Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cancelled speech reinstituted

Since I blogged about the cancellation, let me blog about the reversal.

The University of Leeds Department of German, Russian and Slavonic Studies yesterday successfully held a lecture by German academic Dr Matthias Kuentzel on the topic of ' Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East. More than 120 people attended the lecture. Apparently the was wholly undisturbed and the discussion was held in a civilised manner.

1 comment:

hockey hound said...

Below is an excerpt from Matthias Kuntzel's lecture.

"In both Gaza and Lebanon the possibility existed of a normalisation of relations with Israel, leading in all probability to an economic upturn. So why do Hizbollah and Hamas prioritise weapons and war rather than peace and welfare? Why are they spurred on in doing so by Iran, a country that has neither a territorial dispute with Israel nor a Palestinian refugee problem? This is the answer given by Hizbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah: “Israel is a cancer in the region and when a tumour is discovered, it must be cut out.”[2] And here is what Khaled Mash’al, leader of Hamas, said: “Before Israel dies, it must be humilitated and degraded. … We will make them lose their eyesight, we will make them lose their brains.”[3] While Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, promises that, “Very soon this stain of disgrace will be purged from the centre of the Islamic world – and this is attainable.”[4]

My final example of this kind of statement comes from Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, the representative of the Iranian Supreme Leader, who stands even higher in the Iranian hierarchy than Ahmadinejad. On 16 November 2006 Rahimian declared that, “the Jew is the most stubborn enemy of the believers. And the decisive war will decide the fate of humanity… The reappearance of the twelfth Imam will usher in a war between Israel and the Shia.” [5]

Many Western commentators ignore such pronouncements, because they are so crazy. But were Hitler’s speeches any less crazy? Hitler sincerely believed his propaganda and attempted, in his peculiar sense of the word, to “free” the world of the Jews by murdering them. Islamists too genuinely believe in their own hate-filled tirades. They celebrate suicide attacks on any and all Jews as “acts of liberation”.

The fact that people who are not Islamists participate in this jubilation reveals a second similarity with the Nazi era. I am referring here to the impact of antisemitic brainwashing techniques, which have been refined since the days of Josef Goebbels.

One of the instruments of this brainwashing is the Hizbollah satellite TV channel Al-Manar, which reaches millions of people in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Its popularity is due to its countless video clips, which use exciting graphics and stirring music to promote suicide murder. Indeed, Al-Manar has made the Protocols of the Elders of Zion – Hitler’s textbook for the Holocaust – into a soap opera.

Episode by episode, the series peddles the fantasy of the Jewish world conspiracy: Jews unleashed both world wars, Jews discovered chemical weapons, Jews destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, in short, Jews have brought nothing but death and destruction upon humanity. The most bloodthirsty scenes are brought into Muslim family homes by Al-Manar. In one such scene a Rabbi says to a young Jew, “we have received an order from above. We need the blood of a Christian child for the unleavened bread for the Pesach [Passover] feast.” In the following shot, a terrified youngster is seized from the neighbourhood. Then the camera zooms in on the child for a close-up of his throat being cut. The blood spurts from the wound and pours into a metal basin.

Here mediaeval antisemitism is being drummed into the collective consciousness of normal Muslim families with a suggestive force comparable to that of Nazi productions such as the film “Jud Süß“. A child who has seen this scene of slaughter will be affected for the rest of his life. It will take generations to remove this mental poison from people’s minds.

When the Hizbollah-provoked war with Israel broke out in summer 2006, this investment in mass antisemitism paid off. Think of the pictures of the dead civilians in Lebanon and of the children of Beit Hanoun, killed by a stray Israeli shell. When Israel’s army is compelled to defend itself, the results are not pretty for either side. But what is decisive is the context in which one views such images. Where the emotional infrastructure of antisemitism has been built up by a steady stream of propaganda over many years, the “meaning” of such images is self-evident. By such means, an eliminatory hatred of Israel and the Jews has been fostered on a mass scale, including in people who have nothing to do with Hizbollah. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who as leader of Hizbollah is responsible for Al-Manar, can feel satisfied.

There is yet another point of contact with National Socialism – albeit a bizarre one. And that is Holocaust denial, espoused by the Iranian President with the acclaim of Hamas and Hizbollah. Here, either the dead are murdered a second time, since it is denied that they were killed the first time. Or the victims are subjected to antisemitic mockery, as in the Iranian cartoons, one of which showed Anne Frank in bed with Hitler. This is to us unimaginable malice, but it is nonetheless a part of Iranian foreign policy. I will return to this issue later.

The fact is that not a single Muslim or Jew would have been killed this summer if Hamas and Hizbollah had decided to pursue peace rather than war. Once again Judeophobia has led to terrible suffering. Peace in the Middle East requires a struggle against this hate propaganda. But what is the reason for this hatred? Is it Zionism and Israeli policies? Or might it be that Judeophobia is an integral part of Islam?" -Matthias Kuntzel