Carthage: Cachez ce sacrifice que je ne saurai voir ! (Child sacrifice in Carthage: New study uncovers overwhelming evidence of their colleagues’ whitewashing)

25 janvier, 2014
https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Alfons_Mucha_-_1896_-_Salammb%C3%B4.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/piratenews.org/cabiria4.jpghttps://scontent-a-cdg.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1/p480x480/1544303_3916496527916_1253364715_n.jpgLe roi de Moab, voyant qu’il avait le dessous dans le combat, prit avec lui sept cents hommes tirant l’épée pour se frayer un passage jusqu’au roi d’Édom; mais ils ne purent pas. Il prit alors son fils premier-né, qui devait régner à sa place, et il l’offrit en holocauste sur la muraille. Et une grande indignation s’empara d’Israël, qui s’éloigna du roi de Moab et retourna dans son pays. 2 Rois 3: 26-27
Devrai-je sacrifier mon enfant premier-né pour payer pour mon crime, le fils, chair de ma chair, pour expier ma faute? On te l’a enseigné, ô homme, ce qui est bien et ce que l’Eternel attend de toi: c’est que tu te conduises avec droiture, que tu prennes plaisir à témoigner de la bonté et qu’avec vigilance tu vives pour ton Dieu. Michée 6: 7-8
Les bras d’airain allaient plus vite. Ils ne s’arrêtaient plus. Chaque fois que l’on y posait un enfant, les prêtres de Moloch étendaient la main sur lui, pour le charger des crimes du peuple, en vociférant : « Ce ne sont pas des hommes, mais des boeufs ! » et la multitude à l’entour répétait : « Des boeufs ! des boeufs ! » Les dévots criaient : « Seigneur ! mange ! ». Gustave Flaubert (Salammbô)
Pour les sacrifices d’enfants, il est si peu impossible qu’au siècle d’Hamilcar on les brûlât vifs, qu’on en brûlait encore au temps de Jules César et de Tibère, s’il faut s’en rapporter à Cicéron (Pro Balbo) et à Strabon (liv. III). Flaubert (Réponse à des critiques, 1863)
Aujourd’hui on repère les boucs émissaires dans l’Angleterre victorienne et on ne les repère plus dans les sociétés archaïques. C’est défendu. René Girard
Nous avons constaté que le sport était la religion moderne du monde occidental. Nous savions que les publics anglais et américain assis devant leur poste de télévision ne regarderaient pas un programme exposant le sort des Palestiniens s’il y avait une manifestation sportive sur une autre chaîne. Nous avons donc décidé de nous servir des Jeux olympiques, cérémonie la plus sacrée de cette religion, pour obliger le monde à faire attention à nous. Nous avons offert des sacrifices humains à vos dieux du sport et de la télévision et ils ont répondu à nos prières. Terroriste palestinien (Jeux olympiques de Munich, 1972)
Les Israéliens ne savent pas que le peuple palestinien a progressé dans ses recherches sur la mort. Il a développé une industrie de la mort qu’affectionnent toutes nos femmes, tous nos enfants, tous nos vieillards et tous nos combattants. Ainsi, nous avons formé un bouclier humain grâce aux femmes et aux enfants pour dire à l’ennemi sioniste que nous tenons à la mort autant qu’il tient à la vie. Fathi Hammad (responsable du Hamas, mars 2008)
J’espère offrir mon fils unique en martyr, comme son père. Dalal Mouazzi (jeune veuve d’un commandant du Hezbollah mort en 2006 pendant la guerre du Liban, à propos de son gamin de 10 ans)
Nous n’aurons la paix avec les Arabes que lorsqu’ils aimeront leurs enfants plus qu’ils ne nous détestent. Golda Meir
Si l’on accepte que les sacrifices d’enfants étaient pratiqués à relativement grande échelle, on commence à comprendre ce qui était peut-être la raison d’être de la fondation de cette colonie. Peut-être que la raison pour laquelle les fondateurs de Carthage et des cités voisines ont quitté leur terre natale de Phénicie – le Liban moderne – était justement cette pratique religieuse inhabituelle qui leur était reprochée. Peut-être que les futurs Carthaginois étaient comme les Pères pèlerins qui fuyèrent Plymouth – tellement fervents dans leur dévotion à leurs dieux qu’ils n’étaient plus bienvenus chez eux. Rejeter l’idée du sacrifice d’enfant nous prive tout simplement d’une vue d’ensemble. Dr Josephine Quinn

C’est Flaubert qui avait raison !

A l’heure où l’on vient de reconnaitre l’innocence d’un juif  accusé faussement d’un crime rituel d’enfant et brûlé au bûcher en Lorraine il y a presque trois siècles et demi …

Mais où l’on attend toujours la vérité sur la fausse accusation d’assassinat d’enfant portée par France 2 et son indéboulonnable correspondant Charles Enderlin contre l’Armée israélienne il y aura bientôt 14 ans …

Face justement à des gens qui, profitant de leur actuel statut de « damnés de la terre » de l’Occident,  revendiquent à leur tour et explicitement le sacrifice de leurs propres enfants …

Comment ne pas s’étonner, devant l’évidence qui s’accumule (jusqu’à même en faire la raison d’être de cette colonie phénicienne ?), de ce refus continué de nombre d’historiens actuels de reconnaitre la prévalence du sacrifice humain et notamment d’enfants dans la fameuse Carthage mais aussi jusqu’en Sicile et dans la péninsule italienne ?

Ancient Greek stories of ritual child sacrifice in Carthage are TRUE, study claims

Bodies of children were buried in special cemeteries called tophets

Researchers from Oxford University said there that the archaeological, literary, and documentary evidence for child sacrifice is ‘overwhelming’

Historians think practice could hold the key to why Carthage was founded

Ancient Carthage was a Phoenician colony located in what is now Tunisia

Sarah Griffiths

23 January 2014

The Daily Mail

After decades of historians denying that the Carthaginians sacrificed their children as described in Greek accounts, a new study claims to have found ‘overwhelming’ evidence that the ancient civilisation really did carry out bloodthirsty practice.

Carthaginian parents ritually sacrificed young children as an offering to the gods and laid them to rest in special infant burial grounds, according to a team of international researchers.

They said that the archaeological, literary and documentary evidence for child sacrifice is ‘overwhelming’.

Carthaginian parents ritually sacrificed young children as an offering to the gods and laid them to rest in special infant burial grounds called tophets, according to a team of international researchers. A tophet outside Carthage is pictured

Carthaginian parents ritually sacrificed young children as an offering to the gods and laid them to rest in special infant burial grounds called tophets, according to a team of international researchers. A tophet outside Carthage is pictured

CHILD SACRIFICE IN ANCIENT CARTHAGE

Carthaginian parents ritually sacrificed young children as an offering to the gods and laid them to rest in special infant burial grounds called tophets.

The practice could hold the key to why Ancient Carthage was founded in the first place.

Babies of just a few weeks old were sacrificed.

Dedications from the children’s parents to the gods are inscribed on slabs of stone above their cremated remains, ending with the explanation that the god or gods concerned had ‘heard my voice and blessed me’.

An Oxford University professor said that people might have sacrificed their children out of profound religious piety, or a sense that the good the sacrifice could bring the family or community as a whole outweighed the life of the child.

We think of human sacrifice as a terrible practice because we view it in modern terms, but people looked at it differently 2,500 years ago.

The backlash against the notion of Carthaginian child sacrifice began in the second half of the 20th century and was led by scholars from Tunisia and Italy – the very countries in which tophets have also been found.

It was first documented by Greek and Roman writers who seemed more interested than critical of the unusual practice.

A collaborative paper by academics from institutions across the globe, including Oxford University reveals that previous well-meaning attempts to interpret these ancient burial grounds, called tophets, simply as child cemeteries, are misguided.

Instead, the researchers think the practice of child sacrifice could even hold the key to why the civilisation was founded in the first place.

The research pulls together literary, epigraphical, archaeological and historical evidence and confirms the Greek and Roman account of events that held sway until the 1970s, when scholars began to argue that the theory was simply anti-Carthaginian propaganda.

‘It’s becoming increasingly clear that the stories about Carthaginian child sacrifice are true. This is something the Romans and Greeks said the Carthaginians did and it was part of the popular history of Carthage in the 18th and 19th centuries,’ said Dr Josephine Quinn, of the university’s Faculty of Classics, who an author of the paper, published in the journal Antiquity.

‘But in the 20th century, people increasingly took the view that this was racist propaganda on the part of the Greeks and Romans against their political enemy and that Carthage should be saved from this terrible slander,’ she said.

‘What we are saying now is that the archaeological, literary, and documentary evidence for child sacrifice is overwhelming and that instead of dismissing it out of hand, we should try to understand it.’

The city-state of ancient Carthage was a Phoenician colony located in what is now Tunisia. It operated from around 800BC until 146BC, when it was destroyed by the Romans.

Babies of just a few weeks old were sacrificed by the Carthaginians at locations known as tophets.

Dedications from the children’s parents to the gods are inscribed on slabs of stone above their cremated remains, ending with the explanation that the god or gods concerned had ‘heard my voice and blessed me’.

Dr Quinn said: ‘People have tried to argue that these archaeological sites are cemeteries for children who were stillborn or died young, but quite apart from the fact that a weak, sick or dead child would be a pretty poor offering to a god and that animal remains are found in the same sites treated in exactly the same way, it’s hard to imagine how the death of a child could count as the answer to a prayer.

‘It’s very difficult for us to recapture people’s motivations for carrying out this practice or why parents would agree to it, but it’s worth trying.

‘Perhaps it was out of profound religious piety, or a sense that the good the sacrifice could bring the family or community as a whole outweighed the life of the child.

‘We have to remember the high level of mortality among children – it would have been sensible for parents not to get too attached to a child that might well not make its first birthday.’

Dr Quinn said that we think of human sacrifice as a terrible practice because we view it in modern terms, but people looked at it differently 2,500 years ago.

‘Indeed, contemporary Greek and Roman writers tended to describe the practice as more of an eccentricity or historical oddity – they’re not actually very critical,’ she said.

‘We should not imagine that ancient people thought like us and were horrified by the same things.’

The backlash against the notion of Carthaginian child sacrifice began in the second half of the 20th century and was led by scholars from Tunisia and Italy – the very countries in which tophets have also been found.

Dr Quinn said: ‘Carthage was far bigger than Athens and for many centuries much more important than Rome, but it is something of a forgotten city today.

Babies were sacrificed by the Carthaginians at tophets. Dedications from the children’s parents to the gods are inscribed on slabs of stone above their cremated remains, ending with the explanation that the god or gods concerned had ‘heard my voice and blessed me’ A tophet in Marsala, Sicily is pictured

Babies were sacrificed by the Carthaginians at tophets. Dedications from the children’s parents to the gods are inscribed on slabs of stone above their cremated remains, ending with the explanation that the god or gods concerned had ‘heard my voice and blessed me’ A tophet in Marsala, Sicily is pictured

‘If we accept that child sacrifice happened on some scale, it begins to explain why the colony was founded in the first place.

‘Perhaps the reason the people who established Carthage and its neighbours left their original home of Phoenicia – modern-day Lebanon – was because others there disapproved of their unusual religious practice.

She explained that child abandonment was common in the ancient world and human sacrifice is found in many historical societies, but child sacrifice is relatively uncommon.

‘Perhaps the future Carthaginians were like the Pilgrim Fathers leaving from Plymouth – they were so fervent in their devotion to the gods that they weren’t welcome at home any more, Dr Quinn said.

‘Dismissing the idea of child sacrifice stops us seeing the bigger picture.’

Les fouilles dans Zama révèlent que les Carthaginois ne sacrifient pas les enfants

Piero Bartoloni, chef du Département de l’archéologie phénicienne-punique à Universita ‘di Sassari et élève préféré de la célèbre archéologue Sabatino Moscati.

Les fouilles dans Ashkelon prouvent que les Romains noyaient et jetaient leurs bébés de sexe masculin

Les fœtus mort-nés dans des urnes perpétuent le mensonge de Diodore de Sicile

Traduit de l’italien avec l’aimable autorisation de Pasquale Mereu, Karalis, Sardaigne, Italie De IGN Italie mondial Nation (mai 2007)

Les fouilles dans Zama, Tunis, révèlent que la pratique de sacrifices d’enfants par les Phéniciens est un mythe. Le mythe est né à l’âge gréco-romain avec Diodore de Sicile. Il a fait une demande que 310 avant JC, les Carthaginois se souvenaient qu’ils ne respectent pas leurs Chronos dieu avec le sacrifice annuel des enfants de familles nobles. A cause de cela, dans quelques jours, ils ont massacré deux cents enfants. Des découvertes archéologiques récentes ont désavoué cette tradition religieuse macabre, ce qui démontre que les Phéniciens il n’ya aucune trace de sacrifices humains. Il apparaît dans une interview, dans le nouveau numéro de la revue italienne: « Archeologia Viva, » avec le professeur Piero Bartoloni, chef du Département de l’archéologie phénicienne-punique à Universita ‘di Sassari , Italie, et un élève préféré de la célèbre archéologue Sabatino Moscati. Il a entrepris une vaste campagne de fouilles à Zama, la Tunisie, qui est lié à la chute de Carthage après la bataille de Zama en 202 avant JC La bataille s’est terminée la deuxième guerre punique. Il déclare que, « Dans les temps anciens, pour dix enfants qui sont nés, sept sont morts dans la première année et sur ​​les trois restée, un seul est devenu un adulte maintenant je demande:. est-il raisonnable que, avec un tel niveau de la mortalité infantile, ces gens ont tué leurs propres enfants « ? Dix nécropoles sont les lieux de repos des enfants fait, il a été découvert -. Bartoloni révèle – que la plus grande partie d’environ 6000 enfants urnes trouvé à Carthage, contenir des os de fœtus, donc des bébés morts-nés. Les petits enfants plus âgés demeurent un problème. Ils probablement décédés avant leur initiation, une cérémonie qui correspond au baptême catholique. Flames en quelque sorte ont été impliqués, parce que la même initiation comprenait le « passage du feu » de l’enfant, accompagné de son parrain. Ils ont sauté sur des charbons ardents, comme écrit dans la Bible, le Livre des Rois.

Curriculum Vitae et studiorum di Piero Bartoloni (en italien)

Piero Bartoloni si è laureato dans Lettere presso l `insegnamento di Filologia Semitica, Relatore Sabatino Moscati, con una tesi sull` insediamento di Monte Sirai (Carbonia-Cagliari), conseguendo la votazione di 110 e lode.

Piero Bartoloni è stato di Ricerca Dirigente del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche presso l `Istituto per la Civiltà fenicia e punica, del quale è stato Direttore dal 1997 al 2002. Professore Straordinario di Archeologia Fenicio-punica presso la l de Attualmente `Università di Sassari. Inoltre, dal 1990 al 1994 è stato di Archeologia del Professore Vicino Oriente e dal 1994 al 2000 di Archeologia Fenicio-punica nell `Università di Urbino.

Piero Bartoloni dal 1962 ha effettuato missioni archeologiche, prospezioni terrestri e subacquee e Viaggi di studio en Italie, en Europe, en Afrique e nel Nord-Amérique. Attualmente, par conto del Dipartimento di Storia dell `Università di Sassari, dell` Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltà del Mediterraneo italiche e antico del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, dirige gli scavi archeologici un Zama Regia (Siliana-Tunisie) e, dans collaborazione con la Soprintendenza Archeologica par le Province di Cagliari e Oristano, un ch Sulcis Monte Sirai (Cagliari).

Piero Bartoloni de Coordinatore dell `XI Dottorato« Il Mediterraneo dans età classica. Storia e culture « , è del Comitato Nazionale Membro par gli Studi e Ricerche sulla le Civiltà fenicia e punica del Ministro per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali e Membro dell` Istituto Italiano par l `Afrique el` Oriente. Direttore del Museo Archeologico Comunale « Ferruccio Barreca » di Sant `Antioco Piero Bartoloni (Cagliari)

Autore di circa Duecento (deux cents) de Piero BARTOLONI Pubblicazioni un carattere scientifico, tra le quali dieci libri.

Arguments pour et contre l’affirmation selon laquelle la phénicienne / punique pratiqué des sacrifices d’enfants par M’hamed Hassine Fantar et Lawrence E. Stager et Jospeh Un Greene, ainsi que d’une lettre à l’appui de l’avis de M’hamed Fantar.

Non, les Phéniciens / puniques ne pratiquaient les sacrifices d’enfants

Le Tophet était le lieu du dernier repos de la mort-né et pour les enfants qui sont morts en bas âge. (voir lettre ci-dessous à l’appui de ce point de vue)

M’hamed Hassine Fantar

Si ce n’était pas pour quelques comptes classiques, les chercheurs ne serait probablement pas attribuer les sépultures dans le Tophet de Carthage à des sacrifices d’enfants. Certaines des histoires plus sensationnels, tels que ceux liés par l’historien de la Colombie-Britannique du premier siècle Diodore de Sicile, ont été repris dans les temps modernes et passer pour la vérité tout entière. Au 19e siècle, par exemple, Gustave Flaubert décrit sacrifices d’enfants puniques dans son roman Salammbô, il n’avait aucune preuve du tout, sauf pour les sources classiques.

Que faire si, toutefois, les sources classiques ne sont pas fiables? En effet, si tous les éléments de preuve concernant les sépultures <soit à partir de sources littéraires ou des fouilles archéologiques <n’est pas fiable ou incertaine?

Voici le récit de Diodore de la façon dont les Carthaginois sacrifiaient leurs enfants: «Il y avait dans leur ville une statue en bronze de Cronos, étendant ses mains, paumes vers le haut et incliné vers le sol, de sorte que chacun des enfants lorsqu’il est placé sur celui-ci baissée et est tombé dans une sorte de béant fosse remplie de feu »(Bibliothèque de l’Histoire de 20,6 à 7).

C’est la substance du mythe, pas l’histoire. Diodore, qui était de la Sicile, a été probablement mêle des histoires sur Carthage mythes antiques siciliennes <spécifiquement le mythe du grand taureau de bronze, construit pour le tyran sicilien Phalaris, dans lequel les ennemis du roi ont été brûlés vifs.

Maintenant, quand nous arrivons à des sources plus crédibles, comme l’historien romain Polybe (c. 200-118 BC), il n’est pas fait mention de Carthage sacrifices d’enfants. Polybe, on le sait, avec le général romain Scipion Emilien quand il détruit Carthage punique en 146 avant JC Polybe avait pas d’amour de Carthage, il a lutté contre la ville. Son témoignage aurait été décisif. Mais il ne fait pas la moindre allusion à des sacrifices d’enfants à Carthage.

L’historien romain Tite-Live (c. 64 BC-12 AD), une plus fiable contemporain de Diodore fait ni. Tite-Live a été relativement bien informé sur Carthage, mais il n’était pas si affectueux envers la ville comme pour dissimuler ce qui aurait été à ses yeux la pire des infamies: le massacre délibéré des enfants.

* Pour plus d’informations sur le sens du mot «Moloch», voir Lawrence E. Stager et Samuel R. Wolff, «Sacrifice d’enfants à Carthage <rite religieux ou contrôle de la population? Biblical Archaeology Review, Janvier / Février 1984. (Cette question est épuisé. Pour commander une photocopie de cet article, appelez-nous au 1-800-221-4644.) Donc, il n’est pas clair du tout à partir des sources classiques que les Carthaginois sacrifiaient leurs enfants aux dieux. Qu’en est-il des versets bibliques souvent considéré comme une preuve de sacrifices d’enfants parmi les Cananéens <particulier les Phéniciens, qui a établi Carthage Le mot «Tophet» n’est connue de la Bible hébraïque;? il se produit plusieurs fois dans Jérémie, une fois dans Isaïe et une fois à Kings, toujours dans le même contexte: «Il [la fin du septième siècle avant J.-C. judaïte roi Josias] souillé Tophet, qui est dans la vallée de Ben-Hinnom, afin que personne ne ferait un fils ou une fille par le feu comme une offrande à Moloch » (2 Rois 23:10). * une connexion si forte a été présumé entre ces passages bibliques et les sanctuaires puniques que ces lieux sacrés à Carthage et ailleurs sont maintenant appelés Tophets. Le fait est, cependant, que les passages bibliques ne mentionnent pas sacrifient. Ils ne concernent que les enfants en passant par le feu.

Ni les sources classiques, ni les passages bibliques fournissent des preuves concluantes concernant les événements qui ont eu lieu dans le Tophet de Carthage. Qu’en est-il des faits physiques?

Le Tophet était un espace sacré où reposent les ossements incinérés d’enfants ont été enterrés. Ces restes, d’ailleurs, ont été sans doute enterrés rituellement, en accord avec les lois religieuses ou sectaires puniques. Marquage des urnes sont stèles portant des inscriptions phéniciennes, avec des symboles (comme le symbole triangulaire de la déesse Tanit) et des images figuratives. Les restes incinérés sont ceux de très jeunes enfants, même les fœtus; dans certaines urnes, des ossements d’animaux ont été découverts. Dans certains cas, les urnes contiennent les restes des enfants et des animaux mélangés. Comment expliquer ces faits?

Certains historiens, comme le savant français Hélène Benichou-Safar, ont proposé que le Tophet de Carthage était tout simplement le cimetière des enfants dont l’incinération est la méthode de sépulture. Cette interprétation, toutefois, est confrontée à un obstacle de taille: la plupart des milliers d’inscriptions gravées sur les stèles funéraires sont votive. Les inscriptions font des offrandes et des serments aux dieux, et ils plaident pour la bénédiction des dieux. Pas un seul de ces inscriptions, cependant, mentionne la mort.

Le Tophet de Carthage, comme les autres Tophets en Sicile et en Sardaigne, n’était pas une nécropole. Il était un sanctuaire du dieu Baal Hammon punique.

Les textes des inscriptions dans le Tophet de Carthage suggèrent que le sanctuaire était ouvert à tous, sans distinction de nationalité ou de statut social. Nous savons que les gens de langue grecque fait usage du sanctuaire, par exemple, depuis quelques inscriptions ont les noms des dieux transcrits en caractères grecs. Les étrangers qui ont visité le Tophet clairement n’offraient pas Ba’al Hammon leur progéniture. Il n’est pas probable que les visiteurs d’autres colonies puniques ont visité le Tophet de Carthage à enterrer ou de sacrifier leurs enfants. Une inscription, par exemple, mentionne une femme du nom de « Arishat fille de Ozmik. » L’inscription nous apprend que Arishat était un « Baalat Eryx, » ou noble femme d’Eryx, une communauté punique en Sicile. Il semble raisonnable de supposer que Arishat, tout en visitant la magnifique ville de Carthage, tout simplement ressenti le besoin de rendre hommage aux dieux puniques <ou de prononcer un vœu ou faire une demande.

Le Tophet de Carthage était un sanctuaire sacré où les gens venaient pour faire des vœux et demandes d’adresse à Ba’al Hammon et Tanit son consort, selon la formule do ut des («Je donne pour que tu donnes »). Chaque vœu a été accompagnée par une offrande.

Certains des stèles suggèrent que les animaux ont été sacrifiés et offerts aux dieux. Par exemple, certains ours de stèles gravées des représentations d’autels et les têtes des victimes animales.

La présence des os incinérés de très jeunes enfants, les nourrissons et même les foetus est déroutant. Si le Tophet était pas un cimetière (comme la présence d’os d’animaux suggère), pourquoi trouvons-nous les nourrissons et les fœtus enterrés dans un sanctuaire?

Il est très commun, partout dans le monde, pour constater que les enfants qui meurent jeunes, et en particulier les fœtus, sont un statut spécial. De nombreuses cultures croient que ce sont tout simplement pas morts ordinaires. L’archéologue italien Sabatino Moscati a souligné que dans certaines nécropoles grecques enfants ont été incinérés et leurs tombes se trouvaient dans un secteur distinct, bien distinct du lieu de sépulture utilisé pour les adultes. C’est également le cas dans certaines nécropoles islamiques, où les sections sont exclusivement réservées aux tombes de nourrissons. Même aujourd’hui, les enfants japonais qui meurent jeunes, appelé Gizu, sont placés dans des zones spéciales d’un temple, et ils sont représentés par des figurines sculptées qui suggèrent leur statut sacré.

De même, les enfants puniques qui sont morts jeunes possédaient un statut spécial. Ils ont donc été incinérés et enterrés dans une enceinte réservée au culte de Ba’al Hammon seigneur et dame Tanit. Ces enfants ne sont pas «morts» dans le sens habituel du terme, mais plutôt, ils ont été rétrocédées. Pour des raisons mystérieuses, Ba’al Hammon a décidé de les rappeler à lui-même. Soumettre à la volonté divine, les parents sont retournés à l’enfant, en lui redonnant au dieu selon un rituel qui implique, entre autres choses, l’incinération et l’enfouissement. En retour, les parents espéraient que Ba’al Hammon et Tanit seraient fournir un remplacement pour l’enfant rétrocédées <et cette demande a été inscrit sur une stèle funéraire.

Ainsi, les sépultures Tophet n’étaient pas de vrais offres d’enfants aux dieux. Au contraire, ils étaient restitutions d’enfants ou de foetus prises prématurément, par la mort naturelle.

Carthaginois ne pas sacrifier leurs enfants à Baal Hammon dans le Tophet. Ce site en plein air, accessible à tous ceux qui se souciait de visiter l’endroit, était un sanctuaire sacré présidée par Ba’al Hammon et Tanit son consort. Les restes humains trouvés dans les urnes enterrées dans le Tophet étaient des enfants rappelé à la présence des dieux, c’est pourquoi ils ont été enterrés dans le sanctuaire. Pour ce sanctuaire est venu parents en deuil, qui ont donné leurs enfants à Baal Hammon et Tanit. Parfois, les parents d’offrir des sacrifices d’animaux aux dieux pour solliciter leur faveur. Puis ils avaient stèles funéraires en bois sculpté et inscrit des vœux, avec la demande poignant que le couple divin de leur accorder plus d’enfants.

Oui, les Phénicien / puniques pratiquaient des sacrifices d’enfants

Les milliers de sépultures individuelles, plusieurs fosses communes et les sépultures des animaux démontrent tous que ce sont des offrandes sacrifiées aux dieux.

Lawrence E. Stager et Joseph A. Greene

La preuve que les Phéniciens ont sacrifié rituellement leurs enfants provient de quatre sources. Les auteurs classiques et des prophètes bibliques accusent les Phéniciens de la pratique. Des stèles associées à des urnes funéraires trouvées à Carthage portent des décorations qui font allusion au sacrifice et des inscriptions exprimant des vœux aux divinités phéniciennes. Les urnes enfouis sous ces stèles contiennent des restes d’enfants (et parfois des animaux) qui ont été incinérés comme décrit dans les sources ou implicites dans les inscriptions.

Pourtant, certains chercheurs comme le Dr Fantar nient que les Phéniciens ont sacrifié leurs enfants. Ils rejettent les textes que tendancieux ou mal informés, et ils ignorent les implications sacrificielles des stèles gravées. Les preuves archéologiques, cependant, en particulier les os trouvés dans les urnes funéraires, ne peuvent pas être aussi facilement justifiées.

Les preuve des auteurs classiques. Les auteurs anciens, les historiens gréco-romains comme Kleitarchos, Diodore et Plutarque et les pères de l’Eglise, comme Tertullien, condamnent les Carthaginois pour la pratique du sacrifice d’enfant. Certains ajoutent de sinistres mais  invérifiables détails <témoignages oculaires de mères en détresse, victimes grimaçantes consommées par les flammes, petites victimes offertes aux bras tendus d’une statue d’airain. Sur un point, ces sources sont totalement en accord: les Carthaginois sacrifiaient leurs enfants à leurs divinités suprêmes.

Certes, certains historiens qui ont écrit sur Carthage, comme Polybe, ne font aucune mention de cette pratique. Pourquoi Polybe a-t-il omis de mentionner les sacrifice d’enfants carthaginois est un mystère. Il a été membre du personnel de Scipion en 146 avant JC, et il doit avoir bien connu la ville. Les révisionnistes s’emparent de ces omissions comme une excuse pour rejeter tous les rapports sur les sacrifices  d’enfants phéniciens comme de pures inventions découlant de préjugés anti-phéniciens. Mais c’est un non sequitur. Le fait que Polybe ne mentionne pas les sacrifices  d’enfants phéniciens ne signifie pas que les autres témoignages sont faux; cela signifie simplement qu’il n’a rien à dire sur ce point.

les preuves de la Bible hébraïque. Le  prophète du sixième siècle avant JC Jérémie accuse les Judahites syncrétistes de la mise en place d’un « haut lieu de Tophet » dans la vallée de Ben-Hinnom, en dehors de Jérusalem (Jérémie 7:30-32), où ils « brûlent (sharaf) leurs fils et leurs filles dans le feu (b’esh).  » Ce n’est clairement pas une description des fils et des filles »en passant par« le feu dans une sorte de rite de passage d’où ils sortent roussi mais ne sont pas incinérés. Ces enfants, à la fois mâles et femelles, « brûlent … dans le feu, » c’est-à-dire ils sont incinérés, selon Jérémie. Ce témoignage n’est pas celui d’un étranger qui accuse les Judéens de mauvaises voies, il provient d’un des leurs. Tout habitant de Jérusalem qui pensait que le prophète avait inventé ces accusations de sacrifices d’enfants pouvait facielement se rendre dans la vallée de Ben-Hinnom, et devenir, comme Jérémie, témoin oculaire des sacrifices humains qui s’y déroulaient.

Le mot «Tophet» peut être traduit par «lieu d’incinération» ou «grill. » Le texte hébreu ne précise pas que les victimes judaïtes étaient enterrées , seulement brûlées, bien que le «lieu d’incinération » était probablement à côté du lieu d’inhumation. En effet, le sol dans le Tophet de Carthage s’est révélé plein de charbon de bois d’olivier, sans aucun doute des bûchers sacrificiels. Nous n’avons aucune idée de la façon dont les Phéniciens eux-mêmes évoquaient les lieux d’incinération ou d’enfouissement ou la pratique elle-même, car aucun ensemble important d’inscriptions phéniciennes – pas de « Bible » phénicienne, en quelque sorte – n’est parvenu jusqu’à nous.

La preuve des inscriptions phéniciennes. Ce qui est parvenu jusqu’à nous est constitué de milliers d’inscriptions phéniciennes, la grande majorité d’entre elles provenant du Tophet de Carthage. Ces inscriptions, cependant, sont très stéréotypées et terriblement laconiques. Aucune ne fait explicitement référence à des sacrifices d’enfants, seulement à des vœux faits à Tanit et Ba’al Hammon. Par exemple, une inscription sur une stèle de la période Tanit II (du sixième au troisième siècle avant JC) est ainsi libellé: «A notre dame, à Tanit … et à notre seigneur, à Ba’al Hammon, ce qui a été promis. » Le placement de ces stèles immédiatement au-dessus de bocaux contenant des reste d’incinération suggère fortement que ces voeux avaient quelque chose à voir avec les individus incinérés, humains ou animaux, à l’intérieur des bocaux.

* Pour plus d’informations sur le sens du mot «Moloch», voir Lawrence E. Stager et Samuel R. Wolff, «Sacrifice d’enfants à Carthage <rite religieux ou contrôle de la population? Biblical Archaeology Review, Janvier / Février 1984. (Cette question est épuisé. Pour commander une photocopie de cet article, appelez-nous au 1-800-221-4644.) un peu inattendue, stèles inscrites dans le Tophet de Carthage marquer de temps en temps des pots contenant des restes d’animaux, incinérés et enterrés dans le même mode prudent car la . victimes humaines à cet égard, un AD néo-punique stèle de deuxième ou troisième siècle de Cirta (Constantine), en Algérie, est pertinente La stèle est inscrit en latin:. vita pro vita, sanguis pro sanguine, agnum pro vikario ( . vie pour vie, sang pour sang, un agneau d’un substitut) Cet acte de substitution n’est pas sans rappeler la Akedah biblique, dans laquelle le sacrifice d’Abraham de son fils Isaac a été devancé par la disposition miraculeuse d’un bélier comme un substitut (Genèse 22: 13). *

Les preuves de l’archéologie. Les os brûlés trouvés à l’intérieur des pots du Tophet de Carthage fournissent des preuves concluantes pour les sacrifices d’enfants phéniciens. Des restes d’animaux, principalement des moutons et des chèvres, trouvés à l’intérieur d’urnes Tophet suggèrent fortement que ce n’était pas un lieu de sépulture pour des enfants morts prématurément. Les animaux étaient sacrifiés aux dieux, sans doute à la place de l’enfant. Il est très probable que les enfants ayant eu la malchance de ne pas avoir de substitution ont également été sacrifiés et enterrés dans le Tophet.

En outre, les preuves ostéologiques révèlent que la plupart des victimes étaient des enfants âgés de deux à trois mois, même si certains pouvaient atteindre cinq ans. Jusqu’à présent, aucun squelette n’a montré des signes de conditions pathologiques qui pourraient avoir causé la mort. Ce sont des enfants sains délibérément tués comme des sacrifices de la manière décrite dans les textes classiques et bibliques.

Le sexe de la victime n’est pas clair. Nous ne savons pas avec certitude si elles étaient exclusivement des hommes, comme certains l’ont affirmé, ou les deux masculins et féminins. Certains textes bibliques indiquent que les premiers-nés mâles étaient choisis comme ultime sacrifice à la divinité. Par exemple, au cours d’un engagement militaire entre les Moabites et les Israélites, le roi de Moab  » prit son fils aîné qui devait lui succéder, et l’offrit en holocauste. » Qui est témoin de ce sacrifice, les Israélites se retirèrent et « renvoyés dans leur propre pays» (2 Rois 3:27). Le prophète Michée indique le sacrifice du premier-né comme la plus haute forme d’offrande humaine à un dieu <même mieux que les «veaux d’un an», béliers ou «fleuves d’huile d’olive» (Michée 6:6-7) . D’autres textes précisent cependant que les deux «fils et filles» étaient sacrifiés dans le Tophet (Jérémie 07:31 et 2 Rois 23:10).

les squelettes infantiles ne sont pas suffisamment développés pour permettre la détermination de leur sexe sur la base de la seule morphologie osseuse. Les analyses d’ADN en cours des os des pots, devraient cependant résoudre la question de savoir si les victimes étaient toutes des hommes ou un mélange d’hommes et de femmes.

Les textes classiques et bibliques, ainsi que l’archéologie, indiquent tous que les enfants de modes de vie sains étaient sacrifiés aux dieux dans le Tophet. Notre but dans cette affaire n’est pas de calomnier les Phéniciens, mais de les comprendre.

Les fouilles à Ashkelon prouvent que les Romains noyaient et jetaient leurs bébés de sexe masculin

Analyse de l’ADN lève le voile sur la plus ancienne profession à Ashkelon

par Lawrence E. Stager et Patricia Smith

De Biblical Archaeology Review BAR 23h04, juillet / août 1997

Les dernières techniques scientifiques à l’aide de l’analyse de l’ADN nous ont permis de conclure que la quatrième à la sixième siècle AD bâtiment à Ashkelon nous confiance identifié comme un établissement de bains a également été un bordel.

Son identité comme un établissement de bains de l’époque romaine tardive n’a jamais été mise en doute. Son architecture comprenait une hypocausta et une baignoire. La vraie question est, at-il servir aussi comme un bordel? Pendant cette période, il est amplement prouvé textuelle pour indiquer que « la baignade mixte» a conduit à plus que juste la propreté. Un auteur, écrit à l’époque de Néron, décrit un père qui est allé aux bains, laissant un enfant à la maison, pour revenir de bains que le futur père de deux autres. Le poète Martial a écrit que le « bathman vous permet au milieu des putains de tombes hante seulement après avoir éteint sa lanterne. »

Nos soupçons que l’établissement de bains Ashkelon pourrait aussi avoir été un bordel ont été suscitées par l’archéologue israélien et épigraphiste Vasilios Tsaferis, qui a lu une inscription terriblement incomplète grec griffonné sur le côté de la baignoire comme « Entrez, profiter et …» Mais l’épigraphe était trop courte pour être décisif.

Le système d’égout nous avons trouvé sous le pavillon de bain était plus suggestive. L’égout était assez élevé pour un adulte de se tenir debout à l’intérieur. L’ensemble du système a été bouché et était sorti de l’utilisation par le VIe siècle après J.-C. L’égout était rempli de détritus de toutes sortes, y compris des tessons de poterie, des pièces et des os d’animaux.

En outre, la gouttière peu profonde qui a couru ci-dessous et le long de la ligne de l’égout a été rempli avec les squelettes d’environ une centaine de bébés. L’analyse de ces vestiges d’anthropologues physiques Patricia Smith et Gila Kahila indiqué que les enfants étaient des nouveau-nés, mis au rebut dans un jour de naissance. Analyse des dents qui n’avaient pas encore éclaté a révélé des traces de sang, ce qui indique que les nourrissons ont été soit étranglés ou noyés. Parce que les enfants restes ont été trouvés dans le caniveau de l’égout, il semble probable qu’ils ont été volontairement noyés.

Pendant des siècles, l’infanticide était une pratique acceptée pour l’élimination des bébés-et, moins souvent, les bébés mâles femelles non désirées. Cela est particulièrement vrai dans l’ancienne société romaine. Dans une lettre (datée du 17 Juin de l’année 1 avant J.-C. par notre calendrier), un certain Hilarion écrit à sa femme Alis: «Je demande et vous prie de prendre bien soin de notre bébé fils … Si vous êtes livré de l’enfant [avant Je rentre à la maison,] si c’est un garçon garder, si une fille, jetez-le. « 

Sachant que l’établissement de bains Ashkelon était une institution peu probable soit pour les juifs ou les chrétiens de la ville, qui ont tous deux été massivement «pro-thème, » nous avons supposé l’établissement de bains / bordel fait sens dans un contexte romain. Il devrait, selon la sagesse et les calculs classiques, plus de femmes que d’hommes bébés jetés dans les égouts de Ashkelon. Cette détermination ne peut être faite par l’analyse habituellement utilisé par les anthropologues physiques. Il est impossible de déterminer le sexe de l’homme prépubères à partir des observations du squelette seul: Ces fonctions de diagnostic comme le bassin n’ont pas encore atteint un stade de développement significatif.

Notre seul espoir de déterminer le sexe des enfants romains de Ashkelon a été l’analyse de l’ADN. Si l’ADN ancien pertinente pourrait être isolé et extrait avec succès, les chromosomes X et Y peuvent être distingués.

Drs. Ariella Oppenheim et Marina Faerman, de l’hématologie et départements d’anatomie à l’Université hébraïque, a déterminé que l’échantillon d’égout contenait deux sexes. Ils limitent les anciens échantillons d’ADN à gauche fémurs de sorte qu’ils ne seraient pas reproduire les os du même enfant. Ils ont testé 43 exemplaires trouvés dans le caniveau. Les fémurs ont été examinés à l’aide de trois tests différents, d’où ils pouvaient avoir confiance dans la détermination du sexe de 19 personnes, sur la base des analyses d’ADN. Parmi ceux-ci, 14 étaient des hommes et 5 femmes.

La forte proportion des hommes soutient la possibilité intrigante que les enfants rejetés à l’égout ont été les portées non désirées des courtisanes de bains publics. Les prostituées de l’établissement peuvent ont préféré conserver une plus grande proportion de la progéniture femelle illégitime pour répondre aux besoins futurs de l’institution largement hétérosexuelle.

Bibliographie

Baker, Jill L. «Le Middle et Late Complexe âge du bronze tombe à Ashkelon, Israël: L’architecture et le kit de funérailles. » Doctorat diss., Brown University, 2003.

Ballard, RD, Stager, LE, et al. « Iron Age naufrages dans les eaux profondes au large d’Ashkelon, en Israël. » American Journal of Archaeology 106/2 (2002): 151-168.

Barako, Tristan. « La migration Seaborne des Philistins. » Doctorat diss., Harvard University, 2001.

-. « Les Philistins comme Mercantile phénomène. » American Journal of Archaeology 104/3 (Juillet 2000): 513-530.

Bietak, M., Kopetzky, K. et LE Stager, « Stratigraphie Comparée Nouvelle:. L’Synchronisation d’Ashkelon et de Tell el-Dab’a » Dans Actes de la 3ICAANE à Paris, 2002. Ed. J.-C. Margueron, P. de Miroschedji et J.-P. Thalmann. (Sous presse).

Carmi, I., et al. « La Rencontre de l’ancienne puits d’eau par archéologique et méthodes 14C: étude comparative de la céramique et de bois. » Israël Exploration Journal 44 (1994): 184-200.

Cohen, Susan. Cananéens, Chronologie, et Connexions: La relation de l’âge du bronze IIA Canaan à Moyen Empire égyptien. Harvard Museum sémitiques Publications, études en histoire et archéologie de l’Asie, vol. 3, Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns 2002.

Croix, Frank M. « Un Philistin Ostracon De Ashkelon. » Biblical Archaeology Review 22/1 (1996): 64-65.

Esse, Douglas. « Ashkelon. » Anchor Bible Dictionary. Ed. DN Freedman, vol. 1, 477-490. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1992.

Faerman, M., et al. « Déterminer le sexe des victimes de l’infanticide de l’époque romaine tardive par l’ancienne analyse de l’ADN. » Journal de la science archéologique 25 (1998): 861-865.

-. «Analyse de l’ADN révèle le sexe des victimes de l’infanticide. » Nature 385 (1997): 212-213.

Faust, Avraham et Ehud Weiss. « Juda, le pays des Philistins et le monde: Reconstruire le septième siècle avant notre ère économique Système Bulletin de l’American Schools of Oriental Research 338, (2005):. 71-92.

Gitler, Haim et Y. Kahanov. « Le Ascalon 1988 Hoard (CH.9.548), Un Périple à Ascalon dans la période hellénistique tardive? » En monnaies hordes 9: grecs trésors. Société Royale de Numismatique spécial Publications n ° 35. Ed. A. Meadows, U. Wartenberg, 259Ð268. Londres: Société Royale de Numismatique, 2002.

Gitler, Haim. « Achéménides Motifs de la monnaie d’Ashdod, Ascalon et de Gaza à partir du IVème siècle avant JC » Transeuphratène 20 (2000): 73-87.

-. « Nouvelles pièces quatrième siècle BC Ashkelon. » La numismatique Chronique 156 (1996): 1-9.

Or, Wendy. « Dark Side Unearthed dans l’ancienne ville israélienne. » Discovery Channel, Canada, 20 Janvier 1997.

Gore, Rick. « Ashkelon antique. » National Geographic Magazine 199/1 (2001): 66-90.

Greene, Joseph. « Ascalon. » Dans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art et d’Archéologie. Ed. P. Corby Finney. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. (à paraître).

Hesse, Brian. « choyé cabots ou plaine parias? Les Ashkelon Sépultures de chien. » L’archéologue biblique 56/2 (1993): 55-80.

Hoffman, Tracy L. « Ascalon ‘Arus Al Sham:. Architecture intérieure et le développement d’un byzantin islamique City » Doctorat diss., Université de Chicago, 2003.

Huehnergard, John et W. van Soldt. « Un cunéiforme lexicale texte d’Ashkelon avec une colonne cananéenne. » Israël Exploration Journal 49 (1999): 184-192.

Johnson, Barbara et LE Stager. « Ashkelon: Vin Emporium de la Terre Sainte. » Fouilles récentes en Israël. Ed. Seymour Gitin, 95-109. Boston: AIA Colloques et documents de conférence 1, 1995.

Keel, Othmar. « Aschkelon. » Dans Corpus der Stempelsiegel-Amulette aus Palästina / Israël vol. Une. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 13. Ed., 688-736 (n ° 1-120). Fribourg: Fribourg University, 1997.

Lass, Egon. « Les études quantitatives en flottation à Ashkelon, 1986-1988. » Bulletin de l’American Schools of Oriental Research 294 (1994): 23-38.

Lipovitch, David. « Ces os peuvent vivre encore? Une analyse de la perse Période non-Candid mammifères faune vestiges de Tel Ashkelon. » Doctorat diss., Harvard University, 1999.

Maître, Daniel. «Le commerce et la politique: Balancing Act de Ashkelon dans le 7ème siècle BCE » Bulletin des Ecoles d’Orient de recherche américain 330 (2003): 47-64.

-. « Le port maritime d’Ashkelon dans le septième siècle avant notre ère: une étude pétrographique. » Doctorat diss., Harvard University, 2001.

-. « Iron I Chronologie à Ashkelon: Résultats préliminaires de la Leon Levy Expedition», dans Datation au carbone et la Bible, éd. T. Levy. Equinox, 2005.

-. « Ashkelon » dans le dictionnaire de l’Ancien Testament: livres historiques, éd. BT Arnold et HGM Williamson. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2005].

Mayerson, Philip. « Une note complémentaire sur Ascalon vin (P. Oxy. 1384). » Israël Exploration Journal 45 (1995): 190.

-. «L’utilisation d’Ascalon vin dans les écrivains médicaux de la quatrième à la septième siècles. » Israël Exploration Journal 43 (1994): 169-173.

Rosen-Ayalon, Miriam. « Le jewellrey islamique De Ashkelon Dans Bijoux et Orfèvrerie dans le monde islamique:. Colloque international, Le Musée d’Israël, Jérusalem, 1987 Ed N. Brosh, 9-20 Jérusalem.. Musée d’Israël, 1991.

Schloen, David. « Ashkelon. » À Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology au Proche-Orient. Ed. E. Meyers, vol. 1, 220-223. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Sharon, Moshe. « Une nouvelle fatimide Inscription d’Ascalon et son contexte historique. » «Atiqot 26 (1997): 61-86.

-. Calife égyptien et baron anglais: L’histoire d’une inscription en arabe Ashkelon. Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae. Jérusalem: l’Université hébraïque de Jérusalem, 1994.

Smith, Patricia et G. Kahila. «Identification de l’infanticide dans les sites archéologiques: une étude de la période byzantine romains tôt TARD à Ashkelon, Israël cas. » Journal de la science archéologique 19 (1992): 667-675.

Stager, Lawrence E. et PJ roi. La vie dans l’Israël biblique. Louisville, KY: Westminster / John Knox Press, 2001.

Stager, Lawrence E. « port d’alimentation: l’organisation du commerce maritime et de l’arrière de production. » Études à l’archéologie d’Israël et des terres limitrophes: En mémoire de Douglas L. Esse. SAOC 59, ASOR Books 5. Ed. SR Wolff, 625-638. Atlanta, GA: ASOR, 2001.

Stager, Lawrence E. et P. Smith. « Analyse de l’ADN lève le voile sur la plus ancienne profession à Ashkelon. » Biblical Archaeology Review23 / 4 (1997): 16.

Stager, Lawrence E. et PA Mountjoy. « A Pictorial Cratère du Philistin Ashkelon, » en haut de la Porte de Hékron [1 Samuel 17:52]: Essais sur l’archéologie et d’histoire de la Méditerranée orientale en l’honneur de Seymour Gitin, eds. SWCrawford et al, Jérusalem: Israël Exploration Society, sous presse.

Stager, Laurent E., M. et K. Bietak Kopetzky. « Stratigraphie Comparee Nouvelle: la synchronisation d’Ashkelon et de Tell el-Dab` un « à la Conférence internationale sur le archéologie du Proche-Orient ancien (ICAANE) vol. 3 (Conférence tenue à Paris, Avril 2003) éd. Pierre de Miroschedji et Jean-Paul Thalmann, pp 221-234.

Stager, Lawrence E. et RJ Voss. « Une séquence de Tell el Yahudiyah Ware d’Ashkelon » à Tell el Yahudiyah Ware de l’Egypte et du Levant, éd. M. Bietak. Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften:. Vienne, sous presse.

Stager, Lawrence E. et FM Cross, «Inscriptions chypro-minoenne trouvés dans Philistin Ashkelon, » Israël Exploration Journal 56/4, 2006.

Stager, Lawrence E. « Ashkelon et l’archéologie de la destruction. » En Eretz Israël 25 [Joseph Aviram Volume]. Ed. A. Biran, et al., 61 * -74 *. Jérusalem: Israël Exploration Society, 1996.

-. « La Fureur de Babylone. » Biblical Archaeology Review 22/1 (1996): 58-69, 76-77.

-. «L’impact des Peuples de la Mer en Canaan (1185-1050 __gVirt_NP_NN_NNPS<__ BCE). » Dans L’archéologie de la Société dans la Terre Sainte. Ed. Thomas E. Levy, 332-348. New York, NY: Facts on File, 1995.

-. « Ashkelon. » Nouvelle Encyclopédie des fouilles archéologiques en Terre Sainte. Ed. E. Stern, vol. 1,103-112. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1993. -. « La séquence en céramique MB IIA à Tel Ashkelon et ses conséquences pour le modèle« Power Port »du commerce. » Dans L’âge du Bronze moyen dans le Levant: Actes de la Conférence internationale sur MB IIA Matériau Céramique, Vienne, le 24 au 26 Janvier 2001. Ed. M. Bietak, 353-362. Wien: Verlag Der Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2002.

-. « Raccords Chariot de Philistin Ashkelon, » Face the Past: Essais archéologiques et historiques sur l’Israël antique en l’honneur de William G. Dever, eds. S. Gitin, JE Wright, et JP Dessel. Eisenbrauns 2006, pp 169-176.

-. « bibliques Philistins: Une hellénistique création littéraire? » dans « je dirai la Énigmes de l’Antiquité:« Les études archéologiques et historiques en l’honneur de Amihai Mazar, eds. A. et P. de Maeir Miroschedji. Eisenbrauns 2006, pp.375-384.

-. «Nouvelles découvertes dans les fouilles d’Ashkelon dans le bronze et l’âge du fer, » Qadmoniot. Vol. 39, n ° 131, 2006 (hébreu).

-. « La Maison du Veau d’argent d’Ashkelon » dans Calendrier: études en l’honneur de Manfred Bietak Volume II, éd. E. Czerny, I. Hein, H. faim, D. Melman, et A. Schwab, Peeters 2006, pp 403-410.

-. « Das Silberkalb von Aschkelon. » Antike Welt 21/4 (1990): 271-272.

-. Ashkelon Découvert: De Cananéens et des Philistins, pour les Romains et les Musulmans. Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1991.

-. « Un Veau d’argent déacouvert à Ashkelon. » Le Monde de la Bible 70 (1991): 50 52.

-. «Quand Cananéens et Philistins dominaient Ashkelon. » Biblical Archaeology Review 17/2 (1991): 24 43.

-. «Pourquoi des centaines de chiens enterrés à Ashkelon? » Biblical Archaeology Review 17/3 (1991): 27 42.

-. « L’érotisme et l’infanticide à Ashkelon. » Biblical Archaeology Review 17/4 (1991): 35-53.

-. « Sur les traces des Philistins. » En 4000 Ashqelon et quarante ans. Ed. N. Arbel, vol. 1, chapitre 1 *. Tel Aviv: Graphique Ou Daphtal, 1990.

Stager, Lawrence E. et D. Esse. « Ashkelon fouilles: La Leon Levy expédition. » En 4000 Ashqelon et quarante ans. Ed. N. Arbel, vol. 1, chapitre 2 *. Tel Aviv: Graphique Ou Daphtal, 1990.

-. «Notes et Nouvelles d’Ashkelon. » Israël Exploration Journal 37 (1987): 68-72.

