Taki compares Israelis to Nazis and says they are the source of Mideast terrorism
submitted this letter to Taki Theodoracopulos, the editor of Taki’s Magazine
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I’m not a regular reader of Taki’s Magazine, and of course you can do with your website what you like. But I would ask you as a favor to remove my blog, View from the Right, from your list of favorite blogs. I do not want to be associated in any way with a website that compares the Israelis with Nazi Germany.
The Israelis withdrew from Gaza three years ago, endured three years of constant rocket and mortar fire from Gaza into Israel, and now, three years late, are finally defending themselves by seeking to destroy Hamas’s ability to target Israel. The Israelis behave like peaceniks, and you equate them with Nazis. Furthermore, you write, “It’s always been perfectly clear to me that the Israelis are the ones sowing terror and the Palestinians are the ones besieged.”
And what would you do if your country were being attacked by mortar and rocket fire from an organization sworn to the destruction of your country?
Again, I ask you to remove View from the Right from your blog roll.
Larry S. writes:
Good for you. This guy is an idiot.
That’s not normally a word I would post about someone, especially someone I just wrote a polite letter to. But when that someone equates the hyper liberal Israelis with Nazis, the Israelis who let Hamas bombard them for three years without striking back, then I think your description of him is most succinct.
“When I speak of Chronicles’ sado-masochistic relationship with its readers, I’m thinking in particular of what made me end my subscription to Chronicles in 1996. The magazine had solicited readers’ comments on how the magazine might be improved. Then a couple of months later the editor, Thomas Fleming, wrote a column contemptuously putting down the readers for their suggestions.”
I remember that questionnaire, I actually filled it out and sent it in during an especially busy time of life. I commented that a little more humor, some joy de vivre, was needed, it was relentlessly, grimly serious.
“At that point I said, this is a sick magazine, I don’t want anything to do with it, and I wrote to the publisher ending my subscription of nine years. But there are lot of Chronicles readers—and lots of paleocons generally—who like being insulted by their ‘leaders,’ and who make endless excuses for their ‘leaders” inexcusable behavior.”
I haven’t posted a single comment there since my dustup with Fleming, because of his own bad judgment in defending Taki and running down Taki critics.
Speaking of Taki, did you know that Taki has his own column in Chronicles? It’s called “Under the Black Flag.” I’ve been forming a Theory of the Taki-Right (the dropping of the C-Word, the Menckenism, etc.), and it’s probably good of you to disassociate yourself from that place even if he weren’t going on about the Israeli Nazis. But he also has his hooks in Chronicles, which you might not have known.
While I told Taki that I didn’t want to be associated with his website, in reality I couldn’t disassociate myself from his website, because I had no association with it. The fact that he listed VFR in his Favorite Blogs list had nothing to do with me. I just wanted to remove anything connecting me to that site.
Dimitri K. writes:
Even though I read Taki from time to time, by your reference, and there are some posts that seem reasonable, the general atmosphere of the site is the overwhelming boredom. Faces of the contributors are bored and tired, words are angry and hopeless. Everything about that site is so hopeless. They try to look reasonable, but repeating that 2x2=4 all the time does not make their conclusions any better. Finally, I started to think that the best approach to Taki is as follows: listen and do the opposite. I’m glad you separate from them.
Again, I can’t separate from them because I had nothing to do with them, except for posting maybe four comments there over the last couple of years.
I hadn’t thought of boredom exactly, but of people with nothing to say except the fag-ends of paleocon attitudinizing, particularly belligerence against Israel and evocations of an archaic European Catholic identity, combined with lots of nasty discussions worthy of adolescent punks. Even John Zmirak, a Catholic who I thought was a decent person even if intellectually frivolous, used a dirty expression about Sarah Palin during the election campaign, something worthy of a low-life. I couldn’t believe what he said. But the low tone that dominates that site is set by Taki himself, with his boasting in print of his adulterous affairs.
In any case, can anyone say what Taki’s Magazine stands for?
By the same token, can anyone say what The American Conservative stands for, other than hatred of neocons and Israel? Or what Chronicles stands for?
