Sunday, December 04, 2011

Gutman's speech even worse than reported

The speech of US ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, that I mentioned earlier today is online.

And it is even worse than what YNet reported.
There is and has long been some amount of anti-Semitism, of hatred and violence against Jews, from a small sector of the population who hate others who may be different or perceived to be different, largely for the sake of hating. Those anti-Semites are people who hate not only Jews, but Muslims, gays, gypsies, and likely any who can be described as minorities or different. That hatred is of course pernicious and it must be combated. We can never take our eye off it or just dismiss it as fringe elements or the work of crazy people, because we have seen in the past how it can foment and grow. And it is that hatred that lawyers like you can work vigilantly to expose, combat and punish, maybe in conjunction with existing human rights groups.

I have not personally seen much of that hatred in Europe, though it rears its ugly head from time to time. I do not have any basis to think it is growing in any sense. But of course, we can never take our eye off of it, and you particularly as lawyers can help with that process.

So in some sense, that is the easy part of the analysis.

Let’s turn to the harder and more complex part.

What I do see as growing, as gaining much more attention in the newspapers and among politicians and communities, is a different phenomena. It is the phenomena that led Jacques Brotchi to quit his position on the university committee a couple of months ago and that led to the massive attention last week when the Jewish female student was beaten up. It is the problem within Europe of tension, hatred and sometimes even violence between some members of Muslim communities or Arab immigrant groups and Jews. It is a tension and perhaps hatred largely born of and reflecting the tension between Israel, the Palestinian Territories and neighboring Arab states in the Middle East over the continuing Israeli-Palestinian problem.

It too is a serious problem. It too must be discussed and solutions explored. No Jewish student – and no Muslim student or student of any heritage or religion – should ever feel intimidated on a University campus for their heritage or religion leading to academic leaders quitting in protest. No high school or grammar school Jewish student – and no Muslim high school or grammar school student or student of any heritage or religion – should be beaten up over their heritage or religion.

But this second problem is in my opinion different in many respects than the classic bigotry – hatred against those who are different and against minorities generally -- the type of anti-Semitism that I discussed above. It is more complex and requiring much more thought and analysis. This second form of what is labeled “growing anti-Semitism” produces strange phenomena and results.

Thus for example, I have been received well by Belgians everywhere in this country. I always get polite applause and sometimes more.

But the longest and loudest ovation I have ever received in Belgium came from the high school with one of the largest percentages of students of Arab heritage. It was in Molenbeek. It consisted of an audience dominated by girls with head scarves and boys named Mohammed, standing and cheering boisterously for a Jewish American, who belongs to two schuls and whose father was a Holocaust survivor. Let me just share a minute or two with you of a video clip from that visit....

These kids were not anti-Semitic as I have ever thought of the term. And I get a similar reaction as I engage with imans, at Iftars, and with Muslims communities throughout Belgium.

And yet, I know and I hear at the same time that the cheering occurs for this Jew, that within that same school and audience at Molenbeek, among those at the same Iftars, and throughout the Muslim communities that I visit, and indeed throughout Europe, there is significant anger and resentment and, yes, perhaps sometimes hatred and indeed sometimes and all too growing intimidation and violence directed at Jews generally as a result of the continuing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian territories and other Arab neighbors in the Middle East.

This is a complex problem indeed. It requires its own analysis and solutions. And the analysis I submit is not served simply by lumping the problem with past instances of anti-Jewish beliefs and actions or those that exist today among minority haters under a uniform banner of “anti-Semitism.”

It is I believe this area where community leaders – Jewish, Muslim, and third parties—where diplomats and religious leaders, where lawyers and professionals from both communities, where mothers and fathers, where university leaders and school administrators, can make the most difference by working to limit converting political and military tension in the Middle East into social problems in Europe. But it is the area too – both fortunately and unfortunately -- where the largest part of the solution remains in the hands of government leaders in Israel and the Palestinian territories and Arab countries in the Middle East. It is the area where every new settlement announced in Israel, every rocket shot over a border or suicide bomber on a bus, and every retaliatory military strike exacerbates the problem and provides a setback here in Europe for those fighting hatred and bigotry here in Europe.

I said that it is both fortunate and unfortunate that the largest part of the solution for this second type of problem – too often lumped under a general banner of anti-Semitism is in the hands of Israel, the Palestinians and Arab neighbors in the Middle East. It is fortunate because it means that, unlike traditional hatred of minorities, a path towards improving and resolving it does at least exist. It is crucial for the Middle East – but it is crucial for the Jewish and Arab communities in Europe and for countries around the globe – that Mid-East peace negotiations continue, that settlements abate, and that progress towards a lasting peace be made and then such a peace reached in the Middle East. Were a lasting peace in the Middle East to be reached, were joint and cooperative Israeli-Arab attentions turned to focus instead on such serious, common threats such as Iran, this second type of ethnic tension and bigotry here in Europe – which is clearly growing today – would clearly abate. I can envision the day when it disappears. Peace in the Middle East would indeed equate with a huge reduction of this form of labeled “anti-Semitism” here in Europe.

It is at the same time somewhat unfortunate that most of the cause and thus most of the solution for tension and hatred in Europe, for growing problems at Belgian universities, for epithets in the streets, rest with governments and people a continent away. For, in some respect, citizens, parents, religious and community leaders here in Europe can simply try to promote understanding and patience, while ensuring law enforcement serves its mission, without being able fully to address the most root causes and most efficient cures.

It is a challenge for us all. I hope it is one you will address in this conference.

Thanks so much and all the best.
Howard Gutman is a credulous, gullible idiot.

If his theory was correct, that Israeli actions cause Arab Jew-hatred and that diplomacy would reduce it, then the least amount of Jew-hatred in the Arab world must be seen in Egypt and Jordan, who have peace treaties with Israel.

But the exact opposite is the case - those are the states with the most hatred of Jews!

How can Gutman explain that?

Is it because Jordanians and Egyptians love Palestinian Arabs so much? But in fact they discriminate against their Palestinian residents?

He can't explain it. Chances are, he isn't even aware of it.

Yes, Arabs and Muslims  pretend that their modern version of anti-semitism is completely political - or at least they have been making that claim since 1967, or since 1948. But in fact the Jew-hatred, which has been richly documented in this site as well as many others, is exactly that - against Jews. Ask the hundreds of thousands of Jews who have been forced out of Arab lands whether they lost their homes because they were "Zionists." Ask the Jews of Hebron in 1929 if their "Zionist" activities is what caused the riots that killed scores of them.

Just because the excuses they use for their modern Jew-hatred is couched in terms of human rights and Palestinian Arab nationalism does not mean that it is true, any more than Nazi claims that Jews were "declaring war" on them in 1933 was true.

The Arabs have learned that Westerners are  more amenable to arguments using human rights and liberal terminology, so that is what their current manifestation of Jew-hatred resembles.

Gutman, and far too many other stupid, gullible American Jews, actually believe the words of soft-spoken Arab leaders wearing suits in Western media interviews, when they are saying the exact opposite in Arabic to their real audiences. A quick glance at Palestinian Media Watch shows literally hundreds of examples, and MEMRI fills in the rest from the larger Arab world.

Amazing, mind-blowing idiocy. From a US ambassador.

The Wikileaks memos have shown that most State Department employees are pretty bright and have a good grasp on what they are doing. There are some great analyses to be seen there.

But political appointees who get plum jobs because of their fundraising activities are not exactly the same, are they?

(h/t CHA)