A recent CNN article shows that, globally (and in the Muslim world specifically), anti-Semitism, hatred of the Jewish people solely because of their race and religious beliefs, is on the rise. Those of us in the habit of debating 9/11 deniers immediately know at least one source of this new hatred. The 9/11 denier movement has become a catalyst for hatred, racism, and bigotry. By this point, March 2008, any sort of coherent criticism of Israel or American foreign policy have become completely swallowed up by the deafening chorus of anti-"Zionism" in the Troofer cult.
Make no mistake that I am using this point to call out 9/11 deniers on Facebook who daily use 9/11 conspiracy theories as a means of excreting passive-aggressive attacks against Jewish people, people of Semitic descent who are not of the Jewish faith, and supporters of the sovereign state of Israel worldwide wherever they can. Not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic - far from it - but to paraphrase Alan Dershowitz, to single out Israel or the Jewish people for mistreatment when they have exercised greater restraint than any nation in a comparable position in history is, in fact, anti-Semitic. To call Israel a "purveyor of evil" in the context of its surroundings is either a flooring demonstration of stupidity or an overt act of hatred.
Some of the people who debate us daily on our group are guilty of this. Who hasn't read more than a few of the 9/11 deniers' arguments and heard something like, "the government caused 9/11 because Larry Silverstein IS A ZIONIST!" Uh huh. A "Zionist." You don't say.
Yep, people actually write stupidity like this in a public forum.
The nice thing about words is that they have functional value rather than objective value, so quibbling over definitions can be regarded as kind of a diversionary tactic, but a "Zionist" is ("technically") someone with the religious belief that the Judeo-Christian God intended for the Jews to inherit and inhabit Palestine as the Holy Land. In 2008, this word is used as a derogatory insult by 9/11 deniers in regard to anyone who supports the existence of Israel. If you think Israel is okay, congratulations, you are now a "Zionist shill."
"Islamic Extremists: Fact or Fiction?" Hmmm, good question, maybe the last sixty years didn't really happen....
The militant right-wing anti-Semite arm of the 9/11 denier movement is a cranky subculture within a cranky subculture. It is a tiny but extremely vocal minority that poses illegitimate and patently false arguments that must be refuted point by point. A lot of people argue that it's simply useless, that anti-Semitism should only be "confronted" with ridicule and ignored. I think this is a bad idea. Facebook is a place for two kinds of people:
(1)Young people who are trying to figure the world out.
(2)Noisy tinfoil-hatters who want to tell those young people what to believe.
The Internet "success" of right-wing racist Ron Paul should attest to this fact. An extremely noisy, extremely arrogant, extremely unaware group of young people were seduced by the shallow veneer of the positions Ron Paul supposedly represented. Individual freedom, liberty of conscience... (to say nothing about his opposition to women, abortion, gays, science, Israel, the poor...).
Ron Paul with overt racist Don Black, the leader of Stormfront.
It's no coincidence that Paul is a Messiah to the 9/11 deniers, because he supposedly wanted an "independent" new 9/11 investigation. And, of course, his ideological opposition to virtually every international US presence; intelligent and worthwhile opposition to the Iraq war gets swallowed up in the noisy anti-Israel rhetoric of his apostles. Apaulstles?
The campaign against Israel, "Zionists," and the Jewish people is illogical and ill-founded as it is vocal. I can't recommend strongly enough Alan Dershowitz's book, "The Case for Israel," on this point. True to the Scientology-like behavior of the vocal anti-Semites, they relentlessly assault Dershowitz with baseless claims of plagiarism - the highest crime in the academic world - even though they were obviously completely false. Rather than respond to the arguments, the anti-Israel crowd decided to simply attack the author. They ended up looking very stupid. That is why we must not do the same: their arguments must be addressed. They will not simply go away if we tease them.
I will reiterate again two very important points:
(1)Not all 9/11 deniers are racists or anti-Semites, and very few critics of Israel are racists or anti-Semites.