lori Lowenthal Marcus quoted Dan Senor tweeting that two American officials had admitted that Obama, via Goldberg, was trying to influence the elections in Israel. In other words, the “Israel” that doesn’t know its own best interests was a reference to Bibi, whom Obama specifically dissed in Goldberg’s account, and reportedly Obama makes these kinds of remarks frequently to those around him.

Senor’s tweet drew response tweets, among others from both Goldberg and Beinart, while Dan Friedman at The Israeli Front Line, posted a far more aggressive comment in introduction to Marcus’ article about Goldberg, chiding Marcus for her too-subdued a depiction of the journalist who reported Obama’s thoughts to the public.

In her Jewish Press piece today Lori Lowenthal Marcus asks a legitimate question: Will Congress Investigate Obama’s Attempt to Derail Bibi? First, the answer is no. But Marcus yaws way off-course when she gives short shrift to Goldberg, describing him as “a centrist liberal Jewish writer.” Indeed that’s his “cover” and an image Goldberg carefully cultivates, but it is no accident that he’s one of the few errand boys Obama uses to get his poison delivered to Israel and the USA Jewish community. The plain truth is Jeffrey Goldberg is a Jewish sewer pipe for Obama. And he’s loving every minute of it because, like T. Friedman, Beinhart and the J Street crowd, he wants to “punish” Israel.  – Dan Friedman

This apparently got up Goldberg’s nose, and he responded in kind:

Hillary Clinton, rekaB Street Statesperson

I heard Hilary Clinton’s angry remarks about American dead on the radio the other day and couldn’t help but think rekaB Street.

With all due respect, the fact is, we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans? What difference — at this point — does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.

What an extraordinary statement! (And note the complete reversal disguised as “the point” in the final sentence.)

What an aggressive assertion of a complete lack of interest in understanding what’s going on. At least, she could have given the two plausible scenarios – protest over a movie, or well-planned Jihadi attack on the anniversary of 9-11. Instead, she used a ridiculous alternative – “guys out for a walk.”

It’s as if, faced with objections to the plausibility scenario that she was offering, the Secretary of State lashed out against looking closely. In so doing, of course, she pitched to our sensibilities, invoking the sanctity of life,  of American life, over which she had already shed a tear: so greatly do we mourn, that it’s sacrilegious to inquire to closely why they died.

On the contrary, it matters why it was done, precisely in order “to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again.” Indeed, it matters hugely: it is the hallmark of any investigation that aims at inspiring a learning curve to look precisely into the details, unflinchingly.

Hence, our suspicions, as responsible citizens, should be aroused by anyone who told us that it doesn’t matter. Even if one wants to claim emotional stress, in which, under the rude questioning of Senator Ron Johnson, Hillary used a ploy to win that exchange, we’re left with the residue of that maneuver, namely a humiliatingly foolish statement. (This is not sexist, men also use ploys and say stupid things when on the defensive.) But when you do it in public, and you’re the Secretary of State, you do have to keep your wits about you when you fight back. This “comeback” was, alas, witless.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Apparently the indignation at Clinton’s call to auto-stupefaction and the analytic dissection of the folly behind the remarks  took place largely “on the right,” while, in the mainstream media, Clinton’s remarks were greeted with great admiration. “Good for Hillary,” she showed those guys on Capitol Hill a thing or two.

Here Diane Sawyer and Martha Raddatz team up to present her “riveting” testimony.

It would be harder to find a better illustration of the workings of rekaB Street than to cheer on such a principled – indignant! -refusal to examine the evidence. There must be a Simpsons or Family Guy or South Park routine that illustrates this kind of behavior. And apparently, alas, we need a term to designate the performers of such triumphalist folly.

Chelmnikim? Nasreddinim?

After all, if there weren’t real danger, this would be simply comic.

“Honni soit qui Mali pense !”

Plusieurs personnes ont noté l’écart entre la façon dont la presse parle de l’action française au Mali et l’action israleienne à Gaza. Voici un exemple bien formulé.

Chronique du 17 janvier 2013

Boker tov amis auditeurs de Radio J, un groupe islamiste djihadiste s’est emparé d’une partie d’un territoire, il maintient cette région sous sa menace terroriste en bombardant des civils, en imposant la Charia, en reniant tous droits aux femmes et aux non-musulmans, en prenant en otages des étrangers. Face à ce péril, un pays soucieux des droits de l’homme, de la démocratie et de la paix a décidé de réagir en attaquant ces terroristes par son aviation, puis son armée de terre, entraînant d’autres agressions de la part des terroristes.