Apparently Taki recently asked his writers to avoid using the word conservative to describe themselves, since he said the word has been ruined by association with the Bush-ites. If Taki believed in conservatism, he would fight for the word, and say his beliefs represent true conservatism. Such battles over the meaning of words, especially “conservatism,” are going on all the time. If people gave up their label or designation the moment some other party used it in an incorrect way, no one would ever keep the same name for more than five minutes. To let one’s own self-description be controlled by the self-description of people one despises, as Taki allows his to be controlled by that of the neocons, takes nominalism into new territory.
The meaninglessness of the paleocon contingent was discussed by Bob Vandervoort at VFR last May, in “Paleoconservatism: A Eulogy”:
Today, much of what’s left of the paleos is basically a heavy emphasis on America First foreign policy and—in my opinion—overly excessive criticism of Israel, and America’s support for Israel. And stripped of the [Sam] Francis views on race and demographics, journals like Chronicles make for very turgid and dry reading. Chronicles seems focused now on navel-gazing, and a monastic-like emphasis on the past (I think they’ve indicated this “monastic-like” attitude is their new tactic in the face of Western Civilizational collapse). Serge Trifkovic’s analysis of Islam offered a breath of fresh air for the paleos, and is the one interesting spark left at Chronicles. The civilizational issues he raises regarding Islam seem largely ignored by the rest of the paleos, however. [LA replies: And now Trifkovic has left Chronicles.]
And as I wrote in August:
… The other interesting aspects of the paleos (Old Right analysis; Southern Agrarian perspectives; Kirkean traditionalism, etc.), are still worth reading about, but lack relevance when stripped of the pressing civilizational issues of the day. And paleos write about them less these days, focused as they are on quixotic Ron Paul-like crusades against overseas involvement and criticism of Israel’s policies.
… Chronicles has given up on defending America as a distinct culture, which, of course, was its founding mission and the defining idea of paleoconservatism.
And here is another recent VFR discussion about Taki’s.
In any case, since the contributors at Taki’s Magazine no longer consider themselves conservatives, they are of no more concern to us than any liberal, libertarian, Menckenite, or anti-Semitic contingent. I’m not sure if Chronicles has eschewed the word conservative, but it may have.
And, by the way, how will Paul Gottfried, who is pro-Israel, and John Zmirak, who has never been anti-Israel, feel about their editor equating the Israelis with Nazis? They’ll accept it, in order to have some place to write. And has Gottfried accepted Taki’s rule not to refer to his own positions as conservative? If so, how does he now describe himself?
Note: Fag-ends is British for cigarette-ends. I thought I was remembering the expression from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” but I was wrong. Here is the passage from Eliot’s poem:
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
William A. writes:
Thanks for taking the trouble to do that.
When someone like TT takes an illogical position like that, it is difficult to believe that it is motivated by anything other than garden variety anti-Semitism, “and that of the commonest most goddamnedest kind”
All the very best,
Lisa writes from Urban Grind:
Good for you, Lawrence. Please let us know if he writes you back.
Diana West writes:
Well said, Larry. Bravo!
Happy New Year (such as it is!).
Bob Vandervoort wrote:
… this “monastic-like” attitude is [the paleocons’] new tactic in the face of Western Civilizational collapse…
It doesn’t occur to them to help the West prevent civilizational collapse, for example, to build up a strong argument against the incursions of Islam. They can’t oppose Islam, or at least they can’t do so wholeheartedly, because Islam is against Israel and the Jews, and the enemy of their enemy cannot be their enemy. So they would rather indulge in reveries of a monastic withdrawal from civilizational ruin than do anything to help forestall the ruin.
Gintas replies to LA:
Yes, my wording suggested you did something extra to be placed there, but it was Taki’s doing.
Dmitri K. said:
Even though I read Taki from time to time, by your reference, and there are some posts that seem reasonable, the general atmosphere of the site is the overwhelming boredom.
I realized a few days ago that the commenters were the peanut gallery that breathed life into that site at times. No, it wasn’t a robust feast of great ideas, but there was some kick there. Now that the commenters are gone, it’s exactly as Dmitri says: overwhelming boredom.
I don’t read the site enough to know, but these are very interesting observations. Where then will team Taki go? They’ve ditched their philosophy and political identity, conservatism; they’ve ditched the life of their site, their commenters; and their editor is an Israel hater and an ally of the Palestinians, the most insane, murderous people who have ever walked the face of the earth. What options have they got left?
Hal Netkin of Watchdog America
I couldn’t have said it better.
