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  • Helen Thomas the Harbinger

    Posted by Shannon Love on June 7th, 2010 (All posts by )

    Today, Helen Thomas’s racist comments forced her retirement. This is not a victory. It is a harbinger.

    Within five years at most, those very same comments will be accepted wisdom by the leftmost 1/3 of the American political spectrum and they will routinely voice such views in the public discourse without shame or remorse. No one will lose their job because they advocate the destruction of Israel.

    The evolution has already begun. Scan the comments on the story at Huffington Post. Clearly many on the left already don’t find those sentiments shocking or beyond the pale.

    We have seen this process before. In 1966, if had you told someone, say Robert Kennedy, that by 1971: (1) a Harvard educated, US Naval Reserve Officer would be lying under oath before Congress by claiming that American soldiers had become little better than the Waffen SS and (2) his accusations would be treated as gospel and applauded by one good third of the American polity, well, they would have laughed in your face and called you hysterical. If you had told that person in 1966 that by 1971, the majority of America’s public intellectuals would be producing long-winded justifications for why the people of Indochina would be better off under communist rule than otherwise, they would have committed you.

    Yet, that evolution from merely viewing the war as poorly fought and of dubious practical value to evidence that America was little better than Nazi Germany took just a few brief years. Even today, the people who made such delusional statements are well regarded members of the American left.

    Back in the ’60s, the left staked its reputation on the idea that America was to blame for all of the bloodshed in Indochina. They completely and utterly ignored anything the communists did no matter how vile. Today, they’ve staked their reputation on the assertion that Israel’s evil actions are the controlling factor in the conflict in the region. They ignore anything that the enemies of Israel do, no matter how vile.

    By publicly proclaiming such a delusional outlook, they are forced to adopt ever increasingly radical assertions in order to justify their de facto alliance with evil. The only way they could justify carrying water for the communists in Indochina was to paint America as being even worse. Today, the only way they can justify carrying water for the racist, sexist, homophobic, brutal autocrats of the Middle East is to claim that Israel is even worse and/or that the actions of the autocrats are just reactions to whatever bad thing Israel has done.

    Leftism is ultimately driven by the collective narcissism and hubris of individual leftists. They choose positions because those positions make them feel superior to everyone else. Leftists back autocrats because any idiot can back the liberal democracy but it takes a great genius to understand that it’s really the vicious thugs who are the good guys.

    Their ego-driven analysis causes them to adopt the same basic arguments, in widely different circumstances, over and over again as deterministically as the orbits of planets. In any conflict between a liberal democracy and a non-democratic entity, they will inevitably side with the non-democratic entity because everyone else in society will back the liberal democracy. Even in conflicts between different levels of authoritarianism, they will select the most authoritarian.

    As the regional enemies of Israel have grown more and more brutal to everyone, even their own people, the western left has grown more and more hostile to Israel. They have to justify their support of the autocrats by increasingly smearing Israel. They can’t help themselves, because they act from self-centered emotion instead of dispassionate reason.

    The left has created a trajectory for themselves that will quickly but inevitably lead all of them to voice the same views that forced Helen Thomas from public life. Indeed, we can assume that Thomas felt comfortable making those comments on tape because such beliefs are already widely accepted by her political circle. She didn’t consider them beyond the pale because she hears them all the time.

    Thomas, then, is but the tip of the iceberg or, more aptly, the tip of the shark’s dorsal fin just breaking the surface of the water. Whatever metaphor we choose, she is a harbinger of how ugly things are going to get. She is the dark edge of the gathering storm.

    It’s 1938, not 1945.

     

    37 Responses to “Helen Thomas the Harbinger”

    1. tehag Says:

      Perhaps the post will open the position to a younger candidate, someone in his or her 70s, or maybe even 60s, whose mind isn’t fixed on antiquated ideas such as anti-Semitism.

    2. Robert Schwartz Says:

      My take is that the ghost of Soviet Foreign policy is still running the left.

    3. david foster Says:

      I’m afraid that the increasingly-open anti-Semitism on the Left will also awaken long-dormant anti-Semitism on the Right.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      David Foster,

      I’m afraid that the increasingly-open anti-Semitism on the Left will also awaken long-dormant anti-Semitism on the Right.

      I don’t think so. Most of the cultural roots of rightwing anti-Semtism have died out. The cultural bulwark of modern American culture are evangelical christians who view Jews as people to be protected. A lot of modern evangelical sects seem to even have decided that Jews don’t have to be converted. I’ve seen quite a quite a lot of reference to the idea that the second coming of Jesus is the actual Jewish Messiah and the first one was for the gentiles.

