Friday, July 30, 2010

You're either with the bigots or you're against them

Yesterday Captain Cabernet linked to Howard Jacobson, who wrote the following.

The mood of those months inevitably found its way into my novel. I wanted to record what it was like being Jewish in this country then, when it seemed reasonable to ask whether loathing of Israel would spill into loathing of Jews - such a thing is not beyond the bounds of possibility - and whether a new Kristallnacht was in the offing.

All I can say today is, perhaps Jacobson is not so wrong. Hatred of minority group. Check. Nasty, bigoted politics based on fauxtrage. Check.

Update Saturday 31/7 10:30 am: should have written this last night, but this is getting a lot of reaction. Statement on Cordoba House Controversy J Street and commentary on that from Matthew Yglesias (also Jewish).

Yes this is becoming something of an obsession with me too. Comments on Standpoint blogs don't count for much. The only person who bothered to reply to my comment made my point better than I could hope to, so I left it there. I think that the ADL have sided with some really poisonous and bigoted people.

Another update Sat 3:45 pm. I like this tweet:

My alienation from and disgust with the "organized Jewish community" (and the polity of Israel) is close to complete.

Another update Sat 9 pm Gawker: ADL Sides With Bigots Against Ground Zero Mosque, Officially Outlives Its Purpose. I've yet to see any Decent commentary on this. Norman Geras seems to have taken today off, perhaps tired out after strenuous huffing at Ed Miliband. Do let us know if anyone defends the ADL's "ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain —unnecessarily — and that is not right."


Blogger Robin said...

It's a bit like saying no-one should have abortions because it will cause pro-life people "pain". People have different opinions, and our freedom shouldn't be constrained by the fact that someone merely has a different opinion to ours.

7/31/2010 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Two good posts on this by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight: Polls, Reporting on "Ground Zero Mosque" May Mislead (of the five possible responses to Cordoba House he lists, I'd say I was a 2, with sympathy for 3; I consider 5 to be fascist) and A Street-Level View of the "Ground Zero Mosque".

8/01/2010 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Re the incomplete unpacking job producing positions 1-5 (false pentachotomy?)

Where is: 'fuck off, this is a non-issue whose very prominence, regardless of what is actually said about it, constitutes a propaganda success'?


The ADL, such charmers:

We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.

I'm not a racist, but

there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site. We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001. aren't they just, the sensitive flowers

The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location - 'emerged', like the morning dew

is counterproductive to the healing process. (The what? Give it a rest; it's 9 years ago.) Therefore, under these unique circumstances, - it's unique every time with these cunts when they want to get away with something, isn't it. Not like the prevailing climates, worrying trends and perennial tropes they are confronted with...

we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found. - the Municipal Interest

In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful ('mindful' again - stilted vocab used repeatedly is a pretty good prima f. indication of a formula covering something bent. Next step - check for equivocation, nebulosity etc.; cf 'Hallmarks'. Here idiosyncratic preoccupation -> something important. Not even 'just saying': 'just thinking')

that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values. - "we will not stoop to mentioning the entirely irrelevant matter of X (which also relieves us of any need to substantiate anything.)"

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site...But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.

they may have the right, but that's 'not the question'. So the right doesn't count.

The correct question to ask is 'what is right': building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right - "there is (there really is, you know) a feature of the proposed state of affairs which is regrettable, bad. So that's 'not right'. So some course of action is not right all-things-considered."

'Unnecessarily' works well here: it's obviously unnecessary - it could be avoided, as almost anything could. So it's an instance of causing unnecessary - gratuitous, costlessly avoidable - (supposed) harm. (This is harm in the dubious sense of taking offence, exception, issue: the active voice is used for good reason.)

8/01/2010 11:48:00 PM  

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