July 16, 2019

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Censored Art, #FakeNews, Lethal Journalism, and Institutional Disorientation


In an article on censored art (which any progressive knows, that’s bad), an article in Fox News (!) included the following item (HT – Adam Levick:

Brandeis University

Following the Penn State incident, a student at Brandeis University had an art display titled “Voices of Palestine” that included a girl lying in a pool of blood. The display was removed after four days, however, because it was “one-sided.” School officials later apologized, saying they “committed a serious error.”

Palestine art Brandeis

A student at Brandeis University had her art display titled “Voices of Palestine” removed from the library before school officials apologized.  (Samah al-Azza via Boston Globe)

What an eloquent entry on so many things that went wrong in the aughts (first decade of the new millennium). Let us enumerate the ways.

Studies in the Collapse of the Cultural Maginot Line, Brandeis 2006.

  1. Start with the picture of Muhammad al Durah and his father: it is a perfect incarnation of demopathic war propaganda designed to arouse hatred of the Jews. The Star of David is a serpent, symbolizing their deadly evil, the boy and the father – the icon of hatred precisely because they were ‘innocents’ maliciously targeted by Israeli soldiers. Below, the jarring “Peace of Palestine,” as if, were they not being killed, Palestine would be peaceful. Wrapping up this image designed to arouse profound hatred of the “other,” in an appeal to peace… who could not side with the poor Palestinians? From a 13-year-old girl in a Palestinian refugee camp (ie the victim of her own people’s malice), this is as remarkably powerful and complex a message, as it is lethal and malicious. My guess… she was a good student of the kind of teaching that permeated her teachers and parents.
  2. Consider the reality: this story of Muhammad al Durah is a candidate for the most powerful and damaging piece of #FakeNews in the 21st century. The boy and father are actors in the creation of a powerful lethal narrative, designed to arouse pity for them and hatred of their alleged persecutors. The bullets hitting the wall that make the boy and father shrink in terror, come from the Palestinian side, who set the scene for the cheap fake, so full of inconsistencies – boy lies down between scenes, boy moves after declared dead, no pool of blood where he was under fire of hundreds of bullets, and “bled out for 17 minutes.”
  3. The Western news media’s acceptance of this lethal narrative as “news,” was not only a massive (and ongoing) failure of professional standards, but it also had an enormous impact on both Global Jihad, and the moral disorientation of the ‘Global Progressive Left.’ It was not only lethal journalism, but own-goal journalism: running your enemy’s war  (global Jihadis’) propaganda as news.
  4. Here at Brandeis six years later, it was being used by a Jewish student to give Palestinian teenagers a chance to express their understanding of the Palestinian point of view, a classic 21st century configuration of a Jewish ‘progressive’ giving Palestinian demopaths a chance to spew their hatred against her own people. And just as her demopathic acolytes exploit her humane sensibilities to carry on their cognitive war against her people, she uses the principles of post-modern sensibilities – listen to the voice of the other – to inject poisonous war propaganda into her community. The Jewish student calls her exhibit, “The Arts of Peace,” even as she performs valiantly in the arts of [cognitive] war of her enemies and the enemies of freedom the world over.
  5. Brandeis at first shows good sense – why on earth should they encourage such hate-speech against their own community? – then folds in response to indignant faculty who find the administration’s concerns unacceptable. If the faculty and administration had heard and paid attention to the story behind the artwork, they might have laid down some key elements of both the fight against #fakenews and against hatred. Instead, they lay down supine, and got walked over by the same folks who, some years later, shrieked in horror at the very thought of the ‘hateful Islamophobe’ Ayaan Hirsi Ali getting an honorary degree.
  6. The inability of the West to counter this hate-based cogwar, and the role of allegedly progressive Jews in promoting it, is directly related to the West’s inability to identify the same themes in other claims made on progressive loyalties in the teens.

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