The beatification of Saint Judt
The last 30-45 days has seen a surge on obits, reviews and tributes to Tony Judt.
Tony who? Exactly. An unknown writer till a few months ago, has suddenly become famous in his death. Media (at least in India) has gone overboard. But when Marathi media started on Tony Judt, it was high noon. The straw on the camel’s back.
OK, guilty of misrepresentation. Not the camel’ back! It was my back.
There seems an effort at beatification of Tony Judt. In the modern era, temporal authorities, award a quick Nobel Prize, pin a Congressional Medal of Honor – and the process of ‘secular’ sainthood is completed. Media aids by marching to the drumbeat of the State. These ‘secular’ sainthoods by the ‘modern-secular-liberal-progressive-democratic’ establishment are not meant to be enduring or important. They , the latter-day, disposable, ‘secular’ saints, serve a utilitarian purpose to their masters – the State.
Tony Judt is no exception.
From the safety of a university cloister
By being overtly anti-Israel, Tony Judt, gets an inside track into the Islamic mind – to start his ideas of ‘identity’.
A self-confessed, Social Democrat (but that is not ‘identity’) Tony Judt is the type who speaks from the comfort of a winning side.
We know enough of ideological and political movements to be wary of exclusive solidarity in all its forms. One should keep one’s distance not only from the obviously unappealing “-isms”—fascism, jingoism, chauvinism—but also from the more seductive variety: communism, to be sure, but nationalism and Zionism too. And then there is national pride: more than two centuries after Samuel Johnson first made the point, patriotism—as anyone who passed the last decade in America can testify—is still the last refuge of the scoundrel. (via Edge People | The New York Review of Books).
As fortunes shifted and wavered, Tony Judt’s recounts how his family moved from one declining economy to another growing economy. From Eastern Europe, vaguely in a region near Russia, to Antwerp in Belgium thereon to Britain and finally to the USA. He finds
over the years these fierce unconditional loyalties—to a country, a God, an idea, or a man—have come to terrify me. The thin veneer of civilization rests upon what may well be an illusory faith in our common humanity.
To people like Tony Judt, identity is a matter of convenience. And they rightly, recommend that people must have no identity – and by extension, no loyalty. Fly flags of convenience. May the highest bidder win.
I wonder where Judt’s family was, when the Belgians were flogging the Congolese.
Sainthood by the Vatican
The ‘modern’ State and the media of the Free World have it easy when it comes to cannonising people like Tony Judt!
The Catholic Church has a rather exacting process, stretching over a few years, at the very least. The Catholic Church even appoints a Devil’s Advocate – someone who tries to find reasons why the candidate should NOT be declared a saint.
This process has sometimes taken decades too. After multiple processes and steps, a committee. the Congregation for the Causes of Saints decides on these issues. With the kind of rigour that the Vatican process follows, Saints have ‘public memory’ life span extending to centuries.
Coming to Saint Judt
Today when the West is paying the price for creating a misshapen Islamic identity, people like Judt thinly speak out against identity – an Islamic identity. Or when the West faces a challenge from Asia, China and India, it pays to talk of less identity.
This idea of less identity would not be such a bad idea – if you have so little of identity, to start with!
The greatest level of sympathy towards Israel can be found in India, according to international study on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
According to the study, which was unprecedented in scope and was undertaken by an international market research company, 58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel.
A total of 5,215 people took part in the study. Other countries that showed significant sympathy to Israel included Russia (52%) Mexico (52%) and China (50%). At the bottom of the list, the study ranked Britain (34%) France (27%) and Spain (23%) as the least sympathetic countries towards Israel. (via From India with love – Israel News, Ynetnews).
Leopards don’t change
This study was mighty interesting. On three counts.
Western Europe continues with its sterling record of intolerance, xenophobia, the push for ‘assimilation and integration’. In Western Europe (Britain, France, Spain, et al), prejudice against Jews is marked. Whether it was Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice or Hitler in Europe, Antisemitism is alive, well and kicking in Europe.
Of course, the proxy for Antisemitism in today’s Europe is Israel.
Desert Bloc remains the prime exponent of propaganda – maya. Illusion. Something that tricks people.
For this maya, Israel has to thank people like Leon Uris writer of Exodus, (hired by Edward Gottlieb for ‘improving Israel’s image), The Raid at Entebbe, ( the rescue of Israeli hostages from Idi Amin’s Uganda) or the hunt for Eichmann movies.