Vous l’avez compris, je parle d’Israël face au Hamas. Oh non excusez-moi, je me suis trompé dans mes notes, il s’agit de l’intervention de la France au Mali. J’aurais dû m’en douter en lisant les communiqués des nombreux Etats démocratiques occidentaux saluant le courage du Président qui a pris la décision d’impliquer l’armée française dans la lutte contre les terroristes, en appliquant curieusement les méthodes de Tsahal, attaque par hélicoptères de combat, pilonnage de cibles militaires camouflées derrière des populations civiles, liquidation des chefs de la rébellion.

La France n’a pas vocation de rester au Mali, mais son armée y restera jusqu’à la stabilisation de la situation et l’organisation de nouvelles élections, a déclaré le Président de la République. D’ici à ce qu’on désigne les Français comme des colons en terre occupée, il n’y a pas loin. Mais le plus curieux c’est que la classe politique découvre le secret de Polichinelle, on ne combat pas le terrorisme avec des bons sentiments et de belles paroles mais en lui “infligeant de lourdes pertes”, comme le dit François Hollande reprenant mot à mot les termes du chef d’état-major israélien Benny Gantz. Les conséquences immédiates de l’intervention militaire sont claires: risque d’attentats en France, prise d’otages français dans les régions où les mouvements djihadistes sont présents, menaces sur les intérêts français à travers le monde, victimes dans les rangs de l’armée française comme en Afghanistan, augmentation des dépenses militaires, et risque d’embrasement dans la région avec l’extension des conflits ethniques déjà nombreux en Afrique.

Pourtant, à part quelques excentriques oubliés de la scène du pouvoir comme Dominique de Villepin, toute la classe politique soutient l’intervention française. Personne ne met en doute sa légitimité, même si certains discutent sur les moyens, la méthode ou l’isolement de la France dans cette opération. Pourtant quelle différence entre le Hamas et Aqmi ? Même idéologie, même façon d’agir, mêmes objectifs, même barbarie, même haine de l’autre, même rejet des valeurs qui fondent notre civilisation. Alors y aurait-il deux poids et deux mesures entre la France et Israël ? Ce qui est permis et loué chez l’un serait banni chez le second ? Allons ne soyons pas malveillants et rappelons-nous ce vieux dicton:

“Honni soit qui Mali pense !”

Michaël Bar-Zvi Vav Be Chevat 5773

Defining Political Correctness

I can’t find the origin of this piece of folk wisdom and it’s apparently a bit old, but it’s still a pretty choice definition.

There’s an annual contest at the Griffith University, Australia, calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. 

This year’s term was ‘political correctness’.

The winning student wrote:

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end.”

Demonstrating on rekaB Street: SNJ supports their confrère Charles Enderlin

As noted in an earlier post, the Société nationale de journalistes, France Télévisions (SNJ) sent out an appeal to members to come show solidarity with Charles Enderlin at the trial. Below is the text, with commentary about the deeply superficial nature of the claims. Basically, the observer is left with the following question: are they dishonest or truly (and inexcusably) uninformed, or, to paraphrase Karsenty on Enderlin, they are certainly misleading their readers; but are they misled? In any case, clueless on rekaB Street seems an apt depiction of their existential condition.


Solidarité avec Charles Enderlin ce mercredi 16 à Paris

Le SNJ a toujours été solidaire de Charles Enderlin ( France 2 ) injustement accusé, poursuivi et harcelé pour son reportage sur la mort de Mohammed Al Dura, un jeune Palestinien de 12 ans, tué à Gaza le 30 septembre 2000.

Note that, neither here, nor below, is there any link to some serious arguments in favor of Enderlin. Presumably, when they write “unjustly accused, pursuied, and harrassed…” they have looked at the evidence and found the criticism completely wanting. Or is this just the rhetoric of people who defend their own without examining the evidence? Shades of the pre-modern trope: “my side right or wrong”, or, in the language of the French “du communautarisme journalistique” [partisan journalism].

Pendant plus de 10 ans, quelques acharnés ont tenté de le discréditer, le salir, le faire condamner.

Le SNJ a multiplié les actions de solidarité. Lors de son congrès de Lyon, en 2007, après les journalistes de France 2, ce sont plus de 150 délégués de toutes formes de presse qui ont signé la pétition : “Charles Enderlin, l’honneur d’une rédaction”.

Note again, no session on the case and its evidence, just solidarity with Charles as if, like one of the others mentioned in the same petition, he had been thrown into prison by his government for criticizing it. Actually, one would have thought that the fiasco of the original petition in favor of Enderlin, signed by people who openly admitted they hadn’t seen the evidence, but only signed to show solidarity with a colleague, might have instilled a small measure of embarrassment in his supporters… but, no. Like Enderlin showing footage from France2 that Karsenty had just systematically dismantled as false and unprofessional, apparently support for Enderlin is shameless because clueless.

