Four Dimensional Jews, Two Dimensional Muslims: Fisking Rabbi Daniel Landes

I do the following fisking with some reluctance. Daniel Landes is a cousin and friend, whom I love and deeply admire. But this piece illustrates too many of the fundamental errors of More »

Arab Self-Criticism and Acknowledging the Real Enemy of the Arab People

I have complained repeatedly at my blog about the lack of self-criticism in the Arab world, the pathetic way that honor demands that all Arabs line up against Israel, even though Arab More »

Cogwar Reflections on the Danish Muhammad Cartoon Affair

In preparing to post the speech I gave to a Conference on Homeland Security about Cogwar this month, I found myself elaborating on several points beyond what the talk itself could bear. More »

Victor Perez dévoile la malhonnêteté d’Enderlin et son anti-israelism

Charles Enderlin posted at his blog an essay on “Netanyahu’s Vision,” which reveals all the sloppy prejudices that he has internalized from an international consensus that it’s all Israel’s fault. Victor Perez More »

If the World Really Wanted Peace in the Middle East…

Ted Belman reposted this article from Saul Singer from 2007. Imnsho it’s right on. Readers who bristle at these suggestions should ask themselves why they bristle, and what assumptions underly their reaction More »

NYT Obituary for David S. Landes by Douglas Martin

I’m posting the obit that Douglas Martin wrote in the NYT today. The comments about the Romney/Palestinian brouhaha bothered all us siblings. I’ve commented it in the text below.

David S. Landes, Historian and Author, Is Dead at 89

By DOUGLAS MARTIN

Published: September 7, 2013

David S. Landes, a distinguished Harvard scholar of economic history, saw tidal movements in the rise of seemingly small things. He suggested that the development of eyeglasses made precision tools possible. Maybe, he said, using chopsticks helped Asian workers gain the manual dexterity needed to make microprocessors.

DSL photo

Jane Reed/Harvard University
David S. Landes in 2002.

In his 482-page “Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World” (1983), Professor Landes, who died last month at 89, examined the growth of the industrial age through the history of timepieces, tracing their origin to medieval European monasteries; monks, he wrote, needed something to tell them when to gather for a regular round of group prayer.
To Professor Landes, the development of timepieces — more than steamships — drove the industrial age by molding the very culture of capitalism. Factory owners, for example, awarded watches to punctual workers, while workers bought watches to make sure they were not being misused by the factory clock.

Professor Landes was preoccupied by the importance of culture in shaping economic and social progress or stagnation. His most influential work, “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor” (1998), answered the question posed in its title (a play on that of Adam Smith’s classic work) by pointing to the importance of the Protestant work ethic and European attitudes toward science and technology.
Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, acknowledged Professor Landes as an influence. “There are superior cultures and ours is one of them,” Mr. Romney wrote in his 2010 book, “No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.” “As David Landes observed, ‘Culture makes all the difference.’ ”

Eulogy for David Landes by his Daughter, Jane (Tuesday, August 20, 2013)

My father was the most brilliant person I ever knew.  His last years were tragic in many ways.  He had a stroke 5 years ago which left him unable to communicate in but the most rudimentary ways, unable to read more than a headline, unable to be in charge—which had always been his role.

Once in a while a spark of the old daddy peeked through.  Like a few weeks ago when we were sitting watching the news together and the newsman was talking about gerrymandering and suddenly I heard daddy say “It’s /ˈɡɛri/;mander.” So I said “I thought a g folllowed by an e or an i was soft.” And he said “There are exceptions.”  So I went home to look it up and wouldn’t you know, the work is named after a governor Gerry and was originally pronounced /ˈɡɛri/;mander, and only recently has been commonly pronounced /ˈɛriˌ/mander.

Or the time that Ed was trying to manage some mutual funds for my father and the lady at Vanguard said she needed daddy’s permission to talk to Ed. So he prepared her saying that daddy really couldn’t talk, that he understood but she probably woudn’t get more than a yes or no from him. The next morning, we went over to see him, explained what the lady would ask, called Vanguard and put him on the line and out of his mouth came “What can I do for you this morning young lady ?” Ed was mortified.

But mostly he was silent. His world narrowed. Sitting with Sonia and holding her hand defined its boundaries. For me and Richard and Alison, there was a classic and instantaneous role reversal.  We were taking care of him. And after Sonia died in April, his small world became a profoundly lonely one. It is not a surprise that he did not survive her for long. He got thinner, sadder, limper and faded away.

So I have spent the last couple days trying to put the earth back in its orbit. Trying to remember my father the way he was nearly all of my life—the master of the universe. Because that he surely was—our family’s universe, the academic universe, the Jewish  universe. He was a force to be loved, admired and to be reckoned with in each of these. He set high standards and we all did our best to meet them.

Eulogy for David S. Landes by his Son, Richard (Tuesday, August 20, 2013)

My beloved father David was a towering intellect and a great mensch, a demanding teacher and a loving father.

He skipped four grades on the way to graduating college at 18 years old.

He loved detective stories and puzzles, and became an adept of decryption after reading Poe’s “The Gold Bug,” in which deciphering a secret message plays a central role in the plot. Already as a teenager, he followed US Army Signal Corps mail-order courses in cryptanalysis, and when drafted in 1943, he joined the cryptanalysis team deciphering Japanese messages.

He was omnivorous in his intellectual pursuits: finishing at the top of the NY State Regents exams in topics as varied as Math, Latin, and History. He used to read the dictionary on the toilet, and developed a prodigious vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation.

He loved to argue, loved when people argued with him, and for us children, he would always listen to our arguments, and if we could convince him, change his mind about some decision he had made about our lives.

