First they came for the mosques

In the discussion of the NAACP’s criticism of racist elements within the teatard movement, a lot of people noted that the Anti-Defamation League issues criticism of that sort all the time. That’s correct and it’s a good point. But it should also be noted that the ADL has gone completely off the rails:

The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

Look, if and when Jeff Goldstein or David Horowitz blows something up, we don’t want people saying there can’t be any synagogues nearby anymore. Religious bigotry is religious bigotry is religious bigotry.

Adam Serwer:

I learned a very important lesson in Hebrew School that I have retained my entire life. If they can deny freedom to a single individual because of who they are, they can do it to anyone.

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109 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    Why do they hate private property?

  2. 2
    PeakVT says:

    The ADL is just reflecting the increasing lunacy in Israel.

  3. 3
    DougJ says:

    @PeakVT:

    Unfortunately, I think the ADL is helping drive lunacy at this point, not reflecting it.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    I learned a very important lesson in Hebrew School that I have retained my entire life. If they can deny freedom to a single individual because of who they are, they can do it to anyone.

    … unless you’re rich, white, and you’ve got a friend in the Senate.

    People screaming over the NY mosque aren’t doing so out of fear. They’re doing so out of a complete lack there of. They do not feel threatened by the federal or local governments in the least. They’re like bullies who know the school teacher can’t touch them. Completely out of control.

  5. 5
    El Cid says:

    The ADL doesn’t give a shit about religious freedom, nor about any group whatsoever who doesn’t share their insane support of ultra-militarist policies with regard to Israel.

  6. 6

    By this logic various Native American tribes could tell us all to GtFo and we’d have to leave.

    And no Catholic churches near playgrounds. Ever.

    Look, if and when Jeff Goldstein or David Horowitz blows something up, we don’t want people saying there can’t be any synagogues nearby anymore.

    That isn’t really the ADL’s point. It’s actually worse because they’re pointing to the controversy (a handful of dipshits acting up cranky) as the reason not to build the center two blocks away.

  7. 7
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    By this logic various Native American tribes could tell us all to GtFo and we’d have to leave.

    I said the same thing about the anti-“anchor baby” nonsense as well.

  8. 8
    wilfred says:

    @Zifnab:

    That’s a good point: There are no consequences to anti-Muslim bigotry.

  9. 9
    ruemara says:

    Sadly, sometimes even the fairly virtuous can have huge, world class, light of the sun blocking blinders.

  10. 10

    @PeakVT:

    Yeah, it’s been fun watching my hawkish pro-Israel relatives discover that, not being Orthodox, they’re about to be legally designated as Gentiles.

    Well, fun’s not the word, really.

  11. 11
    libarbarian says:

    I’m sorry, but Jeff Goldstein isn’t ever going to actually blow anything up. Its simply not homoerotic enough for him.

    Until someone invents a way to commit terrorism by getting naked and wrestling with other men, we’re safe from JG.

  12. 12
    Josh says:

    Serwer’s point reminds me of a similar remark I saw recently in a comment thread: “Some people take the lesson of the Holocaust to be, ‘This must never happen again’; others take it to be, ‘This must never happen to us again.’ They tend to advocate opposite policies.” I think a lot of wingnuttery is based on that inability to generalize–to go beyond, in this case, “Nazism was bad because Jews were massacred” to the more general “Massacring a people is bad.”

    The ADL’s been appalling for a long time: this week, you’ll recall, they insisted that Oliver Stone had not only to retract his antisemitic statement but his criticism of Israeli policy. But the Cordoba business brings them to a new low.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    I dated a guy for awhile who was involved with the Holocaust Museum in the city in which we were both living at the time. While we were dating we attended quite a few events there. I noticed that in the entire time I was going to the museum on a regular basis there was no recognition of anyone being treated poorly because of who they were other than the Jewish people. Nothing in the regular exhibit, no special exhibits, no films or plays or other presentations. Everything was tied specifically to the suffering of the Jewish people during the Holocaust (with a few occasional mentions of others who were affecting during that time period).

    In the time since then I’ve discussed this issue with a wide variety of people. While I understand that the Holocaust Museum is designed to remember the horrors of the Holocaust that were inflicted (mostly) upon the Jewish people so that it won’t happen again, the larger lesson seems to me to be that it could happen to anyone. But that attitude wasn’t prevalent at the museum or among the people I talked with then.

    The ADL statement doesn’t surprise me particularly, as it seems in line with the attitude I encountered when discussing the museum’s exhibits and purpose. The ability to look beyond one group being mistreated and recognize that it could happen to anyone didn’t seem to be of particular importance. The ADL doesn’t seem to recognize that they are taking an oppressive stance toward a religious minority.