Son reportage, qui a fait le tour du monde et sert toujours de référence, est cependant encore l’objet d’attaques en justice.

They themselves admit that this report on al Durah went around the world and serves to this day as a [valid] reference. But as to whether it was inaccurate seems of no interest to these alleged journalists, allegedly committed to principles of proper behavior.

C’est le cas ce mercredi 16 janvier où notre confrère doit faire face à un de ses accusateurs permanents.

One could not know from this remark that it’s Charles, their colleague, who is the accuser, using the courts to bully his critics.

M. Karsenty, directeur d’une agence de notation des médias, avait demandé sa destitution en dénonçant la diffusion “d’un faux reportage, une pure fiction comportant, en première partie, une série de scènes jouées”. Il doit être rejugé par la cour d’appel de Paris pour diffamation contre Charles Enderlin.

Nous avons donc la possibilité de témoigner de notre solidarité avec notre confrère et de notre exigence pour une information de qualité, dont il est un des symboles.

Again, the evidence is of no interest. Charles is the symbol of quality information, which they, as journalists, support. Again the question: are they superficial fools? or are they intentionally dishonest?

Venez le 16 janvier à 13h30, 4, boulevard du palais, chambre 7, pole 7 de la cour d’appel de Paris.

As far as I know, none of them showed, and if they did, they “manifested” so quietly only a practiced eye could have noticed.


mardi 15 janvier 2013

Enderlin the Lance Armstrong of Journalism

Listen to the Oprah interview with Armstrong, and think Endelrin:

Did you think it was cheating? No.

And you not only denied it but did so emphatically? Yes.

Someone should do a study in cognitive dissonance and self-deception.

Karsenty vs. Enderlin: Baker vs. rekaB Street in action

Yesterday was the sixth hearing in the saga of France 2 and Charles Enderlin suing Philippe Karsenty for defamation in the French courts. In some senses it was something of an anti-climax. In others it was an amazing example of the clash between Baker and rekaB Streets. Indeed, the Société des journalistes (SNJ) and SNJ de France Télévisions both called on members to show their support for Enderlin, who was valiantly defending himself against Karsenty’s legal aggression, when in fact it is Enderlin and France2 who are using the courts to bully Karsenty into silence. Shades of Tuvia Grossman: we know who the aggressor must be, so we’re rallying around our wounded David, even when he’s a embarrassingly dim Goliath.

Karsenty went in loaded for bear, with a mock-up reconstruction of the site at Netzarim, and an extensive PPP full of videos. He went through all the evidence, starting with an very nice series of illustrations using the rushes to show how France2/Enderlin consistently use clearly staged footage as “news.” He then went through the entire dossier concerning the actual al Durah footage. At times it seemeda bit too exhaustive, and the judges seemed irritated by the PPP, but the arguments were excellent, and reflected a forensic mind that engages in identifying clues, and deriving conclusions from an analysis of the evidence.

Enderlin, on the other hand, seemed either completely out of his depth, or just supremely unconcerned. He did nothing but repeat things he’s said (and written) a thousand times, and when it was France2’s chance to respond to Karsenty, he sat passively while his lawyer showed five clips, four of which were just unedited replays of France2 news broadcasts on the matter (including totally irrelevant news about the tunnel under Mont Blanc and the Olympics in Sydney). It was as if they believed that in merely restating themselves, they proved themselves right. After Karsenty’s presentation, however, it was a stunning display of rekaB Street: the very scenes he had deconstructed as fakes, they were again playing as real. Even the judges seemed amused. The grand finale was Jamal al Durah showing his wounds just after Karsenty had showed that the wounds were not from the event (later confirmed by the medical forensic expert).

Enderlin seemed completely alone. He and his lawyer, Maitre Amblard, chic and shallow as ever, were alone at the dock (not even Guillaume Clement-Weill), no one from France2, whose new CEO was questioned about the al Durah affair by a senator at the time of his confirmation, and has, apparently decided to let Enderlin carry this one alone. Indeed, when France2’s “side” tried to show the videos, there was a technical fiasco which took 20 minutes to resolve (Karsenty even offered to show the footage they were having trouble with), trying the patience of the judges, before then trying their intelligence with meaningless material. Even Enderlin, in a passing glimmer of intelligence, seemed bored with his own side’s argument.