But it was so hard to argue with someone who constantly corrected you:

the adjective may be frē′kwənt, but the verb is “to frəquənt′,”

and “if I were you…” is subjunctive contrary to fact, but “if I was on time to today’s funeral, it may have been unwōnted, but not accidental…”

He loved Ping pong and squash, both of which he played with talent, intelligence, and ferocious competitiveness. In addition to being the runner-up for the B-class West Coast championship while still at Berkeley, he prided himself on playing and occasionally the beating the top four players on Harvard’s championship team, not because he was better, but because he played smarter. For him, squash was a physical chess match. I basically had to wait till he got older and slower before I could beat him; and he never let me win.

In fact his passion for squash taught me something profound about his love of my mother, Sonia. I remember well one time he and I were watching the national squash championships at the Hemenway gym at Harvard. We had perfect seats in the midst of overflowing stands. The match was spectacular: two players, grand masters, who took ten, fifteen shots to set up a winner, and who had fought to a two-two tie. At the beginning of the rubber match, my father looked at his watch and announced, “I have to go.” “What?” I said, looking at him as if he had lost his mind. (Teenagers are so good at controlling their tone of voice.) “Your mom wants me home. We have a dinner date tonight.” And with that he left. Only now, decades later, do I really understand that choice, that when the passions of life stack up against each other, what makes your true love happy tops any vicarious pleasure.

Sonia this love of his life, is a tale which has inspired not just us, his children, but to hear from their friends and even our friends, it has inspired many with the real possibility of fairy tales coming true, from true love at (almost) first sight to sixty-nine years of happily ever after. One reason they lived so happily together was their patience with each others’ foibles. We used to joke that if they got vanity plates, my mother’s would say IMLOST, and my father’s would say, IMLATE.

David S. Landes, May his memory be a blessing

This last Saturday afternoon, August 17, 2013, my father, David Landes died in Haverford PA. The following is a brief obit to which I will add when I have more time.

He was the beloved husband of Sonia T. Landes, who died on April 12, 2013, after 69 years of marriage.

He was the father of Jane Landes Foster, Richard Allen Landes and Alison Landes Fiekowsky, grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of nine.

Sylvia Landes (née Silberman) gave birth to David on April 29, 1924. Harry Landes was her husband, and he immigrated to New York from Husi, Romania in 1904.

David and Sonia met and fell almost instantaneously in love in Seagate, New York when they were 14 and 15 years old. They married when they were 19 years of age and were inseparable forever thereafter.

David had a childhood hobby of decryption (a passion ignited by a reading of Poe’s “Gold Bug”), and therefore served in the Signal Corp. of the U.S.Army in World War II, decrypting Japanese messages. He become a Second Lieutenant with a field promotion in May 1944, the highest army rank in the Landes family until his granddaughter Aliza became a captain in the IDF.

Professionally, he served as a Junior Fellow at Harvard University, then at Columbia. His work focused on entrepreneurship and economic development. Asked to write the section of the Cambridge Economic History on the Industrial Revolution, that morphed in the 1960s into his first major work, The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present, his definitive study of the Industrial Revolution in Europe.

He began teaching at Columbia University, and after a year at the Center for the Study of Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto, he went to UC Berkeley. He came to Harvard University in 1964 where he remained throughout his subsequent career, retiring in 1997, as the Coolidge Professor of History and Professor of Economics, bridging the disciplines of history and economics.

In the late 1960s and 70s he became an astute and avid watch collector, known to makers and devotees of watches and time keeping. That passion led to the writing of his most innovative work, Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World (1983).

In a sense, his entire oeuvre was dedicated to answering the question “why the West?” (or more specifically, how is it that the West generated a culture of economic development that most other cultures have difficulty imitating?) His students and family would joke that his course on economic history was unofficially entitled “The West and the Rest.” 

He was, accordingly, admired and denounced for being a Eurocentric historian, a perspective increasingly considered not politically correct, even as the evidence for the uniqueness of the West continued (and continues) to pile up.

His Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are so Rich and Some are so Poor (1998) embodies his approach to the importance of culture in contributing to either economic development or poverty.

He served as Chairman of American Professors for Peace in the Middle East in the 1970s. He was devoted to Judaism, the Jewish people and the land of Israel, a legacy continued by his descendants.

He was an avid squash player, coming in second in the B-Class of the West Coast championship in 1963, and, after coming to Harvard, prided himself on his cunning in challenging and sometimes beating the top four members of the Harvard Squash Team.

His children are sitting shiva in Philadelphia at the Fiekowsky house on 438 Ballytore Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096 from Tuesday through Thursday, August 20-22, and at Richard’s house on Thursday at 8 Priscilla Road in Brighton, MA until Monday morning August 22-26. Donations may be made in his name to Harvard Hillel.

Pallywood in Egypt: What does this tell us about what “they” think of “us”?

First consider the following photograph:

behind the factory 1

This was taken at Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000. The day that Al Durah was shot on film by Talal Abu Rahma. The picture was made public by AP. I use it in lectures to introduce Pallywood.

The closer you look, the less the picture makes sense. Who are these people and what are they doing? Running from what? Ducking from what? Fire? From where? What kind? And why aren’t the people behind them ducking or running?

And what happens when you realize that the building in the upper left shields this entire area from Israeli fire which could only come from their position behind that building, and which they never left that day?

001-netzarim up diagonal include twin

 

The scene we’re looking at takes place along the road to the bottom left. The building we see in the background is labeled in Hebrew in red (“the factory”), and the Israeli position is behind it, labeled in blue (Magan 3).

In other words, the entire scene is staged, and all these figures are playing for the camera. Indeed, one might phrase it that they are reacting to camera fire.

Now none of that really makes sense to us in the West. When I show this to audiences, people try hard to read the picture as real, not staged. It can’t be that an entire street full of people are involved in such stuff. (James Fallows fall back on al Durah being staged is that it couldn’t happen without someone leaking the story, as if Palestinian culture were identical to ours in these matters of dissent.)

It’s precisely our desire not to believe that Palestinians or Arabs would be so blatantly deceptive that makes us so gullible to a major element of their cogwar against us, namely the manipulation of the (inexcusably) credulous Western news media to create sympathy among the (excusably, if stupidly) empathic Western public, eager to side with the (perceived) underdog.