Stone, Bryan J. « Les Philistins et acculturation: changement de culture et de la continuité ethnique dans l’âge de fer. » Bulletin de l’American Schools of Oriental Research 298 (1995): 7-32.

Thompson, Christine. « Sealed argent dans l’âge de fer Cisjordan et la« invention »de la monnaie. » Oxford Journal of Archaeology 22/1 (2003): 67-107.

Voss, Ross. « Une séquence de quatre Bronze Moyen Gates Asheklon. » Dans L’âge du Bronze moyen dans le Levant: Actes de la Conférence internationale sur MB IIA Matériau Céramique, Vienne, le 24 au 26 Janvier 2001. Ed. M. Bietak, ,379-384. Wien: Verlag Der Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2002.

Waldbaum, Jane C. « Iron I-II (1200-586)-Importations et locales Imitations: le grec. » Dans La poterie antique d’Israël et ses voisins du néolithique à la période hellénistique. Ed. S. Gitin. Jérusalem: IES, WF Institut Albright de recherches archéologiques, IAA, (en préparation).

-. « 7ème siècle avant JC poterie grecque d’Ashkelon, Israël: Un Entrepôt dans le Levant sud. » À Pont-Exuin et Commerce: La Genèse de la «Route de la Soie,« Actes meurent IXe Symposium de Vani (Colchide) -1999. Ed. M. Faudot, A. Fraysse, et E. Geny, 57-75. Presses Universitaires Franc-Comtoises, 2002.

Waldbaum, Jane C. et J. Magness. « La chronologie de la Petite poterie grecque: Nouvelles preuves de niveaux septième siècle avant JC destruction d’Israël. » American Journal of Archaeology 101 (1997): 23-40.

Wapnish Paula et B. Hesse. « Porcs de pieds, de bovins Bones et Oiseaux ailes. » Biblical Archaeology Review 22/1 (1996): 62.

Wapnish, Paula. « La beauté et l’utilitaire en os: Nouvelle lumière sur l’os artisanat. » Biblical Archaeology Review 17/4 (1991): 54-57.

Weiss, Ehud et ME Kislev. « Plante reste comme indicateurs pour l’activité économique: une étude de cas à partir de l’âge de fer Ashkelon. » Journal de la science archéologique 31 (2004): 1-13.

Réponse à l’appui de M’hamed Hassine Fantar publié tel quel.

Objet: lettre à l’éditeur: sur les sacrifices d’enfants à Carthage Date: Tuesday, 3 Février, 2004 14:50 De: Salvatore Conte < sal.conte @ tiscali.it > Pour: Salim Khalaf

Monsieur le rédacteur,

J’ai lu l’article intéressant que vous avez publié sur les sacrifices d’enfants à Carthage (avec thèses par M’hamed Hassine Fantar d’un côté, et par Lawrence E. Stager et Joseph A. Greene de l’autre).

Je suis un chercheur indépendant italien et je me concentre sur mes études des problèmes historiques produites par « Romancentrism »: un point de vue de l’histoire ancienne de la Méditerranée totalitaire, sur la base de faux témoins et sur l’absence (du «procès») des bibliothèques de Carthage brûlé par le plus grand vandalisme (et pénale) des temps anciens: Publius Cornelius Scipion Emilien Africain mineur.

Je partage la thèse du professeur Fantar.

Sa pensée est claire et obtient mon humble admiration.

Non seulement M. Moscati, mais trois éminents chercheurs (Michel Gras, Pierre Rouillard, Javier Teixidor: « L’univers phénicien », Arthaud, 1989) sont d’accord avec lui aussi.

Donc, je pense que c’est la vérité:

Enfants puniques qui sont morts jeunes possédaient un statut spécial. Ils ont donc été incinérés et enterrés dans une enceinte réservée au culte de Ba’al Hammon seigneur et dame Tanit. Ces enfants ne sont pas «morts» dans le sens habituel du terme, mais plutôt, ils ont été rétrocédées. Pour des raisons mystérieuses, Ba’al Hammon a décidé de les rappeler à lui-même. Soumettre à la volonté divine, les parents sont retournés à l’enfant, en lui redonnant au dieu selon un rituel qui implique, entre autres choses, l’incinération et l’enfouissement. En retour, les parents espéraient que Ba’al Hammon et Tanit seraient fournir un remplacement pour les enfants rétrocédées et cette demande a été inscrit sur une stèle funéraire (M’hamed Hassine Fantar).

Mais je tiens hausse ici une autre question: les « sources classiques» (les mots de Fantar) qui parlent de sacrifices d’enfants à Carthage sont presque les mêmes qui parlent de suicide (dans le feu) de Carthage fondatrice, Elissa de Tyr (Dido) .

Je pense que ces deux sujets ne sont qu’un.

Nous savons Tanit est la déesse la plus importante à Carthage, et elle est protagoniste dans le Tophet trop.

Nous savons aussi que Astarté et Tanit ne sont pas la même.

Nous savons qu’aucun signe de Tanit est daté de plus que IX-VIII siècle avant JC (Elissa fois).

Et nous savons Elissa a été déifié, mais nous ne savons pas son nom divin.

En outre, nous savons Tanit culte survivra à Carthage très long, jusqu’à la fin de «l’âge classique» (CE 5e siècle), avec une forte identification avec la ville, même si pas plus punique.

Je pense donc que Tanit est le nom divin de Elissa, et depuis elle a été consacrée à Astarté, elle a probablement été considéré comme «l’incarnation» ou «révélation» d’Astarté.

L’, pacifique, fondement ingénieux «miraculeuse» et le développement rapide de Carthage, les bonnes relations avec les peuples de Libye, un gouvernement longue et stable, l’agriculture et les améliorations urbaines, un spécial – féminin – soins de l’enfance pour favoriser la croissance de la nouvelle ville ( comme professeur Fantar explique par ses meilleurs mots), et enfin un passage doux à la forme République, probablement conduit à sa déification.

Mais aussi à la rancune par des dirigeants étrangers hostiles et leurs «voix» classiques.

En tout cas, tant de preuves semblent exclure les fantaisistes, contradictoires inventions sur son suicide faites par certains « sources classiques» («la voix de l’ennemi», comme l’écrit Gerhard Herm).

Je publie sur mon site (www.queendido.org <http://www.queendido.org&gt;) des références complètes (mais surtout sur la langue italienne).

Mais je voudrais proposer ici une confirmation par un excellent Auteur: Virgil.

J’étudie son Enéide d’un autre, pas commun, le point de vue: système de « double écriture » par le professeur français Jean-Yves Maleuvre.

Selon cette théorie, Virgile était un farouche adversaire de l’empereur Auguste.

Par cette raison, il a déçu les attentes concernant Augustus Aeneas héroïsme, et il construit en secret son poème autour du personnage de Dido (ce que j’appelle «Didocentrism » dans le travail de Virgile).

C’est ce qui explique très bien la célèbre anachronisme historique entre Enée et Didon (trois / quatre siècles loin): Virgile était complètement désintéressé par Énée.

Son attention est historique pour l’époque de Dido. Nous avons plusieurs exemples: par exemple, il savait parfaitement quand les Phéniciens ont colonisé Chypre (IX siècle avant JC, selon Gras / Rouillard / Teixidor, voir Enéide, I, 621-622).

Après cette ligne, nous découvrons plusieurs choses importantes.

L’une d’elles est que Virgile savait probablement phénicienne / punique « philosophie religieuse de l’enfant », de cette façon, écrit-il dans l’Enéide, livre 6, 426-429 (traduction TC Williams):

Maintenant entend il sanglote, et pitoyable, zézaiement cris

des âmes de babes sur le seuil plaining;

Qui, avant qu’ils aient pris leur partie de la vie douce,

sombre destin de poitrines de soins infirmiers a déchiré, et plongé

dans l’amertume de la mort.

À travers les yeux d’Énée, Virgile décrit une zone spéciale de Underworld où les âmes des enfants morts bientôt restent, séparé des autres âmes (cet aspect est différent de Underworld d’Homère). Donc probablement Virgile savait cette convention punique et il l’a accepté, en introduisant dans son travail.

Il est possible que Virgile avis n’explique pas les enfants morts par les activités humaines.

Mais, depuis narrateur Virgile est souvent «interne» (je veux dire « pas omniscient »), et depuis Aeneas « Voyage » dans Underworld est en effet un rêve du cheval de Troie, la chose est encore plus intéressant: Énée vient de Carthage long séjour, à la cour de Didon, de cette façon, il a « absorbé » vision phénicienne / punique de Underworld, où très petits enfants ne peuvent pas être jugés par « Minos, le juge » de Underworld, parce que (comme Fantar le dit si bien) « ces enfants étaient pas mort dans le sens habituel du terme, mais plutôt, ils ont été rétrocédées « .

Je substain également que le suicide de Didon dans l’Enéide n’est qu’apparente, mais c’est une autre histoire …

Assez complexe et exigeant Ovide connaissances.

Je peux inviter ici à réfléchir sur le fait que «comites aspiciunt » (lire « chevaux de Troie de l’espoir pour»), de IV, 664, introduit une vision subjective (narration interne): le feu de bûcher « trompe » Énée et ses compagnons. Ils souhaitent voir la mort de Didon, et ils le voient, par leur esprit, de la manière qu’ils préfèrent: laid et sanglant (consultez narratifs / échos subjectifs parmi IV, 665, et les chevaux de Troie »au départ de Carthage, IV, 581-583). C’est le sens exact des mots de Didon dans IV, 661/662, je crois.

Virgile, Ovide (Fastes), et Silius Italicus (le disciple de Virgile), démolir « sources classiques » dans le nom d’une vision commune de l’histoire méditerranéenne: un, peuple unique – une, grande civilisation unique – une histoire seule, sans ostility et pas de haine envers les autres parties de ces mêmes peuples de la Méditerranée.

L’introduction à Rome de Tanit culte avec un temple proche de celui de Juno (je me souviens Dido est «fille» et Première Prêtresse de Junon dans le poème de Virgile), est la summa de ce concept.

Merci pour votre travail, cher éditeur.

Dr Salvatore Conte

Read more: Child Sacrifice: Children of Phoenician Punic Carthage Where Not Sacrificed to the Gods http://phoenicia.org/childsacrifice.html#ixzz2rNxteJCK

Voir enfin:

Salammbô de Gustave Flaubert (1862)

Chapitre 13 – Moloch

Les Barbares n’avaient pas besoin d’une circonvallation du côté de l’Afrique ; elle leur appartenait. Mais pour rendre plus facile l’approche des murailles, on abattit le retranchement qui bordait le fossé. Ensuite, Mâtho divisa l’armée par grands demi-cercles, de façon à envelopper mieux Carthage. Les hoplites des Mercenaires furent placés au premier rang, derrière eux les frondeurs et les cavaliers ; tout au fond, les bagages, les chariots, les chevaux ; en deçà de cette multitude, à trois cents pas des tours, se hérissaient les machines.

Sous la variété infinie de leurs appellations (qui changèrent plusieurs fois dans le cours des siècles), elles pouvaient se réduire à deux systèmes : les unes agissant comme des frondes et les autres comme des arcs.

Les premières, les catapultes, se composaient d’un châssis carré, avec deux montants verticaux et une barre horizontale. A sa partie antérieure un cylindre, muni de cables, retenait un gros timon portant une cuillère pour recevoir les projectiles ; la base en était prise dans un écheveau de fils tordus, et quand on lâchait les cordes, il se relevait et venait frapper contre la barre, ce qui, l’arrêtant par une secousse, multipliait sa vigueur.

Les secondes offraient un mécanisme plus compliqué : sur une petite colonne, une traverse était fixée par son milieu où aboutissait à angle droit une espèce de canal ; aux extrémités de la traverse s’élevaient deux chapiteaux qui contenaient un entortillage de crins ; deux poutrelles s’y trouvaient prises pour maintenir les bouts d’une corde que l’on amenait jusqu’au bas du canal, sur une tablette de bronze. Par un ressort, cette plaque de métal se détachait, et, glissant sur des rainures, poussait les flèches.

Les catapultes s’appelaient également des onagres, comme les ânes sauvages qui lancent des cailloux avec leurs pieds, et les balistes des scorpions, à cause d’un crochet dressé sur la tablette, et qui, s’abaissant d’un coup de poing, faisait partir le ressort.

Leur construction exigeait de savants calculs ; leurs bois devaient être choisis dans les essences les plus dures, leurs engrenages, tous d’airain ; elles se bandaient avec des leviers, des moufles, des cabestans ou des tympans ; de forts pivots variaient la direction de leur tir, des cylindres les faisaient s’avancer, et les plus considérables, que l’on apportait pièce à pièce, étaient remontées en face de l’ennemi.

Spendius disposa les trois grandes catapultes vers les trois angles principaux ; devant chaque porte il plaça un bélier, devant chaque tour une baliste, et des carrobalistes circuleraient par derrière. Mais il fallait les garantir contre les feux des assiégés et combler d’abord le fossé qui les séparait des murailles.

On avança des galeries en claies de joncs verts et des cintres en chêne, pareils à d’énormes boucliers glissait sur trois roues ; de petites cabanes couvertes de peaux fraîches et rembourrées de varech abritaient les travailleurs ; les catapultes et les balistes furent défendues par des rideaux de cordages que l’on avait trempés dans du vinaigre pour les rendre incombustibles. Les femmes et les enfants allaient prendre des cailloux sur la grève, ramassaient de la terre avec leurs mains et l’apportaient aux soldats.

Les Carthaginois se préparaient aussi.

Hamilcar les avait bien vite rassurés en déclarant qu’il restait de l’eau dans les citernes pour cent vingt-trois jours. Cette affirmation, sa présence au milieu d’eux, et celle du zaïmph surtout, leur donnèrent bon espoir, Carthage se releva de son accablement ; ceux qui n’étaient pas d’origine chananéenne furent emportés dans la passion des autres.

On arma les esclaves, on vida les arsenaux ; les citoyens eurent chacun leur poste et leur emploi. Douze cents hommes survivaient des transfuges, le Suffète les fit tous capitaines ; et les charpentiers, les armuriers, les forgerons et les orfèvres furent préposés aux machines. Les Carthaginois en avaient gardé quelques-unes, malgré les conditions de la paix romaine. On les répara. Ils s’entendaient à ces ouvrages. Les deux côtés septentrional et oriental, défendus par la mer et par le golfe, restaient inaccessibles. Sur la muraille faisant face aux Barbares, on monta des troncs d’arbre, des meules de moulin, des vases pleins de soufre, des cuves pleines d’huile, et l’on bâtit des fourneaux. On entassa des pierres sur la plate-forme des tours, et les maisons qui touchaient, immédiatement au rempart furent bourrées avec du sable pour l’affermir et augmenter son épaisseur.

Devant ces dispositions, les Barbares s’irritèrent. Ils voulurent combattre tout de suite. Les poids qu’ils mirent dans les catapultes étaient d’une pesanteur si exorbitante, que les timons se rompirent ; l’attaque fut retardée.

Enfin le treizième jour du mois de Schabar, – au soleil levant, – on entendit contre la porte de Khamon un grand coup.

Soixante-quinze soldats tiraient des cordes, disposées à la base d’une poutre gigantesque, horizontalement suspendue par des chaînes descendant d’une potence, et une tête de bélier, toute en airain, la terminait. On l’avait emmaillotée de peaux de boeuf ; des bracelets de fer la cerclaient de place en place ; elle était trois fois grosse comme le corps d’un homme, longue de cent vingt coudées, et, sous la foule des bras nus la poussant et la ramenant, elle avançait et reculait avec une oscillation régulière.

Les autres béliers devant les autres portes commencèrent à se mouvoir. Dans les roues creuses des tympans, on aperçut des hommes qui montaient d’échelon en échelon. Les poulies, les chapiteaux grincèrent, les rideaux de cordages s’abattirent, et des volées de pierres et des volées de flèches s’élancèrent à la fois ; tous les frondeurs éparpillés couraient. Quelques-uns s’approchaient du rempart, en cachant sous leurs boucliers des pots de résine ; puis ils les lançaient à tour de bras. Cette grêle de balles, de dards et de feux passait par-dessus les premiers rangs et faisait une courbe qui retombait derrière les murs. Mais, à leur sommet, de longues grues à mâter les vaisseaux se dressèrent ; et il en descendit de ces pinces énormes qui se terminaient par deux demi-cercles dentelés à l’intérieur. Elles mordirent les béliers. Les soldats, se cramponnant à la poutre, tiraient en arrière. Les Carthaginois balaient pour la faire monter ; et l’engagement se prolongea jusqu’au soir.

Quand les Mercenaires, le lendemain, reprirent leur besogne, le haut des murailles se trouvait entièrement tapissé par des balles de coton, des toiles, des coussins ; les créneaux étaient bouchés avec des nattes ; et, sur le rempart, entre les grues, on distinguait un alignement de fourches et de tranchoirs emmanchés à des bâtons. Aussitôt, une résistance furieuse commença.

Des troncs d’arbres, tenus par des câbles, tombaient et remontaient alternativement en battant les béliers ; des crampons, lancés par des balistes, arrachaient le toit des cabanes ; et, de la plate-forme des tours, des ruisseaux de silex et de galets se déversaient.

Enfin les béliers rompirent la porte de Khamon et la porte de Tagaste. Mais les Carthaginois avaient entassé à l’intérieur une telle abondance de matériaux que leurs battants ne s’ouvrirent pas. Ils restèrent debout.

Alors on poussa contre les murailles des tarières, qui, s’appliquant aux joints des blocs, les descelleraient. Les machines furent mieux gouvernées, leurs servants répartis par escouades ; du matin au soir, elles fonctionnaient, sans s’interrompre, avec la monotone précision d’un métier de tisserand.

Spendius ne se fatiguait pas de les conduire. C’était lui-même qui bandait les écheveaux des balistes. Pour qu’il y eût, dans leurs tensions jumelles, une parité complète, on serrait leurs cordes en frappant tour à tour de droite et de gauche, jusqu’au moment où les deux côtés rendaient un son égal. Spendius montait sur leur membrure. Avec le bout de son pied, il les battait tout doucement, – et il tendait l’oreille comme un musicien qui accorde une lyre. Puis, quand le timon de la catapulte se relevait, quand la colonne de la baliste tremblait à la secousse du ressort, que les pierres s’élançaient en rayons et que les dards couraient en ruisseau, il se penchait le corps tout entier et jetait ses bras dans l’air, comme pour les suivre.

Les soldats, admirant son adresse, exécutaient ses ordres. Dans la gaieté de leur travail, ils débitaient des plaisanteries sur les noms des machines. Ainsi, les tenailles à prendre les béliers s’appelant des loups, et les galeries couvertes des treilles ; on était des agneaux, on allait faire la vendange ; et, en armant leurs pièces, ils disaient aux onagres : «Allons, rue bien !» et aux scorpions : «Traverse-les jusqu’au coeur !» Ces facéties, toujours les mêmes, soutenaient leur courage.

Cependant les machines ne démolissaient point le rempart. Il était formé par deux murailles et tout rempli de terre ; elles abattaient leurs parties supérieures. Mais les assiégés, chaque fois, les relevaient. Mâtho ordonna de construire des tours en bois qui devaient être aussi hautes que les tours de pierre. On jeta, dans le fossé, du gazon, des pieux, des galets et des chariots avec leurs roues afin de l’emplir plus vite ; avant qu’il fût comblé, l’immense foule des Barbares ondula sur la plaine d’un seul mouvement, et vint battre le pied des murs, comme une mer débordée.

On avança les échelles de corde, les échelles droites et les sambuques, c’est-à-dire deux mâts d’où s’abaissaient, par des palans, une série de bambous que terminait un pont mobile. Elles formaient de nombreuses lignes droites appuyées contre le mur, et les Mercenaires, à la file les uns des autres, montaient en tenant leurs armes à la main. Pas un Carthaginois ne se montrait ; déjà ils touchaient aux deux tiers du rempart. Les créneaux s’ouvrirent, en vomissant, comme des gueules de dragon, des feux et de la fumée ; le sable s’éparpillait, entrait par le joint des armures ; le pétrole s’attachait aux vêtements ; le plomb liquide sautillait sur les casques, faisait des trous dans les chairs ; une pluie d’étincelles s’éclaboussait contre les visages, – et des orbites sans yeux semblaient pleurer des larmes grosses comme des amandes. Des hommes, tout jaunes d’huile, brûlaient par la chevelure. Ils se mettaient à courir, enflammaient les autres. On les étouffait en leur jetant, de loin, sur la face, des manteaux trempés de sang. Quelques-uns qui n’avaient pas de blessure restaient immobiles, plus raides que des pieux, la bouche ouverte et les deux bras écartés.

L’assaut, pendant plusieurs jours de suite, recommença, – les Mercenaires espérant triompher par un excès de force et d’audace.

Quelquefois un homme sur les épaules d’un autre enfonçait une fiche entre les pierres, puis s’en servait comme d’un échelon pour atteindre au delà, en plaçait une seconde, une troisième ; et, protégés par le bord des crénaux dépassant la muraille, peu à peu, ils s’élevaient ainsi ; mais, toujours à une certaine hauteur, ils retombaient. Le grand fossé trop plein débordait ; sous les pas des vivants, les blessés pêle-mêle s’entassaient avec les cadavres et les moribonds. Au milieu des entrailles ouvertes, des cervelles épandues et des flaques de sang, les troncs calcinés faisaient des taches noires ; et des bras et des jambes à moitié sortis d’un monceau se tenaient tout debout, comme des échalas dans un vignoble incendié.

Les échelles se trouvant insuffisantes, on employa les tollénones, – instruments composés d’une longue poutre établie transversalement sur une autre, et portante son extrémité une corbeille quadrangulaire où trente fantassins pouvaient se tenir avec leurs armes.

Mâtho voulut monter dans la première qui fut prête. Spendius l’arrêta.

Des hommes se courbèrent sur un moulinet ; la grande poutre se leva, devint horizontale, se dressa presque verticalement, et, trop chargée par le bout, elle pliait comme un immense roseau. Les soldats cachés jusqu’au menton se tassaient ; on n’apercevait que les plumes des casques. Enfin, quand elle fut à cinquante coudées dans l’air, elle tourna de droite et de gauche plusieurs fois, puis s’abaissa ; et, comme un bras de géant qui tiendrait sur sa main une cohorte de pygmées, elle déposa au bord du mur la corbeille pleine d’hommes. Ils sautèrent dans la foule et jamais ils ne revinrent.

Tous les autres tollénones furent bien vite disposés. Mais il en aurait fallu cent fois davantage pour prendre la ville. On les utilisa d’une façon meurtrière ; des archers éthiopiens se plaçaient dans les corbeilles ; puis, les câbles étant assujettis, ils restaient suspendus et tiraient des flèches empoisonnées. Les cinquante tollénones, dominant les créneaux, entouraient ainsi Carthage comme de monstrueux vautours ; et les Nègres riaient de voir les gardes sur le rempart mourir dans des convulsions atroces.

Hamilcar y envoya des hoplites ; il leur faisait boire chaque matin le jus de certaines herbes qui les gardait du poison.

Un soir, par un temps obscur, il embarqua les meilleurs de ses soldats sur des gabares, des planches, et, tournant à la droite du port, il vint débarquer à la Taenia. Puis ils s’avancèrent jusqu’aux premières lignes des Barbares, et, les prenant par le flanc, ils en firent ua grand carnage. Des hommes suspendus à des cordes descendaient la nuit du haut des murs avec des torches à la main, brûlaient les ouvrages des Mercenaires, et remontaient.

Mâtho était acharné ; chaque obstacle renforçait sa colère ; il en arrivait à des choses terribles et extravagantes. Il convoqua Salammbô, mentalement, à un rendez-vous ; puis il l’attendit. Elle ne vint pas ; cela lui parut une trahison nouvelle, – et, désormais, il l’exécra. S’il avait vu son cadavre, il se serait peut-être en allé. Il doubla les avant-postes, il planta des fourches au bas du rempart, il enfouit des chausse-trapes dans la terre, et il commanda aux Libyens de lui apporter toute une forêt pour y mettre le feu et brûler Carthage, comme une tanière de renards.

Spendius s’obstinait au siège. Il cherchait à inventer des machines épouvantables et comme jamais on n’en avait construit.

Les autres Barbares, campés au loin sur l’isthme, s’ébahissaient de ces lenteurs ; ils murmuraient ; on les lâcha.

Alors ils se précipitèrent avec leurs coutelas et leurs javelots, dont ils battaient les portes. Mais la nudité de leurs corps facilitant les blessures, les Carthaginois les massacraient abondamment ; et les Mercenaires s’en réjouirent, sans doute par jalousie du pillage. Il en résulta des querelles, des combats entre eux. Puis, la campagne étant ravagée, bientôt on s’arracha les vivres. Ils se décourageaient. Des hordes nombreuses s’en allèrent. La foule était si grande qu’il n’y parut pas.

Les meilleurs tentèrent de creuser des mines ; le terrain mal soutenu s’éboula. Ils les recommencèrent en d’autres places ; Hamilcar devinait toujours leur direction en appliquant son oreille contre un bouclier de bronze. Il perça des contre-mines sous le chemin que devaient parcourir les tours de bois ; quand on voulut les pousser, elles s’enfoncèrent dans des trous.

Enfin, tous reconnurent que la ville était imprenable, tant que l’on n’aurait pas élevé jusqu’à la hauteur des murailles une longue terrasse qui permettrait de combattre sur le même niveau ; on en paverait le sommet pour faire rouler dessus les machines. Alors il serait bien impossible à Carthage de résister.

Elle commençait à souffrir de la soif. L’eau, qui valait au début du siège deux késitah le bath, se vendait maintenant un shekel d’argent ; les provisions de viande et de blé s’épuisaient aussi ; on avait peur de la faim ; quelques-uns même parlaient des bouches inutiles, ce qui effrayait tout le monde. Depuis la place de Khamon jusqu’au temple de Melkarth des cadavres encombraient les rues ; et, comme on était à la fin de l’été, de grosses mouches noires harcelaient les combattants. Des vieillards transportaient les blessés, et les gens dévots continuaient les funérailles fictives de leurs proches et de leurs amis, défunts au loin pendant la guerre. Des statues de cire avec des cheveux et des vêtements s’étalaient en travers des portes. Elles se fondaient à la chaleur des cierges brûlant près d’elles ; la peinture coulait sur leurs épaules, et des pleurs ruisselaient sur la face des vivants, qui psalmodiaient à côté des chansons lugubres. La foule, pendant ce temps-là, courait ; des bandes armées passaient ; les capitaines criaient des ordres, et l’on entendait toujours le heurt des béliers qui battaient le rempart.

La température devint si lourde que les corps, se gonflant, ne pouvaient plus entrer dans les cercueils. On les brûlait au milieu des cours. Mais les feux, trop à l’étroit, incendiaient les murailles voisines, et de longues flammes, tout à coup s’échappaient des maisons comme du sang qui jaillit d’une artère. Ainsi Moloch possédait Carthage ; il étreignait les remparts, il se roulait dans les rues, il dévorait jusqu’aux cadavres.

Des hommes qui portaient, en signe de désespoir, des manteaux faits de haillons ramassés, s’établirent au coin des carrefours. Ils déclamaient contre les Anciens, contre Hamilcar, prédisaient au peuple une ruine entière et l’engageaient à tout détruire et à tout se permettre. Les plus dangereux étaient les buveurs de jusquiame ; dans leurs crises ils se croyaient des bêtes féroces et sautaient sur les passants, qu’ils déchiraient. Des attroupements se faisaient autour d’eux ; on en oubliait la défense de Carthage. Le Suffète imagina d’en payer d’autres pour soutenir sa politique.

Afin de retenir dans la ville le génie des Dieux, on avait couvert de chaînes leurs simulacres. On posa des voiles noirs sur les Pataeques et des cilices autour des autels ; on tâchait d’exciter l’orgueil et la jalousie des Baals en leur chantant à l’oreille : «Tu vas te laisser vaincre ! les autres sont plus forts, peut-être ? Montre-toi ! aide-nous ! afin que les peuples ne disent pas : Où sont maintenant leurs Dieux ?»

Une anxiété permanente agitait les collèges des pontifes. Ceux de la Rabetna surtout avaient peur, – le rétablissement du zaïmph n’ayant pas servi. Ils se tenaient enfermés dans la troisième enceinte, inexpugnable comme un forteresse. Un seul d’entre eux se hasardait à sortir, le grand prêtre Schahabarim.

Il venait chez Salammbô. Mais il restait tout silencieux, la contemplant les prunelles fixes, ou bien il prodiguait les paroles, et les reproches qu’il lui faisait étaient plus durs que jamais.

Par une contradiction inconcevable, il ne pardonnait pas à la jeune fille d’avoir suivi ses ordres ; – Schahabarim avait tout deviné, – et l’obsession de cette idée avivait les jalousies de son impuissance. Il l’accusait d’êlre la cause de la guerre. Mâtho, à l’en croire, assié-geait Carthage pour reprendre le zaïmph ; et il déversait des imprécations et des ironies sur ce Barbare, qui pré-tendait posséder des choses saintes. Ce n’était pas cela pourtant que le prêtre voulait dire.

Mais, à présent, Salammbô n’éprouvait pour lui aucune terreur. Les angoisses dont elle souffrait autrefois l’avaient abandonnée. Une tranquillité singulière l’occupait. Ses regards, moins errants, brillaient d’une flamme limpide.

Cependant le Python était redevenu malade ; et, comme Salammbô paraissait au contraire se guérir, la vieille Taanach s’en réjouissait, convaincue qu’il prenait par ce dépérissement la langueur de sa maîtresse.

Un matin, elle le trouva derrière le lit de peaux de boeuf, tout enroulé sur lui-même, plus froid qu’un marbre, et la tête disparaissant sous un amas de vers. A ses cris, Salammbô survint. Elle le retourna quelque temps avec le bout de sa sandale, et l’esclave fut ébahie de son insensibilité.

La fille d’Hamilcar ne prolongeait plus ses jeûnes avec tant de ferveur. Elle passait des journées au haut de sa terrasse, les deux coudes contre la balustrade, s’amusant à regarder devant elle. Le sommet des murailles au bout de la ville découpait sur le ciel des zigzags inégaux, et les lances des sentinelles y faisaient tout le long comme une bordure d’épis. Elle apercevait au delà, entre les tours, les manoeuvres des Barbares ; les jours que le siège était interrompu, elle pouvait même distinguer leurs occupations, ils raccommodaient leurs armes, se graissaient la chevelure, ou bien lavaient dans la mer leurs bras sanglants ; les tentes étaient closes ; les bêtes de somme mangeaient ; et au loin, les faux des chars, tous rangés en demi-cercle, semblaient un cimeterre d’argent étendu à la base des monts. Les discours de Schaliabarim revenaient à sa mémoire. Elle attendait son fiancé Narr’Havas. Elle aurait voulu, malgré sa haine, revoir Mâtho. De tous les Carthaginois, elle était la seule personne, peut-être, qui lui eût parlé sans peur.

Souvent son père arrivait dans sa chambre. Il s’asseyait en haletant sur les coussins et il la considérait d’un air presque attendri, comme s’il eût trouvé dans ce spectacle un délassement à ses fatigues. Il l’interrogeait quelquefois sur son voyage au camp des Mercenaires. Il lui demanda même si personne, par hasard, ne l’y avait poussée ; et, d’un signe de tête, elle répondit que non, tant Salammbô était fière d’avoir sauvé le zaïmph.

Mais le Suffète revenait toujours à Mâtho, sous prétexte de renseignements militaires. Il ne comprenait rien à l’emploi des heures qu’elle avait passées dans la tente. En effet, Salammbô ne parlait pas de Giscon ; car, les mots ayant par eux-mêmes un pouvoir effectif, les malédictions que l’on rapportait à quelqu’un pouvaient se tourner contre lui ; et elle taisait son envie d’assassinat, de peur d’être blâmée de n’y avoir point cédé. Elle disait que le schalischim paraissait furieux, qu’il avait crié beaucoup, puis qu’il s’était endormi. Salammbô n’en racontait pas davantage, par honte peut-être, ou bien par un excès de candeur faisant qu’elle n’attachait guère d’importance aux baisers du soldat. Tout cela, du reste, flottait dans sa tête mélancolique et brumeux comme le souvenir d’un rêve accablant ; et elle n’aurait su de quelle manière, par quels discours l’exprimer.

Un soir qu’ils se trouvaient ainsi l’un en face de l’autre, Taanach tout effarée survint. Un vieillard avec un enfant était là, dans les cours, et voulait voir le Suffète.

Hamilcar pâlit, puis répliqua vivement :

«Qu’il monte !»

Iddibal entra, sans se prosterner. Il tenait par la main un jeune garçon couvert d’un manteau en poil de bouc ; et aussitôt relevant le capuchon qui abritait sa figure :

«Le voilà, Maître ! Prends-le !»

Le Suffète et l’esclave s’enfoncèrent dans un coin de la chambre.

L’enfant était resté au milieu, tout debout ; et, d’un regard plus attentif qu’étonné, il parcourait le plafond, les meubles, les colliers de perles traînant sur les draperies de pourpre, et cette majestueuse jeune femme inclinée vers lui.

Il avait dix ans peut-être, et n’était pas plus haut qu’un glaive romain. Ses cheveux crépus ombrageaient son front bombé. On aurait dit que ses prunelles cherchaient des espaces. Les narines de son nez mince palpitaient largement ; sur toute sa personne s’étalait l’indéfinissable splendeur de ceux qui sont destinés aux grandes entreprises. Quand il eut rejeté son manteau trop lourd, il resta revêtu d’une peau de lynx attachée autour de sa taille, et il appuyait résolument sur les dalles ses petits pieds nus tout blancs de poussière. Mais, sans doute, il devina que l’on agitait des choses importantes, car il se tenait immobile, – une main derrière le dos et le menton baissé, avec un doigt dans la bouche.

Enfin Hamilcar, d’un signe, attira Salammbô et il lui dit à voix basse :

«Tu le garderas chez toi, entends-tu ? Il faut que personne, même de la maison, ne connaisse son existence !»

Puis, derrière la porte, il demanda encore une fois à Iddibal s’il était bien sûr qu’on ne les eût pas remarqués.

«Non ! dit l’esclave ; les rues étaient vides.»

La guerre emplissait toutes les provinces, il avait eu peur pour le fils de son maître. Alors ne sachant où le cacher, il était venu le long des côtes, sur une chaloupe ; et, depuis trois jours Iddibal louvoyait dans le golfe, en observant les remparts. Enfin ce soir-là, comme les alentours de Khamon semblaient déserts, il avait franchi la passe lestement et débarqué près de l’arsenal, l’entrée du port étant libre.

Mais bientôt les Barbares établirent, en face, un immense radeau pour empêcher les Carthaginois d’en sortir. Ils relevaient les tours de bois, et, en même temps, la terrasse montait.

Les communications avec le dehors étant interceptées, une famine intolérable commença.

On tua tous les chiens, tous les mulets, tous les ânes, puis les quinze éléphants que le Suffète avait ramenés. Les lions du temple de Moloch étaient devenus furieux et les hiérodoules n’osaient plus s’en approcher. On les nourrit d’abord avec les blessés des Barbares ; ensuite on leur jeta des cadavres encore tièdes ; ils les refusèrent, et tous moururent. Au crépuscule, des gens erraient le long des vieilles enceintes, et cueillaient entre les pierres des herbes et des fleurs qu’ils faisaient bouillir dans du vin ; – le vin coûtait moins cher que l’eau. D’autres se glissaient jusqu’aux avant-postes de l’ennemi et venaiant sous les tentes voler de la nourriture ; les Barbares, pris de stupéfaction, quelquefois les laissaient s’en retourner. Enfin un jour arriva où les Anciens résolurent d’égorger, entre eux, les chevaux d’Eschmoûn. C’étaient des bêtes saintes, dont les pontifes tressaient les crinières avec des rubans d’or, et qui signifiaient par leur existence le mouvement du soleil, l’idée du feu sous la forme la plus haute. Leurs chairs, coupées en portions égales, furent enfouies derrière l’autel. Puis, tous les soirs, alléguant quelque dévotion, les Anciens montaient vers le temple, se régalaient en cachette ; et ils remportaient sous leur tunique un morceau pour leurs enfants. Dans les quartiers déserts, loin des murs, les habitants moins misérables, par peur des autres, s’étaient barricadés.

Les pierres des catapultes et les démolitions ordonnées pour la défense avaient accumulé des tas de ruines au milieu des rues. Aux heures les plus tranquilles, tout à coup des masses de peuple se précipitaient en criant ; et, du haut de l’Acropole, les incendies faisaient comme des haillons de pourpre dispersés sur les terrasses, et que le vent tordait.

Les trois grandes catapultes, malgré tous ces travaux, ne s’arrêtaient pas. Leur ravages étaient extraordinaires ; ainsi, la tête d’un homme alla rebondir sur le fronton des Syssites ; dans la rue de Kinisdo, une femme qui accouchait fut écrasée par un bloc de marbre, et son enfant avec le lit emporté jusqu’au carrefour de Cinasyn où l’on retrouva la couverture.

Ce qu’il y avait de plus irritant, c’était les balles des frondeurs. Elles tombaient sur les toits, dans les jardins et au milieu des cours, tandis que l’on mangeait attablé devant un maigre repas et le coeur gros de soupirs. Ces atroces projectiles portaient des lettres gravées qui s’imprimaient dans les chairs ; – et, sur les cadavres, on lisait des injures, telles que pourceau, chacal, vermine, et parfois des plaisanteries : attrape ! ou : je l’ai bien mérité.

La partie du rempart qui s’étendait depuis l’angle des ports jusqu’à la hauteur des citernes fut enfoncée. Alors les gens de Malqua se trouvèrent pris entre la vieille enceinte de Byrsa par derrière et les Barbares par devant. Mais on avait assez que d’épaissir la muraille et de la rendre le plus haut possible sans s’occuper d’eux ; on les abandonna ; tous périrent ; et bien qu’ils fussent haïs généralement, on en conçut pour Hamilcar une grande horreur.

Le lendemain, il ouvrit les fosses où il gardait du blé ; ses intendants le donnèrent au peuple. Pendant trois jours on se gorgea.

La soif n’en devint que plus intolérable ; et toujours ils voyaient devant eux la longue cascade que faisait en tombant l’eau claire de l’aqueduc sous les rayons du soleil, une vapeur fine remontait de sa base, avec un arc-en-ciel à côté, et un petit ruisseau, formant des courbes sur la plaine, se déversait dans le golfe.

Hamilcar ne faiblissait pas. Il comptait sut un événement, sur quelque chose, de décisif, d’extraordinaire.

Ses propres esclaves arrachèrent les lames d’argent du temple de Melkarth ; on tira du port quatre longs bateaux, avec des cabestans on les amena jusqu’au bas des Mappales, le mur qui donnait sur le rivage fut troué ; et ils partirent pour les Gaules afin d’y acheter, n’importe à quel prix, des Mercenaires. Cependant Hamilcar se désolait de ne pouvoir communiquer avec le roi des Numides, car il le savait derrière les Barbares et prêt à tomber sur eux. Mais Narr’Havas, trop faible, n’allait pas se risquer seul ; et le Suffète fit rehausser le rempart de douze palmes, entasser dans l’Acropole tout le matériel des arsenaux et encore une fois réparer les machines.

On se servait, pour les entortillages des catapultes, de tendons pris au cou des taureaux ou bien aux jarrets des cerfs. Cependant, il n’existait dans Carthage ni cerfs ni taureaux. Hamilcar demanda aux Anciens les cheveux de leurs femmes ; toutes les sacrifièrent ; la quantité ne fut pas suffisante. On avait, dans les bâtiments des Syssites, douze cents esclaves nubiles, de celles que l’on destinait aux prostitutions de la Grèce et de l’Italie, et leurs cheveux, rendus élastiques par l’usage des onguents, se trouvaient merveilleux pour les machines de guerre. Mais la perte plus tard serait trop considérable. Donc il fut décidé que l’on choisirait, parmi les épouses des plébéiens, les plus belles chevelures. Sans aucun souci des besoins de la patrie, elles crièrent en désespérées quand les serviteurs des Cent vinrent, avec des ciseaux, mettre la main sur elles.

Un redoublement de fureur animait les Barbares. On les voyait au loin prendre la graisse des morts pour huiler leurs machines, et d’autres en arrachaient les ongles qu’ils cousaient bout à bout afin de se faire des cuirasses. Ils imaginèrent de mettre dans les catapultes des vases pleins de serpents apportés par les Nègres ; les pots d’argile se cassaient sur les dalles, les serpents couraient, semblaient pulluler, et tant ils étaient nombreux, sortir des murs naturellement. Puis les Barbares, mécontents de leur invention, la perfectionnèrent ; ils lançaient toutes sortes d’immondices, des excréments humains, des morceaux de charogne, des cadavres. La peste reparut. Les dents des Carthaginois leur tombaient de la bouche, et ils avaient les gencives décolorées comme celles des chameaux après un voyage trop long.

Les machines furent dressées sur la terrasse, bien qu’elle n’atteignît pas encore partout à la hauteur du rempart. Devant les vingt-trois tours des fortifications se dressaient vingt-trois autres tours de bois. Tous les tollènones étaient remontés, et au milieu, un peu plus en arrière, apparaissait la formidable hélèpole de Démétrius Poliorcète, que Spendius, enfin, avait reconstruite. Pyramidale comme le phare d’Alexandrie, elle était haute de cent trente coudées et large de vingt-trois, avec neuf étages allant tous en diminuant vers le sommet et qui étaient défendus par des écailles d’airain, percés de portes nombreuses, remplis de soldats ; sur la plate-forme supérieure se dressait une catapulte flanquée de deux balistes.

Alors Hamilcar fit planter des croix pour ceux qui parleraient de se rendre ; les femmes mêmes furent embrigadées. Ils couchaient dans les rues et l’on attendait plein d’angoisses.

Puis un matin, un peu avant le lever du soleil (c’était le septième jour du mois de Nyssan), ils entendirent un grand cri poussé par tous les Barbares à la fois ; les trompettes à tube de plomb ronflaient, les grandes cornes paphlagoniennes mugissaient comme des taureaux. Tous se levèrent et coururent au rempart.

Une forêt de lances, des piques et d’épées se hérissait à sa base. Elle sauta contre les murailles, les échelles s’y accrochèrent ; et, dans la baie des créneaux, des têtes de Barbares parurent.

Des poutres soutenues par de longues files d’hommes battaient les portes ; et, aux endroits où la terrasse manquait, les Mercenaires, pour démolir le mur, arrivaient en cohortes serrées, la première ligne se tenant accroupie, la seconda pliant le jarret, et les autres successivement se dressaient jusqu’aux derniers qui restaient tout droits ; -tandis qu’ailleurs, pour monter dessus, les plus hauts s’avançaient en tête, les plus bas à la queue, et tous, du bras gauche, appuyaient sur leurs casques leurs boucliers en les réunissant par le bord si étroitement, qu’on aurait dit un assemblage de grandes tortues. Les projectiles glissaient sur ces masses obliques.

Les Carthaginois jetaient des meules de moulin, des pilons, des cuves, des tonneaux, des lits, tout ce qui pouvait faire un poids et assommer. Quelques-uns guettaient dans les embrasures avec un filet de pêcheur, et quand arrivait le Barbare, il se trouvait pris sous les mailles et se débattait comme un poisson. Ils démolissaient eux-mômes leurs créneaux ; des pans de mur s’écroulaient en soulevant une grande poussière ; et, les catapultes de la terrasse tirant les unes contre les autres, leurs pierres se heurtaient, et éclataient en mille morceaux qui faisaient sur les combattants une large pluie.

Bientôt les deux foules ne formèrent plus qu’une grosse chaîne de corps humains ; elle débordait dans les intervalles de la terrasse, et, un peu plus lâche aux deux bouts, se roulait sans avancer perpétuellement. Ils s’étreignaient couchés à plat ventre comme des lutteurs. On s’écrasait. Les femmes penchées sur les créneaux hurlaient. On les tirait par leurs voiles, et la blancheur de leurs flancs, tout à coup découverts, brillait entre les bras des Nègres y enfonçant des poignards. Des cadavres, trop pressés dans la foule, ne tombaient pas ; soutenus par les épaules de leurs compagnons, ils allaient quelques minutes tout debout et les jeux fixes. Quelques-uns, les deux tempes traversées par une javeline, balançaient leur tête comme des ours. Des bouches ouvertes pour crier restaient béantes ; des mains s’envolaient coupées. Il y eut là de grands coups, et dont parlèrent pendant longtemps ceux qui survécurent.

Cependant, des flèches jaillissaient du sommet des tours de bois et des tours de pierre. Les tollènones faisaient aller rapidement leurs longues antennes ; et comme les Barbares avaient saccagé sous les Catacombes le vieux cimetière des autochthones, ils lançaient sur les Carthaginois des dalles de tombeaux sous le poids des corbeilles trop lourdes, quelquefois les câbles se rompaient, et des masses d’hommes, tous levant les bras, tombaient du haut des airs.

Jusqu’au milieu du jour, les vétérans des hoplites s’étaient acharnés contre la Taenia pour pénétrer dans le port et détruire la flotte. Hamilcar fit allumer sur la toiture de Khamon un feu de paille humide ; et la fumée les aveuglant, ils se rabattirent à gauche et vinrent augmenter l’horrible cohue qui se poussait dans Malqua. Des syntagmes, composés d’hommes robustes, choisis tout exprès, avaient enfoncé trois portes. De hauts barrages, faits avec des planches garnies de clous, les arrêtèrent ; une quatrième céda facilement ; ils s’élancèrent par-dessus en courant, et roulèrent dans une fosse où l’on avait caché des pièges. A l’angle sud-est, Autharite et ses hommes abattirent le rempart, dont la fissure était bouchée avec des briques. Le terrain par derrière montait ; ils le gravirent lestement. Mais ils trouvèrent en haut une seconde muraille, composée de pierres et de longues poutres étendues tout à plat et qui alternaient comme les pièces d’un échiquier. C’était, une mode gauloise adaptée par le Suffète au besoin de la situation ; les Gaulois se crurent devant une ville de leur pays. Ils attaquèrent avec mollesse et furent repoussés.

Depuis la rue de Khamon jusqu’au Marché-aux-herbes, tout le chemin de ronde appartenait maintenant aux Barbares, et les Samnites achevaient à coups d’épieux les moribonds ; ou bien, un pied sur le mur, ils contemplaient en bas, sous eux, les ruines fumantes, et au loin la bataille qui recommençait.

Les frondeurs, distribués par derrière, tiraient toujours. Mais, à force d’avoir servi, le ressort des frondes acarnaniennes était brisé, et plusieurs, comme des pâtres, envoyaient des cailloux avec la main ; les autres lançaient des boules de plomb avec le manche d’un fouet. Zarxas, les épaules couvertes de ses longs cheveux noirs, se portait partout en bondissant et entraînait les Baléares. Deux pannetières étaient suspendues à ses hanches ; il y plongeait continuellement la main gauche, et son bras droit tournoyait, comme la roue d’un char.

Mâtho s’élait d’abord retenu de combattre, pour mieux commander tous les Barbares à la fois. On l’avait vu le long du golfe avec les Mercenaires, près de la lagune avec les Numides, sur les bords du lac entre les Nègres ; et du fond de la plaine il poussait les masses de soldats qui arrivaient incessamment contre la ligne des fortifications. Peu à peu il s’était rapproché ; l’odeur du sang, le spectacle du carnage et le vacarme des clairons avaient fini par lui faire bondir le coeur. Alors il élait rentré dans sa tente, et, jetant sa cuirasse, avait pris sa peau de lion, plus commode pour la bataille. Le mufle s’adaptait sur la tête en bordant le visage d’un cercle de crocs ; les deux pattes antérieures se croisaient sur la poitrine, et celles de derrière avançaient leurs ongles jusqu’au bas de ses genoux.

Il avait gardé son fort ceinturon, où luisait une hache à double tranchant, et avec sa grande épée dans les deux mains il s’était précipité par la brèche, impétueusement. Comme un émondeur qui coupe des branches de saule, et qui tâche d’en abattre le plus possible afin de gagner plus d’argent, il marchait en fauchant autour de lui les Carthaginois. Ceux qui tentaient de le saisir par les flancs, il les renversait à coups de pommeau ; quand ils l’attaquaient en face, il les perçait ; s’ils fuyaient, il les fendait. Deux hommes à la fois sautèrent sur son dos ; il recula d’un bond contre une porta et les écrasa. Son épée s’abaissait, se relevait. Elle éclata sur l’angle d’un mur. Alors il prit sa lourde hache ; et par devant, par derrière, il éventrait les Carthaginois comme un troupeau de brebis. Ils s’écartaient de plus en plus, et il arriva tout seul devant la seconde enceinte, au bas de l’Acropole. Les matériaux lancés du sommet encombraient les marches et débordaient par-dessus la muraille.

Mâtho, au milieu des ruines, se retourna pour appeler ses compagnons.

Il aperçut leurs aigrettes disséminées sur la multitude ; elles s’enfonçaient, ils allaient périr ; il s’élança vers eux ; alors, la vaste couronne de plumes rouges se resserrant, bientôt ils le rejoignirent et l’entourèrent. Mais des rues latérales une foule énorme se dégorgeait. Il fut pris aux hanches, soulevé, et entraîné jusqu’en dehors du rempart, dans un endroit où la terrasse était haute.

Mâtho cria un commandement : tous les boucliers se rabattirent sur les casques ; il sauta dessus, pour s’accrocher quelque part afin de rentrer dans Carthage ; et, tout en brandissant la terrible hache, il courait sur les boucliers, pareils à des vagues de bronze, comme un dieu marin sur des flots, et qui secoue son trident.

Cependant un homme en robe blanche se promenait au bord du rempart, impassible et indifférent à la mort qui l’entourait. Parfois il étendait sa main droite contre ses yeux pour découvrir quelqu’un. Mâtho vint à passer sous lui. Tout à coup ses prunelles flamboyèrent, sa face livide se crispa ; et en levant ses deux bras maigres il lui criait des injures.

Mâtho ne les entendit pas ; mais il sentit entrer dans son coeur un regard si cruel et furieux qu’il en poussa un rugissement. Il lança vers lui la longue hache ; des gens se jetèrent sur Schahabarim ; et Mâtho, ne le voyant plus, tomba à la renverse, épuisé.

Un craquement épouvantable se rapprochait, mêlé au rhythme de voix rauques qui chantaient en cadence. C’était la grande hélépole, entourée par une foule de soldats. Ils la tiraient à deux mains, halaient avec des cordes et poussaient de l’épaule, – car le talus, montant de la plaine sur la terrasse, bien qu’il fût extrêmement doux, se trouvait impraticable pour des machines d’un poids si prodigieux. Elle avait cependant huit roues cerclées de fer, et depuis le matin elle avançait ainsi, lentement, pareille à une montagne qui se fût élevée sur une autre. Puis il sortit de sa base un immense bélier ; le long des trois faces regardant la ville les portes s’abattirent, et dans l’intérieur apparurent, comme des colonnes de fer, des soldais cuirassés. On en voyait qui grimpaient et descendaient les deux escaliers traversant ses étages. Quelques-uns attendaient pour s’élancer que les crampons des portes touchassent le mur ; au milieu de la plate-forme supérieure, les écheveaux dos batistes tournaient, et le grand timon de la catapulte s’abaissait.

