General Antisemitism

Barry Rubin: on institutional racism, real and imagined

This is one of the most powerful pieces I’ve read in quite a while.  Rubin’s post, “What Threatens Peace: A Mountain of Hate or A Few Nasty Words”, goes to the heart of the simultaneous phenomena of the West’s masochism, and hyper self-criticism, on one hand, and their willful blindness to vile, institutional (and quite normative) racism and hate in the Arab world on the other. It is quite an understatement to note that this dynamic is consistently on display at the Guardian – and other progressive media – and represents, I fear, a profound threat to the future of liberal democracy in the world. The biggest threat faced by the U.S., Europe, and Israel is not of a military nature, its more a matter of the gradual  – indeed almost imperceptible – erosion of self-confidence in the fundamental righteousness of our cause.  As Ronald Reagan once said:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same…”

From: The Rubin Report

“About twenty-five years ago I had my great success in affecting mass media coverage of the Middle East in one newspaper for one day. I had been complaining to a New York Times correspondent, who was briefly covering the Middle East beat, about the incitement, hatred, and extremism that appeared daily in the Arabic media was never mentioned in its Western counterpart.”

“To his credit, he came over to my office. I took a big desk and spread over it a couple of dozen issues of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), a publication with which, in those pre-paperless days, I had filled whole bookcases. If you’ve never heard of FBIS it was a daily publication from the U.S. Department of Commerce that came out in different colored editions for each region of the world. All it did was translate radio and television programs along with some important speeches. Using or not using FBIS, for me, marked the difference between a serious researcher and a dilettante.”

“One after the other I showed him examples of the lies, the hatred, the calls for Israel’s destruction, the screams for blood and murder, the slanders against America that appeared in the most prestigious and widely circulated and official of Arabic-language publications. Impressed, he actually wrote an article on it that appeared on the front page.”

“That happened once. And this was in the days when journalistic standards meant something and newspapers actually focused on publishing the news rather than ideological guidance to direct people toward believing the proper things.”

“Day after day throughout the Arabic-speaking world, Iran, Pakistan, and beyond, in schools and mosques, in the speeches of leaders and oppositionists, in mass media, hatred of Jews and Christians, of the West and America, rises into the air. This structural hatred has consequences. The best single sentence I’ve heard on this comes from a Saudi woman who wrote that what the big Usama bin Ladin did, the little Usama bin Ladin learned in the Saudi schools.”

“This massive system of hatred and extremism—known to everyone who lives in the Middle East—is largely kept hidden from the West. Why?”

See the rest of the post here.

Categories: General Antisemitism

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7 replies »

  1. From Rubin’s article:

    “This brings us to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. A few days ago, in a sermon, Yosef reportedly said that Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas, “and all these evil people should perish from this world….God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

    This statement instantly became a global story. It will no doubt be used to delegitimize Israel. Yosef’s statement was also quickly condemned by the U.S. State Department in words that invite derision: “These remarks are not only deeply offensive, but incitement such as this hurts the cause of peace.””

    I am no supporter of Ovadia Yosef or his corrupt henchmen at Shas. But there are two noetworthy things here, I think:

    1. Unlike Arab religious figures, he did not call to kill Moslems or Arabs wherever they can be found. What he said was that “evil enemies of Israel” should be killed.

    I happen to agree with that statement.

    2. I have never seen the US State Department make a similar comment or complaint about the daily demands for the extermination of Jews and Israelis that are issued in interminably by Islamic religious leaders. If they feel that they are right to condemn Ovadia Yosef – and they probably are – they should have a sub-department whose only job it is to issue multiple daily condemnations of the daily demands that issue for the Islamic religious leaders demanding the murder of millions of Jews.

  2. Professor Rubin has been getting it right for quite some time now.
    What’s more, he massively corroborates what was said on a recent thread about the intellectual apologists / appeasers of Islamism.

    The West is so PC that it is afraid to admit there is a problem and a real clash of civilisations within its own walls. Nowadays, it’s not so easy to cry: ‘Wolf!’ or ‘J’accuse’, because one risks being proved wrong or looking ridiculous and being accused in return of racism.

    I suspect the PC brigade are even among us on CifWatch.

