Gilad Atzmon - Shraga Elam - Israel Shamir - Reflection on Racism
- Gilad Atzmon -
(March 12, 2006) Due to its controversiality, utterances about the book "Flowers of Galilee" are quickly evaluated as avowals pro or contra the book and its author. This is one of the reasons why the study at hand develops so hesitantly.
For the really interesting aspect is not the taking of a camp position, but the examination of the fronts and of the way the participants of the discourse are dealing with each other. This is the only way to understand the conflict, at all. And yet, with such an attitude one will hardly do justice to the existing expectations and the main effort will be to explain and to justify things. What can be the use of such an examination if not the qualification of camps. Well, the use can be the overcoming of conflicts. For even if a great number of networkers agree on redlining and tabooing Shamir and his writings, be it justified or not, there also is a number of people, who have to be taken seriously, and who do not follow this line, because they read Shamir in a different way and have a different image of him, because they focus on different characteristics. In this way a polarization happens. Polarizations of this kind must in my view not be ignored. They always refer to social problems which can and shall be overcome.
So let us regard some people who do not reject Shamir. On the link page of Shamir's homepage (www.israelshamir.net) Gilad Atzmon's site (www.gilad.co.uk) is mentioned on the very top of the rubric "Friendly sites". Gilad Atzmon is a jazz musician, writer and journalist. Gilad is a friend of Shamir's and often mentioned in one breath with him. On March 8, 2004, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung printed a review of Atzmon's first book "Guide to the Perplexed" and wrote about him: "Today he is one of the leading jazz saxophonists worldwide." And: "Atzmon owns a love-hate relationship toward Israel." Gilad was a soldier in the Israeli army (like Shamir) and today belongs to the sharpest critics of the Jewish state. Next to his artistic work he writes articles and essays on topical subjects.
In the beginning of the year a long interview reached me in which Gilad calls himself a "critic of the Jewish identity and of Zionism". The name of the interview is "Beauty as a political weapon". It was conducted by Manuel Talens in December 2005 and is available on the net in English, French, Italian, Spanish and German. The English original can be read e.g. at http://www.redress.btinternet.co.uk/gatzmon14.htm. In it: "Are you an anti-Semite? GA: No, for sure not. I argue that once Israel established itself explicitly as the state of the Jewish people, and did so at the expense of the indigenous Palestinians, any act of war against Jews can be comprehended in terms of 'political struggle'. This is not to say that such an act is legitimate." Subject of this statement is the question of the existence and responsibility of a Jewish collective, a question which in our publics is by far less harmless than speculations about a Muslim collective. Gilad also broaches the issue of the holocaust debate. Here is an excerpt:
"I do not deny the Holocaust or the Nazi Judeocide. But I just insist that both the Holocaust and World War II should be treated as an historical event rather than as a religious myth. The story of World War II and the Holocaust is full of discrepancies and contradictions. Major questions are left unanswered. Why did the Americans not bomb Auschwitz? Why did they wait until June 1944 before raiding the beaches of Normandy? Wasn’t it just because Stalin was advancing into central Europe? Why did the Allies bomb German cities rather than logistic facilities and key military targets? Wasn’t it just because they didn’t want to distract Hitler’s army from fighting Stalin? Why did the Americans nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Wasn’t it because the Reds just declared war against Japan and could interfere with them in the Pacific? Clearly, an historical scrutiny of World War II would reveal the fact that from an Anglo-American perspective, Stalin was the real enemy rather than Hitler. The Holocaust narrative is there to hide this rather convincing yet alarming interpretation. The most crucial question here is why we are not allowed to treat that very historical chapter applying academic methods. The answer is very simple. The Holocaust is now regarded by most Jews and Anglo-Americans as the new Western religion."
On the same day, January 8, 2006, I received a notice about the new book "Not against my Consciousness" (German edition of "Beyond Chutzpah") by the known human rights advocate Felicia Langer. In her conversation with Hans-Dieter Schuett Felicia Langer says: "Thank God, history made it to develop timid, careful Germans. The world has paid a terribly high price for that. But I want to tell you that the Germans, exactly because of their past, should open their mouths very clearly and articulate where human rights are violated... When Israel sets the critics of its policy towards the Palestinians close to anti-Semitism, then this is a delict against the victims of the holocaust. They are being used in a dishonest way. Such an attitude can only promote real anti-Semitism. Which is a completely terrible logic."
