Sunday, January 18, 2009

Gaza and the blood libel


Shaky unilateral ceasefires give the populations of Gaza and the border towns a break. But will this stop the opposition protests against Israeli militarism dipping in to a disturbing echo of the past.

The photo above was taken by a spiked journalist when reporting on the large demonstration in London last weekend. “Israelis eat babies…etc.”

I don’t know about you, but what came to mind as soon as I saw that were three things: a political cartoon, a painting by Goya and the old rancid chestnut about how Jews ritualistically slaughter babies. Coincidence?

Babies, as you can see from this video clip, did seem to be a theme of the demo in London. Why? Well, the Israelis had bombed a UN facility earlier that week where many children and women had taken refuge. But babies die in all wars - many have died under the bombs of Americans, the British, Russians and more in Baghdad, Kabul, Belgrade…. Many have died in suicide bombs all over the world. Children die in war, terrorist attacks. Especially in wars and terrorism these days.

But the protestor dressed up as an Israeli with the baby was obviously drawing on a reference to an award winning cartoon which appeared in the UK Independent in 2003, which was based, in turn, by Goya’s Saturn Devouring his Son.

When the cartoon (click on photo to enlarge) appeared many were horrified. It seemed to draw upon the old myth of what is known as blood libel, a belief, quite common in Europe in less enlightened times, that Jews ritually sacrificed the children of Christians.

In fact, as you see by this (disgusting) video, a few cranks still believe this to be so today.

Whether the fool who dressed up as the Israeli with the child knew about blood libel, or even the cartoon, or the painting by Goya, I have no idea. But the protests against Israeli occupation have become synonymous, for many, with a protest against Jews in general. Starbucks, for instance, has come under attack for being a cappuccino Zionist, seemingly for no other reason that its owner is Jewish and a few weird rumours going around the internet. The boycott Israel types don't like Marks and Spencer, either (Michael Marks was a Jewish refugee from Poland before he moved to the UK to open up the shop with Mr. Spencer. And constantly we hear the comparison of Gaza to the Warsaw ghetto.

So perhaps both the protestor in London and the cartoon in the Independent do delve back into the European dark ages.

And those depictions of Jews with children have a long and ignoble history. For instance, one good example of the prototype for cartoonists and protestors to be inspired by can be found in St Paul’s church in Sandomierz, south Poland. Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

When protestors supporting Palestinians sink to this depth then you can count me out. Not all criticism of Israel is anti semitic, as some claim, but some confuse an Israeli for a Jew, generally, and it is becoming acceptable, in some right on circles, to make anti semitic references. That must stop.

38 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

Yesterday there was a demonstration against Isreal's incursion into Gaza.

There was a person there with a sign that said Zionism = Nazism. I was going to confront him. When he saw me, he ran. I wonder if he is a rightist blogger, trying to discredit the demonstration. He sure didn't want to talk.

I passed out a leaflet, opposing Israel's violence and Hamas's shelling of working class and poor Israelis.

beatroot said...

Zionism = Nazism

Thatt's getting kind of main stream, ren. And it's not just dumb because of the Warsaw ghetto comparison etc. Zionism, among Israel's political elite anyway, is all but a bust flush these days. They don't talk about a "greater Istael" anylonger...just about bunkering down behind a wall...hardly Zionism, is it?

ge'ez said...

I find the Israelis' bombing of a school more disturbing than some young kids' dressing up in some really dumb puppet costume.

I hardly find it reassuring to be reminded that children die in all wars. The bombing of the school could have been avoided.

beatroot said...

Geez, it was a hidious act. And many nations have been guilty of the same crimes. I have been on many many anti war marches and I never saw the dolls in blood etc. Soory, but there is something distasteful about this.

Do you not see what I am getting at?

ge'ez said...

Yes, distasteful. But the Israeli attack on the school was, as you say, hideous... and I'd add criminal.

beatroot said...

but that is not the point I was making...

ge'ez said...

Oh so you think what some nerdy demonstrator (in the photo)did was more hideous than what the Israelis did in bombing the school? Oy vey.

beakerkin said...

