Mainstreaming anti-Semitism

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One of the more frightening aspects of the decline in civility we are seeing is the willingness of ordinary, not just moonbat, publications to publish anti—Semitic images and screeds. We saw where this leads 70 years ago in Germany.

The latest example is the free bi—weekly newspaper misleadingly titled the Berkeley Daily Planet. It used to be a five day a week freebie, but I believe it changed hands and switched to bi—weekly format. At about that time, it also veered to the left. It is handed out where I shop for veggies, and is in many street vending boxes, too.

Chip Johnson, a very sensible and talented columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, today highlights a column from the Planet which I had managed to miss. Fact is, I stick to zoning dispute and other community stories and always skip the opinion pieces, which are usually from fairly unhinged leftists, ranting away.

Chip writes:

The article, which appeared as commentary on the opinion pages of the newspaper's Aug. 8 edition, was more an attack on Jewish people than a logical argument against Israel's massive military response to the continuing rocket attacks from Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

After reducing mainstream America's interests to stories about same—sex marriage and actor Mel Gibson's drunken driving arrest, author Kurosh Arianpour launched a historical assault against Jews.

"Let us go back to 539 B.C., when Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, went to Babylonia and liberated Jews. One can ask why Jews were enslaved by Babylonians. Also, one can ask why Jews had problems with Egyptians, with Jesus, with Europeans, and in modern times with Germans?" wrote Arianpour, a former Berkeley resident who is a student in India.

The newspaper's critics, and there are plenty of them, aren't too interested in Arianpour's historical view.

What more than two dozen rabbis and Jewish community groups and scores of Bay Area residents really want to know is why in the heck would the paper print such an inflammatory, hateful piece in a newspaper that makes its mark with stories about Berkeley land—use and City Hall politics? It's a reasonable question.

I am a real hard—liner when it comes to vandalism. I am against it, passionately. So I am going to restrain a very powerful impulse that will surge through my mind and body every time I walk past a Daily Planet vending box. If thoughts alone could act on physical objects, they would implode into a ball of dense matter, a tiny mass that would be so heavy it would plummet through the earth's crust and melt in the core.

I will not be patronizing any of their advertisers. And I will be printing up Chip's column and talking to the manager at my greengrocer's.

Thomas Lifson   9 1 06

One of the more frightening aspects of the decline in civility we are seeing is the willingness of ordinary, not just moonbat, publications to publish anti—Semitic images and screeds. We saw where this leads 70 years ago in Germany.

The latest example is the free bi—weekly newspaper misleadingly titled the Berkeley Daily Planet. It used to be a five day a week freebie, but I believe it changed hands and switched to bi—weekly format. At about that time, it also veered to the left. It is handed out where I shop for veggies, and is in many street vending boxes, too.

Chip Johnson, a very sensible and talented columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, today highlights a column from the Planet which I had managed to miss. Fact is, I stick to zoning dispute and other community stories and always skip the opinion pieces, which are usually from fairly unhinged leftists, ranting away.

Chip writes:

The article, which appeared as commentary on the opinion pages of the newspaper's Aug. 8 edition, was more an attack on Jewish people than a logical argument against Israel's massive military response to the continuing rocket attacks from Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.

After reducing mainstream America's interests to stories about same—sex marriage and actor Mel Gibson's drunken driving arrest, author Kurosh Arianpour launched a historical assault against Jews.

"Let us go back to 539 B.C., when Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, went to Babylonia and liberated Jews. One can ask why Jews were enslaved by Babylonians. Also, one can ask why Jews had problems with Egyptians, with Jesus, with Europeans, and in modern times with Germans?" wrote Arianpour, a former Berkeley resident who is a student in India.

The newspaper's critics, and there are plenty of them, aren't too interested in Arianpour's historical view.

What more than two dozen rabbis and Jewish community groups and scores of Bay Area residents really want to know is why in the heck would the paper print such an inflammatory, hateful piece in a newspaper that makes its mark with stories about Berkeley land—use and City Hall politics? It's a reasonable question.

I am a real hard—liner when it comes to vandalism. I am against it, passionately. So I am going to restrain a very powerful impulse that will surge through my mind and body every time I walk past a Daily Planet vending box. If thoughts alone could act on physical objects, they would implode into a ball of dense matter, a tiny mass that would be so heavy it would plummet through the earth's crust and melt in the core.

I will not be patronizing any of their advertisers. And I will be printing up Chip's column and talking to the manager at my greengrocer's.

Thomas Lifson   9 1 06