The reader, who sent me the Gilad interview, wrote to me: OK, Anis, I have read your flowers debate. I understand that you feel obliged to "distance" yourself.9 But you should know, if you don't know it, that this Gudrun Eussner, who, by the way, is also living in Southern France, is a (...), who uses to simply defame a whole lot of different people. Her sources are the usual French ultra-Zionist homepages. (...)
Why should non-Jews be embarrassed, where not only Shamir and Atzmon, but also Paul Eisen, Jeff Blankfort, Elias Davidsson, Lasse Wilhelmson, Leibovici, Israel Shahak, Moďse Saltiel and many other so-called "self-hating Jews" are not embarrassed anymore, at all. When Hannah Arendt reported about the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, her main criticism was the following: Eichmann should have been sentenced for crimes against humanity and not for crimes against the Jews. This launched an immense hate campaign against her from the part of the Zionists (though she was a Zionist herself) who badmouthed her and called her a "self-hating Jew".
(...) What about the freedom of opinion? What exactly is it that people are afraid of? Why can everybody totally freely talk about Muslims, about communists, about the Catholic Church, about the Turks etc., but not about Jews?
Deborah Lippstadt, who had won a trial against David Irving, just demanded that Irving should be released from jail, where he is in now, in Austria, risking ten years of prison. She says that she clings to the First Amendment and that she does not want Irving to become a martyr. Well, my attitude is very simple:
1° - Jews are not a special category to be spared of any kind of criticism, under the pretext of the holocaust
2° - The Palestinians, in the end, are victims of Hitler and not his successors or even accomplices, like some Zionists try to market it
3° - There is no Jewish people, no Jewish nation, and the European Jews in their majority are not Semites, but Khazars. This was proven by the linguist Eugen Weixel in his very deep studies about the Yiddish language.
4° - What Paul Eisen says is that the holocaust has become the new religion of the secularized, godless Jews.
And what Gilad says about the atheist, secularized, mostly left Jews is about the same. How can one not agree with such a self-evident clarity? What is embarrassing about it? This surely does not mean to deny the holocaust, does it?
Remark by Sabine Y.: It is not possible to simply say: "There is no Jewish people". It may be that many Jews are no Semites and that Jews come from many different countries. But obviously there is a group which feels to be Jews and apparently also a people. And one cannot simply deny the existence of a group. Certainly, this group then can be made responsible for what it is doing, for the way it deals with other groups and individuals, and, where appropriate, it can be criticized.
Remark by Anis: I concur with Sabine. Concerning Paul Eisen, see the essay "Groups and Criticism". Some of what Paul Eisen says to my mind is discriminating. Other things he says are good.
My personal experiences with Gilad are positive, even if we do not agree everywhere. I like his jazz CD "Exile", which Gilad was so kind to send me together with his book "Guide to the Perplexed", a lot. With the book it is a bit different. At first I wanted to write a review about it, but in some way it is just not my kind of book. The main difference between Gilad and also Shamir and me is that Gilad and Shamir, at the beginning of the US war on Iraq emphasized that the military balance in the Middle East, as given with Saddam's Iraq, was important. As an advocate of nonviolence I cannot make much of this argument. It is 20th century thinking, not 21st century thinking. It surely is rewarding to analyze Gilad's attitude toward Judaism/Jewry, but this would be too much here. In chapter three, however, there will be a discussion of Shamir's attitude toward Judaism/Jewry.
