by Mark Steyn • Feb 10, 2015
Early on Tuesday, apropos their exclusive tongue-bath of the President, one of the Obama pajama boys over at Vox.com Tweeted :
11K words from Obama on his worldview and all DC can talk about is an obviously accidental micro-gaffe. This is why everyone hates DC press.
The “obviously accidental micro-gaffe” was the President’s off-the-cuff observations about the alleged “over-playing” of terrorism when it’s just a low-level law-enforcement question about how to deal with “a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris”.
Well, we can all say carelessly formulated things when we’re off the prompter, particularly when lulled by a sycophantic interviewer. So I suppose it was just about possible that this was indeed “an obviously accidental micro-gaffe” by Obama. Except that, as The Washington Free Beacon pointed out, the Government of the United States spent much of the day insisting that the President meant every word he said. From Josh Earnest’s White House press conference:
JIM ACOSTA: Just to be clear though, that shooting at that deli in Paris was not random, correct? Did the president misspeak there?
JOSH EARNEST: Jim, I believe the point the president was trying to make was that these individuals were not specifically targeted. They were random people that happened to randomly be in the deli and were shot…
JON KARL: This was an attack in a kosher deli. Does the president have any doubt those terrorists attacked that deli because there would be Jews in that deli?
EARNEST: Jon, it is clear from the terrorists, from some of the writings they put out afterwards, what their motivation was. The adverb that the president chose was used to indicate that the individuals who were killed in that terrible tragic incident were killed, not because of who they were, but because of where they randomly happened to be.
KARL: They weren’t killed because they were in a Jewish deli, though? A kosher deli?
EARNEST: These individuals were not targeted by name. This is the point.
KARL: Not by name but religion, were they not?
EARNEST: Well, Jon, there were people other than just Jews who were in that deli.
Etc. On that last point – that not everybody in the grocery store (not a “deli”) was Jewish – Scaramouche says she’s not even sure if that’s true. Indeed. Bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is. In Europe, Islamic supremacists shoot up kosher markets, synagogues, Jewish museums and Jewish schools because that’s where the Jews are. Yet over at the State Department Jen Psaki went further:
“Does the administration really believe that the victims of this attack were not singled out because they were of a particular faith?” asks AP reporter Matt Lee.
“Well, as you know, I believe if I remember the victims specifically, they were not all victims of one background or one nationality,” Psaki said.
“Does the administration believe this was an anti-Jewish or an attack on a Jewish community in Paris?” Lee pressed.
“I don’t think we’re going to speak on behalf of French authorities,” Psaki responded.
Well, President Hollande was happy to state the obvious and call it “a terrifying act of anti-Semitism” over a month ago, but apparently that’s not good enough for the US State Department. As for Ms Psaki’s assertion that “they were not all victims of one background”, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, and François-Michel Saada were all Jews, and they died because they were Jews – as their killer cheerfully boasted.
For over a decade, I have been writing about the metastasizing Jew-hate in Europe, and I have noted, aside from the physical attacks, the casual acceptance of anti-Jewish slurs at the highest levels in Continental society. But I find, say, the Holocaust gags favored by Gretta Duiseberg, the wife of the then head of the European Central Bank, far less disturbing than the absurd pretzel-twist logic deployed by the Obama Administration to deny reality. It is creepy and profoundly unsettling. Like Simon Peter denying the condemned King of the Jews, the most powerful government in the western world thrice denied those four dead Jews in that Paris supermarket.
Here is a typical day in 21st-century Europe:
German court rules firebombing of synagogue is a “protest”.
Belgian teacher tells Jewish student: ‘we should put you all on freight wagons’.
European Jewish population continues to plummet.
British Vicar blames JOOOOOOOS for 9/11…
Anti-Jewish attacks in UK at highest levels ever recorded…
Teacher quits French school citing antisemitism.
Jewish social life in Europe now takes place behind razor-wire and security guards, and newspapers placidly report polls showing that 58 per cent of British Jews believe Jews have no future in Europe. It is utterly disgraceful that the government of one of the few western nations relatively untouched by the new mass Jew-hate should devote so much energy to insisting that there’s nothing to see here.
But lies beget lies. The Obama Administration insists that the Islamic State is not Islamic, Islamic terrorism is nothing to do with Islam, there’s no Islam to see here, no way, no how. You can’t hold the line at one lie, and tell the truth on everything else. The lie on Islam infects everything else. If they’re just “violent extremists” in general, they have to be violent and extremist in general – or “randomly”, as the President would say.
I’m a free-speech absolutist and therefore have a high tolerance for “hate”. But that’s why free speech is important – so one can address these subjects honestly. Islam is an incubator of Jew-hate. It’s unfortunate, but it is a fact. For example, Jordan is a “moderate” Muslim country. What does “moderate” actually mean in this context? Well, it means the Hashemites send their princes to Sandhurst and marry them off to hotties. But other than that? Ninety-seven per cent of Jordanians have an “unfavorable” opinion of Jews.
Jordan has just dispatched its troops to its eastern border with Iraq (my own experiences at that Trebil border crossing are recounted in The [Un]documented Mark Steyn). Don’t get me wrong: In a showdown between Jordan and ISIS, the former are the good guys, and I’m rooting for them. But we shouldn’t be under any illusions about the uglier aspects of Muslim society.
And yet “the leader of the free world” is doubling down on his illusions: Guys called Cohen get killed in kosher grocery stores, but it’s purely “random”. As much as the Italian revolutionary Carlo Pisocane a century-and-a-half ago, Islamic imperialists believe that “ideas spring from deeds”. Obama is just about willing to acknowledge the deed, but denies the animating ideas no matter how obviously they spring. And until we confront the ideas we are doomed to lose.
When the President lectures us, with his usual condescension, about not getting on our “high horse”, he gives the pronounced impression, as a sophisticated thinker with the highest horse in town, that when it comes to a choice between civilization and barbarism he’s happy to affect a studied neutrality. But those are real dead Jews on the floor of Hyper-Cacher, and, when the head of the global superpower dishonors them in death, and sends out his subordinates to underline the point, that is not a small matter.
~A postscript: We have been here before, of course. Ed Driscoll excerpts this choice news item from The New York Times in 1922, “New Popular Idol Rises In Bavaria“:
But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers.
Thank goodness for that.