The Nakba, Syrian vs. Palestinian: Inverse HRC and the Marriage of Post-Modern Masochism and Pre-Modern Sadism

The Human Rights Complex describes the masochistic tendency of Western “human rights” activists to blame themselves for everything and to let the “people of color” off the hook: if you want to know what will get the “human rights community” indignant, look not at the victim or how badly that victim suffers, but at the perp: white? outrage, of color? embarrassed silence.

It turns out there’s an inverse version of this: if you want to look at what will get the Arab world indignant, look not at the victim or how badly the victim suffers, but at the perp: white (a fortiori Jewish)? outrage, of color (a fortiori Arab) shameless silence.

This is like the cold war joke about the American and the Russian arguing about freedom of speech: “In America, I can stand on the White House lawn and call the president of the USA a fool, and not get arrested.” To which the Russian responds, “So can I.” And it describes to perfection the sick marriage of pre-modern sadism – you’re guilty of everything we wish we could do” – and post-modern masochism – “we’re so sorry, please forgive us.”

Take the Nakbah (catastrophe). To Palestinians today, it represents a real-world catastrophe – the terrible, Holocaust-level tragedy that befell their people in 1948 during the first Arab-Israeli war (for Israelis, the “War of Independence”), during which about 3000 Palestinians were killed and some half a million refugees fled. To others, it represents a psychological catastrophe the horrifying global humiliation of seven Arab armies defeated by a rag-tag army of the worst of the dhimmi — Jews, the weaklings and cowards of 1400 years of Muslim tradition.

Compare with the current catastrophe befalling Syria today: 70,000 killed (and counting), and over a million refugees (and over 4 million internally displaced). In real-world terms, this is a vastly greater catastrophe than the “Nakbah” of 1948. And yet, it barely registers in the minds of the pro-Palestinian camp, who still swarm over Western campuses yearly complaining of a “crime” committed over two generations ago. They’re like the Mel Brooks (2000-year-old man) joke about the difference between comedy and tragedy: “Tragedy is if I cut my finger. I’ll cry a lot, go into Mount Sinai for a day and a half. Comedy is if you fall in an open manhole and die. What do I care?”

When I suggested at an “Israel Apartheid” talk at BU that complaining about red-tape in East Jerusalem was a bit inappropriate given the real bloodshed next door, I got accused of “Assadwashing” in the pages of the Electronic Intifada.

That the Palestinian leadership is full of self-absorbed narcissists who refuse to be distracted from attacking the enemy that has shamed them in the eyes of the world, no matter how comparatively ludicrous the claims of real-world damage, is, perhaps, understandable. But that the supporters of the Palestinians would share that obsession, rather than help them grow up… that’s problematic, especially since their alleged supporters are supposedly “progressives,” rather than useful infidels.

Alas for the Palestinians, whose artificially-prolonged suffering and Arab-inflicted humiliation is all too real.

16 Responses to The Nakba, Syrian vs. Palestinian: Inverse HRC and the Marriage of Post-Modern Masochism and Pre-Modern Sadism

  1. Elise Ronan says:

    The truth of the matter is that the pro-Palestinian camp only cares about the Palestinians if they can attack Israel. It is not about the Palestinian people but about Jew-hatred. Pro-Palestinian activism is merely a new manifestation of age-old anti-Semitism. There is no other explanation for the silence by people in the face of the Syria genocide.

    And as far as Electronic Intifada…other than their minions no one really pays too much attention to them. I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over what they wrote. In fact take it as a badge of honor that your discussion so disturbed their Jew-hatred-narrative and basically held them up to ridicule for their hypocrisy, that they had to attack your talk.

    • w.w.wygart says:

      These are the current Alexa rankings of ElectronicInfitada.net and TheAugeanStables.com – just because you piqued my interest to see how these two sited compare [in crude form].

      Statistics Summary for electronicintifada.net

      “Electronicintifada.net’s three-month global Alexa traffic rank is 76,507. Its content places it in the “News and Media” category of internet sites. Visitors to the site spend about two minutes on each pageview and a total of three minutes on the site during each visit. Electronicintifada.net is based in the US. While the site is ranked #46,562 in the US, where we estimate that 21% of its visitors are located, it is also popular in Israel, where it is ranked #5,805.”

      Alexa Traffic Rank [3 month] – global: 76,507 US: 46,562
      Reputation [sites linking in] – 4967

      TheAugeanStables.com

      “Theaugeanstables.com is ranked #1,014,775 in the world according to the three-month Alexa traffic rankings, and visitors to the site spend approximately 77 seconds on each pageview and a total of two minutes on the site during each visit. While the site is ranked #444,963 in the US, where we estimate that 50% of its visitors are located, it is also popular in Israel, where it is ranked #21,488. Visitors to Theaugeanstables.com view 1.8 unique pages each day on average, and the site has been online since 2005.”