So now we have serious, comic evidence of Pallywood at work in the Morsi camp in Egypt.

And here’s more of the same, although (a tiny bit) less obvious, from Syria.

What does this tell us about what they think of us, that such patent fakes could conceivably move Western public opinion (note the English signs), and, say, help convince the US government that it should cut off aid to Egypt in reprisal for the behavior of the current ruling group?

That we’re stupid? Unquestionably. The sad thing is, they may well be right. After all, our policy-makers seem to have their major offices on rekaB Street.

Terrorist chic en France, de l’exposition du Jeu de Paume, à Al Durah, à Mohamed Merah

Terrorist chic en France, de l’exposition du Jeu de Paume, à Al Durah, à Mohamed Merah

Une nouvelle exposition controversée célèbre les meurtriers de masse et élève la propagande de guerre au niveau de grand art.

Richard Landes – 30 juillet 2013

Traduction d’Isabelle Sfez

Pour consulter liens hyperliens, consultez l’article originale.

Cet été le musée national français du Jeu de Paume, en son temps célèbre pour ses accrochages de peinture impressionniste, héberge une étonnante exposition de photographies, Phantom House. Le travail d’une femme bédouine israélienne, Ahlam Shibli, rassemblant une série éclectique de photos qui dépeignent un certain nombre de groupes différents, dont les maisons ne sont pas les leurs, ou qui n’en ont pas – des gens qui “vivent sous oppression”.  Il s’agit de Bédouins “trackers” (pisteurs, traqueurs) qui s’enrôlent dans l’armée israélienne, de “palestiniens” vivant en Galilée et en Jordanie, d’enfants polonais dans des orphelinats, de militants LGBT du Moyen-Orient vivant dans des pays occidentaux, de français de Corrèze pendant l’occupation nazie, et, de loin les plus élaborés des séries de clichés, les familles de “martyrs” qui “résistèrent” à “l’occupation”, debout avec les photos, les affiches et les tombes de leurs proches “disparus”.

L’exposition a suscité une controverse prévisible. Ces prétendus “martyrs”, qui ont “pris le contrôle de leur propre mort”, objets d’une ardente dévotion par leur famille, sont en fait des meurtriers de masse qui se sont tués eux-mêmes dans le but d’assassiner le plus possible d’enfants, de femmes, de civils.

Comme la plupart des récits palestiniens, ces photos ne laissent aucune place à “l’autre”, exceptée celle de l’oppresseur colonial sans visage. Pour une femme juive, mécène du musée, l’expérience fut horrible. En regardant ces photos de “martyrs”, elle a reconnu ceux qui avaient fait exploser des restaurants, des bus, des marchés qui ont été choisis comme cible justement pour la présence d’enfants dans ces lieux.

Les réactions de protestations outrées affluèrent. La réponse du musée fut d’afficher un avis soulignant que cette exposition n’était pas de la propagande, et, à propos de l’artiste, précisant qu’elle n’était “pas une militante, qu’elle ne jugeait pas”.

Evidemment, tout cela est absurde. Si ce n’est pas de la propagande (comme la fameuse pipe qui n’en est pas une), c’est une exposition qui présente avec bienveillance des photos de propagande. L’artiste émet assurément des jugements, en présentant ses cousins bédouins qui servent dans l’armée israélienne, comme pathétiquement vendus à un régime colonial (ils apparaissent étonnement confortables et bien dans leur peau sur les photos), elle émaille son exposition de victimes françaises de l’occupation nazie, commentant la façon dont ils se retournèrent après la Libération et devinrent des oppresseurs coloniaux en Indochine et en Algérie. La parfaite admiration pour la “résistance à l’occupation” des Palestiniens, calquée sur celle de la résistance aux nazis, joue sur un thème commun, grotesque, de propagande palestinienne – que les israéliens sont les nouveaux nazis et les palestiniens les nouveaux juifs.

American Vanity and Ambition Plays the Fool in Middle East Political Culture

I’ve posted some items on the upcoming “negotiations.” Here I just want to draw your attention to three recent analyses on key American players in this charade of negotiations: Kerry and Indyk, both of whom consider messing with the only relatively stable situation in the Middle East an extremely short-sighted career “win.” Talk about making others pay for your fifteen minutes of fame.

Indyk: Noah Pollak, “What does Martin Indyk Believe

Between 2006 and 2009, no relevant facts on the ground in the Middle East had changed: Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons, Bashar al-Assad was still the dictator of Syria, and Hezbollah was still entrenched in Lebanon. Only one fact had changed, and it was a Washington fact: Barack Obama had become the president, and he had made “engagement” with Syria a pillar of his Middle East policy. Indyk dutifully discarded his previous objections to the idea.

Give him his due: His shameless positioning and audacious reversals have been successful where they were intended to count – not in making “the cause of peace his life mission,” as Kerry said about him yesterday, but in advancing his career. Step one was showing his loyalty to Obama after betting on the wrong candidate in 2008; step two was burnishing his image as a tough-minded veteran of the Middle East who understands why things went wrong in Obama’s first term and can be counted on to get it right in his second term. On the substance, it’s been an awful, tawdry display. But as a matter of Washington careerism, Indyk’s press conference yesterday, where he was introduced and praised by the secretary of state, is inarguable proof of success.

Kerry: Lee Smith, “Requiem for the Peace Process

The peace process has entered its mannerist phase—it is nothing but a series of empty elegant formalisms. Does Martin Indyk, Kerry’s newly named Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, really need to add a sequel to his memoirs of the peace process, Innocent Abroad—Again?

Surrealist France Disoriented: From Al Durah to the Jeu de Paume

The Tablet Magazine just published a piece of mine on France’s cognitive disorientation, most recently demonstrated by their putting an exhibit of Palestinian war propaganda (exaltation of suicide terrorists as martyr-heroes) in their first class museum, the  Jeu de Paume, with a sign saying, “this is not propaganda.”

Terrorist Chic in France, From the Jeu de Paume Exhibit to Al Durah to Mohamed Merah

A controversial new exhibit celebrates mass murderers and raises war propaganda to the level of high art

By Richard Landes|July 30, 2013 12:00 AM|Comments: 7

A poster of the exhibit ‘Phantom Home,’ by Palestinian photographer Ahlam Shibli, outside the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris, June 2013. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

This Summer the French National Museum, the Jeu de Paume, once famous for its display of Impressionist paintings, is hosting an astonishing photography exhibit,Phantom House. The work of an Israeli Bedouin woman, Ahlam Shibli, it assembles an eclectic series of photographs that depict a number of different groups whose homes are really not theirs, or who do not have homes—people who “live under oppression.” These include Bedouin “Trackers” who enlist in the IDF, “Palestinians” living in the Galilee and Jordan, Polish children in orphanages, Middle Eastern LGBTs who live in Western countries, the French of Corrèze during the Nazi occupation, and, in by far the most elaborate of the exhibits, the Palestinian families of “martyrs” who “resisted” the “occupation,” standing with the pictures, posters, and graves of their “disappeared” relatives.

The exhibit has elicited predictable controversy. These alleged “martyrs” who “took control of their own deaths,” the object of loving devotion by their families, are actually mass murderers who killed themselves in order to murder as many children, women, civilians as they could. Like so much of the Palestinian narrative, these photos give no place to the “other” except as faceless colonial oppressors. For one Jewish woman, a patron of the museum, the experience was horrifying. Looking at these pictures of “martyrs,” she recognized people who had blown up restaurants and buses, which were chosen precisely because there were children there.

Outraged objections poured in. The museum’s response was to post a notice that insisted that this was not propaganda and quoted the artist insisting that she was “not a militant, not judgmental.”

Of course, all of this is nonsense. If not propaganda (like the famous pipe that is not a pipe), it is a display of lovingly presented photographs of propaganda. The artist is decidedly judgmental, presenting her fellow Bedouin who serve in the IDF as pathetic sell-outs to a colonial regime (they appear strikingly comfortable and secure with themselves in the photos), peppering her exhibit on French victims of the Nazi occupation with comments on how they turned around after liberation and became colonial oppressors in Indochina and Algeria. The unalloyed admiration for the “resistance to occupation” of the Palestinians, juxtaposed with that of the French resistance to the Nazis, plays on a common, if grotesque, theme of Palestinian propaganda—that the Israelis are the new Nazis and the Palestinians the new Jews.

Snip.

The editors cut my final sentence. Here in bold:

Thus, cognitively disoriented by both their media and their academics to such a degree, it is altogether possible for the curators at the Jeu de Paume to put up an exhibit celebrating mass murderers—and to believe that, in so doing, they were siding with the innocent and “speaking truth” to Israeli “power.” And so they raise war propaganda that targets their own culture to the level of high art. Little wonder that, even as they celebrate Palestinian Jihadis who make martyr-heroes of mass murderers, they remain willfully blind to the fact that the “jeunes” in their own Muslim communities are doing the same to their very own child-killing Jihadi, Mohamed Merah.

 

The Media’s “Take” on Negotiations: How Palestinian Cogwar has Checkmated Israel in Western Public Opinion

My friend Avi Bell sent me the following. While exaggerated for effect, it’s a recognizable Catch 22 for Israel and a “get-out-of-responsibility-free card” for the Palestinians. Heads we lose, tails, they win.

It’s a good example of a complete cogwar victory for the Palestinians. It shows that and how (but not why) our current herd of independent journalists so extensively plays voluntary dhimmi to the Palestinian cause. When Riccardo Cristiano told Yasser Arafat that his network always reported according to “the procedures for reporting from the Palestinian territories,” he meant, among many other things, this:

If Israel refuses to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it refuses to negotiate.

If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see negotiations with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it is trying to avoid negotiations.

If the Palestinians make preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians have to force Israel to be serious in the negotiations.

If Israel makes no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace.

If the Palestinians make no offer of peace, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see that making offers of peace with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes an offer of peace and the Palestinians reject it, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because Israel is not willing to make the kind of offer the Palestinians would accept.

There are variations on this, e.g.,:

If Arabs make war, but offer to end it, that proves that Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because the Arabs offered peace. (Thomas Friedman/Arab “peace” initative)

If Israel makes war, but offers to end it, that proves that Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel made war. (Defensive Pillar, Lebanon II, etc.)

If Arabs attack, that proves Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel provoked the Arabs to attack.

If Israel attacks, that proves Israel is interested in war and Arabs are interested in peace, because Israel attacked.

If Palestinians carry out acts of terrorism, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because the Palestinians feel they have no choice but to carry out acts of terrorism.

If Palestinians try to carry out acts of terrorism, but Israel foils them, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because Israel is carrying out anti-terror actions against the Palestinians even while there is no terrorism.

If Palestinians don’t try to carry out acts of terrorism, that proves that Israel is mistreating the Palestinians, because the Palestinians are good and innocent and Israel uses terrorism as an excuse to mistreat Palestinians.

Now why the intelligentsia would want to double handicap the Israelis and double empower the Palestinians may strike a sound and sober reader as not only unfair, but pretty stupid, given the kinds of voices that dominate the Palestinian public sphere. But to people inebriated by their power to “level the playing field” by giving the weak “underdog” a break, it’s something virtually no one in the news media would question.

Suicidal intelligentsia’s anyone?

