Thus does WaPo columnist Richard Cohen describe "vast parts of the Muslim world" today. He uses James von Brunn's killing of a guard at the Holocaust Museum as his jumping-off point - and then tries to emphasize his point by throwing in a reference to a horrific blood-libel persecution of Holocaust-survivor Jews in 1946. It's certainly an event that needs to be noted and remembered, but perhaps it's unfair to do so here, where he's trying to tar the entire Muslim world with the anti-Semitism brush.)
I don't dispute for a second that too many Muslims (and Christians - and people in general) hold some weird, destructive beliefs about Jews. Those ideas are detestable, and people ought to know what's going on.
But why write about this now? When the President is trying to reach out to the Arab-Iranian-Muslim world, in large part to protect Israel, mostly from its own idiotic settlement policies in the West Bank? Why not note instead - or at least in addition - the story of the Arab doctor from Gaza whose daughters were killed by Israeli bombing, but who is now reaching out to build bridges between Arabs and Jews?
And for that matter, why not take note of the source from which Cohen gets many of the examples he cites? He bases his report on articles culled by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute). MEMRI has become notorious for its singling out of media reports that document alleged Arab perfidy and bigotry. Of course, Cohen may not know that MEMRI was founded by former Mossad operatives. No agenda there.
And finally, why not take at least some note of the extent to which the increase of this anti-Semitism in the Arab world is relatively recent, and in many ways builds upon post-1948 anger in the wake of the serial dispossessions of hundreds of thousands of Arabs (Muslim and Christian) in the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan? It was not too long ago that many thousands of Americans - including leading citizens like Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh - held terribly anti-Semitic views, and announced them rather openly. One of the actor Gregory Peck's great movies, "Gentleman's Agreement" (1947), deals with the anti-Semitism that was rampant in the US even after WWII. And as late as 1960, the director Otto Preminger in his famous movie "Exodus" made a point of exposing the latent anti-Semitism in American audiences by casting blue-eyed box-office idol Paul Newman (who was, in fact, half-Jewish) in the lead role as a Zionist "freedom fighter" and another young, platinum-blonde actress, Jill Haworth, as one of the young Jewish immigrants to Palestine. His point here being, "Gee, Jews look just like us, or even better." In 1960s America, it's a point that unfortunately still needed to be made.
And my point being, finally, how much less anti-Semitism might there be in the Arab (and Muslim) world if the Jewish state in Palestine had been established under different conditions, or if its later leaders had refrained from further sabotaging the perception of Israel through their policies of colonization of lands "conquered" from Arabs?
- ► 2012 (165)
- ► 2011 (339)
- ► 2010 (305)
- NY Times report card on Iraq as US forces leave ci...
- Will Iraq now unravel?
- Iraqi whose lies made the case for war looks on fr...
- As US troops pull out, some ominous rumblings
- Gaza and Palestinians' desperation - beneath the r...
- Is the job done in Iraq?
- Obama and the Foreign Policy Establishment
- A guide to Israeli settlements
- Obama may hold some detainees indefinitely
- The "Economist"asks: Is Iraq Getting Worse?
- Maliki Casts U.S. Withdrawal as Victory for Iraq
- Americans' Contributions to the West Bank settlem...
- Iran's Turmoil Affects Shiites across the Middle E...
- Iran's Regime and US Energy Needs
- US discounts Iraq withdrawal risk even as violence...
- As the US Pulls Out, Iraq and Pakistan Approach Bo...
- Neda, Obama, Iran -- and Israel
- Important message from a sympathetic friend
- The martyrdom of "Neda"
- Roger Cohen from the Streets of Tehran
- Suicide bomber kills 25 or more near Kirkuk - whi...
- Mir-Hossein Mousavi's long night
- Resurgent neocons
- Iran set for day of mourning after protest deaths
- Obama, Siding With the Iranian Regime?
- Live-Tweeting the Revolution
- Is the US economy about to implode?
- Where Anti-Semitism is mainstream?
- Dennis Ross moving to the White House
- Racism among US military in Iraq
- Landslide or Fraud? The Debate Online Over Iran’s ...
- Netanyahu accepts limited Palestinian state.
- Iran's Political Coup - and What Happens Now?
- Report: Defeated Ahmadinejad rival arrested in Ira...
- Are Americans an especially warlike breed?
- Ahmadinejad Declared Victor in Iran
- Red Alert: Iran's Election Results (Open Access) |...
- Krauthammer and Barack Obama's Messianism
- Can Obama save Israel from itself?
- More War-mongering from Mr. Bolton
- Lebanon's elections over . . . and Iran's approach...
- Lebanon's elections . . . and the Obama Reaction
- Anthony Shadid, Justice, and the West Bank Settlem...
- Obama Calls for New Beginning - and an End to Sett...
- Iraq's Landmines, Old and New
- JR's latest op-ed at "War in Context"
- Pashtun Refugees and America's Future
- A Way Forward from General Motors' Demise
- The Upcoming Elections in Lebanon - and the Wider ...
- U.S. Weighs Tactics on Israeli Settlement - NYTime...
- ▼ June (50)