For those of us familiar with the material, it seemed like a rout. I even had a momentary flash of sympathy for how pathetic Enderlin was. In any serious court of informed and intelligent judgment, this was a romp: Karsenty sliced France2 to pieces, and France2 responded by putting the severed pieces back up on the screen as if they were whole.

But that means nothing in terms of the verdict. For the first time, the “Avocat generale” who speaks for the Parquet was critical of Karsenty, and chided him for his lack of prudence in criticizing Enderlin, emphasizing that the court was not here to decide the historical questions (i.e., what happened), but the question of Karsenty’s good faith (it being uncontested that his criticism of Enderlin was defamation of his honor). Given how – at least in the words of some major figures in the Jewish community – French justice is “politicized,” how much the whole establishment – media, politicians, judges – is locked up (verouillé), it’s perfectly possible that on April 3, the judges will decide in favor of the plaintiff, France2.

But that would just mean that one more court has planted its flag firmly on rekaB Street, and that the victims, in addition to Karsenty, will be the fabric of civil society in France, where citizens cannot criticize a rogue press lest it harm their unearned reputation. 

The event was live-blogged by JSS, and discussed in L’Orient le Jour.


Le Pont entre l’anti-semitisme classique et l’anti-sionisme du 21e siecle.

J’ai assisté aujourdui au colloque annuel du CRIF à Paris, Combattre la menace antisémite“. Ma session s’intitulait:


Voici mes remarque.

Le Pont entre l’anti-semitisme classique et l’anti-sionisme du 21e siecle.

Les médiévistes ont tendance à distinguer entre l’anti-judaïsme et l’anti-semitisme.

L’anti-judaïsme, peut se résumer en cette formule:  “j’ai raison car tu as tort; ma religion est supérieure car la tienne est inférieure; je me couvre d’honneur en t’accablant de honte.” C’est le «supersessionisme» du Christianisme et de l’Islam: une théologie à somme nul, de remplacement: “nous sommes le peuple choisi car vous ne l’êtes plus.” Une telle attitude représente précisément le manque de maturité émotionnelle, d’où les lumières étaient censées nous sortir. Donc, pour les chrétiens pré-moderne et l’Islam (hélas de nos jours), “notre honneur dérive du fait que nous privons les juifs de la leur.” Tant que les juifs acceptaient de se soumettre, se plier devant leurs supérieures, on les laissaient vivre en paix, même prospérer. L’anti-judaïsme manifestent des sentiments qui font partie de la condition humaine quotidienne – l’envie, le Schadenfreude, l’insécurité psychologique. La maitrise de ces sentiments, surtout leur expression à l’échelle politique, ont joué un rôle essentiel dans la naissance des démocraties et de l’égalité devant la loi.

L’anti-sémitisme, par contre, représente une forme paranoïaque de cet anti-judaisme. Il rend rend impitoyable le jeu à somme nul de celui-ci. De “dominer ou être dominé,” on passe à “exterminer ou être exterminé.” Pour les Nazis, et hélas pour trop d’islamistes aujourd’hui, l’existence même des juifs représente une menace existentielle: la race allemande, la religion de l’Islam, se sentent en péril mortel par l’existence même des juifs qui doivent être écrasés, supprimés, pour assurer leur propre survie. L’anti-sémitisme est un délire paranoïaque et génocidaire, un développement que toute civilisation doit combattre: comme le montre l’épisode des Nazis, de tels délires dévorent bien plus que les juifs.

Pourquoi nous voyons l’antisémitisme jaillir aujourd’hui, surtout dans un monde moderne qui s’est soi-disant libéré de son anti-judaisme politique en octroyant aux juifs l’égalité?

Apparemment il y a des anti-judaistes qui, privés de leur sentiment de supériorité, et confronté par les succès presque inconcevables des juifs dans ces conditions de liberté et d’égalité, ne supportent pas l’épreuve. Le cas des Musulmans est très net: un peuple dhimmi devenu autonome représente une abomination théologique qui provoque des rages génocidaires, et qu’ils puissent se défendre contre un monde musulman bien plus nombreux, c’est insupportable.

Ce qui nous amène au 21eme siècle en Occident, en Europe, en France. Ici il y a une nette résurgence du pire anti-sémitisme parmi la population musulmane et parmi certains cercles de la sois-disante gauche: En quelque sorte, on pourrait dire qu’ils ont tous les deux le même Antichrist (ou Dajjal): Israel. Par ailleurs, un aspect important – j’ose même dire dominant – de l’élite intellectuel et politique en Occident, manifeste des éléments inquiétants d’un anti-judaïsme qui permet et encourage l’anti-sémitisme jaillissant. Si l’on compare la Judéophobie à une boisson enivrante, on pourrait dire que l’élite européenne, surtout les professionnels de l’information (journalistes, profs, intellos) vident leurs verres de vins pendant qu’ils maintiennent un “bar ouvert,” bien munis d’alcools forts pour les musulmans.