Hamilcar était, à ce moment-là, tout debout sur le toit de Melkarth. Il avait jugé qu’elle devait venir directement vers lui, contre l’endroit de la muraille le plus invulnérable, et à cause de cela même, dégarni de sentinelles. Depuis longtemps déjà ses esclaves apportaient des outres sur le chemin de ronde, où ils avaient élevé, avec de l’argile, deux cloisons transversales formant une sorte de bassin. L’eau coulait insensiblement sur la terrasse, et Hamilcar, chose extraordinaire, ne semblait point s’en inquiéter.

Mais, quand l’hélépole fut à trente pas environ, il commanda d’établir des planches par-dessus les rues, entre les maisons, depuis les citernes jusqu’au rempart ; et des gens à la file se passaient, de main en main, des casques et des amphores qu’ils vidaient continuellement. Les Carthaginois cependant s’indignaient de cette eau perdue. Le bélier démolissait la muraille ; tout à coup, une fontaine s’échappa des pierres disjointes. Alors la haute masse d’airain, à neuf étages et qui contenait et occupait plus de trois mille soldats, commença doucement à osciller comme un navire.

En effet, l’eau pénétrant la terrasse, avait devant elle effondré le chemin ; ses roues s’embourbèrent ; au premier étage, entre des rideaux de cuir, la tête de Spendius apparut soufflant à pleines joues dans un cornet d’ivoire. La grande machine, comme soulevée convulsivement, avança de dix pas peut-être ; mais le terrain de plus en plus s’amollissait, la fange gagnait les essieux, et l’hélépole s’arrêta en penchant effroyablement d’un seul côté. La catapulte roula jusqu’au bord de la plate-forme ; et, emportée par la charge de son timon, elle tomba, fracassant sous elle les étages inférieurs. Les soldats, debout sur les portes, glissèrent dans l’abîme, ou bien ils se retenaient à l’extrémité des longues poutres, et augmentaient, par leur poids, l’inclinaison de l’hélépole qui se démembrait en craquant dans toutes ses jointures.

Les autres Barbares s’élancèrent pour les secourir. Ils se tassaient en foule compacte. Les Carthaginois descendirent le rempart, et, les assaillant par derrière, ils les tuèrent tout à leur aise. Mais les chars garnis de faux accoururent. Ils galopaient sur le contour de cette multitude ; elle remonta la muraille ; la nuit survint ; peu à peu les Barbares se retirèrent.

On ne voyait plus, sur la plaine, qu’une sorte de fourmillement tout noir, depuis le golfe bleuâtre jusqu’à la lagune toute blanche ; et le lac, où du sang avait coulé, s’étalait, plus loin, comme une grande mare de pourpre.

La terrasse était maintenant si chargée de cadavres qu’on l’aurait crue construite avec des corps humains. Au milieu se dressait l’hélépole couverte d’armures ; et, de temps à autre, des fragments énormes s’en detachaient comme les pierres d’une pyramide qui s’écroule. On distinguait sur les murailles de larges traînées faites par les ruisseaux de plomb. Une tour de bois abattue, çà et là, brûlait ; et les maisons apparaissaient vaguement, comme les gradins d’un amphithéâtre en ruines.

De lourdes fumées montaient, en roulant des étincelles qui se perdaient dans le ciel noir.

Cependant, les Carthaginois, que la soif dévorait, s’étaient précipités vers les citernes. Ils en rompirent les portes. Une flaque bourbeuse s’étalait au fond.

Que devenir à présent ? D’ailleurs les Barbares étaient innombrables, et, leur fatigue passée, ils recommenceraient.

Le peuple, toute la nuit, délibéra par sections, au coin des rues. Les uns disaient qu’il fallait renvoyer les femmes, les malades et les vieillards ; d’autres proposèrent d’abandonner la ville pour s’établir au loin dans une colonie. Mais les vaisseaux manquaient, et le soleil parut qu’on n’avait rien décidé.

On ne se battit point ce jour-là, tous étant trop accablés. Les gens qui dormaient avaient l’air de cadavres.

Alors les Carthaginois, en réfléchissant sur la cause de leurs désastres, se rappelèrent qu’ils n’avaient point expédié en Phénicie l’offrande annuelle due à Melkarth-Tyrien ; et une immense terreur les prit. Les Dieux indignés contre la République, allaient sans doute poursuivre leur vengeance.

On les considérait comme des maîtres cruels, que l’on apaisait avec des supplications et qui se laissaient corrompre à force de présents. Tous étaient faibles près de Moloch-le-dévorateur. L’existence, la chair même des hommes lui appartenait ; – aussi, pour la sauver, les Carthaginois avaient coutume de lui en offrir une portion qui calmait sa fureur. On brûlait les enfants au front ou à la nuque avec des mèches de laine ; et cette façon de satisfaire le Baal rapportant aux prêtres beaucoup d’argent, ils ne manquaient pas de la recommander comme plus facile et plus douce.

Mais cette fois il s’agissait de la République elle-même. Or, tout profit devant être acheté par une perte quelconque, toute transaction se réglant d’après le besoin du plus faible et l’exigence du plus fort, il n’y avait pas de douleur trop considérable pour le Dieu, puisqu’il se délectait dans les plus horribles et que l’on était maintenant à sa discrétion. Il fallait donc l’assouvir complètement. Les exemples prouvaient que ce moyen-là contraignait le fléau à disparaître. D’ailleurs, ils croyaient qu’une immolation par le feu purifierait Carthage. La férocité du peuple en était d’avance alléchée. Puis, le choix devait exclusivement tomber sur les grandes familles.

Les Anciens s’assemblèrent. La séance fut longue. Hannon y était venu. Comme il ne pouvait plus s’asseoir, il resta couché près de la porte, à demi perdu dans les franges de la haute tapisserie ; et quand le pontife de Moloch leur demanda s’ils consentiraient à livrer leurs enfants, sa voix, tout à coup, éclata dans l’ombre comme le rugissement d’un Génie au fond d’une caverne. Il regrettait, disait-il de n’avoir pas à en donner de son propre sang ; et il contemplait Hamilcar, en face de lui à l’autre bout de la salle. Le Suffète fut tellement troublé par ce regard qu’il en baissa les yeux. Tous approuvèrent en opinant de la tête, successivement ; et, d’après les rites, il dut répondre au grand-prêtre : «Oui, que cela soit.» Alors les Anciens décrétèrent le sacrifice par une périphrase traditionnelle, – parce qu’il y a des choses plus gênantes à dire qu’à exécuter.

La décision, presque immédiatement, fut connue dans Carthage ; des lamentations retentirent. Partout on entendait les femmes crier ; leurs époux les consolaient ou les invectivaient en leur faisant des remontrances.

Mais trois heures après, une nouvelle plus extraordinaire se répandit : le Suffète avait trouvé des sources au bas de la falaise. On y courut. Des trous creusés dans le sable laissaient voir de l’eau ; et déjà quelques-uns étendus à plat ventre y buvaient.

Hamilcar ne savait pas lui-même si c’était par un conseil des Dieux ou le vague souvenir d’une révélation que son père autrefois lui aurait faite ; mais en quittant les Anciens, il était descendu sur la plage, et, avec ses esclaves, il s’était mis à fouir le gravier.

Il donna des vêtements, des chaussures et du vin. Il donna tout le reste du blé qu’il gardait chez lui. Il fit même entrer la foule dans son palais, et il ouvrit les cuisines, les magasins et toutes les chambres, – celle de Salammbô exceptée. Il annonça que six mille Mercenaires gaulois allaient venir, et que le roi de Macédoine envoyait des soldats.

Mais, dès le second jour, les sources diminuèrent ; le soir du troisième, elles étaient complètement taries. Alors le décret des Anciens circula de nouveau sur toutes les lèvres, et les prêtres de Moloch commencèrent leur besogne.

Des hommes en robes noires se présentèrent dans les maisons. Beaucoup d’avance les désertaient sous le prétexte d’une affaire ou d’une friandise qu’ils allaient acheter ; les serviteurs de Moloch survenaient et prenaient les enfants. D’autres les livraient eux-mêmes, stupidement. Puis on les emmenait dans le temple de Tanit, où les prêtresses étaient chargées jusqu’au jour solennel de les amuser et de les nourrir.

Ils arrivèrent chez Hamilcar tout à coup, et le trouvant dans ses jardins :

«Barca ! nous venons pour la chose que tu sais… ton fils !» Ils ajoutèrent que des gens l’avaient rencontré un soir de l’autre lune, au milieu des Mappales, conduit par un vieillard.

Il fut d’abord comme suffoqué. Mais bien vite comprenant que toute dénégation serait vaine, Hamilcar s’inclina ; et il les introduisit dans la maison-de-commerce. Des esclaves accourus d’un signe en surveillaient les alentours.

Il entra dans la chambre de Salammbô tout éperdu. Il saisit d’une main Hannibal, arracha de l’autre la ganse d’un vêtement qui traînait, attacha ses pieds, ses mains, en passa l’extrémité dans sa bouche pour lui faire un bâillon et il le cacha sous le lit de peaux de boeuf, en laissant retomber jusqu’à terre une large draperie.

Ensuite il se promena de droite et de gauche ; il levait les bras, il tournait sur lui-même, il se mordait les lèvres. Puis il resta les prunelles fixes et haletant comme s’il allait mourir.

Mais il frappa trois fois dans ses mains. Giddenem parut.

«Ecoute ! dit-il, tu vas prendre parmi les esclaves un enfant mâle de huit à neuf ans avec les cheveux noirs et le front bombé ! Amène-le ! hâte-toi !»

Bientôt Giddenem l’entra, en présentant un jeune garçon.

C’était un pauvre enfant, à la fois maigre et bouffi ; sa peau semblait grisâtre comme l’infect haillon suspendu à ses flancs ; il baissait la tête dans ses épaules, et du revers de sa main frottait ses yeux, tout remplis de mouches.

Comment pourrait-on jamais le confondre avec Hannibal ! et le temps manquait pour en choisir un autre ! Hamilcar regardait Giddenem ; il avait envie de l’étrangler.

«Va-t’en !» cria-t-il ; le maître-des-esclaves s’enfuit.

Donc le malheur qu’il redoutait depuis si longtemps était venu, et il cherchait avec des efforts démesurés s’il n’y avait pas une manière, un moyen d’y échapper.

Abdalonim, tout à coup, parla derrière la porte. On demandait le Suffète. Les serviteurs de Moloch s’impatientaient.

Hamilcar retint un cri, comme à la brûlure d’un fer rouge ; et il recommença de nouveau à parcourir la chambre, tel qu’un insensé. Puis il s’affaissa au bord de la balustrade, et les coudes sur ses genoux, il serrait son front dans ses deux poings fermés.

La vasque de porphyre contenait encore un peu d’eau claire pour les ablutions de Salammbô. Malgré sa répugnance et tout son orgueil, le Suffète y plongea l’enfant, et, comme un marchand d’esclaves, il se mit à le laver et à le frotter avec les strigiles et la terre rouge. Il prit ensuite dans les casiers autour de la muraille deux carrés de pourpre, lui en posa un sur la poitrine, l’autre sur le dos, et il les réunit contre ses clavicules par deux agrafes de diamants. Il versa un parfum sur sa tête ; il passa autour de son cou un collier d’électrum, et il le chaussa des sandales à talons de perles, – les propres sandales de sa fille ! Mais il trépignait de honte et d’irritation ; Salammbô, qui s’empressait à le servir, était aussi pâle que lui. L’enfant souriait, ébloui par ces splendeurs, et même s’enhardissant, il commençait à battre des mains et à sauter quand Hamilcar l’entraîna.

Il le tenait par le bras, fortement, comme s’il avait eu peur de le perdre ; et l’enfant, auquel il faisait mal, pleurait un peu tout en courant près de lui.

A la hauteur de l’ergastule, sous un palmier, une voix s’éleva, une voix lamentable et suppliante. Elle murmurait : «Maître ! oh ! Maître !»

Hamilcar se retourna, et il aperçut à ses côtés un homme d’apparence abjecte, un de ces misérables vivant au hasard dans la maison.

«Que veux-tu ?» dit le Suffète.

L’esclave, qui tremblait horriblement, balbutia :

«Je suis son père !»

Hamilcar marchait toujours ; l’autre le suivait, les reins courbés, les jarrets fléchis, la tête en avant.

Son visage était convulsé par une angoisse indicible, et les sanglots qu’il retenait l’étouffaient, tant il avait envie tout à la fois de le questionner et de lui crier : «Grâce !»

Enfin il osa le toucher d’un doigt, sur le coude, légèrement.

«Est-ce que tu vas le …» Il n’eut pas la force d’achever, et Hamîlcar s’arrêta, tout ébahi de cette douleur.

Il n’avait jamais pensé, – tant l’abîme les séparant l’un de l’autre se trouvait immense,- qu’il pût y avoir entre eux rien de commun. Cela même lui parut une sorte d’outrage et comme un empiétement sur ses privilèges. Il répondit par un regard plus froid et plus lourd que la hache d’un bourreau ; l’esclave s’évanouissant tomba dans la poussière, à ses pieds. Hamilcar enjamba par-dessus.

Les trois hommes en robes noires l’attendaient dans la grande salle, debout contre le disque de pierre. Tout de suite il déchira ses vêtements et il se roulait sur les dalles en poussant des cris aigus :

«Ah ! pauvre petit Hannibal ! oh ! mon fils ! ma consolation ! mon espoir ! ma vie ! Tuez-moi aussi ! emportez-moi ! Malheur ! malheur !» Il se labourait la face avec ses ongles, s’arrachait les cheveux et hurlait comme les pleureuses des funérailles. «Emmenez-le-donc ! je souffre trop ! allez-vous-en ! tuez-moi comme lui.» Les serviteurs de Moloch s’étonnaient que le grand Hamilcar eût le coeur si faible. Ils en étaient presque attendris.

On entendit un bruit de pieds nus avec un râle saccadé, pareil à la respiration d’une bête féroce qui accourt ; et sur le seuil de la troisième galerie, entre les montants d’ivoire, un homme apparut, blême, terrible, les bras écartés ; il s’écria :

«Mon enfant !»

Hamilcar, d’un bond, s’était jeté sur l’esclave ; et en lui couvrant la bouche de sa main, il criait encore plus haut :

«C’est le vieillard qui l’a élevé ! il l’appelle mon enfant ! il en deviendra fou ! assez ! assez !» Et, chassant par les épaules les trois prêtres et leur victime, il sortit avec eux, et d’un grand coup de pied referma la porte derrière lui.

Hamilcar tendit l’oreille pendant quelques minutes, craignant toujours de les voir revenir. Il songea ensuite à se défaire de l’esclave pour être bien sûr qu’il ne parlerait pas ; mais le péril n’était point complètement disparu, et cette mort, si les Dieux s’en irritaient, pouvait se retourner contre son fils. Alors, changeant d’idée, il lui envova par Taanach les meilleures choses des cuisines : un quartier de bouc, des fèves et des conserves de grenades. L’esclave, qui n’avait pas mangé depuis longtemps, se rua dessus ; ses larmes tombaient dans les plats.

Hamilcar, revenu enfin près de Salammbô, dénoua les cordes d’Hannibal. L’enfant, exaspéré, le mordit à la main jusqu’au sang. Il le repoussa d’une caresse.

Pour le faire se tenir paisible, Salammbô voulut l’effrayer avec Lamia, une ogresse de Cyrène.

«Où donc est-elle ?» demanda-t-il.

On lui conta que des brigands allaient venir pour le mettre en prison. Il reprit : – «Qu’ils viennent, et je les tue !»

Hamilcar lui dit alors l’épouvantable vérité. Mais il s’emporta contre son père, prétendant qu’il pouvait bien anéantir tout le peuple, puisqu’il était le maître de Carthage.

Enfin, épuisé d’efforts et de colère, il s’endormit, d’un sommeil farouche. Il parlait en rêvant, le dos appuyé contre un coussin d’écarlate ; sa tête retombait un peu en arrière, et son petit bras, écarté de son corps, restait tout droit, dans une attitude impérative.

Quand la nuit fut noire, Hamilcar l’enleva doucement et descendit sans flambeau l’escalier des galères. En passant par la maison-de-commerce, il prit une couffe de raisins avec une buire d’eau pure ; l’enfant se réveilla devant la statue d’Alètes, dans le caveau des pierreries ; et il souriait, – comme l’autre, – sur le bras de son père, à la lueur des clartés qui l’environnaient.

Hamilcar était bien sûr qu’on ne pouvait lui prendre son fils. C’était un endroit impénétrable, communiquant avec le rivage par un souterrain que lui seul connaissait, et en jetant les yeux à l’entour il aspira une large bouffée d’air. Puis il le déposa ôur un escabeau, près des boucliers d’or.

Personne, à présent, ne le voyait ; il n’avait plus rien à observer ; alors il se soulagea. Comme une mère qui retrouve son premier-né perdu, il se jeta sur son fils ; il l’étreignait contre sa poitrine, il riait et pleurait à la fois, l’appelait des noms les plus doux, le couvrait de baisers ; le petit Hannibal, effrayé par cette tendresse terrible, se taisait maintenant.

Hamilcar s’en revint à pas muets, en tâtant les murs autour de lui ; et il arriva dans la grande salle, où la lumière de la lune entrait par une des fentes du dôme ; au milieu, l’esclave, repu, dormait, couché tout de son long sur les pavés de marbre. Il le regarda, et une sorte de pitié l’émut. Du bout de son cothurne, il lui avança un tapis sous la tête. Puis il releva les yeux et considéra Tanit, dont le mince croissant brillait dans le ciel, et il se sentit plus fort que les Baals et plein de mépris pour eux. Les dispositions du sacrifice étaient déjà commencées.

On abattit dans le temple de Moloch un pan de mur pour en tirer le dieu d’airain, sans toucher aux cendres, de l’autel. Puis, dès que le soleil se montra, les hiérodoules le poussèrent vers la place de Khamon.

Il allait à reculons, en glissant sur des cylindres ; ses épaules dépassaient la hauteur des murailles ; du plus loin qu’ils l’apercevaient, les Carthaginois s’enfuyaient bien vite, car on ne pouvait contempler impunément le Baal que dans l’exercice de sa colère.

Une senteur d’aromates se répandit par les rues. Tous les temples à la fois venaient de s’ouvrir ; il en sortit des tabernacles montés sur des chariots ou sur des litières que des pontifes portaient. De gros panaches de plumes se balançaient à leurs angles, et des rayons s’échappaient de leurs, faîtes aigus, terminés par des boules de cristal, d’or, d’argent ou de cuivre.

C’étaient les Baalim chananéens, dédoublements du Baal suprême, qui retournaient vers leur principe, pour s’humilier devant sa force et s’anéantir dans sa splendeur.

Le pavillon de Melkarth, en pourpre fine, abritait une flamme de pétrole ; sur celui de Khamon, couleur d’hyacinthe, se dressait un phallus d’ivoire, bordé d’un cercle de pierreries ; entre les rideaux d’Eschmoûn, bleus comme l’éther, un python endormi faisait un cercle avec sa queue ; et les Dieux-Pataeques, tenus,dans les bras de leurs prêtres, semblaient de grands enfants emmaillottés, dont les talons frôlaient la terre.

Ensuite venaient toutes les formes inférieures de la divinité ; Baal-Samin, dieu des espaces célestes ; Baal-Peor, dieu des monts sacrés ; Baal-Zeboub, dieu de la corruption, et ceux des pays voisins et des races congénères : l’Iarbal de la Libye, l’Adrammelech de la Chaldée, le Kijun des Syriens ; Derceto, à figure de vierge, rampait sur ses nageoires, et le cadavre de Tammouz était traîné au milieu d’un catafalque, entre des flambeaux et des chevelures. Pour asservir les rois du firmament au Soleil et empêcher que leurs influences particulières ne gênassent la sienne, on brandissait au bout de longues perches des étoiles en métal diversement coloriées ; et tous s’y trouvaient, depuis le noir Nebo, génie de Mercure, jusqu’au hideux Rahab, qui est la constellation du Crocodile. Les Abaddirs, pierres tombées de la lune, tournaient dans des frondes en fils d’argent ; de petits pains, reproduisant le sexe d’une femme, étaient portés sur des corbeilles par les prêtres de Cérès ; d’autres amenaient leurs fétiches, leurs amulettes ; des idoles oubliées reparurent ; et même on avait pris aux vaisseaux leurs symboles mystiques, comme si Carthage eût voulu se recueillir tout entière dans une pensée de mort et de désolation.

Devant chacun des tabernacles, un homme tenait en équilibre, sur sa tête, un large vase où fumait de l’encens. Des nuages çà et là planaient, et l’on distinguait, dans ces grosses vapeurs, les tentures, les pendeloques et les broderies des pavillons sacrés. Ils avançaient lentement, à cause de leur poids énorme. L’essieu des chars quelquefois s’accrochait dans les rues ; alors les dévôts profitaient de l’occasion pour toucher les Baalim avec leurs vêtements, qu’ils gardaient ensuite comme des choses saintes.

La statue d’airain continuait à s’avancer vers la place de Khamon. Les Riches, portant des sceptres à pomme d’émeraude, partirent du fond de Mégara ; les Anciens, coiffés de diadèmes, s’étaient assemblés dans Kinisdo ; et les maîtres des finances, les gouverneurs des provinces, les marchands, les soldats, les matelots et la horde nombreuse employée aux funérailles, tous, avec les insignes de leur magistrature ou les instruments de leur métier, se dirigeaient vers les tabernacles qui, descendaient de l’Acropole, entre les collèges des pontifes.

Par déférence pour Moloch, ils s’étaient ornés de leurs joyaux les plus splendides. Des diamants étincelaient sur les vêtements noirs ; mais les anneaux trop larges tombaient des mains amaigries, – et rien n’était lugubre comme cette foule silencieuse où les pendants d’oreilles battaient contre des faces pâles, où les tiares d’or serraient des fronts crispés par un désespoir atroce.

Enfin le Baal arriva juste au milieu de la place. Ses pontifes, avec des treillages, disposèrent une enceinte pour écarter la multitude, et ils restèrent à ses pieds, autour de lui.

Les prêtres de Khamon, en robes de laine fauve, s’alignèrent devant leur temple, sous les colonnes du portique ; ceux d’Eschmoûn, en manteaux de lin, avec des colliers à têtes de coucoupha et des tiares pointues, s’établirent sur les marches de l’Acropole ; les prêtres de Melkarth, en tuniques violettes, prirent pour eux le côté de l’occident ; les prêtres des Abaddirs, serrés dans des bandes d’étoffes phrygiennes, se placèrent à l’orient ; et l’on rangea sur le côté du midi, avec les nécromanciens tout couverts de tatouages, les hurleurs en manteaux rapiécés, les desservants des Pataeques et les Yidonim qui, pour connaître l’avenir, se mettaient dans la bouche un os de mort. Les prêtres de Cérès, habillés de robes bleues, s’étaient arrêtés, prudemment, dans la rue de Satheb, et psalmodiaient à voix basse un thesmophorion en dialecte mégarien.

De temps en temps, il arrivait des files d’hommes complètement nus, les bras écartés et tous se tenant par les épaules. Ils tiraient, des profondeurs de leur poitrine, une intonation rauque et caverneuse ; leurs prunelles, tendues vers le colosse, brillaient dans la poussière, et ils se balançaient le corps à intervalles égaux, tous à la fois, comme ébranlés par un seul mouvement. Ils étaient si furieux que, pour établir l’ordre, les hiérodoules, à coups de bâton, les firent se coucher sur le ventre, la face posée contre les treillages d’airain.

Ce fut alors que, du fond de la Place, un homme en robe blanche s’avança. Il perça lentement la foule et l’on reconnut un prêtre de Tanit, – le grand-prêtre Schahabarim. Des huées s’élevèrent, car la tyrannie du principe mâle prévalait ce jour-là dans toutes les consciences, et la Déesse était même tellement oubliée, que l’on n’avait pas remarqué l’absence de ses pontifes. Mais l’ébahissement redoubla quand on l’aperçut ouvrant dans les treillages une des portes destinées à ceux qui entreraient pour offrir les victimes. C’était, croyaient les prêtres de Moloch, un outrage qu’il venait faire à leur dieu ; avec de grands gestes, ils essayaient de le repousser. Nourris par les viandes des holocaustes, vêtus de pourpre comme des rois et portant des couronnes à triple étage, ils conspuaient ce pâle eunuque exténué de macérations, et des rires de colère secouaient sur leur poitrine leur barbe noire étalée en soleil.

Schahabarim, sans répondre, continuait à marcher ; et, traversant pas à pas toute l’enceinte, il arriva sous les jambes du colosse, puis il le toucha des deux côtés en écartant les deux bras, ce qui était une formule solennelle d’adoration. Depuis trop longtemps la Rabbet le torturait ; et par désespoir, ou peut-être à défaut d’un dieu satisfaisant complètement sa pensée, il se déterminait enfin pour celui-là.

La foule, épouvantée par cette apostasie, poussa un long murmure. On sentait se rompre le dernier lien qui attachait les âmes à une divinité clémente.

Mais Schahabarim, à cause de sa mutilation, ne pouvait participer au culte du Baal. Les hommes en manteaux rouges l’exclurent de l’enceinte ; puis, quand il fut dehors, il tourna autour de tous les collèges, successivement, et le prêtre, désormais sans dieu, disparut dans la foule. Elle s’écartait à son approche.

Cependant un feu d’aloès, de cèdre et de laurier brûlait entre les jambes du colosse. Ses longues ailes enfonçaient leur pointe dans la flamme ; les onguents dont il était frotté coulaient comme de la sueur sur ses membres d’airain. Autour de la dalle ronde où il s’appuyait ses pieds, les enfants, enveloppés de voiles noirs, formaient un cercle immobile ; et ses bras démesurément longs abaissaient leurs paumes jusqu’à eux, comme pour saisir cette couronne et l’emporter dans le ciel.

Les Riches, les Anciens, les femmes, toute la multitude se tassait derrière les prêtres et sur les terrasses des maisons. Les grandes étoiles peintes ne tournaient plus ; les tabernacles étaient posés par terre ; et les fumées des encensoirs montaient perpendiculairement, telles que des arbres gigantesques étalant au milieu de l’azur leurs rameaux bleuâtres.

Plusieurs s’évanouirent ; d’autres devenaient inertes et pétrifiés dans leur extase. Une angoisse infinie pesait sur les poitrines. Les dernières rumeurs une à une s’éteignaient, – et le peuple de Carthage haletait, absorbé dans le désir de sa terreur.

Enfin le grand prêtre de Moloch passa la main gauche sous les voiles des enfants, et il leur arracha du front une mèche de cheveux qu’il jeta sur les flammes. Alors les hommes en manteaux rouges entonnèrent l’hymne sacré.

«Hommage à toi, Soleil ! roi des deux zones, crétateur qui s’engendre, Père et Mère, Père et Fils, Dieu et Déesse, Déesse et Dieu !» Et leur voix se perdit dans l’explosion des instruments sonnant tous à la fois, pour étoffer les cris des victimes. Les scheminith à huit cordes, les kinnor, qui en avaient dix, et les nebal, qui en avaient douze, grinçaient, sifflaient, tonnaient. Des outres énormes hérissées de tuyaux faisaient un clapotement aigu ; les tambourins, battus à tour de bras, retentissaient, de coups sourds et rapides ; et, malgré la fureur des clairons, les salsalim claquaient, comme des ailes de sauterelle.

Les hiérodoules, avec un long crochet, ouvrirent les sept compartiments étagés sur le corps du Baal. Dans le plus haut, on introduisit de la farine ; dans le second, deux tourterelles ; dans le troisième, un singe ; dans le quatrième, un bélier ; dans le cinquième, une brebis ; et, comme on n’avait pas de boeuf pour le sixième, on y jeta une peau tannée prise au sanctuaire. La septième case restait béante.

Avant de rien entreprendre, il était bon d’essayer les bras du Dieu. De minces chaînettes partant de ses doigts gagnaient ses épaules et redescendaient par derrière, où des hommes, tirant dessus, faisaient monter, jusqu’à la hauteur de ses coudes, ses deux mains ouvertes qui, en se rapprochant, arrivaient contre son ventre ; elles remuèrent plusieurs fois de suite, à petits coups saccadés. Puis les instruments se turent. Le feu ronflait.

Les pontifes de Moloch se promenaient sur la grande dalle, en examinant la multitude.

Il fallait un sacrifice individuel, une oblation toute volontaire et qui était considérée comme entraînant les autres. Mais personne, jusqu’à présent, ne se montrait, et les sept allées conduisant des barrières au colosse étaient complètement vides. Alors, pour encourager le peuple, les prêtres tirèrent de leurs ceintures des poinçons et ils se balafraient le visage. On fit entrer dans l’enceinte les Dévoués, étendus sur terre, en dehors. On leur jeta un paquet d’horribles ferrailles et chacun choisit sa torture. Ils se passaient des broches entre les seins ; ils se fendaient les joues ; ils se mirent des couronnes d’épines sur la tête ; puis ils s’enlacèrent par les bras, et, entourant les enfants, ils formaient un autre grand cercle qui se contractait et s’élargissait. Ils arrivaient contre la balustrade, se rejetaient en arrière et recommençaient toujours, attirant à eux la foule par le vertige de ce mouvement tout plein de sang et de cris.

Peu à peu, des gens entrèrent jusqu’au fond des allées ; ils lançaient dans la flamme des perles, des vases d’or, des coupes, des flambeaux, toutes leurs richesses ; les offrandes, de plus en plus, devenaient splendides et multipliées. Enfin un homme qui chancelait, un homme pâle et hideux de terreur, poussa un enfant ; puis on aperçut entre les mains du colosse une petite masse noire ; elle s’enfonça dans l’ouverture ténébreuse. Les prêtres se penchèrent au bord de la grande dalle, – et un chant nouveau éclata, célébrant les joies de la mort et les renaissances de l’éternité.

Ils montaient lentement, et, comme la fumée en s’envolant, faisait de hauts tourbillons, ils semblaient de loin diparaître dans un nuage. Pas un ne bougeait. Ils étaient liés aux poignets et aux chevilles, et la sombre draperie les empêchait de rien voir et d’être reconnus.

Hamilcar, en manteau rouge comme les prêtres de Moloch, se tenait auprès du Baal, debout devant l’orteil de son pied droit. Quand on amena le quatorzième enfant, tout le monde put s’apercevoir qu’il eut un grand geste d’horreur. Mais bientôt, reprenant son attitude, il croisa ses bras et il regardait par terre. De l’autre côté de la statue, le Grand-Pontife restait immobile comme lui. Baissant sa tête chargée d’une mitre assyrienne, il observait sur sa poitrine la plaque d’or couverte de pierres fatidiques, et où la flamme se mirant faisait des lueurs irisées. Il pâlissait, éperdu. Hamilcar inclinait son front ; et ils étaient tous les deux si près du bûcher que le bas de leurs manteaux, se soulevant, de temps à autre l’effleurait.

Les bras d’airain allaient plus vite. Ils ne s’arrêtaient plus. Chaque fois que l’on y posait un enfant, les prêtres de Moloch étendaient la main sur lui, pour le charger des crimes du peuple, en vociférant : «Ce ne sont pas des hommes, mais des boeufs !» et la multitude à l’entour répétait : «Des boeufs ! des boeufs !» Les dévots criaient : «Seigneur ! mange !» et les prêtres de Proserpine, se conformant par la terreur au besoin de Carthage, marmottaient la formule éleusiaque : «Verse la pluie ! enfante !»

Les victimes à peine au bord de l’ouverture disparaissaient comme une goutte d’eau sur une plaque rougie, et une fumée blanche montait dans la grande couleur écarlate.

Cependant l’appétit du Dieu ne s’apaisait pas. Il en voulait toujours. Afin de lui en fournir davantage, on les empila sur ses mains avec une grosse chaîne par-dessus, qui les retenait. Des dévots au commencement avaient voulu les compter, pour voir si leur nombre correspondait aux jours de l’année solaire ; mais on en mit d’autres, et il était impossible de les distinguer dans le mouvement vertigineux des horribles bras. Cela dura longtemps, indéfiniment, jusqu’au soir. Puis les parois intérieures prirent un éclat plus sombre. Alors on aperçut des chairs qui brûlaient. Quelques-uns même croyaient reconnaître des cheveux, des membres, des corps entiers.

Le jour tomba ; des nuages s’amoncelèrent au-dessus du Baal. Le bûcher, sans flammes à présent, faisait une pyramide de charbons jusqu’à ses genoux ; complètement rouge comme un géant tout couvert de sang, il semblait, avec sa tête qui se renversait, chanceler sous le poids de son ivresse.

A mesure que les prêtres se hâtaient, la frénésie du peuple augmentait ; le nombre des victimes diminuant, les uns criaient de les épargner, les autres qu’il en fallait encore. On aurait dit que les murs chargés de monde s’écroulaient sous les hurlements d’épouvanté et de volupté mystique. Puis des fidèles arrivèrent dans les allées, traînant leurs enfants qui s’accrochaient à eux ; et ils les battaient pour leur faire lâcher prise et les remettre aux hommes rouges. Les joueurs d’instruments quelquefois s’arrêtaient épuisés ; alors on entendait les cris des mères et le grésillement de la graisse qui tombait sur les charbons. Les buveurs de jusquiame, marchant à quatre pattes, tournaient autour du colosse et rugissaient comme des tigres ; les Yidonim vaticinaient, les Dévoués chantaient avec leurs lèvres fendues ; on avait rompu les grillages, tous voulaient leur part du sacrifice ; – et les pères dont les enfants étaient morts autrefois, jetaient dans le feu leurs effigies, leurs jouets, leurs ossements conservés. Quelques-uns qui avaient des couteaux se précipitèrent sur les autres. On s’entr’égorgea. Avec des vans de bronze, les hiérodoules prirent au bord de la dalle les cendres tombées ; et ils les lançaient dans l’air, afin que le sacrifice s’éparpillât sur la ville et jusqu’à la région des étoiles.

Ce grand bruit et cette grande lumière avaient attiré les Barbares au pied des murs ; se cramponnant pour mieux voir sur les débris de l’hélépole, ils regardaient béants d’horreur.


Antisémitisme: Attention, un crime peut en cacher un autre ! (Anti-semitism in France: It’s not Dieudonné, it’s France Télévisions, stupid !)

23 janvier, 2014
Pour moi, l’image correspondait à la réalité de la situation non seulement à Gaza, mais aussi en Cisjordanie. L’armée israélienne ripostait au soulèvement palestinien par l’utilisation massive de tirs à balles réelles. (…) Du 29 septembre à la fin octobre 2000, 118 Palestiniens sont morts, parmi eux 33 avaient moins de 18 ans. Onze Israéliens ont été tués, tous adultes. Charles Enderlin
La mort de Mohammed annule, efface celle de l’enfant juif, les mains en l’air devant les SS, dans le Ghetto de Varsovie. Catherine Nay (Europe 1)
Ce n’est pas une politique de tuer des enfants. Chirac (accueillant Barak à Paris, le 4 octobre 2000)
Je n’ai pas le droit à la prison, c’est évidemment une très très grande déception, parce que je m’y étais préparé, ça faisait partie de ma campagne promotionnelle. Dieudonné
Nous sommes entrés dans un mouvement qui est de l’ordre du religieux. Entrés dans la mécanique du sacrilège : la victime, dans nos sociétés, est entourée de l’aura du sacré. Du coup, l’écriture de l’histoire, la recherche universitaire, se retrouvent soumises à l’appréciation du législateur et du juge comme, autrefois, à celle de la Sorbonne ecclésiastique. Françoise Chandernagor
Même si pas grand monde en France ne mesure l’importance exacte du Conseil d’Etat, l’asservissement de « la plus haute juridiction administrative » au gouvernement est une étape noire pour le droit administratif français et, plus largement, pour les libertés publiques. … Sans entrer dans la controverse juridique entre le Tribunal administratif de Nantes qui considérait que les saillies antisémites ne constituaient pas le coeur du spectacle de Dieudonné, et le Conseil d’Etat qui a jugé l’inverse quelques heures plus tard sans avoir eu le temps matériel d’analyser le jugement de Nantes, et en l’absence d’un des avocats de Diouedonné qui se trouvait à Nantes, c’est le simple timing, qui condamne le Conseil d’Etat. Ce recours de Valls dans les minutes suivant le jugement de Nantes, et cette précipitation des juristes parisiens à rendre l’arrêt attendu avant les journaux de 20 Heures, et le début du spectacle : on ne décide pas de la liberté d’expression, en moins de temps qu’il n’en faut pour livrer une pizza quatre fromages. Daniel Schneidermann
Colporter complaisamment l’idée que notre pays serait raciste a l’immense inconvénient, au-delà du caractère infondé de ce jugement simpliste, de déculpabiliser tous ceux qui manifestent effectivement des tendances racistes. L’imitation et le mimétisme étant au coeur des dynamiques sociales, l’écho excessif donné au moindre «dérapage» participe involontairement au développement du phénomène qu’il prétend dénoncer.Car le «dérapant» de service joue un rôle crucial dans la comédie contemporaine. Il est l’exutoire idéal d’une société malade d’anxiété alterophobe qui s’exonère ainsi à bon compte de ses réflexes les moins avouables.Il existe encore des dérapages savamment contrôlés. Ceux-ci permettent à leurs auteurs d’attirer l’attention d’un public stupéfait. Les médias disent, avec une admiration à peine dissimulée, que la malheureuse petite phrase incriminée a permis, à toutes fins utiles, d’«ouvrir le débat». Marine Le Pen, comme Jean-Luc Mélenchon mais aussi François Fillon ou Jean-François Copé, ont usé de ce procédé. Le dérapage devient alors une provocation calculée destinée à forcer l’attention d’un auditoire rendu bien peu attentif par l’omniprésent bruit médiatique. Il n’est pas absolument certain que la qualité du débat public en sorte gagnante. Eric Dupin
L’image d’une salle de spectacle, encadrée par un cordon de CRS, restera un moment fort du rétablissement d’un ordre moral en France. Demain, le ministre de l’Intérieur obligera les opérateurs internet à retirer certaines vidéos. Après-demain, on devra obtenir une autorisation administrative avant de poster un tweet. «Laissons parler les imbéciles», écrivions-nous le mois dernier, en conclusion de notre rapport sur la liberté d’expression pour le think tank Generation libre. Aujourd’hui, l’imbécile s’appelle Dieudonné, et il faut le laisser parler, au nom des principes qui fondent notre démocratie; des principes énoncés par les encyclopédistes et inscrits dans la Déclaration des droits de l’homme. L’interdiction ex ante d’un spectacle fait prendre à notre pays une pente totalitaire. Le Conseil d’Etat a invoqué «l’ordre public». Mais en l’absence de troubles violents, l’ordre public consiste au contraire à garantir la liberté de réunion (…) Au lieu de fermer les guichets de Dieudonné, la police n’aurait-elle pas dû être déployée pour en garantir l’accès contre d’éventuels fauteurs de troubles ? Pour contourner cette objection, le Conseil d’Etat a introduit dans la jurisprudence, à l’évidence sous pression politique, la notion d’«atteinte à la dignité humaine» comme composante de l’ordre public. Voilà qui ouvre la voie à toutes les dérives. Pierre Tartakowsky, président de la Ligue des droits de l’homme, y a vu «une décision lourde de périls». Allons-nous laisser le juge définir notre dignité ? Le Conseil d’Etat estimera-t-il un jour que les films de Lars von Trier portent «atteinte à la dignité humaine» et qu’il faut les interdire préventivement ? Que Jonathan Littell, en décrivant le psychisme d’un officier SS, épouse les pensées de son héros et qu’il faut mettre les Bienveillantes au pilon ? On espère que la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, qui a déjà maintes fois condamné la France pour violation de la liberté d’expression, sera saisie d’une telle aberration. Allons plus loin. Les lois mêmes qui répriment les propos antisémites (et tout autre propos «incitant à la discrimination» en fonction de la race, de la religion…) et l’incitation à la haine raciale sont discutables. En se substituant à l’exercice de la raison, elles déresponsabilisent. Une société forte doit pouvoir tolérer le pire (dans les limites de l’appel à la violence) car elle doit savoir y répondre, par l’argumentation et la critique. Une société faible ne sait qu’interdire, réduisant ses plus nobles valeurs en un «dogme mort», pour reprendre John Stuart Mill. Notre dogme mort, aujourd’hui, ce sont ces fameuses «valeurs de la République» que chacun brandit mais que plus personne ne se donne la peine d’exposer. Sacralisées, jugées irréfutables et donc jamais débattues, elles se vident de leur force. Aux Etats-Unis, le premier amendement garantit une liberté d’expression presque absolue. Craig Cobb, white supremacist ouvertement antisémite, raciste et hitlérien, fait donc régulièrement le tour des plateaux télé. Résultat, lorsqu’il a voulu organiser un grand rassemblement dans le Dakota pour Noël, une seule personne s’est présentée… et Craig Cobb est devenu la risée du pays. Si vous voulez vraiment combattre l’antisémitisme, répondez aux antisémites. Pour pouvoir leur répondre, laissez-les parler. Ecoutez leurs raisonnements, et réfutez-les. Si vous croyez en nos valeurs, refusez que l’Etat les impose par la force. Plutôt que d’ériger Dieudonné en héros antisystème, poursuivi par les caméras dans une voiture aux vitres teintées, invitons-le à discuter. Sortons sa haine au grand jour. Mettons-le face à ses lacunes. Gaussons-nous de ses vitupérations. Et il reviendra ce qu’il n’aurait jamais dû cesser d’être : un petit imbécile. Gaspard KOENIG Philosophe, président du think tank Generation libre et Aurélien PORTUESE Juriste, maître de conférences à l’université de Westminster
Si je fais cette chronique, c’est parce que je tiens très très vite à prouver que l’on peut dépasser les limites, que l’on n’est pas forcément Manuel Valls, pas un cul cousu, un frileux… Sans pour autant véhiculer des idées dégueulasses. Cette chronique, c’est pour m’adresser à Dieudonné, à ses fans et aussi à tous les censeurs en puissance qui vont profiter de cette affaire Dieudonné pour nous empêcher de dépasser les limites, transgresser les règles. Comme c’est dit par la plupart des pro-Dieudonné: Valls est le meilleur attaché de presse de Dieudonné. Oui, il a mal géré cette affaire, évidemment! Il fait la une partout: pour certains illuminés, par lui-même, certains individus notamment les plus jeunes dont il viole la conscience, il est en train de passer pour Jésus Christ, pour une idole! Ils n’attendent que ça! Nicolas Bedos
Maintenant que le tumulte Dieudonnesque retombe un peu et que les matamores et autres tartuffes font mine d’avoir gagné, il est nécessaire de rappeler que Dieudonné a fabriqué moins d’antisémites que France Télévisions depuis plus d’une décennie. Il y a bien évidemment le fameux faux reportage al Dura de son correspondant à Jérusalem Charles Enderlin qui a coûté la vie à tant de gens dans le monde entier – Juifs ou non. Rappelons qu’à ce jour, France Télévisions continue à protéger cette propagande antisémite avec de l’argent public, l’argent du contribuable et de la redevance. Il y a aussi les documentaires trompeurs et mensongers de Thierry Thuillier qui ont participé au mouvement de détestation des Juifs et de l’Etat d’Israël ces quinze dernières années. Thierry Thuillier est devenu entre temps patron de France 2 et est toujours directeur de « l’information »… sur cette chaîne, on est obligé de mettre des guillemets quand on utilise le mot « information ». Par exemple, ce samedi 11 janvier 2014, dans les premières secondes du 20h, on a pu entendre le blondinet inculte, Laurent Delahousse ouvrir son journal par : «Ariel Sharon, une personnalité connue pour les massacres de Sabra et Chatilla en 1982… » Est-il utile de rappeler ici que ces massacres ont été effectués par des milices chrétiennes en riposte à l’assassinat de leur président, Bechir Gemayel ? Il y a aussi et surtout le matraquage permanent de la propagande anti-israélienne aux différents JT et dans les émissions de « débat » sur France Télévisions. Débat entre guillemets car ce n’en sont pas. Ce sont des émissions où des antisémites patentés débattent avec des gens qui ne sont qu’ « antisionistes », comme si cette distinction avait un sens. Des gens comme Pascal Boniface, en son temps idéologue du PS qui recommandait de placer l’Etat d’Israël dans « l’axe du mal » et qui suggérait à son parti de prendre à cœur la cause des « palestiniens » car il y a plus de musulmans en France que de Juifs… Des gens comme Dieudonné qui passaient des plateaux d’Ardisson à ceux de Frédéric Taddéï. On en a vu tellement aller d’un plateau à l’autre. Des Stéphane Hessel, des Tariq Ramadan, des Alain Soral, des Marc-Edouard Nabe… Marc-Edouard Nabe… c’est sur lui que j’aimerais conclure en rappelant une de ses citations (parmi tant d’autres abjectes) : « La Licra, vous savez ce que c’est ? Ce sont des gens qui se servent du monceau de cadavres d’Auschwitz comme du fumier pour faire fructifier leur fortune. » C’est aussi lui qui, sur France Télévisions, chez Frédéric Taddeï, défendait la légitimité des actions terroristes de Ben Laden. Selon lui, le terroriste saoudien « veut simplement punir les méchants qui se permettent de massacrer les terres des musulmans — qui sont ses frères — et qui se comportent comme des porcs sur toute la planète depuis des centaines d’années ». Philippe Karsenty

Attention: un crime peut en cacher un autre !

Au lendemain d’une polémique Dieudonné qui a non seulement porté un nouveau coup à la liberté d’expression en France mais a aussi accordé à ce dernier le brevet de victime et de martyr qu’il recherchait …

Et à l’heure où l’on apprend qu’un juif brûlé en Lorraine vient enfin d’être reconnu innocent du crime rituel dont il avait été faussement accusé il y a presque trois siècles et demi …

Comment ne pas pas se demander combien il faudra encore attendre pour enfin innocenter l’Armée israélienne de la fausse accusation d’assassinat d’enfant

Qui, depuis bientôt 14 ans, lui colle à la peau suite à la véritable campagne de désinformation qu’ont monté contre elle France 2 et son indéboulonnable correspondant et faussaire Charles Enderlin ?

Et ne pas voir, comme le rappelle l’infatigable Philippe Karsenty, que ces derniers et les médias français en général ont fait et continuent à faire bien plus pour l’antisémitisme en France que notre Dieudonné national ?

L’antisémitisme en France, ce n’est pas Dieudonné, c’est France Télévisions

14 jan 2014

Philippe Karsenty

Dreuz

Maintenant que le tumulte Dieudonnesque retombe un peu et que les matamores et autres tartuffes font mine d’avoir gagné, il est nécessaire de rappeler que Dieudonné a fabriqué moins d’antisémites que France Télévisions depuis plus d’une décennie.

Il y a bien évidemment le fameux faux reportage al Dura de son correspondant à Jérusalem Charles Enderlin qui a coûté la vie à tant de gens dans le monde entier – Juifs ou non.

Rappelons qu’à ce jour, France Télévisions continue à protéger cette propagande antisémite avec de l’argent public, l’argent du contribuable et de la redevance.

Il y a aussi les documentaires trompeurs et mensongers de Thierry Thuillier qui ont participé au mouvement de détestation des Juifs et de l’Etat d’Israël ces quinze dernières années.

Thierry Thuillier est devenu entre temps patron de France 2 et est toujours directeur de « l’information »… sur cette chaîne, on est obligé de mettre des guillemets quand on utilise le mot « information ».

Par exemple, ce samedi 11 janvier 2014, dans les premières secondes du 20h, on a pu entendre le blondinet inculte, Laurent Delahousse ouvrir son journal par : «Ariel Sharon, une personnalité connue pour les massacres de Sabra et Chatilla en 1982… » Est-il utile de rappeler ici que ces massacres ont été effectués par des milices chrétiennes en riposte à l’assassinat de leur président, Bechir Gemayel ?

Il y a aussi et surtout le matraquage permanent de la propagande anti-israélienne aux différents JT et dans les émissions de « débat » sur France Télévisions. Débat entre guillemets car ce n’en sont pas.

Ce sont des émissions où des antisémites patentés débattent avec des gens qui ne sont qu’ « antisionistes », comme si cette distinction avait un sens.

Des gens comme Pascal Boniface, en son temps idéologue du PS qui recommandait de placer l’Etat d’Israël dans « l’axe du mal » et qui suggérait à son parti de prendre à cœur la cause des « palestiniens » car il y a plus de musulmans en France que de Juifs…

Des gens comme Dieudonné qui passaient des plateaux d’Ardisson à ceux de Frédéric Taddéï. On en a vu tellement aller d’un plateau à l’autre. Des Stéphane Hessel, des Tariq Ramadan, des Alain Soral, des Marc-Edouard Nabe…

Marc-Edouard Nabe… c’est sur lui que j’aimerais conclure en rappelant une de ses citations (parmi tant d’autres abjectes) : « La Licra, vous savez ce que c’est ? Ce sont des gens qui se servent du monceau de cadavres d’Auschwitz comme du fumier pour faire fructifier leur fortune. »

C’est aussi lui qui, sur France Télévisions, chez Frédéric Taddeï, défendait la légitimité des actions terroristes de Ben Laden. Selon lui, le terroriste saoudien « veut simplement punir les méchants qui se permettent de massacrer les terres des musulmans — qui sont ses frères — et qui se comportent comme des porcs sur toute la planète depuis des centaines d’années ».

Eh bien, pour parler de l’affaire Dieudonné, c’est Marc-Edouard Nabe que Taddéï est allé chercher vendredi dernier. Heureusement qu’Emilie Frèche était sur le plateau pour signaler cette incongruité : Emilie Frèche interpelle Frédéric Taddeï.

Oui, à court terme, Dieudonné est réduit au silence. Mais pour si peu de temps, et après avoir profité d’une des plus belles campagnes de communication planétaire.

De plus, la relève antisémite est déjà sur le pont, déjà sur les écrans, prête à distiller sa haine, en connaissant maintenant les limites à ne pas dépasser pour ne pas risquer l’exclusion médiatique.

Les apprentis propagandistes de l’antisionisme/ antisémitisme, ont retenu la leçon et nul doute que de médiocres personnages, que nous ne connaissons pas encore, prendront le relais pour propager la haine du Juif et d’Israël de façon … plus feutrée.

Sur France Télévisions en avant première, bien sûr, et ensuite partout ailleurs…

Voir aussi:

Philippe Karsenty menacé par France Télévisions répond : “chiche !”

22 jan 2014

Philippe Karsenty

Le 14 janvier 2014, j’ai publié sur Dreuz.info que : “L’antisémitisme en France, ce n’est pas Dieudonné, c’est France Télévisions”. L’article faisait suite à mon interview vidéo : « Dieudonné a déshonoré l’antisionisme, c’est pour ça qu’ils lui en veulent. »

En réponse, France Télévisions a envoyé le message suivant à Dreuz.info :

Demande de retrait

Nous vous écrivons afin d’attirer votre attention sur les commentaires d’un article paru sur votre site internet, disponible à l’URL suivant :

http://www.dreuz.info/2014/01/lantisemitisme-en-france-ce-nest-pas-dieudonne-cest-france-televisions/

Cet article contient à l’encontre de France Télévisions et de Monsieur Thierry Thuillier des propos gravement attentoires à leur honneur et considération constitutifs du délit de diffamation à leur encontre prévu et réprimé par la loi du 28 juillet 1881. Ainsi, par la présente, nous vous prions de retirer cet article de votre site internet dans les plus brefs délais. Nous faisons par ailleurs les plus expresses réserves de nos droits.