  14. 14
    shortstop says:

    Unfortunately, I think the ADL is helping drive lunacy at this point, not reflecting it.

    Absolutely.

    People screaming over the NY mosque aren’t doing so out of fear. They’re doing so out of a complete lack there of. They do not feel threatened by the federal or local governments in the least. They’re like bullies who know the school teacher can’t touch them. Completely out of control.

    Absolutely x2. The first thing I thought when I saw this outrageous statement was, “They know no one in Congress or the MSM will actually call them on the appalling hypocrisy of this.”

  15. 15
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @ruemara:

    Sadly, sometimes even the fairly virtuous can have huge, world class, light of the sun blocking blinders.

    Right…and also too, sometimes douchebags will just be douchebags.

  16. 16
    shortstop says:

    Sadly, sometimes even the fairly virtuous can have huge, world class, light of the sun blocking blinders.

    I was asking over at Benen’s whether I’m misremembering a time when the ADL absolutely would not have pulled this shit. FlipYrWhig seemed to think I was. Help me out, y’all…am I all wet in thinking this outfit used to have ethical standards that would have made this kind of statement unthinkable for them?

  17. 17
    Mark S. says:

    But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.

    That’s an bizarre position for a supposed civil rights group to take. Who gets to decide what is right? The people in power? The majority? Why even have rights if they might conflict with “what is right”?

  18. 18
    timb says:

    @libarbarian: I will tentatively state this is an awesome comment, but I will withhold final judgment based on whether mentioning that crazy bastard’s name draws the Rapid Response team in to designate the “real racists.” At that point, then I will not approve of mentioning any og thsoe dim bulbs and their chronic case of self-loathing victimhood

  19. 19
    Napoleon says:

    @Violet:

    While I understand that the Holocaust Museum is designed to remember the horrors of the Holocaust that were inflicted (mostly) upon the Jewish people so that it won’t happen again, the larger lesson seems to me to be that it could happen to anyone.

    I seem to recall that Jewish people were roughly half of the victims in the Holocaust.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    @Napoleon:
    But the Holocaust Museum is mostly funded by Jewish people, as far as I understood it anyway. There was a very small mention of others who suffered during the Holocaust in the Museum’s regular exhibit, but it was so brief that it was easily overlooked.

  21. 21
    DougJ says:

    @shortstop:

    I remember the ADL as a good organization I usually agreed with, too. I don’t know how long ago that was or if I’m just misremembering.

  22. 22
    Stefan says:

    But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.

    What a vile and contemptible statement. I’d love to throw this back into the ADL’s face the next time they’re upset about an injustice.

  23. 23
    Punchy says:

    I already sent these fuckers a terse screed illuminating their overt bigotry and wantonly inconsistent ideology.

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    Has anybody ever seen Abe Foxman and Bill Donohue in the same place? Is it one guy who sends out email decrying whatever will will get him a headline as being anti-fill-in-the-blank?

  25. 25
    Stefan says:

    Shortstop! My old friend! How have you been?!?!

  26. 26
    aimai says:

    Its obscene. Absolutely obscene. But on Violet’s point up above that there is a (subset) of Jews who regard the Holocaust as significant primarily because it happened to Jews, and not as an instantiation of the evils that humans inflict on other humans, I think that’s sort of a an evolution from the original, immiediatly postwar, significance of the Shoah. There’s a lot of different kind of jews in this world, and each of them took the destruction of old world jewery in a different way. Some lost g-d, some found g-d, some lost or threw away an identification with a narrow, sectarian religion and some found a connection to a larger, universalist, reading of the religion. Some took refuge in hyper nationalism and others in new found confidence in new political identities divorced from ethnicity and religion.

    One thing to remember is that the “meaning” of the Holocaust isn’t inherent in the event at all. Were the jews rightfully killed because they were a fifth element in the nobel aryan realm? Were they accidentally killed because they were part of the war machine and died as slave laborers? Were they just a small part of the really important deaths of the non jewish poles? Did they die because many countries refused them entry visas? And was that refusal understrandable, or culpable? Is the entire thing a kind of early entry into the right wing’s favorite trope of the “race hustler?” (Under this reading, which is quite popular among Neo Nazis the whole thing is overblown and the jews only claim all those deaths *in order to * get reparations. )

    Myself I see the Holocaust as one in a long line of genocidal attacks: the Romans and Carthage? The Romans and the Jews? Turkey and the Armenians? Pol Pot and the Cambodians? China and the Tibetans? The US and our Native American population? Rwanda? Of course one lesson is “never again for anyone.” But that’s only one lesson. Another lesson, which some have taken from it, is “look out for yourself, because its for g-damned sure that no one else is going to look out for you.” And, relatedly, appeals to the good will and humanity of the wider world will get you bupkis and a standing room only place on a cattle car. The Tibetans are supposed to have called the Jews in to tell them how they survived as a people over 2000 years from their spiritual homeland. I don’t think there was any singular answer that didn’t revolve around the ambiguity of the holocaust and its messages.

