Friday, January 16, 2009

Wally of the Week: Elizabeth Wurtzel


It is said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. But in 2009, it's making false and unfounded accusations of anti-semitism against those who oppose Israel's brutal invasion of Gaza.

There have been many shocking examples of this phenomenon in the past few days, but the most execrable effort of all was published in today's Guardian.

It is not Israel's action, but the vitriolic reaction to it that has been disproportionate. There's only one explanation: anti-Semitism

says the blurb to Elizabeth Wurtzel's piece.

What utter claptrap.

People oppose Israel's action because it is wrong, not because it is being carried out by Jews. Zionists might find it hard to believe, but the majority of people around the globe do not approve of shelling UN schools, refugee centres and ambulances.

As one of the commenters to Ms Wurtzel's piece writes:

We now have a new definition for anti-semitism - Opposition to the killing of innocent civilians and the shelling of UN buildings. That defines the world as being 99.999999999% anti-semitic.


Despite admitting that she hasn't set foot in Europe since 2002, Wurtzel claims that Europe "has become an unbearable place to be, as the anti-American feelings in light of the Iraq war have mingled with antisemitism to a point where they are indistinguishable, the new phobias of the First World."

Again, what utter claptrap. There is a concerted campaign being waged by apologists for Israel's aggression to maintain that Europe has become an anti-semitic cesspit.

It hasn't. People's anger is rising, but it's anger directed against the state of Israel, not Jews in general.

On the subject of 'phobias', it's worth pointing out that Ms Wurtzel found fame and fortune by writing the book 'Prozac Nation' which talked about her battle with depression.

I think it would be better for all of us if she concentrated on dealing with her own phobias, instead of writing about the imaginary "new phobias" of a continent she clearly knows nothing about.

31 comments:

Neal said...

Mr. Clark,

As an American who does visit Europe, I must say that Ms. Wurtzel has a point. Criticism is one thing. However, the degree to which Europeans fret over events in Israel is something amazing to behold. It speaks for itself.

I recently read an article in an Israeli paper, which pointed out that in the war with Serbia, efforts to protect civilians were not even tried, with bombs being dropped from such a high altitude - so that no pilots might be killed - that there was no way to avoid killing large numbers of civilians and, in fact, large numbers of civilians died. Such approach was applauded by people who now claim that Israel's efforts, which place its troops at greater risk, are despicable.

Moreover, for the years that Hamas was shooting rockets at Israeli civilians - and, to note, directed exclusively at civilians (since there were soldiers closer by who were not targeted), forcing people to live near bomb shelters, where were the marches against Hamas? Where were the solemn declarations of wrongdoing? When, during the Second Intifadah, were there protest marches when Hamas and Fatah sent murderers to massacre people celebrating religious holidays and wedding? So, holier than though arguments against Ms. Wurtzel seem a bit out of place.

The first point, namely, that the Left, other than the lunatic fringe, had nothing much to say against the bombing of Serbia, which killed large numbers of civilians while costing not one life of one bombardier speaks for itself. The objection to Israel's attacks are ideologically driven, not objections to Israel's tactics. Otherwise, the same tactics when used by others would have the same reply.

Lastly, as noted in the Israeli article I mentioned, the US and UK cannot even figure out, to within 10's of thousands how many civilians have been killed in Iraq. The fighting has been infinitely more brutal than anything the Israelis are doing and regard for Iraqis has been non-existent. While, no doubt, the Israelis have little good to say about their Arab neighbors who want Israel to vanish, given the battle as described in UK papers - as opposed to what appears in more measured accounts, such as those that appear in the US -, the number of casualties is remarkably low.

Anonymous said...

The most disgusting article to appear on Cif.

Utterly surreal. Topsy-turvy land.

- questionnaire

jock mctrousers said...

Neal - pardon me for pointing out that I think you've said that before.

Neil Clark - for once, YOU'RE WRONG, SO WRONG! Wally of the week must be STEPHEN POLLARD on the BBC's 'Question Time' ( the one on the telly, anyway). I could scarcely believe it - he's like every antisemitic caricature rolled into one, as if he was designed by aliens using Mein Kampf and Shylock as a guide. Let's have more of him on the telly - that would do wonders for the Palestinian cause.