The propaganda overdrive on the Holocaust won the State of Israel many sympathizers. The propaganda on how the kibbutzim made the desert bloom, covered the open wounds of the Palestinians expulsions.
Propaganda practitioners and PR gurus like Edward Gottlieb and Howard Dietz embraced the Zionist cause and promoted the idea of the State of Israel. Edward Gottlieb, a PR pioneer, author of a PR primer book, worked on the cause of Israel. Edward Gottlieb’s masterstroke was to send Leon Uris to Israel to ‘research’ the story of the Exodus. Howard Dietz, the publicist of Sam Goldwyn, (reputedly behind many of Goldwyn’s malapropisms)was another.
The fall guys
The third part of the story is the story of the ‘fall guys’. The classic ‘fall guys’ for this propaganda operation were the distant bystanders. The ‘sympathy’ shown to Israel, comes from typically countries with a small or negligible Jewish populations – like China, Mexico – and India. People who saw these events from far – very far. The Indians, Chinese, Mexicans, et al.
Indians know of the Israeli story through the movies, fiction and ‘war’ stories. In school, the size of the Exodus, made me shirk from the starting the book. But the many ‘rave’ reviews from classmates steeled me to pick up the book – and 1 week later. I was a ‘convert’ to the Jewish cause.
A few years later, it was a different story. My neighbours, some Jordanian-Palestinian students dropped in to see me, in Poona, one night. Over some music and soda, they introduced me to the ‘other’ side of the problem. (I wonder where these Iranian and Palestinian students have disappeared?)
The Indian Community Centre in Belfast has received a threat letter from Protestant extremists asking immigrants to leave Northern ireland or face bomb attacks.
Besides the Indian centre, the threat letter has been sent to the Belfast Islamic Centre and the Polish Association, reports from Belfast said.
The letter, threatening of racist violence, from the youth wing of the Ulster Defence Association warned: “No sympathy for foreigners, get out of our Queen’s country before our bonfire night (July 11) and parade day (July 12).”
“Other than that your building will be blown up. Keep Northern Ireland white. Northern Ireland is only for white British.” (via Threat to bomb Indian community centre in Belfast- Hindustan Times).
After all, how can you blame other people? Apparently, the logic why the Roma Gypsies are disliked is, because,
“people dislike a group that don’t pay taxes, don’t integrate into the community, don’t speak the language of their guest country, and are seemingly the origins of most petty crime in any area they descend upon, and yet this same group demand the community supports them, demands that specialist teachers are provided for their offspring, demand they have unfettered access to the same services as the rest of us but don’t pay their way.”
What could be more logical, when these Roma,
appear anywhere they want, set up their camps, totally dividing entire communities, demand these things, and then get … bleeding heart liberals jumping to their defence when the people (btw – they were the people you guys would have been defending 10 years ago, although,to be fair, you probably patronisingly refered to them as ‘proles’) decide to give them a message, and yet you wonder why they’re hated.
Probably, the Indians, Poles and the Muslims also have similar problems – which they themselves cannot see.
But these enlightened British souls from Northern Ireland can see more and further – then we can.
Police said the racist attacks started last week, with gangs smashing house windows and attacking cars. The violence flared again on Monday when youths hurling bottles and Nazi salutes attacked an anti-racism rally called to support the migrants.
Belfast City Council press officer Mark Ashby said the majority of the victims were Roma, or Gypsies, from Romania.
Marian Mandache, from the Romanian Gypsy NGO Romani Crisis, said the Northern Ireland violence was the latest in a disturbing trend of attacks across Europe.
“Starting with Italy in 2007, there have been waves of … racist attacks against Roma,” said Mandache. “Afterwards, there were attacks in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania.” (via Gypsies face Northern Ireland ethnic violence).
Hitler was never alone
Hitler’s biggest mistake – he lost the war.
The genocide with which his regime was charged with was also carried out against the Native Americans in the USA, the Australian aborigines, in Congo by the Belgians. Post colonial Governments in Kenya and India have ignored the cover-up of the millions killed by the colonial rulers – in the Mau Mau operations in Kenya or the 1857 War in India.
The Romani Gypsies Sinti have been a favored European target for the last 500 years – by the Vatican, by the Protestant Church, by monarchies and by Republican Governments. In war and and in peace.
Their crime. They civilized (?) Europe. No less.
Why Europe continues to demonize and persecute the Roma
Despite the immense contribution by the Roma Gypsies to European culture and life. Is it because: -
- They have a different lifestyle – which is migratory and frugal. They do not wish to have permanent homes, too many possessions or jobs. They prefer living in wagons, with skills and trade that they possess.
