7 March 2013

Idiocy in world politics and how to draw attention to it, or draw attention away from the idiots

- from our correspondent at the Augean Stables

I very much agree with Joanne's thinking impulse. Only, expressing just the wish is not enough, you have to ask yourself the question: what can be done to make it happen?

Argueing with George Galloway is not going to draw the attention away from him. For that you would need to draw the attention to somewhere else. Normally the most effective way to draw attention is by setting yourself up as the center of attention. That's what Israel should do: by accusing the world of routinely denying the crime against humanity of which Israel is a victim since 1948, i.e. for 65 years now, no less. And Israel could easily do that, because it is true and easy to prove.

I wrote an email to Angela Merkel saying the same thing, but got no reply yet. They cannot very well reply officially: you must be out of your mind, not even Israel is making such an absurd claim. Because that would involve them in an explicit denial of the crime. Not replying on the other hand leaves them the excuse of not having received my message (it was 'lost').

Dionissis, I think, is reading too much psychology into Western politics (holocaust shame or guilt, inferiority complex towards Jewish morality), and the subconscious is an empty concept in any case. Unconsciousness or unawareness on the other hand is very much at the center of Western political decisions with regard to the 'conflict': unconsciousness of the inconsequential attitude that recognises Israel's 'right to exist' without recognising at the same time that those who are refusing to make peace with Israel are the criminals responsible for the conflict and not its victims. Unconsciousness which is dangerous because it can lead to well-intentioned decisions that are wrong, self-defeating, and amounting to blaming the victims themselves for their unfortunate fate.

To Wygart I would say: political attitudes towards the 'conflict' are more of a sideshow in Western politics, not symptoms of some new menace to democracy (beyond the usual). Which isn't meant to say that making wrong decisions in the Israel-islamist conflict cannot have seriously menacing consequences for Western civil society. But the Jews now have a state. That state should behave like any other state, and not like a Jewish state. It should accuse the world, and especially the Western democracies, of being inconsequential and anti-semitic by not recognising Israel's right to exist in peace. George Galloway is an idiot; Jakob Augstein also is an idiot, and a far more influential one, I would think; but they are not really valuable targets: the valuable targets are David Cameron and Angela Merkel. And it is my conviction that there are still enough decent Europeans who feel ashamed of their governments' participating in that charade of a 'peace process' that rehabilitates the criminals. They may even be a majority. But they are quite naturally a silent majority that will never step up to shout down the loud-talking intellectuals and politicians occupying the front of the scene. The only chance you have to get this silent majority to express itself (find itself some representatives to speak out for them) is by creating a focal point for them in public discourse. In Germany, this debate about Jakob Augstein's condemnation by the Simon Wiesenthal Center looks like a great opportunity to do that. The Israeli government should adopt a leading role in seizing that opportunity. (I mean, Jakob Augstein is defending Günter Grass's assertion that it is nuclear Israel that has become the principal menace to world peace! And he seems to be winning the debate! How can the Israeli government NOT react to such irresponsible and idiotic nonsense? In my opinion, they cannot simply leave that kind of defense to the SWC. It would be a show of unconscious irresponsibility on their part not very dissimilar of the irresponsibility displayed by the European governments themselves. Moreover, Angela Merkel herself has already complained(!) that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the German government to maintain a reasonable stance with these idiotic nonsensical ideas gaining traction in German public opinion. The Israeli government should take her up on her own words and show her how she, as chancellor, is supposed to deal with such idotic nonsensical ideas.) This is a fight. A fight Israel must win (i.e. cannot afford to lose - and Richard Landes is of course right that Europe can also not afford to lose it): in such cases you must go for the jugular, because there is no other way to win the fight. There is now a 65-year long history that proves that point, I would think.

Sure, Richard Landes says such things as well, but I see it either as part of his blogging style ('fisking') or as part of a larger explanation, from which I tend to take things selectively by applying Occam's razor. That's all I wanted to say, as I am far more interested in understanding politics by reducing the explanation than by enhancing it. And fundamentally I am convinced that the most powerful explanations are the 'negatives', the things not said and done that would make a real difference.

Miss Israel 2013 IDF Nominees

But Dionissis, the IDF women you showed me before were lovely! Why would I reconsider? I never doubted they knew how to defend themselves, but the thoughts they gave me were not thoughts of abduction or stabbing, God forbid! Mind you, in the mean time I learned a bit about how to defend myself with a pocket-knife, because when I was bragging earlier about running around with my pocket-knife in my pocket I didn't have the slightest idea of how the knife is to be held and used, except for peeling an apple. Someone showed me, and I'm better prepared now, although still much less interested in confrontation than in seduction.

The psychology I would be interested in is that of the 72 black-eyed houris. Here is a compilation from islamic sources you can find on the wikipedia page on houris: "a houri is a girl of tender age, having large breasts which are round (pointed), and not inclined to dangle, ... with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes, ... her sweat will smell like musk." These same people then complain about houris being used in Western adverts for lingerie or cars. OK, I tend to agree that it is a form of wasteful underemployment for houris. But these people also shoot living houris through the head with kalashnikovs! And then bomb pizzerias with people inside or fly airplanes into tall buildings also with people inside only to get their imaginary houris in paradise! That's not shortsightedness. It's more like toofarsightedness! I once suggested the idea of forming a living houri brigade to teach these boys some sense to a Moroccan girl in that same café. And she didn't find the idea stupid! She wasn't afraid of my staring either. And not interested at all in covering her hair. Which was lush and not something that should be covered. On my demand she uncovered more things for me. So sometimes you can see glimpses of hope. But they are rare, far too rare to make a difference. (Philippe Sollers made a big splash in 1983 with his book on "Femmes": "Le monde appartient aux femmes, c.à.d. à la mort. Là-dessus tout le monde ment." He made a big splash, but nobody listened, as usual.)

Jewish Nakbah (Pierre Rehov) - Jewish Girl with Franz Kafka's Eyes

PS: The same Moroccan young woman (30) said very nice things about Jewish people she had known in her childhood in Morocco. It wasn't always clear to me what she really meant, because I had thought that these Jewish people had been driven out before her birth. But we agreed entirely that it is all such a waste of human happiness! And all because of politics, and the general stupidity to fall into that trap of expecting good things from politics. That was mainly my conclusion, because she couldn't anymore follow me there, thought that the big people who had studied so much more than her probably knew what they were doing! People taken individually always should know better. But for that they need to trust themselves. Which they don't, most of the time. If I knew how to insert pictures into these comments, I would show you another fascinating Jewish girl having Franz Kafka's eyes, a picture I took from Pierre Rehov's film on the "Jewish Nakbah". She's behind bars, and there is a smugly smiling soldier guarding her. I find it an emblematic picture of this 'politics destroying human happiness' idea. Westerners tend to brag about 'freedom', but most of the time they don't know what they are talking about, reducing their idea of freedom to either political freedom (elections) or economic freedom (choosing your model of a car). It's childish and stupid. Muslims, and even islamists like Sayyid Qutb, often complain quite sensibly about that emptiness in Western life. I would think that that is also a good subject for a dialogue with them. Do you know of a good islamic blog where one could try to do that?


PPS: About the silent majority of decent people: I remember my Belgian grandmother almost spitting on her own carpet each time Yassir Arafat appeared on the news! "Den duvel" (the devil), she simply called him, missing the words and education for a fuller explanation of her thinking.

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