Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Threats From The 'Left'

Alan Dershowitz recounts his recent brush with virulent anti-Semitism:

One sign carrier shouted that Jews who support Israel are worse than Nazis. Another demanded that I be tortured and killed. It wasn't only their words; it was the hatred in their eyes. If a dozen Boston police were not protecting me, I have little doubt I would have been physically attacked. Their eyes were ablaze with fanatical zeal.

The feminist writer Phyllis Chesler aptly described the hatred often directed against Israel and supporters of the Jewish state by some young people as eroticized. That is what I saw: passionate hatred, ecstatic hatred, orgasmic hatred. It was beyond mere differences of opinion. When I looked into their faces, I could imagine young Nazis in the 1930s in Hitler's Germany. They had no doubt that they were right and that I was pure evil for my support of the Jewish state, despite my public disagreement with some of Israel's policies and despite my support for Palestinian statehood. There was no place for nuance here. It was black and white, good versus evil, and any Jew who supported Israel was pure evil, deserving of torture, violence, and whatever fate Hitler and Goebbels deserved.
Note that these are the same people who are so quick to accuse others of racism and bigotry - the ones who throw around the term 'Nazi' so often as to make it meaningless. It strikes me as parallel to another earlier example of insanity that I saw a few months ago:
On January 15th, New Yorkers awoke to single-digit temperatures and a few inches of new snowfall. Al Gore chose the day to give a speech on global warming. The speech--delivered at the Beacon Theatre on Manhattan's Upper West Side--was sponsored by MoveOn.org, a website-turned-political-action-committee that recently gained notoriety by hosting two political ads equating President Bush with Adolf Hitler. Although such comparisons were common at anti-war rallies, I still wasn't sure whether this mindset was now infecting the Democratic base--the sort of folks who'd brave the cold to hear Al Gore speak. To find out, I spent a few shivering hours outside the Beacon.
Watch the video, then come back. I'll wait.

Can we please agree to call these people what they really are now? Or at the very least take what they have to say with a large grain of salt?

The list of hypocrisy grows and grows - 'You guys are repealing Civil Rights! (But we support tyrannical dictators),' 'You guys are oppressing Palestinians (But we wish that Israel was obliterated),' 'You guys are losing to al-Qaeda (But we would surrender to them straight-away).'

I don't have the time and energy it takes to respond to these people, and that frustrates me even more - Dershowitz points out the end result:
As it turned out, I was not actually able to express any of my opinions, even in response to their outrageous mischaracterization of my views or their comparisons of me to the most evil men in the world. When I turned to answer one of the bigoted chants, the police officer in charge gently but firmly insisted that I walk directly to my car and not engage them. It was an order, reasonably calculated to assure my safety, and it was right. The officer got into my car with me and only got out a few blocks away. The intimidation had succeeded. I was silenced, and their horrible message went unanswered in the plaza near Faneuil Hall.
I fear that it will not be the 'Right' to lead us back into Germany of the 1930s, but the 'Left;' for all their protestations. Need more evidence? Go take a look at Brain-Terminal's video collection.
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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