La direction juridique

France Télévisions

Mesdames et Messieurs de France Télévisions, nous nous connaissons assez bien maintenant, vous savez où me trouver.

Alors je vous invite à engager au plus vite des poursuites à mon encontre afin que nous puissions débattre publiquement de la propagande antisémite que vous déversez depuis plus de 13 ans dans les esprits de nos concitoyens français.

Car ce débat ne pourra se dérouler que devant des magistrats, puisque vous avez toujours refusé d’informer vos téléspectateurs des critiques sérieuses qui sont portées contre votre « travail ».

Je sais, la procédure que vous avez engagée en 2004 contre moi dans le cadre du faux reportage sur la mise en scène de la « mort » de Mohamed al Dura n’est pas terminée, puisque nous allons prochainement nous retrouver devant la Cour de cassation.

Cet article vous a intéressé ? Inscrivez-vous à notre newsletter pour recevoir les nouveaux articles de Dreuz, une fois par jour en fin d’après-midi.

Mais, Messieurs Pflimlin et Thuillier, n’hésitez pas à lancer cette nouvelle procédure.

Dans l’attente de recevoir votre papier bleu, je vous prie de croire à l’expression de mon impatience de débattre à nouveau avec vous.

Voir encore:

Voltaire ne reconnaîtrait plus son pays

Gaspard KOENIG Philosophe, président du think tank Generation libre et Aurélien PORTUESE Juriste, maître de conférences à l’université de Westminster

Libération

16 janvier 2014

L’image d’une salle de spectacle, encadrée par un cordon de CRS, restera un moment fort du rétablissement d’un ordre moral en France. Demain, le ministre de l’Intérieur obligera les opérateurs internet à retirer certaines vidéos. Après-demain, on devra obtenir une autorisation administrative avant de poster un tweet. «Laissons parler les imbéciles» (1), écrivions-nous le mois dernier, en conclusion de notre rapport sur la liberté d’expression pour le think tank Generation libre. Aujourd’hui, l’imbécile s’appelle Dieudonné, et il faut le laisser parler, au nom des principes qui fondent notre démocratie; des principes énoncés par les encyclopédistes et inscrits dans la Déclaration des droits de l’homme. L’interdiction ex ante d’un spectacle fait prendre à notre pays une pente totalitaire. Le Conseil d’Etat a invoqué «l’ordre public». Mais en l’absence de troubles violents, l’ordre public consiste au contraire à garantir la liberté de réunion : c’est le sens de la jurisprudence Benjamin. En 2011, les autorités avaient protégé sur cette base les théâtres jouant la pièce de Romeo Castellucci Sur le concept du visage du fils de Dieu, jugée «christianophobe». Au lieu de fermer les guichets de Dieudonné, la police n’aurait-elle pas dû être déployée pour en garantir l’accès contre d’éventuels fauteurs de troubles ?

Pour contourner cette objection, le Conseil d’Etat a introduit dans la jurisprudence, à l’évidence sous pression politique, la notion d’«atteinte à la dignité humaine» comme composante de l’ordre public. Voilà qui ouvre la voie à toutes les dérives. Pierre Tartakowsky, président de la Ligue des droits de l’homme, y a vu «une décision lourde de périls». Allons-nous laisser le juge définir notre dignité ? Le Conseil d’Etat estimera-t-il un jour que les films de Lars von Trier portent «atteinte à la dignité humaine» et qu’il faut les interdire préventivement ? Que Jonathan Littell, en décrivant le psychisme d’un officier SS, épouse les pensées de son héros et qu’il faut mettre les Bienveillantes au pilon ? On espère que la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme, qui a déjà maintes fois condamné la France pour violation de la liberté d’expression, sera saisie d’une telle aberration.

Allons plus loin. Les lois mêmes qui répriment les propos antisémites (et tout autre propos «incitant à la discrimination» en fonction de la race, de la religion…) et l’incitation à la haine raciale sont discutables. En se substituant à l’exercice de la raison, elles déresponsabilisent. Une société forte doit pouvoir tolérer le pire (dans les limites de l’appel à la violence) car elle doit savoir y répondre, par l’argumentation et la critique. Une société faible ne sait qu’interdire, réduisant ses plus nobles valeurs en un «dogme mort», pour reprendre John Stuart Mill. Notre dogme mort, aujourd’hui, ce sont ces fameuses «valeurs de la République» que chacun brandit mais que plus personne ne se donne la peine d’exposer. Sacralisées, jugées irréfutables et donc jamais débattues, elles se vident de leur force.

Aux Etats-Unis, le premier amendement garantit une liberté d’expression presque absolue. Craig Cobb, white supremacist ouvertement antisémite, raciste et hitlérien, fait donc régulièrement le tour des plateaux télé. Résultat, lorsqu’il a voulu organiser un grand rassemblement dans le Dakota pour Noël, une seule personne s’est présentée… et Craig Cobb est devenu la risée du pays.

Si vous voulez vraiment combattre l’antisémitisme, répondez aux antisémites. Pour pouvoir leur répondre, laissez-les parler. Ecoutez leurs raisonnements, et réfutez-les. Si vous croyez en nos valeurs, refusez que l’Etat les impose par la force. Plutôt que d’ériger Dieudonné en héros antisystème, poursuivi par les caméras dans une voiture aux vitres teintées, invitons-le à discuter. Sortons sa haine au grand jour. Mettons-le face à ses lacunes. Gaussons-nous de ses vitupérations. Et il reviendra ce qu’il n’aurait jamais dû cesser d’être : un petit imbécile.

(1) «Libération» du 20 décembre.

Gaspard KOENIG Philosophe, président du think tank Generation libre et Aurélien PORTUESE Juriste, maître de conférences à l’université de Westminster

Voir enfin:

Un village lorrain réhabilite un juif brûlé en 1670

Le Figaro.fr avec AFP

19/01/2014

Raphaël Levy avait été condamné à tort d’un meurtre rituel il y a 344 ans. Le village avait depuis été déclaré «maudit» et aucun juif n’y mettait plus les pieds.

La commune de Glatigny en Moselle a réhabilité dimanche un juif innocent, 344 ans après sa condamnation à mort en 1670 à Metz pour le meurtre d’un garçonnet du village. Raphaël Levy, un marchand de bestiaux juif originaire de Boulay, avait été désigné coupable d’avoir enlevé et tué le petit Didier Lemoine, un enfant du village âgé de 3 ans.

Des membres du Consistoire israélite de Moselle, le président du Consistoire central de Paris Joël Mergui, le maire Victor Stallone (sans étiquette) et le préfet de Moselle ont dévoilé une plaque rendant hommage au « martyr juif de Boulay » accusé d’un « crime rituel qu’il n’avait pas commis ». La cérémonie solennelle a rassemblé plus d’une centaine de personnes, selon les participants. Des descendants de Raphaël Levy étaient également présents.

«Glatigny était maudite»

« Aujourd’hui nous repartons à zéro, nous sommes réconciliés, nous reprenons des relations normales avec la communauté juive », a réagi avec satisfaction le maire. « Glatigny était maudite depuis cette époque en raison d’un arrêté moral pris par la communauté israélite. »

Henry Schumann, en charge du patrimoine au sein du Consistoire de Moselle, a qualifié cet hommage de « grand moment de réconciliation républicaine ». Le village avait depuis 1670 été déclaré « gessaert » (maudit) interdisant à tout juif d’y passer la nuit, une interdiction qui était encore respectée de nos jours. « Depuis cette époque il n’y a jamais eu aucun juif à Glatigny », a expliqué Henry Schumann. La réhabilitation de Raphaël Levy permet désormais aux juifs de se rendre à nouveau dans le village.

«Nous avons tourné une page»

« La réconciliation n’a pas été facile. Aujourd’hui nous avons levé symboliquement cet interdit. Nous avons tourné une page », a réagi Henry Schumann soulignant avoir entamé les premières recherches historiques sur cet homme il y a quatre ans. Le nom de Raphaël Levy avait été quasiment oublié de la mémoire du village, a souligné le maire. « En fin de compte ce qui nous a séparés nous a réconciliés », a commenté l’élu.


Guerre des sexes: Si la civilisation avait été laissée aux mains des femmes, nous vivrions encore dans des cases en paille (Camille Paglia: How ignoring biological differences undermines Western civilization)

1 janvier, 2014
https://scontent-b-cdg.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/1466136_3740337004038_161703403_n.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/29/article-2530741-1A5518F500000578-984_634x382.jpg« Lone Survivor » burns with the fever of a passion project. Writer-director Peter Berg’s gratitude to United States servicemen for all their sacrifice comes through viscerally, from first frame to last. The film … amounts to « The Passion of the Christ » for U.S. servicemen: a bloody historic episode recounted mainly in images of hardy young men being ripped apart, at screeching volume. Though Berg’s source material isn’t the New Testament, he often handles Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell’s account (via ghostwriter Patrick Robinson) of his doomed 2005 reconnaissance mission with the thunderous reverence Mel Gibson brought to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Berg is at heart an action director, so his way of restraining the urge to Rambo-fy his heroes in the interest of this film’s patriotic agenda is to double down on their suffering. Steven Boone
Lone Survivor is war porn of the highest order, relishing every bloody bullet hit and Dolby-accentuated bone crunch while trading in the most facile armed-conflict ironies. Berg treats the SEAL team like cartoon symbols of American sacrifice—in one sequence, several of them even roll down the steep side of a cliff like Wile E. Coyote thwarted by jihadist Road Runners. Those evil Afghans, meanwhile, twirl their mustaches plenty in the first act, which of course portends the appearance of a bunch of saintly ones in the third. Berg may be adhering to the basic facts, but his movie’s childish machismo is a disgrace to all involved. Keith Uhlich
Lone Survivor … is a jingoistic snuff film about a Navy SEAL squadron outgunned by the Taliban in the mountainous Kunar province. (…) These four men were heroes. But these heroes were also men. As the film portrays them, their attitudes to the incredibly complex War on Terror, fought hillside by bloody hillside in the Afghan frontier with both U.S. and Taliban forces contributing to an unconscionably high civilian body count, were simple: Brown people bad, American people good. When the guys debate whether to kill the three goat herders who’ve stumbled onto their hiding place — a dilemma that, morality aside, could have been solved if any of them had recalled that middle school logic problem about the fox, the chicken, the feed, and the too-small boat — Foster grabs an unarmed teenager by the face and insists, « That’s death. Look at death. » And when the firefight starts, he bellows, « You can die for your country — I’m going to live for mine. » (…) Berg (…) ‘s done the right thing by refusing to whitewash these guys as saints, although three of the four are depicted as devoted husbands and fiancés, and the fourth gets to be Mark Wahlberg. And Berg is justified in hoisting these guys up as real-life action stars, building his case with an opening montage of actual Navy SEAL training footage in which screaming instructors winnow a pack of athletes into an all-for-one-one-for-all band of badass brothers who, when forced to float in freezing ocean waves, link arms and sing « Silent Night. » (…) I’d like to think that, on some level, Berg is questioning the sense of a film — and a foreign policy — that makes target practice of our magnificent teams of hard-bodied, hairy-chested, rootin’-tootin’, shootin’, parachutin’, double-cap-crimpin’ frogmen, these soldiers who decorate their bunks with baby pictures of themselves next to an American flag and are so nobly eager to sacrifice their lives for each other and their country. But the ammo doesn’t stop blasting long enough for their deaths to have weight. Instead, Lone Survivor just reads like a quasi-political exaggeration of a slasher film: the cellphones that don’t work, the rescuers just out of reach, the killers chasing our victims through the woods. What are we meant to learn from this waste of life? Who is even to blame? All Lone Survivor offers is the queasiest apology of the year. Grunts a battered Wahlberg to his even more-battered best buddy, « I’m sorry that we didn’t kill more of these motherfuckers. » Replies his fellow soldier, « Oh, don’t be fucking sorry. We’re going to kill way more of them. » Amy Nicholson
 Un film de guerre peut-il échapper à la propagande ? (…) A croire que les bons films de guerre actuels ne parlent que de défaites… Télérama
Quel récit collectif sommes-nous capables de mettre en avant qui puisse donner un sens au sacrifice de ces jeunes ? Et l’absence d’un tel récit – qui va au-delà du sens subjectif que chacun d’eux pouvait donner à l’éventualité de mourir au combat et que chacun assumait en s’engageant dans l’armée – dépossède les jeunes soldats tombés du sens de leur mort. Danièle Hervieu-Léger
Si les hommes sont obsolètes, alors les femmes disparaîtront bientôt, à moins que nous nous précipitions sur le sinistre chemin du « meilleur des mondes », où les femmes se feront cloner par parthénogenèse, comme le font à merveille les dragons de Komodo, les requins marteaux et les vipères.Une rancune mesquine et hargneuse contre les hommes a été l’une des caractéristiques les plus désagréables et injustes du féminisme de la deuxième et de la troisième vague. Les fautes, les défauts et les faiblesses des hommes ont été saisis et décuplés par d’affreux actes d’accusation. Des professeurs idéologues dans nos grandes universités endoctrinent des étudiants de premier cycle aisément impressionnables par des théories négligeant les faits, arguant que le genre était une fiction oppressive et arbitraire dénuée de fondement biologique.(…) Une rancune mesquine et hargneuse contre les hommes a été l’une des caractéristiques les plus désagréables et injustes du féminisme de la deuxième et de la troisième vague. Les fautes, les défauts et les faiblesses des hommes ont été saisis et décuplés par d’affreux actes d’accusation. Des professeurs idéologues dans nos grandes universités endoctrinent des étudiants de premier cycle aisément impressionnables par des théories négligeant les faits, arguant que le genre était une fiction oppressive et arbitraire dénuée de fondement biologique. Faut-il s’étonner que tant de jeunes femmes de haut niveau, malgré tous les discours heureux sur leur réussite scolaire, se retrouvent dans les premiers stades de leur carrière dans l’incertitude chronique ou l’anxiété concernant leurs perspectives d’une vie privée épanouie émotionnellement ? Lorsqu’une culture instruite dénigre systématiquement la masculinité et la virilité, puis les femmes se retrouveront perpétuellement coincées avec des garçons qui n’ont pas intérêt à la maturité ou à honorer leurs engagements. Et sans hommes forts comme modèles à accepter ou (pour les lesbiennes dissidentes) contre lesquels se positionner, les femmes n’atteindront jamais une image centrée et profonde d’elles-mêmes en tant que femmes.(…) D’après ma longue observation, qui est antérieure à la révolution sexuelle, cela reste un grave problème qui afflige la société anglo-américaine, avec ses résidus puritains. En France, Italie, Espagne, Amérique latine et Brésil, en revanche, beaucoup de femmes professionnelles ambitieuses semblent avoir trouvé une formule pour affirmer le pouvoir et l’autorité dans le monde du travail tout en projetant encore attrait sexuel et même glamour. Il s’agit de la vraie mystique féminine, qui ne peut être enseignée mais découle d’une reconnaissance instinctive des différences sexuelles. L’atmosphère punitive aujourd’hui de propagande sentimentale sur le genre, l’imagination sexuelle a fui tout naturellement dans l’univers alternatif de la pornographie en ligne, où les forces rudes mais exaltantes de la nature primitive se défoulent sans être entravées par le moralisme religieux ou féministe. (…° L’histoire doit être perçue clairement et équitablement : les traditions obstructives ne provenaient pas de la haine ou de l’asservissement des femmes par les hommes, mais de la division naturelle du travail qui s’est développée pendant des milliers d’années au cours de la période agraire. Celle-ci a immensément bénéficié et protégé les femmes, leur permettant de rester au foyer pour s’occuper des nourrissons et des enfants sans défense. Au cours du siècle dernier, les appareils susceptibles d’épargner du travail, inventés par les hommes et répartis par le capitalisme, ont libéré les femmes des corvées quotidiennes. (…) En effet, les hommes sont absolument indispensables en ce moment, bien que cela soit invisible pour la plupart des féministes — qui semblent aveugles à l’infrastructure qui rend leur propre travail possible. Ce sont majoritairement des hommes qui font le sale (et dangereux) boulot. Ils construisent les routes, coulent le béton, posent les briques, pendent les fils électriques, excavent le gaz naturel et les égouts, coupent les arbres, et aplanissent au bulldozer les paysage pour les projets immobiliers. Ce sont les hommes qui soudent les poutres d’acier géantes qui maintiennent nos immeubles de bureaux, et ce sont les hommes qui font le travail ébouriffant d’encartage et d’étanchéité des fenêtres, posant ces plaques de verre sur des gratte-ciel hauts de 50 étages. Chaque jour, le long de la rivière Delaware à Philadelphie, on peut regarder le passage de vastes pétroliers et imposants cargos en provenance du monde entier. Ces colosses majestueux sont chargés, dirigés, et déchargés par des hommes. L’économie moderne, avec son vaste réseau de production et de distribution, est une épopée masculine, où les femmes ont trouvé un rôle productif – mais les femmes n’en sont pas les auteurs. Certes, les femmes modernes sont assez fortes maintenant pour donner du crédit lorsque le crédit est dû ! Camille Paglia
Le féminisme est héritier de Rousseau en ce qu’il voit chaque hiérarchie comme répressive, une fiction sociale ; chaque négatif sur la femme est un mensonge masculin conçu pour la garder à sa place. Le féminisme a dépassé sa mission propre de recherche de l’égalité politique pour les femmes et a fini par rejeter la contingence, c’est-à-dire les limites humaines par la nature ou le destin…. Si la civilisation avait été laissée aux mains des femmes, nous vivrions encore dans des cases en paille. Camille Paglia
The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster. These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality. (…) So many women don’t realize how vulnerable they are by what they’re doing on the street. I believe that every person, male and female, needs to be in a protective mode at all times of alertness to potential danger. The world is full of potential attacks, potential disasters. (…) Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys. They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters. » This PC gender politics thing—the way gender is being taught in the universities—in a very anti-male way, it’s all about neutralization of maleness. Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now. Our culture doesn’t allow women to know how to be womanly. (…) Michelle Obama’s going on: ‘Everybody must have college.’ Why? Why? What is the reason why everyone has to go to college? Especially when college is so utterly meaningless right now, it has no core curriculum » and « people end up saddled with huge debts. What’s driving the push toward universal college is social snobbery on the part of a lot of upper-middle-class families who want the sticker in the window. I have woodworking students who, even while they’re in class, are already earning money making furniture and so on. (…) I personally have disobeyed every single item of the gender code, » says Ms. Paglia. But men, and especially women, need to be honest about the role biology plays and clear-eyed about the choices they are making. I want every 14-year-old girl . . . to be told: You better start thinking what do you want in life. If you just want a career and no children you don’t have much to worry about. If, however, you are thinking you’d like to have children some day you should start thinking about when do you want to have them. Early or late? To have them early means you are going to make a career sacrifice, but you’re going to have more energy and less risks. Both the pros and the cons should be presented.  Camille Paglia
In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality – as I one hundred percent do. ‘If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again, they have a right of religious freedom there. Camille Paglia
A review of the facts shows boys, not girls, on the weak side of an education gender gap. The typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing; he is less committed to school and less likely to go to college. In 1997 college full-time enrollments were 45 percent male and 55 percent female. The Department of Education predicts that the proportion of boys in college classes will continue to shrink. Data from the U.S. Department of Education and from several recent university studies show that far from being shy and demoralized, today’s girls outshine boys. They get better grades. They have higher educational aspirations. They follow more-rigorous academic programs and participate in advanced-placement classes at higher rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, slightly more girls than boys enroll in high-level math and science courses. Girls, allegedly timorous and lacking in confidence, now outnumber boys in student government, in honor societies, on school newspapers, and in debating clubs. Only in sports are boys ahead, and women’s groups are targeting the sports gap with a vengeance. Girls read more books. They outperform boys on tests for artistic and musical ability. More girls than boys study abroad. More join the Peace Corps. At the same time, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol, and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more often than boys, but it is boys who more often succeed. In 1997, a typical year, 4,483 young people aged five to twenty-four committed suicide: 701 females and 3,782 males. (…) Gilligan appears to be making the same mistake with boys that she made with girls — she observes a few children and interprets their problems as indicative of a deep and general malaise caused by the way our society imposes gender stereotypes. The pressure to conform to these stereotypes, she believes, has impaired, distressed, and deformed the members of both sexes by the time they are adolescents. In fact — with the important exception of boys whose fathers are absent and who get their concept of maleness from peer groups — most boys are not violent. Most are not unfeeling or antisocial. They are just boys — and being a boy is not in itself a failing. (…) Every society confronts the problem of civilizing its young males. The traditional approach is through character education: Develop the young man’s sense of honor. Help him become a considerate, conscientious human being. Turn him into a gentleman. This approach respects boys’ masculine nature; it is time-tested, and it works. Even today, despite several decades of moral confusion, most young men understand the term « gentleman »and approve of the ideals it connotes. What Gilligan and her followers are proposing is quite different: civilize boys by diminishing their masculinity. « Raise boys like we raise girls » is Gloria Steinem’s advice. This approach is deeply disrespectful of boys. It is meddlesome, abusive, and quite beyond what educators in a free society are mandated to do. Did anything of value come out of the manufactured crisis of diminished girls? Yes, a bit. Parents, teachers, and administrators now pay more attention to girls’ deficits in math and science, and they offer more support for girls’ participation in sports. But who is to say that these benefits outweigh the disservice done by promulgating the myth of the incredible shrinking girl or presenting boys as the unfairly favored sex? A boy today, through no fault of his own, finds himself implicated in the social crime of shortchanging girls. Yet the allegedly silenced and neglected girl sitting next to him is likely to be the superior student. She is probably more articulate, more mature, more engaged, and more well-balanced. The boy may be aware that she is more likely to go on to college. He may believe that teachers prefer to be around girls and pay more attention to them. At the same time, he is uncomfortably aware that he is considered to be a member of the favored and dominant gender. The widening gender gap in academic achievement is real. It threatens the future of millions of American boys. Boys do not need to be rescued from their masculinity. But they are not getting the help they need. In the climate of disapproval in which boys now exist, programs designed to aid them have a very low priority. This must change. We should repudiate the partisanship that currently clouds the issues surrounding sex differences in the schools. We should call for balance, objective information, fair treatment, and a concerted national effort to get boys back on track. That means we can no longer allow the partisans of girls to write the rules. Christina Hoff Sommers
What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide, » says Camille Paglia. This self-described « notorious Amazon feminist » isn’t telling anyone to Lean In or asking Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. No, her indictment may be as surprising as it is wide-ranging: The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead. By denying the role of nature in women’s lives, she argues, leading feminists created a « denatured, antiseptic » movement that « protected their bourgeois lifestyle » and falsely promised that women could « have it all. » And by impugning women who chose to forgo careers to stay at home with children, feminists turned off many who might have happily joined their ranks. For all of Ms. Paglia’s barbs about the women’s movement, it seems clear that feminism—at least of the equal-opportunity variety—has triumphed in its basic goals. There is surely a lack of women in the C-Suite and Congress, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a man who would admit that he believes women are less capable. To save feminism as a political movement from irrelevance, Ms. Paglia says, the women’s movement should return to its roots. That means abandoning the « nanny state » mentality that led to politically correct speech codes and college disciplinary committees that have come to replace courts. The movement can win converts, she says, but it needs to become a big tent, one « open to stay-at-home moms » and « not just the career woman. » More important, Ms. Paglia says, if the women’s movement wants to be taken seriously again, it should tackle serious matters, like rape in India and honor killings in the Muslim world, that are « more of an outrage than some woman going on a date on the Brown University campus. » Bari Weiss

Attention: une guerre peut en cacher une autre!

Emasculation des garçons dès leur plus jeune âge, perte de l’expérience militaire dans la classe dirigeante, assignation de la masculinité aux réserves d’indiens des radios sportives, dévalorisation systématique du travail manuel, bannissement de toute critique de l’homosexualité, déféminisation et déresponsabilisation vestimentaire des femmes, apaisement complice du totalitarisme islamique …

En ces temps étranges de politiquement correct et de féminisme triomphant …

Où l’expérience militaire n’a plus droit de cité hormis sous la forme de la défaite ou de la passion christique

Et où, obsédées par leur chasse aux différences biologiques et aveugles aux conditions de possibilité de leurs critiques, nombre de théoriciennes féministes en sont à rêver d’un monde sans hommes …

Comment ne pas voir avec les dernières voix dissidentes qui restent comme celles de Camille Paglia ou Christina Hoff Sommers  … 

L’impasse et les aberrations vers lesquelles nous pousse toujours plus le féminisme actuel ?

Camille Paglia : une féministe qui défend les hommes

Le Bulletin d’Amérique

12 décembre 2013

La « guerre des sexes » fait toujours rage en Amérique du Nord, où le féminisme demeure l’un des piliers du progressisme. Pourtant, au sein même de ce mouvement, certaines commentatrices se font plus critiques, à l’instar de Camille Paglia*, une « féministe post-féministe ».

Titre original : « Camille Paglia Defends Men » . Traduit de l’anglais par Le Bulletin d’Amérique.

AEIdeas

Par Christina Hoff Sommers** — « Que cela soit entendu : les hommes sont périmés » : tel était le sujet d’un récent débat à Toronto. Maureen Dowd et Hanna Rosin défendaient ce dernier point de vue, tandis que Camille Paglia* et Caitlin Moran y étaient opposées. Très pince-sans-rire, Dowd fit par exemple remarquer que les hommes avaient joué de façon si téméraire avec le monde entier « qu’ils l’avaient presque cassé« . Nous allons dans une nouvelle direction, dit-elle alors, avant d’ajouter : « Zut, les hommes ne prennent même pas la peine de demander quelle direction prendre! »

Mais ce sont les déclarations électrisantes de Camille Paglia qui attirèrent toute l’attention :

Si les hommes sont obsolètes, alors les femmes disparaîtront bientôt, à moins que nous nous précipitions sur le sinistre chemin du « meilleur des mondes », où les femmes se feront cloner par parthénogenèse, comme le font à merveille les dragons de Komodo, les requins marteaux et les vipères.

Une rancune mesquine et hargneuse contre les hommes a été l’une des caractéristiques les plus désagréables et injustes du féminisme de la deuxième et de la troisième vague. Les fautes, les défauts et les faiblesses des hommes ont été saisis et décuplés par d’affreux actes d’accusation. Des professeurs idéologues dans nos grandes universités endoctrinent des étudiants de premier cycle aisément impressionnables par des théories négligeant les faits, arguant que le genre était une fiction oppressive et arbitraire dénuée de fondement biologique.Paglia n’a pas seulement défendu les hommes, elle a aussi livré une défense rare du libre marché et de ses avantages pour le beau sexe. Selon ses propres termes :

L’histoire doit être perçue clairement et équitablement : les traditions obstructives ne provenaient pas de la haine ou de l’asservissement des femmes par les hommes, mais de la division naturelle du travail qui s’est développée pendant des milliers d’années au cours de la période agraire. Celle-ci a immensément bénéficié et protégé les femmes, leur permettant de rester au foyer pour s’occuper des nourrissons et des enfants sans défense. Au cours du siècle dernier, les appareils susceptibles d’épargner du travail, inventés par les hommes et répartis par le capitalisme, ont libéré les femmes des corvées quotidiennes.

Les partisans de la théorie selon laquelle les « mâles seraient sur le déclin » avancent que l’avenir appartiendrait aux femmes communicatives, de consensus, à l’intelligence émotive. Les hommes, avec leur force musculaire, leurs prises de risque et leur penchant pour le chaos ne seraient plus d’actualité. Dowd se demandait s’ils allaient finalement s’éteindre, en prenant « les jeux vidéo, Game of Thrones en boucle et une pizza froide le matin avec eux. » Paglia rappela poliment mais fermement à ses contradicteurs que si les « femelles alpha » pouvaient en effet aujourd’hui rejoindre les hommes dans la gestion du monde, elles n’étaient guère sur le point de les remplacer. Et leurs brillantes carrières sont rendues possibles par des légions d’hommes travailleurs, preneurs de risque et innovants. La citant de nouveau :

En effet, les hommes sont absolument indispensables en ce moment, bien que cela soit invisible pour la plupart des féministes — qui semblent aveugles à l’infrastructure qui rend leur propre travail possible. Ce sont majoritairement des hommes qui font le sale (et dangereux) boulot. Ils construisent les routes, coulent le béton, posent les briques, pendent les fils électriques, excavent le gaz naturel et les égouts, coupent les arbres, et aplanissent au bulldozer les paysage pour les projets immobiliers. Ce sont les hommes qui soudent les poutres d’acier géantes qui maintiennent nos immeubles de bureaux, et ce sont les hommes qui font le travail ébouriffant d’encartage et d’étanchéité des fenêtres, posant ces plaques de verre sur des gratte-ciel hauts de 50 étages. Chaque jour, le long de la rivière Delaware à Philadelphie, on peut regarder le passage de vastes pétroliers et imposants cargos en provenance du monde entier. Ces colosses majestueux sont chargés, dirigés, et déchargés par des hommes. L’économie moderne, avec son vaste réseau de production et de distribution, est une épopée masculine, où les femmes ont trouvé un rôle productif – mais les femmes n’en sont pas les auteurs. Certes, les femmes modernes sont assez fortes maintenant pour donner du crédit lorsque le crédit est dû !

Malgré plusieurs décennies de « girl power« , les femmes montrent peu ou pas l’envie de pénétrer de nombreux domaines traditionnellement masculins. Le Bureau of Labor Statistics rapporte que plus de 90 % des travailleurs dans le bâtiment, électriciens, mécaniciens de l’aviation, éboueurs, grutiers, pompiers, plombiers, tuyauteurs, réparateurs de lignes de télécommunication, et ingénieurs électriques sont des hommes. Ce sont encore des hommes qui déposent plus de 90 % des brevets.

Au début des années 1980, le dessinateur Nicole Hollander, créateur de Sylvia, publiait une caricature dans laquelle quelqu’un demande à Sylvia à quoi ressemblerait le monde sans hommes. Celle-ci lui répondit : « Il n’y aurait aucun crime et beaucoup de grosses femmes heureuses« . La prédiction de Paglia sur leur extinction est bien meilleure. Son intervention mérite d’être lue dans son intégralité.

_____________

*Camille Paglia est une « féministe dissidente » et critique du post-structuralisme « français » (issu de Foucault, Derrida, Lacan). Enseignante à l’University of the Arts de Philadelphie, elle est l’auteur de Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990), de Sex, Art and American Culture: Essays (1992), et Vamps and Tramps (1994).

**Christina Hoff Sommers est Senior Fellow à l’American Enterprise Institute. Elle est notamment l’auteur de Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women (1995), The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (2000) et Freedom Feminism (2013).

Voir aussi:

Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues

The cultural critic on why ignoring the biological differences between men and women risks undermining Western civilization.

Bari Weiss

Dec. 28, 2013

‘What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide, » says Camille Paglia. This self-described « notorious Amazon feminist » isn’t telling anyone to Lean In or asking Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. No, her indictment may be as surprising as it is wide-ranging: The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead. And that’s just 20 minutes of our three-hour conversation.

When Ms. Paglia, now 66, burst onto the national stage in 1990 with the publishing of « Sexual Personae, » she immediately established herself as a feminist who was the scourge of the movement’s establishment, a heretic to its orthodoxy. Pick up the 700-page tome, subtitled « Art and Decadence From Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson,  » and it’s easy to see why. « If civilization had been left in female hands, » she wrote, « we would still be living in grass huts. »

The fact that the acclaimed book—the first of six; her latest, « Glittering Images, » is a survey of Western art—was rejected by seven publishers and five agents before being printed by Yale University Press only added to Ms. Paglia’s sense of herself as a provocateur in a class with Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. But unlike those radio jocks, Ms. Paglia has scholarly chops: Her dissertation adviser at Yale was Harold Bloom, and she is as likely to discuss Freud, Oscar Wilde or early Native American art as to talk about Miley Cyrus.

Ms. Paglia relishes her outsider persona, having previously described herself as an egomaniac and « abrasive, strident and obnoxious. » Talking to her is like a mental CrossFit workout. One moment she’s praising pop star Rihanna (« a true artist »), then blasting ObamaCare (« a monstrosity, » though she voted for the president), global warming (« a religious dogma »), and the idea that all gay people are born gay (« the biggest canard, » yet she herself is a lesbian).

But no subject gets her going more than when I ask if she really sees a connection between society’s attempts to paper over the biological distinction between men and women and the collapse of Western civilization.

She starts by pointing to the diminished status of military service. « The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster, » she says. « These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality. »

The results, she says, can be seen in everything from the dysfunction in Washington (where politicians « lack practical skills of analysis and construction ») to what women wear. « So many women don’t realize how vulnerable they are by what they’re doing on the street, » she says, referring to women who wear sexy clothes.

When she has made this point in the past, Ms. Paglia—who dresses in androgynous jackets and slacks—has been told that she believes « women are at fault for their own victimization. » Nonsense, she says. « I believe that every person, male and female, needs to be in a protective mode at all times of alertness to potential danger. The world is full of potential attacks, potential disasters. » She calls it « street-smart feminism. »

Ms. Paglia argues that the softening of modern American society begins as early as kindergarten. « Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys, » she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. « They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters. »

She is not the first to make this argument, as Ms. Paglia readily notes. Fellow feminist Christina Hoff Sommers has written about the « war against boys » for more than a decade. The notion was once met with derision, but now data back it up: Almost one in five high-school-age boys has been diagnosed with ADHD, boys get worse grades than girls and are less likely to go to college.

Ms. Paglia observes this phenomenon up close with her 11-year-old son, Lucien, whom she is raising with her ex-partner, Alison Maddex, an artist and public-school teacher who lives 2 miles away. She sees the tacit elevation of « female values »—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts.

By her lights, things only get worse in higher education. « This PC gender politics thing—the way gender is being taught in the universities—in a very anti-male way, it’s all about neutralization of maleness. » The result: Upper-middle-class men who are « intimidated » and « can’t say anything. . . . They understand the agenda. » In other words: They avoid goring certain sacred cows by « never telling the truth to women » about sex, and by keeping « raunchy » thoughts and sexual fantasies to themselves and their laptops.

Politically correct, inadequate education, along with the decline of America’s brawny industrial base, leaves many men with « no models of manhood, » she says. « Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now. » The only place you can hear what men really feel these days, she claims, is on sports radio. No surprise, she is an avid listener. The energy and enthusiasm « inspires me as a writer, » she says, adding: « If we had to go to war, » the callers « are the men that would save the nation. »

And men aren’t the only ones suffering from the decline of men. Women, particularly elite upper-middle-class women, have become « clones » condemned to « Pilates for the next 30 years, » Ms. Paglia says. « Our culture doesn’t allow women to know how to be womanly, » adding that online pornography is increasingly the only place where men and women in our sexless culture tap into « primal energy » in a way they can’t in real life.

A key part of the remedy, she believes, is a « revalorization » of traditional male trades—the ones that allow women’s studies professors to drive to work (roads), take the elevator to their office (construction), read in the library (electricity), and go to gender-neutral restrooms (plumbing).

 » Michelle Obama’s going on: ‘Everybody must have college.’ Why? Why? What is the reason why everyone has to go to college? Especially when college is so utterly meaningless right now, it has no core curriculum » and « people end up saddled with huge debts, » says Ms. Paglia. What’s driving the push toward universal college is « social snobbery on the part of a lot of upper-middle-class families who want the sticker in the window. »

Ms. Paglia, who has been a professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia since 1984, sees her own students as examples. « I have woodworking students who, even while they’re in class, are already earning money making furniture and so on, » she says. « My career has been in art schools cause I don’t get along with normal academics. »

To hear her tell it, getting along has never been Ms. Paglia’s strong suit. As a child, she felt stifled by the expectations of girlhood in the 1950s. She fantasized about being a knight, not a princess. Discovering pioneering female figures as a teenager, most notably Amelia Earhart, transformed Ms. Paglia’s understanding of what her future might hold.

These iconoclastic women of the 1930s, like Earhart and Katharine Hepburn, remain her ideal feminist role models: independent, brave, enterprising, capable of competing with men without bashing them. But since at least the late 1960s, she says, fellow feminists in the academy stopped sharing her vision of « equal-opportunity feminism » that demands a level playing field without demanding special quotas or protections for women.

She proudly recounts her battle, while a graduate student at Yale in the late 1960s and early ’70s, with the New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band over the Rolling Stones: Ms. Paglia loved « Under My Thumb, » a song the others regarded as chauvinist. Then there was the time she « barely got through the dinner » with a group of women’s studies professors at Bennington College, where she had her first teaching job, who insisted that there is no hormonal difference between men and women. « I left before dessert. »

In her view, these ideological excesses bear much of the blame for the current cultural decline. She calls out activists like Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf and Susan Faludi for pushing a version of feminism that says gender is nothing more than a social construct, and groups like the National Organization for Women for making abortion the singular women’s issue.

By denying the role of nature in women’s lives, she argues, leading feminists created a « denatured, antiseptic » movement that « protected their bourgeois lifestyle » and falsely promised that women could « have it all. » And by impugning women who chose to forgo careers to stay at home with children, feminists turned off many who might have happily joined their ranks.

But Ms. Paglia’s criticism shouldn’t be mistaken for nostalgia for the socially prescribed roles for men and women before the 1960s. Quite the contrary. « I personally have disobeyed every single item of the gender code, » says Ms. Paglia. But men, and especially women, need to be honest about the role biology plays and clear-eyed about the choices they are making.

Sex education, she says, simply focuses on mechanics without conveying the real « facts of life, » especially for girls: « I want every 14-year-old girl . . . to be told: You better start thinking what do you want in life. If you just want a career and no children you don’t have much to worry about. If, however, you are thinking you’d like to have children some day you should start thinking about when do you want to have them. Early or late? To have them early means you are going to make a career sacrifice, but you’re going to have more energy and less risks. Both the pros and the cons should be presented. »

For all of Ms. Paglia’s barbs about the women’s movement, it seems clear that feminism—at least of the equal-opportunity variety—has triumphed in its basic goals. There is surely a lack of women in the C-Suite and Congress, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a man who would admit that he believes women are less capable. To save feminism as a political movement from irrelevance, Ms. Paglia says, the women’s movement should return to its roots. That means abandoning the « nanny state » mentality that led to politically correct speech codes and college disciplinary committees that have come to replace courts. The movement can win converts, she says, but it needs to become a big tent, one « open to stay-at-home moms » and « not just the career woman. »

More important, Ms. Paglia says, if the women’s movement wants to be taken seriously again, it should tackle serious matters, like rape in India and honor killings in the Muslim world, that are « more of an outrage than some woman going on a date on the Brown University campus. »

Ms. Weiss is an associate editorial features editor at the Journal.

Voir aussi:

‘There’s no room for anything manly now': Feminist writer Camille Paglia speaks out AGAINST the loss of masculine virtues and its negative impact on society

The self-described ‘dissident feminist’ believes society is neutering boys of their maleness at a young age

She also believes the lack of people with military experience in important positions is a recipe for disaster

An avid listener of sports radio, she believes these ‘are the men that would save the nation’

‘Our culture doesn’t allow women to know how to be womanly,’ she said

Paglia also recently spoke out in favor of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson and defended his right to free speech

The Daily Mail

30 December 2013

Our society is neutering boys of their maleness at a young age, while the lack of people with military experience in important positions is a recipe for disaster, claims Camille Paglia, the controversial lesbian author and social critic.

Self-described ‘dissident feminist’ Paglia, 66, believes that attempts to deny the biological distinctions between men and women is to blame for the much that is wrong with modern society.

‘What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide’ she told the Wall Street Journal.

Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is well known for her critical views on many aspects of modern culture, including feminism and liberalism.

She recently spoke out in support of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, supporting his right to express homophobic views.

‘In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality – as I one hundred percent do.

‘If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again, they have a right of religious freedom there.’ she told Laura Ingraham’s radio show last week.

Paglia, who is promoting her latest book, Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt To Star Wars, told the WSJ that the diminished status of military service in people in important positions is a big mistake.

the diminished status of military service in people in important positions is a big mistake, says Paglia

The emancipation of masculine virtues is something that is beginning as early as kindergarten in the U.S., argues Paglia

Our society is neutering boys of their maleness at a young age, right, while the lack of people with military experience in important positions is a recipe for disaster, left, claims Paglia

‘The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service – hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster,’ she said.

‘These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.’

According to Paglia the results are there for all to see in the on-going dysfunction in Washington, where politicians ‘lack practical skills of analysis and construction’.

The emancipation of masculine virtues is something that is beginning as early as kindergarten in the U.S., argues Paglia.

‘Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,’ she said.

The author, who along with her ex-partner Alison Maddex, is raising an 11-year-old son Lucian, believes that the way many schools have cut recess is ‘making a toxic environment for boys.’

‘Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters,’ she said.

The decline of America’s industrial base is another factor that the author believes is leaving many men with ‘no models of manhood.’

‘Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.’

Bizarrely Paglia claims that the only place that you can hear what men really feel these days is on sports radio.

The professor claims to be an avid listener and that the energy and enthusiasm ‘inspires me as a writer.’

‘If we had to go to war,’ the callers ‘are the men that would save the nation.’

Paglia didn’t spare the role of women in her musings and said that elite upper-middle-class women have become ‘clones’ condemned to ‘Pilates for the next 30 years.’

‘Our culture doesn’t allow women to know how to be womanly,’ she said.

THE OUTSPOKEN CAMILLE PAGLIA – SELF STYLED ‘DISSIDENT FEMINIST’

Ms Paglia (pictured) said some of Rihanna’s more candid shots were reminiscent of the work of Kathy Keeton – a South African ballet dancer who once edited Viva and whose fashion editor was Anna Wintour

Camille Paglia, is a self styled ‘dissident feminist’, outspoken on pop culture, and who has been described as a feminist bete noire.

The 66-year-old has been a professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA since 1984, but came to attention with the publication of her first book, ‘Sexual Personae’, in 1990, when she also began writing about popular culture and feminism in mainstream newspapers and magazines.

It is these articles which have propelled Paglia to the controversial figure she is today.

One scathing attack saw her conclude that Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, have ‘insipid, bleached-out personas’ that hark back to the man-pleasing, pre-feminist era.

In an article for The Hollywood Reporter, she wrote that as a result, many of today’s young women fail to realize the role their sexuality plays in society and ‘partying till you drop has gotten as harmless as a Rotary Club meeting’.

She said: ‘Swift’s meandering, snippy songs make 16-year-old Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry if I Want to) seem like a towering masterpiece of social commentary, psychological drama and shapely concision.

‘Indeed, without her mannequin posturing at industry events, it’s doubtful that Swift could have attained her high profile.’

She cuttingly described Perry as a ‘manic cyborg cheerleader’.

Paglia previously slammed Lady Gaga, insisting her over-the-top sexuality is actually ‘stripped of genuine eroticism’.

She said the star’s willingness to dress in crazy outfits as an example of ‘every public appearance… has been lavishly scripted in advance’.

Voir également:

Munk Debate on the End of Men Post Debate Commentary

Christina Hoff Sommers

November 16, 2013

Be it resolved that men are obsolete. That was the question last week at a high spirited edition of Toronto’s celebrated Munk Debates. Hanna Rosin and Maureen Dowd said, “OMG Yes!” Camille Paglia and Caitlin Moran: “No way!” To men offended by the proposition: Lighten up. Don’t join those censorious feminists who have made the battle of the sexes a humor free zone. Rosin opened by asking, “How do we know men are finished?” Her answer was a quote from embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. “Yeah, there have been times I have been in a drunken stupor.” Exhibit B for her argument that men have become as fussy and insecure as women was a tweeted photograph of Anthony Wiener’s meticulously waxed chest. Along the way, she made serious p oints about how men are falling behind in education and the workplace. Women are adapting in the new world of gender equality; men are not. “Men are the new ball and chain,” Rosin said. Paglia was having none of it. She reminded Rosin and the female supr emacists that their busy Alpha female lives are made possible by an invisible army of men — “men who do the dirty, dangerous work of building roads, pouring concrete, laying bricks, tarring roofs, hanging electric wires, excavating natural gas and sewage lin es, cutting and clearing trees, and bulldozing the landscape for housing developments.” Paglia described the modern economy, with its vast system of production and distribution, as a sublime “male epic.” Women have joined it — but men built it. “Surely,” sai d the fiery Paglia, “modern women are strong enough now to give credit where credit is due!” And she reminded women that without strong men as models to either embrace or reject, women will never attain a distinctive sense of themselves as women. Maureen Dowd made good fun of her misfortune in following Camille Paglia — beginning, “Um, I’ve never debated before, and I am so screwed.” She did not fully engage the topic, but her beguiling style was a caution against letting “men and women are identica l” ideologues drive the discussion. With her Veronica Lake hair       and slinky black dress, Dowd was an alluring 1940s style vamp with up to date female taunts: “Men are so last century… they seemed to have stopped evolving.” When guys finally exit the stage, she wondered if they would be taking “video games, Game of Thrones on a continuous loop and cold pizza in the morning with them.” Women, said Dowd, have “clicked their ruby red stilettos three times” and now realize they are in charge. “The world is not f lat, Tom Friedman. The world is curvy.’” Actually, the world is both — as Dowd clearly knows and enjoys. And she does not want to destroy men, she wants to have fun with them — while joining them in the pursuit of power and happiness. Her playful, femme fatale feminism was more appealing than anything in Women’s Studies 101. Caitlin Moran, British writer and humorist, began by warning that her feminism was strident, Marxist, and “fueled by cocktails.” But she turned out to be a down to earth humanist, remindin g everyone that calling men obsolete was no better than the bad old sexist days when women were said to be irrelevant. We are in this together, said Moran: if one sex fails, the other staggers. All of the speakers acknowledged that working class men’s fort unes have fallen and that boys are having serious difficulties in schools. But, Moran insisted, that does not mean we should celebrate their travails, but rather that we should do everything possible to improve their prospects. She shocked and delighted th e audience with her concluding remark: “The question of the evening is: Are Men Obsolete? My conclusion is: No! I won’t let you be — you f___ers!” Imagine four brilliant, accomplished, funny women discussing the politics of gender outside the dreary, angry, “rape culture” obsessed framework of contemporary feminism. That happened this past Friday night at the Munk Debate, and both sexes came out ahead in the encounter. Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute a nd the author of The War Against Boys. The Munk Debates wished to thank Ali Wyne for his assistance in commissioning and compiling these essays. Ali Wyne is an associate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A frequent commentator on international affairs, he is a coauthor of Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World (2013 ).

Voir enfin:

The War Against Boys

This we think we know: American schools favor boys and grind down girls. The truth is the very opposite. By virtually every measure, girls are thriving in school; it is boys who are the second sex

by Christina Hoff Sommers

The Atlantic

May  2000

IT’S a bad time to be a boy in America. The triumphant victory of the U.S. women’s soccer team at the World Cup last summer has come to symbolize the spirit of American girls. The shooting at Columbine High last spring might be said to symbolize the spirit of American boys.

That boys are in disrepute is not accidental. For many years women’s groups have complained that boys benefit from a school system that favors them and is biased against girls. « Schools shortchange girls, » declares the American Association of University Women. Girls are « undergoing a kind of psychological foot-binding, » two prominent educational psychologists say. A stream of books and pamphlets cite research showing not only that boys are classroom favorites but also that they are given to schoolyard violence and sexual harassment.

In the view that has prevailed in American education over the past decade, boys are resented, both as the unfairly privileged sex and as obstacles on the path to gender justice for girls. This perspective is promoted in schools of education, and many a teacher now feels that girls need and deserve special indemnifying consideration. « It is really clear that boys are Number One in this society and in most of the world, » says Patricia O’Reilly, a professor of education and the director of the Gender Equity Center, at the University of Cincinnati.

The idea that schools and society grind girls down has given rise to an array of laws and policies intended to curtail the advantage boys have and to redress the harm done to girls. That girls are treated as the second sex in school and consequently suffer, that boys are accorded privileges and consequently benefit — these are things everyone is presumed to know. But they are not true.

The research commonly cited to support claims of male privilege and male sinfulness is riddled with errors. Almost none of it has been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. Some of the data turn out to be mysteriously missing. A review of the facts shows boys, not girls, on the weak side of an education gender gap. The typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing; he is less committed to school and less likely to go to college. In 1997 college full-time enrollments were 45 percent male and 55 percent female. The Department of Education predicts that the proportion of boys in college classes will continue to shrink.

Data from the U.S. Department of Education and from several recent university studies show that far from being shy and demoralized, today’s girls outshine boys. They get better grades. They have higher educational aspirations. They follow more-rigorous academic programs and participate in advanced-placement classes at higher rates. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, slightly more girls than boys enroll in high-level math and science courses. Girls, allegedly timorous and lacking in confidence, now outnumber boys in student government, in honor societies, on school newspapers, and in debating clubs. Only in sports are boys ahead, and women’s groups are targeting the sports gap with a vengeance. Girls read more books. They outperform boys on tests for artistic and musical ability. More girls than boys study abroad. More join the Peace Corps. At the same time, more boys than girls are suspended from school. More are held back and more drop out. Boys are three times as likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. More boys than girls are involved in crime, alcohol, and drugs. Girls attempt suicide more often than boys, but it is boys who more often succeed. In 1997, a typical year, 4,483 young people aged five to twenty-four committed suicide: 701 females and 3,782 males.

In the technical language of education experts, girls are academically more « engaged. » Last year an article in The CQ Researcher about male and female academic achievement described a common parental observation: « Daughters want to please their teachers by spending extra time on projects, doing extra credit, making homework as neat as possible. Sons rush through homework assignments and run outside to play, unconcerned about how the teacher will regard the sloppy work. »

School engagement is a critical measure of student success. The U.S. Department of Education gauges student commitment by the following criteria: « How much time do students devote to homework each night? »and « Do students come to class prepared and ready to learn? (Do they bring books and pencils? Have they completed their homework?) »According to surveys of fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders, girls consistently do more homework than boys. By the twelfth grade boys are four times as likely as girls not to do homework. Similarly, more boys than girls report that they « usually » or « often » come to school without supplies or without having done their homework.

The performance gap between boys and girls in high school leads directly to the growing gap between male and female admissions to college. The Department of Education reports that in 1996 there were 8.4 million women but only 6.7 million men enrolled in college. It predicts that women will hold on to and increase their lead well into the next decade, and that by 2007 the numbers will be 9.2 million women and 6.9 million men.

Deconstructing the Test-Score Gap

FEMINISTS cannot deny that girls get better grades, are more engaged academically, and are now the majority sex in higher education. They argue, however, that these advantages are hardly decisive. Boys, they point out, get higher scores than girls on almost every significant standardized test — especially the Scholastic Assessment Test and law school, medical school, and graduate school admissions tests.