Notice at the Jeu de Paume in Response to the Controversy about “Phantom Homes”

A major controversy roils French “high culture” these days concerning an exhibit at the Jeu de Paume museum (where, in the old days – my youth – the Impressionists used to be housed). Called Phantom Home, the exhibit displays the photography of a Bedouin Israeli woman named Ahlam Shibli, the central part of which is dedicated to photographing the way Palestinian society honors and celebrates the “martyrs” of their “resistance” to the Israeli “occupation.” A tastefully done series – not a hint of the blood these “martyrs” shed when blowing themselves up in public places in Israel, often chosen for the high incidence of children – it has nonetheless stirred controversy among “Pro-Israel” figures who object to its content. In response, the Minister of Culture has asked the Museum to put up a notice explaining that the exhibit’s text was provided by the artist and not the museum.

This is the text of the notice, which appears in several places of the exhibit.

To avoid misunderstandings, the Jeu de Paume wishes to make it clear that the artist Ahlam Shibli’s series Death, a work centered on images, in neither propaganda, nor an apology for terrorism.

As the artist herself explains, “I am not a militant. My work is to show, not to denounce or to judge.”

Death explores the way in which dead or imprisoned Palestinians – “martyrs,” according to the term that Ahlam Shibli reuses – are represented in public and private spaces (posters and graffiti in the streets, inscriptions on tombs, shrines and mementos inside homes, etc.), thereby regaining a presence in their community.

All the photographs in this series are accompanied by captions written by the artist that are inseparable from the images.

It would be harder to find a better illustration of the surrealistic doubletalk that the French have so grown accustomed to, that they don’t even realize how absurd they sound. Okay, ceci n’est pas une pipe, but a drawing of une pipe. This is not propaganda, it’s photographs of war propaganda: virtually every martyr hero appears with his weaponry; the partisan (and deeply misleading) language of “resistance” to “occupation” of “disappeared” or “imprisoned” fathers of families defines the presentation.

Whatever Shibli claims about herself, she’s heavily judgmental – her fellow Bedouins who joined the IDF are selling out their souls to the occupier in order to get a comfortable home, the French who suffered the Nazi occupation turned around and fought to occupy Indochina and Algeria, while her “martyrs” get not one word of disapproval for targeting children.

Far from distancing themselves from the text of Shibli’s exhibition, the curators actually confirmed them.

Alas, poor France, I knew her well.

Leavitt advises on Israeli cogwar against the EU’s ill-advised move against the “occupation”

Stephen Leavitt at the Jewish Press has made some excellent suggestions on how Israel should deal with the latest EU Initiative about stigmatizing anything they deem “occupied territory.” His approach is a model of cognitive war strategy: understand when your foe, overconfident in his strength, has overstepped, and take steps that publicly reveal where the real power lies.

In this case the Europeans actually believe and acted on their auto-stupefying poco model that says beyond the Green Line is “occupied territories,” that the Palestinians are innocent indigenous victims and the Israelis colonial, imperialist racists, and that they are heroes of the (grateful) oppressed by siding with the Palestinians.

PS. the picture JPress provided of Catherine Ashton and the chicken leg is priceless.

How the EU Will Reverse Itself, in Three Easy Steps

Be firm and consistent – they will fold.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton marking the V sign for Victory with a chicken leg, standing next to former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, January 6, 2011.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton marking the V sign for Victory with a chicken leg, standing next to former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, January 6, 2011.
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi / flash90

Yesterday’s announcement by the European Union, to block funding to any organization that has direct or indirect ties over the Green Line (Jerusalem, Golan, Judea and Samaria), unless they are a leftwing organization, has shocked Israel.

The overt anti-Semitism, the transparent politicization, and the blatant chutzpa took Israel by surprise. Worse, at first it felt as if Israel were trapped in a corner with no options to respond.

But reality is different.

The EU is in bad shape. It has economic problems, social problems, and credibility problems.

With its most recent action, the EU overplayed its hand, not considering the backlash the decision could cause.

Some responses Israel may choose would hurt the EU quite a bit.

THE PEACE PROCESS

In March 2012, following a UN attack on Israel that went too far, Israel announced a boycott of the UN Human Rights Council, declaring it a “superfluous and extravagant body” that Israel would have no connection to anymore.

This caused an earthquake in the UN, and it still threatens to destroy the credibility and legitimacy of the council.

Most importantly, Israel’s declaration has forced the HRC to take clear steps to correct itself.

The first action Israel must take here as well is the most obvious one: the EU craves legitimacy on the international stage. With wildcat strikes hitting Greece, Spain, and Portugal, to name but three ailing EU members, the organization must prove it is relevant and credible.

Israel should expel the EU from the Peace Process.

Israel should declare—something Prime Minister Netanyahu was hinting at in his Tuesday night statement—that the EU and all its member states will no longer be considered honest brokers, and no Israeli official will meet with them on any issue related to the Peace Process. It only takes a simple statement, and it will be enough to cause them to capitulate.

Any member state wishing to be included in the peace process must sign a statement that the territories of east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights are in dispute and their fate will be determined through direct negotiations. It must also commit to disregarding the EU directive regarding those same territories.

Be firm and consistent – they will fold.

Israel is an important trade partner with Europe, and its third largest trade partner in the region following the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Israel buys from Europe more than it sells. A retaliatory trade war and boycott in response to their expulsion from the Peace Process would hurt the already flailing European economy, it’s the last thing they want, and not a step they would take in response.

DIVIDE AND CONQUOR

Next Israel must immediately pass the Foreign Agents Act, with an additional stipulation.

As the EU’s declaration makes it clear that they will now only be financially supporting NGOs on the far left, Israel must make it clear that any NGOs receiving EU funding are de facto foreign agents. These NGOs fund raising will be curtailed, their access to Israeli government officials would be restricted, and their entry into the Knesset will be forbidden.

Watch the left wing NGOs quietly pressuring the EU to back off their directive.

All it takes is a firm conviction on our part.

REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The third step is financial.

The EU invested close to 1 billion dollars in research grants and investments, some of which could now be lost.

