Sunday, February 26, 2006

Eyes and Ears

Interesting editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times about the rise in European anti-Semitism, and the concurrent rise in Europe ignoring it. Scary stuff. I don't endorse all the rhetoric about Islamists taking over the world (though I think we do need to remember that is the agenda of the radical wing of the Muslim world, I always think articles like this overstate how prevalent this sentiment is amongst the rank-and-file), but the rising tide of anti-Jewish violence in Europe and elsewhere cannot be ignored--no matter how much France might want to.

It's important to call this what it is--anti-Semitism. That it isn't being covered might partially be about Islamic appeasement, but I reject calling that the whole story--that's as demeaning to the victims as the French police or the British papers who refused to say that their was a Jewish link to the cases. Murder of Jews isn't a political tool you get to trot out to show just how really bad the Islamists are. It's bad because killing Jews is bad, period. And not covering the murder of Jews as Jews is a form of anti-Semitism, irrespective of how it plays into our global conception of what the war on radical Islamism is.

H/T: The VC, see also Captain's Quarters.


The probligo said...

David, how many years have they been reporting Palestinian suicide bombers?

So, why are these rags not called "anti-Palestinian"? Couldn't that be termed "Jew appeasement"?

What I dislike is your not too well disguised implication that "killing Jews is bad; killing arabs/palestinians/muslims is good."

If that is your mindset, then this manner of self-aggrandisement does you no credit whatsoever.

In the meantime, I do not care if it is Palestinian, Jew, Honky or Hori; there is no act that justifies the killing and murder of other people.

(Note that killing and murder is not a redundancy - intent makes the distinction).

David Schraub said...

WTF? This post doesn't even mention the I/P conflict. What on earth does killing Jews in France have to do with suicide bombings in Tel Aviv? There was absolutely no warrant to this attack--I said nothing about Palestine, rationalizing violence against Palestinians (or other Arabs), or anything of the sort. You must be quite the psychological sleuth if you consider a conflict not even mentioned in the post evidence of a "not too well disguised" mindset on my part that wants to murder Muslims.

And even were that not the case, I'd still not have the foggiest idea what the point of this comment was. If European newspapers do cover suicide bombings, they should, under your own standard of not justifying killing of innocent people (Jewish or otherwise). The point of this post was to say that massive undercoverage of the murder of innocents, on account of religion, within ones own borders, is a form of prejudice against the victimized group. I'm really honestly confused about the point your making here--maybe you misread something in post?

Anonymous said...

I came to this site through TMV. It deserves the high praise it gets there. That is, it's a good post - but the first comment perplexes me enough to write a response to it.

What, exactly, is wrong with reporting stories (such as suicide bombings)accurately? Papers get called names for all kinds of reasons; their job is to ignore all that and make sure they report what actually happened, without omissions of relevant facts. Stories with misleading omissions are the subject of the original post.

Then there's this: "Killing Jews is bad" = "killing arabs/palestinians/muslims is good." What? That implication is not there at all, much less "not too well disguised". Who could possibly read a insult or threat to Muslims, or Arabs, or Palestinians into the hypothesis that killing Jews is bad? Furthermore, if such a deluded person exists, his or her problem would not be "self-aggrandisement".

No, I am not a schoolteacher, but even ordinary conversationalists have their limits.

David Straub answered for himself, and did a much better job, while I was puzzling over the mess that is the first comment.

aspienat said...

If you read the Sun OP-Ed they mention how Europe sees Israel as the greats threat to world peace. For years Israel has been the worst inflictor of collective punishment yet the world news does not publish many articles about these practices. I would assume the first comment was about how newspapers are not talking about what has motivated the two rebellions in Palestine but yet you only chose to blogg about the papers not publishing stories on hate crimes against Jews in Europe. You chose to see the non-publishing of stories calling the crimes hate crimes against Jews in Europe and choose not to blogg about the Israelis abdominal treatment of Palestinians.
I think that is what motivated the first comment.
Also it might surprise you to know that two Jewish kids killed a Muslim in VA and one teen got away with it. The two criminals cut up the body of a neighbor and put him in a box. When the cops identified who had done the crime one kid ran to Israel and the U.S. to this day is unable to extradite the murder. Israel is blocking the extradition. The big papers did a few stories on the case but no one but the local paper mentioned the fact that the murders had killed the victim because he was Muslim. Also many Mosques have been vandalized in VA yet there is no press about it. So as you can see the press ignores a lot of issues.

David Schraub said...

I think a few Sudanese Black Africans would take issue with calling Israel the "worst inflicator of collective punishment." Credibility in argument, anyone?

The American and European media publishes plenty of articles on Israel's retaliatory practices against Palestinians--and I agree they should. We can, of course, debate how much of it is justified and how much of it is excessive, but I honestly don't see undercoverage of the I/P conflict as the BBC's major issue. Meanwhile, I think that Europe has a, shall we say, special obligation to be on the lookout for anti-Semitism in its own borders. I really don't feel guilty for pressing them on the point.

I can't find anything on your story (proving your point perhaps, though the info you gave was vague)--but I think the Sun-Times article made the right response anyway--sure there probably is some Jewish-on-Muslim violence in Europe and America (let's push aside Israel/Palestine for now). But it is dwarfed by the amount of violence being done against Jews in Europe. Frankly, the former is isolated, the latter is epidemic.

The probligo said...

David, because of the length, my response is here -

Ampersand said...

The trackbacking doesn't seem to eb working, but I wanted to let you know I've posted a response to this post on "Alas."

Richard Jeffrey Newman said...

Regarding probligo's comment, as well as the post on his blog, and aspienat's explanation: Seems to me that hitching one's response, as well as one's assessment of someone else's response to an antisemitic murder to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an exemplary instance of antisemitism in itself. It doesn't matter how smart and accurate and even otherwise non-antisemitic the critique of Israel might be. Connecting everything and anything having to do with things Jewish, even things Jewish that are related to things Muslim, to what goes on between the Israelis and the Palestinians is to reduce Jewishness to "Israeliness." Such a reduction, plain and simple, is racist; it is precisely the same thing as reducing the identity of an African-American to the color of her or his skin. You want to critique what is and is not covered in the media regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians, and how what is covered is covered, that's great, but get your hands dirty in the muck and mire of the full complexity of that situation. Don't piggy back on the words of someone responding to antisemitic murder that, as far as I can tell from what I have read, has absolutely nothing to do with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict