Norman Podhoretz and the face of modernday hate
How the mainstream American media coddles hate, racism and bigotry
By Ray Hanania
If someone wrote that the Jews murdered Christ, or that they were engaged in drinking the blood of Christian children, no respectable news media would publish their vicious hate filled words.
But that is exactly what the Wall Street Journal Newspaper did recently when it published the vicious racism of Norman Podhoretz, the racist Jewish hate former editor of Commentary Magazine, which twists the essence of Judaism into a modernday form of acceptable anti-Semitism that is directed against Arabs.
Podhoretz wrote in his column that he has no sympathy for the Palestinians, and that they deserve none. He libeled Secretary of State John Kerry who has been struggling to bring moderation back to the insanity of Israeli-Palestinian relations. And he argues that Palestinian women, children, old men and Arab civilians do not have civil rights at all.
That Israelis have taken almost all of what Palestinian Christians and Muslims once owned – land, homes, property, possessions and the inalienable right to self-determination – doesn’t bother Podhoretz because his hatred is driven by a defense of Israel’s rightwing brutality against the Palestinians.
Worse, he creates a false argument, basically saying that there are other people in the world who are suffering, so why is everyone so consumed with sympathizing with the Palestinians, whose suffering, he writes in the Wall Street Journal, is “grotesquely disproportionate.”
What that means, of course, is that Palestinians do suffer. But in the evil squint of Podhoretz, the veteran hater of Christian and Muslim Palestinians, they deserve nothing.
Podhoretz is typical of racists who contrast the suffering of different peoples to create a “relativity” of suffering. That is, why sympathize for the Palestinians when Arabs in Syria and elsewhere “in the Arab World” are being oppressed?
In reality, Podhoretz is merely defending right-wing Israel, and he embraces a new kind of anti-Semitism that is more virulent, more vicious and driven by more hatred, an anti-Arab anti-Semitism. Yes, Arabs are Semites.
He crafts false arguments to justify his writings which in the purest sense of humanity constitute hate crimes because they are driven not by politics but by a deep-seated and lifelong hatred of non-Jews who are Arab, especially Muslims.
He asserts that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank are not starving, so why are they complaining. It is the same argument that former Alabama Governor George Wallace once argued at the height of anti-Black racism. Why are Black people complaining when they have it so much better as slaves in America than they do in poverty-stricken Africa?
Like the racists during the era of American slavery and segregation, Podhoretz rejects that his people are guilty of any sins, calling those who attack Israel “evil.” He never acknowledges the evil violence that drives the fanatic settler movement which continues to expand solely by stealing lands from Christian and Muslim Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and converting them into appealing communities that are on their face racist because they are exclusively built and settled by Jews.
Non-Jews, and Jews of African heritage, are denied equal status in Israel and especially under the military occupation.
Podhoretz embraces the Nazi tactic of the big lie in which Hitler would vilify Jews and blame them for everything, thereby justifying the violence that the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews and culminating in the Holocaust, one of the greatest acts of inhumanity in the modern era.
Podhoretz believes that Israeli violence against Palestinians is justified and that Palestinians do not have a human right to resistance against occupation, just as Hitler argued the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto had no right to resist Nazi oppression.
Although Jews whose lands, property and homes were confiscated by the Nazis have an absolute right to prosecute the theft, Podhoretz believes that Palestinian victims of Israeli oppression have no such similar human right at all. His view of civil rights is defined by the new Israel which, after 65 years of military imposed existence, has exploits the tiring of world sympathy for the Palestinians.
Podhoretz claims to be a Jew, but as a Palestinian who is married to a Jew and raising a Jewish son, I know that he knows nothing about Judaism. In fact, I know I know more about the true essence of Judaism than he can ever claim. I may not be Jewish but my ancestors were Jews who converted to Christianity and we still carry a powerful Hebrew name that Podhoretz, most likely the product of a conversion centuries ago, will never have.
The evil that Podhoretz symbolizes is despicable. His hatred of a people merely because they are Palestinian, Christian and Muslim, is abhorrent. Yet it is even more disgraceful that a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal would give this virulent racist hater a platform to spew his evil racism.John Podhoretz from his Commentary Magazine bio.
Norman Podhoretz is the father of John Podhoretz, another anti-Arab hater who also works at Commentary Magazine. I’ve had my skirmishes with John Podhoretz when he wrote a scathing column attacking me because I had the temerity to be Palestinian on a stage with his friend, Jewish comedian Jackie Mason in August 2002. Mason and his wife forced the comedy club where I was to perform to remove me when they added Mason to the show billing. Their excuse was that they didn’t know I was “Palestinian.” (John Podhoretz couldn’t even get his facts right. The Comedy Club Zanies had booked me for a 9 show run for the end of August 2002. But weeks before the show, and after most of the seats had bee pre-sold, including many to my future Jewish in-laws, Zanies asked to add Mason to my show. That’s a classic characteristic of racists. They ignore facts in order to better craft their hatred.)
So evil is that concept that discrimination is wrong unless it is directed against Palestinian Christians, like myself, or Muslims. It is immoral, yet it reflects the politics of the Podhoretz clan, vicious haters who understand that in today’s politics, the Palestinians are weak.
And picking on and demonizing the weak is in fact the foundation of classic motivation for all racists universally.
It is amazing to me that the Arab World allows media like the Wall Street Journal and its subsidiaries to operate in their countries. The Podhoretz’s and the Wall Street Journal should be banned from decent society and the public should be constantly reminded of their historic racist attacks.
Both Norman Podhoretz and his equally racist son, John Podhoretz, should apologize to journalism, the world and to Palestinians for their inexcusable history of virulent racist hatred.
But in today’s world, racism and hate sells newspapers. The Podhoretz’s are a profitable and celebrated commodity in today’s very sick world.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is the managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com.)