The following is the recent article by Phyllis Chesler
A secret admirer, perhaps a critic, has sent me a gift subscription to Time magazine. I leaf through its pages, stop at the two page layout of “The World” which displays Israel as one of ten world hot spots this week. Israel’s “easing of the Gaza blockade” merits 176 words and comprises a column which is 5 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches. By contrast, China’s “easing” of its financial currency restrictions (which may have major world repercussions) merits only 89 words; the refugee crisis in Kyrgyzstan which has displaced 400,000 ethnic Uzbeks merits only 82 words and a photo. Obama’s Patients’ Bill of Rights is only 65 words; America’s additional resolutions sanctioning Iran merit only 58 words.
Am I crazy, counting words? Not really. Propaganda works, word by word when it is repeated day after day, year after year. The aim of such propaganda is to render Israel a pariah among nations–so that proposals for its elimination will seem reasonable and will achieve as welcome a reception as have the narratives about Israel murdering little Muhammad Al-Dura, committing a massacre in Jenin, harvesting Palestinian organs, and attacking non-violent humanitarians on a boat. We also understand how propaganda fulfills its mission by counting, literally, how many words are being used to focus attention on one subject, one special country. Obsessive attention versus benign neglect is also a propaganda tool.
But, some might say that Time’s editors chose Israel for praise, not blame: they viewed Israel’s “easing” of the “controversial” Gaza blockade as a positive accomplishment. On the other hand, Time ties this “easing” to “the Israeli raid on an aid flotilla which killed nine and drew international condemnation.”
In other words: Lean on the Jew. It works. The fact that the “aid flotilla” bore hired assassins, shahids; that the so-called humanitarians knew they were aiding Hamas, an organization deemed a “terrorist” group by the United States; and that Israeli soldiers killed them in self-defense, is not acknowledged here as a contending counter-narrative.
Thus, all the other areas and issues chosen by Time: Severe Brazilian floods which left thousands homeless, the rather serious Uzbek refugee crisis, the sentencing of Somali pirates in Holland, the violence which continues, unabated, in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe over the “blood diamonds,” Obama’s Patients’ Bill of Rights, the “loosening” of China’s currency restrictions, the arrest of a major drug lord, etc. deserve fewer words.
Finally, guess which country is shown first, in the #1 position, onTime’s map of the world? Tiny Israel of course.
So much for what Israel is up against in terms of the allegedly neutral Western media.
Israel is also up against Israeli Jewish critics and Jewish rabbis. There are so many examples that it is hard to pick and choose any one. Well, here’s one. J Street just published a full-page ad in the July 2nd edition of The Forward. It is signed by too many American rabbis to even count. While acknowledging Gilad Shalit’s captivity and Hamas’ rockets, it nevertheless remains committed to a “democratic Jewish state—a nation that upholds the highest human and Jewish values.” It “hopes” that Israel will end the “counter-productive” Gaza blockade and remains proudly hopeful about “the possibility of two states, Jewish and Palestinian, living as neighbors, in peace and security.”
The J Street rabbis absolutely refuse to understand that dealing with Hamas (or with Arafat’s heirs) is a little like dealing with Hitler or with Al-Qaeda, that evil does not negotiate, nor does fascism, that Israel has tried their approach over and over again only to have “peace” and a “two-state solution” rejected by the Palestinians. What is it that they don’t understand? Or is it that they are far too frightened to face an evil which is not fathomable, not receptive to appeasement, not even to surrender?
Since many of the rabbi-signatories are women and/or feminists, I wonder if they would give a battered woman or a rape victim the same advice: Sit down with your batterer, reason, compromise with him, forgive him, act non-violently, show the world that you are more ethical than he is.
Finally, over the weekend, an acquaintance sent me an article and implored me to read it with an open mind and open heart. She is an educated and religious woman who wrestles with the narrowness of Judaism. Like many writers and intellectuals, I usually first go to the footnotes and bibliography. I need to know whose shoulders a particular work is standing upon. Idly, I glanced at the recommended reading list at the end of the article. It consisted of Jimmy Carter, Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pappe, Tanya Reinhart, Baruch Kimmerling, the early Benny Morris. This told me all I needed to know without reading the article which, indeed, turned out to be a trite one-sided critique of Israel but one launched in a soft and “healing” voice.
Hark! A new kind of propaganda.
I wish I were part of a Ministry to Combat Propaganda in the age of post-Orwellian Newspeak. Well, maybe I already am.
Here is another piece that Chesler wrote, in 2008, carried on the Julia Gorin Blog, who I will say something about later. The piece is totally self explanatory
On my way to Penn Station on Friday afternoon, (on West 29th St. to be precise), there seemed to be some kind of demonstration going on. When we got closer we saw that it was a large Islamic prayer service which had spilled out onto the sidewalk and into the gutter. It was mainly a mass of prostrated men but women in hijab walked nearby. The driver, a silver-haired man of Greek and Bulgarian background, launched into a non-stop monologue.