Here we go again

Hamas fires weaponry from behind civilian population and Geez is oblivious to the abuse of human shields. Sorry but Geez is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

The Zionism=Nazi bit is standard communist dementia frequently seen on Ren's blog in the comment section. The person carrying the sign was probably MILF from Lebanon.

The point of this post is dead on.
Demented leftists prattle on with
a range of Joooish conspiracies and the rest of us think they are antisemites.

The truth is Gazans are and always were Egyptians. The situation is one where the fable was more important than the people.Let Egypt run its own real estate
and get the UN and leftist morons out of Gaza and the place will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Palestinians have been doing this for years, and now Hamas is repeating it. They use "protected" and "sacred" buildings to store their guns and ammunition, and fire rockets (with terrible aim, so Hamas ends up killing innocent Israeli women and children dozens of miles away) from U.N. "safe zones". And the world screams in horror when the Israelis retaliate.
Where was the global outrage during the couple of weeks between the last 'cease fire' when Hamas lobbed mortars and rockets into residential Israeli neighborhoods?
Israel has never initiated an aggressive attack. Never. All they do is answer, and retaliate. They have no other choice. Failure to answer means the end to their country.
Not only do I fully support Israel and their defensive actions, I admire their restraint.
CalifVoter

jannowak57 said...

Military action even on the part of a very advance military organization cannot be made free of mishap such as hitting unintended civilian targets. The Israelis were forced to act because of the unending Hamas provocations. It appears Israel won the military side of this but got clobbered in political and public relations side of things.

Putting anti-Semitism into the mix has been a Middle Eastern past time for decades. I spotted in an upscale Cairo hotel; English language paperback publications that looked liked something out of the Third Reich.

It seems that some people in Europe are jumping on the anti-Israel bandwagon because of motives that go beyond the Israeli/Palestinian struggle. It is likely that some anti-Semites feel they have an opportunity to go to the public with their message while cloaking themselves and their real motives under the cover of people expressing legitimate concerns about what’s happing to the Palestinians.

This stuff about babies goes back the days of Tsarist Russian and anti-Semitic campaigns of the time and it was re-used again in the 1930s and 40s. The story is very well known all over Eastern Europe.

Renegade Eye said...

The US lost in Iraq, and wants out, Already diplomatic channels are opening up with Iran and Syria. London sent an envoy (Bush's office boy) to Syria. Bush really opened up channels first. Talks have already started with Iran. Elections are soon in Iran, and the mullahs want a moderate to win, to make it easy for Obama. Obama and Bush agree with ends, but have different tactics. Obama represents the more enlightened US rulers.

Iran's and Syria's price will come with a cost. It's not impossible Syria getting the Golan Heights. Iran could trade not funding Hamas, for a Palestinian state.

This skirmish was important for both Israel and Hamas. They need to keep the loyalty of their sponsors.

This war was the left of Zionism against the right of Palestine. Labor and Kadimah have been taking thunder from Likud in upcoming elections. It is widely recognized Kadimah wants to look good, after the Lebanon fiasco, where they promised to conquer Hezbollah. Kadimah tried to sucker Syria into a war, but it didn't bite.

The cease fire started. Hamas still exists. Only a fool would think Israel would want to destroy Hamas. Zionists need them. They pose no serious threat, combined with providing excuses for Israel to keep its bloated military budget. There is no serious threat to Israel anywhere, except from its own people. In Tel Aviv in the mayoral elections, the Communist Party got 35% of the vote, mostly young people.

When Beakerkin says there are no Palestinians, who does he represent? Not the Israeli government.

Anonymous said...

The baby-eater fable seems to go back until ancient times.

It appeared in the charges of the Romans against the early Christians, and then after Charlemagne the same accusation became directed against Jews.

Along with conspiracy theories, it seems to be one of the most popular ways of dehumanizing the "abnormal minority" of any society.

People also need to be careful to differentiate between persons themselves and the actions of the nation/state/etc. often assigned to those persons.

To blame Jews for the actions of Israel is ignorance, just as to blame Arabs for the actions of Islamic extremists is ignorance.

CzarnyKot said...

I've always stayed away from the Israel/Palestine conflict because it does attract the type of tub-thumping extremists who will use this conflict, which has nothing to do with them personally, to cover their anti-Jewish or anti-Arab feelings.