      If nothing else, those on the right will fight anti-Semitism by shear contrariness towards the left.

    5. Shannon Love Says:

      Robert Schwatz,

      My take is that the ghost of Soviet Foreign policy is still running the left.

      It looks like it but I think its just coincidental. I think the real driver is the psychology of leftists. I think that if space aliens suddenly invaded they would support the space aliens or at least make excuses for them even if they had no idea why they had attacked.

    6. Anonymous Says:

      Within 5 years? It already is accepted as truth. Thomas is just the first one to get caught outright.

    7. Tatyana Says:

      David: didn’t expect to hear it from you. That’s my thought, too – but then, I’m the atheist who grew up in the Evil Empire, and a Jew to boot. And everybody in the Right knows – those evil secular Jews are all commies who came here to get them.

      So what’s new?

    8. David Foster Says:

      Tatyana…to clarify, I think it’s a pretty small segment of those on the Right.

    9. Tatyana Says:

      No.

    10. Michael Kennedy Says:

      I think a lot of the anti-Semitism of the left is coming from the same source as their hatred of capitalism and economic success. Jews are widely believed, especially by the poorly educated but also by the academic left, to be unusually able in business. A lot of black anti-Semitism was based on the fact that many businesses in black neighborhoods were run by Jews. The first real anti-Semitism I ever heard was from my black nursemaid in Chicago. She was a wonderful woman but had the usual black antipathy that originated from envy and a vague sense that they were exploited. A Jewish doctor friend of mine refers to himself as “a Jewish mutant” because of his poor business skills.

      The left thinks that all successful people, Jewish or not, are successful by tricking the poor into spending money on things they don’t need. You can see the same psychology at work in communist countries that have one design of auto and one style of clothing. Why would anyone want more than one basic style of warm clothing? The Mao jacket resulted and that seems to be an ideal of academics, at least for the lessor humans they plan to rule.

      I think anti-Semitism is related to anti-Americanism because we are a “consumer society.” Our children pollute the world with rock music or rap music or whatever the current fad is. To hear the complaints one would think that the academic listens only to opera and drives only economical cars and disdains popular culture. To some degree that is true but boasting about it is a characteristic of the intolerant elitist. That same demographic disdains Jews, and by association, Israel because they are seen as encouraging cultural crudity. It doesn’t make sense because many wealthy Jews share those prejudices but logic is not a strong talent of the left.

    11. Shannon Love Says:

      Tatyana,

      Not to go off topic but I think you need to relocate to another part of the country. I’ve spent a lot of time with some of the most rightwing religious people imaginable and I’ve never heard the least anti-semetic comment. At most, they don’t really understand Jewish culture because they come from parts of the country without lots of Jews.

      If I was a Jew in trouble, I’d make a beeline for nearest hyper-conservative evangelical. They’d step up for me and they’ve all got guns.

    12. DJF Says:

      As to the dying out of Rightwing anti-Semitism (or, more accurately, Jew-hatred), that is obviously true of the mainstream Right and the evangelicals. However, if you visit paleocon websites, like American Conservative and Alt Right, you find strident anti-Zionism that comes pretty close to anti-Semitism. The same is true of what are known as “human biodiversity” sites (such as Mangan). Also, if libertarianism can be considered part of the Right, most libertarians seem to be as anti-Israel as the Left. Needless to say, Ron and Rand Paul are not known to be Israel-supporters.

      I also note that it would be foolish to expect evangelical support for Israel to last in the long-run. From what I read, the younger generation of evangelicals are drifting leftward politically. I doubt that the kind of Christianity found in the megachurches has the intellectual resources to avoid being coopted or neutralized by the Left.

      Finally, leftwing American Jews – including most nonOrthodox rabbis and functionaries of secular Jewish organizations – now display (to varying degrees) the same sort of hostility to Israel one finds everywhere on the Left generally (although most camouflage their attacks with expressions of “support” for Israel’s right to exist). This has long been true of the Israeli Jewish Left.

    13. Brett_McS Says:

      There will always be those who resent achievement, and although resenting achievement is a foundational principle of leftism, they don’t have a monopoly on the emotion. Jews, as a group, are high achievers; by some quirk of genetics or whatever, they are smarter than the average bear. And that means – by virtue of the nature of normal distributions – that they dominate (especially in comparison to their numbers) the very top end of intellectual ability, where a lot of the serious progress is made. So they’re very visible as well, especially in this age where brain is more important than brawn than it ever was.