    But I think, that being said, no individual Holocaust Museum is responsible for making the wider claim or doing the research to resurrect or salvage the memory of all other victims. Its actually hard enough to get the money and archive the materials of one holocaust without taking on the requirement that you prove your good intentions by working on them all. Its like demanding that an ancestral family museum show pictures of everyone else’s family in order to prove something. If the Armenians want to put up a museum honoring their dead I don’t see that its incumbent upon them to *also* do shows about the Tibetans.

    aimai

  27. 27
    Peter J says:

    From a commenter at the Plum Line via a commenter at Washington Monthly:

    I don’t think the Republicans should be allowed to open a campaign headquarters in my neighborhood. I know they have rights under the First Amendment and everything, but this isn’t about rights, it is about what is right. Having a reminder of the Bush/Cheney Administration so close by causes me and my family too much pain.

  28. 28
    Josh says:

    Violet, yes, there are still plenty who think “Nazi Holocaust” should only refer to the extermination of Jews and not other death camp victims. The “Our people’s deaths are more important” argument is an old one: Woody Allen criticized it in Deconstructing Harry; and Joan Baez goes out of her way to change “they murdered six million” to “they murdered twelve million” when she sings “With God on Our Side,” because Gentile deaths count too. In defense of Holocaust commemorations, I’d note that the U.S. Holocaust Museum in D.C. takes pride in identifying and analyzing various genocides, of the past and present, including the Srebrenica Massacre, which IIRC killed Muslims.

    What makes the ADL’s stance on Cordoba a disappointment is that they set themselves up as pro-civil rights, anti-bigotry, pro-immigrant, and so forth.

  29. 29
    shortstop says:

    What a vile and contemptible statement. I’d love to throw this back into the ADL’s face the next time they’re upset about an injustice.

    I don’t imagine they’re remotely able to see that what applies to everyone else applies to them. They appear to be too far gone down the rabbit hole now.

  30. 30
    licensed to kill time says:

    __

    The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process.

    What the hell is “the healing process” anyway? How do we know if “the healing process” is underway, proceeding, or complete? Who defines those things? I hate vague terms like that.

  31. 31
    shortstop says:

    @Stefan: I wasn’t sure that was the same Stefan. Delighted to see you, my dear! How’s tricks? And any craigie sightings?

  32. 32
    El Cruzado says:

    @Violet: Sadly the Roma people haven’t ever been able to proportionally match donations, nor Jehova’s Witnesses, nor gays apparently.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @El Cruzado: Note: only kill people without money. Not as profitable, but fewer people will care.

  34. 34
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @MikeJ: I made the Donahue comparison at Benen’s. I can’t remember the ADL doing anything constructive… which is not to say they haven’t done it, just that I can’t remember it.

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    By this logic various Native American tribes could tell us all to GtFo and we’d have to leave.

    A bit surprising a pro-Israel organization really wants to start down that path, isn’t it?

    The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center Jewish state at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York United Nations would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

  35. 35
    Woodrowfan says:

    even as we sit here now, Breitbert is busy editing and splicing tapes to try and smear a Muslim group so as to draw attention from the ADL….

  36. 36
    Stefan says:

    Tricks are pretty good. As you notice, I don’t hang out at the WaMo much anymore. Ah, those were the days….

  37. 37
    KG says:

    @Mark S.: I always thought letting people exercise their rights to free association, the exercise of religion, speech, and whathaveyou was the right thing to do. It seems strange to me that the two things could conflict beyond the issues of defamation (unprotected speech because it violates another person’s rights) and time/place/manner restrictions.

  38. 38
    DougJ says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I made the Donahue comparison at Benen’s.

    It’s a good comparison

  39. 39
    Stefan says:

    You’d see the ADL’s heads explode if they ever read something like this:

    The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of a Jewish state at this location in the Middle East is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the State of Israel would be better served if an alternative location could be found…..