      Alexa Traffic Rank [3 month] – Global: 1,014,775 US: 444,963
      Reputation [sites linking in] – 575

      W^3

      • Elise Ronan says:

        Statistics are all well and good, however it does not refute my point. Who reads EI other than their own minions? These people would not be predisposed to the professor in the first place. So again, while he should not take the attack lying down, he should really not lose any sleep over it either. Furthermore, he should take it as a badge of honor, that they find him so threatening to their narrative that they need to mention his speech at all, considering as your statistics show, they have so many more “readers” than he does.

        Readers turn to EI because they are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. While 21% of of EI readers are in the US, is that unique hits or from the same group of readers? How many of them are unique visitors as opposed to return visitors? Your statistics do not show beyond some numbers that cannot be broken down into a realistic assessment. Furthermore, where do the rest of the hits come from? Are they in Arab countries or Islamist nations? If in the EU who are the readers…Pro-Islamist or anti-Semitic groups?

        That Israel and pro-Israel bloggers keep an eye on EI merely means they watch it to refute its hatred. If you read top pro-Israel blogs you would have know that. It’s not always about how many hits you get but where these hits are coming from that counts.

        • @ Elise

          “The truth of the matter is that the pro-Palestinian camp only cares about the Palestinians if they can attack Israel. It is not about the Palestinian people but about Jew-hatred. Pro-Palestinian activism is merely a new manifestation of age-old anti-Semitism. There is no other explanation for the silence by people in the face of the Syria genocide.”

          I agree that the psychological explanation for pro-Palestinian activism has to do with Jew-hatred, except in the case of the Jewish anti-Zionists who have joined the ranks of the Gentile activists. There, the explanation seems to be more complicated and the best discussion of it that i have come upon until now is this:

          http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2010/08/11/not-self-hating-jews-but-jewish-scourges-of-jews/

          If you are as fed up with pro-Palestinian activism as you sound, i fully share your sentiment.

          • Elise Ronan says:

            It’s not that I am fed up with pro-Palestinian activism per se. A peaceful respectful solution to the issue is something we all desire. I am fed up with the hypocrisy and the antisemitism that characterizes the movement. It is the disingenuous nature of the activists, the NGOs, the UN, EU and elements of academia when it comes to the issue of the Palestinian Arabs. If people cared about the Palestinians then they would care about their slaughter in Syria, Lebanese and Jordanian apartheid against Palestinians and generally how the Arab world has used and abused the Palestinians for their own ends including the Palestinian leadership. These people would also hold the Palestinians to the same standard that they hold the Jews. But they don’t. It’s Sharansky’s 3-Ds used against Israel and has nothing to do with the Palestinian people, their rights, losses or who they happen to be.

          • @ Elise

            “It’s Sharansky’s 3-Ds used against Israel and has nothing to do with the Palestinian people, their rights, losses or who they happen to be.”

            Yes, they are using the Palestinians as a hammer to pin Israel, and with the same lack of care that we show for cheap hand-tools.

            “A peaceful respectful solution to the issue is something we all desire.”

            I don’t think there can ever be peace as long as the Palestinians are being brought up to hate the Jews and the West keeps on rewarding them by pressuring Israel for concessions.

            And i can’t imagine what could possibly make either the West or the Palestinians reconsider their current choices.

          • Elise Ronan says:

            Agree there is absolutely no incentive for the Palestinians and their supporters to change their actions, ideology or narrative. And the “As a Jew” Jew post linked above was very interesting…whether they are a scourge or self-hating in some ways it doesn’t matter. Their “useful idiot”badge is harmful to the survival of western civilization in a unique and highly destructive way.

          • @ Elise

            “Agree there is absolutely no incentive for the Palestinians and their supporters to change their actions, ideology or narrative.”

            The Pals would probably change if the West was not backing them. But the western public is constantly misinformed by the western media on the I/P conflict and, as a result, the western politicians feel no pressure from the public to alter their stance towards Israel. A real breakthrough would come about if the public realized how biased the media are. In such a scenario, the media would need to start reporting on the I/P more objectively so as to protect their reputation and maintain their credibility. If this were the case, the public would come to see that it is Israel that is on the right side of morality, and not the Palestinians, and the politicians could, after all, exert some pressure on the Pals.

            But how can the western public come to realize how biased and anti-Israel the media are?

            “Their [the "as a Jew' lads'] “useful idiot”badge is harmful to the survival of western civilization in a unique and highly destructive way.”

            Yes, the very civilization they delude themselves they value more than their “regressive” fellow Jews.

            PS. I had a look at your blog, it’s very interesting. Personally, i am a fan of the Political Correctness (PC) paradigm’s soft oppression on two counts (women and gay rights) but generally (if i have understood your stance correctly by reading just one of your posts) i share your wariness towards this soft oppression, especially when it is proliferated to deal with things that are not the PC’s business.

          • Elise Ronan says:

            Exactly

      • w.w.wygart says:

        Elise,

        I wasn’t trying to refute your point, I was merely curious about what I’d find when I checked.

        I completely agree, a sites Alexa rankings don’t necessarily tell you very much. For instance I’m not sure if the Augean Stables and EI’s traffic rank are calculated out of the same categories. I think it is probably accurate to say that both sites main audiences are internally fairly homogenous in outlook. What genuinely surprised me was that EI had an average page view of ~2min and Augean Stables only 77 seconds, that doesn’t seem right – unless there are a lot of people lurking who only skim the articles [or are very fast readers].

        Curious,

        W^3

        • Elise Ronan says:

          Noted. I take back my snark. Your question is an interesting one. Perhaps people stay longer on EI simply because they need to read the posts several times to believe that someone could be that duplicitous and self-delusional?

          • @ Elise

            “Perhaps people stay longer on EI simply because they need to read the posts several times to believe that someone could be that duplicitous and self-delusional?”

            That’s a possible explanation. But i am tempted to go for another one, namely that they are, collectively, more deficient in reading comprehension compared to Dr Landes’ fans. :P

        • @ Wygart

          “I wasn’t trying to refute your point [Elise]“

          Yes, you were trying to do exactly that, don’t lie to us Wygart!!!

          The only non-disputatious Gentile in here is me. :P

  2. “That the Palestinian leadership is full of self-absorbed narcissists who refuse to be distracted from attacking the enemy that has shamed them in the eyes of the world, no matter how comparatively ludicrous the claims of real-world damage, is, perhaps, understandable.”

    Omar Barghouti, the most prominent BDSer, is a textbook demopath, if we take into account his anti-Semitism and the sort of societies he is supporting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAwPRjWUKd0

    If we look at him, the gentle appearence and the nonviolent rhetoric are deceiving us into exclaiming “yes, that’s a moderate Muslim”, a deception we are eager to inflict upon ourselves to protect us from accusations of racism or of Islamophobia, but a closer look in his eyes and an appreciation of the cyborg-like control of his voice are clues enough to realize what we are really dealing with here.

    At any rate, he doesn’t look like the standard alpha-male Arab that the Middle East street is full of. He just doesn’t look like the sort of person to get into a physical fight to protect his “honor”. So what’s in it for him in supporting fervently the honor-shame mindset of his fellow Palestinians and Arabs? Where does he get his honor from?

    I think he is motivated by the same psychology that Mr Orange, the undercover cop in Quentin Tarantino’s cult film “Reservoir Dogs”, evinced in the first 25 seconds in the video below, where he talks to himself in the mirror trying to be reassured that the unexpected call from the members of the criminal gang he has infiltrated is just routine and not something sinister.

    And he says to himself, “they’ ll believe every f@cking word ‘cause you are super-cool”. And he also placed his weapon back in the drawer – it would be a giveaway.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUFqe7Beu1Y

    Gutsy and cool without a gun, that’s the psychology I think that Omar Barghouti gets his honor kicks from.

    PS. One more small video of Mr Orange, aka Tim Roth, for anyone wishing to get the feeling I’m talking about:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FOVIp3mHZc

  3. w.w.wygart says:

    I agree, so, if you don’t mind I’ll just pile on your point. No he doesn’t seem to be your typical off-the-West-Bank kind of Palestinian, he passes easily for middle/upper-middle class Ivy League educated [Columbia Univeristy? I guess that does make him Ivy League educated]; makes you wonder if he is in fact middle/upper middle class educated in the West background. What does the ‘Arab street’ think about that?

    From Wikipedia:

    Omar Barghouti (born 1964) is a founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) who is currently studying for a masters degree in philosophy at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He was born in Qatar, grew up in Egypt and later moved to Ramallah (West Bank) as an adult.

    Oh ho, he’s not even a ‘real’ Palestinian. This about says it all though:

    Barghouti holds a Masters degree in electrical engineering from Columbia University. Barghouti also holds a masters degree in philosophy (ethics) from Tel Aviv University, on which he has commented: “My studies at Tel Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.” The university has announced it has no plans to expel him after a petition was lodged by students calling for his expulsion.

    PACBI released a statement branding the calls to expel Barghouti as “McCarthyist”. In this statement, PACBI defended Barghouti by asserting that requiring Palestinians to boycott Israeli universities themselves as a prerequisite to endorsing the BDS call is “an absurd position, given the complete lack of alternatives available” to them and that it would effectively amount to requiring Palestinians to deny themselves education

    Which part of “Boycott, Disinvest, Sanctions” doesn’t Mr. Barghouti get? Has George Galloway heard about this Palestininan non-BDS compliance?

    Seems to me to be someone who has never actually had a real job either, btw.

    Pass through our societies with the greatest of ease, educate yourselves at the educational institutions that we have created [and which we may very well be paying for]. This seems to be an abuse of hospitality that one would not expect from a traditional society, so, one wonders what is going on with this?

    How much of this, exactly, are we in the West supposed to put up with?

    W^3

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