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Jul 25, 2013

Standing up for Nazis is not freedom of speech

Giving voice to an article promoting a party that wants to "turn immigrants into soap" and "make lampshades of their skin" is not a diversity of ideas. It's violent hate speech.


Golden Dawn

Hurry to the newstands to get your edition of this week’s Spectator Australia, which contains “High Life” columnist Taki’s stirring endorsement of … Golden Dawn, the Greek fascist party. Here’s the endorsement from the UK/Australia’s leading conservative magazine:

“Golden Dawn came into being because of PC, poor Greeks at times getting fewer benefits than African illegal immigrants. Then GD became very popular with certain poor Greeks while it defended them from being mugged by Albanian criminals and drug dealers, and for safeguarding older folk after bank withdrawals. No, Golden Dawn is not house-trained, and many of its members tend to use rough language and get physical. None of them went to Eton, and none of their parents was my playmate when I was a child. But if they were lefties and railed against capitalism they would be treated like heroes, the way Bono, Bianca Jagger and other such untalented rappers and phonies are. Golden Dawn members might need some lessons in social etiquette, but what the bien pensant need much more is to get off the pot and their double standards. Golden Dawn members are mostly labourers, martial artists, cops, security personnel and good old-fashioned patriotic Greeks.”

Yes, the “playing rough” includes axe attacks on migrants and Leftists in the ’90s, vandalism of synagogues, a prominent member jailed for the attempted murder of three political opponents, numerous violent assaults on opponents, and a virulent and obsessive racism and anti-Semitism.

Still, at least someone’s standing up against the liberal elites, Nick Cater-style. UK Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, taking to Twitter, rather pathetically tried to defend publishing the article on the grounds of “diversity”, a bullshit argument. Any editor makes choice; the political right to free speech doesn’t include the right to a platform, or the obligation to lend one, if the opinion is not merely disagreeable, but vile by giving dishonest praise to people with an abhorrent philosophy.

Indeed, Nelson hasn’t always been so willing to encourage diversity — he defended The Spectator’s cancelling of a debate between George Monbiot and Oz moonbat Ian Plimer, after the latter decided to chicken out. The Speccie then ran an evening with Ian Plimer alone, absent all that pesky diversity of opinion. In that respect one of Nelson’s tweets is instructive:

Fraser Nelson tweet

So describing violent fascists as “not polite”, and endorsing them as a possible government for Greece, is on the same level as a disagreement on housing policy? What a wonderful illustration of the Right’s warped moral priorities.

The other interesting aspect of this is the Right’s selective abhorrence of anti-Semitism. Golden Dawn is riddled with literal Nazis, who believe the Jews should have been exterminated — a UK Channel Four embedded journalist had no trouble getting members to talk openly about it on camera. Taki’s endorsement of the party is not his first foray into anti-Semitism, yet the Australian Spectator in particular runs endless articles describing opposition to Israel as “jihadism”, covert anti-Semitism, self-loathing Jews, blah blah blah.

Now such articles run in the same pages as an actual endorsement of neo-Nazis. Will there be any sort of protest from Jewish community peak bodies? Or will they continue to go soft on the Right, because they’re pro-Zionist, even when support for Nazi parties becomes an acceptable opinion in “diverse” Britain? Because that approach worked so well last time.

Australian Spectator editor Tom Switzer — well-known for campaigning for the banning of Italian far Leftist Antonio Negri from speaking in Australia — must be very proud to introduce a magazine with that sort of rancid viewpoint (usually the preserve of upper-class “columnists” in the UK) into Australian life.



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54 thoughts on “Standing up for Nazis is not freedom of speech

  1. Warren Joffe

    Oh dear I often enjoy reading GR and tend to credit him with honesty, albeit honest and consistent bias one has to admit at times. But this piece, to be charitable, is displaying the same symptoms as former lefty Paddy McGuinness once exhibited in his days of greatest output. Writing too much to ever pause and think that one might be better off shutting up.