- Shraga Elam -
(March 21, 2006) Breaking up with Shraga in February battered me. Shraga Elam is an Israeli peace activist and research journalist in Zurich with the special subjects Middle East conflict and World War II, author of "Hitler's Forgers" and co-author of "Switzerland at the pillory. Banks, bosses and the Nazis".10 For several years I had taken care of "Shraga's Room" on Anis Online and developed his web bibliography. When he read the Fritz Edlinger interview Shraga, without further ado, closed down his room. Especially because other networkers liked the interview. In a mail from February 14, 2006, he wrote to the networker K: "If Edlinger regards himself to be the victim of an unjustified campaign - and this is how I read his interview, then his half-snotty 'confession' is not convincing. His allegation that he is immune against racism, is really bad. Such a thing doesn't exist. Only racists, who are not aware of their own racism, can claim that. We continuously have to examine and question ourselves." Regrettably, I never had the impression that Shraga is examining and questioning himself. Rather, he is quick to break down all bridges when there is something against his liking and he apparently is rather imagining his self-reflection than living it. At least, this is my experience over the years.
Contradictory is this part from the same mail: "Years ago, Shamir was a member of an international mailing-list, mostly consisting of anti-Zionist Jews. Some of my friends wanted to get rid of him and I defended his right to stay there. This, although I had regarded his line as being disgusting even then. It was a discussion group and not an action group." The same Shraga Elam, who is observing and adjudging other networkers in respect to their attitude toward Shamir, defends Shamir's right to be in a mailing list. But if others only make Shamir a topic, Shraga intervenes.
About me Shraga wrote in a multi-address email, dated February 12, 2006: "Anis did not want to savvy that this is not about
slip-ups. It is not about understandable, even if dispensable exaggerations of the kind e.g. Hajo (Meyer, A.H.) has them.
In Hajo I do not recognize evil intentions. Hajo differentiates between a humanist current and a racist bad current in Judaism. In Shamir, on the other hand, it is about across-the board judgments against Judaism, the Talmud etc. Shamir practices a consequent anti-Jewish agitation which is not only to be found in this book.
This fact, by the way, is not really covered by Edlinger, but it is by Ludwig. It is a strange interpretation of democracy that Anis is practicing. I do not want to have anything to do with such racists like Shamir. The point is not his freedom of opinion. The point is whether or not the Palestine solidarity movement should work together with Neo-Nazis and their friends, even if not all of their Israel criticism and Zionist lobby criticism is wrong."
And yet, Shraga is concerned with "differences in formulation" in the context of assertions about Jews: "I often make this experience that, most of all, non-Jews do not sense these differences. I do not want to insinuate that these people necessarily have evil and consciously racist intentions, but simply ignorance and a certain insensitivity." Non licet bovi... I think that for Shraga, too, the word of a Jew about Jews is principally higher ranking than the word of a non-Jew. Just like Fritz Edlinger said. Thus, only he as a Jew is really able to assess what is anti-Semitic. Non-Jews have ignorance and insensitivity. Here Shraga cements the Jewish sovereignty of the discourse which elsewhere also leads to human rights violations. Therefore I say that the discourse does not profit much from do-gooders like Shraga Elam. When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, he sometimes is more part of the problem than part of the solution.
And as if: "Anis did not want to savvy that this is not about slip-ups." I know that the Shamir case is not about slip-ups. This is why I have uttered publicly and visibly as soon as in August 2004 that Shamir discriminates against Jews and that I reject that. This opinion has not changed since. No, Shraga wants the sovereignty of the discourse for himself. It is more of an ego thing than anything else, even if he cleverly hides it behind (pseudo-) arguments. I do not even think that Shraga is aware of it.
Shraga did not even read the flowers book: "I must admit. I did not read Shamir's book and I have no intention to read it. But I have read enough of Shamir's texts to know that he is practicing an anti-Jewish agitation. An agitation that gets worse and worse. Even if this book did not contain anti-Jewish passages, which is not the case, it is a serious mistake to publish a book of such an author. Would you publish a book by Horst Mahler of whatever content?" So Shraga in the first place is concerned with stigmata, not with issues. This simply is unobjective and undemocratic.
For months I have postponed the flowers debate because of Shraga. During my first attempt to write this study I received intimidating mails from him and also from others. I would damage "the cause". I would remind him of his ex-wife, Shraga wrote to me in a contemptuous and unobjective way. So I removed the texts from the net at first. Today I am happy to write the flowers debate and happy that Shraga's influence on me has ceased. For when he regards it to be important he does not shy at authoritarian behavior. I experienced it myself. Together with Thomas Steinberg he has allied against Fritz Edlinger and all backtalk was cut off. I regard this to be the wrong approach. "I really do not want to have anything to do with Anis and with Edlinger", writes Shraga who once reproached me for the sentence "The Jews celebrate Hanuka", as it allegedly is racist.
While reading these lines, maybe other networkers become aware that Shraga Elam has intimidated and manipulated them, too. This would be a progress. His brilliant thoughts, which he definitively also has, remain untouched by that.
- Israel Shamir -
(March 27, 2006) The day didn't exactly start off well. In my emails I found a recent Newsweek interview with Chibli Mallat, current presidential contender in Lebanon. He used to be a human rights advocate and I supported him. In the interview I found this: "Question: President George W. Bush continues to make the spread of democracy the cornerstone of his foreign policy. Does that sustain you? Mallat: I support his policy wholeheartedly. We activists in the human-rights community have been calling for democracy for years, and now that the Americans are embracing it, we won’t turn back."11 Can anybody tell me how someone can be a human rights advocate and at the same time support Mr. Guantanamo? This is like a vegetarian who eats meat. Sigh. Okay, let's talk about Shamir:
Like Chibli, I met Shamir through an interview. Background is that journalism for me is a kind of hobby. Moreover, the one thing I really like about this media age is instant communication. Often people, who appear in the media, can be traced and talked to. Once I listened to a radio feature about Egyptian Professor Nasr Abu Zaid. During my studies (Islamic Studies) I only read him and read about him. In my networking phase of life I sensed this air of progression and optimism in his voice. So I contacted him and we made an online interview. Similarly, it was with Shamir. In September 2002 I read his article "The Tale of Two States".12 It was the first time I was consciously confronted with an analysis of the one-state idea. It was compelling. It contradicted all the things I knew. The article is, in fact, a somewhat polemic reaction on Uri Avnery's position of two separate states, Israel and Palestine. I was not interested in polemics, but in the matter. The two-states "solution" does not abolish the racial (or however you want to call it) segregation, it does not solve the situation of the five million refugees, and the designated "state" of Palestine is not viable. The problems with the settlers and with the water is easier to handle in a single state. Even though the notion of one democratic state is not especially popular these days, it remains the only comprehensive solution, the only lasting solution.
It was easy to contact Shamir and the interview was enjoyable and fruitful. I sensed that Shamir's background was extremely broad and creative. In this interview, as in many other occasions, Shamir did not cross any red lines. In the mainstream sense. He does not always talk about "the Jews".
Some time later I became aware of Shamir's assignments concerning Jews. A thunder of criticism came down on him. Electronic Intifada - a modern online service - analyzed that he damages the Palestinian cause. Shraga also said that, and it convinced me. Important mailing lists like al-Awda banned him. At first I had thought: well, they must be exaggerating, but after a closer reading I also found that he crosses red lines. Consciously, I mean. At that point, most of the networkers turned away from him. And at that point I started to wonder why this clash happened and what Shamir's assignments were all about. After all, I had experienced him in a positive way. There was no doubt for me that his writings display humanism, so I did not understand his Jew thing. So I turned to him again in April 2003 and we had an online discussion until July.13
The result was somewhat undecided. My brains were unable to resolve the contradictions. The two main things remained open: the Jew thing and Shamir's involvement or non-involvement in Nazi movements. By then I had read more of his work and had followed the arguments against him. I placed a note on top of the respective pages on Anis Online saying that I reject the way he discriminates against Jews and that I do not want to see him in a responsible position. A short while later I left the group "One Democratic State", when I heard that Shamir was elected into the board. Here I felt a limit. I did this, not because of external pressure, but because I regard parts of his anti-Judaism as dangerous. They can evoke Manichean monsters, dualisms of we/them. At the same time, I never stopped addressing him "Dear Shamir, for on a different level I feel a sympathy which I do not want to deny. Another limit. It is a difficult situation.
Moreover, his anti-Jewish utterances refer to something hidden. Something beyond politics. Such was my impression then. I knew that the case was not closed yet, that we would meet again. Actually, I remember having been quite angry on Shamir. I felt deceived. I had set hopes in him and for me he blew it by the use of base stereotypes. So we lost sight of each other for a while. Until the Edlinger case. Or no, there was something before.
I discovered Alice Miller. That was last year. Since then I read all of her twelve books and linked her site beneath the link to the human rights on the front page of Anis Online. I regard Alice Miller to be the most important scientist of the 20th and beginning 21st centuries.14 If you want to know about the sources of violence, read her books! In the absorbing process I came across her book "The Untouched Key - Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness". In it I found a Nietzsche analysis which spontaneously made me think of Shamir. Alice Miller asks: Why did Nietzsche heap so much opprobrium on women and religion? You remember, stuff like: "When you go to the woman, don't forget the whip", and all that crap. - To make it short: Nietzsche in his childhood and later years was surrounded by women who tortured him, but who he loved, because they were his family, his home, his identity. In his inner self he could not criticize them. So he criticized ALL the women EXCEPT his family who caused his ailment. This is when I thought of Shamir like in a flash, Shamir and the Jews.
I don't know how he will take it, but I confront Shamir with this association and will see what happens. I want to understand. People need explanations. Things which clearly can be identified as referring to group behavior, especially power group behavior, Shamir calls Jewish behavior. We will come to these things in detail soon. I just want to make clear that people need explanations and they are compelled to have working hypotheses.
It is not by accident that I used the concept "red lines". I remember a scene when for some days I had an accusing text on the front page of my site, addressed to the government of Schleswig-Holstein. It was after I lost my university job. I had insisted to talk about some issues, but it was denied. Today I am not sure, whether the mentioned text was completely wrong, but I know that it did not work. It calmed my nerves, but it was not successful, politically. I remember distinctly that Shamir liked this rebellion, and that he was one of the very few who followed me here. It was a red line, it did not work and with some experience you learn that it doesn't. You can still walk over this line, it is not always wrong. But you will know what you are doing. You will feel a responsibility involved.
On August 18, 2005, Shamir was interviewed on TV, on Sat1, "Kulturzeit". As I heard later on, the editors had read Ludwig's first article on Shamir in the Freitag and so invited him. Afterwards they made a public note that they will not invite Shamir again. They were embarrassed. The interview itself was good. I saw it. It was the first time I saw Shamir, except for two online photos.
In the meantime I read the flowers book. After some concluding remarks and comments the review of the book follows in chapter 3. The conclusion of chapter 3 will not be that it is anti. We know this already. Rather, we will let the book reveal its secrets. Searching for an explanation to find out about the contradictions.
- Reflection on Racism -
(March 31, 2006) By the word itself one can tell that racism is hard to define. What is a race? This is not a modern concept. Is it about discrimination? Not a much better concept: discrimination is Greek for differentiation and distinction. The whole problem is about a paradox, the one of people being all different and all the same at the same time. We are all special, so none of us is special. We do have an identity, but it is impolite to live it. We do live in groups, but we do not want to take the responsibility. Societies are different from each other, but the more you try to analyze the phenomenon the more it slips through your fingers. There are stereotypes of many societies on the market, assignments of all sorts. Some of them are harmless, others can incite to violent acts, like we saw in the Muhammad cartoons. Some of the stereotypes are the (cultural) fundament of classic enemy thinking, from antiquity over to the enslavement of Africa and all the known forms of colonialism and imperialism, one society ruling over another or attempting to, until the Cold War and the present rape of the Arabic-Islamic world under the label of anti-terrorism.
Analytically, a racism scenario needs the following constituents:
1. A victim. Every scenario of the domain of violence is characterized by the victim. No victim no violence.
2. An assignment. The victim is labelled with the assignment or ascription. A classic example is that in history Jews and Blacks were by law labelled to be a lower race. Therefore they were segregated.
3. An environment where the assignment works. This can be a school-class where the other pupils believe in the necessity of segregation or it can be the authorities when they order the segregation. The environment is the most complex factor.
4. A perpetrator. Someone who utters the assignment. If this person or group is in a power position his value in the framework increases. Like Ahmedinedshad or Bush, when they talk about the West or about terrorism, respectively.
A problem is that there are harmless cases with the same structure as this fourfold framework. The quarantine scenario has the very same structure. (1) is the infected, (2) is the ascription of the infection, (3) is the public, (4) is e.g. a doctor. This is to show that the structure of this scenario is not "evil" per se. It is justified in some cases.
A bigger problem is that - as we agreed - groups have a responsibility. So this responsibility is ascribed to the group by agreement. For example, when a group commits murder and is made responsible for it. As soon as the assignment correlates with the responsibility, there will not be a victim in the scenario anymore.
Further, the above-mentioned formula fails to properly render the significant philo-racism phenomena. They are special cases, because the victim and the perpetrator in this scenario are hidden. By assigning stereotype positive characteristics to groups they can develop violent extremes without critical feedback. Such a positive stereotype can be "Group A has always been victimized without right." Now group A is not criticized anymore, for it would feel victimized. The victims of group A thus go unnoticed.
Assignments not always are something bad or something good, they are part of our natural way of thinking. To be able to perceive a group as an identity we need statements about the groups, and those always are assignments. Therefore, the real danger should be looked for in camp thinking, for here is the place where assignments turn to stereotype images of an enemy. Those images, in turn, activate aggressions in the many people who identify with the respective scenario. In this way, Guantanamo becomes possible and in this way violent mass demonstrations in Arab countries become possible in the cartoons conflict.
For the public in my environment it is extremely difficult to realize that "the other" not necessarily is good or bad. When I started the rubric "Meet the Press" it was because of an article in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung about "the Arab". The basic line was that we in the West used to understand the Arabs in terms of Omar Sharif in the film "Lawrence from Arabia", but now we found out that they are not, so they must be like Bin Laden, as this is the only other Arab we know... It must be acknowledged that this thinking exists in the minds. We may laugh about it, we may shake our heads, but we cannot ignore it. And when such conceptions about Arabs are on the market we can be sure that they will not be the only ones who get a special treatment. It is a known fact that Germany has a "special relationship" with Jews. In the context with a distinct camp thinking this is a dangerous thing, no matter if it is manifest in anti- or in philo-Semitism.
(April 1, 2006) Let us now turn to some comments that have reached me in the meantime. The journalist from Hamburg, who was so kind as to contribute comments in earlier parts of the Meet the Press series, writes: "Dear Anis, this is an extremely complex controversy. Shamir so consciously and unpredictably plays with the fire of resentments hostile to Jews that I, in the given framework, - as a German here in Germany - do not wish the least companionship with him. The only positive thing I could say is that where he comes from - I mean Russia - many Jews have nothing against drinking tea together with anti-Semites, discussing issues or joking around, and vice versa the same. From there I heard about the saying: 'We all are human beings and why should we not talk with each other.' People there do not object if there is a bit of provocation and of terrifying involved, on the contrary, this sometimes is even cultivated. I do not fail to realize a certain charm about this way of living, but accept for myself that we are living in Germany here and that in this context there positively are some good arguments to consequently avoid any companionship with provocateurs hostile to Jews.
'The Jews celebrate Chanuka' is racist? I have to remember that. Of course it is wrong. 'Jews celebrate Chanuka' would be correct. Some do it, others don't. Also, 'Mormons celebrate Chanuka'. It may sound completely ridiculous, but it could be right. Maybe there are two who do. 'Jews celebrate Christmas' could also be true. Seligmann, for example, is said to have nothing against it. When I worked for Springer I had a Jewish colleague who by no way celebrated Chanuka, but only Yom Kippur. 'Jews eat pork sausages' is true, too, by the way: this colleague did, at any rate, and surely she will not be the only one. Yet racism implies that there is a generalizing assertion of in some way degrading content. I am not able to detect this in the sentence 'The Jews celebrate Chanuka'. Maybe I lack the necessary sensitivity."
