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diary of an anti-chomskyite

this blog is dedicated to the permanent and total discrediting of the work of noam chomsky and his fellow travelers. VIVA LA COUNTERREVOLUTION!

Updated: 2014-03-19T00:58:36.654+02:00


New Blog


I invite all my fellow anti-Chomskyites to my new blog By Benjamin Kerstein. Enjoy.

Chomskyite Billionare Pleads Oppression


Its always a bit odd when extremely powerful and influential people, such as Ivy League professors, nationally televised commentators, ex-presidents and internationalist gozillianaires claim to be laboring under the yoke of brutal oppression and terror. For oft-discussed reasons, this phenomenon seems to manifest itself almost constantly when Israel and its enemies are involved. George Soros, perhaps the richest Chomskyite in the world, has unsurprisingly penned his own sob story, which appears in -- where else? -- the New York Review of Books. The irony is thick on the ground when one of the richest men in the world claims to be the aggreived victim of brutal repression. His bone to pick is, of course, American policy in the Middle East and its "discussion", claiming that "The current policy," of which Soros of course disapproves, "is not even questioned in the United States. While other problem areas of the Middle East are freely discussed, criticism of our policies toward Israel is very muted indeed. The debate in Israel about Israeli policy is much more open and vigorous than in the United States." This is amusing if only because Soros' quite stridant criticism is appearing in the same publication which publishes a near constant stream of anti-Israel opinion and even played host to Tony Judt's call for the dismantling -- i.e. destruction, for those uninterested in euphemism -- of the Jewish State itself.Soros, like his less Chomskyite colleague Donald Trump, appears to suffer from an unfortunate character flaw typical of extremely rich men: the belief that making enormous amounts of money qualifies one to pontificate on literally anything and everything. He claims, for instance, that:The Bush administration is actively supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, which the US State Department considers a terrorist organization. This precludes any progress toward a peace settlement at a time when progress on the Palestinian problem could help avert a conflagration in the greater Middle East.Some of us, who know from bitter experience that Hamas is not "considered" a terrorist organization but is a terrorist organization, may find such refusal an admirable display of all too rare political courage. We may also believe that the greatest threat to peace in this area and the most likely cause of a "conflagration" in the Middle East is radical Islamic groups such as, well, Hamas. But I digress.Soros, like his colleagues, who publish in major journals and hold Ivy League jobs while claiming to be silenced and oppressed, does identify the ostensible source of his suffering. His is hardly an original thesis, and not at all surprising. It is, of course, AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group which all anti-Israel idealogues love to hate, as they hate anyone who dares to express the radical idea that Zionism is a good thing and Israel deserves to not only survive but to thrive without the threat of war and terrorism. Soros' case, however, makes even less sense than those of his colleagues. Since he is desperately trying not to invoke a conspiracy theory -- even as he does precisely that -- he instead ties himself in knots trying to equate various unrelated critiques into a single, ominous phenomenon. He claims, for instance, thatSupporters of Israel have good reason to question AIPAC's advocacy and they have begun to do so. But instead of engaging in critical self-examination, AIPAC remains intransigent. Recently, the pro-Israel lobby has gone on the offensive, accusing the so-called progressive critics of Israel's policies of fomenting anti-Semitism and endangering the very existence of the Jewish state.Soros then cites Alvin Rosenfeld's paper for the AJC as an example. It is, perhaps, pointless to remark that the AJC is not AIPAC, and that Rosenfeld's paper was a perfectly legitimate exercise in intellectual criticism. Such subtleties are likely lost on a man who cannot tell the difference between a Congressional lobby and a persona[...]

Never Again


Seems to be the message a great many of this nation's veterans are sending us. Those who have written the history of the '60s like to pretend that the entire population of America was in the streets protesting the war in Vietnam, but the truth is that a huge swath of the baby boom generation went to war, remain proud of their service, and justifiably remain incensed at the betrayal they experienced on their return. They seems determined to make sure that this generation of soldiers and vets is not betrayed and erased the way they were. The shadow history of the '60s has just taken to the streets to attack the remnants of the establishmentarians. I, for one, rejoice.