“I wouldn’t mind it if they came here to become Americans like I did. But no, they hate America. They want to stay the way they are but they want to take over America. You ought to see it in Astoria, Queens! Far bigger than this. You know why they’re on the sidewalk and in the street? Because they are really protesting not having larger and larger mosques.”
Well, their prayer service, (and it was that), did somehow seem like a protest. There was an aggressive rather than a humbled feeling in the air, more anger than love, a separatism but one right in-your-face.
Upon my return, several brave members of the LiberalHawks listserv group, including Pamela Hall, Tom Dolan, (of Gathering Eagles), Pamela Gellar of Atlas Shrugs, and others from the United American Committee were discussing the Muslim Day Parade. I watched a very disturbing Video and read personal accounts of what happened at yesterday’s parade. Unlike the Hispanic Day Parade, which also took place yesterday, the Muslim Day parade was aggressive, angry, confrontational, and did not seem very happy or joyful. No one was celebrating Islam’s many cultures and ethnicities. One sign read “Home of the Free Shari’a Movement.”
A number of super-angry bearded men tried to charge a small group of women who were holding signs which read “We Will Not Submit.” The men called one woman: “A fu–ing bitch,” “You whore,” “Your Talmud says you can rape a three year old,” “You baby murderer,” “The Jews kill little children,” “Rothschild was a Zionist,” (!). The background was a continuous roar of “Allahu-Akbar.”
One woman, (who prefers to remain anonymous), a member of the LiberalHawks listserv group, was threatened by a Muslim man. He threatened to “rape her fifty times.” He, and several other men, walked right through the barrier that had been erected to separate the two groups. Muslim parade marchers also photographed the protesters — a method of intimidation, a threat that they are being watched and might be stalked or worse. The police ended up having to protect the small band of protesters. In my time, it was the police who photographed the demonstrators, the demonstrators and counter-demonstrators did not photograph each other (unless they were FBI or CIA agents disguised as demonstrators or protesters).
Perhaps perfectly peaceful Muslims are paranoid about not being allowed to pray in the public square and are therefore aggressive about it. Perhaps their leaders want to claim public, secular space as Islamist religious space — just as they’ve enjoyed it in the Old Country. Perhaps Muslims who really want to pray have only seen Muslims marching in anger or even rioting in public and believe that this is what Muslims “do.”
This is an ill wind and it’s blowin’ right here in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Queens. The March for McCain on Manhattan’s upper west side elicited a solid, ugly wall of hoots, jeers, boos and rage. (Kudos to Pamela Hall who took the footage). When I asked some liberal friends of mine to view it, they were non-plussed. Indeed, they said that the hoots and jeers were proof of a flourishing First Amendment. “The marchers can march and we can express our views of their views.”
When I and others had to be protected by police officers when we spoke on campus about Islamic gender and religious apartheid and about Islamic imperialism and pro-slavery views, many of the students looked and acted a lot like the upper westsiders — but that too was defended as the First Amendment in action. I have been a radical feminist for most of my life and have always voted Democratic. I voted for Bush once and reaped the whirlwind. However, I have not seen conservative students boo, jeer, and move menacingly against speakers who opposed the military, the War, etc. Have you? They just seem to wear their bow-ties and behave in civilized ways. Why? (Needless to say, I do not agree with many items on the conservative and Republican agenda but I do appreciate their civility in these times).
The Muslim Day parade in Manhattan seems to be another example of the First Amendment and freedom of religion being used to censor other views in an ugly and threatening way.
I am afraid for our country. There seems to be an escalation, an acceleration of Islamist aggression in many of our cities, and not just via prayer-protest but also via lawsuit. Even now, the United Nations is preparing a truly racist document against the Jews, (Durban II), and yet it’s being promoted as an “anti-racist’ document. Why is the mainstream media so silent about all this? Why are the intelligentsia silent, why do they once again make common cause with totalitarians and fascists? What will it take to connect the dots?
Julia Gorin had introduced this as “an account of the day by fair feminist Phyllis Chesler — an increasingly conservative-friendly Democrat who is increasingly freaked out by jihad and her liberal friends’ non-response to it”
At the end of that piece by Chesler above Gorin went on to write this:
Chesler deserves credit for the honest intellectual road she has traveled, including recognizing the lack of civility that her fellow Democrats show conservatives. She also deserves credit for trying to find her way through the Balkan morass after initially penning — like everyone else — a piece repeating the ubiquitous Bosnian propaganda upon Radovan Karadzic’s arrest (I couldn’t stomach the read, but here is the link).
If you followed the link above supplied by Gorin you will have found out that Chesler engaged in Serb hating, comparing Serbs to Nazis, attacks on Serb leaders, glorification of the Muslim Jihad against the Serb Christians.
