Sunday, December 26, 2004

Islam(ism)=Nazism, Hitler says so... Update

I just finished a chilling review by Professor Omer Bartov in the recent New Republic (and now available here) of the English edition of Hitler's unpublished sequel toi Mein Kampf. In it, Bartov shows that while Hitler may be dead, his ideas are alive and well in the anti-globalization movement, on the European Left and especially among Muslims (he calls them Islamists. I don't think there's a big difference).

His bottom line is that it's time to call a spade a spade. There is a tide of genocidal anti-semitism threatening the Jewish People throughout the world. Furthermore, it's time we stopped deluding ourselves.

What we are witnessing today is a broad front of opinion, spanning the entire spectrum of the political and religious scene, whose criticism of American and Israeli policies, and whose fears and phobias about present conditions, utopian dreams of a better future, and nostalgic fantasies of a mythical past, all converge in a bizarre and increasingly frightening way on a single figure, a single cause: "the Jew." I have long believed that it is pointless, and dishonorable, to debate anti-Semites. Such an exchange of "ideas" only confers legitimacy upon them. But there are times when absurdities become political facts and cannot be ignored. They must, instead, be directly challenged--not by explaining their violent ideas and feelings away, but by putting limits to them through all available means, political, judicial, and, if necessary, by the use of legitimate force. For these are people who mean what they say. If you do not destroy them, they will destroy you. There are precedents for this.

He closes his piece with an important warning:

So Hitler is dead, but there is a Hitlerite quality to the new anti-Semitism, which now legitimizes not only opposition to Zionism but also the resurrection of the myth of Jewish world domination. And those who foolishly think that doing away with Israel, not least in a "one-state solution," would remove anti-Semitism had better look more closely at the language of these enemies. For they--I mean the enemies--insist that the Jews are everywhere, and so they must be uprooted everywhere. Their outpost may be Israel, but their "power center" is in America, and their synagogues and intellectuals are in Germany and France, and their academics are in Russia and Britain. Since they are the cause of all evil and misfortune, the world will be a happier place without them, whether it is dominated by the Aryan Master Race or by the ideological soldiers of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hitler taught humanity an important lesson. It is that when you see a Nazi, a fascist, a bigot, or an anti-Semite, say what you see. If you want to justify it or excuse it away, describe accurately what it is that you are trying to excuse away. If a British newspaper publishes an anti-Semitic cartoon, call it anti-Semitic. If the attacks on the Twin Towers were animated by anti-Semitic arguments, say so. If a Malaysian prime minister expresses anti-Semitic views, do not try to excuse the inexcusable. If a self-proclaimed liberation organization calls for the extermination of the Jewish state, do not pretend that it is calling for anything else. The absence of clarity is the beginning of complicity.