Sunday, February 08, 2009

Real anti-Semitism 

As the economy falls through the floor of the crater, and as populist rage increases, so will nativism and xenophobia, as well as anti-Semitism, which really has been getting worse in the last 15 years and will soon get much worse.

Some relevant quotations:

1) 'George Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, also blamed the Jews for many of his troubles, if the extraordinary scene Tyler describes in the book’s prologue is to be believed. He recounts how in 2004 a furious Tenet, dressed in his underwear, drank half a bottle of Scotch, supplied by Prince Bandar bin Sultan at his palace in Saudi Arabia, in a few minutes, while raging at the Bush administration’s duplicity. “They’re setting me up,” he said, but “I am not going to take the hit.” The hit that needed to be taken was for the missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, over which the United States had gone to war. The White House, Tyler writes, expected Tenet “to fall on his sword to protect the president.” ­Tenet raged against the “bastards” in the administration and mocked the neoconservatives who supported Israel’s right-wingers as “the Jews.” He then jumped into the swimming pool and did impressions of Yasir Arafat and Omar Suleiman, the chief of Egyptian intelligence.'

2) 'Jewish leaders said it had never before happened in Venezuela: a break-in with anti-Jewish intent at one of the city's most prominent synagogues. A dozen armed men overpowered guards, spray-painted office walls with anti-Semitic insults, desecrated historic Torah scrolls and made off with computers containing personal information on congregants. President Hugo Chávez condemned the Jan. 30 attack, which has shaken the country's political establishment. But Jewish leaders, supported by Israeli and U.S. officials, have said the populist government's often incendiary rhetoric toward the Jewish state, coupled with rising anti-Semitic diatribes in pro-government media, has helped foster a climate of intolerance that might have prompted assailants to target the Tiferet Israel synagogue. Anger at Israel's recent military strikes in the Gaza Strip against the Islamist group Hamas have sparked demonstrations here and in two countries closely allied with Venezuela: Bolivia and Argentina. But Jews in these countries are concerned about the growing anti-Semitic tone of the protesters, who frequently equate Israel with Nazi Germany, a theme increasingly evident on placards that juxtapose the Star of David with the swastika and in some public pronouncements. In Argentina -- which has the largest Jewish population in Latin America, about 250,000-strong -- Jewish leaders describe a tense climate in which swastikas have been painted on Jewish schools, and graffiti demanding that Jews leave the country have been scrawled on walls....'

3) '"Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support. “So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East."'

4) 'There's no need to refer to Haaretz's startling revelation that Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman was a member of Kahane's Kach party in his youth: This campaign's dark horse was and is a Kahanist. The differences between Kach and Yisrael Beiteinu are minuscule, not fundamental and certainly not a matter of morality. The differences are in tactical nuances: Lieberman calls for a fascist "test of loyalty" as a condition for granting citizenship to Israel's Arabs, while Kahane called for the unconditional annulment of their citizenship. One racist (Lieberman) calls for their transfer to the Palestinian state, the other (Kahane) called for their deportation. Now the instigator of the new Israeli racism will apparently become the leader of a large party once again in the government. Benjamin Netanyahu has already pledged that Lieberman will be an "important minister" in his government.... Kahane is alive and kicking - is he ever - in the person of his thuggish successor. This is not just a matter of disqualifying Yisrael Beiteinu; it is not even a matter of this party's growing strength to terrifying proportions, becoming the fulcrum that will decide who becomes prime minister. This is a matter of legitimization. All society bears responsibility for it. Kahane was ostracized; Lieberman is a welcome guest in every living room and television studio. Imagine: Ehud Barak does not rule out a coalition with him; Uzi Landau, considered a "democrat," is now Lieberman's number two; a former senior ambassador and a retired police major general also adorn the list...." '

Very very dark days are ahead.


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