October 12, 2004

NO WORRY, THEY'RE ALL GOING TO HELL ANYWAY:

An American in London (Carol Gould, 10/12/04, FrontPageMagazine.com)

Exactly one month ago today, I was traveling on a London bus when a well-dressed woman boarded with her equally-respectable son in his school uniform. Ahead of her was an elderly American woman, who said, ‘I beg your pardon, I didn’t mean to bang into you.’ This prompted a tirade from the Englishwoman -- let’s call her Lady E -- that resembled a verbal assault by a brownshirt against a hapless Jewish pedestrian in 1933. The American -- call her Mrs. A -- sat down and cowered as the tirade continued: ‘I rejoice every time I hear of another American soldier dying! You people all deserve to die in another 9/11. You are destroying the world.’ Mrs A fought back: ‘I personally am NOT destroying the world.’ This only provoked Lady E more, and as the bus driver and passengers laughed, she screamed into the American’s face ‘I wish every one of you would leave this country and not set foot in it ever again,’ and Mrs A began to wince, crying. ‘Thank you for ruining my day and my trip.’ At this point Lady E lunged at the American and began to shake her. I jumped up and shouted at the top of my voice for the driver to stop and for her to leave the woman alone, prompting Lady E to come over to me and grab me. ‘Another bloody American accent! You come here and think you can strut about, well, you are scum.’ Thankfully, the woman next to me pushed her away. I left the bus as the American woman sat sobbing.

Did I imagine this? No. Was the Englishwoman a crazy? No.

A few weeks before, I had attended a party at which I was lambasted, intimidated and mocked by a group of people I had known for some twenty-odd years. It reminded me of a comment made to me by an American expatriate shortly after 9/11: ‘Now I know what the Jews felt like in pre-war Germany.’

Frankly, I don’t like what is happening in Britain and am shocked and dismayed at the level to which anti-Americanism has peaked in recent months. Does anyone say ‘George W Bush’ or ‘Donald Rumsfeld’ or Dick Cheney’ when they fly into these tirades? No. In fact, the visceral, hurtful and in-your-face America-hatred goes back long before the days of the Bush 43 regime. When Bill Clinton was in the White House I attended a Human Rights Conference at my local synagogue in St John’s Wood. During the tea break I asked a man at one of the booths for a leaflet. Instead of welcoming me and asking for a donation, he had detected my accent and duly launched into a loud and red-faced screeching session about the evils of the American Empire and of the ‘Naziism’ and ‘Fascism’ promulgated by the United States. A black man came over and began shouting about America having ‘invented slavery’ and soon a delicate elderly lady joined the fray to bellow about the Zionists running America (did she mean Robert Rubin, Dennis Ross, Sandy Berger -- after all, it was the pre-Wolfowitz/Perle time zone) and the ‘genocides’ perpetrated by Americans since the days of William Penn. I remember wondering why I had ventured out on a Sunday to be with like-minded people concerned about human rights issues, only to be reduced to a gibbering jelly as the ugly, strident and deeply uncivil crowd soon grew around me. (Remember what it was like being surrounded in the school playground at recess by all the bullies?) The English are not known for public displays of fury except perhaps at soccer matches, but there is something about an American accent that brings out their pent-up rage.

This brings me to an incident that was the cherry on the sundae. Just before leaving for the United States nineteen days ago, I went to my favorite tape duplicating shop to have copies made for the actors who had appeared in the video of my new play in London. I handed the master tape to the proprietor, whom I have known for some ten years. He seemed unusually agitated and flushed. He looked at the material and snarled, ‘Is this another one of your Jewish-Holocaust things?’ I was speechless. He scowled and continued, ‘You know, Carol, I want to get something off my chest that I’ve been dying to say to you for years. Number one, just don’t say Israel to me. Number two, you people should look at yourselves in the mirror and wonder why every so often there is a Holocaust or massacre or pogrom. You bring it on yourselves. Just look at the way you are and then figure out why the rest of the world wants to flatten you. Number three, America throwing money at Israel has to stop, and hopefully all hell will break loose. Israel is not a country. I just hear the word and I turn peuce.’ By this time his anger was so visceral that I wanted to head for the door, but I had to take a stand. ‘Let me tell you,’ I said, ‘If the USA or Israel came under threat I know many Americans who would die for either country,’ to which he replied, ‘ Israel is not a country. The Jews have no right to a country. What makes you people think you have a right to a country? ‘ Me: ‘There are over a hundred Christian countries and fifty-five Muslim countries.’ He:’ The Jews have no right to a country.’ Me:’ What, a strip of land the size of Wales?!’ He (grinding his teeth and close to hitting me) ‘ Just say Israel and I can’t be depended upon for the consequences of my actions, Carol.’ His litany of offences committed by the Jews, Americans and Israel continued for another twenty minutes or so and I came away realizing that a man who had always greeted me with genteel, cheery sweet nothings was actually a rabid Jew-hater.