  3. This article caught my eye, and suddenly seemed very relevant to Rubin’s article and Ovadia Yosef:

    By Spencer S. Hsu
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, August 30, 2010; 7:13 PM

    The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging the U.S. government’s authority to target and kill U.S. citizens outside of war zones when they are suspected of involvement in terrorism.

    The civil liberties groups sued in U.S. District Court in Washington after being retained by the father of Anwar al-Aulaqi, a radical U.S.-born cleric who is in hiding in Yemen.

    The CIA placed Aulaqi on its list of suspected terrorists it is authorized to kill earlier this year; the cleric had been on a separate list of individuals targeted by the Joint Special Operations Command.

    So – the USA, starting I seem to recall with a Presidential order, feels it is appropriate to kill evil people trying to harm the USA and its citizens.

    But when Ovadia Yosef, admittedly not one of my role models, says essentially the same thing, the State Deprtment of the USA condemns him.

    Ovadia Yosef:

    “”Abu Mazen and all these evil people should perish from this earth,” Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual head of the religious Shas party in Israel’s government, said in a sermon late Saturday, using Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s popular name.

    “God should strike them and these Palestinians — evil haters of Israel — with a plague,” the 89-year-old rabbi said in his weekly address to the faithful, excerpts of which were broadcast on Israeli radio Sunday.”

    The USA:

    “”The government has the authority under domestic and international law, as well as the responsibility to its citizens, to use force to defend itself in a manner consistent with those laws.”

    Really just a differnt way of saying the same thing.


    Very curious.

  4. Prof. Rubin says “, it is virtually impossible to find a single–and I do mean, even just one–statement in Arabic by a PA, PLO, or Fatah leader (don’t even mention Hamas) calling for peace, recognition, conciliation, or empathy with Israel.”

    Up to now those of us who don’t speak or read Arabic have had perforce to believe translators and/or their detractors. Now we have the very useful tool of Google translator to use for ourselves and it is our duty to ourselves as intelligent human beings to use this facility and to find out for ourselves what is actually being said about us and our interests.

    We know that there is the practice in the Arab world to believe only what is said in Arabic or to a Moslem audience. Arafat, for instance, after signing Oslo told the Faithful in the mosque in South Africa that what he had signed was without value and talked of a jihad to liberate Jerusalem and compared his actions to those of Mohammed who broke a ten year peace pact with Jews after 22 months following a minor infraction, and destroyed them, in order to gain Mecca. There is no doubt that the example of the prophet’s actions is meant to be praised and imitated.

  5. “…And this was in the days when journalistic standards meant something and newspapers actually focused on publishing the news rather than ideological guidance to direct people toward believing the proper things.”

    Aptly put.

    And an excellent cross post, particularly the nine points at the end, which give prime examples of the cognitive distortions (thanks Mitnaged) which allow Islamism to gain strength.

    I particularly noted point (g), which reminded me of Winston Churchill’s famous statement,

    “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last

    And western governments are chock full of them.

  6. Gerald Kreeve, have you read any of Tarek Heggy’s essays, notably the one at, entitled “Our need for a culture of compromise” which sets out one of the reasons that Israel’s Arab neighbours are constitutionally incapable of entering a lasting peace agreement with her.

    Heggy writes of a mentality which is an all or nothing one and which is therefore self-defeating:

    … Although Islamic scripture is totally compatible with a culture characterized by compromise, Muslim history (especially its Arab chapter) has proceeded in a spirit that is antithetical to the notion of compromise. Our recent history is made up largely of losses which could have been avoided had we had not persistently rejected the notion of compromise as tantamount to submission, retreat, surrender, capitulation and even, as some of our more fiery orators put it, as a form of bondage to the will of others.

    “This all-or-nothing mentality is self-defeating. Any dispute or conflict is, by definition, a struggle between people or nations with different views and at different levels of power. It follows that any resolution of their differences that is not based on a compromise is impossible, because it would entail the total subjugation of the will, interests and power of one of the parties to those of the other. Such a conflict-resolution approach is doomed to fail because it runs counter to the laws of science, nature and life itself…”

    Heggy goes on to blame strict orthodoxy in religion for this failure to develop, and of course we see it in action in the extreme statements from Muslim pulpits and from Muslim leaders including those which the West, in its naivete believes that it can influence to behave differently. Ovadia Yosef’s ideas are, thankfully, the exception rather than the rule in Israel and for Jewish people elsewhere.