Where Gorin refers to Chesler “trying” we have this from Chesler
Who can understand Balkan history–that cursed region whose fiery nationalisms led to World War One? Not I. East Europeans remember how especially brutal Muslim Nazi- and Arab-empowered soldiers were during World War Two. Yes, there once were some pockets of European-style assimilation and sophistication among Caucasus-based Muslims, Jews, and Christians in the region. Has anyone read the incomparably charming and popular novel, Ali and Nino: A Love Story written by the very Jewish Lev Nuissimbaum whose pen name was Khurbain Said? The romance captured everyone’s longing for operatic harmony between Christians and Muslims. (For the Jews, it was always more complicated). Tom Reiss has written a must-read biography of Nuissembaum titled The Orientalist: Solving The Mystery of A Strange and Dangerous Life.
But fiction and exceptions aside, ethnic and religious feuds have simmered and boiled over between the Christians of different nationalities in the Caucasus and between Christians and Muslims in the former Yugoslavia.
I have now received and posted the most challenging comments in response to my piece about the capture of Radovan Karadzic.
What I do know about the recent warfare in the former Yugoslavia is that many girls and women were brutally and repeatedly gang-raped. I know this because I spoke with their lawyers and with feminist counselors and I read everything about their plight that I could find. Had there been funding enough to protect the raped women witnesses, I might have testified to the Court in The Hague about Rape Trauma Syndrome.
Other than this, and like everyone else, I believed that, although atrocities were committed by all sides, that the Bosnian Serbs were the ones who mainly committed genocide, “ethnic cleansing” and the gang-rapes. Now, Mr. John Peter Maher writes here that the massacre in Srbrenica was a Big Lie propagated by masterful Muslim deceivers. Several other commentators, including Felix Quigley here compare this lie to the lie about a massacre in Jenin which never really took place. They claim that in fact, most of the allegedly dead Muslim boys and men made their way to Tuzla where they joined or were protected by Muslim jihadists.
I have begun to ask my sources whether any of this is true or whether none of this is true. So far, I have been told that “some” of this might be true; that “none” or “little” of it can be true; that this might be the beginning of a masterful disinformation campaign to support Karadzic’s testimony at trial; and that the disinformation campaign was begun long ago by Islamists who are covetously eying Europe.
Friends: This is not my area. Do I have any Balkan experts out there? If so, please weigh in.
So under “trying” Gorin has Chesler now stating that “this is not my area”. The problem is that it was late, because she had already as we have seen made it very much her area. Her attacks on Karadzic and the Serbs, her identification with the Muslim Jihad was total in both cases.
Under the link “find”, that is Chesler finding her way, Chesler asked around and came up with material published by John Bostom and Srdja Trifkovic and before she took herself “off fishing”, and I have not heard from her since on the issue, she penned these lines:
Folks: I am getting many articles on the Balkan Mess. I am still no expert but what must be admitted is this: The West, including America, has been “had” in terms of signing on to only one acceptable narrative: The Christian Serbs are the evil aggressors and the Muslim separatists and imperialists are the innocent victims. (Where have we heard this before?)
The truth: That all sides committed war crimes but not genocide is apparently too complicated to bear. Anyway, I am reposting an entire article that has just appeared. Once again, dear reader, tell me what you know and what you think about this.
READERS PLEASE NOTE: I will post no comments that insult other commentators or that insult me. Good will must be assumed or I must assume an absence of civility on the insulter’s part. Also please note: This is not a legal tribunal. And calls for “evidence” must bear this in mind.
What are the lessons we must learn from the article? Please read the Comments posted at the Trifkovic article below.
So after much reflection by Chesler she comes up with these conclusions:
1. One side is as bad as another
2. It is a mess, and as we know if it is a mess then it is very dificult to understand, maybe even impossible to understand, hence her remark about “going fishing”.
3. Chesler´s formula “That all sides committed war crimes but not genocide is apparently too complicated to bear” well that is really too difficult indeed for anybody to bear, because how would Chesler address the truth, that it was ONE side which was creating and carrying out the war crimes
4. And that one side, Phyllis Chesler, was your beloved “West”, that is US Imperialism, and their agents and “babies”, why that is Tudjman, Izetbegovic and Thaci, just as Hajj Amin el Husseini had been the baby of the British Imperialists in the Mandate, just as Bin Laden had been the baby of the US imperialists post 1945 (see John Loftus and see also Christopher Simpson explanation in “Blowback” of how the US foreign policy became that foreign policy of Hitlerian Nazis)
5. Then having done that Phyllis Chesler you might consider what the US ruling class is really doing to Israel at the moment. Having created a continuation of the Holocaust as far as the Serb people was concerned from 1990 to the present, especially the Holocaust Continuation in the Krajina in August 2005, they are now preparing with Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah, plus Syria and Turkey, with the US elite ruling class in the lead, the same continuation of the Holocaust as far as the Jewish people are concerned.