  40. 40
    shortstop says:

    @Stefan: I don’t get there much myself anymore, despite my mentioning in this thread that I’d been there today. This joint is far more appealing these days.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stefan: Beat you to it by two minutes, Stefan. [clinks glass approvingly]

  42. 42
    Stefan says:

    Damn, hit send before I finished:

    The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of a Jewish state at this location in the Middle East is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the State of Israel would be better served if an alternative location could be found…..

    Proponents of the State of Israel may have every right to build a country at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Judaism. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building the State of Israel in the shadow of Palestine will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right.

  43. 43
    Cerberus says:

    @aimai:

    I think the comment in question was in regards to many Nazi Holocaust museums not honoring all the dead or targeted groups of the Nazi Holocaust, focusing instead on the Jews as if they were the only group killed and that the only real lesson of the Nazi Holocaust among all those others was “Don’t let this happen to Jewish people again, fuck the others”.

    A museum to the Nazi Holocaust should certainly focus on Jewish deaths, what with them being the majority of people slaughtered, but it really should at least give a hat tip to the various other groups slaughtered in the Camps like gays, Roma, the mentally and physically disabled, etc…

  44. 44
    Shrillhouse says:

    The mosque (which is really a Muslim community center) which is being built at Ground Zero (which is actually two blocks from the former site of the WTC) was approved by the local community planning board.

    If New Yorkers are OK with the project going ahead, why should anyone else feel they have the right to speak on behalf of the people who actually live and work in Manhattan?

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Shrillhouse: Because shut up, that’s why.

  46. 46
    Comrade Dread says:

    The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

    i.e. Because a few WATB neo-cons largely from out of state are upset, we should ignore the local communities wishes, violate property rights of the land owner, and kill a few local construction jobs.

    Can’t wait to apply that standard to the rest of our constitutional rights.

    Rule by the loudmouths.

  47. 47
    Mattminus says:

    What do you expect from apartheid apologists?

  48. 48
    aimai says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    “Rule by loudmouths.” I think you’ve hit on the master plan.

    aimai

  49. 49
    Tom Hilton says:

    So, it’s the ASDL? Anti-Some (but not all) Defamation League?

  50. 50
    Napoleon says:

    @Stefan:

    Isn’t that essentially what Helen Thomas said?

  51. 51
    Stefan says:

    I don’t get there much myself anymore, despite my mentioning in this thread that I’d been there today. This joint is far more appealing these days.

    Yeah, I don’t know how it happened, but Benen doesn’t attract the same range of interesting commenters as Kevin Drum did. It’s just kind of…boring. Which you can’t say about here.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    If you’re ever in Los Angeles, I highly recommend a visit to the Museum of Tolerance, which is run by the Wiesenthal Center. It has a large section about the Holocaust, but its main focus is (as you might suspect) intolerance of all kinds. Right now, they have a special exhibition about the Civil Rights Movement.

    (If you’re really into museums, then a side trip to the Museum of Jurassic Technology is well worth it, too. It’s sort of a bizarre tribute to/critique of traditional museums where you’re not quite sure what’s real and what’s fake. The founder/owner won a MacArthur grant for it.)

  53. 53
    New Yorker says:

    I can get on board with this…once they’ve removed St. Patrick’s Cathedral from 5th Ave. Being so close to Central Park and all the children that play there, it’s counter-productive to the healing process.

  54. 54
    Gator90 says:

    Others including the poster have already noted this type of parallel, but what would the ADL make of this hypothetical statement from the (hypothetical) Association of American Muslims:

    The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of [a synagogue] at this location [near a mosque in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood] is counterproductive to the healing process. Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found [for the synagogue].

    In recommending that a different location be found for the [synagogue], we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about [the Jews who are] providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its [Jewish] leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values…..

    Proponents of the [synagogue] may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about [Judaism]…. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building [a synagogue near a mosque] will cause some [anti-Semites] more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.

  55. 55
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    So, it’s the ASDL? Anti-Some (but not all) Defamation League?

    Anti-defamation for me, but none for thee.

  56. 56
    Gator90 says:

    Oops, meant to block-quote the last 2 paragraphs of #54.

  57. 57
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    Religious bigotry is religious bigotry is religious bigotry.

    Oh yeah? What if they wanted to build twin 1000-foot high mosques at Ground Zero?

    Just screwin with ya. If they did, I wouldn’t complain. Unless they put a giant speaker on top shrieking Allah Akbar so loud you could hear it in Newark.

    But anyway, let ’em build the Mosque. If we don’t have religious tolerance in this country, then exactly what freedom will we claim they are hating us for, the next time there’s an attack? The freedom to be xtian?

    Build the mosque. That’s the best way I can think of the advance the healing process. Seriously.

  58. 58
    Mark S. says:

    But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.