Et le “bar ouvert” où tout ces poisons se dégustent, c’est la presse européenne, qui passe directement dans les systèmes d’information de leurs démocraties, des récits meurtriers contre Israel produits par des djihadistes génocidaires, non pas en tant que les projections de haine et paranoïa qu’ils sont, mais en tant qu’“événements réellement passés,” “actualités.” Ces récits meurtriers font un double travail. D’un cote elle inspire la haine et le désir de vengeance contre Israel parmi les musulmans. Violence qui, quand elle se présente même sous la forme la plus effarante (Merah), se trouve expliquée voire excusée par la chose même qui la provoqua: le récit meurtrier. De l’autre côté, elles nourrissent la Schadenfreude des européens qui, pour des raisons troublantes, se réjouissent de pouvoir dire aux israéliens: « vous juifs, pendant 2 millénaires on vous maltraita, et dès que vous le pouvez vous faites la même chose aux pauvres palestiniens. »

L’Europe est malade de ces récits meurtriers qui alimentent le Djihad et permettent aux européens de croire que tant que les juifs sont la cible de tirs venus de la position musulmane, eux, post-chrétiens, sont à l’abris. Quand ils se sont précipités sur le plus puissant de ces récits meurtriers, celui de Muhammad al Durah, ils ont mis en marche une dynamique avec des implications tragiques pour le continent entier. Se comblant du sentiment de déculpabilisation – cette image efface et remplace celle du ghetto de Warsovie – ils agitaient en même temps le drapeau de Djihad devant leurs populations musulmanes (?). Les grand personnages qui adoptèrent la formule «Israéliens les nouveaux Nazis et Palestiniens les nouveau juifs», ont peut-être pu se draper d’un moralisme sadique, mais en même temps ils renversaient la réalité précisément au moment ou une nouvel force de haine génocidaire envahissait leurs cultures. Mohamed Merah, et ceux qui font de lui un hero, nous montre la culture toxique que cette folie engendra.

Al Durah c’est le pont entre l’anti-semitisme du 20eme siècle et l’anti-sionisme du 21e siècle: une accusation de meurtre rituel globale, le premier à être diffusé par un juif auto-identifié, peut-être le plus meurtrier de toute la longue lignée de ces producteurs d’atrocités. Et, en fin de compte, c’est une histoire ridicule, qui ne tiendrait pas trois minutes d’analyse sérieuse, mais qui répond à tant de désirs que ces trois minutes ne lui ont toujours pas été accordées par la vaste majorité des gens, meme les juifs, surtout les journalistes. C’est cette icône de la haine qui amena l’Occident à adopter pour leur compte le Dajjal-Antichrist des Djihadist, et ainsi à se rallier à un cauchemar apocalyptique génocidaire qui les vise en même temps qu’Israel.

L’appétit des occidentaux pour les récits meurtriers de Djihadistes au sujet d’Israel, c’est comme un homme avec le cholestérol élevé qui ne peut pas s’empêcher de se goinfrer de steaks rouge, à la sauce Schadenfreude. La prognostique pour le malade, bien qu’il se sent bien, n’est pas bonne. Si l’Occident se remet de tout cela, ses historiens futurs analyseront notre temps, émerveillés de la folie des hommes dits “progressifs” au début du troisième millénaire.

Qu’on s’en tire vite et de nos jours.



Plausible Denial: Reflections on rekaB Street

Participated in an interesting conversation yesterday between someone trying to make the point that the political culture of the Arab/Muslim world was far to the “right” of anything we Westerners can understand, that a majority of the public holds opinions that we would consider fascist, war-mongering and racist if it were a Westerner holding such opinions, and someone trying to deny the evidence as best he could, to preserve an image of the Muslim world that corresponded to what we liberals would like to hope existed over there.

As I listened to his responses, I realized that he kept coming up the plausible (and not-so-plausible) counter-arguments, basically anything that could deflect the evidence brought to bear. For example, the citing of a poll of Palestinian opinion immediately brought skepticism about its reliability. In fact, if anything, the poll is probably unreliable in understating rather than exaggerating the degree of radical “right-wing” attitudes (“what was taken by force can only be taken back by force”).

Al Durah Mural. Underneath: “What was taken by force can only be regained by force.”
(This is also what is written on the wall above the father and son at Netzarim Junction.)