- They have not ‘integrated’ into the White, Christian, European social system. They wish to remain ‘different’.
- They stick out like sore thumbs – in a Europe where the Jews have been annihilated, where descendants of the African slave populations have been exterminated and the Islamic population (past and present) is not tolerated. In such a situation, the Roma Gypsies have not only survived, but have regrown (after Hitler’s concentration camps killed them by millions).
Since when, are these qualities a crime.
This disproportionate response against a community, to a crime (I am making an assumption of guilt) by a Roma individual, smacks of persecution, racism and pogroms. After all, this is how Hitler and Mussolini too started their campaigns.
In Northern Ireland, the Roma Gypsy number less than 1000. What threat, what problem could they be to the nearly 2 million people of Northern Ireland?
For over twenty years Erith Borough Council continually tried to remove the gypsies from the Marshes. The Council’s eviction policy even made the National Press. In 1948 the Daily Mirror ‘Ruggles’ cartoon strip featured the plight of the Belvedere Gypsy community.
Finally, in 1956 Erith Borough Council got its way. The Council minutes for that year record that “over 700 persons and 280 ramshackle structures have been removed…The clearance could now be said to be complete” thus ending over 100 years of Gypsy history living on Belvedere Marshes.
By 1965, following a campaign led by Norman Dodds, MP for Erith and Crayford, the Government commissioned a national census survey of the Gypsy community living in Great Britain. Sadly, Norman Dodds died in 1965, but James Wellbeloved who became the MP for the same seat took up Dodds’ campaign and finally, in 1968 Parliament passed the Caravans Sites Act. This Act placed a duty on all local authorities in England and Wales to provide sites on which Gypsies could place their caravans and stay, either temporarily or permanently. However this duty was repealed by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1995. (from Gypsies In Bexley: A Hundred Years On The Belvedere Marshes By Simon McKeon, 13/07/2006, from Untold London).
To all those who wanted to pin the blame for this wave of violence at the doorsteps of the Roma, better find a new and better story. It was reported that Indians, Muslims and the Poles were also warned. Leave Northern Ireland, or else.
- Adiga’s Vacuum Theorem (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Should Christianity deny the fact that the Bible contains stories that promote genocide and ethnic cleansing and the mass murder of men women children and babies (wiki.answers.com)
According to Italian human rights organisation Opera Nomadi, approximately 160,000 Roma currently live in Italy. Most of them inhabit improvised camps on the outskirts of towns. Roughly 60,000 come from Romania, which has Europe’s largest Roma community, numbering close to 2.5 million in a population of 22 million.
The Roma are believed to have migrated to Europe from India since the 14th century.
Following several highly publicised reports of Roma, often from Romania, committing crimes in Italy, the Italian centre-right government declared a one-year state of emergency May 21 in relation to the settlements of nomad communities in the regions of Campania (capital Naples), Lombardia (Milan) and Lazio (Rome).
Ordinances accompanying the state of emergency allow the prefects of these regions to conduct identity screenings, involving fingerprinting, of all persons, even those not considered dangerous or suspected of crimes. Authorities in Naples and Milan have since declared their intention to fingerprint nomads, including minors, living in camps around the cities. (via Looking to Rome to escape the Roma | Human Rights Tribune – www.humanrights-geneva.info).
Why does Europe continue to demonize and persecute the Roma
Despite the immense contribution by the Roma Gypsies to European culture and life. Is it because: -
1. They have a different lifestyle – which is migratory and frugal. They do not wish to have permanent homes, too many possessions or jobs. They prefer living in wagons, with skills and trade that they possess.
2. They have not ‘integrated’ into the White, Christian, European social system. They wish to remain ‘different’.
3. They stick out like sore thumbs – in a Europe where the Jews have been annihilated, where descendants of the African slave populations have been exterminated and the Islamic population (past and present) is not tolerated. In such a situation, the Roma Gypsies have not only survived, but have regrown (after Hitler’s concentration camps killed them by millions).
Since when, are these qualities a crime.
Within 18 months of the start of the WW1, the British and the French had started discussing how to ‘dispose’ the territories of the Ottoman Empire. Of course, the people of the Middle East were not consulted – as they did not matter.
Demonising communism and now Islam. Without taking the responsibility for their own actions – and further interventions, creating further instability. Like the demonisation of the Jews before and the Red Indians after, this too is having disastrous effects – in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.