Jewish Self-Hatred on the Right


Gershom Scholem, the great scholar of Jewish mysticism, once criticized his friend Hannah Arendt for lacking what he called ahavat yisrael, a love of Israel. There are, of course, numerous permutations of this concept, but for me it has always meant the love of one's people, their struggles, their history, their labors and their creative will. Camus once said that a mission exists for any human group which knows how to derive pride and fecundity from its labors and its sufferings. This has always been my sense of chosenness and my sense of Zionism. Unfortunately, there are those among us -- and always have been -- for whom ahavat yisrael means nothing at all. Or worse still, it means the rejection and condemnation of all who do not meet their exacting standards of what yisrael ought to be. Most of the time I deal with the leftist form of this disease, i.e. those who claim that their love for the Jewish people demands that they destroy it through assimilation or universalization. But the problem is by no means confined to the left. This post brings home the darkness that exists on the other side of the political spectrum. Israpundit recently posted Tovia Singer’s interview of Gil-White. I had a discussion with him today in which I expressed my difficulty in thinking of our leadership so darkly.He reminded me that during the Greek occupation we had our Jewish Hellenists. During the Roman occupation we had our priestly class in bed with the Romans. In both cases the Jewish people rose up and took their future into their own hands.Similarly Jewish leadership was far from blameless in not doing more to rescue Jews. In fact they worked against it. They got us into the disastrous Oslo process.Now Jewish leadership has worked to demonize Israelis living in J & S, otherwise known as settlers, and persecuting them. Just look at Amona. The establishment including the media, academia and the GOI is planning to get Israel to withdraw. This is so even when the Jewish masses oppose such withdrawal.If we have learned anything from Jewish history it is that we shouldn’t trust our leadership. They do not represent the interests of the people.The author writes later in the comments section: They say that people deserve the leaders they vote for. I am trying not to be fair or even to judge but to advocate for a higher standard and for accountability.I am also calling for a different mindset. Starting with Ben Gurion Jews and Israel have been sold down the river. We have been lead in the direction of appeasement, capitulation and concession from the start.We need leaders like Jabotinsky who had Jewish pride and was prepared to fight for our rights. Our leaders don’t even mention our rights. They emasculate them. They are embarrassed by the Jewish particular. They want to be like everyone else and to be loved by everyone else.One doesn't know quite what to do with this kind of lunacy. Its very dissonance seems to shut down any possibility of rational engagement. The idea that David Ben-Gurion; perhaps the one indispensible man in Israeli history, the man without whom the State of Israel would never have been declared in the first place, let alone form an army, win its initial wars of survival and absorb a million immigrants; sold the Jews down the river is sickeningly totalitarian in the enormity of its falsehood. If Ben-Gurion is a traitor then we are all traitors. The standard of loyalty has been reduced to nothing more than adherence to the ideals of the author. What these ideals precisely are I have no idea. They seem to be a random accumulation of vaguely Kahanist fantasies. The notion, for instance, of the "Hellenists" is a classic Kahanist trope. Besides the fact that it is a two thousand year old anachronism, it is, essentially, nothing more than a means of extricating from the Jewish people any and everyone who does not agree with those who employ it. Am I a "Hellenist" because I believe that Israel should withdraw from most of the West Bank? Do I[...]



The Chomskyite world has never lacked for it. Back in my former and much unhappier life I was a resident of the gray-cold hell city of death known as Boston, Massachusetts. Yes, the capital of liberal America, where everyone loves Chomsky and everyone loathes the Jews. I still remember being told by a cracker Irish kid from Southie about how he'd "Jewed" somebody and then going the next day to a political science class at Boston University to be told by the professor that Israel was the cause of 9/11. At least the various ethno-class divisions in the gray-cold hell city of death can find solidarity around something.

At any rate, the gray-cold hell city of death's newspaper of record, The Boston Globe, which could well be a charter member of Chomsky's fan club, reports that Chomsky is now the prime signatory of a petition on behalf of an academic who claims he was denied a post at MIT because of racism.

What makes this amusing, of course, is that Chomsky is something of flaming racist himself. While he confines himself to such politically correct forms of bigotry as claiming that the Jews are "priveleged people" who want "total control" over American society and invoking Rousseau's image of "half-naked savages" to describe the Third World, it is nonetheless incumbant upon us to call the thing what it is. The Boston Globe, if it weren't too busy congratulating itself over its latest condemnation of whatever Israel has done this week to defend its right to exist, might have noted this slight contradiction. Perhaps I should be sanguine on the matter, and simply confine myself to being grateful for one more reason to be happy that I now live in Israel.

Another Jewish Radical Goes Completely Insane


I knew Michael Lerner was a Chomskyite idiot. I did not know that he was completely insane.
The book in which Lerner’s essay appears is billed as having been “inspired by” David Ray Griffin’s “The New Pearl Harbor,” a seminal text of the so-called “9/11 Truth” movement. The new book includes an essay by Griffin in which he makes the case that the September 11 attacks were likely “orchestrated, like many previous false-flag attacks, by U.S. agents as a pretext for a war to expand the American empire.”

In his own essay for “9/11 and American Empire,” Lerner wrote: “For those who watched the reactionary political uses made of this tragedy, it’s easy to conjure up a variety of possible conspiratorial motives that would have led the president, the vice president, or some branch of the armed forces or CIA or FBI or other ‘security’ forces to have passively or actively participated in a plot to re-credit militarism and war. We’ve learned enough about the subsequent ways that the Bush administration lied to the American public to no longer be shocked if there had been some active involvement by them in these deeds.”

But, Lerner immediately added, “Neither would I be surprised if, when all the archives were opened and all the communications revealed, it turned out that there was some other non-conspiratorial explanation for elements of the story that currently seem to make no sense.”

Lerner told the Forward that he has good reason to be suspicious of the government.

“I’ve had a lot of personal experience of government lying and doing things that are very destructive and pretending that they weren’t doing it,” Lerner said. “I was part of antiwar demonstrations in which violence was done and the violence later turned out was being done by police agents. I had that personal experience…. After that, nothing surprises me about what this government would do to achieve what its perceived ends are. Nothing would surprise me. That doesn’t mean I believe it. That doesn’t mean that I believe that that’s actually happening right now.”
This guy's giving Tony Kushner a run for his money in the tiresomely earnest psychopath department. I'd say that we can come up with some very cogent reasons for being suspicious of Michael Lerner. Perhaps we could talk about the ways in which the anti-war movement has lied to the American public. I can certainly speak from personal experience on that issue. This is not even to mention the movement's awesome responsibility for the deaths of millions of innocent people in Vietnam and Cambodia, or its support for tyranny from Eastern Europe to Cuba. But I digress. When discussing forms of political insanity one should not seek logic, reason or simple human decency from its practitioners. As for Lerner himself, Jewish radicalism has a long and rather depressingly futile history, and Lerner is exceptional only in that he seeks to hijack halachic Judaism itself for his revolutionary purposes. Most Jewish radicals of the past have had the good sense to ignore religion or dismiss it entirely. Lerner's desperate need to desecrate the Torah for his own purposes is both cheap and insulting, but I suppose that if I were an "agnostic" in regards to certain historical truths I might need faith in my corner as well.