    Sorry, but I just can’t get over this. It sounds like something that one would find on the door of the Ministry of Love.

  59. 59
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    I think that since the Jews killed Jesus, Jerusalem would be better served if an alternative location could be found for all Synagogues.

    /amirite?

  60. 60
    libarbarian says:

    @timb

    I don’t know. It might be fun to see how fast it takes JG to start threatening physical violence. He always ends up doing it given enough time.

  61. 61
    Felonious Wench says:

    @Stefan: You win the thread.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:

    @aimai:
    I agree with much of what you said, but ignoring other victims goes beyond ignoring other genocides. At the same time the Nazis were murdering every Jew they could get there hands on, they were also murdering as many gays, Gypsies, and handicapped people as they could. Ignoring or displaying those other victims tacitly validates the Nazis’ targeting them.

  63. 63
    Hugin & Munin says:

    That’s the last straw; the ADL is so not getting a Christmas Card this year.

  64. 64

    But … but … but … there is ALREADY a mosque at Ground ero! Just 800 feet from the proposed NEW mosque! And it’s been there since the 1970s!!!!!

    http://wonkette.com/417009/att.....e-wtc-site

    Oy.

  65. 65
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Shrillhouse:

    which is actually two blocks from the former site of the WTC

    I say the hell with that, build the damned thing at Ground Zero. How the hell long are they going to leave it a hole in the ground? If somebody’s got a plan to put it to good use, go for it. We Americans have demonstrated to the entire world that our love for petty bureaucratic squabbling is far greater than our desire to show those terrorists a thing or two, so I say build the Islamic Center right there.

  66. 66
    wengler says:

    I never understood why there is a Holocaust museum in DC. In Berlin makes sense but in DC? If anything there should be a museum about how the US killed and forcibly removed the people that had lived here for thousands of years. I know there’s an American Indian museum but that isn’t really the same thing.

    The ADL is a joke. I get it, you hate Muslims because of Israel.

  67. 67
    MattR says:

    @Mark S.: The worst part is that it seems like this is a central belief of the ADL and not just a poorly phrased sentence as part of a larger statement. Their defense of the Turkish flotilla incident (and of Israeli policy towards Palestinians in general) is the exact same thing – sure those people have rights, but it is more important to do what we perceive to be right

  68. 68
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    Also, I may be late to the party here, but it’s NOT a mosque, it’s a community center. New Yorkers seem to have no problem with the planned structure, so why do Newt and a bunch of other gasbags from the fly-over zone have sand in their vaginas about it?

  69. 69
    Zifnab says:

    @aimai:

    If the Armenians want to put up a museum honoring their dead I don’t see that its incumbent upon them to also do shows about the Tibetans.

    While it’s true, and you’ve got some very valid points, the Jewish people were in a unique situation after the Holocaust, in that they were more affluent and less reviled than the Gypsies and the gays and the various other victims of the German genocide.

    The American Jews were able to honor and remember their European brothers and sisters because they had the money and the clout necessary. American Gypsies just didn’t occupy the same niche. And when you’ve got a Holocaust Museum, it only seems right to share memorial with the people occupying the other half of the cattle car.

    Forgetting those that died at your side leads to the bullshit we get to see in Palestine on a daily basis. You’ve got an Israeli Government implementing the kind of cruel and destructive policies against neighboring Arabs that would have made a 30s era fascist cream his jeans. These policies are propped up by waves of anti-Arab propaganda and demagoguery that can only exist in the kind of multi-cultural vacuum Israel has erected for itself. Without a method for remembering more of the past than serves your own self-interests, you’re exposed to inflicting horrors like this in the future.

  70. 70
    Zifnab says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods: Because race-baiting wins elections?

  71. 71
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods: Crap. What Stefan and dozens of persons smarter and quicker than I said…

  72. 72
    Gator90 says:

    @Josh:

    Violet, yes, there are still plenty who think “Nazi Holocaust” should only refer to the extermination of Jews

    Yes, including the people who write the dictionary.

    3. the Holocaust, the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

    Random House Webster’s College Dictionary (Random House, 2000).

    Maybe the dictionary is a Jewish plot.

  73. 73
    DougJ says:

    @aimai:

    Myself I see the Holocaust as one in a long line of genocidal attacks: the Romans and Carthage? The Romans and the Jews? Turkey and the Armenians? Pol Pot and the Cambodians? China and the Tibetans?

    FWIW, I find the Holocaust different more chilling than the above because it was aimed at a country’s own citizenry (unlike most of the above). And certainly among western insanities, anti-Semitism has to be considered among the most dangerous and frightening.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zifnab:

    And when you’ve got a Holocaust Museum, it only seems right to share memorial with the people occupying the other half of the cattle car.