In 1996 I wrote an article for Education Week about the many ways in which girl students were moving ahead of boys. Seizing on the test-score data that suggest boys are doing better than girls, David Sadker, a professor of education at American University and a co-author with his wife, Myra, of Failing at Fairness: How America’s Schools Cheat Girls (1994), wrote, « If females are soaring in school, as Christina Hoff Sommers writes, then these tests are blind to their flight. » On the 1998 SAT boys were thirty-five points (out of 800) ahead of girls in math and seven points ahead in English. These results seem to run counter to all other measurements of achievement in school. In almost all other areas boys lag behind girls. Why do they test better? Is Sadker right in suggesting that this is a manifestation of boys’ privileged status?

The answer is no. A careful look at the pool of students who take the SAT and similar tests shows that the girls’ lower scores have little or nothing to do with bias or unfairness. Indeed, the scores do not even signify lower achievement by girls. First of all, according to College Bound Seniors, an annual report on standardized-test takers published by the College Board, many more « at risk » girls than « at risk » boys take the SAT — girls from lower-income homes or with parents who never graduated from high school or never attended college. « These characteristics, » the report says, « are associated with lower than average SAT scores. » Instead of wrongly using SAT scores as evidence of bias against girls, scholars should be concerned about the boys who never show up for the tests they need if they are to move on to higher education.

Another factor skews test results so that they appear to favor boys. Nancy Cole, the president of the Educational Testing Service, calls it the « spread » phenomenon. Scores on almost any intelligence or achievement test are more spread out for boys than for girls — boys include more prodigies and more students of marginal ability. Or, as the political scientist James Q. Wilson once put it, « There are more male geniuses and more male idiots. »

Boys also dominate dropout lists, failure lists, and learning-disability lists. Students in these groups rarely take college-admissions tests. On the other hand, the exceptional boys who take school seriously show up in disproportionately high numbers for standardized tests. Gender-equity activists like Sadker ought to apply their logic consistently: if the shortage of girls at the high end of the ability distribution is evidence of unfairness to girls, then the excess of boys at the low end should be deemed evidence of unfairness to boys.

Suppose we were to turn our attention away from the highly motivated, self-selected two fifths of high school students who take the SAT and consider instead a truly representative sample of American schoolchildren. How would girls and boys then compare? Well, we have the answer. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, started in 1969 and mandated by Congress, offers the best and most comprehensive measure of achievement among students at all levels of ability. Under the NAEP program 70,000 to 100,000 students, drawn from forty-four states, are tested in reading, writing, math, and science at ages nine, thirteen, and seventeen. In 1996, seventeen-year-old boys outperformed seventeen-year-old girls by five points in math and eight points in science, whereas the girls outperformed the boys by fourteen points in reading and seventeen points in writing. In the past few years girls have been catching up in math and science while boys have continued to lag far behind in reading and writing.

In the July, 1995, issue of Science, Larry V. Hedges and Amy Nowell, researchers at the University of Chicago, observed that girls’ deficits in math were small but not insignificant. These deficits, they noted, could adversely affect the number of women who « excel in scientific and technical occupations. »Of the deficits in boys’ writing skills they wrote, « The large sex differences in writing … are alarming…. The data imply that males are, on average, at a rather profound disadvantage in the performance of this basic skill. » They went on to warn,

The generally larger numbers of males who perform near the bottom of the distribution in reading comprehension and writing also have policy implications. It seems likely that individuals with such poor literacy skills will have difficulty finding employment in an increasingly information-driven economy. Thus, some intervention may be required to enable them to participate constructively.

Hedges and Nowell were describing a serious problem of national scope, but because the focus elsewhere has been on girls’ deficits, few Americans know much about the problem or even suspect that it exists.

Indeed, so accepted has the myth of girls in crisis become that even teachers who work daily with male and female students tend to reflexively dismiss any challenge to the myth, or any evidence pointing to the very real crisis among boys. Three years ago Scarsdale High School, in New York, held a gender-equity workshop for faculty members. It was the standard girls-are-being-shortchanged fare, with one notable difference. A male student gave a presentation in which he pointed to evidence suggesting that girls at Scarsdale High were well ahead of boys. David Greene, a social-studies teacher, thought the student must be mistaken, but when he and some colleagues analyzed department grading patterns, they discovered that the student was right. They found little or no difference in the grades of boys and girls in advanced-placement social-studies classes. But in standard classes the girls were doing a lot better.

And Greene discovered one other thing: few wanted to hear about his startling findings. Like schools everywhere, Scarsdale High has been strongly influenced by the belief that girls are systematically deprived. That belief prevails among the school’s gender-equity committee and has led the school to offer a special senior elective on gender equity. Greene has tried to broach the subject of male underperformance with his colleagues. Many of them concede that in the classes they teach, the girls seem to be doing better than the boys, but they do not see this as part of a larger pattern. After so many years of hearing about silenced, diminished girls, teachers do not take seriously the suggestion that boys are not doing as well as girls even if they see it with their own eyes in their own classrooms.

The Incredible Shrinking Girl

HOW did we get to this odd place? How did we come to believe in a picture of American boys and girls that is the opposite of the truth? And why has that belief persisted, enshrined in law, encoded in governmental and school policies, despite overwhelming evidence against it? The answer has much to do with one of the American academy’s most celebrated women — Carol Gilligan, Harvard University’s first professor of gender studies.

Gilligan first came to widespread attention in 1982, with the publication of In a Different Voice, which this article will discuss shortly. In 1990 Gilligan announced that America’s adolescent girls were in crisis. In her words, « As the river of a girl’s life flows into the sea of Western culture, she is in danger of drowning or disappearing. » Gilligan offered little in the way of conventional evidence to support this alarming finding. Indeed, it is hard to imagine what sort of empirical research could establish such a large claim. But she quickly attracted powerful allies. Within a very short time the allegedly vulnerable and demoralized state of adolescent girls achieved the status of a national emergency.

Popular writers, electrified by Gilligan’s discovery, began to see evidence of the crisis everywhere. Anna Quindlen, who was then a New York Times columnist, recounted in a 1990 column how Gilligan’s research had cast an ominous shadow on the celebration of her daughter’s second birthday: « My daughter is ready to leap into the world, as though life were chicken soup and she a delighted noodle. The work of Professor Carol Gilligan of Harvard suggests that some time after the age of 11 this will change, that even this lively little girl will pull back [and] shrink. »

A number of popular books soon materialized, including Myra and David Sadker’s Failing at Fairness and Peggy Orenstein’s Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap (1994). Elizabeth Gleick wrote in Time in 1996 on a new trend in literary victimology: « Dozens of troubled teenage girls troop across [the] pages: composite sketches of Charlottes, Whitneys and Danielles who were raped, who have bulimia, who have pierced bodies or shaved heads, who are coping with strict religious families or are felled by their parents’ bitter divorce. »

The country’s adolescent girls were both pitied and exalted. The novelist Carolyn See wrote in The Washington Post in 1994, « The most heroic, fearless, graceful, tortured human beings in this land must be girls from the ages of 12 to 15. » In the same vein, the Sadkers, in Failing at Fairness, predicted the fate of a lively six-year-old on top of a playground slide: « There she stood on her sturdy legs, with her head thrown back and her arms flung wide. As ruler of the playground, she was at the very zenith of her world. »But all would soon change: « If the camera had photographed the girl … at twelve instead of six … she would have been looking at the ground instead of the sky; her sense of self-worth would have been an accelerating downward spiral. »

A picture of confused and forlorn girls struggling to survive would be drawn again and again, with added details and increasing urgency. Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist, wrote in Reviving Ophelia (1994), by far the most successful of the girls-in-crisis books, « Something dramatic happens to girls in early adolescence. Just as planes and ships disappear mysteriously into the Bermuda Triangle, so do the selves of girls go down in droves. They crash and burn. »

The description of America’s teenage girls as silenced, tortured, and otherwise personally diminished was (and is) indeed dismaying. But no real evidence has ever been offered to support it. Certainly neither Gilligan nor the popular writers who followed her lead produced anything like solid empirical evidence, gathered according to the conventional protocols of social-science research.

Scholars who do abide by those protocols describe adolescent girls in far more optimistic terms. Anne Petersen, a former professor of adolescent development and pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and now a senior vice-president of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, reports the consensus of researchers working in adolescent psychology: « It is now known that the majority of adolescents of both genders successfully negotiate this developmental period without any major psychological or emotional disorder, develop a positive sense of personal identity, and manage to forge adaptive peer relationships with their families. » Daniel Offer, a professor of psychiatry at Northwestern, concurs. He refers to a « new generation of studies » that find 80 percent of adolescents to be normal and well adjusted.

At the time that Gilligan was declaring her crisis, a study conducted by the University of Michigan asked a scientifically selected sample of 3,000 high school seniors, « Taking all things together, how would you say things are these days — would you say you’re very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy these days? » Nearly 86 percent of the girls and 88 percent of the boys responded that they were « pretty happy » or « very happy. » If the girls polled were caught in « an accelerating downward spiral, » they were unaware of it.

Contrary to the story told by Gilligan and her followers, American girls were flourishing in unprecedented ways by the early 1990s. To be sure, some — including many who found themselves in the offices of clinical psychologists — felt they were crashing and drowning in the sea of Western culture. But the vast majority were occupied in more-constructive ways, moving ahead of boys in the primary and secondary grades, applying to college in record numbers, filling challenging academic classes, joining sports teams, and generally enjoying more freedom and opportunities than any other young women in history.

The great discrepancy between what Gilligan says she discovered about adolescent girls and what numerous other scientists say they have learned raises obvious questions about the quality of Gilligan’s research. And these questions loom larger the more one examines Gilligan’s methods. Carol Gilligan is a much-celebrated figure. Journalists routinely cite her research on the distinctive moral psychology of women. She was Ms. magazine’s Woman of the Year in 1984, and Time put her on its short list of most-influential Americans in 1996. In 1997 she received the $250,000 Heinz Award for « transform[ing] the paradigm for what it means to be human. » Such a transformation would certainly be a feat. At the very least, it would require a great deal of empirical supporting evidence. Most of Gilligan’s published research, however, consists of anecdotes based on a small number of interviews. Her data are otherwise unavailable for review, giving rise to some reasonable doubts about their merits and persuasiveness.

In a Different Voice offered the provocative thesis that men and women have distinctly different ways of dealing with moral quandaries. Relying on data from three studies she had conducted, Gilligan found that women tend to be more caring, less competitive, and less abstract than men; they speak « in a different voice. » Women approach moral questions by applying an « ethic of care. » In contrast, men approach moral issues by applying rules and abstract principles; theirs is an « ethic of justice. » Gilligan argued further that women’s moral style had been insufficiently studied by professional psychologists. She complained that the entire fields of psychology and moral philosophy had been built on studies that excluded women.

In a Different Voice was an instant success. It sold more than 600,000 copies and was translated into nine languages. A reviewer at Vogue explained its appeal: « [Gilligan] flips old prejudices against women on their ears. She reframes qualities regarded as women’s weaknesses and shows them to be human strengths. It is impossible to consider [her] ideas without having your estimation of women rise. »

The book received a mixed reaction from feminists. Some — such as the philosophers Virginia Held and Sara Ruddick, and those in various fields who would come to be known as « difference feminists » — were tantalized by the idea that women were different from, and quite probably better than, men. But other academic feminists attacked Gilligan for reinforcing stereotypes about women as nurturers and caretakers.

Many academic psychologists, feminist and nonfeminist alike, found Gilligan’s specific claims about distinct male and female moral orientations unpersuasive and ungrounded in empirical data. Lawrence Walker, of the University of British Columbia, has reviewed 108 studies of sex differences in solving moral problems. He concluded in a 1984 review article in Child Development that « sex differences in moral reasoning in late adolescence and youth are rare. » In 1987 three psychologists at Oberlin College attempted to test Gilligan’s hypothesis: they administered a moral-reasoning test to 101 male and female students and concluded, « There were no reliable sex differences … in the directions predicted by Gilligan. » Concurring with Walker, the Oberlin researchers pointed out that « Gilligan failed to provide acceptable empirical support for her model. »

The thesis of In a Different Voice is based on three studies Gilligan conducted: the « college student study, » the « abortion decision study, » and the « rights and responsibilities study. » Here is how Gilligan described the last.

This study involved a sample of males and females matched for age, intelligence, education, occupation, and social class at nine points across the life cycle: ages 6-9, 11, 15, 19, 22, 25-27, 35, 45, and 60. From a total sample of 144 (8 males and 8 females at each age), including a more intensively interviewed subsample of 36 (2 males and 2 females at each age), data were collected on conceptions of self and morality, experiences of moral conflicts and choice, and judgments of hypothetical moral dilemmas.

This description is all we ever learn about the mechanics of the study, which seems to have no proper name; it was never published, never peer-reviewed. It was, in any case, very small in scope and in number of subjects. And the data are tantalizingly inaccessible. In September of 1998 my research assistant, Elizabeth Bowen, called Gilligan’s office and asked where she could find copies of the three studies that were the basis for In a Different Voice. Gilligan’s assistant, Tatiana Bertsch, told her that they were unavailable, and not in the public domain; because of the sensitivity of the data (especially the abortion study), the information had been kept confidential. Asked where the studies were now kept, Bertsch explained that the original data were being prepared to be placed in a Harvard library: « They are physically in the office. We are in the process of sending them to the archives at the Murray Center. »

In October of 1998 Hugh Liebert, a sophomore at Harvard who had been my research assistant the previous summer, spoke to Bertsch. She told him that the data would not be available until the end of the academic year, adding, « They have been kept secret because the issues [raised in the study] are so sensitive. » She suggested that he check back occasionally. He tried again in March. This time she informed him, « They will not be available anytime soon. »

Last September, Liebert tried one more time. He sent an e-mail message directly to Gilligan, but Bertsch sent back the reply.

None of the In a Different Voice studies have been published. We are in the process of donating the college student study to the Murray Research Center at Radcliffe, but that will not be completed for another year, probably. At this point Professor Gilligan has no immediate plans of donating the abortion or the rights and responsibilities studies. Sorry that none of what you are interested in is available.

Brendan Maher is a professor emeritus at Harvard University and a former chairman of the psychology department. I told him about the inaccessibility of Gilligan’s data and the explanation that their sensitive nature precluded public dissemination. He laughed and said, « It would be extraordinary to say [that one’s data] are too sensitive for others to see. » He pointed out that there are standard methods for handling confidential materials in research. Names are left out but raw scores are reported, « so others can see if they can replicate your study. » A researcher must also disclose how subjects were chosen, how interviews were recorded, and the method by which meaning was derived from the data.

« Politics Dressed Up as Science »

GILLIGAN’S ideas about demoralized teenage girls had a special resonance with women’s groups that were already committed to the proposition that our society is unsympathetic to women. The interest of the venerable and politically influential American Association of University Women, in particular, was piqued. Its officers were reported to be « intrigued and alarmed » by Gilligan’s research. They wanted to know more.

In 1990 The New York Times Sunday Magazine published an admiring profile of Gilligan that heralded the discovery of a hidden crisis among the nation’s girls. Soon after, the AAUW commissioned a study from the polling firm Greenberg-Lake. The pollsters asked 3,000 children (2,400 girls and 600 boys in grades four through ten) about their self-perceptions. In 1991 the association announced the disturbing results, in a report titled Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America: « Girls aged eight and nine are confident, assertive, and feel authoritative about themselves. Yet most emerge from adolescence with a poor self-image, constrained views of their future and their place in society, and much less confidence about themselves and their abilities. » Anne Bryant, the executive director of the AAUW and an expert in public relations, organized a media campaign to spread the word that « an unacknowledged American tragedy » had been uncovered. Newspapers and magazines around the country carried reports that girls were being adversely affected by gender bias that eroded their self-esteem. Sharon Schuster, at the time the president of the AAUW, candidly explained to The New York Times why the association had undertaken the research in the first place: « We wanted to put some factual data behind our belief that girls are getting shortchanged in the classroom. »

As the AAUW’s self-esteem study was making headlines, a little-known magazine called Science News, which has been supplying information on scientific and technical developments to interested newspapers since 1922, reported the skeptical reaction of leading specialists on adolescent development. The late Roberta Simmons, a professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh (described by Science News as « director of the most ambitious longitudinal study of adolescent self-esteem to date »), said that her research showed nothing like the substantial gender gap described by the AAUW. According to Simmons, « Most kids come through the years from 10 to 20 without major problems and with an increasing sense of self-esteem. » But the doubts of Simmons and several other prominent experts were not reported in the hundreds of news stories that the Greenberg-Lake study generated.

The AAUW quickly commissioned a second study, How Schools Shortchange Girls. This one, conducted by the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women and released in 1992, focused on the alleged effects of sexism on girls’ school performance. It asserted that schools deflate girls’ self-esteem by « systematically cheating girls of classroom attention. »Such bias leads to lower aspirations and impaired academic achievement. Carol Gilligan’s crisis was being transformed into a civil-rights issue: girls were the victims of widespread sex discrimination. « The implications are clear, » the AAUW said. « The system must change. »

With great fanfare How Schools Shortchange Girls was released to the remarkably uncritical media. A 1992 article for The New York Times by Susan Chira was typical of coverage throughout the country. The headline read « Bias Against Girls is Found Rife in Schools, With Lasting Damage. » The piece was later reproduced by the AAUW and sent out as part of a fundraising package. Chira had not interviewed a single critic of the study.

« Some of us grew up with the image of reporters as tough-minded skeptics. Yet there were no tough-minded reporters in sight in 1992, when the American Association of University Women released its report ‘How Schools Shortchange Girls.' » A Wall Street Journal article posted by the Brookings Institution.

In March of last year I called Chira and asked about the way she had handled the AAUW study. I asked if she would write her article the same way today. No, she said, pointing out that we have since learned much more about boys’ problems in school. Why had she not canvassed dissenting opinions? She explained that she had been traveling when the AAUW study came out, and was on a short deadline. Yes, perhaps she had relied too much on the AAUW’s report. She had tried to reach Diane Ravitch, who had then been the former U.S. assistant secretary of education and was a known critic of women’s-advocacy findings, but without success.

Six years after the release of How Schools Shortchange Girls, The New York Times ran a story that raised questions about its validity. This time the reporter, Tamar Lewin, did reach Diane Ravitch, who told her, « That [1992] AAUW report was just completely wrong. What was so bizarre is that it came out right at the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area. It might have been the right story twenty years earlier, but coming out when it did, it was like calling a wedding a funeral…. There were all these special programs put in place for girls, and no one paid any attention to boys. »

One of the many things about which the report was wrong was the famous « call-out » gap. According to the AAUW, « In a study conducted by the Sadkers, boys in elementary and middle school called out answers eight times more often than girls. When boys called out, teachers listened. But when girls called out, they were told ‘raise your hand if you want to speak.' »

But the Sadker study turns out to be missing — and meaningless, to boot. In 1994 Amy Saltzman, of U.S. News & World Report, asked David Sadker for a copy of the research backing up the eight-to-one call-out claim. Sadker said that he had presented the findings in an unpublished paper at a symposium sponsored by the American Educational Research Association; neither he nor the AERA had a copy. Sadker conceded to Saltzman that the ratio may have been inaccurate. Indeed, Saltzman cited an independent study by Gail Jones, an associate professor of education at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, which found that boys called out only twice as often as girls. Whatever the accurate number is, no one has shown that permitting a student to call out answers in the classroom confers any kind of academic advantage. What does confer advantage is a student’s attentiveness. Boys are less attentive — which could explain why some teachers might call on them more or be more tolerant of call-outs.

Despite the errors, the campaign to persuade the public that girls were being diminished personally and academically was a spectacular success. The Sadkers described an exultant Anne Bryant, of the AAUW, telling her friends, « I remember going to bed the night our report was issued, totally exhilarated. When I woke up the next morning, the first thought in my mind was, ‘Oh, my God, what do we do next?' » Political action came next, and here, too, girls’ advocates were successful.

Categorizing girls as an « under-served population » on a par with other discriminated-against minorities, Congress passed the Gender Equity in Education Act in 1994. Millions of dollars in grants were awarded to study the plight of girls and to learn how to counter bias against them. At the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing in 1995, members of the U.S. delegation presented the educational and psychological deficits of American girls as a human-rights issue.

The Myth Unraveling

BY the late 1990s the myth of the downtrodden girl was showing some signs of unraveling, and concern over boys was growing. In 1997 the Public Education Network (PEN) announced at its annual conference the results of a new teacher-student survey titled The American Teacher 1997: Examining Gender Issues in Public Schools. The survey was funded by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and conducted by Louis Harris and Associates.

During a three-month period in 1997 various questions about gender equity were asked of 1,306 students and 1,035 teachers in grades seven through twelve. The MetLife study had no doctrinal ax to grind. What it found contradicted most of the findings of the AAUW, the Sadkers, and the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women: « Contrary to the commonly held view that boys are at an advantage over girls in school, girls appear to have an advantage over boys in terms of their future plans, teachers’ expectations, everyday experiences at school and interactions in the classroom. »

Some other conclusions from the MetLife study: Girls are more likely than boys to see themselves as college-bound and more likely to want a good education. Furthermore, more boys (31 percent) than girls (19 percent) feel that teachers do not listen to what they have to say.

At the PEN conference, Nancy Leffert, a child psychologist then at the Search Institute, in Minneapolis, reported the results of a survey that she and colleagues had recently completed of more than 99,000 children in grades six through twelve. The children were asked about what the researchers call « developmental assets. » The Search Institute has identified forty critical assets — « building blocks for healthy development. » Half of these are external, such as a supportive family and adult role models, and half are internal, such as motivation to achieve, a sense of purpose in life, and interpersonal confidence. Leffert explained, somewhat apologetically, that girls were ahead of boys with respect to thirty-seven out of forty assets. By almost every significant measure of well-being girls had the better of boys: they felt closer to their families; they had higher aspirations, stronger connections to school, and even superior assertiveness skills. Leffert concluded her talk by saying that in the past she had referred to girls as fragile or vulnerable, but that the survey « tells me that girls have very powerful assets. »

The Horatio Alger Association, a fifty-year-old organization devoted to promoting and affirming individual initiative and « the American dream, » releases annual back-to-school surveys. Its survey for 1998 contrasted two groups of students: the « highly successful » (approximately 18 percent of American students) and the « disillusioned » (approximately 15 percent). The successful students work hard, choose challenging classes, make schoolwork a top priority, get good grades, participate in extracurricular activities, and feel that teachers and administrators care about them and listen to them. According to the association, the successful group in the 1998 survey is 63 percent female and 37 percent male. The disillusioned students are pessimistic about their future, get low grades, and have little contact with teachers. The disillusioned group could accurately be characterized as demoralized. According to the Alger Association, « Nearly seven out of ten are male. »

In the spring of 1998 Judith Kleinfeld, a psychologist at the University of Alaska, published a thorough critique of the research on schoolgirls titled « The Myth That Schools Shortchange Girls: Social Science in the Service of Deception. » Kleinfeld exposed a number of errors in the AAUW/Wellesley Center study, concluding that it was « politics dressed up as science. » Kleinfeld’s report prompted several publications, including The New York Times and Education Week, to take a second look at claims that girls were in a tragic state.

The AAUW did not adequately respond to any of Kleinfeld’s substantive objections; instead its current president, Maggie Ford, complained in the New York Times letters column that Kleinfeld was « reducing the problems of our children to this petty ‘who is worse off, boys or girls?’ [which] gets us nowhere.' » From the leader of an organization that spent nearly a decade ceaselessly promoting the proposition that American girls are being « shortchanged, » this comment is rather remarkable.

Boys and Their Mothers

GROWING evidence that the scales are tipped not against girls but against boys is beginning to inspire a quiet revisionism. Some educators will admit that boys are on the wrong side of the gender gap. In 1998 I met the president of the Board of Education of Atlanta. Who is faring better in Atlanta’s schools, boys or girls? I asked. « Girls, » he replied, without hesitation. In what areas? I asked. « Just about any area you mention. » A high school principal from Pennsylvania says of his school, « Students who dominate the dropout list, the suspension list, the failure list, and other negative indices of nonachievement in school are males by a wide margin. »

Carol Gilligan, too, has begun to give boys some attention. In 1995 she and her colleagues at the Harvard University School of Education inaugurated « The Harvard Project on Women’s Psychology, Boys’ Development and the Culture of Manhood. » Within a year Gilligan was announcing the existence of a crisis among boys that was as bad as or worse than the one afflicting girls. « Girls’ psychological development in patriarchy involves a process of eclipse that is even more total for boys, »she wrote in a 1996 article titled « The Centrality of Relationship in Human Development. »

Gilligan claimed to have discovered « a startling pattern of developmental asymmetry »: girls undergo trauma as they enter adolescence, whereas for boys the period of crisis is early childhood. Boys aged three to seven are pressured to « take into themselves the structure or moral order of a patriarchal civilization: to internalize a patriarchal voice. » This masculinizing process is traumatic and damaging. « At this age, » Gilligan told The Boston Globe in 1996, « boys show a high incidence of depression, out-of-control behavior, learning disorders, even allergies and stuttering. »

One can welcome Gilligan’s acceptance of the fact that boys, too, have problems while remaining deeply skeptical of her ideas about their source. Gilligan’s theory about boys’ development includes three hypothetical claims: 1) Boys are being deformed and made sick by a traumatic, forced separation from their mothers. 2) Seemingly healthy boys are cut off from their own feelings and damaged in their capacity to develop healthy relationships. 3) The well-being of society may depend on freeing boys from « cultures that value or valorize heroism, honor, war, and competition — the culture of warriors, the economy of capitalism. » Let us consider each proposition in turn.

According to Gilligan, boys are at special risk in early childhood; they suffer « more stuttering, more bedwetting, more learning problems … when cultural norms pressure them to separate from their mothers. » (Sometimes she adds allergies, attention-deficit disorder, and attempted suicide to the list.) She does not cite any pediatric research to support her theory about the origins of these various early-childhood disorders. Does a study exist, for example, showing that boys who remain intimately bonded with their mothers are less likely to develop allergies or wet their beds?

Gilligan’s assertion that the « pressure of cultural norms » causes boys to separate from their mothers and thus generates a host of early disorders has not been tested empirically. Nor does Gilligan offer any indication of how it could be tested. She does not seem to feel that her assertions need empirical confirmation. She is confident that boys need to be protected from the culture — a culture in which manhood valorizes war and the economy of capitalism, a culture that desensitizes boys and, by submerging their humanity, is the root cause of « out-of-control and out-of-touch behavior » and is the ultimate source of war and other violence committed by men.

But are boys aggressive and violent because they are psychically separated from their mothers? Thirty years of research suggests that the absence of the male parent is more likely to be the problem. The boys who are most at risk for juvenile delinquency and violence are boys who are physically separated from their fathers. The U.S. Bureau of the Census reports that in 1960 children living with their mother but not their father numbered 5.1 million; by 1996 the number was more than 16 million. As the phenomenon of fatherlessness has increased, so has violence. As far back as 1965 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called attention to the social dangers of raising boys without benefit of a paternal presence. He wrote in a 1965 study for the Labor Department, « A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations about the future — that community asks for and gets chaos. »

The sociologist David Blankenhorn, in Fatherless America (1995), wrote, « Despite the difficulty of proving causation in the social sciences, the weight of evidence increasingly supports the conclusion that fatherlessness is a primary generator of violence among young men. » William Galston, a former domestic-policy adviser in the Clinton Administration who is now at the University of Maryland, and his colleague Elaine Kamarck, now at Harvard, concur. Commenting on the relationship between crime and one-parent families, they wrote in a 1990 institute report, « The relationship is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. »

Oblivious of all the factual evidence that paternal separation causes aberrant behavior in boys, Carol Gilligan calls for a fundamental change in child rearing that would keep boys in a more sensitive relationship with their feminine side. We need to free young men from a destructive culture of manhood that « impedes their capacity to feel their own and other people’s hurt, to know their own and other’s sadness, » she writes. Since the pathology, as she has diagnosed it, is presumably universal, the cure must be radical. We must change the very nature of childhood: we must find ways to keep boys bonded to their mothers. We must undercut the system of socialization that is so « essential to the perpetuation of patriarchal societies. »

Gilligan’s views are attractive to many of those who believe that boys could profit by being more sensitive and empathetic. But anyone thinking to enlist in Gilligan’s project of getting boys in touch with their inner nurturer would do well to note that her central thesis — that boys are being imprisoned by conventional ideas of masculinity — is not a scientific hypothesis. Nor, it seems, does Gilligan regard it in this light, for she presents no data to support it. It is, in fact, an extravagant piece of speculation of the kind that would not be taken seriously in most professional departments of psychology.

On a less academic plane Gilligan’s proposed reformation seems to challenge common sense. It is obvious that a boy wants his father to help him become a young man, and belonging to the culture of manhood is important to almost every boy. To impugn his desire to become « one of the boys » is to deny that a boy’s biology determines much of what he prefers and is attracted to. Unfortunately, by denying the nature of boys, education theorists can cause them much misery.

Gilligan talks of radically reforming « the fundamental structure of authority » by making changes that will free boys from the stereotypes that bind them. But in what sense are American boys unfree? Was the young Mark Twain or the young Teddy Roosevelt enslaved by conventional modes of boyhood? Is the average Little Leaguer or Cub Scout defective in the ways Gilligan suggests? In practice, getting boys to be more like girls means getting them to stop segregating themselves into all-male groups. That’s the darker, coercive side of the project to « free » boys from their masculine straitjackets.

It is certainly true that a small subset of male children are, as Gilligan argues, desensitized and cut off from feelings of tenderness and care. But these boys are not representative of their sex. Gilligan speaks of boys in general as « hiding their humanity, » showing a capacity to « hurt without feeling hurt. » This, she maintains, is a more or less universal condition that exists because the vast majority of boys are forced into separation from their nurturers. But the idea that boys are abnormally insensitive flies in the face of everyday experience. Boys are competitive and often aggressive, yes; but anyone in close contact with them — parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, friends — gets daily proof of their humanity, loyalty, and compassion.

Gilligan appears to be making the same mistake with boys that she made with girls — she observes a few children and interprets their problems as indicative of a deep and general malaise caused by the way our society imposes gender stereotypes. The pressure to conform to these stereotypes, she believes, has impaired, distressed, and deformed the members of both sexes by the time they are adolescents. In fact — with the important exception of boys whose fathers are absent and who get their concept of maleness from peer groups — most boys are not violent. Most are not unfeeling or antisocial. They are just boys — and being a boy is not in itself a failing.

Does Gilligan actually understand boys? Does she empathize with them? Is she free of the misandry that infects so many gender theorists who never stop blaming the « male culture » for all social and psychological ills? Nothing we have seen or heard offers the slightest reassurance that Gilligan and her followers are wise enough or objective enough to be trusted with devising new ways of socializing boys.

Every society confronts the problem of civilizing its young males. The traditional approach is through character education: Develop the young man’s sense of honor. Help him become a considerate, conscientious human being. Turn him into a gentleman. This approach respects boys’ masculine nature; it is time-tested, and it works. Even today, despite several decades of moral confusion, most young men understand the term « gentleman »and approve of the ideals it connotes.

What Gilligan and her followers are proposing is quite different: civilize boys by diminishing their masculinity. « Raise boys like we raise girls » is Gloria Steinem’s advice. This approach is deeply disrespectful of boys. It is meddlesome, abusive, and quite beyond what educators in a free society are mandated to do.

DID anything of value come out of the manufactured crisis of diminished girls? Yes, a bit. Parents, teachers, and administrators now pay more attention to girls’ deficits in math and science, and they offer more support for girls’ participation in sports. But who is to say that these benefits outweigh the disservice done by promulgating the myth of the incredible shrinking girl or presenting boys as the unfairly favored sex?

A boy today, through no fault of his own, finds himself implicated in the social crime of shortchanging girls. Yet the allegedly silenced and neglected girl sitting next to him is likely to be the superior student. She is probably more articulate, more mature, more engaged, and more well-balanced. The boy may be aware that she is more likely to go on to college. He may believe that teachers prefer to be around girls and pay more attention to them. At the same time, he is uncomfortably aware that he is considered to be a member of the favored and dominant gender.

The widening gender gap in academic achievement is real. It threatens the future of millions of American boys. Boys do not need to be rescued from their masculinity. But they are not getting the help they need. In the climate of disapproval in which boys now exist, programs designed to aid them have a very low priority. This must change. We should repudiate the partisanship that currently clouds the issues surrounding sex differences in the schools. We should call for balance, objective information, fair treatment, and a concerted national effort to get boys back on track. That means we can no longer allow the partisans of girls to write the rules.


Russie: Ce qui reste du communisme quand on a tout oublié (Last refuge of the scoundrel: For Putin’s new robber baron Russia, anti-Americanism is the name of the game)

25 septembre, 2013
https://i1.wp.com/media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/large/images/digest20033_satter1.jpg
Un des grands problèmes de la Russie – et plus encore de la Chine – est que, contrairement aux camps de concentration hitlériens, les leurs n’ont jamais été libérés et qu’il n’y a eu aucun tribunal de Nuremberg pour juger les crimes commis. Thérèse Delpech
La destruction de l’URSS fut la plus grande catastrophe géopolitique du siècle. Poutine (25.04. 05)
Les dirigeants européens et américains espèrent que les tyrans et les autocrates du monde vont disparaître tout seuls. Mais les dinosaures comme Vladimir Poutine, Hugo Chávez et les ayatollahs iraniens ne vont pas s’effacer comme cela. Ils ne doivent leur survie qu’au manque de courage des chefs du Monde libre. Garry Kasparov
Je veux aller porter le témoignage de notre reconnaissance, éternelle, au combat des Russes lors de cette bataille. (…) Je pense que les Russes sont profondément européens. Ils appartiennent pour une très large part à la civilisation européenne, et c’est une raison suffisante pour mettre en œuvre tous les efforts nécessaires afin de faire progresser cette unité du continent européen. L’avenir commun de la Russie et de l’Europe est dans ce partenariat stratégique qui a été proposé. François Fillon
La politique de « redémarrage » des relations russo-américaines proposée par le président Obama a été interprétée à Moscou comme l’indice de la prise de conscience par les Américains de leur faiblesse, et par conséquent comme une invitation à Moscou de pousser ses pions (…) Le contrat d’achat des Mistrals présente un triple avantage: d’abord, la Russie acquiert des armements de haute technologie sans avoir à faire l’effort de les développer elle-même ; deuxièmement, elle réduit à néant la solidarité atlantique et la solidarité européenne ; troisièmement, elle accélère la vassalisation du deuxième grand pays européen après l’Allemagne. Un expert russe a récemment comparé cette politique à celle de la Chine face aux Etats-Unis : selon lui, à Washington le lobby pro-chinois intéressé aux affaires avec la Chine est devenu si puissant que les Etats-Unis sont désormais incapables de s’opposer à Pékin; la même chose est déjà vraie pour l’Allemagne face à la Russie et elle le sera pour la France après la signature du contrat sur les Mistrals. (…) Aujourd’hui, Moscou (…) se pose en rempart de la civilisation « du Nord », ce qui ne manque pas de sel quand on se souvient avec quelle persévérance Moscou a défendu le programme nucléaire iranien, contribuant grandement à l’émergence de cette « menace » du Sud, et avec quel enthousiasme elle célébrait, il y a un an encore, le naufrage de la civilisation occidentale. (…) On l’a vu dans les années 1930, la présence d’un Etat revanchard sur le continent européen peut réduire à néant toutes les tentatives de fonder un ordre international sur le droit et l’arbitrage. Françoise Thom
During the reform period, which witnessed a massive effort to remake Russian society and the Russian economy, Russia once again fell victim to a false idea. The victory over communism was a moral victory. Millions took to the streets not because of shortages but in protest over communism’s attempt to falsify history and change human nature. As a new state began to be built, however, all attention shifted to the building of capitalism and, in particular, to the creation of a group of wealthy private owners whose control over the means of production, it was assumed, would lead automatically to a free market economy and a law-based democracy. This approach, dubious under the best of conditions, could not but be disastrous in the case of Russia. It meant that, in a country with a need for moral values after more than seven decades of spiritual degradation under communism, the introduction of capitalism came to be seen as an end in itself. (…) The decision to transform the economy of a huge country without the benefit of the rule of law led not to a free market democracy but to a kleptocracy with several dangerous economic and psychological features. (…) Perhaps more important than these economic features, however, was the new system’s social psychology, which was characterized by mass moral indifference. If under communism, universal morality was denied in favor of the supposed “interests of the working class,” under the new reform government, people lost the ability to distinguish between legal and criminal activity. (…) The young reformers were lionized in the West, but, as the years passed and the promised rebirth of Russia did not materialize, arguments broke out in Russia over whether progress was being prevented by the resistance of the Duma, inadequate assistance from the West, or the inadequacies of the Russian people themselves. These arguments, however, had a surrealistic quality because they implicitly assumed that, with the right economic combination, it was possible to build a free market democracy without the rule of law. In fact, a market economy presupposes the rule of law because only the rule of law is able to assure the basis of a free market’s existence, which is equivalent exchange. Without law, prices are dictated not by the market but by monopolization and the use of force. The need for a framework of law was particularly pronounced in the case of Russia because socialism for ordinary Russians, in addition to being an economic system, was also a secular religion that lent a powerful, albeit false, sense of meaning to millions of lives. When the Soviet Union fell, it was necessary to replace not only the socialist economic structures but also the “class values” that gave that system its higher sanction. This could only be done by establishing the authority of transcendent, universal values, which, as a practical matter, could only be assured by establishing the rule of law. David Satter
Russian anti-Americanism is likely to intensify. Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia has no universal ideology capable of inspiring loyalties that transcend national boundaries. Anti-Americanism is a kind of substitute. It allows Russia to carve out a prominent role for itself in world affairs that it could never have if it were concerned only with acting positively. At the same time, the regime is threatened by a deteriorating economy. In the second quarter of this year, growth fell to 1.2%. During the 2000s, the rate was 7.2%. Because of its immense corruption, Russia is critically dependent on high oil prices, and these are supported by Middle East instability. Under such circumstances, the U.S. is not only a helpful distraction but a convenient scapegoat. Mr. Putin is losing support in Moscow, but his defense of the Assad regime evokes nostalgia for the Soviet empire and strengthens his support among the conservative and provincial part of the population. As Mr. Putin’s political position weakens further, his antagonism toward the U.S. will almost certainly increase.(…) At the same time, and probably more important, anti-Americanism can be used to distract Russians from the corruption of the Putin regime and the pillaging of the country. Mr. Putin and his associates stand at the apex of a corrupt system and, according to some estimates, control 15% of the national wealth. During protest demonstrations last year over the falsification of elections, Mr. Putin was openly referred to as a « thief, » a serious development in a society where the charge is widely believed but usually not made publicly. David Satter

Quand la Russie redécouvre les vertus de ce qui reste du communisme quand on a tout oublié

Corruption systématisée, violence institutionnalisée, pillage, indifférence morale généralisée …

A l’heure où, face au plus velléitaire des présidents américains et de la Syrie à l’Iran et à l’Affaire Snowden, la Russie de Poutine semble engranger les succès diplomatiques …

Pendant que, fidèle à son habitude, la France de l’Obama corrézien reprend à son compte avec les bonimenteurs de Téhéran (ou de Moscou pour l’opposition) la politique de « redémarrage » dont on a vu l’efficacité avec la Russie …

Remise des pendules à l’heure avec le politologue américain David Slatter sur une kleptocratie russe …

Réduite, face à une économie étouffée par la corruption, à attiser les flammes de l’instabilité au Moyen-Orient pour faire remonter les prix du pétrole qui ont fait sa fortune …

Et contrainte, face à son discrédit intérieur, à jouer la facile diversion de l’anti-américanisme …

Russia’s Anti-American Foreign Policy

Putin needs high oil prices and a distraction from his domestic troubles.

David Satter

The Wall Street Journal

September 22, 2013

Moscow

The difference in values between the U.S. and Russia—and the subordination of Russian foreign policy to the personal interests of the members of a corrupt regime—should have been obvious to the Obama administration from the beginning. But it did nothing to forestall the policy of « reset. » At the 2009 Moscow Summit, Mr. Obama praised the « extraordinary work » that Vladimir Putin, who was then officially the prime minister, had done for Russia. Mr. Obama described Mr. Putin as « sincere, just and deeply interested in the welfare of the Russian people. »

The praise was never reciprocated, in part because Russian leaders fear and distrust their own population, and they understand that Western advocacy of the rule of law and human rights is a potential threat to their rule. In recent years, U.S. officials have often said that it is difficult to solve the world’s problems without Russia. Unfortunately, it is often even harder to solve them with it.

The U.S. needs three things from Russia: understanding in defense matters, assistance in the war on terror, and help in curbing the ambitions of rogue states. In each case, the record of the Putin regime is one of relentless obstruction.

One source of conflict has been Russian objections to U.S. plans to construct an antimissile shield in Europe to protect U.S. allies against an attack from Iran. Russia has treated the shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent, despite the opinion of Russia’s own experts that the missiles pose no threat to the Russian ICBM force and are intended for a completely different purpose.

In 2009, Mr. Obama canceled plans for antimissile installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, in part to improve U.S.-Russian relations. But the U.S. is now preparing to station interceptors in Romania. In response, Russia is demanding legal guarantees that the missiles will not be used against Russia and is threatening to target U.S. missile-defense sites if there is no agreement.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen described the Russian position as « crazy. » « You can’t in any rational way think that NATO constitutes a threat against Russia, » he told the AP in February 2012. « It’s a complete waste of money to deploy offensive weapons and capabilities against NATO territory. »

Russia has also undermined U.S. efforts to combat terror. Two striking recent examples are the cases of the Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the NSA leaker, Edward Snowden.

Tsarnaev spent six months in the Dagestan region of Russia in 2012 before the attack on April 15. Two of his contacts, Mahmud Nigal, a suspected link with the Islamist underground, and William Plotnikov, a Russian-Canadian Islamic radical, were killed by Russian forces while he was there. Yet the Russians insist that Tsarnaev was not under surveillance in Dagestan and never questioned. If this is true, it is in complete contradiction to all known Russian practice. Tsarnaev left Russia freely through Moscow’s Sheremetevo Airport and the Federal Security Service never warned the U.S. about his contacts in Dagestan.

Russia also showed little concern for efforts to protect U.S. civilians in its decision to shelter Edward Snowden. In light of the quantity and quality of what Mr. Snowden stole, an adequate damage assessment depends on getting him back to the U.S. Until that happens, the efforts of the NSA and other agencies to defend the U.S. against terror are going to be crippled.

Aware of this, Mr. Putin seems to be mainly concerned with subjecting the U.S. to ridicule. The Russian media have published articles about Mr. Snowden’s « new life, » « proposals of marriage » and a future career defending human rights. At the same time, although Mr. Putin said that a condition of Mr. Snowden’s asylum was that he « stop harming our American partners, » the leaks of NSA information have continued.

Russian obstruction of the U.S. has had its gravest consequences, however, in interstate relations. Russia has defended Iran against Western economic sanctions, arguing that they are « a violation of international law. » Moscow also has been unswerving in its support for Bashar Assad in Syria, from voting to block three U.N. Security Council resolutions on sanctions against Syria to insisting that the chemical-weapons attack on Aug. 21 that killed more than 1,400 Syrians was carried out by the rebels.

The U.S. will now try to enforce a U.S.-Russian agreement on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons under conditions in which Russia and Syria can use delay, obfuscation and disinformation to string out the process indefinitely. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition, which has endured chemical-weapons attacks without seeing a serious response from the civilized world, is likely to continue to radicalize.

Russian anti-Americanism is likely to intensify. Unlike the Soviet Union, Russia has no universal ideology capable of inspiring loyalties that transcend national boundaries. Anti-Americanism is a kind of substitute. It allows Russia to carve out a prominent role for itself in world affairs that it could never have if it were concerned only with acting positively.

At the same time, and probably more important, anti-Americanism can be used to distract Russians from the corruption of the Putin regime and the pillaging of the country. Mr. Putin and his associates stand at the apex of a corrupt system and, according to some estimates, control 15% of the national wealth. During protest demonstrations last year over the falsification of elections, Mr. Putin was openly referred to as a « thief, » a serious development in a society where the charge is widely believed but usually not made publicly.

At the same time, the regime is threatened by a deteriorating economy. In the second quarter of this year, growth fell to 1.2%. During the 2000s, the rate was 7.2%. Because of its immense corruption, Russia is critically dependent on high oil prices, and these are supported by Middle East instability.

Under such circumstances, the U.S. is not only a helpful distraction but a convenient scapegoat. Mr. Putin is losing support in Moscow, but his defense of the Assad regime evokes nostalgia for the Soviet empire and strengthens his support among the conservative and provincial part of the population. As Mr. Putin’s political position weakens further, his antagonism toward the U.S. will almost certainly increase.

In the wake of the Russian initiative over Syria, the U.S. is now much more reliant on Russia than it should ever have permitted itself to be. In our fixation with « deliverables, » we forgot that what really matters in relations between states are intangibles, such as good faith. That’s something Mr. Putin has not shown toward America in the past, and U.S. policy makers would be unwise to rely on it in the future.

Mr. Satter is affiliated with the Hudson Institute, Johns Hopkins University and the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He is the author, most recently, of « It Was a Long Time Ago and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past » (Yale, 2011).

Voir aussi:

The Rise of the Russian Criminal State

David Satter

Hoover Digest

July 30, 2003

During the decade following the fall of communism, Russia became mired in poverty and crime. Hoover fellow David Satter explains what went wrong.

Few at that time could have foreseen the outlines of what exists today. Many former communist countries, in the intervening years, experienced a rebirth of freedom, but Russia came to be dominated by poverty, intimidation, and crime.

The reason is that, during the reform period, which witnessed a massive effort to remake Russian society and the Russian economy, Russia once again fell victim to a false idea.

The victory over communism was a moral victory. Millions took to the streets not because of shortages but in protest over communism’s attempt to falsify history and change human nature. As a new state began to be built, however, all attention shifted to the building of capitalism and, in particular, to the creation of a group of wealthy private owners whose control over the means of production, it was assumed, would lead automatically to a free market economy and a law-based democracy.

This approach, dubious under the best of conditions, could not but be disastrous in the case of Russia. It meant that, in a country with a need for moral values after more than seven decades of spiritual degradation under communism, the introduction of capitalism came to be seen as an end in itself.

No Questions Asked

The “young reformers” were in a hurry to build capitalism, and they pressed ahead in a manner that paid little attention to anything except the transformation of economic structures.

“The calculation was sober,” said Aliza Dolgova, an expert on organized crime in the office of the general prosecutor. “Create through any means a stratum in Russia that could serve as the support of reform. . . . All capital was laundered and put into circulation. No measures of any kind were enacted to prevent the legalization of criminal income. No one asked at [privatization] auctions: Where did you get the money? Enormous sums were invested in property and there was no register of owners. A policy similar to this did not exist in a single civilized country.”

Kleptocracy in the Guise of Reform

The decision to transform the economy of a huge country without the benefit of the rule of law led not to a free market democracy but to a kleptocracy with several dangerous economic and psychological features.

In the first place, the new system was characterized by bribery. All resources, at first, were in the hands of the state; businessmen thus competed to “buy” critical government officials. The winners were in a position to buy more officials, with the result that the practice of giving bribes grew up with the system.

Besides bribery, the new system was marked by institutionalized violence. Gangsters were treated like normal economic actors, which tacitly legitimized their criminal activities. At the same time, they became the partners of businessmen who used them as guards, enforcers, and debt collectors.

The new system was also characterized by pillage. Money obtained as a result of criminal activities was illegally exported to avoid the possibility of its being confiscated at some point in the future. This outflow deprived Russia of billions of dollars in resources that were needed for its development.

Perhaps more important than these economic features, however, was the new system’s social psychology, which was characterized by mass moral indifference. If under communism, universal morality was denied in favor of the supposed “interests of the working class,” under the new reform government, people lost the ability to distinguish between legal and criminal activity.

Official corruption came to be regarded as “normal,” and it was considered a sign of virtue if the official, in addition to stealing, also made an effort to fulfill his official responsibilities. Extortion also came to be regarded as normal, and vendors, through force of habit, began to regard paying protection money as part of the cost of doing business.

At the same time, officials and businessmen took no responsibility for the consequences of their actions, even if they led to hunger and death. Government officials helped organize pyramid schemes that victimized persons who were already destitute, police officials took bribes from leaders of organized crime to ignore extortion, and factory directors stole funds marked for the salaries of workers who had already gone months without pay.

Lawlessness

The young reformers were lionized in the West, but, as the years passed and the promised rebirth of Russia did not materialize, arguments broke out in Russia over whether progress was being prevented by the resistance of the Duma, inadequate assistance from the West, or the inadequacies of the Russian people themselves. These arguments, however, had a surrealistic quality because they implicitly assumed that, with the right economic combination, it was possible to build a free market democracy without the rule of law.

In fact, a market economy presupposes the rule of law because only the rule of law is able to assure the basis of a free market’s existence, which is equivalent exchange. Without law, prices are dictated not by the market but by monopolization and the use of force.

The need for a framework of law was particularly pronounced in the case of Russia because socialism for ordinary Russians, in addition to being an economic system, was also a secular religion that lent a powerful, albeit false, sense of meaning to millions of lives. When the Soviet Union fell, it was necessary to replace not only the socialist economic structures but also the “class values” that gave that system its higher sanction. This could only be done by establishing the authority of transcendent, universal values, which, as a practical matter, could only be assured by establishing the rule of law.

A Cautionary Tale

On May 10, 1997, the Greek police found in a shallow grave under an olive tree, two miles from the Athenian suburb of Saronida, the dismembered body of Svetlana Kotova, one of Russia’s top models and a former “Miss Russia.” It was learned that she had been the guest of Alexander Solonik (Sasha Makedonsky), Russia’s number one professional killer who had himself been found strangled three months earlier in the Athenian suburb of Baribobi.

Svetlana’s story evoked intense interest in Russia because of her youth and beauty and because there was something about the romance between a 21-year-old beauty queen and a professional killer that was symbolic of the condition of modern Russia.

Svetlana met Solonik in a Moscow nightclub on New Year’s night, 1997, and traveled to Greece on January 25 at his invitation. She was met at the bottom of the staircase from the airplane with armloads of flowers. Waiting for her was a Mercedes with an elegant chauffeur. The rent on the villa where she stayed was about $90,000 a year. There was a swimming pool, gym, basketball court, golf course, and gardens with sculptures. From the 26th on, she called her mother every evening and said that this was not life but a miracle.

In the villa and in Solonik’s car were a large quantity of firearms and other weapons, but it is not known whether Svetlana was aware of them. For five nights, she lived as if in a dream, but on the 30th, gangsters from the Kurgan criminal organization, a supplier of hired killers to the Russian underworld, arrived at the villa. While they were talking to Solonik, someone threw a thin cord around his neck and strangled him from behind. The visitors then came for Svetlana, who was on the second floor.

When word of Svetlana’s murder was released, the Russian newspapers were full of her pictures: Svetlana with flowing black hair in a long black gown with thin shoulder straps, Svetlana in a bathing suit looking out shyly from behind spread fingers, Svetlana with her head cupped in her hands, Svetlana in an evening dress with her hair off her forehead in a bun. From her appearance, it seemed that no one could have been less prepared for the devilish game that she had fallen into.

Yet the fate of Svetlana Kotova had something in common with the fate of her nation, which was freely delivered into the hands of criminals during the period of reform. The rewards were quick and easy. There was a willful desire not to know.

