Thursday, August 12, 2010

Antifaschismus: Shifting The Paradigm, In For The Long Haul.

Because fealty to one's paradigm always trumps neutral consideration of the bald facts, the popular shift from one paradigm to the next is invariably slow and excruciating.

Something very similar occurs in politics, our good friend Ben Cohen observes, in the first instalment of his sympathetic critique of Yoram Hazony's expansive essay, Israel Through European Eyes, in today's Propagandist Magazine.

I'm reluctant to trespass too intimately among these smart guys, but I will confess to my own quibble with Hazony's important analysis: I would want a bit more precision.

For instance, Hazony writes about the fashionable demonization of Israel this way: "It is driven by the rapid advance of a new paradigm that understands Israel, and especially the independent Israeli use of force to defend itself, as illegitimate down to its foundations. If you believe that Israel is, in some important sense, a variant on Nazism, then you just aren’t going to be very impressed by “improvements” in Israeli policies or PR. An improved Auschwitz is still Auschwitz."

It seems to me that the paradigm Hazony so helpfully examines is only "new" to the extent that it is ascendant and increasingly entrenched in liberal establishment thinking. Thankfully, that paradigm is also increasingly vulnerable to Hazoney's analysis, which draws from the same robust approach that informs Jeffrey Herf, author of Nazi Propaganda from The Arab World, in a fascinating conversation with the brave anti-fascist writer Karl Pfeifer:

I think it is also the case as advocates of the paradigm whose key words are “third world,” “anti-imperialism,” “Orientalism,” “sub-altern studies” and in the case of the Middle East, “anti-Zionism” tied themselves in knots when faced with clear evidence that some very important Arab, Palestinian and Islamist leaders, such as Haj Amin el-Husseini, enthusiastically, willingly and effectively collaborated with the Nazi regime, shared its hatred of the Jews as Jews, and played a major role the cultural fusion of Nazi and Islamist—not Islamic—forms of anti-Semitism.

They will indeed "tie themselves into knots." Here we have the red-fascist demagogue George Galloway doing what he does best, opening a new propaganda campaign for Islamist fascism aimed at the west's liberal intelligentsia. Here we have one of Galloway's most slavish admirers in the Canadian establishment media, doing Galloway's propaganda for him. The clear evidence against Galloway hasn't made a jot of difference. He'll be warmly embraced. As he is here. Do you really need more?

Unreconstructed white fascists are also enjoying their recrudescence in Europe, as Karl Pfeifer, whose interview with Jeff Herf I just mentioned, amply illustrates in this chilling account. Here's a lovely gentleman for you: “I am not an anti-Semite, but an a-Semite. This means a world without Jews, a Hungarian society free of Jews.”

Don't kid yourself. This is not just about merely words, yesterday, and ideas. It's about deeds, today, life, and death.

Here are a few friends the white fascists have only recently murdered: Activists Alexei Krylov, Ivan Khutorskoi, Alexander Ryukhin Fyodor Filatov, Ilya Dzhaparidze, Stanislav Markelov, Nikolai Girenko, Alexander Ryukhin; lawyer Stanislav Markelov, and journalist Anastasia Baburova.

Less than a week ago, fascists of the Islamist variety murdered Glen Lapp, Tom Little, Dan Terry, Thomas Grams, Cheryl Beckett, Brian Carderelli, Karen Woo, Daniela Beyer, Mahram Ali, and Jawed. It happened this way: The first sign of danger was the crackle of gunfire over their heads. Ten gunmen, their faces covered, rushed toward terrified humanitarian workers and began shouting "Satellite! Satellite!" — a demand to surrender their phones. Moments later, 10 of them lay dead, including two women hiding in the back seat of a car the attackers hit with a grenade.

If what is happening is not clear to you by now, you really need to do something about your paradigm.



28 Comments:

Blogger bartleby said...

"that some very important Arab, Palestinian and Islamist leaders, such as Haj Amin el-Husseini, enthusiastically, willingly and effectively collaborated with the Nazi regime, shared its hatred of the Jews as Jews, and played a major role the cultural fusion of Nazi and Islamist—not Islamic—forms of anti-Semitism."

Part of the problem is that people who make comments like the above tend to know very little about the societies they're talking about, while maintaining pernicious political motives, those being shielding the brutal Israeli occupation from rational, morally just, critiques. And those critiques find eloquent form in the voices of those other than the thuggish Galloway. For that matter Israel "defenders" contain all sorts of buffoons and louts.

About Arab Nazims, I get this kind of thing from Paul Berman too who excoriates Ramadan's family lineage without once opening up about his political Zionism. Convenient. Hussein Ibish got universal and much needed praise for his eloquent historically literate demolition of the arguments you're presenting. Here's my man.

http://www.ibishblog.com/blog/hibish/2010/05/23/arabs_muslims_and_holocaust

6:05 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

As a Kuhnian myself, it's an interesting analysis, but essentially a fallacious one. Fallacious not in its identification of Kuhnian processes in international relations, but fallacious in its identification of said paradigms; to whit: "Auschwitz represents the unspeakable horror of German soldiers using force against others, backed by nothing but their own government’s views as to their national rights and interests." By this analysis, we would expect to see a national repudiation in Great Britain of, for example, the Battle of Britain; or in France a repudiation of the French resistance. But we see nothing of the sort. There remains in Europe as a whole (perhaps not so much in Germany, for good historical reason), a strong sense that "Good Wars" are possible, because for most "War" means "World War II", the quintessential "Good war". If there is a paradigm shift that applies to the case of Israel, it is more likely to be a sense that the ethnic nation-state is an anachronism. You may have a few scattered far-right parties insisting that "Britain should remain British" or decrying the Islamization or brown-skinned takeover of this or that nation, but by and large the majority of Europeans are accepting of multiculturalism. Insofar as Israel is the quintessential ethnic nation-state, it is this paradigm shift that it runs afoul of.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I actually managed to stop myself from laughing at your "As a Kuhnian, myself" opening, but you had me in stitches by the end, Colvin.

". . .by and large the majority of Europeans are accepting of multiculturalism. Insofar as Israel is the quintessential ethnic nation-state, it is this paradigm shift that it runs afoul of."

Laughed out loud. Please, get me a witness!

You really can't help yourself, can you? You might have almost stumbled upon a point there - a point so obvious Hazony doesn't even bother to make it - and then you contrast Israel with European countries by calling it "the quintessential ethnic nation-state."

Israeli citizens hail from more than 100 nationalities. They come in every colour of hte rainbow. I'm not even certain whether the Ashkenazis from all those European countries are in the majority yet. Plus, apart from Jews, a fifth of the country is Arab Muslim and Arab Christian, plus the Druze and Bahais. . . now I'm trying to think of a single European nation state that is more multicultural than Israel, or less a "quintessential ethnic nation-state" than Israel is.

Nope. Can't think of one.

Check your stupid paradigm, Colvin.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

PS Plus Ehud Nathan's Black Velvet (an Israeli ensemble) does traditional Irish music far better than Clannad or Altan or any number of Irish bands I could but won't mention.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

That's Ok, Terry, laugh away. Since your background appears to be "creative writing" then I don't expect that philosophy is really your thing. My background, by the way, is Philosophy of Science (U of Toronto), of which Thomas Kuhn was naturally a large part of my study.

Here's a question Terry: Israel defines itself explicitly and continually as "A Jewish state". It is the explicitly stated reason for the rejection of a one-state solution/return of refugees etc. Now tell me of a single other country that explicitly defines itself as an "(insert ethnicity here) state". Didn't think so.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

Ok, ok, I'll beat you to it. "Islamic republic of" (Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc). But in those cases "Islamic" is referring to theocratic government (in a way very similar to "socialist republic of.."), not ethnicity (Pakistan perhaps the exception), whereas Israel is formally a secular democracy. So in Israel, "Jewish state" does indeed refer to ethnicity. This is confirmed by Israeli identity cards that read "jewish" or "arab". ("arab" is an ethnicity, not a religion).

12:50 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

Not to belabour the point; nah, actually, to belabour it indeed: "The problem with Israel, in short, is not—as is sometimes suggested—that it is a European “enclave” in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a “Jewish state”—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism." Tony Judt http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2003/oct/23/israel-the-alternative/ The paradigm has already shifted (in the progressive West, anyway), and that is the lens through which much of Europe views Israel. Laugh away, Glavin, but it's not particularly a laughing matter.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

No, it's not a laughing matter, Colvin. I'm laughing at you: "Now tell me of a single other country that explicitly defines itself as an 'state'."

8:45 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

JC you are such an idiot:

There is a case to be made for criticizing Israel as a RELIGIOUSLY Jewish state (not my criticism, but academically at least, it's a debatable point). But to deride Israel as being "ethnically" Jewish is about as silly as deriding Italy for being ethnically Italian. Like Israel, Italy recognizes as Italian citizens of other countries with Italian ancestry and fast tracks their citizenship if they wish to return, as does Greece, Germany and many other ethnically based countries. Israel differs only semantically, in that it gives Jewish people, a fast track to citizenship. But this difference isn't that significant, as even non-religious agnostics like myself are accepted as "Jewish" by ethnicity, not religion. And surely, even a mind as inhospitably disposed to Israel as yours can accept that Jewish history, esp. recent history, justifies such quirkiness.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"Italy recognizes as Italian citizens of other countries with Italian ancestry and fast tracks their citizenship if they wish to return. . ." and even allows ethnically Italian people abroad to vote in Italian national elections.