    Not only is Taki’s piece (which you link) nothing like a ringing endorsement of the Golden Dawn, and certainly not as a part of government, Golden Dawn only gets about 20 per cent of his article and the par. is aimed at the hypocrisy and humbug of the left. The idea that Taki would favour a true Nazi party (even in the 30s when, if he were of the right age, his sympathies would probably have been with the snobbish upper class who despised Hitler and his thugs, but, certainly, after the German invasion and occupation of Greece there is not the slightest chance that he would sympathise with Nazis as opposed to a Poujadist or perhaps Pauline Hanonite opposition to his opponents on the bien pensant left as he views them).

    You mischaracterise The Spectator. The Australian edition was added to keep Spectator subscribers in Australia, of which there have always been quite a lot, loyal to a rather expensive mag which was obviously going to face the problems of all the print media in a digital age. Taki’s column has little to do with the Australian edition, except that it, together with nearly all the UK edition’s stuff, is printed in it. Certainly its Australian editor would have no say in the matter.

    You mightn’t know GR, but The Spectator was probably taken by Australians who enjoyed a suite of overseas mags; e.g. NYRB, LRB, Atlantic, London Review of Books, perhaps Harpers and New Statesmen.

    And you certainly haven’t taken time to acquaint or reacquaint yourself with the outrageous Taki’s column any more than you have been fair to the one you quote a small part of. In the case of the Taki column you should be thinking of a long conversation with someone over a dinner table where, especially after plenty of wine, some at least try to provoke as well as entertain. I know respectable people who object to Taki so much they would find it hard to be formally polite to him but, equally, you would surely find something to be said for the co-founder of the outstanding (and outstandingly good value, at least now that it is owned by Ron Unz) The American Conservative. After all, they were against the Iraq war from the outset!

  2. Ben Abraham

    I disagree with Warren’s comment – that the sanctioning of a fascist Golden Dawn takeover of Greece (“we should be so lucky”, don’t forget!) only references them for a paragraph or two is immaterial. Give an inch, take a mile. It’s a dangerous precedent for the next column, and the next. It’s a disgusting abdication of responsibility on the part of the editors.

    Now, I tried reading more of the Taki piece and I couldn’t get past just how devoid of actual content it was (besides the author’s faux-self-effacement and smarm), but that’s another matter entirely.

  3. Kevin Herbert

    Taki shoots at every corner of the political spectrum using his poor little rich boy theme as the springboard for his attacks.

    One thing though..he’s consistently anti Israel, but I would not have described him as anti Jewish.

    I buy the Speccie not for the Aussie content, which is so blindly pro Israel as to be absurd, as for the great UK theatre, book & gallery reviews….and for that feeling of walking down Piccadilly on a summers evening when one was resident there.

  4. michael r james

    [Warren Joffe at 3:45 pm
    Taki would favour a true Nazi party (even in the 30s when, if he were of the right age, his sympathies would probably have been with the snobbish upper class who despised Hitler and his thugs …]

    Gotta laugh. Like Sir Oswald Mosley (6th Baronet) and Lady Diana* (Mitford) getting married in the Berlin home of Joseph Goebbels with Adolf Hitler one of the guests! *Diana’s sister Unity was a veritable Hitler groupie. (Turning to Wikipedia to get my Mitford sisters clear, I find the amazing fact that Unity was “conceived in the town of Swastika, Ontario.”)
    And at the very top of the whole British aristocratic pyramid, well, we won’t even mention the sympathies of King Edward VIII (and Mrs Simpson) et al. …

  5. rachel612

    So the Duke of Winsdor, Oswald Mosely, Verity Mitford and a whole swag of upper class English twits despised Hitler and his thugs?

    Sorry Warren Joffe, you’re as silly and as deliberately offensive, in a trolling sort of way, as Taki. Try reading some British history some time, and then go on with your sweeping, self-congratulatory generalisations.

  6. Warren Joffe

    @ rachel1610 A little knowledge is a dangerous thing especially when combined with lack of either intelligence, education or both. It puts you on unfirm ground when being presumptuously offensive.

    Even if I had been referring to English upper class twits such as your misspelled and misnamed list** you would have been guilty of one of the classic fallacies in suggesting that the existence of some deluded or malign English upper class people implied that there were not others who despised Hitler and his thuggish supporters or that Taki would not have been amongst the latter – which, anyway, I left open. As it happens I know enough, including enough history, both British and other, to know that the German upper classes, to whom I was actually referring, despised Hitler and the Nazis even when they deluded themselves early on that he was controllable or decided to take advantage of what he offered whether to Prussian military families or western capitalists. In order to learn German I stayed as a paying guest with an old Hanoverian family who typified the old, minor aristocracy who valued learning and scholarship and had hidden Jews in their basement in Potsdam. (The father’s service in WW1 was all that stopped him being executed by the Nazis in the last days of the war and he was then imprisoned by those great philo-Semites, the Soviet commissars, before the family escaped to the West with his library in a lorry. And they weren’t just some of the many Germans who would need to try and talk the talk and cover up their 30s and 40s histories).

    I also happen to know a bit about Taki that you are evidently unaware of. His wife Alexandra is (like Karl Marx’s wife!) a German aristocrat and Taki often makes clear his admiration for the marshal qualities of the Germans. He may even have expressed a preference for Germany to have won, or at least not lost so disatrously, WW1. He would be on safe ground in arguing that Jews would have been better off by a million miles if that had been so. Anyway, that is just the kind of provocative thing which well-read people, especially those who know lots of important or well-placed people, use to entertain people when in provocative mode at sophisticated dinner parties. And that, understandable to anyone who has read a lot of Taki’s stuff, is what I suggested was the right frame of reference for reading his articles.

    Finally, try showing a modicum of courtesy and modesty by at least not saying things which are flatly untrue. I challenge you to find a “self-congratulatory generalisation”.

    ** Your implicit claim to superior knowledge of something relevant about British history requires examination in the light of two of the three names being misspelled (though one was probably mere carelessness which you could afford if you were better on substance) and one just plain wrong. Duke of Windsor please. Oswald Mosley. And the Mitford sister? Not Verity but perhaps Unity who got close to Hitler or Diana who married Mosley. How to make a fool of yourself in two short paragraphs. Not bad.

  7. Warren Joffe

    Ben Abraham I wonder if you are one of those would be defenders of Israel and other Jewish interests who repeatedly embarrass true friends of Israel by leaping in with oversized boots and a display of ill-directed enthusiasm and not much knowledge or intellect on display. (It is truly embarrassing when even the truly smart like Ron Merkel bring up the Nazi horror as he did in the Bolt case: not his finest hour in the minds of previous admirers).

    If you had bothered to understand the context of Taki’s writing in the huge corpus of Taki output you wouldn’t have had any trouble understanding his “The public sector is what sank the Greek economy. That and corruption by the two main parties, the very same two parties now putting the squeeze on poor people in order to satisfy the EU crooks. But the voices one hears whining about the loss of jobs are the voices of those who played a big part in sinking the country, those of civil servants crying over the loss of their sinecures. (Like that stupid woman writing in the IHT and warning against a fascist takeover of Greece; no such luck, I’m afraid.)” which you quote in part (though, interestingly, Rundle didn’t quote).

    Apart from the fact that “fascist” is a mile away from “Nazi” despite Mussolini’s craven giving in to Hitler on anti-Jewish laws and practices (previously he had probably been better than the average Pope even forgetting the church’s darkest centuries) what Taki is clearly doing is making clear how he despised most of the Greek political class. {If you have trouble grasping that and are still baffled by the Taki style try this “He [some fraudster] has been taken out of solitary confinement and classified with the rapists and child molesters – an unjustified promotion in status”. But yes….

    to Kevin Herbert I think you are right to describe him as not anti-Jewish. Someone like Jimmy Goldsmith was a friend but vulgarians who he would have classified with East End “barrow boys” who had made it big in currency trading and immediately started to show off would cop it whoever they were.