However, recent events in Gaza have forced even cynical neutrals like me off the fence-- Israel's actions have been outrageous by any standards and in my opinion it has crossed the line seperating a controversial country from a rogue state.

This DOES NOT mean that I in any way think that Hamas are a noble bunch of freedom fighters, nor does it mean that I cannot see the difference between the actions of the Israeli government and Jewish people in general.

I'm not surprised that some demonstrators have displayed obvious anti-semitism but these people represent a miniscule fraction of the wave of revulsion which the conflict in Gaza has created.

Apparently the old 'ant-semite' card still works. I read last week that many Poles who feel strongly about Gaza were reluctant to protest because of Poland's reputation for anti-semitism would be used against them.

Finally, Zionism = Nazism???
The belief that one race is the 'chosen' one and that they therefore have a right to expel other people for living space....?

ge'ez said...

Beak be back?

Coming out of the hole you climbed into when Obama won?

Hey, when are you going to go volunteer to fight in Israel, er, I mean, in the occupied territories?

Squaaaaaaak, Chickenhawk!

ge'ez said...

And saying that "The truth is Gazans are and always were Egyptians." Wow, tell the Israelis that one!

ge'ez said...

Ren, I hate to ruin your day but polls still point to an upcoming Netanyahu victory for PM.

beakerkin said...

Here we go again with the antisemites
Renegade Eye and Geez up to their usual Joooo mania.

Renegade Eye allows the most base forms of Jooo hatred in his comment section without critical comment. The most odious types include 9-11,media conspiracies, neocon cabals and so forth. He does not make comments when a welcomed poster calling himself Liberal White Boy makes frequent comments about genocide. Obviously
the Israelis must be inept at genocide because the Arab population keeps growing.

Then we have the imbecile Geez telling an American patriot to go to war in Israel. Does he tell Renegade Spleen to live in North Korea with Kim Dong Mentally Ill or has Geez packed his bags to live with Hugo the cocainecommie?
The bigoted implications of the comments are similar to a KKK type
telling a Black man go to Africa.

Of course the obvious message of the post about some crossing over into Jooooooo hatred was lost on Geez.

The residents of Gaza are Egyptian
and should have been reunited with
the residents of their country. Palestinism has been a communist fig leaf for traditional populist Joooo hatred. The motto of the Pan Arabist commie clowns was drive dem Joooooos into the sea not create Pseudostine until the Arabs got their ass kicked in 1967. The fact that the Soviets instigated the war by making and breaking a series of promises is lost on the death cultists.

After the war commies and their clowns in Egypt and Syria changed
the context to a fake indigenous people. Let Israel make deals with Egypt and Jordan and the problem will solve itself.

The truth is commies like Ren need
Palestinians so they can inflate their numbers by forming alliances
with Nazis, Jihadis and racial power nuts. The rhetoric is so close a hack professor in the UK posted material from a well known KKK website.

Commies do not want Mideast peace as it interferes with revolutionary pipe dreams. If they wanted peace they would demand Gazans build an economy.

Those who want peace must look at
the truth. End the fake ethnicity
games and let responsible governments deal with the situation
and there will be lasting peace.

ge'ez said...

An American patriot who won't volunteer to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Chicken Hawk, sqqqqquaaaawk!

How are you celebrating Obama's inauguration you great American patriot you?

Renegade Eye said...

An Australian academic posted in a roundup of posts about Gaza says about my post, " That is not to say I support the line it takes entirely, but at least there is no stench of antisemitism (or anti-arabism either) about it."

beatroot said...

I am afraid that it simply isn’t one guy wearing fancy dress. “hamas, hamas turn on the gas,” was reported at one demo in Amsterdam. The call to ban “Israeli shops” meaning Jewish or Jewish owned shops like Starbucks or Marks and Spencer.

But it’s not just that this stuf is said, it’s the reaction to it. If anything similar was said on the liberal middle classes about most other social groups there would be …ooo....20 calls to some watchdog claiming that they were “offended…”.

It’s becoming culturally semi-respectable. This is not the way to confront Israeli aggression.

And renegade may be still, after all these years, a little bit starry eyed but I think he can separate an Israeli from “the Jew”, and vice versa …shame many on the “left” are having trouble with this.

ge'ez said...

Who reported the "turn on the gas" chant? How many demonstrators were chanting it? Any kind of demographic on who these folks were?

What groups are calling for "a ban" on "Jewish" shops like Starbucks? What kind of ban? I can't afford freaking Starbucks coffee and whatever else they sell anyway.

And wait a minute. I think Ren is pretty much representative of "the left" in respect to being able to make differentiations between Zionism and Jewishness, and etc along the same lines.

Why besmirch the whole "left" because a very, very few yahoos -- and these may just be Arabs as far a I know -- are going the anti-semitic route?

I really don't buy the contention that it is becoming semi-respectable or leftist chic.

Then again, if I was at such a demo and I saw such a display, I'd make a point of going up to the folks responsible and making a stink about it just as I've made a stink during my visits to Poland where I've seen anti-semitic graffiti and other related displays of intolerance.

On the other hand, you have yahoos like Beak who scream anti-semitism at any one who dares criticize Israel's military excesses (without considering a lot of Israelis are similarly critical).

Meanwhile the spotlight is taken off Israeli military excesses and thrust upon a few incidents of purportedly "leftist" anti-semitism.

Renegade Eye said...

I thought S.O.'s analysis was correct about the Gaza incursion and the protesters. It had no conclusions, or a program for action. Who is their audience? Do they write just as an academic exercise? In the big picture, their Ayn Rand libertarianism is entertaining to read, what life or death priority is it? Unfortunately they bought the end of history ideas. I'll stay clear of accusing them of being on the payroll of nuclear interests.

Is there a nationalist anywhere, that doesn't have backward ideas? In this period of history, when you have a world capitalist economy, a small nation can only depend on a large nation. It's not like this is 1700, and deciding if a nation state is superior to a fiefdom is an issue.

Renegade Eye said...

Beak is like Sheldon Cooper, who was on the NBC series "The Big Bang Theory." In one episode, he denounced the theory. He switched to goal of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, for advocating Jews move Jerusalem to the Mexican desert, and create New Jerusalem as the Jewish homeland. Atleast he returned to science.

beakerkin said...

Beatroot

Actually Ren is a stark raving mad antisemite who encourages and rationalizes the crassest expressions of Jooooo hatred on his site without critical comment. Furthermore, you have neglected to point out the link between communists and Joooo hatred. Communists have a lengthy history of this behavior.

The comments of the serf Geez speak for themselves.

Geez

As the United States has a volunteer army and I presently serve in aNational security capacity your comments are stupider than usual. Now you should remind the traitor Ren to surrender his citizenship and go to Venezuela. People that apologize for communism need to live under it permanently.

Now go about your lowly menial chores on the Beatroot manor. Serfs
are meant to be seen not heard.

ge'ez said...

Yea, I'm really impressed how you and Cliff Claven (Cheers) and Newman (Seinfeld) are keeping us secure.

beatroot said...

Beako...what is this 'national capaicity' exactly? is it...community service, perhaps? How long did the judge give you?

YouNotSneaky! said...

Off the current topic, but the link you include in the post notes that the Sandomierz painting was removed shortly after fall of communism and reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Israel. Is it wrong? Is the painting still there?

Brian May said...

There was a demonstration in Brussels against the Israeli forces agression against Gaza. I was there for 2 hours trying ton find the Belgian Progressist Union of Jews (as I thougt that if protesters needed our support that was them : finally I never found them...). I toke pictures you can see here : http://picasaweb.google.com/maybrianmay/ManifestationGaza110109?feat=directlink

Afterwards, I promised myself I would never ever join a anti-gaza demonstration again as it was obvious that so many people were speaking out their antisemitism crap. And what was most shoking in this affaire is that the inner security people nor the organisators never pointed out that these outrageous slogans were continuously waved along the manifesation.

It was really sad and depressing.

beatroot said...

Sneaky...am looking into that...

Brian May (my favourite queen album is night at the operat by the way...:-)...you are right. The protests - which should be full of principled indignation at the actions of the Israeli state, have morphed into an antisemitism that many liberals and leftist seem to think is "OK..." or at least, if they don't think it is OK then they keep their mouths such. and that's not good enough...

ge'ez said...

Those photos seem to indicate that most of the demonstrators were Arabic and that the march was going through an Arabic neighborhood (insofar as there was some kind of store there with a sign painted with Arabic script).

Then again, I stopped going to demos of any kind about a decade ago, mainly because I disagreed with so many of the demonstrators as to tactics and ideology. And thus it all seemed counterproductive.

beatroot said...

Yeah, maybe that is an age thing, Geez. But I think that the lines between right and wrong have blurred...it is always not that simple...

Bialynia said...

I went to Sandomierz some years ago, and our guide in the Church, quite to our shocked amazement claimed that ritual sacrifice of gentile children by Jews did exist. Of course this all started out with him calling Jerzy KosiƄski an awful liar since the lady that took care of him during the war apparently attended St. Paul's Church.

beakerkin said...

Beatenrootlessly by Beakerkin

I am serving in a National Security capacity and left a high paying career to do so. This was a career move that I am prouder of each day.Perhaps you can tell me the refugees from Caracas including Gays, Jews,Professionals and regular folk all tell identical lies. This is the warped rationale of the "Death Cultist" Renegade Spleen.

Would you care to go into the history of Communist abuse of Jews, Gays and a range of minorities. Unlike Renegade Spleen you do not lie or rationalize inconvenient facts.

I must imagine the stories of gays
and Christians fleeing the Muslim world. Not one peep from the self absorbed commies about anyone else except Arabs claiming a fake ethnicity.

Geez

You are a serf. Now go toil on the Beatroot manor and let others think for you. You are at best suited for manual labor like cleaning chamber pots of the beatroot salonists and fetching gin.

Your idiotic comments about protesters ethnicity is a form of bigotry. Lets see the protesters were Arabs so they are not responsible for civilized discourse. This is as insane as the university Commies who claim that Blacks lack power in the USA and as such can't be racist.

In your case you would be improved
by drinking cheap alcohol. Perhaps Lord Beatroot could find it in his heart to pay for whatever the street bums drink in your area.

Freedom Fighter said...

Intersting little dialogue youhave going here.

First of all,the Jew hating scum at the UN finally admitted that they lied, Israel never hit that school at all.

Needless to say they never did anything or said a peep about Hamas using civilians for human shields or firing rockets at civilians.And there's no talk of humanitarian aid to Israel's south.

You see, it's not like the old days, when Jews were a barely tolerated minority..they have the means to shoot back now, something that obviously distresses some of the people on this board.

That, by the way gives the lie to the zionism = nazism crap as well.It's an attempt to deny Jews the right of self-determination in their own country - and yes, it is their own country, although it would certanly be smaller if the Arabs hadn't attempted to exterminate them several times,starting in 1948.

I would never suggest that Israel is perfect - no country is. But considering th etype of barbarism they've been faced with, they've done a pretty remarkable job.

Trust me, if the IDF really wanted to go in for some heavy duty ethnic cleansing, this conflict with the Arabs would have been over long ago and the `Palestinians' would revert back to what they were before 1967..just Arabs,no different than the ones in Egypt or Jordan or Syria.

The Zionism= Nazism stance is so popular in Europe,I think, because so many European countries were directly complicit in the death toll of the Holocaust,including Britain. They deal with that guilt, especially as the concentration camp tatoos fade and memories dim by demonizing Israel as a Nazi state and trying to show that after all, the Jews are just as bad as the Nazis, aren't they?

This is just the latest outbreak of a long standing psychosis in Europe, and most of the Jews would probably be better off leaving anyway for Israel or America.

Then, those Europeans who seem to hate Jews so much can focus on getting along with the Muslims. I'm sure you'll find them much easier to deal with, although a number of news stories I read would seem to indicate that trading six million Jews for twenty million Muslims may be giving some of you second thoughts.

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Patrick Chang said...

Zionism = Nazism Thatt's getting kind of main stream, ren. And it's not just dumb because of the Warsaw ghetto comparison etc. Zionism, among Israel's political elite anyway, is all but a bust flush these days. They don't talk about a "greater Istael" anylonger...just about bunkering down behind a wall...hardly Zionism, is it?

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