    Just highlighting this, because it really is the point. It’s not even a matter of highlighting other genocides (though, as I said, the Museum of Tolerance does a great job of it). It’s acknowledging that other people went through the exact same thing you/your relatives did.

    Action T4 was how the Nazis learned how to kill people in the most efficient way. It would be nice to remember those people, too.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @shortstop:

    I dimly remember that too. Before 1967, maybe?

  76. 76
    scav says:

    The we-must-not-tolerate-Muslims-as-a-part-of-our-healing-process card is certainly an interesting twist on the concept of being healthy. Enlightening, even, as an insight into their conceptual and moral selves.

  77. 77
    craigie says:

    Yeah, I don’t know how it happened, but Benen doesn’t attract the same range of interesting commenters as Kevin Drum did. It’s just kind of…boring. Which you can’t say about here.

    Ironically, Mr Drum’s new blog is kind of dull as well. Mostly I read this one and (gasp) that nice Mr Sullivan nowadays. Reformed prostitutes are the most interesting people, I guess.

  78. 78
    scav says:

    @DougJ: But, even then, Jews were not the only citizens targeted by their own govts (and, as the war went on, the whole question of govts gets oddish – certainly people were turning in their compatriots though.)

  79. 79
    shortstop says:

    Reformed prostitutes are the most interesting people, I guess.

    You’re barely in the door and already you’re giving backhanded compliments to Stefan.

  80. 80
    daveNYC says:

    FWIW, I find the Holocaust different more chilling than the above because it was aimed at a country’s own citizenry (unlike most of the above). And certainly among western insanities, anti-Semitism has to be considered among the most dangerous and frightening.

    Personally, I feel the Holocaust is considered special because it was done by people like us*, as opposed to the others on your list which happened long ago (when everyone did crap like that), or were done by obvious ‘others’ which let us say ‘oh yeah, those people, that’s something they do’.

    /* Us is defined as modern white Europeans.

  81. 81
    Hugin & Munin says:

    cragie: Oh, we blow hot and cold on the nice Mr. Sullivan here. Don’t like the tone of the posts about him? Wait five minutes and they’ll change (much like himself).

  82. 82
    dslak says:

    @daveNYC: That “we” did it may play some part, but the Holocaust is also significant because it was mass murder performed on a production line. Turning the tools of industry and capitalism into a means of executing large numbers of people at once. That hasn’t happened anywhere else yet.

  83. 83
    IM says:

    Personally, I feel the Holocaust is considered special because it was done by people like us

    And perhaps, to people like us.
    You don’t do that to whites!

    After all, even in the thirties, Italy in Ethiopia and Japan in China had done quite well in the massacre department, but that did not happen to or between civilized countries, so…

    (the holocaust is still unique or nearly unique)

  84. 84
    aimai says:

    @DougJ:

    I’m jewish, myself, and I’m not sure I find the Holocaust “more chilling” than my other examples because it occured internally. For one thing only a small portion of the Jews exterminated were in any sense “internal” to the German people–those who were citizens (and often veterans of Imperial wars) of German and Austria. The French, Polish, and other Jews were chosen out of a captive/conquered people and in the case of the Poles killed under the same rubric of untermenschen.

    To me the problem with this discussion is that nobody cares to distinguish between “the jews,” “israel,” “the ADL,” “some guy I know,” “my uncle,” “a random experience I had with some subset of the jews,” and face the basic fact: history happens, people get killed, some people flee and try to start new lives, other people stay in place and try to start new lives, the survivors *on all sides* write their own histories and fight for their piece of posterity, some people get beyond it, others don’t. The ADL is a specific, institutional, reponse to one set of “Jewish” issues–it has its own institional founders, logic, needs, history, goals which are *completely different from* that of the Jewish people as a whole, if such a thing can even be said to exist. It doesn’t speak for Jews, it certainly doesn’t speak for all Jews everywhere and their experience of the Holocaust. It may talk as if it does. It may use some images/political ideas of the Holocaust as one of its tools, but that doesn’t mean that we can *talk back to the ADL* effectively by saying “hey, you, stop using the Holocaust to mean just the jews and not other kinds of genocidal victims” because its not nice. Of course its not nice-its a political act by a political arm of a very small country with its own ideas about what it needs in a unipolar global system.