As I thought about it, I realized that he was not at all interested in figuring out what’s going on, but only in defending his position (which was not so much a liberal position as a liberal projection). Now, he has an excuse: he’s young, and for him, every argument is a contest he needs to win. But this same technique also describes one of the main ways our journalists contribute to our being on rekaB Street: they’re not looking for real explanations, for real understanding, they’re looking for the explanations that support a “liberal” outlook — e.g., the Gazans voted for Hamas not because it’s a genocidal hate-mongering organization that promises to restore Palestinian and Muslim honor by exterminating Israel (let’s not talk about that), but because of Fatah corruption. They, like my young friend, are looking for the least implausible explanations, not looking for a real understanding.

CAMERA has an interesting list of resolutions for journalists in 2013 in which they suggest journalists cease to systematically misinform their readers about the Middle East conflict. As I go down the list, two things occur to me: 1) in your dreams will journalists stop doing this since it would make them too “pro-Zionist” (no matter how accurate most of the requests are); and 2) what an extraordinary list of examples in which journalists are so committed to getting the story wrong… repeatedly, consistently, perversely.

But since journalists consider themselves a force of nature, they just think we should learn to live with it.

Of course, that may seem okay to journalists when the only people they’re sticking it to are the Israelis. But… what about the Western public they’re misinforming? What about the Jihad they’re enabling?

Al Durah as Blood Libel: Opening the Door to the Equation Zionism=Nazism


While some immediately compared Israel to Nazis in the aftermath of the incident (above photo from demonstration in Paris on October 6, 2000 at which the cry “Death to Jews!” was heard in a European capital for the first time since the Holocaust), it took the “Jenin Massacre” to make the comparisons go mainstream.

“I have to wonder about people who compare Israelis to Nazis, I ask myself, why do they hate Israel, which is, after all, the Jewish state, so much?” Elie Wiesel

• Portuguese Nobel laureate Jose Saramago compared the Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank to Auschwitz (March 2002) and later declared that the Jewish people no longer deserved sympathy for the Holocaust. (October 2003)

• Binghamton University (NY) professor James Petras defends Saramago’s remarks and argues for the validity of the analogy between Israeli and Nazi policies. (April 2002)

• Belgian parliamentarian says that Israelis are “making a concentration camp out of the West Bank.” (April 2002)

• Norman G. Finkelstein, professor of political science at DePaul University, writes that “if Israelis don’t want to stand accused of being Nazis they should simply stop acting like Nazis.” (April 2002)

• Irish Poet and Oxford academic Tom Paulin calls Jewish settlers “Nazis.”(April 2002)

• Michael Hoffman, a former reporter for the New York bureau of the Associated Press, publishes a book titled “The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians.” (2002)

• Michael Neumann, a philosophy professor at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, in “Israelis and Indians” (2002) states that Jewish settlers want peace “just as Hitler wanted peace.”

• French anti-Globalization activist Jose Bove use of words ‘internment camps”, “watchtowers,” “roundups” to describe Israeli actions, implying a comparison with Nazism. (2002)

• In Greece, mainstream media references to Auschwitz, Mauthausen and Dachau are often made in cartoons depicting Israeli soldiers as Nazi soldiers.

• Welsh politician likens Israel to Nazi Germany. To him: “Hitler’s Nazi regime occupied Europe for four years only. Palestine and the West Bank have been occupied for 40 years.” (January 2003)

• Greta Duisenberg, Dutch, wife of the European Central Bank (ECB) chief Wim Duisenberg, called Israeli policies in Gaza and the West Bank as “worse than the Nazi rule in Holland.” (January 2003)

• In an article in French newspaper “Le Monde” titled “Israel, Palestine: The Cancer” the authors wrote that Jews, a “dominating and self-assured people” who are “behaving as a superior race” and who “were the victims of a pitiless order are imposing their pitiless order on the Palestinians. The Jewish victims of inhumanity are displaying a terrible inhumanity.” (June 2002)

• Antiwar rallies in the West feature flags and posters that equate Israel and Jews with Nazi Germany


• British MP compares the situation in Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto. (June 2003)

• Portuguese commentator Sousa Tavares wrote in newspaper PÚBLICO that: “If there is a World War III, it will be because of Israel … and of its attempt to solve the Palestinian problem, not through any peace accord, but through, you have to excuse me, a ‘final solution’ – the political, civic and, if necessary, human extermination of Palestinians.” (November 2003)

• Italian survey found that close to 40 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “the Israeli government is perpetrating a full-fledged genocide and is acting with the Palestinians the way the Nazis did with the Jews.” (January 2004)

• Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire compared Israel’s nuclear arsenal to Hitler’s gas chambers. (December 2004)

• The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) 2004 Witness Report concluded that Israelis were trying to “rid the land of Palestinians” just as “Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews.”