Israel should approach private, patriotic wealthy Jews — Sheldon Adelson, who put his money where his mouth was this past U.S. election, comes to mind — to pick up the slack. In return, those who invest in Israeli research will reap the benefits in royalties, shared patent ownership and so on. They could stand to make a lot of money.

Stand your ground, don’t blink, they’ll blink first.

All this reminds of the joke about the Israeli at British passport control. “Occupation?” “No, just visiting.”

Karsenty-Enderlin Court Decision

Arrêt Cour Appel 26 juin 2013

Will provide translations of critical passages and commentary over time. Anyone interested in transcribing/translating the text or parts, please communicate with me.

 

Why is the peace settlement that’s so obvious, so elusive?

Well intentioned people like John Kerry cannot understand why it’s so hard to make peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, despite the fact that “everyone knows” what the eventual settlement will be, and, in the opinion of one BBC reporter, “it could be solved with an email.”

Many, frustrated with the lack of movement towards so obvious and mutually beneficial a goal, tend to blame Israel. This includes not only hard-line anti-Israelis like Walt, Mearsheimer, and Carter, but also good liberals like the editors and op-ed writers at the NYT, Peter Beinart at Open Zion, and all the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobbyists at J-Street. Indeed, at the talk I gave at the Association of Isreal Studies last month, most of the objections centered on my changing the subject from the real problem, “the settlements.”

And, unquestionably, the Israelis are pretty reluctant to make the concessions these well-intentioned people urge upon them, often as thinly veiled threats in the form of eventual boycotts, divestments and sanctions. This reluctance, critics readily attribute to the irredentist desire of the religious zealots who have settled what they call Judea and Samaria and want to hold onto the them, which certainly is one factor, among a relatively small minority in Israel (certainly not an electoral majority).

What makes their arguments hold water with the larger population of Israelis, most of whom would be willing to give up the West Bank in exchange for peace, is the pervasive evidence that the Palestinians would use whatever territory they got not, as J-Street assures us, to build a peaceful nation of their own, but as a launching pad for further attacks… in other words the “Phased Plan” for the destruction of Israel, formally adopted by the PLO in 1974 (after the one stage destruction failed decisively), and never repealed (despite the Oslo “Peace Process” obligation to do so and the assurance of many journalists that they had done so).

To have an insight into what the evidence that Palestinian culture is pervasively hostile to any kind of peace with the Israelis that leaves them any piece of the land “from the river to the sea,” one needs above all to look at the culture of incitement that brainwashes Palestinian youth to hatred. And in addition to a formal “incitement index” established by the Israeli government, one can find good examples of the hate-mongering, genocidal discourse that passes for a Palestinian culture at Palestinian Media Watch.

For only the most recent example of this grotesque phenomenon, see below:

Little girls on PA TV:
Jews are the “most evil among creations,
barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs,”
condemned to “humiliation and hardship”

Note the language of “humiliation” which is the fate of all dhimmi, and which Israelis, by definition, and unacceptably, escape.

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian Authority TV continues to promote Islam-based hate speech and Antisemitism, voiced by little children. In this latest example, two sisters recited a poem that included the following demonization of Jews:

“You who murdered Allah’s pious prophets (i.e., Jews in Islamic tradition)
Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood
You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship
Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations
Oh barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs.”

The poem also taught that Jerusalem is not for Jews, because Jerusalem “vomits” out the Jews who are said to be “filth” and “impure”:
“Jerusalem vomits from within it your impurity
Because Jerusalem, you impure ones, is pious, immaculate
And Jerusalem, you who are filth, is clean and pure.”

Palestinian Media Watch has documented previous examples of hate speech and Antisemitism voiced by children on official PA TV, including:

For more examples click here.

The following is the transcript of the poem recited by the little girls on the PA TV program Palestine This Morning:

PA TV reporter: ”Let’s meet these girls who want to recite a short poem.”
Girl 1: ”I do not fear the rifle because your throngs are in delusion and ignorant herds.
Jerusalem is my land, Jerusalem is my honor
Jerusalem is my days and my wildest dreams.
Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets (i.e., Jews in Islamic tradition)
Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood
You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship.
Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations
Oh barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs
Girl 2: Jerusalem is not your den
Jerusalem opposes your throngs
Jerusalem vomits from within it your impurity
Because Jerusalem, you impure ones, is pious, immaculate
And Jerusalem, you who are filth, is clean and pure.
I do not fear barbarity.
As long as my heart is my Quran and my city
As long as I have my arm and my stones
As long as I am free and do not barter my cause
I will not fear your throngs
I will not fear the rifle.”
[Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 3, 2013]

If the MSNM were to report accurately what was going on… a lot would change: Interview with me at AIS

In addition to the talk that I gave, Scott Jacobsen also recorded an interview with me on the news coverage in the Middle East. I think I’ve given better interviews, but not ones that are up on Youtube, so if you’re interested, here are some his questions and my answers:

The Egyptians Get It: A bullet kills a man, a lying camera kills a nation.

Just as the suicide bombing that Arab Muslims cheered eagerly when the Israelis were the target has since been turned against them (in far greater numbers), so now the cognitive warfare so acceptable when Israel was the target has begun to upset the Egyptians when it targets them, especially from an Arab news agency like Al Jazeera.  Here are two examples of the way they fight back. (Both pictures include the logo of Al Jazeera.)

egyptian pamphlet2 against al jazeera

 

egyptian pamphlet1 against al jazeera

Landes at AIS, Los Angeles: The Constriction of Western Intelligentsia – Honor/Shame Dynamics

Talk I gave at the Association of Israel Studies at UCLA in Los Angeles on June 25, 2013.

Announcing the First Anti-Darwin Democracy Award Nominee: Curators at the Jeu de Paume in Paris

Yesterday I read the definition of the Darwin Awards:

Darwin Awards commemorate those individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion.

That definition then inspired me to formulate another such collection which we could call The Anti-Darwin Democracy Awards, which one would define thusly:

Anti-Darwin awards commemorate those individuals, who in a sublimely idiotic fashion, undermine the long-term survival of democracies by imposing their folly on us all.