Israel says you're entitled to apply for citizenship if your ma's a Jew. Ireland says you're Irish and entitled to citizenship even if only one of your grandparents was Irish. Ireland's "right of return" is more favourably applied to Irish ethnicity abroad than Israel's policy is applied to Jews, but nobody calls the Republic of Ireland an "apartheid state.

Or they do at their peril.

12:41 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

RE: Part of the problem is that people who make comments like the above tend to know very little about the societies they're talking about, while maintaining pernicious political motives, those being shielding the brutal Israeli occupation from rational, morally just, critiques

Man, there are a lot of these bartleby types running around. Karl Pfeiffer, who made the entirely accurate quote that Bartleby is huffing and puffing about, is a Jewish Austrian who finds himself surrounded by Austrian, Hungarian and general European anti-semitism. Not surprising he might identify himself as a Zionist (not that I'm sure he does, but i suspect so). Interesting that Pfeiffer is called upon to reveal his "political motivations" (i.e. his "zionism," -- ridiculous) but nobody else has to.

In any case, I can't speak to his motivations, but I suspect that, zionist or not -- like mine, they aren't to "shield the brutal israeli occuation from rational, morally just critiques." There are certainly other reasons, such as: countering the nonsense about Israel that Bartleby et al call "rational morally just critiques," such as the canard of Zionist-Nazi collaboration during WWII. In such cases, it's imperative to remind the world that Husseini was a willing Nazi stooge.

Yes, some of Israel's defenders are buffoons and louts, but they don't hold a candle to those on the reactionary Left, who pretend that most or all the problems of the Muslim world would disappear if only Israel did too.

As for Ibish, in the article you so praise, he says straight out that: "Berman doesn't exaggerate al-Husseini's outrageous conduct during World War II, or the foulness and character of his rhetoric, because it's very difficult to exaggerate them . . . There is no doubt that having fled Palestine, he didn't take up an alliance with the Nazis merely out of necessity as some other anticolonial figures from the British Empire did, but rather showed a level of enthusiasm for Nazi anti-Semitism that is not only appalling but probably crossed the line into outright criminality. And I would certainly agree that the broadcasts that he engaged in for Germany directed towards the Arab world did indeed preach a version of fundamentalist Islam infused with a Nazi version of anti-Semitism."

Yes, the rest of Ibish's article goes after Berman's views on Tariq Ramadan, but that isn't what Karl Pfeiffer -- or the post and article he was commenting on -- was about. Bartleby has done the usual Reactionary leftie dodge -- change the subject, and call your adversaries Zionists. Nice.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

Vilde: it's a bit more than just a quirky "fast track to citizenship". But the topic of discussion was paradigms and their shifting, not the normative aspects of Israeli policy. For example, back in the late 19th and early 20th century, it was largely uncontroversial for the Government of Canada to enact policy to protect the "British" nature of Canada; and thus we had the Chinese head tax, the St. Louis, the Komagata Maru. Now imagine for a second the reaction if the Govt of Canada (or of the UK, for that matter) were to "quirkily" announce the deportation of 400 native-born children of illegal immigrants in order to protect the "anglo-saxon" nature of the country. Paul Fromm would doubtless be ecstatic, but the majority opinion would be outrage. Clearly there has been a drastic paradigm shift over the last century in much of the West, and it is through this lens that rightly or wrongly, much of Europe views Israel. That's not to say that all of Europe is a beacon of progressive sentiment; while the British National Party flounders, Jean Marie le Pen and other of his ilk still enjoy substantial support.

11:03 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

RE: Now imagine for a second the reaction if the Govt of Canada (or of the UK, for that matter) were to "quirkily" announce the deportation of 400 native-born children of illegal immigrants in order to protect the "anglo-saxon" nature of the country.

I suspect the quirkiness might be understandable if 2/3 of "anglo saxon Canadians" had been exterminated and had nowhere else to go. My, given how sensitive you like to appear vis a vis the problems of the downtrodden, you might conjure up some empathy for the Jews pre- and post-WWII and why they decided they needed a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.

As for Europe, how nice that Europeans have gone all post-national and all that (though there's actually little evidence of it in the behaviour of the citizens of said countries).

11:39 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

Oh and I notice you've kept shtum on the ridiculousness of your claim that Israel is the ethnic nation-state par excellence, when there is Italy for Italians, Poland for Poles, Ireland for Irish, and god knows how many Islamic Republics of this or that. You're right. I wouldn't go there again. Too stupid.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Colvin said...

Vilde: did I ever say that this "quirkiness" didn't have some element of historical justification, or that I don't have some empathy for the Israelis who have come late to the game of building a pure-laine ethnic state?

