Saturday, May 02, 2009

MuzzleWatch's Cecilie Surasky on John Voight and Alan Dershowitz

By Cecilie Surasky

Jon Voight starred in the first movie that ever made me really cry: Conrack. It was one of those classic patronizing white people fantasy movies about the inspiring white teacher who saves the poor black kids living in the segregated South. But I was a kid and I cried through the whole thing. Ironic now, since
Voight made me cry again but for an entirely different reason.

He used to be liberal but he’s become a born-again lover-of-the-Torah and a somewhat incoherent anti-communist. He said of Obama recently:
This is a perilous time, and more than ever, the world needs a united and strong America. If, God forbid, we live to see Mr. Obama president, we will live through a socialist era that America has not seen before, and our country will be weakened in every way.

He started off his talk at the anti-semitism Dershowitz hate-fest panel with an ode to the Jews. He’s cultish in his fetishization of the Jews. He kicked off with a couple poems about how we Jews are pretty much the cat’s meow. We’re even good in business. It’s weird and embarrassing. We’re chosen alright:
The Jewish people have given mankind the perfect tools for living, the teachings of the great Torah, which if followed, bring us to peace love courage wisdom and justice and every possible answer to life’s needs.

This is hard core. I don’t even know any Jews, including the practicing ones, who believe that. Those Chabdniks are good. After letting us know what a “righteous Christian” he is, he gets into it:
Last year I visited the victims of suicide bombings. It was very difficult for me to spend time with these people. Ron Kerma is here-his daughter, 17 years old, was killed in a senseless act. I looked in their faces and my heart was almost torn out. I spoke to a young girl who was victim of a bombing, and she expressed to me she is trying to find ways to forgive. We spent time in Sderot which has been a victim of 7,000 bombings since the turn of the century. All the children have the syndrome that comes from being in battle- they wake up screaming.

Then he cuts to the chase:
I feel complete complete outrage at anyone who can make excuses for this barbarism. And I feel complete contempt for anyone who is not intelligent enough to see that this propaganda in the media painting the Palestinians as poor victims is capable of destroying the Jewish nation of Israel. (I think he means the Palestinians are capable of destroying..)

We’re witnessing a new type of holocaust. And we good people of all faiths should express outrage and demand the truth be heard. The Palestinian radicals have only one prayer on their lips. And it is to kill and rid every Jew young and old from Israel. Let us pray for the courage to stand up and fight against all antisemitism that has found its way to all the evildoers, let us pray for peace with the understanding we do not bend to terrorism in any shape or form for the sake of peace. God bless us. [text corrected]

That’s the new line. It’s not even enough these days to shut everybody down by saying they’re anti-Semites. The new line set forth in this session, and drawn aptly by Alan Dershowitz later on, is that this is all the new Holocaust. Thousands of Palestinians die, but this is a new Jewish Holocaust. And the moral Israelis, as ever, are simply defending themselves from the evil radical Palestinians who want nothing more than to kill the Jews.

Scholars have to study this. It’s just too amazing. Shoahism.

But it gets worse, here's Surasky on Jerkowitz's latest spiel:

“The worst two hours of my life.” That’s what a Palestinian friend from the West Bank said after what was at times a hateful, nasty 2-hour long harangue by Anne Bayefsky, Jon Voight, Elie Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz, Natan Sharansky and Shelby Steele. “I just listened to 2 hours of demonization of Palestinians and Muslims fueled by racism and hate,” said my clearly shaken friend.

I already posted some choice quotes by Jon-the-new-Holocaust-Voight. The tour de force of the session, ostensibly on anti-semitism but really promoting anti-Arab/Palestinian/Muslim hate, was Alan Dershowitz. (Although conservative African American scholar Shelby Steele, who gets plenty of applause from a room filled with white people, reaches a whole new depth in his theory about the end of white supremacy and the deep shame of people of color regarding their own inadequacies.)
Dershowitz is the schoolyard bully all grown-up, very smart and even angrier. Watching him, you feel like he might explode. Like all good demagogues, he knows how to whip up an audience at the most nasty applause lines. I admit it. I’m scared of him.

In the age of Obama and Iraq war exhaustion, the War on Terror clearly no longer provides the right wing Israel lobby with the umph it needs to delegitimize Palestinian claims for justice or, frankly, simple human decency. Here, Dershowitz launches a new frame. Netanyahu et al have been pushing the Hitler/Ahmedinejad comparison for some time now. But this is the first time I’ve heard such a sweeping condemnation of Palestinians (with a few exceptions of course, because Dersh “doesn’t like to generalize”) as Nazis. Excerpts from video above [not embedded by me - I don't 'do filth']:
“Painful truths about the Holocaust today are being suppressed by college campuses, they’re being suppressed wherever the Palestinian conflict is being discussed. My painful job today is to talk about one of those very difficult historical truths that many would prefer to see ignored...

The terrible, terrible, terrible tragedy is that there is a direct unbroken line between Hitler and [the anti-semitic Palestinian Mufti] Husseini on the one hand, and today Hamas and radical Islamic Jihadists on the other hand. They are the heirs of Hitler. Ahmedinejad their spoonsor is the heir of Hitler. Those who are complicit in that evil are complicit in the evil of Nazism. Nazism has not disappeared from the world today. It has the same genocidal goals….

Woe unto any of you out there who support Hamas. You are supporting Hitler’s heirs. Whether you consider yourself a leftist or a centrist, you are complicit in the worst evil of the twentieth century. And there is no way of breaking that bond. As long as Hamas maintains its genocidal attitudes towards the Jewish people…

This conference is a hate fest. Like Nuremberg was a hate fest…

Durban I traces its roots to Nuremberg. It traces its roots to the Nazi-Husseini alliance.

There is a lot to say about his line of reasoning. In future posts.

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