It remains to be seen whether, in the long run, Russia will share Svetlana’s fate.

David Satter was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution from 2003 to 2008.

Adapted from David Satter’s new book Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State. Published by Yale University Press (800.405.1619).


Désinformation: L’islam était une religion de paix et nous ne le savions pas ! (More whitewash of Islamic antisemitism from Turkish TV producer – courtesy of the Zionist press !)

20 septembre, 2013
https://i2.wp.com/sheikyermami.com/wp-content/uploads/22309-4-8-0b946.jpgGardez-vous des faux prophètes. Ils viennent à vous en vêtement de brebis, mais au dedans ce sont des loups ravisseurs.Vous les reconnaîtrez à leurs fruits. Cueille-t-on des raisins sur des épines, ou des figues sur des chardons?Tout bon arbre porte de bons fruits, mais le mauvais arbre porte de mauvais fruits.Un bon arbre ne peut porter de mauvais fruits, ni un mauvais arbre porter de bons fruits. Jésus (Matthieu 7: 15-18)
Celui qui change de religion, tuez-le. Mahomet (Sahîh de al-Bukhari)
Les musulmans doivent s’approprier le véritable esprit du Coran qui est amour, compassion et faternité pour tous. Sinem Tezyapar
Dans la foi musulmane, il y a un aspect simple, brut, pratique qui a facilité sa diffusion et transformé la vie d’un grand nombre de peuples à l’état tribal en les ouvrant au monothéisme juif modifié par le christianisme. Mais il lui manque l’essentiel du christianisme : la croix. Comme le christianisme, l’islam réhabilite la victime innocente, mais il le fait de manière guerrière. La croix, c’est le contraire, c’est la fin des mythes violents et archaïques. René Girard
La condition préalable à tout dialogue est que chacun soit honnête avec sa tradition. (…) les chrétiens ont repris tel quel le corpus de la Bible hébraïque. Saint Paul parle de  » greffe » du christianisme sur le judaïsme, ce qui est une façon de ne pas nier celui-ci . (…) Dans l’islam, le corpus biblique est, au contraire, totalement remanié pour lui faire dire tout autre chose que son sens initial (…) La récupération sous forme de torsion ne respecte pas le texte originel sur lequel, malgré tout, le Coran s’appuie. René Girard
Les mosquées sont nos casernes, les coupoles nos casques, les minarets nos baïonnettes et les croyants nos soldats. Erdogan (1998)
Ni la mosquée d’Al Aksa, ni le tombeau du prophète Ibrahim ni la tombe de Rachel n’ont été et ne seront jamais des sites juifs, mais uniquement musulmans. Erdogan (mars 2010)
Il serait singulier que la Turquie, elle aussi candidate à l’Union [mais à l’horizon 2008], continue d’occuper militairement une portion de l’organisation qu’elle souhaite précisément intégrer. Fonctionnaire européen (2002)
Nous n’avons jamais cherché à obtenir une bombe nucléaire, et nous n’allons pas le faire. Nous voulons seulement une technologie nucléaire pacifique. Hassan Rohani

Attention: un enfumage peut en cacher un autre !

Révolutions, conflits sunnites-chiites, bombes de l’autre côté du monde, crise économique, violence et désordres en Afrique, troubles dans le Monde arabe, désécration des sites sacrés de Syrie, attentats de Boston et du Texas, 11 septembre, déstabilisation de la Syrie, soutien d’Assad, coup d’Etat égyptien, attaque de requins en Mer rouge, tremblement de terre en Iran, y a-t-il un mauvais coup que les Sionistes n’auront pas fomenté ?

Alors que le dernier pantin en date et prétendu « modéré » de la mollahcratie iranienne nous refait le coup de la main tendue et de l’Iran aspirant à la paix

Comment, à la lecture d’une dénonciation aussi éclatante des méfaits systématiquement attribués à Israël par ses ennemis arabes et musulmans qui se termine de plus par un appel auxdits musulmans à prendre leurs responsabilités pour leurs propres problèmes (et, par ailleurs excusez du peu,… aider les Sionistes à rebâtir leur temple !), ne pas se réjouir de voir autant de lucidité pour une rare fois écrite noir sur blanc ?

Surtout quand de surcroit on découvre l’identité de l’auteur, non seulement musulmane mais productrice de la télévision turque ?

Du moins jusqu’à la dernière phrase où l’on réalise brusquement à quoi on a affaire …

A savoir, faisant l’impasse sur les textes les plus embarrassants dudit Coran (comme,  par parenthèses et sans parler des déclarations d’un certain Erdogan sur « les mosquées-casernes, les minarets-baïonettes et les croyants-soldats », du pays responsable du premier et toujours nié génocide du XXe siècle comme de l’occupation continuée depuis bientôt 40 ans d’un membre de l’Union européenne dont l’impétrante se trouve être la ressortissante)…

A l’habituel refrain sur « le vrai esprit du Coran pétri d’amour, de compassion et fraternité pour tous » …

Reste à voir, si l’on ne peut que se réjouir de voir ainsi lancé noir sur blanc le débat sur les contradictions de l’islam par l’une de ses propres adeptes comme le rappelle l’islamologue américain Robert Spencer, pourquoi la presse sioniste justement semble si empressée de publier tel quel ce petit monument d’enfumage ?

Jewish Press publishes Muslim writer’s whitewash of Islamic antisemitism

Robert Spencer

Jihad watch

Sinem Tezyapar was so proud of this article that she sent it to me directly. I read it with great interest, as we’re constantly told by Muslim and non-Muslim spokesmen in the U.S. that when jihadis justify their violence by referring to the Qur’an and Sunnah that they are misinterpreting and misunderstanding those sources, and that they really teach peace and tolerance. But rare indeed is a detailed explanation of exactly how the Qur’an and Sunnah teach peace and tolerance. So I read this to see if it could fill that gap. No such luck.

In this entire lengthy piece that purports to establish that Islam « does not command war against Jews, » Tezyapar never mentions Qur’an 5:82, which designates the Jews « the most hostile of men to the believers. » She never mentions 5:51, which tells Muslims not to take Jews or Christians as friends and protectors. She never mentions Sahih Muslim 6985, in which Muhammad says that “the last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”

In an article purporting to show that Islam doesn’t command war against Jews, these omissions (and there are others) make the whole piece highly questionable. If Sinem Tezyapar really wanted to strike a blow against Islamic Jew-hatred, she could have explained why those and other passages should not be taken at face value, and shown how Islamic antisemites were actually misunderstanding them (if such a thing could really be done). Pretending they do not exist may fool credulous kuffar into complacency, but it will do nothing to stop Islamic Jew-haters from reading such passages and acting on them.

So why did the Jewish Press publish this exercise in soothing deception?

« Listen to Me: Islam Does Not Command War Against Jews, » by Sinem Tezyapar in the Jewish Press, January 6:

In an op. ed. piece for the Jewish Press, I cited from the Qur’an to show that war is an exceptional matter for Muslims, an unwanted obligation to be fulfilled in limited circumstances, and for defensive purposes only.

In response, I’ve been denounced and accused of being a Trojan horse, the wolf trying to devour Little Red Riding Hood, of not being a Muslim or being the worst kind of liar, misguided, deceiver, of practicing taqiyya, of disseminating propaganda with the intention of deceiving Israelis & Westerners, of using jihadist tactics in disguise, etc.

The most moderate reaction has been that I am young, naive… and don’t know my religion and the real world.

Despite the criticism, I stand behind my words, and I say further that Hamas or any other Islamic group that uses violence against civilians is doing wrong according to the Qur’an and that Jews, Christians, and Muslims must and can live co-exist together in harmony and peace. The reactions to my statements have been along the following lines: “What about the jihad verses in Qur’an? What about taqiyyah? What about abrogation of the verses which counsel peace?”

Let me clarify these misconceptions about Islam so that there is no excuse for warmongers and those who wish to shed oceans of blood.

She then goes on at great length, sidestepping the real issues, and thereby raising the question of whether she really wants to take away the « excuse for warmongers, » or aid and abet them.

Voir aussi:

Muslims, stop blaming Israel
Sinem Tezyapar
Jewish Journal
September 11, 2013

« Whenever calamities befall Muslim-majority nations, there is always a country to blame: Israel. Is there a revolution against a tyrant? Zionists are responsible. Who else could be at fault if there is a clash between Sunni and Shia groups? The Jews. Did a bomb explode on the other side of the world, or is there a problem with the economy? No need look any further than Israel. And where else would the control center for destabilizing the Arab world be? In Tel Aviv, of course!

The late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi blamed Israel for the violence and unrest in Africa. Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that the turmoil in the Arab world is a pro-Zionist conspiracy. Saudi cleric Sheikh Ismae’il al-Hafoufi blamed Israel for the desecration of Islamic holy sites in Syria. Sheik Abd al-Jalil al-Karouri, a Sudanese cleric, pointed to Israel for the Boston and Texas bombings. And then there’s the belief that Zionists planned the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, to demonize Arabs and Muslims in the eyes of the world.

This madness of putting the blame on Zionists — and Israel in general — is a knee-jerk reaction with no basis in logic. The most surprising part is that so many people believe this without question and continue to disseminate such rumors far and wide.

Syria, Egypt, Iran and Lebanon all aggressively hold the “Zionist regime” responsible for their woes. While Bashar Assad accuses Israel of trying to destabilize Syria, the Syrian opposition blames Israel for assisting the Assad regime by giving them diplomatic cover. Both sides see Israel as responsible for all the bloodshed and unrest going on in Syria. Now with the possibility of an international intervention in Syria, Iranian legislators and commanders are issuing blunt warnings, saying any military strike from the United States on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel. Israel’s staying out of the equation, it seems, is simply not possible. Even though Israeli politicians refrain from taking sides in the regional conflicts, all sides point toward Israel anyhow.

On the other hand, we have the Egyptian coup d’état, where we see both sides ascribe blame to Israel. Interestingly, the Egyptian grass-roots protest movement Tamarod blames Israel but urges the Egyptian government not to renege on the Camp David accords. If Israel condemns the violence committed against the anti-coup alliance, she is labeled as an enemy of Egypt and accused of collaborating to destroy the Egyptian army. Even the state-allied newspaper al-Ahram claimed that Israel is in an alliance to demolish the Egyptian army and to balkanize the country. Furthermore, in 2010, an Egyptian government official blamed Israel intelligence for a fatal shark attack off Egypt’s shores.

It must sound like a bizarre joke for some, but this tragicomic situation is quite serious for many in the Middle East. We are no longer surprised to hear Israel’s being the scapegoat for every single evil in the world, but Iran’s blaming the Zionist entity for the deadly earthquake in Iran was pushing the limits of credulity. This, despite the fact that Jews are a handful of people, a tiny population when compared to the overall population of the world.

Now let’s look at what is really going on in the Islamic-Arab world. There is a continuous and unending stream of hate — hate of the Shia, hate of the Wahabbi, hate of the Sunni, hate of the Alawi, hate of the Christians, hate of the Jews and so on. We also see slogans such as: “May God Destroy Israel,” “Down With the United States,” “Damn the West.” Hatred is deeply ingrained in their tradition, in their culture and in their own education. This fierce, venomous style is what is tearing the Islamic world apart; this is exactly what is happening in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan and others — Muslims killing Muslims.

This outcome is the result of intense efforts by some Muslim clerics who encourage hatred of the “other.” Muslims kill each other and then both sides blame the Jews. Wahabbi scholars say that all Sunnis are unbelievers and should be destroyed. Sunni scholars say Shias are unbelievers and their death is obligatory. Shias say that it is obligatory to kill Sunnis, as they are enemies. These are Muslim clerics who are promoting the most violent brand of sectarianism, preaching hatred and calling upon their followers to commit massacres. How do Jews make Muslims kill other Muslims?

When Muslim followers heed these clerical calls for violence, these same clerics turn around and promptly blame the Jews. What about calls for Muslims to not kill each other? What about Muslims unifying to solve their own problems without resorting to violence? What about the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, with its 57 member states, or the League of Arab States, with its 22 states, both which seem utterly helpless to bring about any solutions?

Some religious scholars have led many ignorant people astray with their false teachings, which plant seeds of hate. They implement a faith they have largely invented under the name of Islam — a faith that includes hatred, violence, darkness, which attaches no value to human life. They espouse bloodshed in the name of Islam, spreading hatred toward Christians, Jews and even other Muslims. These loveless, misguided people are most definitely not Muslims, but bigots and radicals.

As Muslims, let’s stop pointing the finger at others for our problems. It is time for the Muslim world to take responsibility and to ponder what has gone so horribly wrong with the Muslim world. Why is there so much bloodshed? Superstitions, innovations, localized traditions and bigotry have replaced the Quran in some Islamic countries, and their religiosity is a deeply artificial one. This hatred has to stop and Muslims must embrace the true spirit of the Quran, which is love, compassion and brotherhood for all.

Sinem Tezyapar is a political and religious commentator from Turkey, and an executive producer at a Turkish TV network.

Voir encore:

Listen to Me: Islam Does Not Command War Against Jews

Sinem Tezyapar
Jewish Press
january 6, 2013

Turkish political and religious commentator Sinem Tezyapar. Turkish political and religious commentator Sinem Tezyapar. In an op. ed. piece for the Jewish Press, I cited from the Qur’an to show that war is an exceptional matter for Muslims, an unwanted obligation to be fulfilled in limited circumstances, and for defensive purposes only.

In response, I’ve been denounced and accused of being a Trojan horse, the wolf trying to devour Little Red Riding Hood, of not being a Muslim or being the worst kind of liar, misguided, deceiver, of practicing taqiyya, of disseminating propaganda with the intention of deceiving Israelis & Westerners, of using jihadist tactics in disguise, etc.

The most moderate reaction has been that I am young, naive… and don’t know my religion and the real world.

Despite the criticism, I stand behind my words, and I say further that Hamas or any other Islamic group that uses violence against civilians is doing wrong according to the Qur’an and that Jews, Christians, and Muslims must and can live co-exist together in harmony and peace. The reactions to my statements have been along the following lines: « What about the jihad verses in Qur’an? What about taqiyyah? What about abrogation of the verses which counsel peace? »

Let me clarify these misconceptions about Islam so that there is no excuse for warmongers and those who wish to shed oceans of blood.

War and violence in the Holy Books

– Admittedly, there are commandments about war in the Qur’an, and those verses pertain to self-defense. The Tanakh and the Gospel also contain provisions about war and violence, and there are verses full of killing, especially in the Torah. The passages about war in those are, just as with the Qur’an, in regard to self-defense. The Torah and the Gospel command peace and love, and contain commandments about love and affection too. A person of love will interpret that in one way, and a cruel person in another. One can interpret it truly if one looks at it sincerely. For instance the Gospel speaks of blood up to the manes of the horses; it speaks of nobody being saved apart from 144,000 Jews. These are actually metaphorical and must be elucidated within the general tone of the Gospel, which is one of love and affection prevailing. But if someone insists on interpreting it in terms of violence, if he adds additional things to it out of his own mind, then a climate of violence will of course ensue. But a real Jew or a real Christian would never murder innocent people simply because there exists verses regarding killings in their Holy Books. In the same way, people who will look at Islam and the Qur’an through the eyes of love will not come up with violent interpretations.

Dictators against Prophets’ divine message

– Let us not forget that the Prophet Mohammed was a prophet who sought to spread the pure faith of the Prophet Abraham, which is faith in God, the One and Only and ascribing no equals to Him, in a pagan society which had been dominated by idol worship. Like many prophets whose names appear in the Tanakh, the Prophet Mohammad has been commissioned for transmitting the message of God. It was impossible for the prophets to make any concessions on this, and they carried the true message, even at the cost of their own lives, to the most extreme leaders of their times and the most perverse communities. Conveying this message sometimes meant to oppose the tyrant Nimrod, as in the case of the Prophet Abraham, and sometimes to oppose dictators such as Pharaoh, as with the Prophet Moses. At all such times, believers found opposition from people who sought to take their lives. Despite circumstances where no one enjoyed freedom of expression, all the prophets communicated God’s message without regard to the cost. And this is no different in Islam as well.

War (qital) and jihad are not the same

– The basic claim of the accusations and reactions trying to portray Islam as violent -God forbid- is that there are verses about jihad in the Qur’an and that these speak of killing. First and foremost, jihad and war are entirely different concepts: Jihad is not synonymous with holy war, as some misguided people think. Jihad means rather exertion, which is to strive, to make effort toward some object identified to the will of God as revealed in the Qur’an. Some worthy objects of jihad include strife against one’s egoistic passions, or to make an intellectual challenge against irreligion, radicalism or fanaticism. One convinces people with scientific and intellectual evidence. To expose the signs of God’s existence, to convey His revelation, to explain the malice of atheistic ideologies etc… These are the legitimate objects of the « jihad » for a Muslim, not beating someone about the head, killing someone or forcing a person to embrace Islam as an act of coercion.

There is also war or combat (qital) in the Qur’an. Whereas jihad is an affirmative duty to confront falsehood with the truth of God, the verses that command war in the Qur’an apply to situations in which a Muslim is called to respond to aggression. In such situations God describes what Muslims may be allowed to do for their own self defense. For instance, if Muslims come under attack; if, their lives, possessions and honor are threatened, if they are being killed and if there is no alternative but to fight, then it becomes obligatory and lawful for Muslims to defend themselves and to come to the aid of the innocent.

Pagan rule and self defense

– In order to understand the Qur’anic prescriptions to war, it is necessary to understand the historical context in which the commandments came. The revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Mohammad was delivered over a period of 23 years. The first thirteen years of this period passed in Mecca, where Muslims lived as a minority and faced much oppression under a pagan rule. At that time, the Arabian peninsula was dominated by Bedouin Arab tribes who wandered about looting, robbing and murdering as a manner of life. They were hooligans that murdered, got drunk and enjoyed killing people. They made war against the Prophet Mohammad and against anyone who followed his teachings. When they were warned not to murder, they kept on murdering. Despite the fact that many Muslims were harassed, dispossessed of their homes, abused, tortured, and even murdered, Muslims strove to co-exist without resorting to any violence and always called pagans to peace. As a matter of fact, the Muslims dug trenches in the Khandaq war as a defensive strategy to avoid conflict as much as possible. They also emigrated (hejira), and ran away from them, but even then the aggressors pursued them.

In sum, nowhere in the Qur’an are Muslims commanded to wage wars of aggression, and certainly not as a means for to propagate Islam. If a community does not attack, and behaves normally, then naturally, there is no call to war. The obligation to war is and remains a limited, unwanted obligation, applicable only to repel attack.

War commandments

– It is not an easy thing to decide to wage war, and Prophet Mohammad was undecided, worrying about whether he would be committing a sin. As the aggressors in question are human beings, he felt a responsibility of conscience and was unable to make a decision. Under these circumstances, God commanded the Prophet Mohammad to kill the polytheists wherever he finds them. However that is a commandment delivered within a context of an ongoing war, not as a method for the propagation of Islam. God commanded: « … Whenever they are made to revert to hostility, they fall headlong into it. Therefore, if they do not keep aloof from you, nor offer you peace nor restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them, wherever you find them. Against these We have given you clear authority. » (Qur’an, 4:91) In this same vein, the Qur’an commands blockade and taking prisoners as a peaceful means of neutralizing a potentially aggressive community (Quran, 9:5). But if a blockade or taking prisoners are not possible, then killing is permissible only as a last resort.

Verses special for a particular time

– In addition, some of the verses that are in regard to the strategic wars are specific to that particular period. There is clearly no such situation at the moment. For instance God informs « if they do not accept conditions of agreement », that refers to a special circumstance. Regarding a battle, God says, « Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, » (Qur’an, 33:10) and describes a a particular situation. Additionally, there are verses that refer to Prophet Mohammad in particular, and verses specific to a particular event. However a Muslim reads with wisdom and takes lessons from whatever is described in the Qur’an, just like a Jew would read the battles in the Torah with meditation.

Commandments for specific situations and general situations are different. The general commands are orders that are valid until the Day of Reckoning. For instance, God informs us to say, « Your religion is to you, our religion is to us. » (Qur’an, 109:6) This is a general verse. In another verse He says « There is no compulsion in religion, » (Qur’an, 2:256); this is also a general verse. And there certainly is no meaning such as to kill disbelievers or people from other religions, God forbid. It is required that a clear and general command should exist in the Qur’an, but there is no such verse or no general command that is still binding to this day.

Taqiyyah

– Taqiyyah is a word which is used to describe justifiable deception on behalf of Islam, and once again, self willed people have pressed this concept to their own purposes. First, as a general matter, taqiyyah only applies in a specific situation where a person is coerced to renounce Islam under the threat of violence. Under that exceptional circumstance, it is acceptable to renounce Islam with the mouth, while not actually doing so in the heart or the conscious mind. However, the notion that taqiyyah represents some broad license to commit « pious fraud » against non-Muslims is wholly incorrect. Just as the object of any truly Islamic jihad must be circumscribed to the revealed will of God in the Qur’an, likewise there can be no truly pious act of deception that conflicts with God’s command.

Abrogation

– Some people suggest that the verses sent down during the Meccan period and those sent down during the period of Medina are different, and that verses about peace have been annulled. Those claims are unfounded. All the verses of the Qur’an are valid, from beginning to end. It is disbelief to speak of the annulment of any of God’s commandments. These are ideas some people have invented for themselves, and therefore have no validity whatsoever. No commandment in the Qur’an can cease to apply. It is not acceptable to annul a verse on the basis of fabricated hadiths and of historical information. It must be kept in mind that no hadith (saying of the Prophet Mohammad) can conflict with the Qur’an. If it does, it is not an authentic hadith.

Evidence only from the Qur’an

– There is no need to look to another source when the verses of the Qur’an are so explicit. All kinds of stories appear in various historical sources, and every society has its own stories. There is the history of the Umayyad, the Abbasid, the Iranians etc., and they are all very different. We do not know what is objectively true in ancient history, therefore they are not evidence against Islam. About the hadith resources; the criteria of its authenticity is its coherence with the Qur’an. Most strife and conflict has been the result of misinterpretation and misinformation of history. That is also why the Islamic world is fragmented at the moment. The false fabrications of people today or in the past are of no concern to us; the person who applies things wrongly is in manifest error. If people have falsely made things up, their actions have nothing to do with religion itself.

In addition, the Qur’an is a whole and every verse expounds one another. So any verse from the Qur’an should be interpreted within the spirit of the Qur’an. If somebody picks one verse from the Qur’an and tries to implement it out of its context or without the knowledge of the general spirit of the Qur’an, he might practice it falsely. Most of the time, even with the explicit statement, there are conditions or exceptions explained. God warns people « Do you then believe in a part of the Book and disbelieve in another part ? » (Qur’an, 2:85)

Protecting unbelievers

– In the Qur’an, God says if any unbeliever asks you for protection, give them protection and escort them to a place where they are safe (Qur’an, 9:6). Thus, Muslims have the responsibility to protect even the unbelievers when they seek protection. This means a Muslim may have to give his life to protect the unbelievers and this is a must in the Qur’an. How can one claim that a Book which makes it a rule for Muslims to protect the unbelievers would make it a rule for them kill everyone if they do not believe? And there is no point in claiming otherwise because they have the right to live as unbelievers as God says there is no compulsion in religion.

Social life with the People of the Book

– According to the Qur’an, Christians and Jews, are people Muslims can marry, live with, and eat with, as People of the Book. Under Islam, one person has a Christian wife and another a Jewish wife; one person worships at the synagogue, another at the church and yet another at the mosque. Meanwhile, they all live in peace. This provision alone is more than sufficient evidence that Muslims are bound to live together with Christians and Jews in a climate of peace and love. If a Muslim trusts and loves a woman enough to eat what she cooks, and enough to raise his children, why would he want to kill her? Which part of a true book would advise Muslims to kill their wives? Therefore, the entire idea that Muslims are authorized to kill Christians and Jews collapses into its own absurdity.

God commands peace

– God does not love war. God does not love bloodshed. God does not want people to die by violence. God says in the Qur’an that killing someone for no reason is like killing all of mankind (Qur’an, 5:32) and He further says the punishment for killing someone is eternal hell. The commandments of these verses are quite clear. Almighty God does not want strife and conflict in this world. God says that the essential thing is peace; He tells people to enter the abode of peace (Qur’an, 10:5). He also tells us to hold to forgiveness (Qur’an, 7:9) and to enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil (Qur’an, 9:71); He does not tell us to kill and slaughter. That must not be forgotten.

In Conclusion

– I am a devout believer who strongly believes that the message of Islam, Judaism and Christianity is the same: Peace. The vision of all the Abrahamic religions talk about the coming of a better world, without pain, hunger, hatred and war. I know that in my own religious community, there are fanatics who believe that my religion should fight against those who do not embrace it and force them till they accept. But I disagree with them. What is more I believe that I have far better proof that the radicals distort the true meaning of my religion. Therefore I say, let us unite against terrorism, radicalism and bigotry, and help each other by building bridges accross the rift that the radicals work so hard to dig.

About the Author: Sinem Tezyapar is an executive producer on Turkish Television. She is a political and religious commentator and a peace activist. She can be reached on Facebook, and Twitter.

Voir également:

Activist: Al Jazeera TV Misrepresented Pro-Israel Muslim

Sinem Tezyapar
Jewish Press
April 26, 2013

Sinem Tezyapar, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, has written The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on behalf of Turkish Muslim leader Adnan Oktar, regarding an Al-Jazeera TV interview with Oktar, dated September 28, 2007, titled “Turkish Thinker Adnan Oktar Tells about His Struggle against the Freemasons.”

According to Tezyapar, Oktar’s references to Zionism in the video are not subtitled correctly.

“I assume that Al Jazeera might have edited and translated them in a way that is coherent to its own ideology,” she notes, saying that “if you will listen to the Turkish original uncut film which was recorded and broadcast on Harun Yahya (Oktar’s literary pseudonym) websites,” he does not object to Zionism. He merely entertains the idea that had Zionism been an expansionist ideology, Oktar would have resisted it. But the Arabic voice over translation depicts him as actually objecting to Zionism.

In her letter to MEMRI, Tezyapar provides the original Turkish transcript, and the following English translation:

ADNAN OKTAR: Zionism is the same, of course. If there is an ideology that aims to rule the world, that rejects other religions, that claims the dominion of a single religion and rejects other people and tries to impose its ideology on them, I will of course fight it. But if somebody does not espouse such ideas, then there is nothing I can say. The Jews are a People of the Book. If they want to practice their own religion, if they want to live in their own country, they should stay and live freely in their own country. I respect that, but, if they say “This is not enough for me. I am going to rule the whole world and will destroy all other religions, so that only I survive”, that I cannot accept.

Tezyapar then requests that the service edit the clip accordingly, or remove it altogether, since it is misleading. She offers “many links where Mr. Adnan Oktar advocates the rights of Jews to dwell in the Holy Land, to have their own sovereign state.”

We’ll keep you posted.

In an Ocean of Islamic Hatred We Discovered True Friends

Sinem Tezyapar
Jewish press
April 22, 2013

The Jewish Press has been widely and wildly criticized for giving voice to a young Turkish, Muslim author named Sinem Tezyapar, who is, essentially, a spokesperson for author and television personality Adnan Oktar, pen named Harun Yahya, also a Turkish religious Muslim.

Oktar and his followers (feel free to use the terms “Sect” or “Cult,” it’s not anything they haven’t heard before) are no friends of the secularist establishment in Turkey. Oktar himself has done some serious time in Turkish prison, and his followers live in constant fear of persecution. They are also hated and regularly harassed by fascistic Muslims such as the Al Qaida thugs.

After a fairly jaded start, in which Oktar, or people in his employ, published several books denying the Holocaust and attacking Israel, this Muslim leader began a kind of transformation. He became better acquainted with Judaism and with Zionist history through some new Jewish friends (e.g. Jerusalem-based writer Ehud Tokatly) he was making over the Internet. He recognized his mistakes, apologized for the Holocaust denial book–which he had not authored, and started forging a brand new Muslim vision of a peaceful Middle East in which Israel is not only a Jewish Homeland ruling over its entire biblical territory, but also a place where the Jewish Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem to become the center of adoration by the entire faithful world.

In addition, Adnan Oktar has played host to major Jewish and Israeli figures, including former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Lau, the late Rabbi Menachem Froman, and several past and present Israeli politicians, including many of the Shas leadership.

Sinem Tezyapar, essentially representing her teacher’s lessons, has been laboring over the virtual pages of The Jewish Press to debate against Islamic antisemitism, and presenting through cited verses a positive and optimistic vision of the Koran. At every turn, she has expressed nothing but love and acceptance of Jews and the Torah tradition. I’ve been responsible for bringing her work to this website and for preparing it for publication, and so I’ve been intimately familiar with it. There are no false notes here, no hidden agendas.

And so I was taken aback by the vitriolic response of so many of our readers, who attacked Sinem either as a naïve simpleton who doesn’t really understand what a hateful religion she follows, or a sinister Svengali, looking to trap innocent Jews in her web of lies.

At this stage of the game, the caustic debate has spread beyond our own website, to dedicated websites and Facebook pages, intended to smear both the author and us, the supposedly duped Jewish Press. That’s why I feel compelled to respond, so that we’re on the record, rather than to allow some outsider decide what our position might be.

For the record, then, and please feel free to copy and paste this to your hearts’ content (you got that, Israel Matzav?), here are the reasons why The Jewish Press has been publishing these articles:

First, Sinem and Oktar are not promoting terrorism, on the contrary, they openly and unequivocally denounce violence, hatred, anti-Semitism and terrorism.

That’s huge. As a Jew, member of a persecuted minority, my first inquiry regarding a gentile person must be: is he interested in killing me? It’s also recommended to anyone else when picking friends and loved ones, but to Jews it’s absolutely essential.

So, while millions of Muslims want me dead in many different hellish ways, these folks from Istanbul don’t. I find it refreshing and a very good start towards a better future. In fact, once I’m convinced—and I am—that they don’t want me dead, I don’t really care how truly devout they are, how chaste they are (or are not), and what are their preferred peccadilloes. It’s a group of monotheistic gentiles what don’t want me dead – I’m totally happy.

Second, they are preaching an alternative interpretation of Islam, promoting peace, love, tolerance and democracy.

They live in Turkey, for crying out loud, don’t you think they know that most Muslim leaders and followers the world over disagree with them? But they have the courage, even the chutzpah, to tell the world—and they publish unabashedly on Muslim and Arab websites as well—what Islam should be.

Unlike some American sitting in his Mom’s basement, typing away how naïve Sinem is, she is actually putting her money—and her life—where her keyboard is. And she’s doing it patiently, humbly, never an angry word, never a snappy retort. I couldn’t do it, honestly.

So we discovered these lovely Muslim peaceniks, who are lovey-dovey about Jews and Israel, and who completely ignore the grim realities of a billion Muslims out there who hate us. Fine. It still means these strange Muslim don’t want me dead, right? That definitely goes on the plus side in my ledger.

Third, they support Israel’s right to exist as an independent Jewish State, based on the Koran, they pray for the coming of the King Mashiach ben David, they support the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, they oppose Holocaust denial, they support the rebuilding of the Third Temple on the same Temple Mount. Is it any wonder they are being accused by radical Islamists that they are Zionist agents?

A recent Al Qaida attack in Istanbul, I’m told, was in retaliation for Oktar’s hosting of Rabbi Lau. So, Muslim peaceniks, don’t want to kill me, and they’re saying my country belongs to me. Beats my European friends who say I must give away another two thirds of my country so that my neighbors might agree I have the right to exist.

Fourth, it is in our own interest to embrace friends of the Jews and of Israel. Plenty of Jews happily embrace messianic evangelicals who write openly that all they want is for us to convert to Christianity, and they even know that we’re all going there, like it or not, when That Man supposedly returns. We trumpet any pope who says we no longer have to pay for crucifying what’s his name. We’re a tiny nation, we can’t afford to scoff at anyone who wants to be our friend and lives up to it.

So, please, people, get with it. We’re in a war for our lives in which every friend counts. Enough with the crazy talkbacks.

A New Muslim Vision: Rebuilding Solomon’s Temple Together

Sinem Tezyapar
Jewish press
March 12, 2013

The unique importance of the Temple Mount to Judaism and to Islam makes the location vulnerable to tensions and conflicts between Jews and Muslims. Usually, these incidents originate in rumors such as: “The Jews are coming today to bomb the mosques and build their Third Temple.” Obviously, false accusations and baseless suspicions like these turn the site from a holy place of prayer and love into a site of violent political demonstrations. And, consequently, potential escalation of tension brings more restrictions and discomfort to all. Who benefits from this? Surely not the believers.

While the Israeli government ensures limited public access to the Temple Mount regardless of religious beliefs, only Muslims are allowed to pray at the place, which is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. Otherwise, the government has prohibited everyone except Muslims from worshipping there since 1967, due to security concerns. Nevertheless, Muslims, too, are occasionally restricted. The Jordanian Waqf which administers the site has restricted non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque since the year 2000. What’s more, non-Muslim religious symbols are not allowed to be worn while entering the site.

Freedom of worship is an essential issue. The Temple Mount, where the First and Second Temples stood, is the holiest place to the people of Israel. However, it is no less holy to both Muslims and Christians. Since this is a location that God has announced to be a “house of prayer for all nations,” it should be a place of festivity for all believers. As all who call on the God of Abraham are brothers, Jews and Christians should be able to offer prayers there in dignity and peace along with Muslims. To cast believers out from such a place, to prevent worship there, is a heinous and, quite frankly, cruel policy, which is an offense not only to men, but to Islam. God Himself condemns anyone who forbids worship:

“And who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of God, God’s name should be celebrated?-whose zeal is (in fact) to ruin them? It was not fitting that such should themselves enter them except in fear. For them there is nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the world to come, an exceeding torment.” (Koran 2:214)

Likewise, the Tanakh declares the will of God to make this unique spot a common sanctuary where all people learn to coexist and pray together: “For then will I turn clear language to the Nations, that they may all call upon the name of God, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9)

Anywhere one prays to the One and Only Almighty God is a house of prayer. Therefore, it is an atrocious thing to forbid anyone from praying at the Temple Mount. The longings of Bnei Israel to pray in that place can never be an offense to a Muslim. On the contrary, it is very pleasant to see Jewish people praying at the Temple Mount. Indeed, all the faithful people should be able to pray there. As a matter of fact, in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and others houses of worship, foreign tourists often come and pray. Some perform their religious obligations according to their own faith, and it is something quite beautiful to see.

As a devout Muslim, I take pleasure when Jews pray to Almighty God, and their praying anywhere in the world, including at the Temple Mount, would be a glad tiding for me as well.

As a devout Muslim, it would be a joy for me to see Prophet Solomon’s Temple rebuilt as well. No, you did not hear me wrong. Prophet Solomon’s Temple being rebuilt in all its magnificence and glory would be a great delight for me, as it would be to any Muslim. Under different circumstances, in an atmosphere of trust, love and brotherhood, Muslims would welcome this with enthusiasm. The Temple of Solomon is also a historically important place, and rebuilding it would be a wonderful occasion for all believers to contemplate. Every Muslim, every believer, will want to experience the spirit of those days again, and strive to bring the beauty of those days back to life. Actually, it is everyone’s aspiration for that city to be adorned, to be beautified, and to regain the magnificent glory it had in the days of the Prophet Solomon.

Solomon’s Temple being rebuilt does not entail any harm to these shrines. So I beg my Muslim brothers and sisters not to take my words in a direction that I do not intend. They should not feel unease at all, because the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock will stand until the Last Day. Nobody will be able to harm them, because they are under the protection of God.

There is a broad expanse of land around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The land there is quite convenient in that respect, and the Temple can be placed just a little way from Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and a little ahead of Masjid el-Aqsa.

The Prophet Solomon—King Solomon as the Jews call him—is a prophet to Muslims too. All Muslims have profound love for him. Prophet Solomon had a superior understanding of beauty and aesthetics, and no doubt, rebuilding of his Temple in its original form would be a splendid undertaking. Decorated exactly as it was, with the same beautiful ornaments, covered in gold, adorned with fruit trees and beautiful gardens, and restored to its former glory, would be splendid!

It is of course very exciting to remember those beautiful days, to rebuild this beautiful compound, and let this beautiful prayer house be open to all. This very much excites me as a Muslim and excites other believers as well. The very thought of Christians, Jews and Muslims cooperating to rebuild this house of worship, together hand in hand, and worshipping there together, is a matter of joy.

Think of the waste of energy and resources consumed all over the world by the contention between Arabs and Jews, which could be used to beautify these holy places, to put them in a brilliant state, instead! There is plenty of space, and there are overwhelmingly sufficient resources for everyone to live there in peace and tranquility and enjoy their freedom of worship.

How have we allowed these unending wars, sporadic clashes, security walls, unnecessary discrimination and restrictions to bar us from being able to embrace each other as brothers? Why do we take it for granted that we are under any obligation to perpetuate these senseless conflicts? Why does everyone simply presume that this is the way things are meant to be? We all want suffering to end and peace to prevail in the region! Obviously we cannot achieve this peace as long as we lack the spirit of unity.

The Jews have the exact same vision, with the Third Temple being a center for all believers, not only for Jews:

“Also the aliens, that join themselves to God, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of God, to be His servants… Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” (Isaiah 56:6-7)

We will rebuild—not only the Temple of Solomon, but those of all the prophets too. As a matter of fact, apart from the Prophet Solomon’s Temple, the other prayer houses of other prophets, the places where they inhabited, should be rebuilt as well. The places where they worshiped should be restored and glorified. Similarly, they should be opened, and Christians, Muslims and Jews should be allowed to visit them at the same time. The places where the Prophets Abraham, Joseph, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron lived should be restored and beautified also.

The main entrance to the Old City is the Jaffa Gate. This gate was built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1538. The name in Arabic, Bab el-Halil, or Hebron Gate, means “The Beloved,” and refers to Prophet Abraham. In the entrance hall of the Gate, there is a stone on which the following text is engraved: “There is only one God and Abraham is his friend.” It is written this way because Jews and Christians were also using this gate along with Muslims, and the text refers to our common belief in the Prophet Abraham. So this should be the spirit in this site: We all worship the same One God and we are all children of Prophet Abraham!

Let us embrace each other with respect and love! Let us talk together, and envision better days in which we can all pray, and unite in celebration and brotherhood in this Prayer House of our blessed Prophet Solomon, and praise the glory of Almighty God together! Let every Christian, every Muslim, every Jew unite in this one godly desire! Let us endeavor to achieve this together, and let us believe that it is possible for everyone to perform their prayers in joy and peace!

Much of What You Think You Know about Islam Is Wrong (Video)

Sinem Tezyapar
Jewish press
January 17, 2013

Editor’s Note: Some of the terminology used by this Muslim author to describe the relationship between God and people is foreign to us. Notions of God “cursing” people for their actions have long been cast off by our own Rabbinic tradition. But restraint and openness are essential if we are to admit into our intellectual environment Muslim voices that seek to dialog with us. In your comments, we encourage you to challenge any point you wish. But we ask that you not denigrate the character, honesty, sincerity and courage of Ms. Tezyapar. This article is a response to antisemitic notions common among some Muslims, and expressed in a vile video made by Egyptian Cleric Mahmoud Al-Masri. Yori Yanover

It is important for people to understand the context of the verses and hadiths regarding the Jews, and it is particularly important for Muslims to understand them properly. Taking verses or hadiths out of context leads not only to poor understanding, it leads to prejudicial attitudes and outright hatred of people who have done nothing wrong. Perhaps even worse is the hypocrisy of those who wish to impose their extremist views by selecting particular verses and hadiths and deliberately distorting the meaning.

Thus it is important to stand against such despicable tactics and to speak out when these are used as a way of incitement. Here are a few of the main examples that cause a prejudiced mindset among many and are frequently misused as political propaganda by certain Islamic groups.

Why It Is a False Statement to Say Jews Are Cursed or Apes According to Islam?

Those Muslims who say “All Jews are cursed” are mistaken. They do not understand the Qur’an. They do not pay attention to the provisions in the Qur’an and interpret it only superficially. Yet if they read the verses with care, they would know that God would never issue an unjust commandment.

Every child is born innocent; this is a fundamental aspect of Islamic theology. How can a child be born cursed? Such a claim is incompatible with God’s justice. Such people are ignorant of the existence and attributes of God. They think that God could commit such an injustice. They think a child can be born cursed for reasons beyond its control, cursed for no crime, and that no matter what it does it can never escape that curse. This has nothing to do with Islam. To expect such injustice from God means to truly not understand Him. No true believer in God could ever say this. In the Qur’an

God says:

“They said ‘Our hearts are wrapped up in covers.’ Nay, God has cursed them for their disbelief. Little is that which they believe.” (Qur’an, 2:88) They have obviously failed to pay attention to what is set out in the verse. Why does God curse people? For disbelief. If someone denies God’s commandments and does not repent, and if God does not forgive him, he will go to hell; that person is already cursed. God imposes the condition of denial. God does not say ‘I have cursed every Jew, I regard them as cursed en masse.’ He says He curses people who deny Him. Some people who have set themselves up as hodjas and scholars misunderstand this and use it as anti-Jewish propaganda. In another verse, God informs the crimes of some people from the community of the Prophet Moses:

“And for their covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) we said: ‘Enter the gate with humility’; and (once again) we commanded them: ‘Transgress not in the matter of the sabbath.’ And we took from them a solemn covenant. (They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant; that they rejected the signs of God; that they slew the Messengers in defiance of right; that they said, ‘Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve God’s Word; We need no more)’;- Nay, God hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, and little is it they believe.” (Qur’an, 4:154-155)

Yet all the things listed in these verses are crimes. God lists those actions that are unlawful. People are cursed because of these, and those who commit them in any case go to hell. What about the provision regarding people who do not do these? Why should they be cursed?

God imposes these conditions and says that people who do these things are cursed. God also speaks of the existence of believers. Believers are obviously not cursed. God does not regard people as cursed if they abide by His commandments. People who are immoral, who are cruel or declare war on God’s commandments are cursed. People who do these things in any case go to hell. There are also Muslims who will go to hell. If they disobey God’s commandments, then they go to hell, and they are cursed. It is wrong to ascribe this to the Jews alone, or to interpret it in such a way as to apply only to Jews. God regards all those who declare war on His commandments as cursed. Many people misunderstand this.

The Qur’an refers to the community of the Prophet Moses who must abide by the Torah. God sometimes mentions their crimes and sometimes their good acts. For instance, in one verse we are informed about the existence of righteous Jews as such: “Of the people of Moses there is a section who guide and do justice in the light of truth.” (Qur’an, 7:159)

This is actually very similar to the threat of a curse in the Torah. God explains the potential curses in great detail in Deuteronomy, chapter 28 if they don’t obey the His commandments and the reason for this curse is stated as such:

“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country… All these curses will come upon you… because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees He gave you…” (Deuteronomy, 28:15-45)

Furthermore some Muslims unwisely say that all Jews are apes based on this verse:

“When they disregarded the warnings that had been given them, We rescued those who forbade Evil; but We visited the wrong-doers with a grievous punishment because they were given to transgression. When in their insolence they transgressed (all) prohibitions, We said to them: ‘Be ye apes, despised and rejected.’” (Qur’an, 7:165-166)

However, God says that they are cursed if they rebel or insist on doing something they should not. God does not call people apes if they do not rebel against His commandments but some Muslims fail to understand this and say Jews are all humiliated like apes. God does not say this unless they rebel against Him.

It is also important to remember that God curses people because of their denial. If a Muslim stands in denial, then he is cursed as well. This is a valid statement for all people, and thus Muslims are also addressed in these verses. To present this as a curse on all Jews or calling them all apes is against the Qur’an. Most of those who say such things are mistaken and they expound on these verses falsely. However the verses are more than clear, and God discriminates between innocent people and those regarded as cursed, and He explains the conditions of what causes some to be cursed in a clear and straightforward manner.

Why It Is a False Statement to Say Jews Are the Army of Dajjal (Anti-Messiah) According to Islam?

People keep asking me if Islam is as I say, then why there is so much hatred and violence among the Muslims. And the answer is given by the Prophet of Islam 1,400 years ago. He reveals the hypocrisy prevalent in the Muslim community in the End Times as such:

“Such a time will befall my community that rulers will be oppressive and scholars will be avaricious and without fear of Allah, those who worship will be hypocritical…” (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 23, p. 22)

In another hadith (saying of Prophet Mohammed) he says:

“People will spring up in the End Times: but their brains will not function. They will speak fine words when they. The will read the Qur’an, but their faith will go no further than their throats…” (Buhari, 3611, 5057, 6930, Muslim, 1066, Abu Dawud 4767, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Musnad 1, 81, 113, 131, 289; Al-Tayalisi, al-Musnad, no. 1984.)

So it is clear that people will read the Qur’an but not think and live according to the teachings of the Qur’an. This is what I call the religion of the bigots. They implement a faith they have largely invented themselves under the name of Islam. And in this faith there is hatred, violence, darkness. These people who follow the religion of bigotry are the enemies of beauty, art, aesthetics and science as well as women, children etc. They attach no value to human beings and their hearts are far removed from love or compassion.

This is why their life and spirit contradicts the Qur’an concerning love, peace, affection, brotherhood and unity; and the Qur’an encourages beauty, art and science. They only speak hostility and they espouse bloodshed in the name of Islam, spread hatred toward Christians, Jews and even other Muslims. These loveless, misguided people are most definitely not Muslims, but bigots or radicals -however you would like to name them. And this is why we also see hatred for Jews in their mindset.

In Islamic eschatology, there is a hadith that the dajjal (anti-messiah/anti-christ) will come and will be followed by 70,000 Jews.

“Seventy thousand people from the Jews of Isfahan with turbans and gowns will follow the antichrist.” (Muslim, At-Taj Ali Nasif al-Husayn, vol. 5, p. 627)

Based on this hadith, some people who present themselves as Muslim clerics falsely claim that all Jews will be the army of the dajjal, in other words anti-messiah. It goes without saying that this hadith is not referring to each and every Jewish man, woman or child. It is referring specifically only to some who are against God’s way. Like many things from the Qur’an and hadiths, this particular example has been taken out of context and used by extremists to justify their desire to commit wanton slaughter.

However there is an apparent evidence to this hypocrisy. In another hadith, Prophet Mohammed says that “Seventy thousand scholars from my community, all wearing turbans, will follow the dajjal [anti-messiah].” (Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, p. 796)

In referring to the people who will follow the anti-messiah in the hadith, Prophet Muhammed speaks in particular of those who are from the Islamic community and what is more, he draws attention to the ones who regard themselves as scholars.

The army of the anti-messiah will emerge from every religion, and they will constitute bigots who seek to damage their own faiths and the world. Among them there will be Muslims, Jews, Christians and others who are insincere in their faith and who are removed from God’s will. As a matter of fact, backwardness, fanaticism and bigotry is a real threat to Islam as well as to all humanity. Prophet Mohammed himself also warns against this threat:

“My community will be destroyed because of evil scholars and ignorant servants.” (Darimi)

And in another one he says: “Such a time will come that scholars will be an element of mischief.” (Abu Nuaim)

These statements are all talking about the corruption and mischief among the Muslim community. The harm done by some religious scholars is highly destructive to be sure because they lead many ignorant people astray with their false teachings. And just as it was in history, to this day they are largely responsible for the disasters that have befallen Islamic states.

Mahdi (King Messiah) Will Surely Not Kill Jews:

These people who misuse the hadiths while referring to Jews as an army of the anti-messiah also claim that the Mahdi will kill all the Jews. This is far from the truth. This anti-Jewish hatred does not reflect anything about Islam.

First of all, the Mahdi that Muslims are waiting is the same holy person that the Jews are waiting for as King Messiah and this leader’s attributes are similar in both Islamic and Judaic accounts. The Mahdi will govern the world through love, not through war. He is someone who avoids war, a man of peace, who is full of love and compassion for all humanity. The way he will operate is described as follows in the hadith:

In the time of [Mahdi/King Messiah] no one will be woken up from their sleep or have a bleeding nose. (Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi ‘Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 44)

“People will seek refuge in the Mahdi [King Messiah] as honey bees cluster around their sovereign. He will fill the world that was once full of cruelty with justice. His justice will be as such that he will not wake a sleeping person not even one drop of blood is shed. The earth will return to the age of happiness.” (Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi ‘Alamat al-Mahdi al-Muntazar, p. 29 and 48)

“Enmity and hatred between people will cease… Like the cup fills with water, so will earth fill with peace… There will be religious unity. Nobody but Allah will be worshiped. War will put down its burden.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, 10:334)

The climate of peace in the time of King Messiah -the Mahdi- is described very similarly in the Judaic scriptures:

“… In the last days… He [the Lord]… will settle disputes for many peoples… Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Isaiah, 2:2-4; Micah, 4:1-3) “…

Burn them [the weapons] up—the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears… They will use them for fuel… declares the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezekiel, 39:9-10)

Consequently it is not only false information that the Mahdi will kill Jews, but it is also against Islamic theology in every way, shape and form. “Not one drop of blood will be shed” is an indisputable expression and thus the Mahdi will not shed the blood of anyone from any religion.

According to Islam, Muslims Should Not Be at War With Jews

Sinem Tezyapar
The Jewish press

December 12th, 2012

As a Muslim, I have to clarify regarding some false ideas that have been taken for granted as “Islamic.” What goes between Israel and Palestine is an artificial conflict and, what’s more, it is against Islam from several points:

Relations with Jews: Muslims are not at war with Jews. According to the Qur’an, Jews have a special status as “People of the Book” and Muslims can establish good relations with them through marriage and the sharing of food. Kosher food is also lawful for Muslims to eat and permission has been given for Muslim men to marry Jewish women. So from an Islamic perspective, this shows that there can be no obstacle to living together and in harmony, and this is clear evidence that enable the formation of warm human relationships and tranquil togetherness between Jews and Muslims.

War only for self-defense: From an Islamic point of view, there can be only defensive war and war is only an unwanted obligation when one’s life, security and honor is under attack. Muslims do not attack, they can only defend themselves. War has to be inevitable at the point that one has to defend oneself. Even if it is considered obligatory for self-defense, it has to be carried out with strict observance of humane and moral values. To put it in another way, God granted permission for war only for defensive purposes, and Muslims are warned against the use of unnecessary violence. “Fight in the Way of God against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. God does not love those who go beyond the limits.” (Qur’an, 2:190)

In another verse, God commands justice and warns Muslims against feeling rage toward enemies, so that their judgments are not impaired: “You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of God, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to heedfulness…” (Qur’an, 5:8) I don’t accept any kind of hatred between people, but even at those times when they are not strong enough to overcome their anger, they still are responsible to be just.

Protecting peace: When there is a peace treaty, both sides should adhere to the peace agreement meticulously, and commit not to attack to each other. Especially for Muslims, after making a peace agreement, according to the Qur’an one has to watch out to protect it and abide by it. This the way according to the Qu’ran. God says: “If they incline to peace, you too incline to it…” (Qur’an, 8:61) In the case of the Palestine-Israel conflict, when one side fires rockets at the other side, the other side is fully entitled (and obligated) to protect its citizens. If there is a peace agreement, in times of peace launching rockets from Gaza is a violation of the Qur’an. When Hamas fires rockets, it’s not firing rockets only at Israel, but at its own people as well; Israel retaliates and it becomes inevitable that civilians, including innocent children, are severely effected by this. The same goes for Israel.