      A lot of conservatives are not supporters of the free market; they don’t understand that by virtue of free exchange, high achievers create more for others than they do for themselves; that high achievers, such as Jews, are a precious, valuable resource in any society. The Bible promises that nations that honour the ‘chosen people’ will themselves prosper and those that do not will fail. Just look at the world today – that’s a pretty good rule of thumb. It’s not necessary to invoke divine intervention to see why that is the case. Societies than honour and protect high achievers will themselves prosper.

    14. Tom Grey Says:

      Thanks for the reminder that anti-capitalist, anti-Christian Leftists “won” the political battle over Vietnam, causing the US to leave and not enforce the Paris Peace Accords.
      The lack of enforcement was, in the face of commie violation, acceptance of commie victory.

      The anti-war leftists actively opposed fighting commie genocide.
      This truth, of how the alternative to US capitalism victory was genocide, needs more publicity.

      At the end of 2003, soon after J. Chait wrote of his hatred for Bush, I wrote up:
      Bush hate, Jew hate, Success hate.
      http://tomgrey.motime.com/1069182789#173964

      I think that, without Bush around to actively hate, and Palin hate being a weaker (but indulged in) feeling, Jew hate is being increased.

      I fear Iran getting a nuke, and Tel Aviv becoming a mushroom cloud.
      This Turkish led provocation was to increase the pre-emptive isolation of Israel, so as to stop Israel from attacking Iran before Iran gets a nuke.
      Once Iran gets a nuke, their own rhetorical Jew hate will probably force to use it (60% within 5 years of a successful nuke test).
      I don’t see the current path of Israel as one where they are successful at stopping Iran without a big bombing campaign, which opens them up to even more international “big Jewish bully” accusations.

      If Israel is willing to nuke Tehran, and Damascus (and Istanbul?) after Tel Aviv is nuked, isn’t it better to do lesser damage sooner?
      Alternatively, if unwilling to fight back effectively before being nuked, maybe it’s better to surrender / evacuate?
      If the USA would allow 6 mil. Jews to immigrate to the USA, that would quickly solve the housing mess through increased demand, and likely lead to 1 or 2 % higher GDP growth in the next 5 years — but I don’t see Israelis asking for this, yet.

      Re-occupation of Gaza?
      Giving up all post ’67 territory? Giving up the Jewishness of Israel? I don’t see any terms that Israel is able to accept, now, that would be enough to stop nukes.
      I’m so sad, and incapable of doing anything.

    15. Tatyana Says:

      Shannon: thanks. I’m not running.

    16. Shannon Love Says:

      DJF,

      However, if you visit paleocon websites, like American Conservative and Alt Right, you find strident anti-Zionism that comes pretty close to anti-Semitism.

      Yes, you’re right. I keep forgetting about the Patrick Buchanan wing of the right. I think most of them are Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheren and other old-style hierarchal religions. Don’t see a lot of those in Texas.

      I should be careful not to generalize from own regional experience. However, the Buchanan wing seems to be in full retreat. I believe their base of support has been eroding for a very long time.

    17. Andrew_M_Garland Says:

      Shannon Love: Leftists choose positions because those positions make them feel superior to everyone else. Leftists back autocrats because any idiot can back the liberal democracy but it takes a great genius [sarc] to understand that it’s really the vicious thugs who are the good guys.

      This seems possible to me. Could you point to more data supporting this idea, that Leftists are driven to take the opposite view of any majority?

      I suggest the following, admitting I don’t have backup links. Consider it another plausable theory, needing more support.

      Leftists feel superior and that they are the natural owners of the world. Like us all, they see problems and conflicts. Their solution is to put themselves into power to control the populace and end the problems.

      They plan to impose the proper ideas and correct bad thinking. They don’t restrict themselves to the truth while doing this. They assume that people don’t think well enough to direct their own lives. So, they don’t try to persuade people in an intellectual way. Their arguments are more like advertising slogans, working on the assumptions of their audience and taking advantage of flawed thinking.

      It is impossible to have an informed discussion with a Lefty, because their “facts” are chosen to be persuasive, not necessarily because they are true. They will never admit an incorrect fact, because persuasion is more important than the truth. They will change the discussion to another “fact” when pressed on the truth of a first fact.

      They see an autocratic society as half-way to the goal, regardless of the anti-liberal policies of that society. Control first, good policies second.