To see where other conspiracy theories have brought us, check this out. I can't wait for the movie on the 9/11 conspiracy, and there will be one. Count on it.

There's No Problem with Antisemitism in the United States


Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel told Haaretz on Thursday he escaped a kidnap attempt in a San Francisco hotel last week.Wiesel, 78, whose novels deal with his experience as a Holocaust survivor, said he was grabbed by a stranger in an elevator at the hotel he was staying at for a peace conference and ordered to follow at the risk of violence...

A driver's license in the name of Harry Hunt, a member of a Holocaust denial group, was found in a car parked near the hotel. Hunt has not been located since the event.

A posting on a virulent anti-Semitic Web site Tuesday by a person identifying himself as Eric Hunt claimed responsibility. "I had planned to bring Wiesel to my hotel room, where he would truthfully answer my questions regarding the fact that his non-fiction Holocaust memoir, 'Night,' is almost entirely fictitious," Hunt wrote on the site. The poster also said "I had been trailing Wiesel for weeks and had hoped to get Wiesel into my custody, with a cornered Wiesel finally forced to state the truth on videotape."
I really don't know what to say about this. Its scary and psychotic and not at all surprising. I do remember a time when there didn't have to be security guards in front of synagogues in the town where my parents live. I think American Jews have, in some ways, consented to a slow deterioration in their situation. I have my own ideas about why this is, one of them being that the Jews in America have totally lost their capacity for communal violence, whereas other ethnic groups have managed to maintain it and therefore retain some deterrance capacity against this sort of thing. I realize that this isn't a pleasent thing to hear, but one ought to be realistic when people are out there trying to kill you. Whatever the reason may be, it worries me greatly.

Jewish Liberalism and Its Discontents


The NY Times, in its infintely conventional wisdom, has suddenly discovered that Jewish liberalism has some fairly major issues. Occasioned, apparently, by an AJC report attacking various "liberals" for being insufficiently dedicated to Israel's continued existence. The Times, of course, starts out with some major semantic problems, since most of the aforementioned accused cannot be accurately described as liberals at all. We are presented -- again -- with Tony Judt, who advocates the dismantling of Israel in favor of a "binational", i.e. Arab, state. As I have noted before, advocating such measures in regards to a country of 6 million people is difficult to describe as "liberal" by any definition of the term. Judt defends himself by, as per usual, revealing his extraordinary ignorance. “The link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is newly created,” he said, adding that he fears “the two will have become so conflated in the minds of the world” that references to anti-Semitism and the Holocaust will come to be seen as “just a political defense of Israeli policy.”I will not even bother to deal at length with Judt's claim that the link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism is in any way new. Such a wretched distortion of history is either willfully ignorant or consciously deceptive. My guess, judging by Mr. Judt's record, is the former. As to his "fears" as the Times describes them, I can say only that the obscenity he describes exists already and has existed for decades, though it is no fault of Israel's defenders that this is the case. Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust are, of course, only part of the argument for Israel's existence, but they bear an immeasurable weight, and must be dismissed by its enemies. Those who wish Israel to simply go away -- Judt among them -- cannot make a reckoning with the history which brought it into existence. To do so would preclude holding their chosen position. The reduction of catastrophe to politics is, therefore, inevitable on the part of those who reject Israel's existence. A fact with which Judt may well wish to struggle, rather than simply trot out antique rhetorical vulgarities.We move on, of course, to Tony Kushner, a necro-socialist psychopath who has won the Pulitzer Prize for his writing solely on the basis of the passion with which he reinforces establishment prejudices. Screenwriter of the asinine Munich, a film upon which I have already said all I wish to say, Kushner is probably the stupidest literary presence in America today. Having been subjected myself to one of his public rants, there is little one can say for him besides his obvious need for psychotherapy and a few history lessons. He plays, of course, upon the emotions, and not the intellect, since he doesn't have one, and comes up with this stirring defense. “Most Jews like me find this a very painful subject,” Mr. Kushner said, and are aware of the rise in vicious anti-Semitism around the world but feel “it’s morally incumbent upon us to articulate questions and reservations.”This, of course, means absolutely nothing and can be interpreted as meaning absolutely anything. One could argue that it is morally incumbant upon us to articulate "questions and reservations" regarding Tony Kushner himself, but that would seem to be beside the point. We are dealing here, after all, with a man who has the intellectual maturity of a five year old. We shall move on to more interesting subjects.One of whom happens to be Alan Wolfe, a man whose writings I have recently criticized. His response is, quite frankly, bizarre. Mr. Wolfe, who has written about a recent rise in what he calls “Jewish illiberalism,” traces the heated language to increasing opposition to the Iraq war and President Bush’s policy in the Middle East, which he said had spurred liberal Jews to become more outspoken about Israel.“Events in th[...]

Some Worthy Reading


The new issue of Azure, to which I have occasionally contributed, is now available on the web. Anti-Chomskyites may especially enjoy my friend Noah Pollak's well-deserved castigation of French foreign policy.

