European Anti-Semitism or Stupid Ignorance

Maguy Kakon.jpg

It’s election season in Morocco, and one of the candidates for Parliment is Maguy Kakon, a Jewish Moroccan who identifies first as Moroccan and secondly Jewish. The other day I was reading a post in Martin’s blog about how the Spanish newspaper El Mundo referred to Kakon as being of “Israeli faith”.

Wow! That’s a new one for me. I didn’t know that Israel was a faith or that all Jews were inherently Israeli. Obviously not all Israelis are Jewish (Jews make up about 75% of Israel and the rest are Muslim and Christian Arabs), and not all Arabs in Arab countries are Muslim.

In a recent Washington Post article entitled “The New Anti-Semitism“, Denis MacShane (a Labor Member of the British House of Commons) wrote an op-ed piece on what he foundto be an increasing and alarming wave of anti-Semitism in Europe. The El Mundo journalist’s use of the term “Israeli faith”, although it may be based on ignorance, is devisive and reminds me of the 1960 US Presidential Elections when many Americans argued that JFK would not be a trustworthy president because, as a Catholic, his allegiance would first be to Rome and then secondly to the US.

Is this El Mundo journalist anti-Semitic or simply stupid?



Filed under Essays

15 responses to “European Anti-Semitism or Stupid Ignorance

  1. ReWrite formerly known asTheCommentKiller

    how about both

  2. Hmmmmmm.

    I’ll take “Anti-semitic and simply stupid” for $1000 Alec.

  3. P.S. I hope he chokes on a menorah, let me know if he needs assistance with that, I’d be more than happy to offer my services.

  4. eric

    Just makes us feel better about not always being the most ignorant, uncultured people in the world.

  5. ReWrite formerly known asTheCommentKiller

    I don’t know. I have now received three emails, from three different people w/ three different pictures of Muslim women wearing burkas that cover their whole face posing for a picture while on vacation or some leisure activity.

    the people who sent the email thought that the act of taking the photo of a woman w/ her face covered was somehow funny. One of the senders explained to me, what is the point of taking the photo of someone who you can’t tell who it is.

    I said, well if you were to take the photo of the first woman you see on the street in and then ask her to take off the layers of make-up, orange sudo-tan and the multitude of pretenses she has on, you may not be able to recognize the person in the photo.

    Xenophobia is everywhere.

  6. eric


    I actually posted that same photo some 3 or 4 months ago. Most of the Arabs I know actually found it quite funny, and it was first sent to me from an Arab. But, yes, you do bring up a question about xenophobia.

    Nevertheless, here is a much more compelling question: At what point or from what standpoint can we judge/critique/evaluate the practices/laws/traditions of other countries and peoples? Is there an objective basis that we can use? Is it by some set of international standards or international customs? Is there always a degree of xenophobia or cultural ethnocentricism when we do so?

    Much of the world has prohibited practices as immoral or as human rights violations that we in the US continue to follow, should they pass judgment on us? Are the death penalty or the supposed “right to arms”, abolished by every developed nation, simply cultural practices similar to the veil in certain Muslim countries or like the tradition of “an eye for an eye”? Or what about the US trying to impose its beliefs of abstinence (instead of family planning) on any nation receiving aid from the UN?

    What is the standard? Or is it a free for all?

  7. At what point or from what standpoint can we judge/critique/evaluate the practices/laws/traditions of other countries and peoples?

    Best question evar!!!

    In my humble and overly moronic opinion, we as humans associate with the methodology more than the outcome, when engaging determinations of “correct” or “incorrect”.

    This is typically backward. If the end result is negative, then the means are meaningless. Not being a scholar, my angle would be that is an effect of the synthetics of morality.

    In the end, it is the subterfuge of a “free for all”, and it wears the mask of fundamentalism.

    Yea!!! Hominid habituations …. mmmmmmmmm, habits.

  8. ReWrite formerly TheCommentKiller

    Think James is correct, the end result is probably most important in such instances. It is hard to create a standard. I also like James’ 2nd to last sentence as it is goes well with the topic (and imagery) generally.

    Eric, now recall you post w/ the photo, i can’t remember if i responded, but if i did, i probably mentioned my dislike of its usage.

    My problem with email blasting these photos around is the current anti-muslim sentiment in America. I think by laughing at some thing, solely b/c it is foreign to us, only contributes to the rising national xenophobia.

    I think your general question is a good one and James and I kind of discussed it, at least indirectly, when we talked about what it means to be PC.