    On Israel, apart from being against the Iraq war which was mostly the responsibility of Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney but fostered by a lot of Jewish neo-cons like Wolfavitz, Perle, Kristol and (but is he Jewish?) Krauthammer – and was certainly seen to be in Israel’s interests whether rightly or not – I do recall his being quite specific on a number of issues. But then the sinking of that American ship during the Yom Kippur war, if I haven’t misdated it, is generally regarded by realists as deliberate, if not the result of a deliberate Belgrano type decision from the PM’s office. Taki claimed to have some particularly good source of information I think. So…. I agree with you.

  8. Warren Joffe

    “martial qualities” …..

  9. Warren Joffe

    @ michael r james

    Your point would be well enough taken if you hadn’t made the possibly understandable mistake that I was referring to the British and not the German upper classes. A bit more research on Taki would have made you realise that the German reference was the probable interpretation, as well as its being more directly relevant to Hitler**… AND if you hadn’t commmitted the same logical fallacy as the egregious rache1612 (vide supra).

    **Taki did go to Gordonstoun for a time I believe but usually quotes Lawrenceville in the US as his school. Anyway Gordonstoun, connected as it was with liberal Germany, is hardly evidence to make one equate Taki’s self-identification as English or British upper class.

  10. Peter Wertheim

    Golden Dawn is an overtly racist party of the old school. Their members’ thuggish, antisemitic behaviour has included vandalising synagogues and Jewish graves. The Spectator has erred fundamentally in publishing this apologia. Racism is wrong no matter where it comes from. In the past The Spectator has rightly pointed to examples of antisemitism on the far-Left and it is equally condemnable when it comes from the far Right.

  11. Kevin Herbert

    Peter Wertheim: are you the same person who is a prominent member of various Jewish groups here in Australia?

  12. Warren Joffe

    @Peter Wertheim

    Well you are certainly right to make the point of interest whether The Spectator should have published it rather than criticise Taki for being Taki who is obviously incorrigible in his forgiveable and unforgiveable excesses. (I was at a conference where he was on the speakers’ list and intrigued to find him not being introduced by the nominated chair of that session: it turned out that the distinguished academic who was supposed to fill that role refused to introduce Taki!).

    I would only make a couple of points. Is it right to read it as an “apologia” [you are not, I note, using the word “endorsement”] in the sense of “formal defense or justification” (with or without the “formal”)? I don’t think so any more than I think it is an endorsement rather than a vehicle for expressing his contempt for the corrupt hypocrites and humbugs that he sees in Greek politics and public life.

    It is said that the Spectator’s editor struggled to express a convincing reason for publishing Taki’s regular column with that par in it. Better than diversity of opinion surely is that, even if it is not in court, nasty people should be entitled to have someone say what can be said in mitigation. Would you disagree when it is put that way? (I suspect that Taki, who wears many hats, probably would justify himself that way on top of his justification that he was having a go at what he sees as inexcusable nasties).

    My other point is to question whether the (unfortunately necessary because who else can be relied on?) hunting out and down of anti-semitism hasn’t maintained a Catch 22. I happen to think the destruction of European Jewry, including those widely despised by German Jews, even those still observant, as premodern Ostjuden (whose cousins were producing a next generation of Nobel Prize winners in New York)was a disaster which saddens me in the way that destruction of gypsies, Slavs (and Stalin did more of that) and others just doesn’t. But is it wise to make anti-semitism the touchstone of objectionable racism? It was fascinating to find, about the time that the Bolt case was getting under way, that Michael Galak, Jewish and of Russian origin, wrote a piece for Quadrant that was about as contemptuous and hateful towards Arabs as one could imagine. Not that he got his facts wrong! I would invite you to consider what you say in the light of that Galak piece which seems to have elicited no tut-tuts to the Quadrant editor and wasn’t commented on in Crikey to the best of my knowledge. (What a battle there might have been between the anti-Semitic Greens and Michael Danby who might have felt embarrassed at making his usual good or half decent case).

