Disturbing imagery

Dehumanizing imagery, like the sport of knocking Jews senseless, deserves official America’s resounding and resolute admonition. Anything less betrays double-standards.

November 30, 2013 22:37
3 minute read.
US President Barack Obama at the White House

US President Barack Obama at the White House 370. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Two years before he first ran for president, Barack Obama made it clear in his bestseller, The Audacity of Hope, that he would forthrightly protect the human rights of minorities. He wrote: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”

In his first summer as president, Obama appeared like an outspoken human rights champion when he berated Cambridge Massachusetts police officers for having “acted stupidly” in a suspected burglary incident. The cops mistook African-American professor Henry Louis Gates for an intruder and eventually charged him with disorderly conduct in what became a cause célèbre case against racial profiling.

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An indignant Obama commented at a July 22, 2009 press conference: “I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry.... There is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

Many more pronouncements in a similar vein would thereafter follow. Consequently, it’s all the more puzzling that the White House didn’t see fit to condemn the spate of physical attacks in Brooklyn NY on observant Jews, easily identifiable because of their unique attire.

There have been a growing number of accounts from Jewish neighborhoods of bizarre assaults on both males and females, young and elderly (thus far ranging in age from12 to 78). Many categorize these as New York’s own twist of what’s popularly dubbed “the Knockout Game.”

In Brooklyn, it’s also called “Get the Jew” and features gangs of mostly African-American youths who punch random passersby hard in the face or head.

It involves a contest to see who can render someone unconscious with a single blow. As the competitor strikes the target, accomplices sometimes video his feat and upload the clip to the Internet. It doesn’t require an overactive imagination to deduce that if many victims of these debasing and potentially dangerous attacks weren’t Jews – but were, say, black or Muslim – there would be howls of righteous outrage directly from Obama, castigating the very first hints of callous hate crimes in the guise of juvenile tomfoolery.

Likewise, it’s not unwarranted to assume that had an Israeli head of state described any of Israel’s neighbors as subhuman, as vermin deserving extermination, Obama would be beside himself with vehement denunciation.

Had Israel’s preeminent ruling party openly and with publicly sanctioned impunity threatened to abduct Palestinians or to rain rockets on peace-partners, the hue-and-cry from the White House would have been deafening and would have been followed by tangible and substantial retaliatory action.

Yet no such reaction greeted the recent incendiary racism of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who likened Israel to “the sinister, contaminated, rabid dog of the region.” With his thrilled audience shouting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America,” Khamenei opined that Israelis “cannot be called human beings.” He further asserted that Israel is “doomed to collapse.” All this immediately preceded the deal to ease sanctions on Iran but didn’t derail it.

While Iran resorts to “rabid dog” imagery, the Palestinian Authority’s mouthpieces favor “pigs and monkeys” as their monikers for Jews. This dehumanization is incessant and ongoing in all PA opinion-molding organs – the press, the schools and the mosques. All these are under the PA’s official thumb.

Israel has complained futilely about the unremitting incitement from Ramallah, in which PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself often takes part. Yet this too has elicited no censure from the very White House that pressures for Israeli concessions to the PA.

One need only peruse the daily gleanings of the Palestinian Media Watch to grasp the degree to which derogatory propaganda pervades every nook of the PA – even at kindergarten level. Just last week, the PMW revealed that Abbas’s own Fatah faction boastfully threatened to kidnap, kill and bomb Israelis. Washington kept mum.

It should be recalled that the preliminary initiation of the Nazi “final solution” was to depict Jews as disease- infesting rats. Dehumanizing imagery, like the sport of knocking Jews senseless, deserves official America’s resounding and resolute admonition. Anything less betrays double-standards.

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