Protection of civilians: There is no justification in the Qur’an for killing innocent people. God says that this is like killing all mankind (Qur’an, 5:32). It is a sin to target civilians or be reckless of their security during an attack. When Hamas launches rockets over Israel, there is no aim, no precise target, and thus these rockets fall sometimes on empty land but sometimes onto the homes of innocent Israeli civilians. It is a sin to take an innocent life, and it is also a sin to cause disorder, to cause people to panic. Another important matter is that Islam absolutely forbids suicide attacks. God says: “Do not kill yourselves.” (Qur’an, 4:29) Consequently, killing oneself and killing other people are both prohibited in Islam. The right to live in the Holy Land: It is against any conscience and above all against the Qur’an to tell Jews to go somewhere else. Jews have been expelled from Spain, they have been slaughtered in Europe and there has been enormous intimidation against them in many places all over the world. So where do they have to go? These lands are places where their forefathers lived. The graves of their grandfathers are on these lands. And it is confirmed by the Qur’an that Bnei Israel will be living in the Holy Land till the end of the world. God says: “And thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land.’” (Qur’an, 17:104) and the Prophet Moses (pbuh) says “O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously…” (Qur’an 5: 21) Thus, it is against the Qur’an to tell Jews to leave these lands; any Muslim who does so is in contradiction of the very Word of God Himself.

Let us not forget the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Jacob, the descendants of the prophets, are fighting one another. Both sides are Abraham’s children and surely the land is spacious enough for all. There is no real reason that we can’t coexist together. Let’s live together as brothers; dine together, have conversations together; let us pray side by side, Jews in synagogues, and Muslims in mosques. Let us adopt a language of peace, a language of love. This is easy! And there is no other way.

Voir par ailleurs:

EXCLUSIVE: Iran president blames Israel for ‘instability,’ calls for peace

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry, newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani talks about Israel, his viewpoints on previous president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Iranian people’s access to the Internet.

F. Brinley Bruton, Staff Writer, NBC News

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for causing « injustice to the people » of the Middle East during an exclusive interview with NBC News in which he also called for peace, saying Iran is not « looking for war. »

Unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani struck a moderate tone on many issues, but he deflected a question from NBC News’ Ann Curry about whether he believed that the Holocaust was « a myth. »

« I’m not a historian. I’m a politician, » he replied. « What is important for us is that the countries of the region and the people grow closer to each other, and that they are able to prevent aggression and injustice. »

Rouhani’s comments came in his first interview with a U.S. news outlet since his June election. The interview was broadcast Thursday on TODAY.

David Lom / NBC News

NBC News’ Ann Curry speaks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday. It was Rouhani’s first interview with a U.S. news outlet since being elected.

When asked by Curry about the fact that Ahmadinejad had people believing that Iran wanted to wipe Israel off the map, Rouhani replied: « What we wish for in this country is rule by the will of the people. We believe in the ballot box. »

Curry also asked Rouhani to respond to comments by Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, who has called him a « wolf in sheep’s clothing. »

Rouhani described Israel as « an occupier and usurper government » that « does injustice to the people of the region, and has brought instability to the region, with its warmongering policies. »

He added Israel « shouldn’t allow itself to give speeches about a democratically and freely elected government. »

Netanyahu has previously hinted at the possibility of Israeli military strikes on Iran over the country’s controversial nuclear program if Western sanctions and diplomacy fail.

However, Rouhani also said it was important that countries across the Middle East learn to peacefully coexist.

« We are not seeking … and looking for war with any nations. We are seeking peace and stability among all the nations in the region, » Rouhani said.

In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Ann Curry, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is asking for peace, stability and the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.

Rouhani replaced Ahmadinejad who had been quoted as describing the Nazi Holocaust as « a myth » while in office. In 2009, Ahmadinejad dropped language from a speech at a U.N. conference on racism that branded the Holocaust « ambiguous and dubious. »

Rouhani’s comments underscored the shift in tone since he was elected with just over 50 percent of the vote. During his inaugural address, the new president spoke of engagement with the West to end bruising sanctions over his country’s controversial nuclear program.

Rouhani also appeared to pledge his support for increasing Iranians’ access to the Internet and other political and social freedoms.

« We want the people, in their private lives, to be completely free, and in today’s world having access to information and the right of free dialogue, and the right to think freely, is the right of all peoples, including the people of Iran, » he said.

When asked whether his government would stop censoring the Internet, Rouhani said « a commission for citizens’ rights » would be established.

« Does that mean that people in Iran will have access now to Twitter and to Facebook? » Curry asked.

« The viewpoint of the government is that the people must have full access to all information worldwide, » Rouhani replied. « Our opinions on this should based on protection of our national identity and on our morals. »

Officials in Washington, D.C., say the time is right for Iran, which wants a deal to get out from sanctions that are crippling its economy. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

In the interview with Curry, Rouhani also said his country will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has the clout to make a deal with the West on the disputed atomic program.

« In its nuclear program, this government enters with full power and has complete authority, » he said, adding that Iran has repeatedly pledged that « under no circumstances would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, nor will we ever. »

Rouhani, who earned a Ph.D. from a Scottish university, was the only non-conservative in the field during the election to replace Ahmadinejad. He got more than 18 million votes while five conservative candidates combined garnered just under 18 million.

Rouhani also discussed how he and President Barack Obama have exchanged letters in which they traded views on « some issues. »

« From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive, » Rouhani said of the note he got from the White House congratulating him on his election.

The two countries severed diplomatic ties in 1980 after students supporting the Iranian revolutionaries who overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

« It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future, » Rouhani told Curry. « I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interest and they should not be under the influence of pressure groups. I hope to witness such an atmosphere in the future. »

Rouhani’s is due to appear next Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly — where Western diplomats regularly walked out during Ahmedinejad’s fiery speeches.

NBC News’ Tracy Connor and Henry Austin contributed to this report.


Antiracisme: Dur dur d’être un King ou un Mandela aujourd’hui ! (Pity our poor civil right leaders: How do you keep blaming a system you’ve long been part of ?)

23 juillet, 2013
https://i2.wp.com/www.drybonesproject.com/blog/D13728_1.gifDry Bones cartoon: Prisoner Release, Convicts, Negotiations, Palestinians, Abbas, Kerry, Pollard, Jonathan Pollard, Peace, Peace Agreement, terrorists, Terrorism, PLO, IsraelPhotoDo you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We’ve got to face that. And we’ve got to do something about our moral standards. We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The world will tell us he was killed by accident. Yes, it was a social accident. … It’s an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights. … Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid. … All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffe klatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’. Pay for your deeds. Al Sharpton (Crown Heights, 1991)
Vous savez, quand Trayvon Martin a été tué, j’avais dit qu’il aurait pu être mon fils. Une autre manière de formuler les choses, c’est de dire que Trayvon Martin, ç’aurait pu être moi, il y a 35 ans. (…) Dans ce pays, il y a très peu d’hommes Américains d’origine africaine qui n’ont pas fait l’expérience d’être suivis quand ils faisaient des courses dans un grand magasin. Je l’ai été moi aussi. Il y a très peu d’Américains d’origine africaine qui n’ont pas fait l’expérience de prendre l’ascenseur et de voir une femme serrer son porte-monnaie nerveusement et retenir sa respiration jusqu’à ce qu’elle puisse sortir. Cela arrive souvent. Obama (2013)
High rates of black violence in the late twentieth century are a matter of historical fact, not bigoted imagination. The trends reached their peak not in the land of Jim Crow but in the more civilized North, and not in the age of segregation but in the decades that saw the rise of civil rights for African Americans—and of African American control of city governments. William Stuntz (Harvard Law professor)
Today’s black leadership pretty much lives off the fumes of moral authority that linger from its glory days in the 1950s and ’60s. The Zimmerman verdict lets us see this and feel a little embarrassed for them. Consider the pathos of a leadership that once transformed the nation now lusting for the conviction of the contrite and mortified George Zimmerman, as if a stint in prison for him would somehow assure more peace and security for black teenagers everywhere. This, despite the fact that nearly one black teenager a day is shot dead on the South Side of Chicago—to name only one city—by another black teenager. This would not be the first time that a movement begun in profound moral clarity, and that achieved greatness, waned away into a parody of itself—not because it was wrong but because it was successful. Today’s civil-rights leaders have missed the obvious: The success of their forbearers in achieving social transformation denied to them the heroism that was inescapable for a Martin Luther King Jr. or a James Farmer or a Nelson Mandela. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton cannot write a timeless letter to us from a Birmingham jail or walk, as John Lewis did in 1965, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., into a maelstrom of police dogs and billy clubs. That America is no longer here (which is not to say that every trace of it is gone). The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton have been consigned to a hard fate: They can never be more than redundancies, echoes of the great men they emulate because America has changed. Hard to be a King or Mandela today when your monstrous enemy is no more than the cherubic George Zimmerman. The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism. This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a « poetic truth. » Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth—one that, of course, serves one’s cause. Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: « America is a racist nation »; « the immigration debate is driven by racism »; « Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon. » And we say, « Yes, of course, » lest we seem to be racist. Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason. In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager—Skittles and ice tea in hand—can be shot dead simply for walking home. But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth—the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument. One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family? Today’s civil-rights leaders swat at mosquitoes like Zimmerman when they have gorillas on their back. Seventy-three percent of all black children are born without fathers married to their mothers. And you want to bring the nation to a standstill over George Zimmerman? Shelby Steele
Any candid debate on race and criminality in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. African-Americans constitute about 13% of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses—including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes—is typically two to three times their representation in the population. The U.S. criminal-justice system, which currently is headed by one black man (Attorney General Eric Holder) who reports to another (President Obama), is a reflection of this reality, not its cause. (…) The left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and « the system, » but blacks have long been part of running that system. Black crime and incarceration rates spiked in the 1970s and ’80s in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of the most violent cities in the U.S. today are run by blacks. (…) Did the perception of black criminality play a role in Martin’s death? We may never know for certain, but we do know that those negative perceptions of young black men are rooted in hard data on who commits crimes. We also know that young black men will not change how they are perceived until they change how they behave. The homicide rate claiming black victims today is seven times that of whites, and the George Zimmermans of the world are not the reason. Some 90% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks. Jason L. Riley

Comment continuer à dénoncer un système dont on fait partie depuis des décennies ?

A l’heure où l’Europe nous refait le coup de la la différence entre son « aile militaire » et le parti de Dieu aux 18 000 fusées (ou 40 000 ?) …

Et où le dernier lauréat du concours de chaises musicales de Téhéran nous rejoue la repentance

Pendant que le secrétaire d’Etat américain nous refait le numéro des négociations avec des Palestiniens qui ne se sont toujours pas résolus à reconnaitre l’existence du pays avec lequel ils sont censés négocier …

Comment ne pas compâtir aux efforts presque attendrissants tant du premier président noir-américain que de ses amis chasseurs d’ambulances pour tenter de ranimer des flammes interraciales tellement désespérément vacillantes …

Que pour une communauté qui ne représente que 13% de la population et est impliquée dans plus de la moitié des meurtres,  à peine 10% de ceux-ci sont inter-raciaux ?

Et ce, à un moment historique où ladite communauté contrôle non seulement la présidence et le ministère de la justice …

Mais,  depuis des décennies, la mairie et la police de nombre des plus grandes et des plus violentes villes américaines ?

Sans compter qu’avec 73% des enfants nés de mères célibataires, ladite situation ressemble encore étrangement …

A celle qu’avait décrite, en pleine lutte pour les droits civiques il y a plus de 50 ans, un certain Martin Luther King ?

Race, Politics and the Zimmerman Trial

The left wants to blame black criminality on racial animus and ‘the system,’ but blacks have long been part of running that system.

Jason L. Riley

WSJ

July 15, 2013

George Zimmerman’s acquittal of murder charges in a Florida court has been followed by predictable calls for America to have a « national conversation » about this or that aspect of the case. President Obama wants to talk about gun control. Civil-rights leaders want to talk about racial profiling. Others want to discuss how the American criminal justice system supposedly targets black men.

All of which is fine. Just don’t expect these conversations to be especially illuminating or honest. Liberals in general, and the black left in particular, like the idea of talking about racial problems, but in practice they typically ignore the most relevant aspects of any such discussion.

Any candid debate on race and criminality in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. African-Americans constitute about 13% of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses—including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes—is typically two to three times their representation in the population. The U.S. criminal-justice system, which currently is headed by one black man (Attorney General Eric Holder) who reports to another (President Obama), is a reflection of this reality, not its cause.

« High rates of black violence in the late twentieth century are a matter of historical fact, not bigoted imagination, » wrote the late Harvard Law professor William Stuntz in « The Collapse of American Criminal Justice. » « The trends reached their peak not in the land of Jim Crow but in the more civilized North, and not in the age of segregation but in the decades that saw the rise of civil rights for African Americans—and of African American control of city governments. »

The left wants to blame these outcomes on racial animus and « the system, » but blacks have long been part of running that system. Black crime and incarceration rates spiked in the 1970s and ’80s in cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, under black mayors and black police chiefs. Some of the most violent cities in the U.S. today are run by blacks.

The jury’s only job in the Zimmerman trial was to determine whether the defendant broke the law when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year in a gated community near Orlando, Fla. In cases of self-defense, it doesn’t matter who initiated the confrontation; whether Mr. Zimmerman singled out Martin because he was a black youngster in a neighborhood where there had been a series of burglaries by black youngsters; or whether Mr. Zimmerman disregarded what the police dispatcher told him before he got out of his car. Nor does it matter that Martin was unarmed and minding his own business when Mr. Zimmerman approached.

All that really mattered in that courtroom is whether Mr. Zimmerman reasonably believed that his life was in danger when he pulled the trigger. Critics of the verdict might not like the statutes that allowed for this outcome, but the proper response would not have been for the jury to ignore them and convict.

Did the perception of black criminality play a role in Martin’s death? We may never know for certain, but we do know that those negative perceptions of young black men are rooted in hard data on who commits crimes. We also know that young black men will not change how they are perceived until they change how they behave.

The homicide rate claiming black victims today is seven times that of whites, and the George Zimmermans of the world are not the reason. Some 90% of black murder victims are killed by other blacks.

So let’s have our discussions, even if the only one that really needs to occur is within the black community. Civil-rights leaders today choose to keep the focus on white racism instead of personal responsibility, but their predecessors knew better.

« Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We’ve got to face that. And we’ve got to do something about our moral standards, » Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told a congregation in 1961. « We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves. »

Mr. Riley is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.

Voir aussi:

The Decline of the Civil-Rights Establishment

Black leaders weren’t so much outraged at injustice as they were by the disregard of their own authority

Shelby Steele

WSJ

July 21, 2013

The verdict that declared George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin was a traumatic event for America’s civil-rights establishment, and for many black elites across the media, government and academia. When you have grown used to American institutions being so intimidated by the prospect of black wrath that they invent mushy ideas like « diversity » and « inclusiveness » simply to escape that wrath, then the crisp reading of the law that the Zimmerman jury displayed comes as a shock.

On television in recent weeks you could see black leaders from every background congealing into a chorus of umbrage and complaint. But they weren’t so much outraged at a horrible injustice as they were affronted by the disregard of their own authority. The jury effectively said to them, « You won’t call the tune here. We will work within the law.

Today’s black leadership pretty much lives off the fumes of moral authority that linger from its glory days in the 1950s and ’60s. The Zimmerman verdict lets us see this and feel a little embarrassed for them. Consider the pathos of a leadership that once transformed the nation now lusting for the conviction of the contrite and mortified George Zimmerman, as if a stint in prison for him would somehow assure more peace and security for black teenagers everywhere. This, despite the fact that nearly one black teenager a day is shot dead on the South Side of Chicago—to name only one city—by another black teenager.

This would not be the first time that a movement begun in profound moral clarity, and that achieved greatness, waned away into a parody of itself—not because it was wrong but because it was successful. Today’s civil-rights leaders have missed the obvious: The success of their forbearers in achieving social transformation denied to them the heroism that was inescapable for a Martin Luther King Jr. or a James Farmer or a Nelson Mandela. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton cannot write a timeless letter to us from a Birmingham jail or walk, as John Lewis did in 1965, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., into a maelstrom of police dogs and billy clubs. That America is no longer here (which is not to say that every trace of it is gone).

The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton have been consigned to a hard fate: They can never be more than redundancies, echoes of the great men they emulate because America has changed. Hard to be a King or Mandela today when your monstrous enemy is no more than the cherubic George Zimmerman.

Why did the civil-rights leadership use its greatly depleted moral authority to support Trayvon Martin? This young man was, after all, no Rosa Parks—a figure of indisputable human dignity set upon by the rank evil of white supremacy. Trayvon threw the first punch and then continued pummeling the much smaller Zimmerman. Yes, Trayvon was a kid, but he was also something of a menace. The larger tragedy is that his death will come to very little. There was no important principle or coherent protest implied in that first nose-breaking punch. It was just dumb bravado, a tough-guy punch.

The civil-rights leadership rallied to Trayvon’s cause (and not to the cause of those hundreds of black kids slain in America’s inner cities this very year) to keep alive a certain cultural « truth » that is the sole source of the leadership’s dwindling power. Put bluntly, this leadership rather easily tolerates black kids killing other black kids. But it cannot abide a white person (and Mr. Zimmerman, with his Hispanic background, was pushed into a white identity by the media over his objections) getting away with killing a black person without undermining the leadership’s very reason for being.

The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism. This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a « poetic truth. » Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth—one that, of course, serves one’s cause. Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: « America is a racist nation »; « the immigration debate is driven by racism »; « Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon. » And we say, « Yes, of course, » lest we seem to be racist. Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager—Skittles and ice tea in hand—can be shot dead simply for walking home. But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth—the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument.

The Zimmerman/Martin tragedy has been explosive because it triggered a fight over authority. Who gets to say what things mean—the supporters of George Zimmerman, who say he acted in self- defense, or the civil-rights establishment that says he profiled and murdered a black child? Here we are. And where is the authority to resolve this? The six-person Florida jury, looking carefully at the evidence, decided that Mr. Zimmerman pulled the trigger in self-defense and not in a fury of racial hatred.

And here, precisely at the point of this verdict, is where all of America begins to see this hollowed- out civil-rights establishment slip into pathos. Almost everyone saw this verdict coming. It is impossible to see how this jury could have applied the actual law to this body of evidence and come up with a different conclusion. The civil-rights establishment’s mistake was to get ahead of itself, to be seduced by its own poetic truth even when there was no evidence to support it. And even now its leaders call for a Justice Department investigation, and they long for civil lawsuits to be filed—hoping against hope that some leaf of actual racial victimization will be turned over for all to see. This is how a once-great social movement looks when it becomes infested with obsolescence.

One wants to scream at all those outraged at the Zimmerman verdict: Where is your outrage over the collapse of the black family? Today’s civil-rights leaders swat at mosquitoes like Zimmerman when they have gorillas on their back. Seventy-three percent of all black children are born without fathers married to their mothers. And you want to bring the nation to a standstill over George Zimmerman?

There are vast career opportunities, money and political power to be gleaned from the specter of Mr. Zimmerman as a racial profiler/murderer; but there is only hard and selfless work to be done in tackling an illegitimacy rate that threatens to consign blacks to something like permanent inferiority. If there is anything good to be drawn from the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, it is only the further revelation of the corruption and irrelevance of today’s civil-rights leadership.

Mr. Steele is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Among his books is « White Guilt » (HarperCollins, 2007).

Voir également:

The Zimmerman Verdict

WSJ

July 15, 2013

New federal civil-rights charges would smack of double jeopardy.

An American criminal defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that’s the standard to keep in mind when considering the jury’s not guilty verdict Saturday for George Zimmerman in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

The case has been fraught with racial politics from the start, but inside the Sanford, Florida courtroom, the jurors had to wrestle with the standard that is a hallmark of American justice. No one but Mr. Zimmerman knows what happened that early evening in 2012 when he followed Martin, an unfamiliar young, African-American male visiting the neighborhood. A scuffle ensued, Zimmerman shot Martin in what he says was self-defense, and prosecutors never produced an eyewitness or even much evidence to disprove Mr. Zimmerman.

The verdict compounds the tragedy for the Martin family, but no one can claim that their son was not represented in court. The state threw everything it had at Mr. Zimmerman. Gov. Rick Scott replaced local prosecutors with a special team from Jacksonville, the judge often ruled favorably for the prosecution, including the addition of the lesser manslaughter charge (in addition to second-degree murder) at the end of the trial.

Still the state could not prove its case to the satisfaction of the six jurors, all women, for whom the easiest decision in terms of public approval would have been to convict. No less than President Obama had commented on the local case after Mr. Zimmerman was not originally charged by local authorities.

« If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon, » Mr. Obama said. He was echoed by hundreds of politicians and commentators who wanted to put racial profiling on trial as much as they did Mr. Zimmerman. But a criminal trial is not a legislature, or a venue to debate social policy.

Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP is already lobbying Attorney General Eric Holder to indict Mr. Zimmerman on federal civil-rights charges. To do so and win a conviction would require proof that Mr. Zimmerman was motivated by racial animus when the record shows little more than a reference by Mr. Zimmerman to « punks » in a comment to a police dispatcher.

Millions of Americans would see such federal charges as an example of double jeopardy, and a politicized prosecution to boot. In this context, it was good to see Mr. Obama’s statement Sunday that « we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. »

The larger issue of how American society, and especially the police, treat young black males deserves attention and often receives it. There is no doubt that many law-abiding black men are eyed suspiciously in some quarters because they are black. The motivation may sometimes be racial. But such a discussion also cannot exclude that the main victims of crimes committed by young black men are other blacks. A policy like New York City’s « stop and frisk » rule prevents more crime in minority neighborhoods against minorities than it does in white areas of Manhattan.

Mr. Zimmerman made many mistakes that February evening, not least failing to heed police advice not to pursue Martin. Despite his acquittal, he will pay for those mistakes for years as he defends against a possible civil suit and must wear a bullet-proof vest to protect himself from threats of violent revenge that he has to take seriously.

If there is any satisfaction in his acquittal, it is that the jurors followed the law’s requirements that every defendant deserves a fair trial, even one who becomes a symbol of our polarized racial politics.

 Voir encore:

The Zimmerman Verdict and the Broader Perspective

Letters to the Editor

WSJ

LETTERS July 21, 2013

The Zimmerman Verdict and the Broader

Perspective

Zimmerman verdict shows our system working as designed.

Regarding your editorial « The Zimmerman Verdict » (July 15): The outcry over the Zimmerman not-guilty verdict reveals the general public’s ignorance of the U.S. criminal justice system. A guilty verdict means the government presented evidence against the defendant proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A not-guilty verdict means the evidence could have been 70% to 85% against the defendant, but still subject to a reasonable doubt. To win a civil damages case the party bringing the suit need only present a weight or preponderance of evidence, meaning 51% or greater, to prevail.

Trayvon Martin’s family could very well sue Mr. Zimmerman in civil court and win a damages award under the lower « weight of evidence » standard of proof. O.J. Simpson’s victims did just that and won big. Whether they actually collected anything is another matter. Despite having sat through civics classes in high school and perhaps American government in college, Americans still naively view the criminal justice system as a « High Noon » good versus evil shootout, which it is not and never was, but still is the best in the world.

David P. Carter

Seminole, Fla.

After weeks of Mr. Zimmerman’s trial, we are now inundated with negative reactions, including demonstrations, against his not-guilty verdict. More amazing is the possibility that the federal government might try him a second time. Meanwhile, completely unnoticed, the Chicago Tribune reported 74 shooting victims and 12 deaths during the same Fourth of July period in President Obama’s hometown.

Dick Ettington

Palos Verdes, Calif.

What a refreshingly honest and courageous article by Jason Riley (« Race, Politics and the Zimmerman Trial, » op-ed, July 16). I hope that any « national conversation » about these issues would, similarly, use facts and data to make arguments, rather than the emotional distortions that more typically drown out rational discussion. By accepting the real risk of being labeled a bigot, he has provided a factual guide to help focus the broader discussion. The disproportionate rate of crime in and against black communities cannot be effectively addressed without honest and frank assessments based on the available data.

Richard Zahren

Pittsburgh

Mr. Riley’s piece is proper but misses the injustice done to the defendant by the prosecution.

Though Mr. Zimmerman won the trial, he lost everything of value to him and his parents. They cannot live in their own home. They must be in hiding from the fear of death threats against them.

Mr. Zimmerman cannot get a job easily. He will have to pay legal fees for his defense. If this were a civil case, the plaintiff would have to pay his attorney fees for losing the unwarranted trial without weighing the facts of the case.

If the Justice Department continues on the same journey by bringing charges, it would further ruin Mr. Zimmerman.

Shantu Shah

Portland, Ore.

Mr. Riley writes that « young black men will not change how they are perceived until they change how they behave. » All citizens deserve equal rights, including the right to freedom of movement. By appearing to hold law-abiding individuals responsible for wrongdoers in their (perceived) group, statements like this amount to an apology for interference with these rights.

Jonathan Levine

Ann Arbor, Mich.

Voir par ailleurs:

EU’s Moral Confusion on Terrorism

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Commentary

07.22.2013

Today, the European Union decided to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terror list. This is a welcome, if belated, step, given that it took the EU a whole year after Hezbollah conducted a murderous operation on European soil to take action.

It is also a sign of the moral confusion reigning over EU Middle East foreign policy.

You will be shocked to know that a Google search for “red brigades” and “armed wing” will not yield much. Same for “IRA” and “armed wing.” Or Baader-Mainhof group and the same. Can you imagine, for example, a 1979 headline from an Italian daily announcing that the European Economic Community (the precursor to the European Union) had finally deliberated, a year after the Italian Red Brigades had kidnapped and murdered a former prime minister, that only their armed wing deserved to be called a terrorist group?

Granted, the EEC powers were more limited back then. But Europeans never found it as difficult to look at terror organizations and call them by their name. They did not waste time in intellectual contortionism and rhetorical hair splitting about what these organizations were–or what their members engaged in. The IRA, ETA, the Red Brigades, and the entire array of murderous groups from the extreme left and the extreme right of the European political spectrum became terrorists the minute they impugned a weapon and sought to achieve their political goals by murdering their adversaries and occasionally killing civilians indiscriminately. That those who gave the orders may have sat in an elected body, worked as members of a respectable profession, or served as the heads of a charitable foundation mattered little.

It took no great wisdom to see that the hand that held the gun and the mind that guided it were one and the same thing–that there was an inseparable, organic link between the ideologues who provided moral, intellectual, and political justification for violence, which in turn guided the violent executioners’ actions.

Similarly, there is no trace in newspaper clips or court proceedings for an “armed wing” of the mob or an “armed wing” of the drug cartels, which are somehow distinct, in terms of “command responsibility” from the rest of the organization. Mob hit man Giovanni Brusca, one of the Corleone clan’s most ruthless killers, did not somehow belong to the “armed wing” of the mafia, where he killed people unbeknownst to the otherwise charitable dons. The Mexican Zetas certainly have a military wing–more like an army of gruesome murderers–and it is certainly integral to the entire organization and its aims. Whether the Zetas or the mob provide a pension to their family members or send them to good doctors is immaterial to the way we understand these groups, their aims, and their methods. Nor are their business interests somehow classified into “legitimate” and “illegitimate.” Whether it’s drug trafficking or money laundering through art and real estate, we call it criminal, because … well, it is criminal.

But the EU sticks to its own imagined distinction when it comes to radical Islamic groups engaged in terrorist activities. Though you will be hard pressed to find reference to an armed wing of Hezbollah within Hezbollah, such references abound in the Western press. It is a convenient way to avoid having to tackle the problem of Hezbollah–a proxy of the Iranian regime whose ideology justifies the use of violence for political ends and whose entire structure thus serves the purpose of carrying out such violence.

All this, of course, is not to make the perfect the enemy of the good–better sanctions against a legal fiction than no sanctions at all, if the former have more real consequences than the latter.

But longer term, the EU will prove itself yet again ineffectual in the Middle East unless it is prepared to exercise moral clarity and recognize that the “armed wing” of Hezbollah is not a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand does–more like a case of a division of labor within an organization where the military wing executes the vision of its political leadership.

Voir de même:

The High Price of Kerry’s Pyrrhic Victory

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary

07.19.2013

After weeks of looking silly chasing his tail in what appeared to be a futile attempt to revive Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State John Kerry is looking like a winner this afternoon as he was able to announce that he had been able to “establish a basis” for a new round of negotiations of between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Assuming the Palestinians actually show up next week in Washington as Kerry thinks they will, this will be something of a victory for a secretary who has gone from humiliation to humiliation during his brief term in office. Even if all it amounts to is a photo op, Kerry can claim it is evidence of the diplomatic prowess he thinks he possesses. But before he starts writing his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (if it isn’t already composed at least in his head), we need to understand that it is highly unlikely that anything good may come of this initiative. Even worse, the price the United States has paid for getting even this far may be far higher than any possible good that could come from this event.

It should be understood that the tentative and highly conditioned agreement to return to negotiations was only won by an American agreement to accept Palestinian preconditions that President Obama had already rejected and that would, in no small part, tilt the diplomatic playing field against Israel:

Ahmed Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member, told the Associated Press that Kerry has proposed holding talks for six to nine months focusing on the key issues of borders and security arrangements. He said Kerry would endorse the 1967 lines as the starting point of negotiations and assured the Palestinians that Israel would free some 350 prisoners gradually in the coming months.

This came after President Obama phoned Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday to pressure him to cooperate with Kerry. Israel had already agreed to talk without preconditions, but apparently the president wanted Netanyahu’s assurance that he would not protest the way the secretary had buckled to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’s conditions. But having arrived at negotiations in this manner, neither Kerry nor Obama seems to have considered what comes next. The Palestinians have already made it abundantly clear that they won’t actually negotiate in good faith but will only show up expecting the U.S. to deliver Israeli concessions to them on a silver platter. Even if he wanted to sign an accord, Abbas hasn’t the power to speak for all Palestinians. Since that is a certain formula for failure, it is incumbent on Washington to understand that another breakdown in talks could serve as a new excuse for Palestinian violence.

The reason why rational observers have been so wary of Kerry’s initiative is not just the fact that the Palestinians had no interest in returning to negotiations they’ve been boycotting for four and a half years. Both Israel and the Palestinians didn’t wish to obstruct Kerry’s desire for talks. He might have left off once the Palestinians demonstrated their lack of interest, but since he persisted in this manner, they felt they had no choice but to show up.

But Abbas and the PA are too weak to agree to any deal that would conclusively end a conflict that neither Hamas nor much of Fatah actually wants to end. Recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders might be drawn, is something that no Palestinian leader can afford to do at this point in history. The culture of Palestinian politics that has revolved around the delegitimization of Israel and Jewish history makes it impossible. That’s why they’ve already rejected three Israelis offers of a Palestinian state including almost all of the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem. So even if Netanyahu were foolish enough to agree to withdrawals that would, in effect, recreate the independent Palestinian terror state that already exists in Gaza in the West Bank, Abbas still can’t say yes.

But by forcing this confrontation at a time when conditions simply don’t exist for a resolution of the conflict, Kerry is not just occupying himself with an issue that is clearly less pressing that the other crises in the Middle East like Egypt, Syria or the Iranian nuclear threat. Since failure is foreordained and the Palestinians are likely to bolt the talks at the first opportunity, what will follow will be far worse than merely a continuation of the present stalemate. The Palestinians will treat any outcome—even one created by their intransigence—as an excuse for either an upsurge in violence against Israel or an effort to use their status at the United Nations to work to further isolate the Jewish state.

Just as damaging, by again putting the U.S. seal of approval on the Palestinian demand for the 1967 lines as Israel’s borders, Kerry and Obama have also worsened Israel’s position once the talks collapse. Any outcome other than total Israeli acquiescence to Palestinian demands would also serve as justification for more European Union sanctions on Israel, even, as is likely, if such a surrender were to fail to be enough to entice the Palestinians to take yes for an answer.

Netanyahu will be criticized by many in his party for going along with what is likely to be at best, a farce, and, at worst, a dangerous trap. But having already rightly said that he was willing to negotiate with Abbas under any circumstance, he must send representatives to Washington. But neither he, the people of Israel, nor the Jewish state’s friends in this country should be under any illusions that what will ensue from Kerry’s diplomatic experiment will be helpful.

As much as Israel wants and needs peace, the conflict is at a stage when the best that can be hoped for is that it be managed in such a way as to minimize violence and encourage Palestinian development. Though Kerry is offering the PA lots of cash, there is little chance it will be used appropriately or get the desired result.

Next week’s talks may be heralded as an unprecedented opportunity for peace, but the odds are, we will look back on this moment the way we do foolhardy efforts such as President Clinton’s Camp David summit in 2000 that set the stage for a bloody intifada that cost the lives of over a thousand Jews and far more Palestinians. The agreement to talk about talking is a pyrrhic victory for Kerry. Those who cheer this effort should think hard about who will bear the responsibility for the bloodshed that could result from Kerry’s folly.

Voir enfin:

Caught in the Flytrap of Tehran

The new president of the Islamic Republic, a reputed reformist, has invited exiles to return to Iran without fear. The last such offer had tragic results.

Bret Stephens

WSJ

July 22, 2013

« The Shanghai Russians expressed their delight. They were told they could take with them as many possessions as they wanted and whatever they wanted. . . . They were told they could settle wherever they wanted to in the Soviet Union and, of course, work at any profession or trade. They were transported from Shanghai in steamships. »

This is from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s « The Gulag Archipelago. » It describes a postwar episode when Joseph Stalin lured expatriate Russians—many of them exiles (or children of exiles) from the Russian Revolution—back to the Soviet Union with patriotic appeals to rebuild their shattered motherland. Russians from Shanghai to Paris heeded the call, seeking to show, as Solzhenitsyn wryly noted, that « they had not been lying previously about their love » of their ancestral home.

The history comes to mind following a speech last week by Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president-elect and reputed moderate. Addressing a group called the « Assembly of the Pioneers for Jihad and Martyrdom, » Mr. Rouhani made an overture to Iranians living abroad who wanted to make their peace with the regime.

« Those [Iranians] who are ready to return should have the way paved for them, since repentance is for everyone, » he said, according to a report by Radio Farda.

In 1945. . . a plenipotentiary from the Soviet government went to Shanghai and announced a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet extending forgiveness to all émigrés. Well, now, how could one refuse to believe that? The government certainly couldn’t lie! . . .

This isn’t the first time a supposedly reformist president of the Islamic Republic urged the estimated three million exiled Iranians to come home. Beginning in the early 1990s, and especially after Mohammad Khatami’s election as president in 1997, the regime made the same pitch. « Today, Islamic Iran opens its arms to you, » Mr. Khatami said in a message to exiles, adding that they were needed to help rebuild the country. Promises were made that no returnee would face prison time.

It’s impossible to say how many exiles returned to Iran for good. But many did begin traveling back and forth from the country, often for long stints, to work or study or visit relatives. Mr. Khatami’s outreach also had the effect of dividing the exile community politically between those who thought the regime could never be trusted and needed to be toppled, and those who believed in engaging it for the sake of reform.

It was the latter camp that wound up having the greatest influence in the West, not least by providing intellectual cover and moral standing to U.S. and European policy makers eager to reach out to Iran and make concessions. But it was also this camp that often paid the greatest personal price for trusting the regime.

Consider Ramin Jahanbegloo, a well-known Iranian philosopher and advocate of cultural dialogue. He was teaching at the University of Toronto when he decided to return to Iran in 2001 to take up an academic post. In 2006 he was imprisoned for four months on suspicion of being « one of the key elements in the American plan for the smooth toppling of the Islamic regime, » according to the Iranian Jomhuri Eslami newspaper.

Similar prison ordeals awaited Iranian expatriates such as Woodrow Wilson Center scholar Haleh Esfandiari, journalist Maziar Bahari, businessmanAli Shakeri, urban planner Kian Tajbakhsh. Far worse was the fate of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was arrested, tortured, raped and beaten to death in July 2003.

Then there is Hossein Derakhshan, a left-wing blogger who in 2006 made a case in the Washington Post for Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. But he also visited Israel that year, writing that while it might be illegal for him to do so as an Iranian, as « a citizen of Canada I have the right to visit any country I want. » He was arrested in Iran in 2008, held in solitary confinement and tortured. In 2010 he was sentenced by an Iranian court to 19.5 years in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison.

Which brings us back to Mr. Rouhani’s invitation to Iranian exiles to return and repent. Last week, I asked dissident Saeed Ghasseminejad, a leader of the Iranian Liberal Students and Graduates who was jailed in Evin before coming to the U.S., how he would respond to the president-elect’s offer.

« The one who should repent his sins is Mr. Rouhani himself, » Mr. Ghassaminejad wrote me in an email. « He is part of a regime which has killed, raped and tortured thousands and expelled and displaced millions of Iranians. »

It would be nice if the West could treat the arrival of yet another alleged regime reformer with the same hard-earned skepticism. In the meantime, it’s worth recalling what happens to those who put their faith in the word of a totalitarian regime:

« The fate of the passengers varied. . . . Some of them were actually delivered to inhabited places, to cities, and allowed to live there for two or three years. Others were delivered in trainloads straight to their [Gulag] camps and were dumped out somewhere off a high embankment into the forest beyond the Volga, together with their white pianos and their jardinieres.

« In 1948-1949, the former Far Eastern emigres who had until then managed to stay out of camps were scraped up to the last man. »


Antisémitisme: Attention, un racisme peut en cacher un autre ! (Mark Twain and the Jews: When good intentions are not enough)

22 juillet, 2013
http://hiram7.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/mark-twain.jpgEt si Dieu était juif ça t´inquiéterait petite ? Serge Gainsbourg
Comment peut-on ne pas lire dans cette pièce le désir de caricature alors que le cliché de la riche juive (comme tous les autres) est montré, souligné, expliqué avec autant de transparence? Eric Noël (dramaturge canadien)
On m’a expliqué que tous ces stéréotypes étaient là pour être dénoncés, écrit-il dans un des textes qu’il a rédigés depuis la représentation de cette pièce. Selon des membres de la troupe, tous les personnages étaient déshumanisés et stéréotypés, pas seulement les juifs : la Chinoise tenait un balai, la prostituée était vulgaire […]. Puisque tout le monde en prend, pourquoi pas les juifs. Je me permets simplement de rappeler que tous les stéréotypes n’ont pas la même histoire. Certains stéréotypes ont servi à tuer. Ils ont même beaucoup tué. Michel Goldberg (professeur, université de la Rochelle)
Pourquoi, à votre avis, les Juifs sont-ils encore aujourd’hui la cible de tant d’animosités et que peuvent-ils faire en Amérique ou à l’étranger pour éviter cela ? Avocat juif américan (lettre à Mark Twain)
Si les statistiques sont justes, les juifs constituent un quart de un pour cent de la race humaine… A proprement parler, on ne devrait pas entendre parler d’eux. Mais on parle d’eux, on a toujours parlé d’eux. Les juifs ne sont pas plus importants que les autres peuples, mais leur place est pourtant hors de proportion avec la petitesse de leur nombre. Leur contribution à la liste des grands noms de la littérature, de la science, de l’art, de la musique, de la finance, de la médecine et des connaissances absconses, est également hors de proportion avec leur nombre… Les Egyptiens, les Babyloniens et les Perses s’élevèrent, remplirent la planète de sons et de splendeur, puis s’évanouirent comme dans un rêve pour ne plus revenir ; les Grecs et les Romains suivirent faisant grand bruit pour disparaître à leur tour… Les juifs les ont vu passer tous, leur ont survécu et demeurent ce qu’ils ont toujours été… Toutes choses meurent sauf les juifs ; les autres forces passent mais ils restent. Quel est le secret de leur immortalité ? Mark Twain
J’ai la conviction que la persécution du Juif n’est pas due pour une large part à des préjugés religieux. Non, le Juif est un faiseur d’argent. Il en a fait la fin et le but de sa vie. Il l’est depuis toujours. Son succès l’a rendu ennemi de toute la race humaine. Mark Twain
Le Juif est un homme d’argent ? Les familles Vanderbilt, Gould, Astor, Havemeyer, Rockefeller, Mackay, Huntington, Armure, Carnegie, Sloane, Whitney, n’étaient pas Juives, et contrôlaient pourtant plus de vingt-cinq pour cent de toutes les richesses distribuées aux États-Unis. Rabbin M. S. Levy
From the beginning of the Dreyfus case to the end of it all France, except a dozen moral paladins, lay under the smother of the silent assertion-lie that no wrong was being done to a persecuted and unoffending man. Mark Twain (1899)
It was an odious spectacle–odious and awful. For one moment it was an unbelievable thing–a thing beyond all credibility; it must be a delusion, a dream, a nightmare. But no, it was real–pitifully real, shamefully real, hideously real. These sixty policemen had been soldiers, and they went at their work with the cold unsentimentality of their trade. They ascended the steps of the tribune, laid their hands upon the inviolable persons of the representatives of a nation, and dragged and tugged and hauled them down the steps and out at the door; then ranged themselves in stately military array in front of the ministerial estrade, and so stood. (…) Some of the results of this wild freak followed instantly. The Badeni government came down with a crash; there was a popular outbreak or two in Vienna; there were three or four days of furious rioting in Prague, followed by the establishing there of martial law; the Jews and Germans were harried and plundered, and their houses destroyed; in other Bohemian towns there was rioting–in some cases the Germans being the rioters, in others the Czechs–and in all cases the Jew had to roast, no matter which side he was on. Mark Twain
The show of military force in the Austrian Parliament, which precipitated the riots, was not introduced by any Jew. No Jew was a member of that body. No Jewish question was involved in the Ausgleich or in the language proposition. No Jew was insulting anybody. In short, no Jew was doing any mischief toward anybody whatsoever. In fact, the Jews were the only ones of the nineteen different races in Austria which did not have a party – they are absolutely non-participants.Yet in your article you say that in the rioting which followed, all classes of people were unanimous only on one thing, viz., in being against the Jews. (…) Tell me, therefore, from your vantage-point of cold view, what in your mind is the cause. Can American Jews do anything to correct it either in America or abroad? Will it ever come to an end? Will a Jew be permitted to live honestly, decently, and peaceably like the rest of mankind? What has become of the golden rule? American Jewish lawyer
Have you heard of his [Herzl’s] plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own – under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At the Convention of Berne, last year, there were delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was received with decided favor. I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world were going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let the race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride any more.
When I published the above article in Harper`s Monthly, I was ignorant — like the rest of the Christian world — of the fact that the Jew had a record as a soldier. I have since seen the official statistics, and I find that he furnished soldiers and high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented in the armies and navies of both the North and the South by 10 percent of his numerical strength — the same percentage that was furnished by the Christian populations of the two sections. This large fact means more than it seems to mean; for it means that the Jew`s patriotism was not merely level with the Christian`s, but overpassed it. (…) In the above article I was not able to endorse the common reproach that the Jew is willing to feed upon a country but not to fight for it, because I did not know whether it was true or false. I supposed it to be true, but it is not allowable to endorse wandering maxims upon supposition — except when one is trying to make out a case. That slur upon the Jew cannot hold up its head in presence of the figures of the War Department. It has done its work, and done it long and faithfully, and with high approval: it ought to be pensioned off now, and retired from active service. Mark Twain
In his very attempt to extol the race in question, he ratified the most inflammatory pretext for resentment. Justin Kaplan
The Jew “has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him,” Twain wrote. “He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.” But in Twain’s telling, there is scant mystery as to why Jews have been the objects of such enmity, going all the way back to the beginnings of history. In his decidedly eccentric take on Genesis 41, Joseph cornered the grain market and charged exorbitant prices when famine struck, beggaring the Egyptian nation. The real problem with Jews, Twain goes on, is that they’re too clever by half. If a Jew “entered upon a mechanical trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set up as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the business. If he exploited agriculture, the other farmers had to get at something else. Since there was no way to successfully compete with him in any vocation, the law had to step in and save the Christian from the poor-house.” (…) For all that, Twain’s admiration for the Jews was genuine; it is to his credit that he wrote and published a postscript in 1904, “The Jew as Soldier,” in which he corrected his animadversions on the Jews’ “unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier.” Far from avoiding military service, he wrote, the Jews “furnished soldiers and high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented in the armies and navies of both the North and the South by 10 per cent of his numerical strength—the same percentage that was furnished by the Christian populations of the two sections.” The Jewish capacity for “fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in the field is as good as any one’s,” he added. Still, it is a testament to Twain’s wrongheadedness in other respects that “Concerning the Jews” sparks lively discussions on white nationalist websites to this day. What they focus on aren’t his suppositions about Jewish intellectual superiority. It is his off the cuff observations like this one: “the Jew is a money-getter. He made it the end and aim of his life. He was at it in Rome. He has been at it ever since. His success has made the whole human race his enemy. Arthur Goldwag
Mark Twain, considered America’s greatest writer, was far more than a humorist. After the Civil War, he served as America’s conscience on ethnic and racial issues. Twain defended Jews, African-Americans and Indians against prejudice. While a majority of his contemporaries negatively stereotyped the Jewish people, Twain defended Jewry in word and deed. Ironically, his major published protest against anti-Semitism alienated some of the American Jews he tried to defend. (…) In his youth, Twain held the same negative stereotypes of Jews that his neighbors embraced – that they were all acquisitive, cowardly and clannish. Hannibal, Missouri, his hometown, had only one Jewish family, the Levys, and Twain joined in hazing the young Levy sons. In 1857, Twain wrote a humorous but uncomplimentary newspaper article about Jewish coal dealers for a Keokuk, Iowa newspaper. (…) Twain replaced his earlier negative stereotype of the Jewish people with another, more positive one. (…) While Twain had meant to pay the Jewish people a compliment, his facts were inaccurate. Some of these inaccuracies would later haunt him. (…) Twain argued that prejudice against Jews derived neither from their public conduct nor their religion, but from envy that Christians felt toward Jewish economic achievements. He cited the speech of a German lawyer who wanted the Jews driven from Berlin because, according to the lawyer, « eighty-five percent of the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews. » Twain observed that envy « is a much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail connected with religion. » Twain thought Jewish success a product of their good citizenship, family loyalty, intelligence and business acumen. He thought crime and drunkenness non-existent among Jews; that they cared for their needy without burdening the larger community; and that they were honest in business. Yes, honest in business. Twain knew most of his contemporaries viewed Jewish businessmen as crooked, but he cited the very success of Jews as proof of their integrity. (…) Twain mistakenly criticized world Jewry for not taking an active role in the Dreyfus Affair. He suggested that Jews should become a political force by concentrating their votes behind single issues, candidates and parties, and that they organize military companies to raise their prestige. He believed that Jews exhibited an « unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier, » and that they had made no significant contributions to American independence. (…) Twain described « Concerning the Jews » as « my gem of the ocean, » but predicted « neither Jew nor Christian will approve it. » In the case of America’s Jewish leadership, he proved correct. Jewish critics acknowledged Twain’s respect for Jews but bemoaned his errors of fact. They denied that Jews had played a minimal role in gaining American liberty, or that they dominated commerce, or that they shirked military duty. Several critics were especially offended by Twain’s saying that Jews had done nothing to help acquit Captain Dreyfus. His friendliest critics believed that Twain was innocently ignorant of the facts. (…) Twain took the criticism to heart. In 1904, he wrote a postscript to his essay titled « The Jew as Soldier, » conceding that Jews had indeed fought in the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War in numbers greater than their percentage of the population. This meant that « the Jew’s patriotism was not merely level with the Christian’s but overpassed it. » Twain did not respond to Levy’s charges about Jews in the economy, but he never again raised this stereotype in print. Jewish Virtual library

Attention: un racisme peut en cacher un autre !

A l’heure où, s’il on en croit une série de rapports de l’Union Européenne enterrés comme il se doit, 40% des Européens déclarent des opinions anti-israéliennes …

Et où, pour mieux faire passer son apologie de Mahomet, le premier petit révisionniste venu nous fait du Jésus historique non seulement un chef de guerre mais un chef de guerre raté …

Pendant que, pour dénoncer la mondialisation  dans l’université française, on se paie le luxe de jouer avec le stéréotype de la « riche juive »

Retour, avec la Jewish Virtual Library, sur un texte du célèbre écrivain et pamphlétaire américain Samuel Clemens dit Mark Twain, souvent présenté comme une défense des juifs …

Le fameux « A propos des juifs » que l’auteur avait publié au retour d’un long séjour en Europe en 1898 où, de l’Affaire Dreyfus au parlement autrichien, il avait pu toucher du doigt la virulence de l’antisémitisme européen …

Mais aussi d’une question qui lui avait été posée par un juriste juif-américain sur les raisons d’un tel phénomène et les éventuelles solutions qui pouvaient y être portées …

Pour découvrir en fait, derrière l’intention indéniablement apologétique du texte (surtout si on le remet dans son contexte historique d’une population occidentale, écrivains compris, largement antisémite à une époque où les statistiques n’étaient bien sûr pas aussi disponibles qu’aujourd’hui), un ramassis d’affirmations et d’hypothèses plus ou moins sérieuses présentées comme faits …

Mais surtout, derrière les contre-stéréotypes positifs mais jamais vraiment étayés (comme le reconnaitra, dans un courageux post script, Clemens lui-même) et le vrai stéréoptype de la sur-rapacité supposée des juifs (d’un Joseph super-prévaricateur qui coule à lui tout seul l’économie égyptienne aux dangers similaires que pourrait présenter un futur Etat d’Israël !) comme mobile ultime de l’envie des autres peuples…

L’embarrassant honneur, comme l’avait prévu l’auteur lui-même, de non seulement déplaire à tous, non-juifs  comme juifs …

Mais de pouvoir être utilisé aussi bien par les philosémites que les antisémites

Mark Twain and the Jews

Jewish Virtual Library

Mark Twain, considered America’s greatest writer, was far more than a humorist. After the Civil War, he served as America’s conscience on ethnic and racial issues. Twain defended Jews, African-Americans and Indians against prejudice. While a majority of his contemporaries negatively stereotyped the Jewish people, Twain defended Jewry in word and deed. Ironically, his major published protest against anti-Semitism alienated some of the American Jews he tried to defend.

In his youth, Twain held the same negative stereotypes of Jews that his neighbors embraced – that they were all acquisitive, cowardly and clannish. Hannibal, Missouri, his hometown, had only one Jewish family, the Levys, and Twain joined in hazing the young Levy sons. In 1857, Twain wrote a humorous but uncomplimentary newspaper article about Jewish coal dealers for a Keokuk, Iowa newspaper.

Twain seems to have had a change of heart about Jews around the time of the Civil War. He confided to his daughter Suzy that « the Jews seemed to him a race to be much respected . . . they had suffered much, and had been greatly persecuted, so to ridicule or make fun of them seemed to be like attacking a man when he was already down. And of course that fact took away whatever was funny in the ridicule of a Jew.

A key moment came in 1860, when a trusted Mississippi River captain, George Newhouse, told Twain a story (the veracity of which cannot be established) about courageous Jew who boldly saved a slave girl in a poker dispute between a desperate planter and a cheating, knife-yielding gambler. The Jew killed the cheater in a duel and returned the slave girl to the planter’s daughter, who had been her mistress, friend and companion from birth. Twain later reported hearing similar versions of this story from other « eye witnesses » as well.

