Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thought-policing Human Rights Watch

To be sincere, I don't care much for disputed reports about IDF behavior. I think the portion of their behavior that is undisputed (like, say, their assisting Jewish settlers in their takeover of private Palestinian land) is already damning enough.

That said, disputed reports do exist, and Human Rights Watch is a major contributor to producing them, thereby arousing Zionist ire.

Against that backdrop, several wingnut and Zionist blogs, as well as Israeli newspapers, are busy trashing HRW's military analyst Marc Garlasco over what they consider to be a revolutionary revelation: that Garlasco collects weapons, medals and other objects from the Third Reich.

Do you need to be a Nazi to collect Nazi memorabilia? I don't think so. I myself have a collection of over 200 books and 70 CD's about Judaism and Israel and I can hardly be described as a Jew or an admirer of Israel.

Items from Ibrahim's collection of books and CD's on Judaism and Israel

Zionists and wingnuts agree that Garlasco's collection doesn't turn him into a Nazi, but insist this hobby represents a problem, although they don't explain exactly why. HRW, for its part, has issued a statement (unnecessary, in my opinion) explaining that because Garlasco's grandfather fought for the Nazis he developed an interest in subjects pertaining to the Third Reich.

The very idea that what someone chooses to collect can be used against him infringes on the most basic freedom -- freedom of thought. The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv wrote:

It is not clear yet whether Garlasco himself is a Nazi. Those claims deserve close scrutiny, but it seems possible to make do with what we already know. We're talking about a Nazi memorabilia collector. This is not an innocent collection.

Maybe a scientific paper should be written, with a title along the lines of "Evaluating a collection's guilt." Until then, however, all collections should be given the benefit of the doubt and considered innocent -- as should their owners.

All other indictments of Garlasco are similarly vague and undefined. After being falsely warned in an e-mail that Garlasco posts at the Nazi site Stormfront.org, wingnut Omri Ceren at Mere Rethoric writes:

For all his faults real or imagined, the HRW Marc Garlasco is neither crude nor stupid. I would guess that he clings very, very tightly to the belief that he's a history buff who happens, for purely familial reasons, to be utterly fascinated by the Nazis.

I think that's one convenient bridge too far, and that his obsession colors the rest of what he does. I think he has very strong but tangled beliefs about Jews and the Jewish state that spring from a place that has nothing to do with level-headed analysis. But nothing I've read and no one I've spoken to leads me to believe he's an unsophisticated racist like Stormfront Flak88.

"I would guess...," "I think...," and pseudo-shrink-talk don't substitute for an explanation of what's the big deal with someone collecting Third Reich medals. Notice that Garlasco is neither crude nor stupid. Nor is he unsophisticated like other racists. In fact, Ceren tells us, he's unfortunately so sophisticated we can't make a case against him based on anything other than our guesses and hunches.

Elder of Ziyon, for his part, muses:

Writing a monograph on German medals does not make one a "historian" in any real sense; it makes him a rabid collector. I am fairly sure that his purchase of many of these items would be illegal in many European countries. To deflect those disturbing facts by saying that he also owns a few American air force memorabilia is to dodge the real issue.

It is extraordinarily bad taste and truly offensive that the same person who habitually castigates the Jewish state to a worldwide audience has a creepy obsession with the symbols of those who tried to destroy all Jews.

Again, no explanation of why collecting those objects is offensive. But truly revealing is the bit about the illegality of his purchases in European countries. Anyone not having an issue with such an alleged law can't be described in any other way than as a wholehearted Stalinist.

And that's what we're talking about. The ever growing control of people based on what they think or, worse still, on what we think they think. The laws against Holocaust denial; the working definitions that would make an antisemite of king Solomon himself; the Enquiry commissions that find antisemitism in switching off a lightbulb or turning on a faucet; and now the delving into strictly private affairs of an HRW analyst, are all instruments toward the muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

That HRW tried to solicit funds from the Saudi's is enough to discredit them in the eyes of many.

William Burns said...

So private Saudi individuals, already living in an oppressive state, should also be banned from contributing to human rights groups?

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Why do you include "laws against Holocaust denial" in a list of "instruments toward the muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel"? I think laws against Holocaust denial are misguided, but I have always assumed that European countries have those laws because, unlike America, they are not such purists about free speech and Holocaust denial is one of the primary propaganda themes of the neo-Nazi movement. Considering what the original Nazi movement did to Europe, it has always seemed at least understandable to me that those laws exist. The notion that they are "instruments toward the muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel" strikes me as a bizarre thing to say.

By the way, an article called "Zionism for Dummies" at Palestine Chronicle contains at least three fake quotes.

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15406

The author, William James Martin, has also written for CounterPunch.

Would it be worthwhile or interesting to look at other things he has written or to look into his other political activities to see why he thinks it is a good idea to write articles containing fake quotes? Or would that be an attempt to "control people"?

El Profe said...

What about his Iron Cross sweater?

Do you walk around with an IDF t-shirt, Ibrahim?

Gert said...

Goodman:

"The notion that they are "instruments toward the muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel" strikes me as a bizarre thing to say."

Perhaps this due to slightly clumsy formulation:

The laws against Holocaust denial; the working definitions that would make an antisemite of king Solomon himself; the Enquiry commissions that find antisemitism in switching off a lightbulb or turning on a faucet; and now the delving into strictly private affairs of an HRW analyst, are all instruments toward the muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel.

