OPINION: by Mark BrahamNews Weekly
Disgrace of the West's 'cognitive dissonance'
, September 29, 2007
All too many Western journalists hear only what they want to hear, and reject all evidence of disturbing truths, writes Mark Braham.The richness of the English language is such that it is possible to administer a rebuke in the nicest possible way. The use of objectionable swear words is evidence of both poverty of language and aggressiveness.
Talmudic advice to the target of such an attack is: "A soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1). Motorists, kindly note.
Which is in no sense to pull any linguistic punches when one is dealing with what psychological jargon describes as "cognitive dissonance" - a mental sickness that means only hearing what you want to hear, and rejecting all evidence of disturbing truths.
The "cognitive dissonance" of well-known and influential journalists disgracing the quality press of the West will be described by future historians in the same terms as we today remember World War II traitors who were hanged by the British Labour Government after 1945.Smuggled
For example, an article by American-Arab journalist, Joseph Farah, "The history of American Reds" (WorldNetDaily
, March 30, 2007) describes how the US Communist Party has "donated a vast collection of its photographs and documents - including smuggled directives from Moscow - to New York University".
It will take years to catalogue the documents before giving them an honoured place in the Tamiment Library, a global centre for "scholarly research on labour and the Left".
The library director, Michael Nash, has issued a statement calling the archives "among the most important ones in the United States documenting the history of the American Left". Nash proudly refers to the "significance" of the collection.
Farah comments: "Are the Communists today still viewed as noble idealists who, perhaps, got off track or whose methods got a little messy?
"Or can we finally all agree, once and for all, that the Soviet Union truly was the Evil Empire of its time and those who did its bidding - particularly those privileged enough to have lived in the US - were as evil as their masters in the Kremlin?
"It can't be that we truly believe there is a moral distinction between the tyrannical mass-murdering Communists and the tyrannical mass-murdering Nazis....
"There's a place for that literary exhibit at NYU. But its role should be like the Holocaust Museum. Somehow, I don't think that's what the American public is going to see."
Joseph Farah is not only a brilliant journalist; he is a very brave man. Of Arab descent, he writes the truth about the Middle East and, of course, about the Palestinians.
Any doubts about his description of the "tyrannical mass-murdering Communists" should be dispelled by a reading of Nick Cohen's book, What's Left: How Liberals Lost Their Way
(London: Fourth Estate, 2007).
Cohen, a veteran key journalist for the left-liberal New Statesman
, is an equally courageous writer, born into the British Left and raised to believe: "To be good, you had to be on the Left."
Author and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg describes him: "Nick Cohen is in the great tradition of English radical writing and right on target. His is a powerful contemporary voice.
"When Cohen looks around him, in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, he sees a community of Left-leaning liberals standing on their heads apologising for militant Islam.
"Why have men and women of the Left denied the existence of Serb concentration camps? Why is Palestine a cause for the Liberal-Left, but not, for instance, China, the Sudan, Zimbabwe or North Korea?
"After the 9/11 attacks, why were you as likely to read that a sinister conspiracy of Jews controlled American or British foreign policy in a liberal literary journal as in a neo-Nazi rag?"
The mental sickness of the liberal-Left reveals itself compulsively in an historical research into the "homeland" of the Palestinians.
In the 1860s, Mark Twain visited the Holy Land and described seeing a "desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds - a silent, mournful expanse".
He wrote: "A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action.... We never saw a human being on the whole route...
"We pressed on toward ... Jerusalem. The further we went the hotter the sun got, and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became.... There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive (tree) and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country....
"Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless. I would not desire to live here.... It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land....
"Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies.... Palestine is desolate and unlovely.... Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? Palestine is no more of this work-day world." (Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad or the New Pilgrim's Progress
, chapters 47, 49, 52, 53 and 56).
In 1919, two years after the "Balfour Declaration", promising a Jewish national home for the Jews in British-mandated Palestine, the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations stated: "The Arabs who are living in Palestine consider themselves as Syrians (and not Palestinians) by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds."
When World War II broke out, because Palestine was a mandated territory, Britain could not conscript the population for military duty. About 120,000 Jewish men and women volunteered for the British forces; they were described as "Palestinians".
Three hundred Jewish drivers were attached to the British 8th Army in Egypt; they drove the trucks of the Royal Armed Service Corps along the dangerous roads leading to besieged Tobruk.
The legendary Australian 9th Division played a role which many historians consider saved Britain from utter defeat in 1941-2. Had Tobruk fallen, it could have led to a German occupation of Egypt and Palestine, and a welcoming Syria and Iraq. Britain would have been forced to make peace with Hitler who would have gone on to defeat the Soviet Union and control Europe.
One of these Jewish "Palestinians", one Isaac Rofe, badly wounded driving his truck at Tobruk, migrated to Australia after the war. I used to call on him when he lived in the Soldiers' Settlement at Maroubra in Sydney. Later, I visited him in the nursing home of the Montefiore Jewish Home in Sydney before he passed away a few years ago.
It was not until 1944 that Britain agreed to the formation of a Jewish Brigade. Before that, the "Palestinian" contribution to the war effort was Jewish.- the author Mark Braham was a British Army officer during World War II, after which he migrated to Australia. An Orthodox Jew, he is author of Stronger than Fiction: Jews and Christians Are Natural Allies (London: Minerva Press, 1999).