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Friday, December 29, 2023


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James Soriano wrote the following comment but placed it in the wrong thread. Here is where it belongs:

The author contends that a “Kronstadt moment” can have a social dimension; it can affect large segments of society and need not be understood as merely a personal experience that occurs when one comes to realize that his belief in the rightness of a certain cause can no longer be held. He's saying the October 7 massacre is affecting the world outlook of many liberal ands progressive. Many of them have been shaken by the sight of people they once considered friends and allies are now excusing the mass murder and mayhem committed by Hamas terrorists. Old ties, personal and political, are being broken. The pro-Palestinian wave seems to have two types: — Those who cheer Hamas and celebrate its bloody feats. This is seen in the emotions and the chants of the street demonstrators and even in the current wave of attacks on Jews. — Those who are silent or dissemble, professionals, college professors, those who just can’t bring themselves to describe the events of October 7 in plain English. Some need “context.” This group glosses over October 7 and diverts into complaints about Israeli tactics in its counter-attack. Both groups present problems, both groups shake libersls, but the second is especially alarming because it is the default position of many in the elites on both sides of the Atlantic. Bill, your header links Hamas, DEI, and Kronstadt with the idea of cognitive dissonance. What these things have in common is that you don’t have to be an expert in any of them to know the difference between right and wrong. But you do have to have the moral sense to recognize evil when you see and call it for what it is.

Thanks for the response, James.

Are you familiar with Chris Hedges? I'd be interested in your comments on this: https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/the-evil-israel-does-is-the-evil-df3

I heard Hedges speak on C-SPAN back in 2012. He was promoting a book of his on pornography. I was impressed with the man and the soundness of the ideas he was communicating. But I don't know what to make of his anti-Israel Substack articles.

Chris Hedges is no friend of Israel, that’s for sure.

I found it hard to pick out a theme. Hedges brought in several of them, including a reminiscence of a Holocaust survivor, but what struck me is that he makes Israel out to be the first mover in cycles of violence. That seems to be the framing concept. We see it in the piece’s title: if you do evil, evil comes back to you, and Israel does plenty of evil. Hedges is speaking from within the “oppressor-oppressed” narrative. To him, the oppression of the Palestinians is hard-wired into the nature of the Jewish state.

In places Hedges grapples with the problem of evil, — and of evil on a great scale, mass killings. “To understand is not to condone,” he said in the context of Hamas’ decision to attack. He doesn’t approve of what happened on October 7, but wants to understand it so as to find a way to stop the cycles of violence.

I do hope Israel prevails in battle. Hamas will be crushed and Gaza demilitarized. But Israel is already paying dearly for a victory not yet won. It is friendless, demonized as racist and genocidal, and in the eyes of much of the world has no right to exist. For many of Israel’s critics, there really is nothing Israel can do to win their sympathies save but to vote itself out of existence. Hedges doesn’t say that, but he leans there.

I think 'Gazans' is a better name for these 'oppressed' people than 'Palestinians' since the whole area including Israel is Palestine. 'Palestinian Arabs' is not quite right either since some of the citizens of Israel are Arabs and Israel is in Palestine.

Is there some reason why 'Gazans' is not more widely used?

The Gazans no doubt feel oppressed but are they really being oppressed by the Israelis? They are no doubt inferior to the Israelis in several ways and they resent being inferiro. This is part of their felt oppression. Their Jew hatred is in large part envy. Is it not?

I am just asking questions in an attempt to understand this mess which is not confined to the Middle East given the insane immigration policy or rather 'non-policy' of the Biden administration. Islamists who are allowed in, or barge in, to the USA bring their inferior culture with them and all their ancient hatreds. Which leads to their fighting battles here that ought to be kept over there.

On second thought, the Biden approach is intentional, and therefore a policy alright: the intention is to destroy the USA as she was founded to be.

And we probably won't be able to halt the destruction given the RINOs in the Republican ranks. I'd like to refer to Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney as SCUM, gven how destructive they are, but they seem like nice, well-intentioned people. Given that they are not stupid, what goes on in their heads?

Alan Dershowitz, Who Supports Hamas? https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20261/who-supports-hamas

The Iranian Regime's Killing Machine. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/20262/iran-killing-machine

BHO was my Kronstadt moment. He made my skin crawl. Evil always does that to me. I could feel the hate coming from him. I didn't care about Bill Clinton, or the Bushes. But Obama ! I felt he was dangerous and I had to beware, had to be on the defensive, had to fend off all the slimy lies. And I had conservative Jewish woman friends who felt the same way.

The word “oppressed” belongs to both Gazans and West Bank Palestinians, so goes the criticism, because Israel administers an “apartheid” regime on the West Bank; hence, West Bankers are oppressed. I don’t buy the apartheid rap. The indignities endured by West Bankers result from military occupation, which I think is the proper term. “Apartheid” entered the Middle East lexicon as yet another way of demonizing Israel.

The terms “Palestinian Arabs” and “Palestinian Jews” were in currency during the British Mandate (1920-1948). Before the creation of Israel, the two groups would be referred to that way in Western newspapers.

Somewhere on YouTube there is an interview with Golda Meir (1898-1978) in which she says, “I’m a Palestinian,” meaning that as a young woman she held a passport issued by British Mandatory Palestine.

Dershowitz makes the important observation that there is a strong anti-American current in the pro-Palestinian street demonstrations.

Mine came in 1975 when, exiled from the CPUSA and socially isolated, I gave myself permission to read Robert Conquest's "The Great Terror."

Thanks for the comment, Tony. The CPUSA gave you the boot? I thought you left on your own.

Robert Conquest is good. Have you read Harvest of Sorrow on the forced collectivization of (what used to be called) the Ukraine. From that book I learned that it was Nikita "Shoebanger" Kruschev who was Stalin's main man for the implementation of the collectivization.

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