So, what does this all mean in the scheme of things? I have lived in Europe for all of my adult life and from the day I arrived as a youngster have been aware of an oft-blatant anti-Semitism and resentment of Americans amongst colleagues, teachers, social circle and neighbors. What is significant about this rage is that it emanates not from the great unwashed but from the educated and intellectual classes.


Even our own intellectuals have been anti-American for most of a century now, and they hate Israel for the same reason they hate us: our universalist religious claims.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 12, 2004 8:09 PM
Comments

And to think there was once of time when they'd have had the decency to say, "Oh, but I didn't mean you . . ."

Posted by: AC at October 12, 2004 8:21 PM

You keep saying Europe has given up Christianity, but the evidence -- as here -- says you're wrong.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 12, 2004 9:25 PM

I've never had even an unkind word directed my way in England, and there's no way whatsoever that I could be mistaken for British, once I spoke.

Ms Gould is just hanging out with the wrong crowd, and could have had the same experiences in the US, as some GOP delegates in NYC did.

As Orrin notes, there are plenty of Americans that hate Jews or Israel, or derive some satisfaction from US casualties in Iraq.

I wonder if Ms Gould learned the proper lesson, i.e., get a better class of friends, or whether she thinks that European leftists will somehow snap out of it one day.

Also, if Ms Gould has lived in Europe since she was a child, why would she still have a detectable American accent when speaking English ?

Somewhat off topic, but possibly of interest to those traveling abroad: Some Swedish women and most Australian women really, really like an American accent.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 12, 2004 9:30 PM

The intellectual class had a great love of Israel for the first 20 or so of its life, so long as the Labor Party and its domestic agenda towards socialsim were firmly in place. That started changing after the 1967 war, but the break really didn't occur until Israeli voters had the temerity to put Begin and Likud in charge in the mid-1970s. Once those in power no longer saw government in the same light they did, it was OK to return to pre-World War II attitudes about the Jews.

Posted by: John at October 12, 2004 9:31 PM

One of the worst experiences in my life occured in perfidious Albion.

I was dating a English girl who was a translator for the European Parliament in Strasbourg. She asked me to come to England with her and visit her family. They were Anglican, mostly country gentry and military officers. I'm American and Jewish. They made me feel like Woody Allen's character in Annie Hall when he visited her family in Wisconsin, something I've never experienced elsewhere in my entire life. I've been in deepest,darkest Mississippi and Wisconsin and I've never felt as alien as I felt among the purported upper class in Old Blighty.

Posted by: Bart at October 12, 2004 10:14 PM

John:

Yes, Israel was okay until it became Jewish.

Posted by: oj at October 12, 2004 11:27 PM

Harry-- Except the same people hate Americans for their conspicuous Christianity as well. Many Europeans lost their faith, but kept the Jew hating.

Posted by: John Thacker at October 12, 2004 11:28 PM

They don't allow concealed carry do they?

Even so, I'll bet Lady E wouldn't have T'ed off like that on me.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 12, 2004 11:58 PM

We took away their birthright.

Didn't mean to do it, just happened.

Posted by: Sandy P at October 13, 2004 12:10 AM

European "Christianity" is composed of the following two beliefs:

1) There never was a God.

2) The Jews killed him.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at October 13, 2004 1:30 AM

Nasty story. Now let us consider why a lot of Europeans have become anti-Israel.

Residual anti-Semitism has something to do with it, but I suggest that there is more going on here. Our alliance with Israel is a geopolitical masterpiece which commits us to an irrepressible Vernichtungskrieg with raghead-dom, and Old Europe would much rather sit this one out.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 13, 2004 2:54 AM

...and they hate Israel for the same reason they hate us: our universalist religious claims.

Umm, no, sorry. Incorrect conclusion, tempting though it be. (Islam has no universalist religious claims?)

Hatred for America might have been motivated in the past---and continue to be so---for a variety of reasons real, imagined, or inflated, whether it be power, arrogance, pride, obscene wealth, cupidity, greed, piousness, hypocrisy, perceived dearth of culture. Or combination, thereof. Certainly, there are ample reasons to resent, yea despise, the successful, especially where such success is blatant and not seen to be deserved.

However, the reason why America is now demonized is because of the perception that it is controlled by Jews (aka Zionists, Likudniks, Israelis, neo-cons).

It is one thing for Jews to control the finances of the world and its media. It is certainly another for it to run the most powerful (if undeservingly so) nation on earth.

Of course the Zionist, Jewish Neo-Cons run America. For how else might one explain Israel's founding and continuing existence? It should never have been born in the first place; it should never have survived for so long.

No. There can only be one reason for it: America has allowed itself to be a Zionist running dog; it has continually funded the Zionist entity and is running interference for the latter's goal of world domination.

(A view so clear, that even when certain self-contradictions creep in, it must be admired for its nuance. Never mind the lack of factuality in this accounting, since the general sentiment is so undeniably true....)

Just why the US is supporting the single greatest threat to the world peace---and potential cause of the world's destruction---cannot be fathomed. There is no rational reason for it. What? To go against the wishes of the Arabs? And Europeans? And the rest of enlightened humanity?

Therefore, saith the virtuous: the US must be vilified until it realizes its errors and jettisons its support for (ahem) Israel.

One should never forget that WWII "broke out" because the Jews wished to plunge the world into war. The world could have avoided so much carnage, death and destruction if only Hitler had been heeded.

But no, Churchill and his ilk had to protect the Jews.

This time it's the Jewish-Zionist state-entity that's picking up where the Jews of the 1930s left off. And it seems as though many of the self-righteous, the courageous, the enlightened, the progressive, and the nuanced are not going to make the same mistake twice.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 13, 2004 4:05 AM

I see the anti-Europe propaganda on this site has moved from its traditional targets, France and Germany, to encompass even poor old Britain.

The article quoted is ludicrously hysterical. I've never witnessed an outburst like the one described, in 48 years of living here. If I did I would do something about it.

Britain is the one of the most tolerant nations on earth.

(irony)Yes, even of those bloody Yanks (/irony)

Posted by: brum at October 13, 2004 4:32 AM

Doesn't sound very typical. There's loads of Yanks living in London.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 13, 2004 5:44 AM

Anti-American sentiment of the sort described here will wax and wane to the degree it is popular and accepted and promoted by elites and the media. The average citizen does not walk around with constant levels of admiration or disdain to which he holds throughout his life, impervious to what all around him are saying. We have been tracking anti-Americanism, both foreign and domestic, at an intellectual level for a long time now. We all know it has been intense and constant since 9/11, and that it had planted thick roots before. It also goes largely unanswered, either in rhetoric or deed. Too many Americans, and even non-American U.S. residents, make a great living out of spreading it. It should come as no surprise when it explodes on the street or in the drawing rooms of stupid, bitter cows.

What do Chirac, Hans Blix, Michael Moore, Kofi Annan, Schroeder, Paul Krugman, the Iranians, the Palestinians, Arthur Schlesinger, etc. etc. have in common?

Ans: They can say whatever they want without fear of being challenged or suffering any consequences.

Posted by: Peter B at October 13, 2004 7:08 AM

Barry:

They hate Muslims most of all.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2004 7:31 AM

I spent seven years in England from the early 80's through the early 90's.

Anti-Americanism among the British is nothing new--I experienced first-hand, particularly during Pres Reagan's first term. And it had absolutely nothing to do with universalist religious claims. It was also rare, and surfaced only in University towns like Oxford.

And it wasn't a patch on the pro-Americanism amongst my neighbors, or the tens of thousands who came to the open house air shows at RAF Upper Heyford.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 13, 2004 7:48 AM

Mr. Hertzlinger - Good one. But I think it would be more to the point to say that European Leftism is composed of the following two beliefs:
1. There is no God, and he must be destroyed.
2. The Jews are his Chosen People, and they must be destroyed with him.

Posted by: pj at October 13, 2004 7:56 AM

brum:

Presumably it's mostly the nattering class in Britain, but you can't read British publications or watch Question Time and not see that the elites hate America, mostly for its Christian conservatism.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2004 8:24 AM

I don't think so. The typical anti-American doesn't appreciate how popular Christian conservatism is in the US and is likely to dismiss it as an aberration.

Most American haters I know of think America acting in its' own interests and flexing its' muscles is something to be hated and feared thus the constant evocations of the horrors of Vietnam.

I just can't say that article strikes me as being true. I wouldn't be surprised if the author took some stories from other London-based Yanks, embellished them and presented them as his own.

Whether they're students, tourists, businessmen or Mormons Americans are an ever-present and normal part of London's life and if hatred of Americans was that pronounced you'd be hearing a lot more about it.

Pinch of salt.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 13, 2004 8:40 AM

Left-leaning types dislike American Christian conservatism full stop. This is the case in Britain as it is in France as it is in the US itself.

The horror story on the bus in the original article is not evidence of this, it's evidence of some poor woman who needs to be sectioned (I'll let you decide whether I'm taling about the British woman or the author of the piece!).

I find the increasing anti-French, anti-German, and generally anti-European feeling on sites such as this disturbing. As disturbing as anti-Americanism in Europe. It's ok to disagree with the political actions of current Governments, but it's rapidly turning into out-and-out racism - on both sides of the Atlantic.

Posted by: brum at October 13, 2004 8:41 AM

brum:

Not race, religion. America and especially continental Europe are too different ideologically to be considered allies any longer.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2004 8:48 AM

brum:

At least at this site, it's not hatred for Europeans, it's pity, and even then only for Western Continental Europe.

Also, there's a fair bit of irritation at Olde Europe's obstructionist policies toward American goals, without proposing any reasonable alternative solutions.

In America, "run away" and "ignore it and hope for the best" are rarely considered constructive solutions.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 13, 2004 9:11 AM

brum:

The focus on France and Germany occurs against a backdrop of both those governments and their populaces touting themselves as a more advanced civilization with a "postmodern", Tranzi ethos they are promoting (with no little success) with the express goal of weakening the United States and disrupting its foreign relations. Visceral anti-Americanism is palpable to anyone reading both the intellectual and popular media, and is a staple at the dinner tables of all classes. It goes very well with good camaraderie and the '94 Burgundy, but defending Americans or, God forbid, their government, is likely to upset the hostess and bring the evening to an early close. Try it.

Blogs and Freedom fries notwithstanding, I am unaware of any respectable locus of personal, anti-European "racist" feeling in the States, which can be proven by its tolerance of so much outspoken criticism from foreigners working or studying there. A good case can be made that there should be less. You may recall the mayor of London giving anti-American tirades in London schools and the mayor of New York City intervening to prohibit anti-European ones in his.

In the cold war, the Soviets, Chicoms, North Vietnamese and all their friends and allies used to protest all the time that they had nothing against the American people, only their government. They probably thought it was an effective line because they knew Americans were almost the only people in the world who genuinely make that distinction.

Posted by: Peter B at October 13, 2004 9:17 AM

Peter:

Speak for yourself--I hate the French as a race.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2004 9:27 AM

Orrin:

I know. That is why you are exceptional in your own special way.

