The Nazi War on Western Civilization

Nazism, writes Daniel Johnson, is best understood as a movement to destroy Western civilization, a goal it shared with Soviet Communism. Too few Europeans understood this in the 1930s. One who did was Aurel Kolnai, a Hungarian Jew who moved to England, fleeing the rising tide of continental anti-Semitism:

Kolnai’s great achievement was to show that Nazi ideology was animated by a hatred of Western civilization. Nothing less than its total defeat would suffice. “The Western cause does not mean a nation set against another nation, not even a party fighting another party: it means the world of civilization organized in moral self-awareness versus the rebels to mankind.” He was clear that “the conflict between the West and Nazi Germany is inseparably connected with the inner problem of Western society.” Kolnai also saw that the enemies of Western civilization had already combined “in an embryonic form” during the Great War. We know that as a young man in Budapest, he ardently prayed for an Allied victory over the Central Powers, even though the defeat of his Hungarian countrymen led to the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, revolution, counterrevolution, and his own exile. He warned that “the Soul of the West is everything. There must be a spark to kindle the fire; there must be a living and active core around which to align mankind: the West aware of the menace of its Foe, and all that is Western and akin to Western essence, outside the West.”

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Read more at Standpoint

More about: Austria-Hungary, Leo Strauss, Nazism, Political philosophy, Totalitarianism, Western civilization

 

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf