Friday, July 14, 2017
What kind of people are "in the counter-jihad"? The case of Nidra Poller.
—Three photos of the knuckle-dragging, right-wing Neanderthal racist bigot Islamophobe, Nidra Poller
The way that people (let's limit it to the hundreds of millions of Western people) who are "in the mainstream" seem to imply it, counter-jihad people must be knuckle-dragging right-wing Neanderthal racist bigot Islamophobes.
A relatively minor (but conscientious) expenditure of time would disabuse any but the most obtusely dogmatic politically correct multi-culturalist of that crotchet. Such an expenditure might well run across, for example, Nidra Poller: A Jewish woman born in the U.S. in 1935 (Jessup, Pennsylvania), who in 1972 decided to pull up roots with her children and move to Paris, France. Already a novelist, journalist and French translator by then, she also became in her new home a Francophile in earnest (an experience no doubt deepened by the years spent there -- indeed decades -- to this day, at age 82). Let's let her describe a window into her personality and worldview, quoting this excerpt from an extended journal of her life titled Betrayed by Europe: An Expatriate's Lament, published beginning in 2004:
When I look back at my reasons for leaving the United States for France in 1972, some seem to me as outmoded—and, in retrospect, as endearing—as Beatles haircuts and Vietnam-war protests. Others stubbornly persist. In any event, my career as a serious American novelist having been short-circuited, I opted for the improbable exploit of becoming a writer in French and a professional translator, and I succeeded. I am long settled in Paris; the three youngsters I brought there, tucked under my free-flying wing, are mature adults with fast-growing children of their own. We have excelled in flexibility, risen to every challenge, transformed somewhat slapdash beginnings into a harmonious whole.
. . .
I used to run back to the U.S. for visits of ten days, just to see my family. Then I would return to my true love, Paris, and to my real life. That delicious sweet buttery butter, the perfect bread, our local open-air market. I loved the proportions: the distance on foot necessary to buy food for a day or two, eating all you could carry and nothing more, holding the whole country in the palm of your hand, all of it reachable by clean, modern, relatively inexpensive public transportation. I loved speaking French, couldn’t wait to get back to it, loved my favorite boutiques, my fashionable clothes, my daily elegance.
There must be something adulterous about my relation to countries. I had a native land familiar as family, no language problems, my rightful place. I needed another country, a lover who would carry me off to adventure. I came back to my European origins, flourished in a European framework, delighted in making the exotic familiar.
I never thought of myself as an expatriate; I’d let my American identity slip away while retaining the free-floating grace of being a foreigner. Instead, I’d been a “European,” picking up after a brief interruption not exactly where my family had left off—not Budapest, not Przemysl, those were places we would not go back to—but Europe and all it could boast of. Beautiful cities that are really lived in, monuments at every street corner, savoir faire, craftsmanship, savoir vivre, boutiques, refinement, manners, health care, free education, history, French windows and parquet floors.
And so forth. But we haven't gotten to why she titled these reflections a "lament":
And now, my sincere affection betrayed, I am unforgiving.
Islam happened. And as usual when Islam happens in our time, it is not a single event or shock (though that can be a symptomatic signal spurring the individual who may "become counter-jihad"" to begin his or her odyssey of awakening, or rather, deepening what began as a rude awakening); it is a protracted chain of events, seemingly disconnected (to those who "lack the mental pencil", as Hugh Fitzgerald put it, of connecting the dots), often not recognized as an overall, meaningful pattern until later in the stream of the process. Poller's journal goes into this at great length, unfolding the complex, subtle, horrifying problem in layers. I quote now only one of the more pointed passages:
Jews are being persecuted every day in France. Some are insulted, pelted with stones, spat upon; some are beaten or threatened with knives or guns. Synagogues are torched, schools burned to the ground. A little over a month ago, at least one Jew was savagely murdered, his throat slit, his face gouged with a carving knife. Did it create an uproar? No. The incident was stifled, and by common consent—not just by the authorities, but by the Jews.
Some Jews are simply frightened; they are reluctant to take the subway, walk in certain neighborhoods, go out after dark. Others, clearly identifiable as Jews, are courageous and defiant. Many, perhaps the majority, show no outward signs of Jewishness and do not seek to know the truth about the rampant and increasingly violent anti-Semitism all around them. If you are Jewish but do not defend Israel or act too religious or look too different, you are not yet a target—so why insist on monitoring the danger when daily life is so delicious?
And the lies so tantalizing. A thick, hand-knit comforter of prevarication spreads itself over the French population. Every morning, instead of waking people up, the press tucks them in. France has become a nation of sleepwalkers. You sense it with particular sharpness after a visit to the U.S. How is anyone to face the truth about anything when the truth is hidden by 19th-century-style posturing, pretentious humanitarian hoodwinking, and low-down village tomfoolery?
Poller wrote these distressing words in 2004; it has only gotten alarmingly worse in the ensuing 13 years since then -- as she herself knows all too well, being one of the few journalists to do her job reporting with due diligence (something our mainstream media tends to avoid) the gruesome torture and murder in Paris of a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi by a gang of 22 Muslims in 2006, and then more recently probing the disturbing questions about the ghoulish torture and murder by a Muslim man of an elderly Jewish lady, Sarah Halimi (a coincidence? or is that name so common among Jews?), while in between there was the Merah massacre in southern France in 2012, which Poller describes thusly:
. . . Muhammad Merah, who assassinated three paratroopers of fellow North African origin—Abel Chennouf, Imad Iban Ziaten, and Muhammad Legouade—and then on March 19, executed Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his sons Aryeh and Gavriel, and 7-year-old Miriam Monsonego at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse. A surviving soldier, Loic Liber, is a tetraplegic while student Bryan Aaron Bajoui is recuperating from critical chest wounds and the shock of witnessing the murders.
Because Merah killed both Jews and apparent Muslims (in fact one of his Maghrebi victims was Christian), the crime could not be termed as purely anti-Semitic. The fact that he was a run-of-the-mill punk rather than a wildly deranged one-of-a-kind killer raised no alarms in the public mind: Ominously, a striking increase in attacks against Jews following Merah's jihadist operation showed that a very broad swath of the French Muslim population is both radicalized and activated.
Not to mention at least four other monstrous episodes that have wrenched and clawed at the precious fabric of French society in recent years: the Charlie Hebdo massacre in early 2015; the horrifyingly worse Paris massacre and related attacks on the same day later that same year; the beheading of a priest and terrorizing of his flock at his small, sleepy church in Normandy by two Muslims in 2016; and that same summer, the devastating slaughter of over 80 men, women and children celebrating Bastille Day in the lovely seaside city of Nice, France, by a Muslim plowing through them while driving a truck (and also shooting out his driver window). Over 200 additional men, women and children were injured by his vehicular jihad, some seriously mangled. How many of my readers will pause to consider what it takes for a human being to do such an insanely psychotic act, what hellish degree of religious fanaticism has to infuse such a Satanic orgy of mass murder. And almost as bad (or is it worse, I can't tell anymore) is the mass neurosis of denial running through the West about all this.
At least we have a growing, albeit still minuscule, nucleus of knuckle-dragging right-wing Neanderthal racist bigot Islamophobes to be the conscience of the West; in this epochal regard still a flickering flame that, alas, may not last nor fan out into the public conscious in time, before Mohammedans succeed to extinguish it before this 21st century ends.