Neil Clark said...

questionnaire- agreed.

Neal:
1. The country attacked by NATO in 1999 was called Yugoslavia, not Serbia. It's an important point- Milosevic is demonised in the western media for being a rabid Serb nationalist, but in fact his loyalties were to Federal Yugoslavia, which is why he kept the name, even after the secession of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia.
2. you say a propos of NATO's air assault on Yugoslavia:
"Such approach was applauded by people who now claim that Israel's efforts, which place its troops at greater risk, are despicable."

While it's true that some of those who are criticising Israel now, supported NATO's brutal bombardment eg Ken Livingstone, Claire Short-many people condemned both aggressions, myself included.

you also say:
"the Left, other than the lunatic fringe, had nothing much to say against the bombing of Serbia".

The Left, by and large, did oppose the bombing of Yugoslavia, the faux left didn't.

The 'lunatic Left' were the self-styled 'leftists' who supported the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia and the bombing of Iraq four years later. And its interesting that these 'leftists' are now defending Israel's aggression.

Chas Newkey-Burden said...

Elizabeth Wurtzel is spot on.

neil craig said...

"but the majority of people around the globe do not approve of shelling UN schools, refugee centres and ambulances"

Indeed they don't however the majority of politicians, including such as Livingston, Short, Clegg et al have actively supported bombing of schools & hospitals for the purely aggressive specific purpose of engaging in genocide, child sex slavery & the dissection of living human beings. This is undeniable.

That being the case it is literally impossible for any of them to be motivated in attacking Israel for any humanitarian reason whatsoever & the only alternative is anti-Semitism & indeed Nazism.

It is also worth comparing the false outrage by the UN & BBC etc at the Israelis for returning fire when Hamas were using UN buildings & their occupants as human & brickwork shields with their almost total silence when our Croatian Nazi friends, when breaking the UN's mandatory cease fire in Croatia seized UN soldiers & forced them, at gunpoint into the line of fire, murdering them. Since this was (A) part of a purely aggressive war (B) entirly intentional & (C) resulted in the murder of many UN peacekepers it was clearly at least 10s of thopusands of times worse than anything Israel is accused of. It follows that if UN leaders are not wholly corrupt whores they were 10s of thousnads of times louder in denouincing that NATO assisted atrocity as a war crime & if the BBC, ITN & other MSM have not spent 10s of thousands of more hours & column inches on that then they are not merely anti-Semitic but enormously pro-Nazi.

I assume the Guardian are publishing this since it will give them cover to, when convenient, once again, say that anybody who doesn't support (ex?) Nazis like Izetbegovic can be tarred as "anti-Semitic".

Ken Shirov said...

Jock McTrousers said:

"STEPHEN POLLARD ... I could scarcely believe it - he's like every antisemitic caricature rolled into one, as if he was designed by aliens using Mein Kampf and Shylock as a guide."
----------

It's true!

You really couldn't make guys like Pollard and Kamm up, could you? If you did, people would think you'd stolen the concept from some back issue of Der Stürmer!

Actually Pollard is (relatively speaking) the nicer of the two. But Kamm is the kind of leering sneering arrogant little-big man which corresponds to the crudest anti-Semitic stereotype that you could possibly imagine!

Neal said...

Neil,

It is interesting that you have chosen not to take on my contention directly but, instead, have made the point that the correct name of the country bombed is Yugoslavia, a point I concede. On the other hand, your point does not affect the truth quotient of my point. Nor does anything else you have written on this post page

Moreover, my point was not that there were some people who disagreed with bombing Yugoslavia but that opposition was not hysterical, as it is today with Israel. It is the hysteria - something that did not occur with the bombing of, as you say, Yugoslavia - that is suspicious. Moreover, the attacks on synagogues, the harassment of and violence against Jews, etc., etc., is all very suspicious. As we say in the US, if it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

When last I visited Finland (and this was before the current war), a country with 1,500 Jews, I made a point of visiting a church as well as the country's sole synagogue. I did not go to pray - as I am not religious - but as a sightseer.