Obviously such an award would give a life-time achievement award to the journalists who can look at the evidence around the Al Durah case and still say, “that’s a boy dying,” as well as those detectives from rekaB Street who, two years before the Boston Marathon bombing, closed the case on a triple, throat-slitting murder, on 9-11, of three young men, two Jews, one of whom was Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s “best friend.”

But for my first formal candidate, I’d like to propose the curators at the Museum of Jeu de Paume in Paris, who have elevated the crudest war propaganda, aimed against their own culture, into a form of art.

Of course, they have an excuse for their folly. They’re just honoring the just cause of the Palestinians against the Israelis. They’re not the target of the propaganda of hatred behind which they place their moral weight.

  • For not seeing the obvious links between Palestinian anti-Zionism and the Jihadi war on Dar al Harb, not understanding that the (near-unanimous) Muslim animus against autonomous Jews (ie Israelis) is directly related to the animus towards any autonomous infidel…
  • For not understanding the profoundly dishonest, communautariste, nature of Palestinian lethal narratives, for their astounding credulity…
  • For debasing a justifiably proud (and often sardonic) national culture in the service such crude, hate-mongering propaganda…

Below the announcement of a demonstration outside the Jeu de Paume. I plan to be there and document the dysfunctions of the French elite (and the sane reactions of the Jewish community there).

France : manifestation contre l’exposition qui fait l’apologie du terrorisme au Musée du Jeu de Paume à Paris

 juin 13th, 2013  Aschkel
Ahlam-Shibli-foyer-fantôme-300x183 (1)

Une action soutenue par le Centre Simon Wiesenthal

Dimanche 30 juin 2013, nous organisons une grande manifestation devant l’entrée du Musée pour protester et faire fermer cette exposition indigne.

Rendez vous tous devant le Musée du Jeu de Paume à 15 h, 1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris le Dimanche 30 Juin.

Si vous souhaitez manifester votre indignation vous pouvez téléphonez directement au Musée au 01 47 03 12 50.

En raison de menaces sérieuses circulant dans les milieux islamistes, nous avons décidé de reporter au dimanche 30 juin la manifestation contre l’exposition qui fait l’apologie du terrorisme au Musée du Jeu de Paume. Ce report nous permettra de mieux sécuriser la manifestation et d’avoir un service d’ordre optimal.

Rappelons que le Musée du Jeu de Paume consacre une exposition photo à la mémoire des terroristes palestiniens !qu’ils osent appeler des « martyrs », reprenant ainsi la terminologie islamiste, alors qu’il ne s’agit que d’assassins ayant tué des civils, femmes, enfants israéliens au nom du fameux Jihad. Imagine-t-on une exposition glorifiant les « martyrs » islamistes ayant perpétré les attentats du 11 septembre ?

Madame le Ministre de la Culture n’a pas jugé bon faire interdire cette exposition odieuse. Dès lors il nous appartient à nous citoyen français de prendre nos responsabilités et d’agir contre cette apologie du terrorisme issue de la barbarie islamiste !

Il s’agit là d’une véritable apologie du terrorisme où des ordures de la pire espèce sont qualifiés de « Martyr mort en opération » !

La direction du Musée dans une inconscience absolue glorifie ainsi le terrorisme islamiste tuant des civils juifs en Israël. Ainsi il y a donc d’un côté les « bons terroristes », ceux qu’on peut glorifier dans des expositions dès lors où ils tuent des civils juifs en Israël, et de l’autre « les mauvais terroristes » ceux qui font des attentats en France… pourtant ce sont les mêmes qui tuent au nom d’Allah pour les mêmes raisons !

Faut-il rappeler aux dirigeants de ce musée que ces terroristes ne défendent pas la cause palestinienne mais celle de l’Islam radical ? Comment combattre des islamistes comme Mohamed Merah quand un grand musée consacre une exposition à la mémoire de terroristes ayant assassiné des civils ?

Dejà en 2012, le nombre d’agression antisémites à doublé. Les agressions sont de plus en plus violentes jusqu’aux attentats de Toulouse et Sarcelles. Combien faudra-t-il d’enfants juifs avant que les pouvoirs publics réagissent, avant que l’intelligentsia de gauche qui se fait l’écho de la propagande palestinienne comprenne qu’elle justifie ainsi les gestes d’extrémistes islamistes ?

Nous avons lancé à cet effet une pétition.

Dimanche 30 juin 2013, nous organisons une grande manifestation devant l’entrée du Musée pour protester et faire fermer cette exposition indigne.

Rendez vous tous devant le Musée du Jeu de Paume à 15 h, 1 Place de la Concorde, 75008 Paris.

Si vous souhaitez manifester votre indignation vous pouvez téléphonez directement au Musée au 01 47 03 12 50.

Signez la pétition en cliquant ici voir tous les commentaires

Si vous-même avez une contestation à faire, n’hésitez pas à faire une pétition sur ce site - http://www.notrepetition.com/

La Rédac

Lire la suite: http://www.israel-flash.com/2013/06/france-manifestation-contre-lexposition-qui-fait-lapologie-du-terrorisme-au-musee-du-jeu-de-paume-a-paris/#ixzz2Y5WIuyGL

Karsenty fined 7000 Euro for Defamation

This is a victory of a state owned press using its immense financial and political resources to bully independent critics. in principle, this is bad news for freedom of speech (which as Brandeis famously pointed out demands that we have a thick skin, and which Charles Enderlin famously does not have). Given the terrible damage that Al Durah did – a poster-boy for the linked phenomena of virulent anti-Semitism and global Jihad – this decision is nothing short of suicidal for a Western democracy.