Why We Fight the Thieves of History


Last night, I was treated to the unfortunate experience of watching a thoroughly reprehensible piece of Riefenstahlian propaganda called Why We Fight. Manipulative, simple minded and slanderous, this "documentary" purported to expose the evils of "the military-industrial complex" (how long, I ask, does it take for a hideous cliche to die?) and its sinister influence on American foreign policy. While seeminly unable to make up its mind whether war itself is evil -- which would imply only a banal and useless pacifism -- or whether only American war is bad -- being, as it apparently is, the tumerous growth of an insatiable imperial project -- the film nonetheless clearly rested on a single point: all wars of the post-World War II era have been manufactured by the "military-industrial complex" in order to serve its economic interests. This is, of course, pure Chomskyite paranoiac conspiracy theory and is impossible to either prove or disprove, since it is based on theoretical conjecture and absolutely no evidence whatsoever. By definition, therefore, it is ahistorical and anti-intellectual balderdash. Which is, of course, the point. All totalitarian ideologies stand on an unfalsifiable article of faith. The ostensibly anti-war left (or right, for that matter, although this film is clearly the product of the former) is no different in this regard.What I wish to analyze, however, is the presence in the film of a particular and much abused historical document: president Dwight David Eisenhower's farewell address. Delivered on national television on 17 January 1960, this address has, by one of the ironies inherent in history (or anti-history, depending on how you look at it) become one of the central texts of the "military-industrial complex" conspiracy theory, not least because it appears to mark the first appearence of the phrase itself. Oft-quoted by anti-war talking heads of both the left and right, excerpted for Oliver Stone's masterpiece of anti-history JFK, which charged the complex in question with the murder of the president of the United States, this address has been sanctified by Why We Fight in extraordinary fashion, the filmmakers going so far as to place a still photograph of Eisenhower giving the speech on the film's poster.The usefulness of such a source cannot be overstated. The charges of scurrilousness, irresponsible rhetorical hysteria and flatulent radicalism are inherently undermined when faced with a personage such as a former and much revered president of the United States. And not merely that, but a former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe. The man upon whom the great responsibility of winning World War II ultimately rested. In the presence of such a witness, gravitas is instantly bestowed upon the prosecutor.The question, therefore, becomes a simple one. Did Eisenhower in fact say what he is purported to have said? Does his statement in fact reflect the overall ideology which is being foisted upon us by those who make use of it? The answer, and this should not be a surprise, is a resounding negative, and a simple examination of the complete document, rather than the few strategic excerpts emphasized by its hijackers, makes this eminently clear.Eisenhower begins his speech with some statements of thanks to, among others, the Congress and the American people. He praises the bipartisanship which has marked his term, a bipartisanship, incidentally, abhorred by anti-war leftists. Radical anti-historian Howard Zinn has, in fact, spent an entire chapter of his magnum anti-opus A People's History of the United States denouncing precisely this consensus Eisenhower lauds. The body of the speech does not begin until the fifth paragraph. We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these in[...]

A Worthy Campaign


The Simon Wiesenthal Center has started an email campaign in response to thankfully ex-president Jimmy Carter's new anti-Israel screed. Carter, whom I consider the worst president the United States ever had -- and I include such luminaries as Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan in that assessment -- has a long history of loathing for Israel and support for the PLO and other terrorist elements of Palestinian nationalism. I will not even enter into his megalomaniacal insistance on taking total credit for the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which was, of course, largely worked out beforehand by the real heroes of that agreement, Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. In a world divided between resistance to totalitarian violence and the sophistry of its collaborators, I do not think that such fetid pathologies as Carter's can safely go unchallenged. I strongly recommend reading the linked page and participating.

Jewish Liberalism/Difficult Freedom


Alan Wolfe, a professor at Boston College, has added his voice to the unending chorus of hand wringers desperate to identify Judaism not only with mainstream liberalism but as mainstream liberalism. In his article “Free Speech, Israel and Jewish Illiberalism” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wolfe concentrates, of course, on Israel and the myriad attempts of its attackers to portray themselves as poor, oppressed, and victimized, when they are none of these things, Wolfe constructs a narrative of “Jewish illiberalism” which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Jews and very little to do with liberalism. It has everything to do with the politics of the Diaspora, the failure of liberalism to answer the needs of the Jewish people, and Zionism’s critique of precisely this failure.Wolfe springs to the defense, for instance, of Tony Judt, who has become the court scribe of liberal triumphalism: Judt, who once lived in Israel and served in its military, has emerged as a strong critic of a Jewish state. Basing statehood on ethnicity or religion, he wrote in a 2003 article, is an "anachronism." The only possible future for Israel, he said in "Israel: The Alternative," published in The New York Review of Books, is as a binational state. For many Jews, such positions come close to denying Israel's right to exist…Judt had been invited to speak in October on "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" by a group called Network 20/20, which regularly rents the Polish Consulate in New York as the site for its events. Although the Anti-Defamation League, whose leading officials view Judt as an Israel hater, denies pressuring the consulate to cancel the talk, it acknowledges having made a call inquiring about the event. That conversation, in turn, led the Poles, who tend to be very sensitive on any issues remotely touching on anti-Semitism, to cancel Judt's talk — one hour before it was supposed to take place.In response to the cancellation, two protest letters were sent off to the ADL's national director, Abraham H. Foxman. One, organized by Norman Birnbaum, an emeritus professor at Georgetown University Law Center, called Foxman's actions "political vigilantism" and labeled Foxman himself "an adversary of our traditions." I did not sign it. As unhappy as ADL's phone call made me, Foxman is neither a person who takes the law into his own hands, as the term vigilante implies, nor, given the ADL's commendable record of combating extremism, un-American.I shall make only a few specific objections to these paragraphs, but they are important ones. Firstly, to call for a binational state is not only to deny Israel’s right to exist, it is to call for an end to that existence in practical terms. The fact that Judt is considered a “liberal” despite calling for the annihilation of an entire state is rather telling, but not particularly accurate, and we do not need his defenders obfuscating the issue by attempting to relegate it to the realm of the purely theoretical. Judt objects to Zionism in theory, which is an issue for debate, but he also desires its destruction in real life, which is not. Then we are in the realm of life and death and not the amorphous wasteland of ideas. Ideas are important, but there can be an ethics of ideas. There cannot be an ethics of murder. No one has earned the right to destroy nations or peoples. As such, Judt’s cause, however much it may be couched in the language of the innocuous, is outside the realm of which Wolfe is speaking. That is, we are no longer discussing one man’s freedom of speech – a right which has hardly been repressed in any case, Judt having become more famous than he ever was since his call for Israel’s de-Judification – but rather discussing one nation’s existence [...]

New Publication


I've just published a new article at Azure magazine on French writer Michel Houellebecq. I think you have to register to read it, but its free, so no big deal. Enjoy.



never fails when it comes to leftist antisemitism. Monique Dols, who seems to have become official spokesman for those who initiated the anti-Minutemen Columbia University riot, appears to also have an interesting weakness for antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Witness the following:
There is a concerted campaign to get Massad fired by a number of defenders of Israel, who are threatened by his scholarship and his support for a one-state solution. Bollinger's actions--and the findings of the investigation--give ammunition to the campaign to fire Massad. "This is a part of a nationwide campaign to chill any kind of discourse that interrupts American foreign policy, including Israel and Palestine," Nader Uthman, a teaching assistant who testified to the investigative committee on Massad's behalf, said in a radio interview. "And we're seeing this all over the country."
How this translates into the overwhelming dominance of anti-Israeli sentiment among the nationwide professoriat is not mentioned, nor the fact that support for a one-state solution is, by definition, support for Israel's annihilation as a Jewish state and is, therefore, self-evidently racist and, one might even say, threatening. One could mention the fact that the same Columbia University in question played host to Edward Said, one of the most grossly fascistic intellects of the twentieth century, for decades, or that that it now has a Saudi endowed chair in his honor. But I have already said my piece on the ridiculous assertions by Israel's would be annihilators that they are constantly being silenced by an amorphous establishment (Zionist, Israeli, pro-Israel, neoconservative... every word that is not the real word, "Jew", is drafted into their service as a pesitilent and cowardly lying adjective) even as they toil happily away in the very bastions of that establishment itself. Desperate, in fact, to obfuscate the obvious: that in the post-60's world of academia they are the establishment. It is the unthinkable, that the proleteriat of knowledge I described in my last post dares to question and rebel against their platitudes when they venture into the realm of, say, antisemitism and genocide, that drives them to distraction, as rebellion does to all holders of illigitimate power, and forces them to dispatch their blackshirts in Birkenstocks like the lamentable Miss Dol to slander, lie, intimidate, obfuscate, and, if necessary, silence (yes! that precious fetish of silence!) those who dare to speak the truth.

I am no Columbia professor, but I know Nazism when I see it. Antisemitism, conspiracy theory, strong arm tactics, censorship by violence, the great lie told enough times to become true... The enemies of freedom have progressed nowhere in fifty years, even as they take the name of progress as their innoculant against the terrible possibility of thought.

Cross posted at Kesher Talk.

Asking Tough Questions...


Cross posted at Kesher Talk.Alcibides' recent post on Bill Maher and Chris Matthews aroused certain emotions in me. One of them, naturally, was disgust and contempt for the self-martyrdom inherent in Matthews' obvious adoration of himself, but another was a basic sense of things I have felt for a long time: that the advent of liberalism was not so much the triumph of reason and thought as it was a shift in the structures of social and intellectual power, or rather a shift in who holds that power and why. The hierarchy that was once ecclesiastical is now intellectual, the idolatry of faith has been replaced by the idolatry of reason. A decidedly closed and sharply defined reason, and one which is not so much thought as it is property. The question for us, of course, is who claims this amorphous territory, and whether it serves any purpose other than the perpetuation of its own power.That the media is about power ought to be obvious. Knowledge, goes the aphorism (Foucault's aphorism?) is power. Knowledge, and its dissemination, is the raison d'etre of the media. Such is openly admitted by its practitioners. Their goal, so they tell us, is to enlighten, educate and inform. Each individual, of course, has the capacity to think, and therefore the capacity to educate and inform himself. The key, therefore, for any hierarchy of information, that is, any hierarchy of knowledge, is to lay claim. The pre-liberal order placed knowledge (information) at a distance. That is, on an Aristotelian (or Maimonidean, if we prefer) plain. God, according to the philosophers of faith, is an uber-thought, an all-consciousness or over-consciousness constantly thinking itself. This places knowledge, which is power, beyond the hands of man. In theory, if not always in practice (sometimes never in practice) man was divested of knowledge and therefore of power. Opposed to this, of course, in ecclesiastical terms, was hierarchy. That is, the hierarchy of knowledge and therefore the hierarchy of power. Nonetheless, through the domination (the longest, perhaps, of any philosophy) of Aristotelianism, limits were set on the contours of this domain. As Maimonides theorized, we cannot know what God is, only what he is not. The nature of the hierarchy, at least in Judaism, is therefore negative in nature. The man who knows knows only by virtue of knowing what he does not know. A slightly comical statement, perhaps, but nonetheless essential. It points us to an essential limitation.The advent of liberalism, with its theory of progress, and especially of progressive knowledge, shattered this barrier. Liberalism, as I have sometimes said before (and I am by no means the first) is essentially imperialistic. It respects no borders, its appetite is infinite. Liberalism consumes (thus, perhaps, it is essential to capitalism). Unlike its predecessor, liberalism exists in an essential contradiction. That is, it presumes a world which is knowable and which progressively becomes more knowable. It proposed, therefore, a world bound by laws which are understandable in human terms. This is a fundamental: liberalism parts from Aristotelianism exactly at the point where Aristotelianism limits power. Liberalism reduces God to knowledge. A knowledge which is limited, demarcated, and complete. A God which is, therefore, conquerable.This new idolatry (and it is, ultimately, idolatrous) raised several objects of veneration. One is the question. Another is man. Man questions, and by questioning man can know. Knowledge, being finite, can also be absolute. The question, and the willingness to ask, the asking in and of itself, becomes a prayer, an invocation, and an in[...]

Hugo Chavez, Noam Chomsky, and the New York Times All Say Stupid Things


Apparently, while I was on my two week trip to the States, Noam Chomsky died and was resurrected, prompting a grateful puff piece from the New York Times, which appears to have forgiven Chomsky his innumerable slanders against it over the course of his career. When ideological purity is question, personal insults can always be forgiven. The Times, of course, refers to Chomsky as a "scholar", which, in the realm of politics at least, he most certainly isn't, and then prints a flattering portrait of him surrounded by the books which, judging by the man's own writings, he clearly doesn't read. At a news conference after his spirited address to the United Nations on Wednesday, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist Noam Chomsky, before his death...[Chavez] urged Americans to read one of Mr. Chomsky’s books instead of watching Superman and Batman movies, which he said “make people stupid.”One could, of course, say that making people stupid is not nearly as evil as making people stupid while convincing them they are, in fact, extremely intelligent and well informed, which is generally the most common effect of reading Chomsky's books. But I digress, since I find it interesting that the Times would refer to a clearly psychotic statement as "spirited". One doubts they grant the same indulgences to the rantings of say, Pat Buchanan or David Duke. Hitler must have been "spirited" too when he made all those marvelous Nuremburg addresses. No amount of insidious propaganda and leftist conspiracy mongering is, apparently, enough to shock the Times. Which is probably why they can print quotes like this with straight face: Mr. Chomsky said that he would not choose to use the same harsh oratory, but added that the Venezuelan leader was simply expressing the views of many in the world.This is, of course, describing the man who referred to the Reagan Administration as "Washington sadists", claimed that every American president since World War II could be hanged as a war criminal, that Vietnam-era America was in need of de-Nazification, and that the Jews are a "privileged people" who exploit the issue of antisemitism in order to gain total control over the United States. This, of course, only scratches the surface of the seemingly endless parade of slanderous, violent, insulting, and self-evidently racist statements Chomsky has applied to anyone and everything unwilling to acknowledge his genius. Indeed, in regards to harsh oratory, we should regard Chomsky as the guru and Chavez the dutiful pupil. If the Times had bothered to do any research into Chomsky's previous statements they would know that. Or, perhaps, it is simply a case of what they wish their readers to know and, more importantly, what they wish them not to know.This would seem to explain the total erasure of such inconveniant facts as Chomsky's defense of Holocaust Denial, his support for the communist governments of Cuba and North Vietnam, including their brutal oppression of their own people, his whitewash of the Khmer Rouge genocide, and the lifelong plethora of lies and evasions he has employed to dismiss or justify these atrocities. As the Times quotes: “We should look at ourselves through our own eyes and not other people’s eyes,” [Chomsky] said.This maxim explains a very great deal. It explains how Chomsky can continue his ridiculous charade of moral rectitude in the face of a half-century's worth of blood on his hands, as well as his pathetic and venal assaults on the country which has made him rich and famous as well as, most importantly, allowing him to retain the wealth which[...]

The Rage and the Pride


Orianna Fallaci, one of the few European leftists who grasped the inherent contradiction between supposedly leftist values and Islamic radicalism, and dared to articulate it to her fellows, has passed away. She was furious, violent, rhetorically unhinged, often insulting, and more often right than wrong. The obituraries of the moment downplay her anti-fundamentalist writings in favor of her leftist journalism, as is to be expected, and as she no doubt expected. I choose to remember her for a far more generous and moving moment. During Operation Defensive Shield, she called Ariel Sharon and offered her sympathies for the victims of the suicide attack which had set off the operation. Sharon replied that people had been calling him all day asking about Arafat's welfare, urging him to use restraint, etc, and not a single one had asked about the victims of the attack except for Fallaci. Those who will attack Fallaci as a hateful woman need only this anecdote as response. She was far less hateful in that moment, and far more beautiful and concerned, than the myriad self-described beautiful and concerned souls who are no doubt denouncing her today. Zicharon l'vracha.

Rule of the Mediocre?


Eitan Haber, a former confidant and advisor of Yitzhak Rabin, has written a scathing article at YNet excoriating Israel's leadership for its wartime failures and blasting Israeli society in general. Some of the article is clearly partisan nonsense, but Haber makes some important points. I don't think the piece can be ignored by anyone concerned for Israel's future.A national commission of inquiry, if and when it is established, will examine why sandwiches and food rations did not reach the soldiers in Lebanon, where did the water supplies go, and who decided to attack Bint Jbeil in broad daylight.These are important questions that call for real answers, but they will not explain a far more profound process that the Israeli society has undergone, whose first symptom - and it is only the first - was presently revealed in the war in Lebanon.We are democratic, are we not? Hence we have sanctified the "popular culture" for years. We rejoiced when the "people" finally made it to the top.Questions such as, "Are we a democracy?" or "If democracy is the rule of the people and its choice, why not let the 'people' rule?" were answered in Bint Jbail, Ita al-Sha'ab, the military sections of our cemeteries, civil cemeteries, and packed bomb-shelters. The rule of the mediocre brought us where we are today.We know: this is arrogant, condescending, uptown writing, but as God is our witness - it is not so. Many condescending snobs could be classified as "popular," and all we can do is cry over the lowly who made it to top, and over those who died, and those who are yet to die.This is an ancient argument. It is at least as old as Plato's Republic and has not changed much over the millenia. It is the simple argument that democracy tends towards the lowest common denominator and, ultimately, rule of the mob. A rule that destroys the talented and the explemplary and rewards demagogury, corruption, and "the rule of the mediocre". I'm not sure what Haber is suggesting here, perhaps a return to the de facto one party rule of Israel's pre-1977 Labor governments, something which would likely not produce the results he desires. One of the many reasons for Labor's ultimate fall was the rise of mediocre and untalented party hacks as a result of Labor's domination, a phenomenon which many believed contributed to Israel's failures in the Yom Kippur War. However, Haber has indirectly hit on something important. It is, I think, less a political than a cultural/economic issue. The problem is not Israeli democracy but Israeli globalization. Israel is probably one of the most globalized economies and cultures in the world. There is little or no opposition to globalization in Israel and, to a great degree, the Israeli fetish for acceptance by the international community has become synonymous with globalized capitalism. This is a quite understandable product of the desire to throw off the seige mentality that formed older generations of Israeli culture and embrace the wider world. I am not an anti-globalist per se, but there have clearly been major and, in some cases, negative cultural developments as a result of it. Haber describes them quite well.For many years, for an entire generation, we cultivated and sanctified the rule of the mediocre and the nation of hedonists that lagged behind it. No one (almost) bothered to look back. They were all looking forward, at the governing seat and mainly at the wallet, seeking to make money, lots of money, in the shortest possible time, as long as we can, as long as the party is in power.This is not an inaccurate critique, though it is conciously co[...]

Deconstructing Peace Now


The excellent writer and blogger Michael Totten, whom I consider a personal friend, is currently writing from Tel Aviv. His latest post narrates his meeting with two Peace Now activists from Kibbutz Shomrat. What they have to say is, to say the least, more than a bit problematic, and points to several essential problems which have kept the Israeli peace movement out of the Israeli mainstream since its inception. Judith has requested a critique, and I happily oblige. Israel is often thought of, in the West, as an unhinged fanatically right-wing country, like the U.S. on speed. Israel is far more ‘European,’ though, than it is ‘American.’ If Israel were not constantly under fire and constantly embroiled in conflict with eliminationist enemies, Israel would resemble a Jewish France or even Sweden of the Levant. The country was founded by democratic Labor Party socialists, and only rather recently has become more capitalist and complex.This is not entirely true. Israel has been on the capitalist road since the 1970s, mainly because the socialist model proved incapable of sustaining itself. Israel faced a series of economic crises up to the middle 1980s, when substantial economic liberalization was finally undertaken on a mass scale. Israel's economy, despite its precarious political surroundings, has outdone most of the nations of the European Union over the past two decades. In the abscense of the conflict, I think Israel would be more likely to resemble the likes of Qatar or Dubai - explosively growing economies of the Middle East - than any nation in Europe, with the exception, perhaps, of post-Troubles Ireland. “Amichai is speaking in the context of Israel,” Yehuda said, “and I can understand that. My feeling goes beyond the spirit of Israeli society only. I see organizations like Hezbollah as a threat to humanity in the same manner, for me, as the settler movement is also a threat. Where you have a nationalism that hooks up with a religious idea, I see only trouble. I’m not willing to discriminate between Jews and Arabs on this score. Not at all.”This is problematic on two scores, and I say this as a critic of the settler movement. Firstly, Zionism in general is certainly nationalism hooked up with religous ideas or archetypes. Even leftist, Kibbutz movement Zionism clearly takes its sanctification of the land and its ideas of social justice from aspects of the Jewish religion. Secondly, there is an essential and absolute difference between Hezbollah and the settler movement, or even the more extreme religious-national movements such as Kahanism. Namely, Judaism and Zionism are not universalist creeds. Islam and Islamic radicalism are. That is, even at their most extreme, Jewish religious radicals want only the Land of Israel. Islamic radicalism, on the other hand, desires the world. Jewish religious extremism is, in my view, far more dangerous to other Jews than it is to members of other religions and peoples. Judaism's destructive forces tend to be turned inward, against itself. Jihad, on the other hand, is directed both inward and outward, and is thus far more dangerous and, potentially, destructive. “When there was the Yom Kippur War and the Israeli army was attacked on two fronts we felt that by serving in the army we’re defending our country. But when the intifada broke out and there was the question of masses of Arab women and children throwing stones – that was the war of the rocks – we felt that by serving and trying to oppress the justified anger of the Palestinians from trying to achieve self-determin[...]



I suppose the time has come to write something about the aftermath. Suffice it to say, I am not happy. I stopped posting during the war out of something like frustration married to depression. There did not seem to be much point in opining while scouring the newspapers to see if any of my friends were included in the casualty lists. Thus far, thank God, only one has been wounded, and not critically. This, of course, included the guilt of feeling glad that none of my friends were killed while other's friends were... War is a schizophrenic experience...

No one here thinks this is over and no one here thinks that the war reached a satisfactory ending. Personally, I feel we were very badly led. Olmert announced goals which he did not have the political will to accomplish. The army relied far too heavily on air power at the beginning of the war and did not move quickly enough to use ground forces. When the army did use ground forces, it did so piecemeal and not in force. More than anything else, the war went on far too long. It should have been finished with overwhelming force and as quickly as possible. This did not happen because of Israel's "Lebanon syndrome", the fear of reinacting the war of 1982 and subsequent occupation. This led to the situation in which Olmert declared military goals which he could not achieve without a massive ground invasion. As a result, he shifted his strategy to a political one. In the end, he accepted a cease fire which is unlikely to hold and has given Hezbollah time to rearm. It also places a UNIFIL force in control of the south which may or may not deal with Hezbollah effectively. If they do, Olmert can claim some kind of a victory. If they do not, and this is the most likely scenario, Olmert will have to face total military and political failure and, of course, another war.

In my opinion, the political leadership is running behind the general sentiment of the Israeli people. The general population was prepared for a major war, including a ground invasion. The leadership miscalculated by believing the opposite: that the Israeli people wanted an effective response that did not include a major ground invasion. In the end, this led to the war being long and costly without achieving any major strategic objectives. The government ended up with the worst of both worlds.

Of course, some diplomatic ground has been gained. Hezbollah has taken the lion's share of the blame for the violence and the "international community" (a dubious collective at best) has taken some measure of responsibility for enforcing its own resolutions regarding the disarmament of Hezbollah. These are all just words, however, and it is likely that Israel will soon have to act, rather than talk, in order to safeguard its national security. I think it is very likely that, when the dust settles, it will likely be a new and more rightwing government which undertakes this task.

Nature Balances Itself


(image) The great anti-Chomskyite Vidal-Naquet may have left us, but nature (or the irony inherent in history) appears to be trying to rectify the imbalance. Mass murdering totalitarian dictator and Chomskyite hero Fidel Castro is apparently gravely ill and has ceded power to his brother, Raul. So much for direct democracy. Chomsky is no doubt deeply saddened, his worst fear, a free Cuba, may soon be a reality. Viva Cuba libre! Viva la counterrevolution!

A Great Anti-Chomskyite Passes Away


(image) French essayist and historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet, perhaps most famous in the english speaking world for his battle against Holocaust denial and his ferocious denunciation of the good professor's defense of denier Robert Faurisson, has passed away at 76. The english-language press seems not to have noticed. For those of you who read French, here is Le Monde's obituary. For those of you who want a taste of Naquet's brilliance as an anti-Chomskyite, here is his most famous deconstruction of Chomsky's morally bankrupt endorsement of Faurisson.

On Cinema


The Australian film magazine Senses of Cinema has published an essay of mine on film director Sam Peckinpah. It might make a refreshing change from the endless reports of war. Enjoy.

Judge-Penitents on Parade


The inevitable cascade of condemnations begins. The British Independent , for example, published an editorial by Robert Fisk under the title: "How can we stand by and allow this to go on?""You must have a heart of stone not to feel the outrage that those of us watching this experienced yesterday. This slaughter was an obscenity, an atrocity yes, if the Israeli air force truly bombs with the 'pinpoint accuracy'' it claims, this was also a war crime," Fisk said. "Israel claimed that missiles had been fired by Hizbullah gunmen from the south Lebanese town of Qana as if that justified this massacre. Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, talked about 'Muslim terror' threatening 'western civilization' as if the Hizbullah had killed all these poor people," he added. Another British newspaper, the Guardian , also published an editorial titled: "How can 'terrorism' be condemned while war crimes go without rebuke?""Washington's partners in this hypocritical war on terror are given free rein to wreak their own brutal, illegal violence. As if we didn't know it already, the conflict in Lebanon shows that truth and war don't mix. Allparties to the tragedy of the Middle East resort to disinformation and historical falsification to bolster their case, but rarely has an attempt to rewrite the past occurred so soon after the fact."Israeli ministers and their supporters have justified the bombardment of Lebanon as 'a matter of survival.' Total war has been declared on Israel, so Israel is entitled to use the methods of total war in self-defense. This would be reasonable if it were true, but it isn't. It's completely false."The conflict was triggered by a Hizbullah operation in which two Israeli soldiers were captured and three killed. Let's be frank, this wasn't exactly the Tet offensive. It certainly didn't justify Israel's ferocious onslaught against the very fabric of Lebanese society. Yes, the rocket attacks on Haifa are an appalling crime, but they followed rather than preceded Israel's decision to escalate the fighting."Let us speak of Britain. A country which I admire and to which I am related by blood. A country which once ran the greatest empire in the world. Which invented the term "administrative massacre". Which annihilated villages and killed numerous civilians quelling rebellions from Ireland to Iraq to India. Which gave Ireland the Black and Tans, who responded to IRA terror by massacring civilians in a football stadium. Which has, in other words, acted exactly had Israel has in the past, and worse.And let us talk of other nations. Of France, for instance, whose actions in the Algerian War make Israeli tactics look like the innocuous play of children. Which responded to the horrendous threat of a Greenpeace protest to its nuclear tests by dispatching its secret service assassins to sink a boat and kill innocent people. Of Germany, we shall not speak. It is not necessary. Perhaps we should mention Russia or China, but that too is unnecessary. Even the history of the United States, lest we forget, has its dark passages.Or perhaps we should speak of the Arab street, which showed no compunctions about such slaughters as the Munich atrocity, the murder of schoolchildren at Maalot, the hijacking of uncountable airplanes, the suicide bombings of thousands of civilians, a plethora of unprovoked wars whose only cause was genocide.The outrage of judge-penitents, who condemn the other while exonerating thems[...]


This is not purely the work of a lone nut. The Islamic genocidists and their leftist supporters have created the atmosphere of hatred and violence which has led to this incident. It will get worse. One cannot echo Hitler's rhetoric without eventually echoing his actions. The Jewish community in America needs to start pointing fingers in the right direction.