The synagogue was in an ordinary urban neighborhood. Amazingly, the building was behind a tall protective wall. There was, moreover, a tall gate in the wall and there was a guard watching over the gate. The street outside the building was littered with swastikas. Again, if it quacks like a duck...

I am not religious. But, I do drive by religious institutions frequently, since the US has a lot of places of worship. I thought what I saw in Finland to be very odd because, in the US, religious institutions including synagogue are out in the open (i.e. no protective walls or gates) and, except in very rare circumstances, unguarded. I also thought it odd that when I interviewed people in the Finnish synagogue, they considered things like the wall, gate and guard to be perfectly normal and, more generally, standard for Jews in certain parts of Europe. And, I should note, the church I visited in Finland had no fences or protective walls or, so far as I could tell, guard.

So, to my mind, the atmosphere that is normal for many European Jews to live in would, were it in America, be front page news - as a sign of serious prejudice lurking not even below the surface. So the hysteria against Israel occurs in a region of the world where Jews, when they pray, often pray under the protection of guards, behind a protective wall and a locked gate! That stinks.

Again, what is going on in Europe vis a via Israel stinks. Such is a very common reaction by Americans, Jewish and otherwise, who see Europeans obsessed with Israel's actions and minimize other parties' actions.

Anonymous said...

Does neil craig think firing three white phosphorous rounds into UN compound is a war crime? Does neil craig think the israels pitiful lies about hammas firing from the same UN compound, then admitting they lied again, beyond satire. What about jabalaya, isn't that a war crime? if neil craig thinks the zionists can suddenly forget their involvement in creating the festering ground that Bosnia and Kosovo have become for islamists and criminals not forgetting the destructions, pillage and rape of Yugoslavia now their best mates, Turkey are fucking them off, for who they shamelessly lobbied the yankees and denied the Armenian holocaust, then neil craig and his murderous cohorts can think again. for most of us, zionists are right there with the islamic extremists and murderess criminals. everything that goes around comes around, mr craig. Serbs have long memories infinitely more accurate then neil craig's.
anyone reading israeli press these days wont miss the irony of commentators recommending israel stand with serbs, build new bridges fast. they burnt those bridges when every war crime and crime against humanity was committed against serbs and innocent iraqi's. every last neocon should face 15 minutes of what happened to serbs before they depart this world. i would not be so merciless i would wish any of this on their women and children as was done to serb women and children.

Paul D said...

As a small point (and as no doubt Neil Clark knows), Oliver Kamm is NOT Jewish.

I'm trying to make sense of 'McTrousers' statment about an 'anti - semitic caricature'as it seems to be v disturbing. Is he saying that Stephen Pollard looks Jewish and that the way he looks gives rise to revulsion amongst gentiles? Well, goodness me, is that not being anti-semitic in itself Mr Shock Jock?

Goodness me!

Paul D said...

To our host Neil Clark - Do you REALLY believe the Elizabeth Wurtzel article is the most disgusting to appear on CIF?

Come on, show some journalistic maturity please !

It was not a 'disgusting' article, and whilst I oppose censorship, surely you can exercise some moderation over some of the comments here to the extent if someone, like this thoughtful 'questionnaire' wishes to make such a statement, it should at least be backed up with some kind of articulate argument.

jolies-couleurs said...

I thought the oddest part of Wurtzel's article was to equate 'anti-Zionism' with 'anti-semitism' since the former is the position of many ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, presumably she imagines them consumed with irrational self-hatred (rather than, as they do, believing only God's actions can restore Israel as a nation).

Meanwhile, I am curious as to what conditions the relative importance we give to particular conflicts. Here we are all consumed by the terrible events in Gaza, while we pass by the unfolding tragedies in the Congo and Darfur with barely a pause. It would, I think, quite wrong to imagine that both ideology/prejudice does not play a part in our choices.

jock mctrousers said...

There has been a consistently high noise-to-signal ratio on these threads of late, courtesy of Neal/anonymous and Neil Craig - I find much to agree with in what they say on Yugoslavia ( and I assume that's why they post here, because Neil Clark was one of very few honest reporters on this subject), but they link this, with endless non-sequiturs, to barely coherent rants which seem to imply that European criticism of Israel arises from antisemitism. There is little point in arguing with them; they eschew logic, and just repeat their propaganda over and over again - " say it loud enough and often enough and it becomes the truth".
But let me answer one point, even if it was never put very coherently: a big reason for the differing responses to Israel and the Yugoslav wars is that the occupation of Palestine has endured for 60 years, so there has been much more time for people to see through the propaganda. The Yugoslav wars were over before most people caught up with what was going on. But they are correct in their condemnation of much of the 'left' re Yugoslavia - most of the Trot and faux 'communist' sects are still pushing the propaganda about Serb fascism and the 'Greater Serbia' project. They are also still trying to pretend that support for Israel , within the USA, comes more from fundamentalist Christians than from jews. So maybe that's some sort of balance.

Anonymous said...

PAUL D: "As a small point (and as no doubt Neil Clark knows), Oliver Kamm is NOT Jewish."

Kamm is half Jewish.

(But then, as some wit once remarked, you can no more be half Jewish than you can be half pregnant...)

Anonymous said...

Paul D:

'...it should at least be backed up with some kind of articulate argument.'

The unintelligent footsoldiers of the zionist cyber-army are scoring so many own-goals that there is no need for me to elaborate further.

Merely pointing out Wurtzel's mega-gaffe and the subsequent comments on the thread will suffice.

Here it is again, Cif's most disgusting and surreal piece of ideological reality-bending:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/16/elizabeth-wurtzel-antisemitism-israel-gaza

- questionnaire

Dan, portsmouth said...

She was fired from her job once after been accused of plagiarism.
I'm sure this article will gain her so many supporters despite her not-so-honest history.

http://www.observer.com/node/32824

Who cares about honesty? it is on who you are firing that is important for Zionists.

neil craig said...

Anon 4.59 asks "Does neil craig think firing three white phosphorous rounds into UN compound is a war crime?"

Well I don't know if it technically is or not, in a war of self defence but done by Jews. But I do know that ANYBODY who is more concerned about that than the thousands of murders, dissections, genocide, child sex enslavements, deliberate targeting of civilians, deliberate use of cluster bombs on civilians, & depleted uranium weapons, hospital bombing, bombings of schools etc all in a war which itself was pure aggression & thus criminal itself, all on a scale far larger than Israel is accused of, is not motivated by any trace of human decency but simply by Nazi racism.

Anon clearly knows it too since he chooses to hide behind anonymity - or perhaps he would care to say exactly when he has publicly accused racist Nazi scum like Livingston, Short & Clegg of war crimes? Lets see.

Jock I cannot agree that the difference in reaction between Israel & Yugoslavia can be purely because the "left" have had 60 years to bone up on the former but only 19 (9 at the time of NATO's attack) to notice the facts on the latter. That seems to me to assume a non-credible amount of stupidity & a sign that you are rather desperate in looking for reasons.

If you want my opinions on the motivation for the Yugoslav wars see http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2007/02/yugoslavia-motivation_26.html which makes it much more complicated than pure Nazism, though that is part of it. Equally the reaction to Israel is somewhat more complex than pure anti-semitism (it is also part of the left's addiction to dependency culture, bureaucracy, illiberalism & economic failure) but anti-Semitism certanly plays a large role.

Paul D said...

Mr Questionnaire - it is clear you are unable to come up with any articulate argument to support your position.


Merely saying 'res ipsa loquitur'is not good enough!! Try thinking outside the box my dear man!

By the way what on earth is a 'cyber army?' I am not part of any army and speak for myself.

Dan, portsmouth said...

This is a list of anti-zionist aggression in Gaza; signing a letter in the Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/16/gaza-israel-petitions

Are they all anti-semitists?

The one who say yes to killing women and children in Gaza will answer Yes to the question above.

Anonymous said...

neil craig says...

Anon 4.59 asks "Does neil craig think firing three white phosphorous rounds into UN compound is a war crime?"

