Guardian

CiF, Henning Mankell, and the audacity of evil


Henning Mankell is a best-selling Swedish author.  He’s also a Hamas flotilla activist who accused the Israelis who were attacked by IHH activists on board the Mavi Marmara of setting out to intentionally “commit murder”, an apologist for Palestinian suicide bombers who kill innocent Israelis, thinks the attacks by al-Qaeda on 9/11 were understandable“, and has observed that there was “no evidence of anti-Jewish feeling among the Palestinians…”

Yes, really.

Mankell also believes Israel is an Apartheid state which shouldn’t exist.  That is, as he surveys the political landscape and observes the 193 nations in the world, the only country he deems unworthy of statehood “in its current form” – meaning as the world’s only Jewish state – is Israel.

For those unaware, the EU working definition of anti-Jewish bigotry sanely includes those who hold the abhorrent view, which rejects only Jewish nationalism, as anti-Semitic.

He also just penned an essay at CiF today (Norway attacks: Anders Behring Breivik will join history’s human monsters, July 25) on Norway’s terrorist attack which, in the context of asking why Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old Norwegian, killed over 90 people, cites Adolf Eichmann, “the Nazi camp commander” who, along with Hitler, “thought [Jews] should be removed from the face of the earth” – and likens Breivik’s hate to what Hannah Arendt characterized as “the banality of evil.”

No, I’m not surprised that such a radical anti-Israel activist would leverage the horrific terrorist act of one lone right-wing extremist to score political points against his enemies, but the breathtaking audacity of a public figure like Mankell, who simultaneously calls, in the name of justice, for the end of the modern Jewish state, while evoking the slaughter of six million Jews to condemn the violence of a lone terrorist, represents the nadir of moral hypocrisy.

No, a morally sane writer simply can not condemn Nazis, who murdered one out of every three Jews on the face of the earth, and wish the Jewish state’s demise, and be expected to be taken seriously.

Those who seek Israel’s destruction erodes any pretense as to their moral credibility, or any claim to upholding universal moral values.  

Mankell’s call for “the fall of [Israel]…this disgraceful Apartheid system…the only thing conceivable, because it must be”, would, for a publication truly devoted to “liberal” values in the broadest sense of the word, render him politically toxic – a dangerous reactionary with no moral standing. 

The fact that the Guardian licenses his commentary speaks volumes of their continuing betrayal of genuine progressive values.

8 replies »

  1. I’m not surprised that such a radical anti-Israel activist would leverage the horrific terrorist act of one lone right-wing extremist to score political points against his enemies

    “score political points against his enemies”? His article makes no mention of political parties in Norway, nor does he draw any associations to them.

    What on earth are you talking about?

    • How about this, Pretz:

      “He is opposed to Muslims. He is opposed to different types of people meeting in a multicultural society. He detests the ambitions of globalism and is willing to attack the very idea of the modern age.”

      Hilarious: The killer was defined by his opposition to Muslims and “multiculturalism”. No, no agenda there.

      And then this:

      “At least we now know one thing that we might not have been certain of before yesterday: people can find the justification for acts of terrorism in all religious, political and ideological contexts. Now we know that those who claimed that terror is always synonymous with the Islamic faith were wrong.”

      Classic straw man argument. As if those who rightfully speak out against Islamist terror routinely claim that terror is synonymous with Islam.

      The fact is that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world today, Pretz, are motivated by radical Islam. Do you really deny this? Further, does making such a glaringly obvious argument make someone “right wing”?

      • I fail to see an answer there to my question about “score political points against his enemies”.

        The killer was defined by his opposition to Muslims and “multiculturalism”. No, no agenda there.

        But that was is agenda, was it not? Did you not notice the high proportion of distinctly un-Scandinavian-looking people among the survivors?

        The fact is that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world today, Pretz, are motivated by radical Islam. Do you really deny this?

        That question is unfairly suggestive.

        Further, does making such a glaringly obvious argument make someone “right wing”?

        That’s not the point of this mass murderer though, is it? He is clearly a Muslim hater. A very suggestive question of my own towards you occurs to me here – but I will refrain from posting it.

        • Please, humor me. how is the fact that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world are motivated by radical Islam “suggestive”? I mean, really, is this point even debatable? To make such an argument doesn’t in any way suggest that Islam, as a religion and faith, is essentially violent. It merely objectively observes an undeniable fact. If you wish to dispute this argument, please do.

          • how is the fact that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world are motivated by radical Islam “suggestive”?

            Because your “question” was putting the onus on me. The very phrasing suggested that I was saying something else (when I wasn’t) – when the actual issue here is something altogether different.

            If you wish to dispute this argument, please do.

            You see? You’re doing it again.

            Please stay on topic – and answer my original question.

      • “The fact is that the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks in the world today, Pretz, are motivated by radical Islam. Do you really deny this?”

        Andrew Gilligan in today’s Telegraph:

        “To even suggest equivalence between years of Islamist terror and the far Right, based on a single, awful case, is deeply dangerous and false.”

        http://tinyurl.com/3glfmea

        Deeply dangerous and false just about sums up the appalling Mankell. At least as far as the Jewish people are concerned, the left, in their own very insidious way, are every bit as menacing as the Nazis in the 1930s.

  2. To expect an objective honest article from somebody who took part in the ‘flotillas’ is irrational in itself.

    The Guardian obviously chose him for the extremity of his attitudes and not for his reasoning and he lives up to their expectations Now we know that those who claimed that terror is always synonymous with the Islamic faith were wrong. he says blandly, offering no names in proof.

    However, if he imagines for a second that this case, shocking as it is because it involves the privileged, proves that Moslems are never the perpetrators of terror then he is very wrong and the memories of the atrocities that fill our television screens at news-time and that blur into each other because there are so many of them bear witness to this.

  3. This person is opposed to the existence of Israel.
    From his article in “Aftonbladet” 02/06/09 (from one of the links above)

    “In 1948, the year of my birth, the state of Israel proclaimed its independence on occupied land. There are no reasons whatsoever to call that a legitimate intervention according to international law. What happened was that Israel simply occupied Palestinian land. And the amount of land under possession is constantly growing, with in the war in 1967, and with the increasing number of settlements today. Once in a while, a settlement is torn down. But it is just for show. Soon enough, it pops up somewhere else. A two-state solution will not be the end of the historical occupation.”

    I do not and will not buy any of his books, nor will I watch any of the ‘Wallander’ drama series on TV written by him.