      So, they defend the right of a society to be autocratic. For example, they admire Muslim societies because of the autocratic control, despite some quibbles about a lack of freedom for the populace. They assume they will have a preferred position anyway, and will not be subject to the objectionable parts of autocratic control.

      Why are U.S. Lefties antisemitic and anti-Israel? That is the position of the autocratic societies that fit their plans. They can get support from those societies to oppose and eventually control the U.S. Opposing Israel and sacrificing the lives and freedom of six million Israelis is a small price to pay for support of their own plans.

    18. Michael Kennedy Says:

      One more small point: The level of anti-Israel rhetoric from the left may have increased as Israel became less socialist. Netanyahu is well known as an economic conservative and free trader, both policies anathema to the left. The recent anti-Israel piece in one of the left wing magazines (I can’t find it now to link to it) mentioned something about the “partial Likud” government of Netanyahu. There is one key to the left’s antipathy. Those Israeli right wingers are every bit as distasteful as the American variety.

      Israel was a socialist state the first 50 years and there was, at least, that fraternal solidarity to consider. Now, it is the world’s leader in venture capital and new entrepreneurs. No wonder the left is angry with them.

    19. Shannon Love Says:

      Andrew_M_Garland

      This seems possible to me. Could you point to more data supporting this idea, that Leftists are driven to take the opposite view of any majority?

      Actually, I think they’re just attracted to any view that allows them to think of themselves as members of an elite. If they were in a society that venerated them and granted them dominion over others, they would be rabid conservatives. For example, in many of the large urban areas of the US the political machines there have been leftwing for decades and the leftist there defend them to the death even as the cities implode.

      The best support for this idea would be both Marxism and Freudianism the great-granddaddies of modern leftist thought. Both of these where pseudo-scientific fallacies endorsed by generations of leftists. Only when they were driven into the ground where they abandoned. At no time did either have any experimental evidence to back up their sweeping statements about human society and psychology. Yet, they were widely accepted as cold hard scientifically verified fact by leftists.

      What both did have in common, however, was a model of society that privileged articulate-intellectuals. As Marx himself said, in the future Communist utopia men would be differentiated only by their innate intellectual capabilities. In other words, Marxism presents a world in which all forms of competition, military, economic, even political (“the state will whither away”) except the intellectual would end. In the Marxist utopia, only the writer, the actor, the philosopher etc would receive special recognition.

      Likewise, by making psychology a matter of symbolism, Freudianism made the articulate intellectual the arbiter of reality. Only the articulate-intellectuals, could explain why people acted as they did or (more importantly) what would make them happy and peaceful.

      I think the leftists delusions on both Vietnam and Israel fit this pattern. It (1) helps them think of themselves as being counterintuitive geniuses and (2) it actually allows them to inject themselves into events that otherwise they would otherwise play no role in.

    20. methinks Says:

      Well, after reading the comments and living in and around the Soviet Socialist Republic of New York City for the past 15 years and meeting lots and lots of American Jews (including members of my long lost Jewish side of the family who immigrated from Russia/Poland before the Revolution and can technically be considered American Jews), I’m even more confused why American Jews are mostly leftists.

      I think there’s a lot of truth in Shannon’s comment that they like to think they are part of an elite – a novel experience in the history of Jewish people around the world. I realize Shannon wasn’t talking about Jews in particular, but it still makes sense when applied to Jews. It’s still hard for me to understand. I just don’t get it.

      Michael,

      Israel is still extremely socialist. As long as they continue to be at war and as long as Jewish society tends toward more communal living as it has for an eternity already, they will always be socialist. I think the American left liked the Jewish state as long as it was a dependent underdog. The left loves dependents because they can feel so much better about themselves when they feel superior. They have liked Israel less and less as Israel became militarily stronger.

    21. methinks Says:

      Tatyana,

      I’m going to drop you a line on your blog soon. I have my aunt visiting from Moscow for the first time in her life. She’s like a new immigrant – eyes wide open, staring in disbelief that such a land can exist on earth. This, after she traveled extensively in Europe after the curtain disintegrated. These leftists have no idea what they’re trying to kill here. Let’s hope she’s not looking at the brilliant light of a super-nova called the United States.

      A little off topic. Sorry, Shannon.

    22. Andrew_M_Garland Says:

      To Shannon Love,

      Thanks for the additional insights.