And yes, there's "Britain for the British"...except that whenever anyone says that, the only thing that comes to mind is the National Front and their black shirts. That's the way the paradigm has shifted.

12:32 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

RE: The paradigm has shifted.

I guess it's just tough luck for the Jews then. How empathetic. By the way, I wish i had a dime for every paradigm shift that gets talked about, then forgotten. The europeans, other than their elites and some media, certainly haven't noticed. They're as jealous of their nationality as they ever were.

1:01 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

My ADD is kicking in, and I miss things I should have said earlier. Israel? Pure laine ethnic nation state? Jewish, yes (though with 20% of its citizenry Muslim or Christian). Ethnically pure? are you insane?

1:04 PM  
Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

The White European Nationalists are being empowered by the contempt that the Leftist Establishment has for the indidgenous peoples of Europe (generally any nation with a majority Euro Christian population).

They have no other outlet, because PC and the Leftist paradigm is anti-them, the West, Western European Civilization and peoples.

So the only people speaking out for them are the far Right Nationalists.

You can see that the most successful popular party addressing the Islamization of Europe, immigration, and attacking multiculralism, protecting European culture....is the PVV, Geert Wilders Party, because they dont have the hard edge of some of these other groups. They are Centrist Liberals, but pro European.

Even at that, all the other parties in the Netherlands have tried to put up a Cordon Saintaire around the PVV, and have Geert Wilders up for hate crimes charges, merely for speaking out as a champion for the interests of the majority indigenous population.

The Left is radicalizing the Right.

While Im not big fans of the harder elements of the Far Right. The general movement towards a European peoples cultural confidence and self preservation, I am for.

Unfortunately, the Left (the Establishment) is going to make that expression more extreme than needs be. And that means negative consequences for almost all European minorities.

However it is good to see that Israel is being championed by many of these groups. Standing united with the Israeli Jewish Nationalists, against Islam.

4:41 PM  
Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

Clearly there has been a drastic paradigm shift over the last century in much of the West, and it is through this lens that rightly or wrongly, much of Europe views Israel. --- John Colvin


The paradigm shift has been in the Left indoctrinating children as they have coopted the media and education systems, and have turned European history into a never ending series of hate crimes on "the Other." Pushing White Guilt on the masses, and Leftist policy, which is at its heart anti Western anti European anti American anti Israel.

The people are starting to wake up to this and are extremely pissed off. Islam was the straw that broke the Camels back.

Its even starting in Canada, as shielded from reality they are only sharing a border with the US and under its military umbrella. They couldnt help themselves and started mass importation of Black Carribeans and Muslims.

China must be drooling at the prospect of annexing Chinese Columbia.

Dumbed down indoctrinated populations that have lost their Christian faith. Hopelessly divided and balkanized by identity politics and against the majority culture and peoples.

The longer the balkanization continues, the bloodier and uglier its going to be.

Europeans arent going to go to the trains quietly.

4:55 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

RE: China must be drooling at the prospect of annexing Chinese Columbia.

I've read one idiotic statement after another from the lefties, but this rightie statement has to be the dumbest.

6:05 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

And speaking of dumb, I notice Bartleby has been shtum on Pfeiffer/Ibish since it was pointed out that Ibish agrees in large part with Pfeiffer that Husseini was a despicable anti-semitic nazi bootlicker.

6:09 PM  
Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

European Christians are people too, and have the right to promote their own interests and culture.

6:45 PM  
Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

The completely befuddled and naive Leftist, will be totally surprised when Chinese nationalism and supremacism sweep Chinese Columbia, backed by the rise of China as global SuperPower.

We didnt see this coming. But those dumb rightwingers were prattling on about it 20 years ago.

Enoch Powell

QED

6:59 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

RE: The completely befuddled and naive Leftist, will be totally surprised when Chinese nationalism and supremacism sweep Chinese Columbia.

Or not. Did you see it all in your crystal ball? Or perhaps you're one of Nostradamus' descendants. Must be something like that, given the certainty of your asinine prediction.

9:44 PM  
Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

All of human history, vildechaye, all of human history.

Here is a clue, the Ethnic Russians outside of Russia proper will be given special consideration by the Russians.

Just like the Ethnic Chinese.

Multiculturalism, Chain Migration, Ethnic Solidarity with a rising Ethnic Racist Nationalist SuperPower. Largest immigration to Canada, ethnic Chinese, shifted from Hong Kong and Taiwan, now Red China is the main source.

At least dont act like no one told you so....even if you dont admit that you sneered at them.

Chinese are the largest immigrant group to New Zealand now. The large Chinese immigrant group in Australia helped elect Chinophile Kevin Rudd to the Prime Ministership.

Nothing to see here folks, just balkanized multicultural bliss.

7:00 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

What a moron. End of.

7:48 AM  

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