• German survey reveals that 51% of Germans believe that Israel’s present-day treatment of the Palestinians is equivalent to the Nazi atrocities against European Jews during World War II. (December 2004)

• Anthony Lipmann, in a comment piece in The Spectator (UK) compares the battle for Jenin to Auschwitz. (January 2005)

• Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, compares Jewish reporter to “concentration camp guard.” (February 2005)

• Pro-Palestinian activist Rachel Corrie is compared to Anne Frank (April 2005).

• Review of Jacqueline Rose book “The Question of Zion,” (2005) who compares Israeli treatment of Palestinians to German treatment of Jews.

Des archives Al Durah: l’episode Daniel Leconte-Denis Jeambar.

The Leconte-Jeambar episode represents one of the key moments in the al Durah affair, and an index of how rapidly the gate-keepers closed ranks around Enderlin. It raises all kinds of ethical questions, most of which got crowded out by red herrings.

Apres avoir visionné les rushes de Talal abu Rahmah, deux journalistes français se sont embrouillés dans les guette-apens de l’affaire al Durah. Voici une échange dans le Figaro entre Leconte-Jeanbar et Enderlin, suivi d’une version anglaise de remarques faites sur une chaine de Radio juive.

N’ayant pas le temps de commenter en ce moment, j’invite les lecteurs a faire le commentaire.

Enderlin vs. Karsenty: Avis du Parquet General de la Cour de Cassation (REJET) 3.1.12

Cour de Cassation
Chambre criminelle ( 1ère section)
Parquet général No/ Pourvoi : Q 08-83.926
Demandeur : Charles ENDERLIN et la sté FRANCE 2
Décisions attaquées : Arrêts rendus les 3 octobre 2007 et 21/05/2008 par la Cour
d’appel de Paris – 11ème chambre correctionnelle
Conseiller rapporteur : M. Beauvais
Avocat général : Jean Berkani
Audience du : 3 janvier 2012
Charles ENDERLIN et la société FRANCE 2 ont formé deux pourvois en cassation :

– le premier contre l’arrêt de la cour d’appel de Paris, 11ème chambre, en date du 3 octobre 2007, qui, dans la procédure suivie, sur leur plainte, contre Philippe Karsenty, du chef de diffamation publique, a ordonné un supplément d’information ;
– le second contre l’arrêt de la Cour d’appel de Paris – 11ème chambre correctionnelle rendu le 21/05/2008, qui les a déboutés de leurs demandes après relaxe de Philippe Karsenty du chef de diffamation publique.

More about the court hearing: Burden of proof, Lethal Journalism, Planet al Durah

The quality of comment to my last post prompts me to move it here and invite people to address the legal issues, all the while keeping the larger issue of lethal journalism (Durah Journalism).

In a comment, Martin Malliet and E.G. further discuss the trial.

On the burden of proof in the Enderlin vs Karsenty trial

This question is only confusing because the plaintiff is a news agency being accused by the defendant of bringing out an untruthful story.

If we forget about the news agency, it is indeed right that the defendant must “prove his innocence” by proving that his accusation against the plaintiff was founded; it wouldn’t be right to ask the plaintiff to prove a counter-factual, namely that he is NOT what the defendant accused him to be (or to have done or said).

With the plaintiff being a news agency (in the business of bringing out truthful stories it can back up with proof) accused by the defendant of having brought out an untruthful story, the same rule starts to look strange, because it means that the defendant must now “prove his innocence” by proving a counter-factual (that the story is NOT true), whereas it should now be easy for the plaintiff to prove what isn’t a counter-factual anymore (that the story is true and that he can back it up with proof).

Frank Van Dun has two articles on natural law jurisprudence that are relevant, starting with the insight that your reputation or credit isn’t your property (it only exists in the judgment of others):

“Against Libertarian Legalism: a comment on Kinsella and Block” (2003)
“Natural Law and the Jurisprudence of Freedom” (2004)

(Bibliography with links at

PS: The wording in the verdict by the Cour de Cassation “that a court cannot help the accused prove his innocence” is of course very strange, as the whole purpose of justice is to protect the innocent. But in this type of case (libel suit) it makes sense to say that the accused “must prove his innocence”. But that’s not what I remember having read. I remember that the point was that the defendant must prove that he had sufficient ground for making his accusation at the time when he made it, and that evidence obtained after that date was in any case irrelevant. And I think Karsenty himself somewhere said that even if Enderlin today admitted his fraud, theoretically he could still sue Karsenty for libel back in 2004.

