Making Excuses for Anti-Semitic Cartoons at Stanford

At Stanford University, the notoriously pro-terrorist groups Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) are currently holding “Palestine Awareness Week,” which features as its keynote speaker the cartoonist Eli Valley. Ari Hoffman, a law student at Stanford, was shocked to see the posters advertising the event, which displayed some of Valley’s illustrations:

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Valley’s work, it ranges from the morally repugnant to the ethically disgusting. Under the fig leaf of criticizing Israel, it depicts Jews and Jewish rituals with the most grotesque of [images]: yellow stars, concentration-camp uniforms, blood libels, and the reliable hooked noses. Like most hate, it’s remarkably lacking in insight. It is crude and disgusting, and its ceaseless recourse to Nazi imagery is matched only by its slavish devotion to the age-old tropes of Jewish caricature. . . .

The notion that organizations like Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine see a fellow traveler in this hate merchant raises troubling questions. Elevating Valley’s work has nothing to do with peace in the Middle East, and everything to do with the free-form hatred that gloms onto Jews and the Jewish state alike. . . .

Some will concede much of the above, but will respond that Valley is Jewish, and that this event is co-sponsored by JVP. It must be kosher, right? . . . For those students who fail to see that this event is an abomination that they would never countenance against another group, I despair.

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Read more at Stanford Daily

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter