Tag: anti-semitism

We Shall Overspread

While there is a big debate in the US about the old monuments, Russia is erecting new ones. Starting with the eye sore of a Kalashnikov statue in Moscow that had a bit of a glitch of sporting a German rifle instead of the famous Russian export and finishing with a “monument to manspreading” aka Russian Emperor Alexander the Third in Crimea’s Yalta. While manspreading is a great metaphor for the “Crimea reunification”, let’s put aside the Ukrainian side of the issue and take a closer look at the schmock du jour.

Alexander the Third statue is seated somewhat uncomfortably on what looks like a pile of manure, with his hands on a sword and the words “Russia’s only allies are its army and fleet” engraved on the base of the monument. During the unveiling ceremony that was attended by President Putin, the emperor was lauded as the “Peacemaker” who

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Anti-Semitism in Germany: A Comment

“Mutti,” aka Angela Merkel, is not amused. Neither is the rest of the German political establishment, the German media, or the vast majority of German people. Three days ago, some of the protesters against the Israeli campaign in Gaza yelled anti-Semitic hate paroles, a man wearing a kippah was chased through Berlin, and the police didn’t interfere. This is absolutely shameful for all of us Germans and it is very understandable that the Israeli ambassador to Germany, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, condemned the acts in the strongest words. However, Mr. Hadas-Handelsman is wrong to insinuate parallels between the current situation and the Germany of 1938. Continue reading

Johan Galtung’s Bizarre Rant

Galtung is a pivotal figure in the development of Peace Studies. My only real interface with his work is in the form of his influential “Structural Theory of Imperialism” (PDF), which specified key features of empire as a logic of organization. According to Haaretz, Galtung has been accused of multiple anti-semitic statements over the past two years. Pretty unpleasant stuff, e.g.,

Galtung’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks were exposed by the website of the Norwegian periodical, “Humanist.” (http://humanist.no) Some of the comments were made during a lecture at the University of Oslo last summer, and others were written by Galtung in response to an article critical of him that was published in the periodical.

Among other claims, Galtung stated that there is a possible link between Anders Behring Breivik, responsible for massacring dozens of children in Norway last summer, and Jewish and Israeli factions. The connection is supposedly based on the fact that the murderer has ties to the “Freemasons” organization, “which has Jewish origins,” according to Galtung. The supposed connection to Israel is through the Mossad – which Galtung believes might have given Breivik his orders.

In the same breath, Galtung mentioned a conspiracy theory, linking last summer’s massacre in Norway with the attack on the King David Hotel, carried out by the Etzel in 1946 – both attacks took place on July 22. He finished with this astonishing claim: “It will be interesting to read the [Norwegian] police report on Israel, during the trial.”

In an email exchange with Haaretz on Sunday, Galtung requested to clear up his claims. “When we know nothing about who is behind Breivik, including whether there is anybody at all, any hypothesis is legitimate; that is in the nature of research,” wrote Galtung. 

“I consider the Mossad highly unlikely, but it is illegitimate to eliminate it as a hypothesis with no evidence,” continued Galtung.

 I am curious if any of our Norwegian friends have insights that they would be willing to share in comments.

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