For further details see posts at www.aldurah.com

Conning the Public: The Clash between Lethal Journalism and Journalistic Ethics

One of the most salient features of lethal journalism is the stark conflict between journalistic ethics and the actions of journalists who purvey lethal narratives as news. Given the (inexplicably?) overriding commitment of some journalists to these narratives no matter how obviously false, they must avoid facing up to their professional commitments to accuracy and fairness. Often this leads to a situation of a “public secret” in which they privately admit things (they’re intimidated, the Palestinians stage stuff all the time) which they publicly deny.

CAMERA has a brief video about just this kind of situation. For reasons that perhaps only he (and Bob Simon) can explain, the public face of the station – “if you make a mistake, own up to it” is the opposite of the way they make their sausages. Is the man a hypocrite? Does he not know what he’s doing? Does he think it doesn’t matter when the subject of the mistake is Israel? Is he, like Charles Enderlin, someone who pushes cognitive dissonance to the point of dissociation?

 

By the way, the comment about Bethlehem surrounded by wall and therefore an open-air prison is only the most egregious of errors in Simon’s report, which is a classic example of lethal journalism disguised as investigative journalism.

Landes, “Save the Children of Palestine”: Talk in LA on Al Durah

I’ll be speaking in LA on the Al Durah affair, especially on its effects, the day before the French court’s decision. The title is meant both seriously and sarcastically (taken from an Al Awda subject line). Some people objected. I guess if I were to do it again, I’d call it “Save the Palestinian children”…

Please tell anyone who’s in the LA area whom you know who might be interested about the talk.

EVENT: Save the children of Palestine – with Richard Landes, June 25

– JUNE 12, 2013

The Israeli government recently issued a report in which they not only claimed the Israel Defense Forces had not killed Muhammad al Durah, but that there is no evidence in the video footage of his death. Almost thirteen years (too) late, many, even Zionists, considered this non-news. On the contrary, the lateness of the report reflects some startling issues that everyone, even those highly critical of Israel, need to consider. In fact, the long delay in Israelis response derived in part from an overwhelming consensus among journalists that “a boy died on camera,” which Israeli officials were reluctant to contradict without seeming like conspiracy theorists.

What makes this consensus that the boy died (and that the IDF killed him) so remarkable is that the empirical evidence decisively confutes the claims of the journalist who broke the story, Charles Enderlin, and the cameraman who filmed the event, and yet their claims have dominated public perceptions to this day, even though their “story” has been extraordinarily destructive not just to Israelis, but to anyone who favors civil society. Indeed, this may be one of the longest-lasting and damaging media hoaxes that the world has witnessed in the era of modern journalism.

This talk will look at the wide range of destructive effects this “lethal narrative” has caused, the reason why a school of lethal journalism, led by French-Israeli correspondent Charles Enderlin has been able to dominate the entire field of Middle East journalism for the last thirteen years… and counting, and what can be done to change the dynamics involved.

Richard Landes is a professor of medieval history at BU. His work focuses on the role of religion in shaping and transforming the relationships between elites and commoners in various cultures, in particular the impact of “demotic religiosity” which prizes equality before the law, dignity of manual labor, and access to sacred texts and divinity for all believers.

In 2011 he published two volumes, Heave on Earth: The Variety of the Millennial Experience with a final chapter on Global Jihad, and he co-edited a volume on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with Steven Katz: The Paranoid Apocalypse: A Hundred Year Retrospective on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, for which he wrote three chapters.

From 1996-2003, Landes directed the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University.

He is currently completing the book he set aside in order to write Heaven on Earth, that is, a study of the role of millennialism in the shaping of the first thousand years of Christian history: While God Tarried: Disappointed Millennialism from Jesus to the Peace of God, 33-1033. At the same time he is writing a more contemporary book entitled: They’re so Smart cause We’re so Stupid: A Medievalist’s Guide to the 21st Century.

Landes has written and lectured widely on millennialism, especially in the medieval period, and more recently on the role of communications technology – from the invention of writing to modern media – in shaping public awareness and discussion, and, in some cases, in establishing and maintaining civil society. His work on the apocalyptic currents that built up during the approach to 2000 has led him to focus on Global Jihad as a) an apocalyptic millennial movement of exceptional destructive potential; and b) a new religious movement whose relationship to the internet may parallel that of Protestantism to printing.

In 2005 Landes launched a media-oversight project called The Second Draft in which he proposes to look at what the news media calls their “first draft of history.” Since January 2005 he has been blogging at The Augean Stables, a name chosen to describe the current condition of the Mainstream News Media in the West. When he has completed his book on medieval history he plans to write a They’re so Smart Because We’re so Stupid: A Medievalist’s Guide to the 21st Century.

History professor at Boston University and director/co-founder of the Center for Millennial Studies, who became involved in 2003 when, after reading James Fallows’ article in The Atlantic Monthly, he went to Paris where Nidra Poller introduced him to MENA’s Gerard Huber. Landes subsequently met with Shahaf and was shown the raw footage of the event by Charles Enderlin. Convinced that the entire scene was staged, Landes has produced a series of documentaries about the event entitled, According to Palestinian Sources: Pallywood, Al Durah, and Icon of Hatred.

WHAT IS THE AL DURAH PROJECT?
THE SHOCKING DEATH OF A CHILD AT THE HANDS OF ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN 2000 TURNS OUT, ON CLOSER EXAMINATION, TO BE AN EXERCISE IN LETHAL JOURNALISM. THE AL DURAH PROJECT WAS FORMED TO EXPOSE AND RESIST THE FORCES THAT MAKE SUCH GLOBALLY DAMAGING HOAXES POSSIBLE. – See more at: The Al Durah Project

Please join us for this important event.  Because the truth matters…

$15 per person – cash or check at the door

You can also register by email to RSVP3@cjhsla.org
(Please indicate Professor Richard Landes in the subject line)

 

Related posts:

- See more at: http://www.cjhsla.org/2013/06/12/event-save-the-children-of-palestine-with-richard-landes-june-25/#sthash.SkmpQCzH.dpuf