Posted by: Peter B at October 13, 2004 9:44 AM

oj:

I'm talking about feedback from normal people who interact with regular Brits not idiot sections of the elite.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 13, 2004 11:28 AM

And yes, oj is very exceptional.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 13, 2004 11:30 AM

Hello All,
I find it incredibly interesting that some in this comments section believe these incidents were fabricated by the author. Why would they think such a thing?

Posted by: OldHat at October 13, 2004 11:42 AM

Well, I lived in London for four years, go back there regularly and have never seen anything like the events described.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at October 13, 2004 11:59 AM

OldHat,

Denial maybe? Davids Medienkritik has no difficulty finding anti-American and anti-Israel propaganda in the German media alone, on a daily basis.

That said, how you react to it depends on the thickness of your skin. The Russian Jews in Germany are used to far worse where they came from. And many Americans are quite content to be living in Europe, all things considered.

Posted by: Eugene S. at October 13, 2004 12:00 PM

Ali:

I thought I said it was likely elites in Britain, not noirmal people--who hate Europe just as much as the rest of us do.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2004 12:23 PM

Listen to Duncan Barkes and the other blokes on talksport.net, as an antidote to the BBC World Service.

Posted by: Eugene S. at October 13, 2004 1:26 PM

Ernest Hemingway, when he was a newspaper correspondent in the early '20s, wrote about antiAmericanism in Germany.

When I was in high school in the 1960s, one of my religion teachers, a priest, told me about his experiences while bicycling through France in the late '50s.

I was less interested in the antiAmericanism, which doesn't bother me -- if they feel that way, I'll keep my dollars, thanks --than in the Jew-hatred.

There are only two reasons for that -- Christian heritage or Muslim heritage. I didn't get the sense that woman on the bus was a Muslim.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 13, 2004 4:23 PM

Harry:

Darwinist and Bolshevists too--anyone with a universal religion hates anyone else with a competing one.

Posted by: oj at October 13, 2004 4:28 PM

Harry,

There is plenty of secularist Jew-hatred, from people as varied as Madelyn Murry O'Hair and Voltaire. Any reasonable attempt at studying Christianity will reveal its connection to Judaism and the dramatic similarities between pietistic forms of Christianity and Judaism in particular.

Posted by: Bart at October 13, 2004 5:00 PM

>Even our own intellectuals have been anti-
>American for most of a century now, and they
>hate Israel for the same reason they hate us:
>our universalist religious claims.

They always reminded me of over-the-top Trekkies:
"RELIGION = PRIMITIVE SUPERSTITION! NO EXCEPTIONS! WE'VE EVOLVED BEYOND THAT!"

Posted by: Ken at October 13, 2004 7:46 PM

Who'd they learn that from, Bart?

You want to be careful how you answer, because if they didn't learn it from Christian dogmatic bigotry, then they'd almost have to have learned it from the bad behavior of the Jews themselves.

There really aren't any other arguments. No Christianity, no Jew-hating, simple as that.

Speak for yourself, Orrin. You do anyway. I don't hate Jews. They never did me a bad turn.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 13, 2004 11:16 PM

So, if it weren't for Christians, the Muslims would love the Jews?

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 13, 2004 11:22 PM

NEWSFLASH: Harry Acquits Judaism--Says Christianity and Islam Must Go.

Posted by: Peter B at October 14, 2004 7:38 AM

Peter:

He's being untruthful anyway, it's just un-PC to admit you dislike the Jews too.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2004 8:27 AM

Orrin:

Maybe, but his test of theological legitimacy seems to be based on who "done him wrong". If he had been punched out once by a Jewish guy, we might now be watching him rant about how Maimonedes was a war criminal.

Posted by: Peter B at October 14, 2004 9:22 AM

Harry,

Voltaire hated Jews because he perceived them as 'foreign' and 'arrogant.' Two other prominent atheist Frenchmen, Proudhon and Fourier emphasized our 'greed' and our 'Oriental nature.' Quite unlike Christian anti-semitism, these feelings were a precursor to Nazi racist anti-semitism. Under Catholic doctrine, the Jew could convert to Christianity, IOW, cease being a Jew. Under these atheists, the Jew was always a Jew and therefore could never be part of the normal run of humanity.

Posted by: Bart at October 14, 2004 11:50 AM

Which is why Darwin was the vital component of the Holocaust.

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2004 11:57 AM

Darwin was no Jew-hater, OJ. What in the world could he have to do with it? That some jackasses like Hitler or Madison Grant could twist his work into something monstrous ain't his fault.

Posted by: Bart at October 14, 2004 12:19 PM

Bart:

No, Darwin wasn't, but as even he formulated it Darwinism justifies, even demands, ethnic cleansing and eugenics, which indeed followed from Darwinists like Holmes, Hitler, etc..

Posted by: oj at October 14, 2004 2:17 PM

OldHat and Choudhury: With millions of people galivanting through London, a few are going to experience very unlikely events. Thus, we do not need to believe that the author is lying or that her experience is typical. Just rememebr the Law of Large Numbers.

Harry: How about: Jews were originally singled out because they were a small and powerless minority? Thus we need not rely on hyper Christian attitudes in Europe (the very idea is funny) or on the idea that "the Jews deserve it."

Posted by: Fred at October 14, 2004 4:02 PM

Lots of small and powerless minorities around, Fred. Maybe all of them face contempt to one degree or another (like Gypsies), but the animus against Jews is something special.

Name me another group in the West anywhere near. (The burukumin in Japan shows the concept of a superevil minority is not a mere Christian construct; so maybe it's a general human tendency.)

The examples of the Voltaires are not common enough to matter much. And Voltaire was not born an atheist. He grew up saturated in Jew-hate, like all Christians.

I grew up in the South, and antisemitism was near-universal there, even though most of us had never even met a Jew.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 14, 2004 5:44 PM

OJ writes "No, Darwin wasn't, but as even he formulated it Darwinism justifies, even demands, ethnic cleansing and eugenics, which indeed followed from Darwinists like Holmes, Hitler, etc.."

No it doesn't. And if it did, why would it justify the 'cleansing' of Jews in particular?

And since elsewhere in your site you declare that Darwinism is true within a species (it just cannot explain speciation), then by your own logic, you are a Nazi who approves of the extermination of the Jews.

Or are you just clowning around?

Posted by: nonsuch at October 15, 2004 9:07 AM

nonsuch:

Because Jews were (are?) considered a separate race.

There are, of course, significant and consistent differences between different ethnic groups, as Darwin or our own experience breeding animals would suggest there must be.

Posted by: oj at October 15, 2004 9:16 AM

Yes, I agree - blame Darwin and also animal breeders for the Holocaust. Nazi farmer scum.

Posted by: nonentity at October 15, 2004 11:01 AM

nonentity:

Animal breeders typically felt it should be confined to animals.

Posted by: oj at October 15, 2004 11:51 AM

Yes but the Nazis saw the Jews as sub-human animals. So even as the farmers formulated breeding they justified, even demanded genocide.

You can't beat me for crap logic (though you're very good at it).

Posted by: nonplussed at October 15, 2004 12:09 PM

Yes, if you believe in Darwinism, as do Nazis and other eugenecists, genocide is justified. That was my point.

Posted by: oj at October 15, 2004 12:14 PM

Then I suggest you sharpen it, as in its current form it is quite useless.

Posted by: non sequitur at October 15, 2004 5:07 PM

Darwinism does not recognize more than one human race. Orrin just needs an scarecrow to divert the attention from the genuine and original enemy of the Jews -- Christians.

And to answer a question, would Muslims be antiJewish if there had not been Christians to teach them? I think not; at least, not more than any other infidels.

When we see a Malaysian politician railing against the Jews, we are in a different arena from, say, the burukumin. Not even the slimiest French pol rallies the electorate by raising the spectre of the international burukumin conspiracy.

We all recognize there isn't a burukumin conspiracy. Does anyone here care to admit he believes there is more reality to the Jewish one?

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 16, 2004 3:28 PM

harry:

Of course Darwinism recognized races--it stopped only when eugenics and genocide went out of style and is now engaged in a sensible cover-up of its role in both.

Here's a good essay by Steve Sailer, who's more open about the reality of race:

http://www.vdare.com/sailer/dawkins.htm

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2004 4:55 PM

As for Miss Gould's article,go to google groups and you will see that amongst British and british domiciled Americans,I am not alone in thinking that the article is a fake......too much of it just dosent ring true.An Englishwoman starts ranting and raving at the top of her lungs on a London bus just because an elderly Yank brushes against her?.And a video-shop clerk just happens to start ranting (for 20 mins while she just stands there for the same amount of time)also?......Ive read and re-read the article and too much is just OTT and dosent ring true.The woman is a playwright and a well known staunch Zionist who cannot stomach any criticism of Israel(seeing it as anti-semitism even when it is legitimate criticism)and very little of America,and right-winger.She has written several articles in which she has 'been assaulted/verbally abused'.She admits in her columns that she has a chip on her shoulder and 'have done for 27 years'(which to me tells you a lot about her attitude'(did anyone say paranoid professional victim?).Even the UK forums for Americans,such as UKYankee,living here in Britain are disbelieving of her story......I think she invented situations in the article from recent 9-11 urban legends(like the diner that threw out Americans celebrating 9-11 and then preceded to sing God Bless America----pity Snopes has proven that to be a much quoted urban legend,as it keeps happening after 9-11 in countless US diners),in order to make a point.

I think her inventing stories to make a point is reprehensible beyond belief and I wouldnt believe a similar story by a leftist British journo who claimed to have been threatened by pro-Bushers and extremists.....

I thought I'd made the basis of my own scepticism, at least, clear.
The language of the article is overwrought (e.g., the "fearing for her life" bit), and exudes more than a whiff of victimhood/paranoia. It conveys a sense of Gould as an outsider facing an array of hostile insiders united in their opposition to her. The article provides no balance, no mention of anyone who does not share in the collective antagonism towards her. Not a single person she knows supports her? Hmmm.
She supplements anecdotes of anti-Semitic comments with gratuitous allusions to anti-Semitism when none apparently took place (e.g., the third paragraph: "resembled a verbal assault by a brownshirt against a hapless Jewish pedestrian in 1933" whoa! Where did THAT come from? Her anecdote has nothing to do with Jews, but she apparently decided to throw that in for good measure.)
Furthermore, we have only her characterization of events, which is heavily larded with conclusory evaluations of others' behavior (examples: "abuse," "attacked," "abject fear and loathing;" "abusive tirade;" "tirade," "verbal assault," "screamed;" "lambasted, intimidated and mocked", another gratuitous attribution of anti-Semitism: "Now I know what the Jews felt like in pre-war Germany."; "red-faced screeching"; "ugly, strident and deeply uncivil crowd," "fury," "rage," "snarled"). Intemperate? Just a tad.
Perhaps the most telling sentence is this, from the sixth paragraph:
(Remember what it was like being surrounded in the school playground at recess by all the bullies?)
(No, actually, I don't. That never happened to me. But never mind.) This quote alone, which bespeaks victimhood writ large, makes me suspect she is in need of some serious couch time. Either she did have that happen, in which case she apparently still has issues arising from it, or it didn't happen outside of her own mind, in which case she definitely needs couch time.

Posted by: James Murray at October 17, 2004 4:34 PM

'great unwashed'........there's egalitarianism for you.......

Posted by: James Murray at October 17, 2004 4:36 PM

OldHat wrote: "Hello All,
I find it incredibly interesting that some in this comments section believe these incidents were fabricated by the author. Why would they think such a thing?"

No, that is not the interesting point. It is perfectly sane to raise doubts about a suggestion based purely on the highly emotive testimony of one person.

The interesting observation is of the willingness of people - yes, even such intellectual giants as those who post on brothersjudd - to suspend their normal cynicism when it comes to something that supports thier general prejudices and worldview.

Were this a piece from a French newspaper describing a Frenchwoman's verbal abuse by rednecks in the US, it would be shot down in seconds by the assorted luminaries gathered here.

But turn the tables, and slightly less intellectual rigour is applied.

Posted by: brum at October 18, 2004 4:27 AM
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