This question of what he knew when he wrote seems to be a major focus of the trial. But instead, it should be, as E.G. points out below, about whether a major news agency should be using the technicalities of the court system to shut down criticism.

Dionissis Mitropoulos notes:

Martin Malliet’s Reflections on the Enderlin-Karsenty Case in the Al Durah Affair

In response to the previous post, reader Martin J. Malliet wrote the following about the upcoming trial in Paris. Since this trial, scheduled for hearing represents an important mile-marker in the now-over-twelve-year-long festering problem of al Durah and its profoundly noxious impact on the West, it’s important to become aware of the issues. Here below, Martin’s excellent comments with further reflections by me. Further remarks welcome.

The accusation of ‘bad journalism’ (misrepresenting the facts of the IDF’s responsibility) against France2/Enderlin should have been brought to the court by the IDF themselves. Or otherwise by somebody who could claim to have been unlawfully harmed by the bad journalism, such as an Israeli citizen being harmed by the false depiction of a government that is representing him.

At this point, I think the most valuable person to complain before the courts, including the international court, would be a Muslim who, radicalized into a genocidal Jihadi ideology with the use of the al Durah footage (subject of previous post), could sue France2 and (if the courts rule against Karsenty), the French Courts for the damage done to Muslim culture in France, which is now so far down the Jihadi “slippery slope,” that when Muhammad Merah, to revenge the Palestinian children killed by Israeli soldiers, kills little Jewish school-girls in cold blood, and a significant part of the French Muslim community considers him a hero in the “struggle.”

Now the trial was brought about indrectly by a French citizen (Karsenty): not directly by Karsenty’s complaining about the bad journalism of his French public news agency (France2/Enderlin), but indirectly by France2/Enderlin complaining about a defamatory statement made by Karsenty on the bad journalism of France2/Enderlin.

This indirect strategem was always risky, because it involved a reversal of the burden of proof: the trial wasn’t anymore about the accusation of BAD JOURNALISM (to which the defendent France2/Enderlin would have had to respond by proving that their journalism was not bad), it was about the ACCUSATION of bad journalism by someone who didn’t claim to be harmed by it (to which the defendant Karsenty had to respond by proving that his accusation was legitimate).

From the first court decision one may have the impression that this reversal of the burden of proof was not handled very well by Karsenty and his lawyers:

“The impact of these accusations is reinforced by the use (twice) of the word “fraud” and by the accusation of a “hoax,” which implies, NOT A CULPABLE RECKLESSNESS, BUT THE DELIBERATE INTENT OF MISLEADING OTHERS by broadcasting images that did not reflect reality (“a false report” according to “film experts” who have “confirmed our conclusions.”) Such accusations clearly damage the honor and reputation of their object, even more so when the persons thus described are employed in informing the public, such as in the case of the journalist Charles Enderlin or France 2.”

It would seem to me that if Karsenty had limited his accusation of bad journalism to ‘culpable recklessness’, it would have been strong enough to make his point, and it would not have opened the door for a discussion on his having sufficient proof for the stronger accusation of ‘deliberate intent to mislead’. Or he should at least have argued that ‘culpable recklessness’ on behalf of a professional public news agency is the same as the news agency’s culpable act of misleading itself (or of letting itself be misled by its sources), and thereby in the end of culpably misleading others.

This is more or less what Karsenty wrote in the original article. I am not really in a position to comment on the legal issues. I used to be (thought I was) good at legal issues, but this case has baffled me from the outset. What I would say here in terms of the larger discussion which I think we need to engage in on as large a scale as possible, is that the issues here concern the accusation of “conspiracy theory,” which I think inhibits many from even touching this topic.

If you think arguing it’s staged, is arguing a conspiracy (e.g., CE and Derfner and many), then you believe that the “conspiracy theorists” (e.g., PK and I) think Enderlin did it knowingly, on purpose, and that a wide range of conspirators were necessary to pull off such a coup, to fool “the whole world.” I’d argue that the pathetic aspect of the entire episode is how cheap the fake, how transparent its deliberate deception on the one hand, and how stunningly gullible CE and the rest of the mainstream western news media proved to be. It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s a pyramid of (misplaced) trust, CE in his cameraman Talal, and everyone else in CE. And if it weren’t so tragically wrong-headed to persist (here’s signs of a conspiracy to keep the lid on, to maintain the “honor” of CE and the French media), it’s actually full of comedy.