      I did a research paper on psychology in college. I was assigned reading of Freud, and found him laughably complex and hyper-technical. It couldn’t just be a bad translation from the German. I was amazed that his statemements were accepted as scientific, when he was clearly giving names to various categories of behavior (Id, Ego, Super-Ego), then explaining things after the fact as various interactions between these mental states. No prediction was possible or required.

      This convinced me that anything called science has to be predictive, otherwise it is just story-telling with a technical gloss.

      We see the same thing now in economics. Krugman, the Keynesians, and Team Obama have named various parts of economic behavior, and are spinning stories where no prediction is possible or required. Just as you pointed out about Freud, this economic story is used by progressives to justify seizing power.

    23. Alan K. Henderson Says:

      This question is a lot more serious than it sounds…was there a time when Helen Thomas was a real journalist and not a long-winded barroom pontificator?

    24. Tatyana Says:

      Methinks – sure, I’d like to hear from you.

    25. Shannon Love Says:

      Andrew_M_Garland,

      This convinced me that anything called science has to be predictive, otherwise it is just story-telling with a technical gloss.[emp added]

      Heh, in evolutionary biology these are called “Just So Stories” after Rudyard Kipling’s collection of the same name. A biologist sees an attribute of a species, defines it as the optimum design (because otherwise it wouldn’t have evolved) and then creates a story of how natural selection produced it. Such stories are ex post facto explanations that are untestable. They might be right, they might be wrong but it is impossible to tell.

      Biology used to rife with them but now we are all taught this as a cautionary tale. Many attributes of species aren’t strictly speaking the results of natural selection. Some are just side effects of attributes that are selected for. Some are atavism. Some result from particular arrangement of the species chromosomes etc.

      Biologist got stuck with just-so-stories because they couldn’t crawl under the hood and see how things ticked. Now that we can, they are much less rare and usually flagged as speculation. Economist is in the pre-scientific stage where it can’t really measure anything repeatedly. They can’t crawl under the hood so they create just-so-stories.

      With the exception of the free-market schools, all economic theories are just-so-stories. Free-market theories are different because they are based on the idea that we can’t measure and model the economy in any kind of useful way. Free-market theories don’t seek to predict the behavior of the economy but are instead detailed explanations of why non-freemarket theories don’t predict what their adherents claim they don.

    26. Tatyana Says:

      Here’s a fresh example (to David’s comment on 6/7 @4:18):
      Breitbart commenters discussed idiotic pronouncement by A.Weiner that anybody who speaks for BP with a British accent are lying.
      Naturally, the comebacks from the audience go along the line “anyone with NNN accent is lying”. So, what NNN they choose? [remember, these are libertarian/rightwing commenters]
      Predictably, NNN is
      a) Democrat
      b) politician
      c) Jew.
      Yes, here it is: comment by one American, June 7 at 1:12.
      “And anyone speaking with a Yiddish accent is equally a racist…This weeny feller is a joke. Does he speak for all Jews?”
      Another one, by poetopoet:
      “These N.Y. jews are what Helen Thomas wants to send Back Germany and Poland, I agree with her. When do the trains and busses leave, anyway? They will be free too?”

      Etc.
      And you think, Shannon, it makes any difference to me, are these people Lutherans, Evangelicals, atheists or Buddhist? Or that they are on my, libertarian, side politically?

      Plague on both your houses, (R)&(D); that’s what comes to mind.

    27. tehag Says:

      OK, I’m a bit of a loss here. Tatyana says there are right-wing anti-Semites. Yup, there are. There is still some (I wouldn’t know how much) RC anti-Semitism, among other kinds. But Tatyana’s fresh examples of libertarian-rightwing anti-Semitism from Breitbart are no such thing.

      I read “American’s” response at Breitbart. Tatyana’s quoted “And anyone speaking with a Yiddish accent is equally a racist…This weeny feller is a joke. Does he speak for all Jews?” is ironic mockery of Wiener. American makes the same assumption Wiener makes about Brits to expose Weiner’s prejudice. It is not an expression of prejudice against Jews.

      ‘the comebacks from the audience go along the line “anyone with NNN accent is lying”. ‘

      Of course they are, and they are examples which mock Wiener’s silly statement. American also writes

      “Is this the reason Hillary snubbed the Queen? The Queen has a brit accent?”

      This is not expression of bigotry (against Queens or Brits), anymore than the line Tatyana quoted.

      “Predictably, NNN is
      a) Democrat
      b) politician
      c) Jew.”

      Are these the categories to which Wiener belongs? (I don’t know.) If so, of course the ‘XXX’ would be chosen from those categories. How else would you ironically mock someone other than by applying their own foolish logic to themselves? Plus your statement is factually incorrect. Here are American’s other examples:

      Geico gecko – I confess I don’t know the lizard’s political or religious affiliation, but I’m sure it hasn’t announced for public office.

      Queen Elizabeth – neither Democrat, politician, or Jew.

      british speaking progressives, usually feminine – Democrats, maybe; politicians, maybe; Jews, maybe. More likely: Communists, retired “journalists”; atheists.

      Two predictions blown already: re-calibrate.

    28. Tatyana Says:

      Tehag – it isn’t?

      Weiner does not speaks with “Yiddish accent”. He’s an American. Just like his fellow citizen “American” who decided to recall origins of Weiner’s ancestors. If “American” wanted to mock Weiner’s accent why not refer to him as Democrat, Marxist or even New Yorker – as others done on the same thread?
      No, he found the characteristic in Weiner he hates most: his Jewishness. And not just Jewishness – but his “Yiddish” accent, as in – Ashkenazi Jew from Central Europe.

      Nothing I said is “blown already”.

      What’s blown is the Right’ alleged friendliness to Jews.

    29. Tatyana Says:

      Another thing: where I came from (yep, Eastern Europe. I am an Ashkenazi Jew – although I don’t know any Yiddish) it is considered rude and cowardly to reply to a person but not address her directly, and refer to her “3rd person”.

    30. Shannon Love Says:

      Tatyana,

      …it is considered rude and cowardly to reply to a person but not address her directly, and refer to her “3rd person”.

      I think the evolved standard is that you only address the person directly if preference your comments with an address to the person. Remember, despite the perceived intimacy of a thread, it’s not actually a face-to-face encounter. After all, sometimes you’re commenting on an old thread or otherwise have no expectation that the person who made the response will ever be on the thread again.

      As for the substance of Tehag arguments. I agree. The post by America is clearly satire and the post by poetopoet was probably meant to be written.

      What a jerk, in the J. Biden type, [If] These N.Y. jews are what Helen Thomas wants to send Back Germany and Poland, [then] I agree with her. When do the trains and busses leave, anyway? They will be free too?

      But will they be water and Weiner proof?

      It doesn’t make much sense otherwise.

      I think there is some resentment among upper northeastern non-leftists against urban Jews who tend to support many very leftwing policies in a very public manner. In places like New York, Jews have historically had the identification with leftwing, pro-state power ideas as do African-Americans and before them the Irish. When groups vote in blocks, they generate resentment towards the group from the people they target with government power. It’s always been that way and the only way it stops is when the groups stop block voting. Now that Jews are breaking away from the Democratic party and stopping block voting, I think well see a significant decrease in the remaining resentment on the right.

      On the other hand, it looks like it will just shift to the left.

      And you think, Shannon, it makes any difference to me, are these people Lutherans, Evangelicals, atheists or Buddhist? Or that they are on my, libertarian, side politically?

      It should. Frankly, Jews are to much of a distributed minority to protect themselves if the majority of local population turns on them. They have to have allies. In the 20th century, members of traditional religions have been far more reliable allies of Jews than secular types. Look at the relationship between Communist partisans in Eastern Europe and Jews trying to hide. It got very ugly. By contrast, most of the people horrifically murdered for hiding Jews were deeply religious. The secular resistance to the Nazi really just didn’t care that much.

      To survive in this world you need people like Casper Ten Boom:

      On February 28, 1944, the Gestapo raided his house and arrested Casper and his daughters. As he was interrogated, the Gestapo told him they would release him because of his age so that he could “die in his own bed”. He replied: “If I go home today, tomorrow I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help”.[4] On March 10, Casper died at the Hague Municipal Hospital at the age of 84 after only ten days in Scheveningen Prison. When Casper was asked if he knew he could die for helping Jews, he replied, “It would be an honor to give my life for God’s chosen people.”[2]

      In order to discourage the hiding of the Jews in Eastern Europe the Nazi killed those who did in the most horrific manner possible. Not only did they kill the entire family by hanging them slowly with thin cord but they hung the children first from the youngest to the oldest and made the parents and the older sibling watch until they too faced death by slow strangulation.

      Tatyana, I like to think of myself as a brave person. I think that if things got really bad like that again and you showed up on my doorstep seeking sanctuary that my spouse and I would risk our own lives without hesitation. But honestly, if I knew that the penalty would be the very high probability of the tortuous death of my children and grandchildren… I am very much afraid that I would send you off into the night.

      My agnosticism/atheism robs me of the strength I would need to take that risk. I believe this is all the life my children get and I don’t have obedience to a larger moral responsibility that would justify such a risk as would many religious people.

      In some sense all atheist have to regard all religions as made up stories. However, had you been alive in WWII and showed up on the doorstep of the ten Boom household, their adherence to those made up stories would have saved your life.

    31. Tatyana Says:

      Shannon,

      – if I want to reply to something other person said on a tread – be it 20 min ago or 20 or 20 months, I address that person. That’s just a basic courtesy.

      – you’re wrong about those 2 quotes by commenters @Breitbart. If you want to find excuses for them or interpret their words as “satire” – it’s your choice. You probably have your reasons for this apology. This is plain, direct manifestation of anti-Semitism, however you dress it.

      – about “resentment” against Jews: that’s what David said at the beginning of the tread, i.e. resentment against leftists (who actually are more anti-semitic than anybody else) turns into resentment against Jews altogether. If you belong to the group, you’re marked, no matter what your personal views or politics. That’s classic anti-semitism that I and millions of Soviet Jews experienced (“you have a wrong name” or a “long nose”. Yes, I heard both) – and which was the reason we left the country of our birth as refugees. I’m not going to go through it again, to prove to each and everyone that “I’m not a camel”, when they assume I am, by default. Enough.

      – your example is only part of a broader specter, Shannon. Yes, in the War there were people who have hidden Jews out of their religious/Christian conviction. There were others who did it for money (much more of those instances, btw, than purely altruistic ones). Then there were others who would take the money and hide Jews until they run out of things to pay for protection with – then they will rat on them to the Germans. Then there were secular neighbors who hidden Jews (as well as communists, gypsies or Soviet soldiers – any category of “untermenschen”) just out of the goodness of their hearts. And then there were partisans who murdered their brother-in-arms because they were Jews. And a lot of those people were Christians, too, and they considered themselves justified. A big part of that justification was exactly the one you defend – that “all those Jews are Communists and atheists. And they crucified the Savior.” That exact ghost of justification is being resurrected now.

      Don’t you think I know a bit about history? It’s my own history, Shannon, my family’s history.

      I’m sure there will be Jews who’ll make their best to close their eyes and plug their ears and overlook certain statements from American Christians – because, as you said, they need allies for survival.

      I will not.

      Oh, and don’t wory – whatever happened, I, personally, will not darken your threshold.

    32. Shannon Love Says:

      Tatyana,

      you’re wrong about those 2 quotes by commenters @Breitbart If you want to find excuses for them or interpret their words as “satire” – it’s your choice.

      Well, if you want to appear to be paranoid and foolish, that’s your choice. I just don’t think the vast majority of people reading those comments in context will interpret them as literal comments. That kind of makes them more likely to discount anything else you say. “Cry wolf” when there isn’t a wolf and people learn to distrust you.

      That’s classic anti-semitism that I and millions of Soviet Jews experienced…

      What’s interesting is that traditionally Jews were hated for being capitalist. In medieval times, Jews were the only real capitiaist. (Luther denounced Christian proto-capitialist as “Christian Jews”) Their association with leftism i.e. secular, collectivist politics is a distinctly 20th Century phenomena.

      I would also point out that America and especially the Red states have a radically different culture than the Soviet Ukraine. I’m not sure how relevant your experiences there are to understanding the political and social behavior of non-leftists Americans.

      Yes, in the War there were people who have hidden Jews out of their religious/Christian conviction.

      My spouse took a class on the Holocaust in college. Several of her sources indicated that over 80% of the people who died protecting Jews where deeply religious. I was very surprised at the time because I associate anti-semetism with religion. Most of them were extremely religious and belonged to marginalized denominations such as Huguenots in France. I’m not sure if that took into account the occupied Soviet Union but it was true of Western Europe, Germany, Austrian Hungary and Poland.

      Oh, and don’t wory – whatever happened, I, personally, will not darken your threshold.

      If you can say that and mean it, then perhaps you don’t understand your families history as well as you think. At least, you have not internalized the utter horror. Is your wounded pride going to keep you from seeking sanctuary for children in your care?

      If its any consolation, I image if me and mine found ourselves is a situation like Europe in WWII, we would be long dead before you had to seek sanctuary. We have no cultural expedience living under oppression and I don’t think we would take to it well.

    33. Tatyana Says:

      Shannon,

      You and anybody who want to interpret my comments as paranoid and foolish, are free to do so. I know what I know.

      “What’s interesting is that traditionally Jews were hated for being capitalist.”

      I made the same observation recently in one of Neo’s threads, I even found and linked to propaganda posters depicting Jews seating on bags of gold and directing armies in jackboots stomping over women and children – but nobody was interested. People see their current political situation and they think it’s novel and never happened before. So they tend to conflate Jews=Leftist, and Leftist=Atheist.
      The funny part is at this moment I can safely say I am a Jew (as David opined, that could change in 5 years) and nobody will be shocked at a dinner party. But when I say I am an Atheist, conservatives react as if I would if someone introduced himself as a cannibal.

      I didn’t study Holocaust in college, I don’t need to. I think I said it here before how amusing when Americans try to patronize me on subjects they know third and forth hand, and I – second. Be it Russian literature of 19th cent or real-life persecution of Jews in SU.

      It is also interesting to ponder, Shannon, why you don’t consider it an option that I will defend myself, if need comes (it was your suggestion that it will, I never went so far) rather than “seek sanctuary” in some Christian’s home? Why not yet another – that I’ll ask for help Indians or Chinese? Or another one: that not only Evangelicals have a right to carry; Jews have [legal] guns, too? Your mental image of helpless Jewess, clutching onto her whining children on your threshold is a tad outdated.

    34. Shannon Love Says:

      Tatyana,

      I didn’t study Holocaust in college, I don’t need to. I think I said it here before how amusing when Americans try to patronize me on subjects they know third and forth hand, and I – second.

      I think it amusing when people use familial antidotes to refute my hard data. No individual and no single family has a god view of a massive event like the Holocaust. All such individuals see only the immediate localized event which tells you very little about the global event.

      Clearly, a broad, well researched 3rd hand few of large events is superior to a single 1st person view.

      It is also interesting to ponder, Shannon, why you don’t consider it an option that I will defend myself,…

      Because you can’t when you’re out gunned. You can fight, die or run. Jews were only 1% of the German population when Hitler came to power. They never had a chance.

      The only Jews who managed to survive in mass were the Jews of Denmark and they survived because the Danish people from the King on down refused to single them out or give them up.

      … if need comes (it was your suggestion that it will, I never went so far) rather than “seek sanctuary” in some Christian’s home? Why not yet another – that I’ll ask for help Indians or Chinese?

      Because right now, evangelical Christians are the only group that I can be fairly sure would defend you. If you will recall the context of the beginning of this discussion it was that I was surprised that so many Jews thought evangelical Christians were anti-Semetic.

      Or another one: that not only Evangelicals have a right to carry; Jews have [legal] guns, too?

      They not only need guns but there has to be enough of them. See above.

      Your mental image of helpless Jewess, clutching onto her whining children on your threshold is a tad outdated.

      God I hope so. You have no idea how glad I am that Israel has nukes and the ability to deploy them world wide.

    35. tehag Says:

      ” it is considered rude and cowardly”

      I am not an Ashkenazi Jew, and I wasn’t directly addressing you, so I am neither rude nor cowardly. I’m sorry you consider appropriate and humane behavior discourteous. I’m certainly not going to change good behavior based on insults.

    36. tehag Says:

      “What’s blown is the Right’ alleged friendliness to Jews.”

      A claim which I never made, nor ever would make. Shannon’s assertion otherwise is the familiar thought: “we’re so wonderful that all the evils I perceive lie with that other side.” it’s comforting and can be used as a means to shame people into conformity. I’m well old enough to know that evils abound and are shared by all sufficiently large and random groups.

      In civilized countries with long histories of freedom, discussion means not personalizing words and issues. I’m pleased to learn that your history is different. I’ll take that into account when I read your replies on this thread. I won’t abandon the habits acquired from generations of living freely by contrary assertions based on the habits of discussion in Russia and the USSR–those are not good models.

    37. Tatyana Says:

      I wasn’t directly addressing you – and that is the problem. Talking about somebody in a 3rd person while they stand right there, arguing with them but not addressing them is rude. By this latter comment the rudeness is not just confirmed, it’s doubled.

      I am not an Ashkenazi Jew Was there any doubt?

      all the evils I perceive lie with that other side
      I’d like to see examples, in 6000 years of persecution and contemporary history of Israel, where the “evils” lie with Jews.

      I won’t abandon the habits acquired from generations of living freely …etc
      Oh, what a freedom fighter.