    Generally I think we should try to never “judge… the practices/laws/traditions of other countries and peoples” b/c in doing so (yes) our action will innately be ethnocentric/xenophobic.

    that being said, aren’t Michael Vick’s actions (now that he has pled guilty) inherently wrong or isn’t Robert Mugabe an evil man or how about an easy one- Dick Cheney? The answer is that it is nothing is quite as black and white as it seems. And once we realize that we will be slower to judge people and we will be less likely to impose our belief system/mindset on people.

    anyway, i am tired.

  9. that being said, aren’t Michael Vick’s actions (now that he has pled guilty) inherently wrong or isn’t Robert Mugabe an evil man or how about an easy one- Dick Cheney? The answer is that it is nothing is quite as black and white as it seems. And once we realize that we will be slower to judge people and we will be less likely to impose our belief system/mindset on people.

    Sadly, there is no truth or fact to this, and I have the perfect example:

    My son is not allowed to wear any type of ball cap to school/in school, even those with the school’s insignia.

    But there are a number of Muslim females running around the high school in burka.

    Determinations of judgment is a genetic necessity for mammals, it is how we have survived, and it won’t go away. You judge everything in your environment all day long, and there is nothing you can do to stop that function. Saying otherwise just makes you deluded, or bereft of any sensory perception.

    Again, just my moronic opinion, if you are really interested in stopping “xenophobia”, then start an anti-hypocrisy movement: good for the goose, good for the gander. Unbalanced scales do not right themselves.

    Two more things: (1)it’s funny how you can’t force American values on anyone, that’s wrong, but having the Q’uran in a high school, and certain individuals in obviously religious clothing is okay … it’s okay to impose as long as you aren’t “christian cracker” … (there are no copies of the Bible, Kabbalah, Pentateuch, etc., in the school’s library … but there’s fifteen different books on Islam, including the Q’uran.)

    (2)Respect is earned, like anything else. You do nothing to earn it, then you don’t deserve it …

    I hate the smell of bullshit in my nostrils, just immediately brings up the misanthropic bile, likely why I can’t stand PC, (Polluted Colon movement).

    Viva la Rivoluzione`!!!

    P.S. Michael Vick: idiot, but that’s reason enough to terminate him in my book.

    Robert Mugabe: scumbag in need of execution.

    Dick Cheney: scumbag in need of execution.

    P.P.S. I think you can give up on the mindset argument, history stands against 95% of humanity ever being in possession of that artifact. I wonder if Neanderthal man had “short mammoth riders” jokes … hmmmmm. Oh wait, how insensitive of me, that’s an unfair judgment about Neanderthals, my apologies.

  10. eric

    Sorry, guys, I am not so sure you can really look at the ends. Isn’t torture always wrong? For example, can you justify racial profiling, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, etc, based on the overall benefit to society or on the overall goals of an administration? Who is creating those goals, deciding the success or failure of an “end”? The slope is a little too slippery. Even the grey area is pretty grey.

  11. Sorry cugino, but you just proved my position to be more accurate.

    You assessed a negative judgment of “torture”, and regardless of the means, the end result is “incorrect”, everything else is thereby meaningless in your assessment.

    There is no slope, and at some point you are going to have to go back and look at history with pragmatic vision: this is how we operate.

    I can’t remember the name off hand, but there is a book detailing over a thousand different methods or torture and execution used by the Romans; all of which are adaptations or direct replication of those used by Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Gauls, Britons, etc.

    “Grey areas” are what happens when logic and reasoning are absent, and the effete emotive principles are used in their stead. There is no need to “justify” racial profiling, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Gitmo; it’s already part of the phenomenal reality. Your expressions against them, are just an unwillingness to accept absurdity, without which, we no longer exist.

  12. ReWrite formerly TheCommentKiller

    Bill Moyers Journal, which you can access from PBS or iTunes for free, last night aired an excellent program on the Bush Administration’s laws and policies on detainees, domestic spying and more.

  13. Rewrite,

    Round and round we go …

    What’s your point? The marionette Bushie is the puppet masters favorite toy. Nothing that is occurring with this Administration is outside “the norm”.

    Want me to say it again?

    History never repeats, and Rome is still our greatest adversary.

  14. eric


    I actually think we are in total agreement here. I used the idea of “torture” just as an example how it is hard to gauge what we consider to be a means, an end, and justifiable. Yes, the problem is not that torture or any other means may be inherently good or bad, but rather that most of the premises upon which the ends and even the means are based are arbitrary, easily manipulatable, or gray themselves.

    Even something like “fairness” doesn’t contemplate whether the end goal is “good” or “bad”, it is simply a comparative measure, and nothing more.

  15. I think that is correct, for those outside the mover’s group, discerning exactly what the means are, is virtually implausible.

    Bad premises are certainly the first step to the fall.

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