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Wed Oct 31, 2012, 03:12 PM

American “leftists” whitewash Nasrallah

Eager as they ever are to believe that no enemy of Israel can go far wrong, two prominent figures on the American “left” have penned a righteous critique of what they call a “disastrous” and “embarrassing” New York Times op-ed that portrays Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah as anti-Semitic.

Not the easiest blemish to brush off, one might have thought, but then such people are well-practiced in furnishing bigots with excuses they haven’t and wouldn’t make for themselves. After claiming the particular “supposedly anti-Jewish” quote attributed to Nasrallah in the Times is “in all likelihood a fabrication,” Phil Weiss and Max Blumenthal proceed to paste a lengthy tract by “widely-published Marxist thinker” Louis Proyect, who has concluded after “assiduous” research that there isn’t a scrap of evidence—anywhere—implicating Nasrallah in any kind of funny business on the Jewish question.

Now, the Times article certainly wasn’t fantastic, and I happen to share Weiss’ and Blumenthal’s distaste for the manner in which Israel’s defenders cry “pogrom” at the mildest political criticism. Yet as a secularist who actually lives in Lebanon, I’ve long wearied of reading hagiographies of the “Party of God” from pseudo-dissidents and laptop-Leninists 7,000 miles away.

Weiss and Blumenthal are probably right that the quote (“If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I do not say the Israeli”) comes from Amal Saad-Ghorayeb’s Hizbullah: Politics & Religion. Though it purports to quote Nasrallah, the footnote in fact cites an interview with Hezbollah MP Muhammad Fneish on August 15, 1997.


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Reply American “leftists” whitewash Nasrallah (Original post)
oberliner Oct 2012 OP
shira Oct 2012 #1
oberliner Nov 2012 #2
shaayecanaan Nov 2012 #3

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Wed Oct 31, 2012, 10:38 PM

1. Leftists for Hezbollah? Yeah, right....


Reminds me:

“Can we seriously imagine Marx, Engels, Kautsky or Rosa Luxemburg remaining silent about the advocacy of shari’a law, censorship, female genital mutilation, honour killings, suicide bombings, or making the world safe for Allah’s rule?


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Response to shira (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 12:12 AM

2. Something happens to Leftists when Israel is involved

Some kind of nameless syndrome. Someone ought to come up with a clever moniker for it - preferably one at least as clever as "hasbarista".

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 03:55 AM

3. I think he's definitely anti-Jewish...

and that the statements are broadly reflective of his attitude. But more fundamentally, I think that Serbs are anti-Croat, and Croats are anti-Serb, and Greeks are anti-Turkish and Turks are anti-Greek.

I think in most of these fratricidal conflicts, the two sides tend to have a fairly negative view of the other. I think the current Israeli leadership, in its heart of hearts, is fundamentally anti-Arab.

Of course, Nasrallah is a militia leader. No one in the West is going to give him credit for speaking nicely. He has no real incentive to toe the line in terms of political correctness, the Western world would have it in for him anyway. So he engages in this kind of rhetoric as red meat for his supporters, as a threat display, to show the Arab world that he is unbowed, and to distract his detractors from the thorny position that Hezbollah has as the pile of corpses of fellow Muslims killed by Hezbollah's sponsor grow higher.

On the other hand, I think that even the most reactionary Israeli leader has an incentive to avoid this kind of rhetoric. Westerners are funny people, they view morality as more what people say than what they do. Obama could give an order to kill 70 Afghans at a wedding party with a Predator drone and no one would care, but if he called those same Arabs a bunch of ragheads it would be a huge controversy.

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