In the moral world of 1860, returning a slave girl to her mistress rather than freeing her was an act of chivalry and Twain saw no contradiction in it. Rather, the story led Twain to conclude that the Jewish hero was « an all-around man; a man cast in a large mould. » These same words found their echo in Twain’s reaction upon learning in 1909 that his daughter Clara was engaged to a Russian-Jewish pianist, Ossip Gabtilowitsch. Twain told Clara, « Any girl could be proud to marry him. He is a man – a real man. »

Twain replaced his earlier negative stereotype of the Jewish people with another, more positive one. In 1879, he wrote privately:

Sampson was a Jew – therefore not a fool. The Jews have the best average brain of any people in the world. The Jews are the only race who work wholly with their brains and never with their hands. There are no Jewish beggars, no Jewish tramps, no Jewish ditch diggers, hod-carriers, day laborers or followers of toilsome, mechanical trades. They are peculiarly and conspicuously the world’s intellectual aristocracy.

In truth, there were indeed impoverished Jewish beggars, as there were sweated Jewish toilers in the garment and cigar industries. Just a year earlier, New York’s Jewish cigar makers conducted a bitter, five-month strike for higher pay and shorter hours. While Twain had meant to pay the Jewish people a compliment, his facts were inaccurate. Some of these inaccuracies would later haunt him.

Twain’s personal view of Jews meant little until March 1898, when he wrote an article titled « Stirring Times in Austria. » Twain had been living in and traveling around Europe to gather materials for his writing, and settled in Vienna in 1896. As part of a complicated attempt to hold together the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the face of ethnic nationalist fervor, in 1898 the imperial Hapsburg family designated Czech as the official language of Bohemia (the major province of what is now the Czech Republic), displacing the more popular German. This policy triggered rioting by German-speaking members of the Austrian parliament, who wanted German language and culture to predominate in the empire. To distract the populace, according to Twain, the Austrian government stirred up anti-Semitic feelings, and Vienna’s Jews became the victims of widespread attacks, both political and physical.

In March 1898, Harper’s Magazine published Twain’s essay. Historian Philip Foner notes, « At the very close of the lengthy article, [Twain] mentioned, without comment, the attacks on the Jews, pointing out that, although they were innocent parties in the dispute, they were ‘harried and plundered.’ Twain noted, ‘In all cases the Jew had to roast, no matter which side he was on.’ »

Twain’s account generated several letters, and one poignant response in particular from an American Jewish lawyer who asked Twain « why, in your judgment, the Jews have been, and are even now, in these days of supposed intelligence, the butt of baseless, vicious animosities? » The lawyer asked, « Can American Jews do anything to correct [this prejudice] either in America or abroad? Will it ever come to an end?

In response, Twain penned « Concerning the Jews, » which Harper’s also published. Twain expected the article to please almost no one. His prediction was correct.

Twain argued that prejudice against Jews derived neither from their public conduct nor their religion, but from envy that Christians felt toward Jewish economic achievements. He cited the speech of a German lawyer who wanted the Jews driven from Berlin because, according to the lawyer, « eighty-five percent of the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews. » Twain observed that envy « is a much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail connected with religion. »

Twain thought Jewish success a product of their good citizenship, family loyalty, intelligence and business acumen. He thought crime and drunkenness non-existent among Jews; that they cared for their needy without burdening the larger community; and that they were honest in business. Yes, honest in business. Twain knew most of his contemporaries viewed Jewish businessmen as crooked, but he cited the very success of Jews as proof of their integrity. He wrote:

A business cannot thrive where the parties do not trust each other. In the matter of numbers, the Jew counts for little in the overwhelming population of New York, but that his honesty counts for much is guaranteed by the fact that the immense wholesale business of Broadway, from the Battery to Union Square, is substantially in his hands. »

Twain mistakenly criticized world Jewry for not taking an active role in the Dreyfus Affair. He suggested that Jews should become a political force by concentrating their votes behind single issues, candidates and parties, and that they organize military companies to raise their prestige. He believed that Jews exhibited an « unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier, » and that they had made no significant contributions to American independence.

Commenting on the recently held first World Zionist Congress in Basel, Twain noted that Theodor Herzl had enunciated a plan to « gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own – under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. »

I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world are going to be made into a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let that race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride anymore.

Twain concluded by observing:

The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then . . . passed away. The Greek and the Roman followed. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts. … All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Twain described « Concerning the Jews » as « my gem of the ocean, » but predicted « neither Jew nor Christian will approve it. » In the case of America’s Jewish leadership, he proved correct. Jewish critics acknowledged Twain’s respect for Jews but bemoaned his errors of fact. They denied that Jews had played a minimal role in gaining American liberty, or that they dominated commerce, or that they shirked military duty. Several critics were especially offended by Twain’s saying that Jews had done nothing to help acquit Captain Dreyfus.

His friendliest critics believed that Twain was innocently ignorant of the facts. Simon Wolf, a founder of the American Jewish Historical Society, sent Twain a copy of his book, The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen, to correct some of his misconceptions. Others, like Rabbi M. S. Levy, thought Twain’s observations were actually « tinged with malice and prejudice. » Levy cited Jewish participants in the American Revolution who « fought and bled » for the new nation. He called Twain’s assertions « a libel on [the Jew’s] manhood and an outrage historically. » Levy also challenged Twain’s assertion that « the Jew is a money-getter. »

Money-getters? The Vanderbilts, Goulds, Astors, Havemeyers, Rockefellers, Mackays, Huntingtons, Armours, Carnegies, Sloanes, Whitneys, are not Jews, and yet they control and possess more than twenty-five per cent of all the circulated wealth of the United States.

Twain took the criticism to heart. In 1904, he wrote a postscript to his essay titled « The Jew as Soldier, » conceding that Jews had indeed fought in the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War in numbers greater than their percentage of the population. This meant that « the Jew’s patriotism was not merely level with the Christian’s but overpassed it. » Twain did not respond to Levy’s charges about Jews in the economy, but he never again raised this stereotype in print.

When Twain died in 1910, the American Jewish press mourned. His obituaries in that press often reprinted the words of the president of New York’s Hebrew Technical School for Girls: « In one of Mr. Clemens’s works he expressed his opinion of men, saying he had no choice between Hebrew and Gentile, black men or white; to him, all men were alike. »

Source: American Jewish Historical Society

Voir aussi:

Mark Twain’s Jews. By Dan Vogel. N.J.: KTAV Publishing House, Inc. Pp. xiv + 146. Hardcover. $22.95. ISBN 0881259160.

Barbara Schmidt

Mark Twain Forum

8 December 2006

Was Mark Twain guilty of anti-Semitism? Dan Vogel offers his answers in Mark Twain’s Jews, which documents and analyzes references to Jews in Twain’s writings. The book consists of eleven chapters, a facsimile of « Concerning the Jews » from September 1899 Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, reference notes and a bibliography.

Mark Twain’s Jews begins with Twain’s first exposure to Jewish playmates, the Levin brothers, in Hannibal, Missouri. Vogel describes Hannibal as a « hotbed of bigotry » and blames the town for instilling in Twain « The Hannibal Syndrome »–a disease « normally in remission whose symptoms would intermittently, gratuitously, slither out of Mark Twain’s subconscious to infest his writings as brief, passing slurs about the Jews » (p. 3).

Vogel’s second chapter titled « Out West with Two Jews and a Righteous Gentile » examines Twain’s relationships with Artemus Ward (a gentile), Bret Harte and Joseph Goodman. Vogel’s assertion that Goodman was a Jew may come as a surprise to some Twain scholars and Vogel admits that few sources are available to confirm this supposition. However, rather than proving that Twain was aware of Goodman’s Jewish heritage, Vogel simply states, « It never occurred to Mark Twain to ever mention that his fast friend was Jewish. It was not that that made him special » (p. 19). Vogel may have made a stronger argument for positive Jewish influence if had he been familiar with Shelley Fisher Fishkin’s recent contribution to Arizona Quarterly, (Spring 2005) titled « Mark Twain and the Jews » wherein Fishkin discusses Adolph Sutro of San Francisco as a prominent influence in Twain’s development of positive feelings towards Jews. Fishkin’s essay does not appear in Vogel’s bibliography and may not have been available to him at the time his book went to press. However, it is one of several essays by Twain scholars that appears to have been overlooked by Vogel.

Vogel’s third and fourth chapters are examinations of Twain’s 1867 contributions to the San Francisco Alta California newspaper and his best-seller The Innocents Abroad. Vogel asserts that much of Twain’s emphasis on Jewish noses in descriptions of the Holy Land are the careful observations of a newspaper journalist. « However, Mark Twain’s preoccupation with the squalor, disease, and noses » (p. 35) raised criticism from at least two scholars. Vogel refutes arguments by scholar Sander Gilman who claimed Twain’s tracing of diseases was a commentary on the role of Jews in Western civilization. Vogel counters that Twain described the deplorable conditions of the Jews the same as he described all inhabitants of the Holy Land. Vogel also disputes scholar Andrea Greenbaum who believed Twain was influenced by theories of « pseudoscience of ethnology » that were popular at the time. Vogel argues that Greenbaum never cited any such works in Mark Twain’s personal library nor found evidence of it elsewhere in his writing.

Vogel finds only a small number of Jewish references in Twain’s writings during his most productive years between 1867-1897. Among these are anti-Jewish comments in a letter to Henry H. Rogers about Broadway producer Daniel Frohman. Vogel points out that Frohman recalled in his memoirs that he and Twain played amicable games of pool each night together while engaged in litigation against one other. Vogel suggests that Twain could have emulated Dickens’s creation of Fagin the Jew (from Oliver Twist) or followed the trend of Christian « popular scribblers » by creating greedy Jewish characters in the form of the Duke and the Dauphin in Huckleberry Finn. But he did not. Vogel states « the silence of the missed opportunity in his creative years speaks of his basic humanity » (p. 46).

In a chapter titled « A Triad of European Jews » Vogel discusses Twain’s numerous writings on the Alfred Dreyfus affair, his friendship with journalist Theodor Herzl, and his association with Sigmund Freud. Twain apparently never met Dreyfus but continually condemned the French miscarriage of justice in Dreyfus’s conviction for treason. Vogel discusses Theodor Herzl’s play The New Ghetto and Twain’s interest in translating the work, which featured an innocent Jew and a Christian villain who compromises their friendship for political and personal gain. Twain’s relationship with Sigmund Freud is not well documented but Freud’s admiration of Twain is.

In a chapter titled « Shock Treatment in Vienna » Vogel examines Twain’s visit to the Austrian parliament and the resulting « Stirring Times in Austria » essay published a few months later in March 1898 Harper’s. Twain reported the Jewish slurs and insults he heard hurled around the parliament and the fights that broke out on the floor. Vogel sees « Stirring Times in Austria » as the stimulus for Twain’s major statement on the Jewish race the following year–« Concerning the Jews. »

As one might expect, the longest chapter in Vogel’s book is devoted to analyzing « Concerning the Jews. » Vogel identifies the two motifs of Twain’s essay as the Jews’ ability to acquire money and the envy it arouses in those less successful and how Jews should guard themselves against this reaction by organizing their political power. Vogel’s explanation of Twain’s indictment of the Biblical Joseph as a cruel money-grabber is that Twain’s intent was to prove that prejudices that are instilled early are never entirely erased. Vogel does not include in his bibliography the studies of Mark Twain’s writings on Joseph by Twain scholars Lawrence Berkove and Louis J. Budd. Budd’s statement that « even Twain should have seen that it did not help his own side to describe Joseph as the greediest stockmarket wolf in all history » was certainly worth quoting.

One passage in « Concerning the Jews » that has been controversial among scholars is Twain’s statement, « . . .if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world was going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let that race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride anymore. » Vogel believes that Twain’s « sense of humor went awry at this point in his essay » (p. 79).

Vogel provides his readers with summaries of reactions to « Concerning the Jews » from the Jewish community in America and London–« Misdirected, misguided, narrowly educated on this subject, Mark Twain was still, after all, a friend » (p. 84). As a result of criticism concerning Twain’s statements regarding the pacifist posture of Jews, subsequent reprintings of « Concerning the Jews » include Twain’s « Postscript–The Jew as a Soldier. » Vogel points out that « Concerning the Jews » is still controversial because « the ‘Jewish Question’ has not been answered, not in 1899 nor thereafter » (p. 86). Vogel concludes that Twain’s misspent humor in « Concerning the Jews » indicated he had not yet fully recovered from the « Hannibal syndrome. »

In a chapter titled « Two Fantasies and a Twice-Told Tale » Vogel examines the positive characteristics of Solomon Goldstein in Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven (contained in a passage that was not published in Twain’s lifetime) and Solomon Isaacs from The Mysterious Stranger manuscripts. « Newhouse’s Jew Story » and its longer version « Randall’s Jew Story, » is a story of a brave Jew defending a Negro girl and Vogel offers the theory that Twain wrote the story in response to criticism he received from « Concerning the Jews. » Vogel laments the fact that it was too late in Twain’s creative life to build good fiction around positive Jewish characters. However, Vogel believes these final works indicate Twain had at last cured himself of the « Hannibal syndrome. »

Vogel’s book concludes with a brief account of Twain’s activities in Jewish social events during the last years of his life and the marriage of his daughter Clara to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, a Russian Jew. In the final analysis Vogel concludes that the worst Twain could be accused of is innocent anti-Semitic writing in his early career.

In addition to Sander Gilman and Andrea Greenbaum, Vogel disagrees with interpretations of Twain’s work published by scholars Jude Nixon, Cynthia Ozick, and Susan Gillman. (See their citations in the end notes below.) Vogel provides worthy arguments against their positions.

Vogel was a professor at Yeshiva University and later head of the English Department at Michlalah-Jerusalem College. Mark Twain’s Jews will be a good companion to Arizona Quarterly, Spring 2005 which contains Shelley Fisher Fishkin’s « Mark Twain and the Jews. » While the two works overlap, there is much to distinguish both and help further the understanding of the Jewish-related debates that arise in Twain studies.

_____

End Notes:

Essays that contain interpretations of Twain’s work with which Vogel disagrees include:

Susan Gillman. « Mark Twain’s Travels in the Racial Occult: Following the Equator and the Dream Tales, » Cambridge Companion to Mark Twain (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Sander Gilman. « Mark Twain and the Diseases of the Jews, » American Literature, March 1993.

Andrea Greenbaum. « ‘A Number-One Troublemaker': Mark Twain’s Anti-Semitic Discourse in ‘Concerning the Jews’, » Studies in American-Jewish Literature, 1996.

Jude Nixon. « Social Philosophy, » The Mark Twain Encyclopedia (Garland Publishing, 1993).

Cynthia Ozick. « Mark Twain and the Jews, » Commentary, May 1995. Also « Introduction, » The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays (Oxford University Press, 1996).

Essays by Twain scholars that are not referenced in Vogel’s bibliography include:

Lawrence Berkove. « Mark Twain’s Hostility Toward Joseph, » CEA Critic, Summer 2000.

Louis J. Budd. « Mark Twain on Joseph the Patriarch, » American Quarterly, Winter 1964.

Shelley Fisher Fishkin. « Mark Twain and the Jews, » Arizona Quarterly, (Spring 2005).

Voir encore:

Arthur Goldwag on the perplexing prejudices of Walt Whitman and Mark Twain

Guest blog post by Arthur Goldwag, author of The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right

 Library of America

February 21, 2012

American letters has had more than its share of haters. Henry Adams, T. S. Eliot, H. L. Mencken and Ezra Pound leap immediately to mind; there are countless other examples as well. Though most merely reflect the prevailing attitudes of their time, class, and place, it’s natural for a reader to feel a sense of disappointment when she comes up against their prejudices. We want our literary writers to be, if not necessarily ahead of their times, at least outside of them. Faulkner’s racial politics were disappointingly retrograde and boilerplate when he expressed them in his own voice, but the characters in his novels, black and white alike, were, in Allen Tate’s words, “characters in depth, complex and, like all other people, ultimately mysterious.” Walt Whitman and Mark Twain’s attitudes about Catholics and Jews are at once offensive and well-intended; neither could be described as a hater, though both employed hateful tropes.

Fanny Fern, America’s first female newspaper columnist, was one of the early reviewers of Leaves of Grass. “The world needed a ‘Native American’ of thorough out and out breed,” she wrote in The New York Ledger on May 10, 1856, “Something beside a mere Catholic-hating Know-Nothing.” The Know-Nothings, of course, were members of the explicitly anti-Catholic political movement that arose in the 1840s.

Whitman might have celebrated “the nation of many nations” in his poetry, but what Fanny Fern didn’t know was that as a young newspaperman in the early 1840s, he had been something of a Know-Nothing himself, editorializing in The New York Aurora about the “gang of false and villainous priests whose despicable souls never generate any aspiration beyond their own narrow and horrible and beastly superstition…dregs of foreign filth—refuse of convents.” But as ethnocentric as his rhetoric undoubtedly was, it wasn’t inconsistent with his ethos. Whitman hated the authoritarianism of the Catholic hierarchy, not the Catholic immigrants themselves. Writing in Democratic Vistas in 1871, he envisioned a democracy that would supplant the “old belief in the necessary absoluteness of establish’d dynastic rulership, temporal, ecclesiastical, and scholastic” with the “doctrine or theory that man, properly train’d in sanest, highest freedom, may and must become a law, and series of laws, unto himself.”

“I have no race prejudices,” Mark Twain averred, “and I think I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I know it. I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being—that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse. I have no special regard for Satan; but I can at least claim that I have no prejudice against him. It may even be that I lean a little his way, on account of his not having a fair show.”

Huckleberry Finn critiqued antebellum southern norms from a vantage that was outside the verge of respectability; its racial politics are profoundly subversive—probably more so than its author intended. Though Twain has been rightly celebrated as a philo-Semite (one of his daughters would marry a Jew), he would perpetuate some of the most invidious—and inflammatory—Jewish stereotypes. While living in Vienna in the late 1890s, Twain wrote about the rise of Karl Lueger, who was elected the city’s mayor in 1895, and the anti-Semitic political movement he spearheaded. When an American Jew, responding to the article, asked Twain to speculate on the causes of Jew hatred, he ventured an elaborate, five-part answer. “Concerning the Jews” appeared in Harpers Magazine in 1898. As biographer Justin Kaplan has noted, “in his very attempt to extol the race in question, he ratified the most inflammatory pretext for resentment.”

The Jew “has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him,” Twain wrote. “He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.” But in Twain’s telling, there is scant mystery as to why Jews have been the objects of such enmity, going all the way back to the beginnings of history. In his decidedly eccentric take on Genesis 41, Joseph cornered the grain market and charged exorbitant prices when famine struck, beggaring the Egyptian nation. The real problem with Jews, Twain goes on, is that they’re too clever by half. If a Jew “entered upon a mechanical trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set up as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the business. If he exploited agriculture, the other farmers had to get at something else. Since there was no way to successfully compete with him in any vocation, the law had to step in and save the Christian from the poor-house.”

Twain’s take on the idea of political Zionism is chilling. “Have you heard of [Dr. Herzl’s] plan?” he wrote. “He wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own—under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose . . . I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world were going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let the race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride any more.”

As dark as Twain’s view of humanity might have been, Hitler and the Holocaust were beyond his capacity to imagine. “Among the high civilizations,” he wrote, the Jew “seems to be very comfortably situated indeed, and to have more than his proportionate share of the prosperities going. It has that look in Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is no particular matter.”

For all that, Twain’s admiration for the Jews was genuine; it is to his credit that he wrote and published a postscript in 1904, “The Jew as Soldier,” in which he corrected his animadversions on the Jews’ “unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier.” Far from avoiding military service, he wrote, the Jews “furnished soldiers and high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented in the armies and navies of both the North and the South by 10 per cent of his numerical strength—the same percentage that was furnished by the Christian populations of the two sections.” The Jewish capacity for “fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in the field is as good as any one’s,” he added.

Still, it is a testament to Twain’s wrongheadedness in other respects that “Concerning the Jews” sparks lively discussions on white nationalist websites to this day. What they focus on aren’t his suppositions about Jewish intellectual superiority. It is his off the cuff observations like this one: “the Jew is a money-getter. He made it the end and aim of his life. He was at it in Rome. He has been at it ever since. His success has made the whole human race his enemy.”

Also of interest:

“Mark Twain and the Jews” on Jewish Virtual Library discusses the reaction of contemporary American Jews to “Concerning the Jews”

In “Walt Whitman & the Irish” on The Walt Whitman Archive Joann Krieg tracks how Whitman’s attitudes toward Catholics and the Irish evolved

« A Presidential Candidate » by Mark Twain, this week’s Story of the Week

« Mark Twain and William Dean Howells: the friendship that transformed American literature, » a previous Reader’s Almanac post

Related LOA works: Walt Whitman: Poetry and Prose (includes Democratic Vistas); Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches & Essays 1891-1910 (includes “Concerning the Jews” and the 1904 postscript “The Jew as Soldier”)

Voir enfin:

Concerning The Jews

Mark Twain

Harper’s Magazine

March 1898

Some months ago I published a magazine article descriptive of a remarkable scene in the Imperial Parliament in Vienna. Since then I have received from Jews in America several letters of inquiry. They were difficult letters to answer, for they were not very definite. But at last I have received a definite one. It is from a lawyer, and he really asks the questions which the other writers probably believed they were asking. By help of this text I will do the best I can to publicly answer this correspondent, and also the others – at the same time apologizing for having failed to reply privately. The lawyer’s letter reads as follows:

I have read ‘Stirring Times in Austria.’ One point in particular is of vital import to not a few thousand people, including myself, being a point about which I have often wanted to address a question to some disinterested person. The show of military force in the Austrian Parliament, which precipitated the riots, was not introduced by any Jew. No Jew was a member of that body. No Jewish question was involved in the Ausgleich or in the language proposition. No Jew was insulting anybody. In short, no Jew was doing any mischief toward anybody whatsoever. In fact, the Jews were the only ones of the nineteen different races in Austria which did not have a party – they are absolutely non-participants.

Yet in your article you say that in the rioting which followed, all classes of people were unanimous only on one thing, viz., in being against the Jews. Now will you kindly tell me why, in your judgment, the Jews have thus ever been, and are even now, in these days of supposed intelligence, the butt of baseless, vicious animosities? I dare say that for centuries there has been no more quiet, undisturbing, and well-behaving citizen, as a class, than that same Jew. It seems to me that ignorance and fanaticism cannot alone account for these horrible and unjust persecutions.

« Tell me, therefore, from your vantage-point of cold view, what in your mind is the cause. Can American Jews do anything to correct it either in America or abroad? Will it ever come to an end? Will a Jew be permitted to live honestly, decently, and peaceably like the rest of mankind? What has become of the Golden Rule? » I will begin by saying that if I thought myself prejudiced against the Jew, I should hold it fairest to leave this subject to a person not crippled in that way. But I think I have no such prejudice. A few years ago a Jew observed to me that there was no uncourteous reference to his people in my books, and asked how it happened. It happened because the disposition was lacking. I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed, I know it.

I can stand any society. All that I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse. I have no special regard for Satan; but I can at least claim that I have no prejudice against him. It may even be that I lean a little his way, on account of his not having a fair show.

All religions issue bibles against him, and say the most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. We have none but the evidence for the prosecution, and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English; it is un-American; it is French. Without this precedent Dreyfus could not have been condemned.

Of course Satan has some kind of a case, it goes without saying. It may be a poor one, but that is nothing; that can be said about any of us. As soon as I can get at the facts I will undertake his rehabilitation myself, if I can find an unpolitic publisher. It is a thing which we ought to be willing to do for any one who is under a cloud. We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.

A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race, and political head of the whole of it, must be granted the possession of executive abilities of the loftiest order. In his large presence the other popes and politicians shrink to midges for the microscope. I would like to see him. I would rather see him and shake him by the tail than any other member of the European Concert.

In the present paper I shall allow myself to use the word Jew as if it stood for both religion and race. It is handy; and, besides, that is what the term means to the general world. In the above letter one notes these points:

1. The Jew is a well-behaved citizen.

2. Can ignorance and fanaticism alone account for his unjust treatment?

3. Can Jews do anything to improve the situation?

4. The Jews have no party; they are non-participants.

5. Will the persecution ever come to an end?

6. What has become of the Golden Rule?

Point No. 1.

We must grant proposition No. 1 for several sufficient reasons. The Jew is not a disturber of the peace of any country. Even his enemies will concede that. He is not a loafer, he is not a sot, he is not noisy, he is not a brawler nor a rioter, he is not quarrelsome. In the statistics of crime his presence is conspicuously rare – in all countries. With murder and other crimes of violence he has but little to do: he is a stranger to the hangman. In the police court’s daily long roll of « assaults » and « drunk and disorderlies » his name seldom appears.

That the Jewish home is a home in the truest sense is a fact which no one will dispute. The family is knitted together by the strongest affections; its members show each other every due respect; and reverence for the elders is an inviolate law of the house. The Jew is not a burden on the charities of the state nor of the city; these could cease from their functions without affecting him.

When he is well enough, he works; when he is incapacitated, his own people take care of him. And not in a poor and stingy way, but with a fine and large benevolence. His race is entitled to be called the most benevolent of all the races of men. A Jewish beggar is not impossible, perhaps; such a thing may exist, but there are few men that can say they have seen that spectacle. The Jew has been staged in many uncomplimentary forms, but, so far as I know, no dramatist has done him the injustice to stage him as a beggar. Whenever a Jew has real need to beg, his people save him from the necessity of doing it. The charitable institutions of the Jews are supported by Jewish money, and amply. The Jews make no noise about it; it is done quietly; they do not nag and pester and harass us for contributions; they give us peace, and set us an example – an example which we have not found ourselves able to follow; for by nature we are not free givers, and have to be patiently and persistently hunted down in the interest of the unfortunate.

These facts are all on the credit side of the proposition that the Jew is a good and orderly citizen. Summed up, they certify that he is quiet, peaceable, industrious, unaddicted to high crimes and brutal dispositions; that his family life is commendable; that he is not a burden upon public charities; that he is not a beggar; that in benevolence he is above the reach of competition. These are the very quint-essentials of good citizenship. If you can add that he is as honest as the average of his neighbors – But I think that question is affirmatively answered by the fact that he is a successful business man.

The basis of successful business is honesty; a business cannot thrive where the parties to it cannot trust each other. In the matter of numbers of the Jew counts for little in the overwhelming population of New York; but that his honesty counts for much is guaranteed by the fact that the immense wholesale business houses of Broadway, from the Battery to Union Square, is substantially in his hands. I suppose that the most picturesque example in history of a trader’s trust in his fellow-trader was one where it was not Christian trusting Christian, but Christian trusting Jew.

That Hessian Duke who used to sell his subjects to George III. to fight George Washington with got rich at it; and by-and-by, when the wars engendered by the French Revolution made his throne too warm for him, he was obliged to fly the country. He was in a hurry, and had to leave his earnings behind – $9,000,000. He had to risk the money with some one without security. He did not select a Christian, but a Jew – a Jew of only modest means, but of high character; a character so high that it left him lonesome – Rothschild of Frankfort. Thirty years later, when Europe had become quiet and safe again, the Duke came back from overseas, and the Jew returned the loan, with interest added.

[Footnote *: Here is another piece of picturesque history; and it reminds us that shabbiness and dishonesty are not the monopoly of any race or creed, but are merely human:

« Congress has passed a bill to pay $379.56 to Moses Pendergrass, of Libertyville, Missouri. The story of the reason of this liberality is pathetically interesting, and shows the sort of pickle that an honest man may get into who undertakes to do an honest job of work for Uncle Sam. In 1886 Moses Pendergrass put in a bid for the contract to carry the mail on the route from Knob Lick to Libertyville and Coffman, thirty miles a day, from July 1, 1887, for one year. He got the postmaster at Knob Lick to write the letter for him, and while Moses intended that his bid should be $400, his scribe carelessly made it $4. Moses got the contract, and did not find out about the mistake until the end of the first quarter, when he got his first pay. When he found at what rate he was working he was sorely cast down, and opened communication with the Post-Office Department.

The department informed him that he must either carry out his contract or throw it up, and that if he threw it up his bondsmen would have to pay the government $1459.85 damages. So Moses carried out his contract, walked thirty miles every week-day for a year, and carried the mail, and received for his labor $4 – or, to be accurate, $6.84; for, the route being extended after his bid was accepted, the pay was proportionately increased. Now, after ten years, a bill was finally passed to pay to Moses the difference between what he earned in that unlucky year and what he received. »

The Sun, which tells the above story, says that bills were introduced in three or four Congresses for Moses’ relief, and that committees repeatedly investigated his claim. It took six Congresses, containing in their persons the compressed virtues of 70,000,000 of people, and cautiously and carefully giving expression to those virtues in the fear of God and the next election, eleven years to find out some way to cheat a fellow-Christian out of about $13 on his honestly executed contract, and out of nearly $300 due him on its enlarged terms. And they succeeded.

During the same time they paid out $1,000,000,000 in pensions – a third of it unearned and undeserved. This indicates a splendid all-around competency in theft, for it starts with farthings, and works its industries all the way up to ship-loads. It may be possible that the Jews can beat this, but the man that bets on it is taking chances.]

The Jew has his other side. He has some discreditable ways, though he has not a monopoly of them, because he cannot get entirely rid of vexatious Christian competition. We have seen that he seldom transgresses the laws against crimes of violence. Indeed, his dealings with courts are almost restricted to matters connected with commerce. He has a reputation for various small forms of cheating, and for practising oppressive usury, and for burning himself out to get the insurance, and for arranging cunning contracts which leave him an exit but lock the other man in, and for smart evasions which find him safe and comfortable just within the strict letter of the law, when court and jury know very well that he has violated the spirit of it.

He is a frequent and faithful and capable officer in the civil service, but he is charged with an unpatriotic disinclination to stand by the flag as a soldier – like the Christian Quaker. Now if you offset these discreditable features by the creditable ones summarized in a preceding paragraph beginning with the words, « These facts are all on the credit side, » and strike a balance, what must the verdict be? This, I think: that, the merits and demerits being fairly weighed and measured on both sides, the Christian can claim no superiority over the Jew in the matter of good citizenship. Yet in all countries, from the dawn of history, the Jew has been persistently and implacably hated, and with frequency persecuted.

Point No. 2.

« Can fanaticism alone account for this? » Years ago I used to think that it was responsible for nearly all of it, but latterly I have come to think that this was an error. Indeed, it is now my conviction that it is responsible for hardly any of it. In this connection I call to mind Genesis, chapter xlvii. We have all thoughtfully – or unthoughtfully – read the pathetic story of the years of plenty and the years of famine in Egypt, and how Joseph, with that opportunity, made a corner in broken hearts, and the crusts of the poor, and human liberty – a corner whereby he took a nation’s money all away, to the last penny; took a nation’s livestock all away, to the last hoof; took a nation’s land away, to the last acre; then took the nation itself, buying it for bread, man by man, woman by woman, child by child, till all were slaves; a corner which took everything, left nothing; a corner so stupendous that, by comparison with it, the most gigantic corners in subsequent history are but baby things, for it dealt in hundreds of millions of bushels, and its profits were reckonable by hundreds of millions of dollars, and it was a disaster so crushing that its effects have not wholly disappeared from Egypt to-day, more than three thousand years after the event.

Is it presumable that the eye of Egypt was upon Joseph the foreign Jew all this time? I think it likely. Was it friendly? We must doubt it. Was Joseph establishing a character for his race which would survive long in Egypt? and in time would his name come to be familiarly used to express that character – like Shylock’s? It is hardly to be doubted.

Let us remember that this was centuries before the crucifixion. I wish to come down eighteen hundred years later and refer to a remark made by one of the Latin historians. I read it in a translation many years ago, and it comes back to me now with force. It was alluding to a time when people were still living who could have seen the Savior in the flesh. Christianity was so new that the people of Rome had hardly heard of it, and had but confused notions of what it was.

The substance of the remark was this: Some Christians were persecuted in Rome through error, they being « mistaken for Jews. » The meaning seems plain. These pagans had nothing against Christians, but they were quite ready to persecute Jews. For some reason or other they hated a Jew before they even knew what a Christian was. May I not assume, then, that the persecution of Jews is a thing which antedates Christianity and was not born of Christianity? I think so.

What was the origin of the feeling? When I was a boy, in the back settlements of the Mississippi Valley, where a gracious and beautiful Sunday-school simplicity and unpracticality prevailed, the « Yankee » (citizen of the New England States) was hated with a splendid energy. But religion had nothing to do with it. In a trade, the Yankee was held to be about five times the match of the Westerner. His shrewdness, his insight, his judgment, his knowledge, his enterprise, and his formidable cleverness in applying these forces were frankly confessed, and most competently cursed.

In the cotton States, after the war, the simple and ignorant negroes made the crops for the white planter on shares. The Jew came down in force, set up shop on the plantation, supplied all the negro’s wants on credit, and at the end of the season was proprietor of the negro’s share of the present crop and of part of his share of the next one. Before long, the whites detested the Jew, and it is doubtful if the negro loved him.

The Jew is being legislated out of Russia. The reason is not concealed. The movement was instituted because the Christian peasant and villager stood no chance against his commercial abilities. He was always ready to lend money on a crop, and sell vodka and other necessaries of life on credit while the crop was growing. When settlement day came he owned the crop; and next year or year after he owned the farm, like Joseph.

In the dull and ignorant England of John’s time everybody got into debt to the Jew. He gathered all lucrative enterprises into his hands; he was the king of commerce; he was ready to be helpful in all profitable ways; he even financed crusades for the rescue of the Sepulchre. To wipe out his account with the nation and restore business to its natural and incompetent channels he had to be banished the realm.

For the like reasons Spain had to banish him four hundred years ago, and Austria about a couple of centuries later. In all the ages Christian Europe has been obliged to curtail his activities. If he entered upon a mechanical trade, the Christian had to retire from it. If he set up as a doctor, he was the best one, and he took the business. If he exploited agriculture, the other farmers had to get at something else. Since there was no way to successfully compete with him in any vocation, the law had to step in and save the Christian from the poor-house.

Trade after trade was taken away from the Jew by statute till practically none was left. He was forbidden to engage in agriculture; he was forbidden to practise law; he was forbidden to practise medicine, except among Jews; he was forbidden the handicrafts. Even the seats of learning and the schools of science had to be closed against this tremendous antagonist.

Still, almost bereft of employments, he found ways to make money, even ways to get rich. Also ways to invest his takings well, for usury was not denied him. In the hard conditions suggested, the Jew without brains could not survive, and the Jew with brains had to keep them in good training and well sharpened up, or starve. Ages of restriction to the one tool which the law was not able to take from him – his brain – have made that tool singularly competent; ages of compulsory disuse of his hands have atrophied them, and he never uses them now.

This history has a very, very commercial look, a most sordid and practical commercial look, the business aspect of a Chinese cheap-labor crusade. Religious prejudices may account for one part of it, but not for the other nine. Protestants have persecuted Catholics, but they did not take their livelihoods away from them. The Catholics have persecuted the Protestants with bloody and awful bitterness, but they never closed agriculture and the handicrafts against them. Why was that? That has the candid look of genuine religious persecution, not a trade-union boycott in a religious disguise.

The Jews are harried and obstructed in Austria and Germany, and lately in France; but England and America give them an open field and yet survive. Scotland offers them an unembarrassed field too, but there are not many takers. There are a few Jews in Glasgow, and one in Aberdeen; but that is because they can’t earn enough to get away. The Scotch pay themselves that compliment, but it is authentic.

I feel convinced that the Crucifixion has not much to do with the world’s attitude towards the Jew; that the reasons for it are older than that event, as suggested by Egypt’s experience and by Rome’s regret for having persecuted an unknown quantity called a Christian, under the mistaken impression that she was merely persecuting a Jew. Merely a Jew – a skinned eel who was used to it, presumably.

I am persuaded that in Russia, Austria, and Germany nine-tenths of the hostility to the Jew comes from the average Christian’s inability to compete successfully with the average Jew in business – in either straight business or the questionable sort. In Berlin, a few years ago, I read a speech which frankly urged the expulsion of the Jews from Germany; and the agitator’s reason was as frank as his proposition.

It was this: that eighty-five per cent. of the successful lawyers of Berlin were Jews, and that about the same percentage of the great and lucrative businesses of all sorts in Germany were in the hands of the Jewish race! Isn’t it an amazing confession? It was but another way of saying that in a population of 48,000,000, of whom only 500,000 were registered as Jews, eight-five per cent. of the brains and honesty of the whole was lodged in the Jews.

I must insist upon the honesty – it is an essential of successful business, taken by and large. Of course it does not rule out rascals entirely, even among Christians, but it is a good working rule, nevertheless. The speaker’s figures may have been inexact, but the motive of persecution stands out as clear as day. The man claimed that in Berlin the banks, the newspapers, the theatres, the great mercantile, shipping, mining, and manufacturing interests, the big army and city contracts, the tramways, and pretty much all other properties of high value, and also the small businesses, were in the hands of the Jews.

He said the Jew was pushing the Christian to the wall all along the line; that it was all a Christian could do to scrape together a living; and that the Jew must be banished, and soon – there was no other way of saving the Christian.

Here in Vienna, last autumn, an agitator said that all these disastrous details were true of Austria-Hungary also; and in fierce language he demanded the expulsion of the Jews. When politicians come out without a blush and read the baby act in this frank way, unrebuked, it is a very good indication that they have a market back of them, and know where to fish for votes. You note the crucial point of the mentioned agitation; the argument is that the Christian cannot compete with the Jew, and that hence his very bread is in peril. To human beings this is a much more hate-inspiring thing than is any detail connected with religion.

With most people, of a necessity, bread and meat take first rank, religion second. I am convinced that the persecution of the Jew is not due in any large degree to religious prejudice. No, the Jew is a money-getter; and in getting his money he is a very serious obstruction to less capable neighbors who are on the same quest. I think that that is the trouble.

In estimating worldly values the Jew is not shallow, but deep. With precocious wisdom he found out in the morning of time that some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, and that over these ideals they dispute and cannot unite – but that they all worship money; so he made it the end and aim of his life to get it.

He was at it in Egypt thirty-six centuries ago; he was at it in Rome when that Christian got persecuted by mistake for him; he has been at it ever since. The cost to him has been heavy; his success has made the whole human race his enemy – but it has paid, for it has brought him envy, and that is the only thing which men will sell both soul and body to get.

He long ago observed that a millionaire commands respect, a two-millionaire homage, a multi-millionaire the deepest deeps of adoration. We all know that feeling; we have seen it express itself. We have noticed that when the average man mentions the name of a multi-millionaire he does it with that mixture in his voice of awe and reverence and lust which burns in a Frenchman’s eye when it falls on another man’s centime.

Point No. 3.

« Can Jews do anything to improve the situation? » I think so. If I may make a suggestion without seeming to be trying to teach my grandmother how to suck eggs, I will offer it. In our days we have learned the value of combination. We apply it everywhere – in railway systems, in trusts, in trade unions, in Salvation Armies, in minor politics, in major politics, in European Concerts. Whatever our strength may be, big or little, we organize it. We have found out that that is the only way to get the most out of it that is in it. We know the weakness of individual sticks, and the strength of the concentrated fagot.

Suppose you try a scheme like this, for instance. In England and America put every Jew on the census-book as a Jew (in case you have not been doing that). Get up volunteer regiments composed of Jews solely, and, when the drum beats, fall in and go to the front, so as to remove the reproach that you have few Massenas among you, and that you feed on a country but don’t like to fight for it. Next, in politics, organize your strength, band together, and deliver the casting vote where you can, and, where you can’t, compel as good terms as possible.

You huddle to yourselves already in all countries, but you huddle to no sufficient purpose, politically speaking. You do not seem to be organized, except for your charities. There you are omnipotent; there you compel your due of recognition – you do not have to beg for it. It shows what you can do when you band together for a definite purpose. And then from America and England you can encourage your race in Austria, France, and Germany, and materially help it.

It was a pathetic tale that was told by a poor Jew in Galicia a fortnight ago during the riots, after he had been raided by the Christian peasantry and despoiled of everything he had. He said his vote was of no value to him, and he wished he could be excused from casting it, for, indeed, casting it was a sure damage to him, since no matter which party he voted for, the other party would come straight and take its revenge out of him.

Nine per cent. of the population of the empire, these Jews, and apparently they cannot put a plank into any candidate’s platform! If you will send our Irish lads over here I think they will organize your race and change the aspect of the Reichsrath.

You seem to think that the Jews take no hand in politics here, that they are « absolutely non-participants. » I am assured by men competent to speak that this is a very large error, that the Jews are exceedingly active in politics all over the empire, but that they scatter their work and their votes among the numerous parties, and thus lose the advantages to be had by concentration. I think that in America they scatter too, but you know more about that than I do.

Speaking of concentration, Dr. Herzl has a clear insight into the value of that. Have you heard of his plan? He wishes to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own – under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose. At the Convention of Berne, last year, there were delegates from everywhere, and the proposal was received with decided favor.

I am not the Sultan, and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world were going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland), I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let the race find out its strength. If the horses knew theirs, we should not ride any more.

Point No. 4.

« The Jews have no party; they are non-participants. » Perhaps you have let the secret out and given yourself away. It seems hardly a credit to the race that it is able to say that; or to you, sir, that you can say it without remorse; more than you should offer it as a plea against maltreatment, injustice, and oppression. Who gives the Jew the right, who gives any race the right, to sit still, in a free country, and let somebody else look after its safety?

The oppressed Jew was entitled to all pity in the former times under brutal autocracies, for he was weak and friendless, and had no way to help his case. But he has ways now, and he has had them for a century, but I do not see that he has tried to make serious use of them. When the Revolution set him free in France it was an act of grace – the grace of other people; he does not appear in it as a helper. I do not know that he helped when England set him free. Among the Twelve Sane Men of France who have stepped forward with great Zola at their head to fight (and win, I hope and believe ^*) the battle for the most infamously misused Jew of modern times, do you find a great or rich or illustrious Jew helping?

In the United States he was created free in the beginning – he did not need to help, of course. In Austria and Germany and France he has a vote, but of what considerable use is it to him? He doesn’t seem to know how to apply it to the best effect. With all his splendid capacities and all his fat wealth he is to-day not politically important in any country. In America, as early as 1854, the ignorant Irish hod-carrier, who had a spirit of his own and a way of exposing it to the weather, made it apparent to all that he must be politically reckoned with; yet fifteen years before that we hardly knew what an Irishman looked like.

As an intelligent force and numerically, he has always been away down, but he has governed the country just the same. It was because he was organized. It made his vote valuable – in fact, essential.

You will say the Jew is everywhere numerically feeble. That is nothing to the point – with the Irishman’s history for an object-lesson. But I am coming to your numerical feebleness presently. In all parliamentary countries you could no doubt elect Jews to the legislatures – and even one member in such a body is sometimes a force which counts. How deeply have you concerned yourselves about this in Austria, France, and Germany? Or even in America, for that matter? You remark that the Jews were not to blame for the riots in this Reichsrath here, and you add with satisfaction that there wasn’t one in that body. That is not strictly correct; if it were, would it not be in order for you to explain it and apologize for it, not try to make a merit of it?

But I think that the Jew was by no means in as large force there as he ought to have been, with his chances. Austria opens the suffrage to him on fairly liberal terms, and it must surely be his own fault that he is so much in the background politically. As to your numerical weakness. I mentioned some figures awhile ago – 500,000 – as the Jewish population of Germany. I will add some more – 6,000,000 in Russia, 5,000,000 in Austria, 250,000 in the United States. I take them from memory; I read them in the Cyclopaedia Britannica ten or twelve years ago. Still, I am entirely sure of them.

If those statistics are correct, my argument is not as strong as it ought to be as concerns America, but it still has strength. It is plenty strong enough as concerns Austria, for ten years ago 5,000,000 was nine per cent. of the empire’s population. The Irish would govern the Kingdom of Heaven if they had a strength there like that.

I have some suspicions; I got them at second-hand, but they have remained with me these ten or twelve years. When I read in the C. B. that the Jewish population of the United States was 250,000, I wrote the editor, and explained to him that I was personally acquainted with more Jews than that in my country, and that his figures were without a doubt a misprint for 25,000,000. I also added that I was personally acquainted with that many there; but that was only to raise his confidence in me, for it was not true.

His answer miscarried, and I never got it; but I went around talking about the matter, and people told me they had reason to suspect that for business reasons many Jews whose dealings were mainly with the Christians did not report themselves as Jews in the census. It looked plausible; it looks plausible yet. Look at the city of New York; and look at Boston, and Philadelphia, and New Orleans, and Chicago, and Cincinnati, and San Francisco – how your race swarms in those places! – and everywhere else in America, down to the least little village.

Read the signs on the marts of commerce and on the shops; Goldstein (gold stone), Edelstein (precious stone), Blumenthal (flower-vale), Rosenthal (rose-vale), Veilchenduft (violet odor), Singvogel (song-bird), Rosenzweig (rose branch), and all the amazing list of beautiful and enviable names which Prussia and Austria glorified you with so long ago. It is another instance of Europe’s coarse and cruel persecution of your race; not that it was coarse and cruel to outfit it with pretty and poetical names like those, but that it was coarse and cruel to make it pay for them or else take such hideous and often indecent names that to-day their owners never use them; or, if they do, only on official papers.

And it was the many, not the few, who got the odious names, they being too poor to bribe the officials to grant them better ones. Now why was the race renamed? I have been told that in Prussia it was given to using fictitious names, and often changing them, so as to beat the tax-gatherer, escape military service, and so on; and that finally the idea was hit upon of furnishing all the inmates of a house with one and the same surname, and then holding the house responsible right along for those inmates, and accountable for any disappearances that might occur; it made the Jews keep track of each other, for self-interest’s sake, and saved the government the trouble. ^*

[Footnote *: In Austria the renaming was merely done because the Jews in some newly acquired regions had no surnames, but were mostly named Abraham and Moses, and therefore the tax-gatherer could not tell t’other from which, and was likely to lose his reason over the matter. The renaming was put into the hands of the War Department, and a charming mess the graceless young lieutenants made of it. To them a Jew was of no sort of consequence, and they labelled the race in a way to make the angels weep. As an example, take these two: Abraham Bellyache and Schmul Godbedamned. – Culled from « Namens Studien, » by Karl Emil Franzos.]

If that explanation of how the Jews of Prussia came to be renamed is correct, if it is true that they fictitiously registered themselves to gain certain advantages, it may possibly be true that in America they refrain from registering themselves as Jews to fend off the damaging prejudices of the Christian customer. I have no way of knowing whether this notion is well founded or not. There may be other and better ways of explaining why only that poor little 250,000 of our Jews got into the Cyclopaedia. I may, of course, be mistaken, but I am strongly of the opinion that we have an immense Jewish population in America.

Point No. 5.

« Will the persecution of the Jews ever come to an end? » On the score of religion, I think it has already come to an end. On the score of race prejudice and trade, I have the idea that it will continue. That is, here and there in spots about the world, where a barbarous ignorance and a sort of mere animal civilization prevail; but I do not think that elsewhere the Jew need now stand in any fear of being robbed and raided.

Among the high civilizations he seems to be very comfortably situated indeed, and to have more than his proportionate share of the prosperities going. It has that look in Vienna. I suppose the race prejudice cannot be removed; but he can stand that; it is no particular matter. By his make and ways he is substantially a foreigner wherever he may be, and even the angels dislike a foreigner. I am using this word foreigner in the German sense – stranger. Nearly all of us have an antipathy to a stranger, even of our own nationality. We pile gripsacks in a vacant seat to keep him from getting it; and a dog goes further, and does as a savage would – challenges him on the spot.

The German dictionary seems to make no distinction between a stranger and a foreigner; in its view a stranger is a foreigner – a sound position, I think. You will always be by ways and habits and predilections substantially strangers – foreigners – wherever you are, and that will probably keep the race prejudice against you alive. But you were the favorites of Heaven originally, and your manifold and unfair prosperities convince me that you have crowded back into that snug place again.

Here is an incident that is significant. Last week in Vienna a hailstorm struck the prodigious Central Cemetery and made wasteful destruction there. In the Christian part of it, according to the official figures, 621 window-panes were broken; more than 900 singing-birds were killed; five great trees and many small ones were torn to shreds and the shreds scattered far and wide by the wind; the ornamental plants and other decorations of the graves were ruined, and more than a hundred tomb-lanterns shattered; and it took the cemetery’s whole force of 300 laborers more than three days to clear away the storm’s wreckage. In the report occurs this remark – and in its italics you can hear it grit its Christian teeth « . . . lediglich die israelitische Abtheilung des Friedhofes vom Hagelwetter ganzlich verschont worden war. » Not a hailstone hit the Jewish reservation! Such nepotism makes me tired.

Point No. 6.

« What has become of the Golden Rule? » It exists, it continues to sparkle, and is well taken care of. It is Exhibit A in the Church’s assets, and we pull it out every Sunday and give it an airing. But you are not permitted to try to smuggle it into this discussion, where it is irrelevant and would not feel at home. It is strictly religious furniture, like an acolyte, or a contribution-plate, or any of those things. It has never been intruded into business; and Jewish persecution is not a religious passion, it is a business passion.

To conclude. – If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one per cent. of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star-dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

He has made a marvellous fight in this world, in all the ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?

Postscript — The Jew as Soldier

When I published the above article in Harper`s Monthly, I was ignorant — like the rest of the Christian world — of the fact that the Jew had a record as a soldier. I have since seen the official statistics, and I find that he furnished soldiers and high officers to the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. In the Civil War he was represented in the armies and navies of both the North and the South by 10 percent of his numerical strength — the same percentage that was furnished by the Christian populations of the two sections. This large fact means more than it seems to mean; for it means that the Jew`s patriotism was not merely level with the Christian`s, but overpassed it. When the Christian volunteer arrived in camp he got a welcome and applause, but as a rule the Jew got a snub. His company was not desired, and he was made to feel it. That he nevertheless conquered his wounded pride and sacrificed both that and his blood for his flag raises the average and quality of his patriotism above the Christian`s. His record for capacity, for fidelity, and for gallant soldiership in the field is as good as any one`s. This is true of the Jewish private soldiers and the Jewish generals alike. Major-General O.O. Howard speaks of one of his Jewish staff-officers as being « of the bravest and best »; of another — killed at Chancellorsville — as being « a true friend and a brave officer »; he highly praises two of his Jewish brigadier-generals; finally, he uses these strong words: « Intrinsically there are no more patriotic men to be found in the country than those who claim to be of Hebrew descent, and who served with me in parallel commands or more directly under my instructions. »

Fourteen Jewish Confederate and Union families contributed, between them, fifty-one soldiers to the war. Among these, a father and three sons; and another, a father and four sons.

In the above article I was not able to endorse the common reproach that the Jew is willing to feed upon a country but not to fight for it, because I did not know whether it was true or false. I supposed it to be true, but it is not allowable to endorse wandering maxims upon supposition — except when one is trying to make out a case. That slur upon the Jew cannot hold up its head in presence of the figures of the War Department. It has done its work, and done it long and faithfully, and with high approval: it ought to be pensioned off now, and retired from active service.”


Suivre

Recevez les nouvelles publications par mail.

Rejoignez 374 autres abonnés

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :