Alarming News

January 31, 2005

Stop it.

Monjo sends along an article highlighting the continuing demise of the Conservative party in Britain. Apparently, the Labour party has an ad featuring two Conservative politicians as flying pigs, and this has somehow started an anti-Semitic brouhaha. Like the several Nazi stories from last week, my big concern is that calling something anti-Semitic will devolve into a ‘boy cried wolf’ scenario. We have people out there who want Israel not to exist, who want to kill all Jews, and we’re going to worry about caricatures of politicians as flying pigs?

Posted by Karol at 06:54 PM |

I am very heartened to see this post. I think the charge of anti-Semite is used way too much these days and a good deal of the charges, alas, come from those associated with the Right, be it the Tories, Commentary or the Weekly Standard. The culture of victimhood has spread so far that even self proclaimed conservatives embrace it. The sad truth is it is increasingly easy to ignore charges of anti-Semitism while irresponsible agitators use that phrase all the time. I hope when the wolf is really at the dor, the goyim, including this one, do not hear the cry of wolf, think of Mel Gibson or flying pigs and sigh “there they go again.”

Posted by: Von Bek at January 31, 2005 at 7:17 pm

It’s about time you realized that the term anti-semitic is overused. Anyway, I think it is way too late to worry about the ‘boy who cried wolf’ problem. Whenever I hear someone being called an anti-semite, I just assume that the person simply disagrees on something related to Israel. When Abraham Foxman calls someone an anti-semite, I figure it has about as much credibility as Jesse Jackson calling someone a racist.

Posted by: Dan at January 31, 2005 at 10:52 pm

Erm, except that both of you don’t realize that I still think that people who are against ‘Zionism’ are anti-Semitic. And that anti-Semitism definitely does exist, and in strong numbers, even if this particular case is not it.

Posted by: Karol at January 31, 2005 at 11:03 pm

Well the flying pigs was just one of two posters, and could by itself be seen as light-hearted humour, indeed Melannie Philips, a policitcal commentator for a paper here and herself Jewish doesnt think it is.
However, there was a very sinister second poster feeaturing Michael Howard as Fagin from Olvier Twist. With the pocket watch being used as an hypnotic tool it was definitely playing on old hatred and myths.
If that wasn’t enough another MP (from Labour I think, but maybe Lib Dem) called Letwin “Fagin”. Letwin, is the shadow Chancellor, and Jewish.
Finally, Labour called on Muslims to not for the Conservatives because they were Jews.
When you take it all in to context, I disagree with Ms Phillips and do think the author of the flying pigs poster was deliberatly being aimed at Howard’s and Letwin’s Jewishness.
More info here:

Posted by: Monjo at February 1, 2005 at 5:42 am

Agreed which is why I think cries of wolf are very counterproductive.
I think that depends on the definition of Zionism.
I think one can support Israel as an ally, a beacon of hope in a troubled region, as a democratic republic, and as refuge for the troubled but not for religious reasons. While this does not make one a Zionist, it does make one a supporter of Israel. I don’t think that’s anti-Semitism anymore than say putting the stars and stripes over the star of David is anti-Semetic.
Take some of the social conservatives. Clearly the religious right in this nation, some of the chief supporters of Israel in public life, would have a major league bone to pick with the concept of the Jews as God’s chosen people. I don’t think that makes them anti-Semites.
If Zionism is primarilly a political term than I think most Americans would support it. If it is primarilly a religious one, then I think most Americans would not support Zionism.

Posted by: Von Bek at February 1, 2005 at 9:23 am

Indeed, the culture of victimhood has spread so far that even self-proclaimed Christian conservatives embrace it. If you don’t proclaim The Passion of the Christ to be the greatest film in human history they call you a “Christophobe”, and hold it up as another example of the “persecution” of Christians in this country. Even these “conservatives” have started utilizing special pleading and identity politics (witness their behavior during the Merry Christmas/Happy HOlidays brouhaha).

Posted by: Eric Deamer at February 1, 2005 at 11:37 am

Point well taken though I think the Christian right seems to be calmed down at least over the Oscars. But yeah there is a culture of victimhood that influences all of us including me. I noticed this last weekend as I beomaned the obscurity of the Fantastic Four to a friend who is an X-Men fan. As I am convined the summer movie is going to stink, me and the other Fanstic Four fans will be perpetuating the cult of victimhood for a long time.

Posted by: Von Bek at February 1, 2005 at 11:48 am
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