It’s been awhile since I’ve posted although I have been thinking of posting nearly every day. I mean, nearly every day I see news and read articles that disturb or enlighten. And, this is election season. There is so much to say, and I will attempt to make up for at least some lost time, in the coming weeks. In any event, first, from Front Page, a disturbing video showcasing the emerging threat from Egypt toward Israel.
So-called “Israeli Apartheid Week” happened last week at University of Toronto. There are other universities and places worldwide now where it’s also occurring. I don’t want to give the thing more publicity here, so you can look it up on your own if you wish. There’s plenty online about the week of anti-Israel panels and “cultural work”, what it is, and why it is. I’ve certainly taken a good long look and listen. I’ve listened to more than a few panels online and even watched Judith Butler’s keynote at University of Toronto on youtube. You can’t say I don’t pay attention to the side I despise, although I must admit, sometimes — I wonder why I make myself sit through these things. Well, I’ve always been attracted to those I perceive to be adversaries, I’m eternally curious about the opposition, particularly since not too long ago, all things left were mostly not the opposition. Or, so I thought…
I have always been a bit queasy about Israel bashers though, even in my past. I have noticed an escalation of anti-Israel sentiment in the past few years and this has further pushed me away from some of my former comfort zones politically.
One of the people I started reading a few years ago who I have found immensely inspiring on this issue is Phyllis Chesler. I’ve read some of her work online and books, but never heard her speak. I figure since I’d listened to Butler, I should give Chesler her time, and of course, I was moved by her speech and informed. She’s been through a lot in her political feminist journey and if I have even half her courage, I’ll have a lot. She’s lost most of her feminist friends along the way, even being snubbed at funerals of friends in common who have passed away. She is privy to whispered calls from closeted Israel supporters who are also leftist feminists, who can’t dare to risk or give up the things that she has. And, what has Chesler lost? Not only almost all her friends but also grants and publishers and speaking engagements — and some sense of safety when she is actually invited and able to speak at public events. She now has body guards at speaking events due to real physical threats. Her friends now? Besides a few good and very, very few lingering friends from her more orthodox leftist past, she mentions here that she has Christian friends now, and Orthodox Jews. Yes, Christian… And ironically, she works mainly now with dissident Islamic feminists and not western feminists. All her values are absolutely as they always have been: freedom, human rights and women’s rights — but these she believes are no longer served predominantly by the left. And, unfortunately, I must agree.
Her speech here, more eloquent than anything I might say here, and well worth listening to inside this link to her site. An antidote to the Israel Apartheid week cant:
The New Anti-Semitism
When Middle East Politics Invade Campus
Note: The site has an audio recording and a video recording, and I found the audio recording more reliable and less glitchy. Although, YMMV.
Juan Williams says it best, and this could apply to so many on the left, but here he speaks in particular about the self-appointed elites at NPR recently caught on tape wanting to take an anonymous donation from two men disguised as members of a Muslim Brotherhood organization. I love Juan’s expression here of wide-eyed incredulity, like me, he’s beginning to see things in a very different way, after being treated to his shock, like dirt. His expression is priceless:
And, a witty and spot on article here from William Tucker about the embarrassing take down of NPR Sr. VP of Development and President of NPR Foundation Ron Schiller and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of Institutional Giving, by conservative activists disguised as Muslim Brotherhood front men. They accuse the media of being run by Zionists (Ron Schiller doesn’t miss a beat on pronouncing that of course, the newspapers are in fact, run by Jews and that there is a bias toward Israel but that his NPR is of course, sometimes referred to as National Palestinian Radio ), here the article:
“The question that hangs in my mind, though, is this: How could people who think of themselves as so intelligent be such suckers? How could they be taken in by an American black and a bushy-bearded “Muslim” talking in a grade-B Hollywood accent and really believe they were being offered $5 million? After all, these are people who define themselves as being intelligent. They’re the “educated elite” of whom we supposedly don’t have enough of in this country. And yet they were no more alert than a bunch of high school dropouts sitting around a shabby ACORN office in Baltimore. How do you explain that?
Well, I think it is possible to offer an explanation. Here’s an attempt.
