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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Useful idiot

Swedish author Henning Mankell illustrates the kind of 'thinking' that is the bailiwick of the useful idiot 'internationals' who were part of the flotilla of fools. This is from an interview in Germany's Der Spiegel.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Mankell, you participated in the recent attempt to break through the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Why?

Henning Mankell: The Israelis attacked Gaza in 2008. They destroyed everything, and since then the lives of Palestinians have been unendingly difficult. Some friends and I felt that we ought to do something about it. We wanted to express solidarity. They can't get out, no one is allowed to go in, and they have nothing. We wanted to show that the blockade is illegal.


SPIEGEL: You say that the Palestinians are in a pitiful state. Have you ever been to the Gaza Strip?

Mankell: No, they didn't let me in. I've been to Israel and Palestine several times. I attended a Palestinian literary festival in Hebron a month ago, and I have also visited Jerusalem. We tried to travel to Gaza, but the Israelis turned us away. You know, I was born in 1948, the same year as the establishment of the State of Israel, so this conflict has accompanied me my entire life. For me, the thought that this conflict will still exist when I die is unbearable.
Here, I would have asked, "Mr. Mankell, have you ever tried entering Gaza through the Egyptian side?
SPIEGEL: It isn't very smart to hit Israeli commandos with clubs.

Mankell: I think the Israeli soldiers deliberately provoked this reaction. They wanted to kill people.

SPIEGEL: That's an assumption. What makes you say that?

Mankell: I spoke with a Swede who was on board the Mavi Marmara. He said that they shot a Palestinian in the middle of his head. That requires targeting, and it's something that has to be intended.

SPIEGEL: The Israeli government argues that the Turkish organization IHH, which was largely behind the coordination and financing of the convoy, has ties to Hamas and al-Qaida. There were allegedly weapons hidden on board.

Mankell: I'll tell you a little story. When we gathered below deck, the soldiers searched our ship, and when they returned they said they had found weapons. What were they? Razor blades and utility knives.

SPIEGEL: Do you know the IHH and the Free Gaza movement, an international organization?

Mankell: No, not well enough to be able to form an opinion. I had to trust my Swedish organization and the agreements it had made: no weapons, no violence. If it turns out that not everyone abided by those rules, I will, of course, comment on it.
It's already been documented that the only boat on which there were weapons is the Mavi Marmara, which was where there were terror operatives. The other boats only had useful idiots like Mankell.
SPIEGEL: When you talk about AIDS and hunger in Africa, it's about life and death. But no one in the Gaza Strip is starving, notwithstanding the many hardships.

Mankell: In my view, the connection between Africa and Palestine is the apartheid system that the Israelis have established. I experienced in South Africa how that monstrous system was destroyed. The same monster has been resurrected in Israel, just in a different form. Palestinians are second-class citizens. When I see the hideous face of this apartheid, I have to do what I can to destroy it.

SPIEGEL: For European intellectuals, there is only one country in the Middle East where they could live the way they do at home: Israel, a free, democratic country with an open society. Isn't equating it with South Africa hugely exaggerated?

Mankell: No. I attended the Palestinian Festival of Literature in Hebron last year. I was scheduled to speak at the opening event in the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem. We were about to begin when the door opened and the Israeli military disrupted the event. I asked them what the reason was, and I was told that I was a security risk. I, an author, I said? I told them I was there to talk about culture. There will be no discussion, they replied, and the event was over. Israel is not an open society -- it just pretends to be. The people are treated just like back then in South Africa.
Has Mankell ever seen a "whites only" beach in Israel? How about a "whites only" water fountain? Where do the "whites" live in Israel and where do the "blacks" live? And by the way, has Mankell ever met an Ethiopian Jew?

Without the specifics of the incident about which he speaks, the likely reason it was stopped was that it was yet another attempt by the 'Palestinians' to establish an official presence in Jerusalem. That's prohibited under the Oslo Accords, which were signed by Yasser Arafat.
SPIEGEL: Is Hamas a source of hope for you, as the ANC once was?

Mankell: I am extremely critical of Hamas. I don't like the political developments in Gaza at all. However, I don't know enough about the issue.

SPIEGEL: Can an Islamist organization like Hamas, with its cult of martyrdom, its contempt for women and its racism, even be a serious partner for a left-wing intellectual?

Mankell: I took part in a humanitarian attempt to break through the naval blockade of Gaza. It's an important step to alleviate Palestinian suffering, but it shouldn't be confused with the policies of Hamas. If my criticism of Hamas had prevented me from being part of this campaign, I would have discredited myself intellectually and morally. I can do the one thing, but that doesn't mean I have to give up the other.
Well whom did he think he was supporting by participating in the effort to run the 'blockade' if not Hamas?
SPIEGEL: This conflict is complicated enough, but is probably doesn't even constitute the biggest threat to peace in the region at the moment. That is posed by Iran, with its controversial nuclear program and its prediction that Israel will disappear from the map.

Mankell: I am very concerned, because I don't trust this president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and the mullahs. They want to have any weapon that can be used to destroy Israel. Naturally we cannot accept that.

SPIEGEL: But what do you want to do? Campaigns like this one can be directed against a democratic country like Israel. The Iranian government wouldn't even let things get that far.

Mankell: I had an invitation to a literature festival in Tehran, which I turned down.


Mankell: Because Iran puts writers and intellectuals in prison and makes some of them disappear. I can't go to a country like that.

SPIEGEL: Why don't you go there and make the repression public?

Mankell: I wouldn't be able to do what I would like to do. They would misuse me for propaganda purposes.

SPIEGEL: And you didn't have this concern with the Gaza campaign?

Mankell: I saw what I saw. I felt what I felt. I thought what I thought. I saw what happened to people, and that's what I want to report on.
As Rick Richman points out, Woody Allen said something very similar when asked to explain his affair with his wife, Mia Farrow's 17-year old daughter.
"I felt what I felt. I thought what I thought."
The thought processes of an intellectual?


At 9:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

As George Orwell observed, some things are so stupid only an intellectual could believe in them.

And that's all absolutely true with Henning Mankell.

The interview with him is his ignorance masquerading as brilliance.

At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


they are not useful idiots...they are accessories

in the age of the internet that they did no research into the ihh or free gaza is absurd

i want you to watch this interview on democracy now and tell me if this woman is a useful idiot or an accessory


the interview with the vid footage from the ship starts around the 33 minute mark

she is a willing pawn of the terrorists...the footage is pure pallywood and amy goodman and juan gonzalez are not journalists...they are anti israel propagandists.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Paraphrasing that philosopher, Inigo Montoya,

That word, intellectual. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Idiot, yes. Beyond a doubt.

Useful? Only as a tool of terrorists.

Intellectual? Must be a wonderful universe where this is true, with pink unicorns ridden by Barry.

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Mervyn Doobov said...

He cannot protest in Iran, so he protests in Israel. Rather like the man looking for his lost keys, not where he dropped them but under the street lamp because that's where the light is.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Dr J. Geibels would have been proud of this "humanitarian" and "highly intellectual" person.
It seems to me that profesional integrity is something that can be skiped in to days newspapers. With no profesional respect to this "writer" - Shimon Tesler Israel.


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