web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Nir Rosen And Totalitarian Stupidity


One snowy day back in college, I was returning from class to my dorm and began to cross a small intersection. A woman was waiting at the stop sign in a large gray vehicle. As I began to pass in front of it, she suddenly drove forward into me. I banged on the hood, she came to and stopped, and I barked some remark about using her eyes. The incident was more startling than injurious, so I moved on.

I entered my dorm and saw my friend in the main gathering room. I went to him and breathlessly unloaded what had just happened. While narrating I referred to the woman driver in my youthful shorthand as “this chick.” A girl I hadn’t seen sitting nearby exploded: “CHICK? What is THAT?” I marveled to myself: I was just nearly run over by a car, and her moral priority is to police my language.

A possibly clinical emotional idiocy underpins extremism. Conspiracy theories about America and the Jews, the embrace of disinformation, an attraction to totalitarian thinking – these are some criteria for diagnosis. Above all we have the moral stupidity, the bent priorities of the true believer, the eggs which need to be broken to make the omelet of the radiant tomorrow.

Out of today’s noxious lineup of antiwar extremists steps Nir Rosen. During the celebration that erupted when Hosni Mubarak stepped down in the face of Egyptian popular revolt, Lara Logan, a CBS News correspondent, was ambushed, beaten and sexually assaulted. In response, Nir Rosentweeted, in part:

Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to [CNN correspondent] Anderson [Cooper] too.Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger

Rosen is a war correspondent whose reductive anti-imperialism rivals Ward Churchill’s. Yet he’s been celebrated, thanks to the comparative complexity of his subject matter and the troubled occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Besides the acute viciousness of his attack on a woman who had been mercilessly attacked, what’s interesting is this is hardly the first time Rosen has made vile public statements. It’s just the first time he’s been called out on it by more than a few people.

As we’ve seen relentlessly since the Second Intifada, many roads lead to the intersection of revolutionary politics and anti-Semitism. Predictably in pitch with his totalitarian stupidity, Rosen often targets Israel. On Twitter and Facebook he’s eagerly fantasized about its destruction.

He writes: “[the] new racist Israeli citizenship law should be celebrated. It [will] speed [Israel's] demise” and “Yes to a 3rd Intifada. This time hopefully with the support of the Palestinians [sic] citizens of ‘Israel.’ ” He hopes “[Israel will] be part of greater syria [sic] in the future, which will include palestine [sic]… all of Palestine, that is.” “Israel’s existence is a blight unto the nations” and “an abomination.” In one quote Rosen lays it out in the Manichaean terms native to the totalitarian mind:

i have always opposed israel and supported anybody who is opposed to israel. just as anybody concerned with justice and freedom must.

This all-or-nothing manner of thought is consistent with what is perhaps the key feature of radicalism: an inability to consider the individual. Instead life is a moil of warring collectives.

Rosen is concerned about anointed groups – the Arab and Muslim streets, the Egyptian revolutionaries, people of color, the poor, the Palestinians – and he gleefully wishes misery and harm on anyone set against them in his political passion play. Rosen first characterized his comments as a joke, and then he backed off from his expressions of remorse, calling the outrage “sanctimonious and silly.” His comments weren’t a joke; they were a slipped mask revealing hate.

Because it was individual, the odiousness of Rosen’s attack on Lara Logan surpasses his public fantasizing about Israel’s destruction. But the latter didn’t provoke outrage, or much response at all, which shows how acceptable that line of thought has become.

Rosen is now crushed under the weight of tardy opprobrium. He gave a Michael Richards-style interview to FishbowlDC in which he didn’t do himself any favors, explaining:

A part of me was bothered by how celebrities, especially white ones, get so much attention, and before I realized it was a sexual assault I was sort of anticipating a return to the old theme about unleashed brown natives attacking a white woman. Another part of me was bothered by the knowledge that Arab victims would never get attention, that this would detract from everything else that was happening, and that most victims of sexual assault, whether in Egypt or the US will never get attention.

A woman had just been beaten and sexually assaulted by a gang, and Rosen’s moral priority is policing our emotional response, lest it be racist or focused on the wrong victim.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Nir Rosen And Totalitarian Stupidity”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from John-Paul Pagaon

One snowy day back in college, I was returning from class to my dorm and began to cross a small intersection. A woman was waiting at the stop sign in a large gray vehicle. As I began to pass in front of it, she suddenly drove forward into me. I banged on the hood, she came to and stopped, and I barked some remark about using her eyes. The incident was more startling than injurious, so I moved on.

In the New York Review of Books back in 2003, Tony Judt published his view that the Jewish state should be deleted. This was the predicate of his proposal to reanimate the corpse of the one-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Steeped in academic authority and writing during the overlap of the second Intifada with Bush’s invasion of Iraq, Judt argued that Israel was a harmful anachronism. He was not the first to express an abolitionist anti-Zionism, but his prestige and timing led him to become the celebrity spokesman for the internationalist case against Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/nir-rosen-and-totalitarian-stupidity/2011/03/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: