Wednesday, September 13, 2017

France: Diplomat said German Nazi occupation relatively inoffensive compared with 'occupation' of Palestine by Israelis

Via City Journal (Pascal Bruckner):
(...) In his 1978 book Orientalism, Edward Said observed that, after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, cartoons in the Western press sometimes depicted Arabs with hook noses and standing next to gas pumps—clearly Semites, he observed. Thus, Said maintained, the target of anti-Semitism passed from the Jew to the Arab. Did not Said call himself, in an interview in Haaretz in 2000, the last “Jew of the Middle East, a Palestinian Jew”? In short, for him, the Western Christian world’s hostility toward Islam represented the equivalent of anti-Semitism and flowed from the same source. The philosopher Enzo Traverso similarly contends that “Islamophobia plays the role for the new racism that was once played by anti-Semitism”: the rejection of the immigrant, perceived, since the colonial era, as the Other, the invader, the unassimilable foreign body in the national community; thus the specter of terrorism replaces that of Judeo-Bolshevism. (...)
On the view of Islamic fundamentalists and many progressives, the Muslim should replace the Jew for another reason: the Jew has dishonored his status and become in turn a colonizer, with the creation of the State of Israel. The idealization of the Jew after the war prepared the subsequent smear campaign; in other words, the Judaizing of the Muslims entailed the Nazification of the Israelis. There is the good Jew of yesterday, eternally persecuted, and the bad Israeli who has taken hold in the Middle East, imperious and racist. Traverso makes the formulation candidly: in the past, he argues, Jews and blacks fought together as antifascists and anticolonialists; then the Jews broke through the color line and became “white”—that is, oppressors. Today’s true Jew wears the headdress and speaks Arabic; the other is an imposter and usurper. To quote one statement among thousands, here’s former French diplomat Stéphane Hessel, speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper in 2011: “If we compare the German occupation with the present occupation of Palestine by the Israelis, then it was relatively inoffensive, apart from exceptional elements such as incarcerations, executions, internments, and the theft of works of art.”
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(Note: Stéphane Hessel was Jewish and spent the last years of his life bashing Israel.  He, along with "juror" Roger Waters, was actively involved as a "juror" in a kangaroo court, the self-styled Russell Tribunal for Palestine, the brainchild of the Belgian socialist Pierre Galand.  When he died in 2013, aged 95, Stéphane Hessel was given a state funeral attended by former President François Hollande and many other French dignitaries and Belgian former P.M. Elio di Rupo.)

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