First, liberals can be suckered precisely because they think they are the only intelligent people in America. This smug confidence insulates them from having to pay attention to what anybody else is saying. The conventional wisdom among liberals is that people disagree with them only because they are stupid, uneducated, or have been bought off by the sinister forces of American capitalism. (The New York Times’current obsession with the Koch brothers is a case in point. Conservatives have the same mania over George Soros but they only resent Soros’s funding of liberal projects; they do not dismiss any liberal intellectual working in one of his organizations as being “bought off” by his money.)
You cannot find a liberal intellectual anywhere who can give you an honest, objective accounting of conservative positions on major issues. All they know is that conservatives are “stupid,” racist” and “scary” — boilerplate terms but unfortunately the exact words employed by Schiller on the tape. Practically the only liberal around who has ever been able to give a recognizable presentation of a conservative position is Barack Obama, who was always very good at repeating everybody’s argument before choosing the most liberal point of view. For that we elected him President.
By assuming they are smarter than everybody else, liberals leave themselves utterly vulnerable to anyone who plays on their sense of superiority. It’s a classic Italian Renaissance comedy — the wily servant who, with cajoling and flattery, outwits his master. It’s been going on for centuries. Liberal intellectuals could write you an unintelligible paper on the subject for the Modern Language Association, but they can never see it happening to themselves!
Second, for liberal intellectuals, race is the key to everything (alright, the holy trinity of race, class and gender, I’m abbreviating). If you get on the right side of the fence on race, everything else falls into place. It was an absolute stroke of genius for O’Keefe to send in an American black to tell Schiller he could have $5 million if only he could be a little more balanced in his coverage of Hamas and Hezbollah. Could it have possibly crossed Schiller’s mind, “I wonder if this guy is putting me on?” Never! His whole body would rise up in anguish to banish the thought. That would be racist! Besides, blacks are on our side! All American blacks are beholden to liberals because they support affirmative action and genuflect to Kwanzaa and therefore how could a good-hearted African American possibly be deceiving? Instead, one must only assume the proper patronizing tone, as Schiller did throughout…”
And, here more:
“So how could the nation’s “educated elite” possibly be played for such suckers? The answer is simple. They live in a bubble. Everybody says the same things and thinks the same things and anybody who is any different is to be marveled at as an exotic flower rather than engaged in serious conversation. Last Sunday’s New York Times ran a long profile, for instance, on Wayne Barrett, the longtime Village Voice investigative reporter who after 37 years has been unceremoniously fired, apparently for budget reasons. During the decade of the 1980s, according to the Times, Barrett’s greatest scoop was to reveal Cardinal John J. Conner, head of the New York Archdioceses, was…are you ready for this?… a Republican!”
Ah, yes, a REPUBLICAN!!!! Wowzer. What a shock the Cardinal was a Republican… Heh.
Read the whole thing, though it was so good I quoted most of it.
It’s the same with all the riffraff out there. Tea Party people are easy to identify. They are the industrial parts salesman you meet on an airplane in the Midwest or the local real estate agent who’ll give you the rundown on what people are buying these days. They know nothing about semiology and wouldn’t be able to discuss the hockey stick graph but they are intelligent people nonetheless who understand business and know how the world works.
I have noticed this painful tendency and I think I once indulged in it myself – oh shame. Yeah, I think I said it more than once, in so many words – ‘All those right wingers are just plain dumb, that’s why they believe as they do!’ The rubes! Hah.
I’m glad I got out of my bubble. Once your eyes are open, certain self-deceptions are not as easy to maintain and life becomes all the richer for it.
NPR uncovered by undercover activists posing as a group “like the Muslim Brotherhood” that aims to spread sharia in a video here:
Project Veritas’ latest investigation focuses on the publically-funded media organization, National Public Radio. PV investigative reporters, Shaughn Adeleye and Simon Templar posed as members of the Muslim Action Education Center, a non-existent group with a goal to “spread the acceptance of Sharia across the world.”
So, as they themselves state in the video, NPR actually doesn’t need public funding. Ah, after seeing this, I am inclined to agree.