The lumping together of Holocaust denial laws and the new European all encompassing definition of anti-Semitism would not have been my own choice of words. But the latter is very much designed to 'muzzling of all and any criticism of Israel', that much is clear.

Regards Holocaust denial laws, I'm opposed to them for practical reasons. Let the deniers loudly and proudly proselytise their faith, this way we know where the idiots are and can refute their nonsense. But court cases only turn them into martyrs for their pernicious cause.

As regards the quotes on the PalestineChronicle.com website, please specify.

There circulate on the web a number of quotes falsely attributed to BOTH sides (see e.g. the 'Wipe Israel off the map' flap). It's quite easy to bona fide pick up such quotes and reprint them. It happened to me when I thought some time ago, completely in good faith, that I was quoting Sharon. Someone pointed out this alleged Sharon quote was in fact lifted from a passage of a fictional Amoz Oz book (quote lifted from a speech by the book character 'Z' and attributed by Sharon). I retracted immediately.

"The author, William James Martin, has also written for CounterPunch."

A 'Lefty' too, eh? Very suspect indeed...

And this latest campaign against Marc Garlasco is nothing but smearing, as well known smear merchants like Elder of Ziyon (recently caught with his own pants well down) demonstrate. Elder's denunciation is very feeble: presumably he believes 'the facts speak for themselves'.

But this will go a long way to discrediting HRW, especially in the USA (where 'human rights' are still slightly dirty words). And those defending Marc Garlasco will be tarred with the same brush: 'Nazi sympathisers!'

Ibrahim, your 'books on Judaism' argument will either earn you the 'Joooo obsessed crank' epithet or alternatively someone will tell you the comparison isn't valid 'because you're reading the GOOD books (in particular Chutzpah)', not collecting swastikas.

Gert said...

Ooops, that should have been '... attributed to Sharon'.

Gert said...

And HP's post on it is quite subtle and suitably long. Nowhere does Lucy Lips actually accuse Garlasco of being a Nazi but repeatedly how 'weird' he is. Then sprinkle the post with Nazi and related terms and the connection is made without actually saying so.

Smart...

On the '88 = Heil Hitler' flap, in Belgium a minister once suggested football shirts with the number 18 on them be banned. The rationale? 1 = A, 8 = H, thus 18 = AH (= Adolf Hitler)! Go figure...

Yitzchak Goodman said...

the 'Wipe Israel off the map' flap

That was a dispute about how to translate something Ahmadinejad really said. The native Farsi speakers at the Iranian news agencies IRNA and IRIB used the "wiped off the map" translation.

As regards the quotes on the PalestineChronicle.com website, please specify.

The ones by Eitan and Yaalon and at least one of the Ben Gurions.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I apologize if I gave the impression that the only objective of Holocaust denial laws is to muzzle criticism of Israel. However, the laws do contribute to that objective. Besides their crappy theories and pseudo-research, Holocaust deniers provide lots of legitimate information that can be used against Israel, and shutting them up deprives the anti-Zionist public of a source of information that, if used wisely, can be very useful. It is true that that information is available elsewhere, but it is usually well-hidden (for instance, the contents of newspaper archives don't usually show up on Google searches) and the deniers have been particularly active compiling it; and, to talk cinically, they save you a lot of time when you're looking for something to bash Israel with. I myself have forced several Zionists to stop making certain claims based on info that I first got from the deniers.

Censoring them just because they tell lies infantilizes the public by assuming they're unable to tell when the deniers lie and when they say the truth.

Anonymous said...

Collecting the macabre memorabilia of the perpetrators of the world's worst genocide is compared in this silly post to collecting books on Judaism? Can this writer take himself seriously anymore? What CACA!

Those books should be taken away from this doofus.

Anonymous said...

"Holocaust deniers provide lots of legitimate information that can be used against Israel, and shutting them up deprives the anti-Zionist public of a source of information that, if used wisely, can be very useful."

Yeah, let's listen to Holocaust deniers because they provide such useful information. This blog is getting more ridiculous and racist by the post.

Ibrahim, an apologist for Filth.

Anonymous said...

"Again, no explanation of why collecting those objects is offensive."

Read a superior blogger and learn:

http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/09/11/human-rights-watch-–-it-is-“absurd”-to-question-motives-of-nazi-medals-collector/

Anonymous said...

And now Ibrahim has stooped to defend Holocaust deniers and creepy Nazi memorabilia collections. Where there's shit, the maggots come out. Israel is truly lucky to have enemies as morally confused, ineffective and clearly unhinged as this! We are grateful goyboy, real grateful.

Gert said...

Anon:

Yeah, let's listen to Holocaust deniers because they provide such useful information.

You completely distort what Ib writes, then arrive at your pre-conceived conclusion. Quelle surprise...

As regards, Harry's Place 'superior blogging', ask yourself why this Garlasco flap hasn't made it to the frontpages of the world news (TIP: there are Jewish collectors of Nazi memorabilia too...)

Only Zionist sites found this 'news' blogworthy because it's a way to try and discredit an organisation critical of Israel, Human Rights Watch.

One is either a neo-Nazi or one isn't. Some neo-Nazis collect Nazi memorabilia, many don't. Some collectors of Nazi memorabilia are neo-Nazis, many aren't. This is essentially what it boils down to: to prove that Garlasco is a Nazi symphatiser you'd need to do a lot more that prove he collects Nazi memorabilia. Please also note that even your 'superior blogger' shies away from making that accusation and so does 'Elder of Ziyon'. Both, rather cowardly limit themselves to writing piece with Garlasco's name in it, sprinkled with 'Nazi' and related terms.