    Attack the ADL, by all means–directly and indirectly by challenging their right to speak for all Jews, and for *any* victims of discrimination. Point out that the ADL’s moral standing is weak precisely because it limits itself to protecting only (some) Jews when doing so aids a specific country (Israel) and not when doing so protects general civil rights. I hate those motherfuckers. But not because they are some subset of entitled Jews but because they totally lack what to me is the basic post-Holocaust Jewish stance on the world: universalism. We are, and always will be, strangers in a strange land. We either make common cause with all other despised, outcast, people or we die/and if we make common cause with other despised outcast people we may yet die. That’s the human condition in a nutshell.

    aimai

  85. 85
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Mark S.: Krugman, in a blog post today, has a number of examples of the ADL attitude that involve rights as opposed to be being/doing right. He nails the ADL. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

  86. 86
    Frank says:

    @Peter J:

    I don’t think the Republicans should be allowed to open a campaign headquarters in my neighborhood. I know they have rights under the First Amendment and everything, but this isn’t about rights, it is about what is right. Having a reminder of the Bush/Cheney Administration so close by causes me and my family too much pain.

    Great comment!

    Heck, if we were to use the ADL logic, there should no longer be any Christian churches allowed within miles and miles from any abortion clinic that has experienced violence/threats from “Christian” protesters. I know they have rights under the First Amendment and everything, but this isn’t about rights, it is about what is right. Having a reminder of the anti-abortion terrorists so close will cause people too much pain.

  87. 87
    Stefan says:

    Ironically, Mr Drum’s new blog is kind of dull as well. Mostly I read this one and (gasp) that nice Mr Sullivan nowadays. Reformed prostitutes are the most interesting people, I guess.

    And craigie! Why, it’s old home week!

    Oddly, yes, I now read Sullivan as well. Never used to, but now I’m almost drawn to it. I think it’s the beard.

  88. 88
    Stefan says:

    You’re barely in the door and already you’re giving backhanded compliments to Stefan.

    Who says I’m reformed?

  89. 89
    Stefan says:

    That “we” did it may play some part, but the Holocaust is also significant because it was mass murder performed on a production line. Turning the tools of industry and capitalism into a means of executing large numbers of people at once. That hasn’t happened anywhere else yet.

    *Hiroshima* cough cough…..

  90. 90
    shortstop says:

    Who says I’m reformed?

    That was the “backhanded” part, honey.

  91. 91

    The Holocaust is a big deal because, aside from the brutality that it represented, it happened recently and there are people alive today who were themselves or had relatives in the death camps, or were involved in liberating the camps. It is recent memory.

    And also, in America there was rampant, institutionalized anti-semitism at that time and the Holocaust revealed our own dirty laundry and we’ve been trying to atone for it ever since.

    What I’ve never understood is why, after WWII ended and the whole McCarthy thing happened, no one bothered to mention the rank anti-Semitism of the McCarthy hearings.

  92. 92
    RSA says:

    In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right.

    I don’t mean to be insensitive, but when we talk about the victims of 9/11, I think we generally mean the people who were killed on that day. Who does ADL specifically see as “some victims” in this case? I imagine that there are things happening in the city every single day that give rise to painful memories among some New Yorkers.

  93. 93
    Roger Moore says:

    @daveNYC:

    Personally, I feel the Holocaust is considered special because it was done by people like us*, as opposed to the others on your list which happened long ago (when everyone did crap like that), or were done by obvious ‘others’ which let us say ‘oh yeah, those people, that’s something they do’.

    It was also done to people like us, i.e. other civilized Europeans, rather than a bunch of dark skinned others. The devastation of Native Americans, the rape of the Belgian Congo, the African slave trade, systematic mistreatment of Australian Aborigines, etc. don’t draw nearly the same degree of condemnation. Those were done by people just like us, but seem to be less traumatic, presumably because the victims were less sympathetic.

  94. 94

    The ADL has been pretty nasty when it comes to policing domestic discourse on Israel so I’m not overly shocked by this. I imagine their donor base includes a lot of people who may be otherwise fairly liberal, but are bat shit crazy on anything having to do with Muslims, Israel, the Middle East, etc. Taking a strong stance in favor of the mosque would probably piss these type of people off and threaten their funding. Of course there are certainly more enlightened donors who would be offended if they adopted a stance that was unequivocally opposed to the mosque and undifferentiated from the stance and Newt and Palin. Thus you have this weasley bullshit where their supposedly opposed to bigotry against Muslims and even acknowledge their right to build a mosque, but oppose it anyway for supposedly being provocative.

    Clearly if the same right wingers were opposed to the construction of a Jewish Community Center or Synagogue, their stance would be much different. I think the most important lesson to get out of this is that despite their claims to the contrary, the ADL is not a civil rights organization dedicated to defending the rights of all Americans. The group’s own internal contradictions make that impossible.