This journalist, I should add, belongs to the few who in their publications precisely formulate criticism of the State of Israel. Philo-racism certainly is also known to him. Only that the Hanuka sentence is about something else. When I made up this sentence I had a line in mind like: the Jews celebrate Chanuka, the Christians Christmas and the Muslims 'Eed al-Fitr.
Especially this example shows that an understanding of what racism is can better be understood in terms of the prototyp theory than through definitory attempts.15 Let us imagine a pea-cock, a colibri, a blackbird, a chicken, a penguin and an owl. If somebody asks us about a typical bird, we will probably refer to the blackbird. The penguin may be a bird, but not a typical one. What makes the blackbird a typical bird? This is the question about prototypes. It is also applicable for racism. There are typical forms of racism and less typical ones. Philo-racism belongs to the latter and thus often goes unnoticed.
A journalist friend from Munich writes about the Gilad quote: "The interview with Gilad and the parts you quoted go too far, to my mind. He criticizes the Anglo-Americans more for the crimes of the holocaust than the Germans! However, Stalin indeed has killed a few million more people than Hitler. Hitler killed about 50-60 millions, Stalin had about 10 millions more. Why does Gilad only criticize the Anglo-Americans, not the Germans and Stalin? Or the Japanese? He is too unobjective to me." Gilad answers this in an email with the words: "Simple, Stalin is dead and so is Hitler, Anglo American are still
there, in Iraq, Afghanistan and behind Israel." I think that this example shows how important it is to move away from camp thinking and to take overall standards as a fundament of our judgments. This is what actually happened after World War II with the new formulation of the human rights, only that the human rights are not consequently monitored, but only within the framework of camp thinking. The discourse will remain distorted as long as only a few states must comply with only a few of the human rights.
>> Chapter 3
9: This refers to an earlier version of the flowers debate, but was kept in the text, as it shows that not only a lack of distancing courts some people's resentment, but also too much of distancing. (back)
10: When Jamal Karsli was kicked out of the German liberal party FDP by Guido Westerwelle, the occasion was an email in which Israel was reproached of using "Nazi methods" by an expert. Jamal had sent this mail into the board of the FDP. The expert was Shraga Elam. For a while he had been in contact with Jamal. Some networkers told me that Shraga Elam likes to hop from one networker to another without resting at any place for a long time. Maybe his ex-wife should be inquired about this issue. (back)
11: Newsweek, March 24, 2006: "From Dreamer to Contender. Even though a national election isn't scheduled, human-rights activist Chibli Mallat is running for president. And his chances of winning are looking better all the time." by Stephen Glain. URL: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11998664/site/newsweek/. Mallat interview on Anis Online: www.anis-online.de/1/orient-online/mallat2.htm . Nasr Abu Zaid interview: www.anis-online.de/1/orient-online/abuzayd.htm (back)
12: www.israelshamir.net/English/Tale_of_Two_States.htm (back)
13: www.anis-online.de/1/m/archiv/2003_israelshamir.htm (back)
14: Unfortunately, Dr. Miller never talked about Palestine. I asked her several times. Only once in an email she mentioned the idea of interviewing families of suicide attackers. Some days ago she told me that she writes no more books and that she regards it to be useless to give any more interviews. Therefore, the following interview question will never be answered: "Your analysis of Hitler's personality is impressing. You argue that the 'black' educational system in the Germany of the 19th and early 20th centuries made it possible that this homicidal personality could come to power. It also made possible the immeasurable violence committed by Germans against Jews and other scapegoats. You write about the traumatic effects of the genocide in the piece 'Margot and Lilka' in the book 'Breaking Down the Wall of Silence' (esp. pp 47 - 52 of the German edition). There we can read about (Israeli) 'soldiers who will finally have to die, because their commanders refuse to remember.' Now, when the trauma of the genocide still is virulent and not mastered, then this implies that the successors of the victims group will use heavy violence in turn. Why do you not go the step to see the Palestinian tragedy from this angle? It is obvious. Are you afraid of it? Why?" (back)
15: See, for example, George Lakoff (1990): Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things (back)