Bill Carpenter writes:
He was probably thinking of all those Israelis who served with Hitler’s armies in eastern Europe during WWII, and the Grand Rabbi of Jerusalem who visited with Hitler in Berlin.
Karl D. writes:
This is truly incredible. I don’t blame you at all for requesting the removal of VFR from his blog list. I would be interested to know what Taki’s position on Cypress and Turkey is considering his Greek roots. My bet is that the Greeks are FAR from being “Nazis”.
Reading this post of yours has given me a real boost. Yesterday I dropped Taki and several other conservative/traditionalist blogs from my blogreader because
of those and similar idiotic remarks about Israel. Hearing you talk sense about
it, and put my own thoughts into words so succinctly, is a relief.
Harry Horse writes:
Paul T. writes:
I’ve come to the conclusion that Thomas Fleming and Keith Olbermann are one and the same person—since there can’t be room for two men this angry on one continent.
Seems like an appropriate time to throw in one of Auster’s Greatest Hits: Thomas Fleming, Nowhere Man.
(Ironically, I had searched for and was rereading the above post to arm myself against a lunatic on a board who cites Fleming and Paul Craig Roberts as visionaries. Eek!)
I’ve just re-read the VFR discussion Harry has linked and I recommend it.
Jeff in England writes:
Glad you disassociated from Taki….how many others will you have to do the same with. Buchanan for sure though I think you have already. I always thought Taki was a Nazi sympathiser and Jew hater.
Many Christian conservative Americans and British have a lot of anti-Jewishness just under the surface. You are seeing that now during this latest conflict in Israel-Palestine.
Other than in his reference to Buchanan, Jeff seems unaware of my consistent, stated position over the years that I will have nothing to do with people who support, excuse, or rationalize those who seek to exterminate Jews.
I question his statement that “many” Christian conservative Americans have a lot of anti-Jewishness. Further, I question his statement that “many” Christian conservative British have a lot of anti-Jewishness, since there aren’t “many” Christian conservative British to start with.
A friend who often criticizes me for being too hard-line and extreme, criticized me today for having my link removed from Taki’s site. Some people you just can’t please.
Ron L. writes:
I would love to see Taki respond to your note. Perhaps he could explain his animus against Israel. As a Greek, one would think that he would sympathize with those fighting Islamic hordes. (I am using both meaning of hordes. In the West it means a rabble of barbarians. In Turkish languages, it means “army”.)
I see a few possibilities:
1. Taki is a member of the trans-national elite. He shares many of their foreign policy values.
2. Taki believes in the deranged conspiracy theories that hold that the Young Turk movement of Mustafa Kemal was part of some Jewish conspiracy. (Evidently some members were, Donmeh, crypto Jews descended from the followers of the heretic false Messiah Sabbatai Zvi. I’d call it laughable, but Steve Sailer is positively obsessed with the idea, to say nothing of neo-nazis, Russian Nationalists, and some Greeks.)
3. His opposition to neoconservatives infects his thinking completely, leading him simply to oppose anything they claim to support. Use of the term “Nazi” would follow. He feels that the left used the Holocaust to destroy European nationalism. Calling Israel Nazi would serve to make the term meaningless, as well feed his sense of grievance.
4. Business contracts. He is a shipping magnate with ties to Arab world.
Unfortunately, the real truth of the matter, as discussed here and here, is that Israel’s government is aligned with Israel’s demonizers. Israel launches a “war,” allowing the international anti-Israel movement to bash Israel as a horrible oppressor. The war, of course, is unserious, its real purpose being to convince security-minded Israelis that it’s safe to go forward with a two-state solution, even as what the war actually leads to is Israeli concessions to Hamas and the EU that solidify Hamas control of Gaza. Further, the international hatred and isolation of Israel triggered by the war also move Israel toward accepting the two-state solution.
Irwin Graulich writes:
Your letter is further proof that you are a good and decent man, and have a very wise view of the world. This has nothing to do with the fact that I am Jewish. Sometimes I wish I were a Christian, just so I could prove that I would be an even stronger supporter of Israel. Those who hate Israel also hate America and HATE all of our values.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 02, 2009 06:07 PM | Send
The pro-Hamas demonstrations that I have seen in America have me concerned. These are scary people, and I am not sure what we should do about them—but I know they do not belong in America.