  95. 95
    Frank says:

    @RSA:

    I don’t mean to be insensitive, but when we talk about the victims of 9/11, I think we generally mean the people who were killed on that day. Who does ADL specifically see as “some victims” in this case? I imagine that there are things happening in the city every single day that give rise to painful memories among some New Yorkers.

    And let’s not forget that 60 muslims were part of the 3000 killed that day. I guess the ADL don’t consider them victims.

  96. 96
    Mnemosyne says:

    So let’s look at it:

    The problem is Muslim extremism.

    We have a group of Muslims who want to be part of the community and are building a community center.

    Therefore, the way to fight Muslim extremism is to refuse to allow Muslims who want to be part of the larger community to join us and keep them segregated from everyone else.

    Guh?

  97. 97
    HyperIon says:

    @aimai:

    The Romans and the Jews?

    A small point about a long post.

    How did the Romans persecute the Jews? I thought the Jews got a bit of a pass from the Romans, who recognized that Judaism pre-dated the Roman religion. Of course they invaded Judea and treated everyone there like crap in their inimitable Roman way but it wasn’t a religious issue IIRC.

    But the Romans and the Christians? That’s another matter completely.

  98. 98
    HyperIon says:

    @Angry Space Cadet wrote:

    Taking a strong stance in favor of the mosque…

    Not a mosque, a community center.
    Just for accuracy.

  99. 99
    HyperIon says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods:

    but it’s NOT a mosque, it’s a community center.

    ya beat me to it!
    i’m even behinder than you!

  100. 100

    @HyperIon:

    How did the Romans persecute the Jews? I thought the Jews got a bit of a pass from the Romans, who recognized that Judaism pre-dated the Roman religion. Of course they invaded Judea and treated everyone there like crap in their inimitable Roman way but it wasn’t a religious issue IIRC.

    “IIRC”? And how old were you at that time, Dear? :-)

    But seriously: After a while the Jews got tired of the Roman yoke [which laid heavy on everyone] and started twitching a bit under the burden and then the Romans got nastier and nastier.

    On the topic of Christians, by the way, the first Christians were ethnic Jews. And the Roman leaders and Roman common folks never tired to public executions of Christians until the religion contained more Romans than Jews. Then it wasn’t so funny. I guess killing Roman Christians just isn’t as satisfying as killing Jewish Christians.

  101. 101
    Nick says:

    @Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods:

    New Yorkers seem to have no problem with the planned structure, so why do Newt and a bunch of other gasbags from the fly-over zone have sand in their vaginas about it?

    Actually, it polls pretty badly in New York.

  102. 102
    Nick says:

    @wengler:

    In Berlin makes sense but in DC?

    It’s not good for the “healing process”

  103. 103

    @wengler: Once we have the complete set of museums we get a new river.

  104. 104
    DougJ says:

    @aimai:

    To me the problem with this discussion is that nobody cares to distinguish between “the jews,” “israel,” “the ADL,” “some guy I know,” “my uncle,” “a random experience I had with some subset of the jews,”

    I agree with you.

  105. 105
    LibertarianAtheist says:

    @Violet:
    Ever heard of a book called The Holocaust Industry by Norman Finkelstein? You should definitely look into reading that, although you’re going to feel pretty disgusted, shocked, and outraged by some of the revolting stuff he documents in there. I certainly was.

  106. 106

    Doug:

    I quoted you yesterday in another thread without giving you credit. Sorry.

    However, it was so appropriate for the topic.

    Religious bigotry really is religious bigotry is religious bigotry.

  107. 107
    wilfred says:

    Newt, FTW:

    Newt Ginrich’s spokesman told Salon in a phone interview today that building a mosque at Ground Zero “would be like putting a statue of Mussolini or Marx at Arlington National Cemetery.”Asked what the 19th century German philosopher had ever done to America, Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said: “Well let’s go with Lenin then.” Tyler explained that he was talking about Lenin, who died in 1924, as representative of the Cold War and ideologies opposed to America.

    That, as they, is that.

  108. 108
    Nick says:

    @wilfred: That’s not even a correct analogy. It would be if Osama bin Laden was building a home in Ground Zero.

    This is like putting an Italian/German/Japanese/Austrian/Turkish/Spanish/Mexican/British/Vietnamese/Iraqi embassy within a few miles of Arlington.

    Oh wait. THEY DID THAT!!!!

  109. 109
    Ab_Normal says:

    @Nick:

    Actually, it polls pretty badly in New York.

    [citation needed]

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