"Well I don't know if it technically is or not, in a war of self defence but done by Jews."

then I'll clarify, the use of white phosphors as a weapon by anyone, including Jews, is banned under the third convention on conventional weapons. it is a war crime.

my bone of contention is that you keep denying zionist involved in Yugoslavia and even iraq war which is laughable given mountains of documentation available from their own pnac hands. what did "a clean break" mean for iraq. Who wrote "a clean break." why did they write this. whose "realm" were they talking about defending. you don't bother with these incriminating details, it does'nt help your argument.

now you say " thousands of murders, dissections, genocide, child sex enslavements, deliberate targeting of civilians, deliberate use of cluster bombs on civilians, & depleted uranium weapons, hospital bombing, bombings of schools"

different wars but same vicious perpetrators yet you try to filthily infer as if i supported these things. i didn't support these anywhere, in balkans or middle east or latin america, which elliot abrams is such an expert. the one recurring theme through these wars are neoconservatives and new york pr firms. still no apology only more denials and accusations about more nazis still out there who if we dont support culling, we'll be nazis too. now it's chevez like it was saddam, all nazis everyone of them. serbs were nazi when it suited and armenians never suffered holocaust. you will have to come to terms with the sceptacism and disgust.

Neal said...

Dan, portsmouth,

The issue is not whether all people who are Anti-Zionist are Antisemitic. Antisemites are always looking to make their hatred heard and seem somehow reasonable. And Anti-Zionism is the main means by which Antisemites express their hatred of Jews.

Or, do you think anyone would take seriously an Antisemite who couched his hatred in the view that Jews are Cosmopolitan - as was the charge not that many generations ago -? Or, would anyone take seriously the charge that Jews killed the Lord? Or, that Jews invented Jesus? No. These methods to express Antisemitism are too stupid to gain traction today. Instead, Antisemitism has tied itself to the myth that Jews have manipulated the world - by playing on sympathy for Jewish suffering - to create and sustain a country that is an abomination.

So, no doubt not all Anti-Zionists hate Jews. That said, my bet is that 95+% of Anti-Zionists are Antisemitic. That would make the current round of hostility to things involving Jews very, very similar to what occurred in the Dreyfus Affair.

jock mctrousers said...

"Jock I cannot agree that the difference in reaction between Israel & Yugoslavia can be purely because the "left" have had 60 years to bone up on the former but only 19 (9 at the time of NATO's attack) to notice the facts on the latter."

I referred to the 'left' attitude to the Milosevic government, not to the left attitude to the Nato assault on Yugoslavia, which was universally condemned, except by the faux-left 'humanitarian intervention', pro-war 'left', who also support Israel.
The time factor IS relevant - the violence in Yugoslavia lasted only a few years, under cover of a massive propaganda campaign. Few new what was really going on at the time, and inevitably, it dropped lower on the priority list, once the violence was over. I agree that the lack of outrage about the Nato destruction of a modern European nation is very ominous - it could be us next!

The Israeli violence has been unrelenting for 60 years, and it's still hard to get the facts out through the propaganda wall. Incidentally, that is the only thing that I can think of which makes any tactical sense of the firing rockets from Gaza - it doesn't allow the MSM to pretend that the Palestinians are happy with their lot, that the non-existent 'peace process' is proceeding nicely.

neil craig said...

Anon 9.27 denounces me for denying "Zionist" participation in the Yugoslav genocide.

That is, of course, a Nazi lie. I have said nothing on the matter. However it is a matter of record that the bombing was carried by NATO of which Israel is not a member. Perhaps I should denounce every Anon for not apologising for Palestinian participation in Wounded Knee.

That individual Jews supported our genocide is not in doubt. The pride of Ruder & Finn advertising agents that they had persauded some Jewish groups to ignoratnly endorse the craotian Nazis is a matter of record (& shows that Jews can be as stupid as anybody else). Moreover my contempt for Madeliene Albright the Secretry of State is absloute & has been expressedc elsewher. She informed the entire western media that it was NATO who was trying to bring about war because "the Serbs need a little bombing" but that they should lie about this (naturaly they did). Technically she is no longer Jewish but Episcopalian but, were I nto giving this friendly wrning, am sure the Nazis here would fall into saying that that does not absolve her of blood guilt.

Anonymous said...

neil craig,

You seem to be manifestly fixated by Nazi's and calling other people, Nazi's. Nazi liars, Nazi whores, Nazi scum. Your discriminatory picking of which parts of the others agreement you want to deal with is telling, your interjectory of Nazi and WW II imagery is seriously nauseating.
Some of your argument, such as about the Croats is right enough, it's a shame then, that you're infused with the sort of pathology that kills everything else you've got to say, stone dead. I haven't responded to you before and I wont after this, no doubt, I'll be a Nazi as well, I'd only lose my temper.
You're not taking in, either that or you wont budge, that parts of the Israel Lobby, ADL, Holocaust education groups in America and what have you, helped to sell the Yugoslavian war, there's no getting away from that. Anon 9.27 might not be aware that there were plenty of people, some Jewish, some not, sickened by it, I'm not sure since Anon 9.27 hasn't really said differently. Just so you know, this is where I am where Israel is concerned., Israel inside 67 borders should be supported by the international community. Anyone disagreeing with me, doesn't necessarily follow that they're Nazi's.

Simon.

neil craig said...

Anonymous Simon (?) I don't understand your point. If you had actually read my post to wehich you are replying you would have seen that i acknowledged that some Jews (Jews not Israelis) had supported NARO's genocide. I would happily see Albright strung up as for being a war criminal but not for being ex-Jewish.

If you honestly support Israel's right to exist as a normal nation you must honestly support their right to defend themselves from genocidal rocket attacks by Hamas. If you don't you don't.

neil craig said...

Anonymous Simon (?) I don't understand your point. If you had actually read my post to wehich you are replying you would have seen that i acknowledged that some Jews (Jews not Israelis) had supported NARO's genocide. I would happily see Albright strung up as for being a war criminal but not for being ex-Jewish.

If you honestly support Israel's right to exist as a normal nation you must honestly support their right to defend themselves from genocidal rocket attacks by Hamas. If you don't you don't.

Anonymous said...

neil craig, the only person banging on about jews and israel is you, the point about the zionists who sold the war against Yugoslavia and actually orchestrated war against Iraq are in the most part, american zionists. not all zionist are jews, why do you keep implying they are. you've got jews and israel on the brain. are you projecting, i wonder? the way you keep mentioning who is jewish could be a sign of your antisemitism. perhaps there is more to you calling women "nazi whores" than meets the eye, this is strange, insane and possibly antisemitic language even to those who dislike and are critics of clare short.

very well said, Simon. perhaps neil craig a nutter:)

neil craig said...

Neil is it really appropriate to have posts which are wholly dishonest personal attacks on other commenters by Nazi anonymii?

His ex-post redefinition of anybody supporting Israel's right to exist as "Zionist" would mean that every single opponent of Israel, without exception, should be described as a corrupt child raping mass murdering Nazi war criminal without the slightest trace of honesty merely because a number of its leaders are. I would not say that & I'm sure you would not condsider it reasonable.

Roland Hulme said...

"has become an unbearable place to be, as the anti-American feelings in light of the Iraq war have mingled with antisemitism to a point where they are indistinguishable, the new phobias of the First World."

Oh, Christ. It's not as bad as all that, love.

frankly said...

Neil Clark should be careful criticising CiF articles, given his preposterous piece about those Iraqi-interpreter-quislings.

But the Wurtzel article was simply unbelievable.

Saying that anti-Semitism is the real motivation behind certain critics of Israel is one thing (and it's true) - but to make generalizations about e.g. "the French and the British" or "in Europe" is ridiculous.

A very messy debate here - it would help if people didn't toss around the terms "Zionist" and "anti-Zionist" around so liberally when there is no real consensus on their respective meanings.

So I think I'll avoid the quagmire, thanks.*

Anyway, I've come across another Wurtzel article that won't be making her many friends (or, as is evidently true for the Guardian rant: will it?)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122593335544203583.html

Is all of this recent drivel because she failed her bar exams?


* Although the following comment is priceless:

neil "95+% of Anti-Zionists are Antisemitic" craig said...
is it really appropriate to have posts which are wholly dishonest personal attacks on other commenters by Nazi anonymii?

neil craig said...

It would have been less priceless had you not felt the need to invent a bit of it & put it in bold.

We could all make up quotes, facts etc - that only the anti-Jewish writers feel the need to do so is indicative.