    BTW, are you, if Peter Wertheim is your real name, a cousin of Jeff Kennett? And, better, of the presumably late John Wertheim a very fine amateur golfer?


  13. AR

    For decades Tacky has sung the praises of Rommel, the Wehrmacht and uses the vilest description of rich or powerful NY Jews that come straight from Der Stuermer.
    He has several times been suspended or chastised and forced to apologise by editors with more guts/brains than the one-eyed Frazer Nelson.
    He’s also a snob & stunningly misogynist in seeing women as sex objects only – he often refers to ‘the molther of my children” as if that is her only function is his smug over privileged world, the fund for which he inherited – having never earned enough to keep himself in drink

  14. john2066

    Poor Tom. Like all former Murdoch Monkeys he thought he was hired for his tough punchy views, but instead he was just hired as a glovepuppet for the boss. Seriously, do the ‘journalists’ at the Australian ever look around say ‘hey, how come we all write identical tripe’?

    Its quite sad now watching the Spectator, Australian cast offs, poor discarded Tom desperately snivelling for that next job at the IPA he so badly needs.

  15. Gregory Gee

    I’m unsure how this can’t be read as an endorsement – even if we excuse this line: “Like that stupid woman writing in the IHT and warning against a fascist takeover of Greece; no such luck, I’m afraid” as rhetorical excess, the tenor is of excusing, minimising and, in the end, extolling members and aims of the movement.

    It’s harder to judge this article without comparing it with the article he is ostensibly railing against. I assume it’s the July 10 NYT/IHT article by Maria Margaronis titled “Greece at the boiling boat” which has a minimal reference to the closure of the ERT and rather more on some of the details on the Golden Dawn that Taki decides do not require a response – but as he doesn’t name the writer I can’t in fairness say for sure it’s the same article.

    On the actual Nazis. The idea that the German upper class – particularly the German aristocracy – despised and opposed Hitler – has very little foundation. There were over 250 members of the Nazi party with royal blood. Obviously a significant number joined when most people did – after the seizure of power – but a number of prominent royals aided Hitler earlier on with fundraising, society introductions, and in general polishing his image from rabble-rouser to leader. Jonathon Petropoulos writes on this in “Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany”.

    I’m not sure what is meant by an admiration of the “marshal qualities” of the Germans – I can’t possibly imagine anything positive – so won’t try to respond Joffe’s summary of Taki’s opinions on Germany save to say if we are imagining impossible outcomes for the First World War perhaps we could imagine not having it at all.

  16. CarlitosM

    Well done Guy! Let’ call a spade a spade.
    But really, is anyone seriously that surprised the loony right has lost any remote semblance of common sense or the even the most basic moral reference points?
    Next thing you know, they’ll be asking for the army to take over and writing about a national emergency to stop boat people…

  17. Warren Joffe

    @ CarlitosM

    Are you trolling? Is that a Poe’s Law emission? It proves you can type I suppose but what possible connection to anything describable as “loony right” can you ascribe to The Spectator give or take the odd Taki or other article you might object too? As the Spectator is comparatively expensive (and not to your taste) I wonder if you ever read it beyond a quick link to an article on line???

    Its editors have included Tory wets, Jews, sincere Catholics like Charles Moore and, just in the Australian edition, Chris Bowen, Phillip Adams and Mark Latham have all been given space.

    I concede that it is possible to be Oxbridge educated and not unfairly described as belonging to a loony fringe. Oswald Mosley might be an example on what can be called the right and I vividly recall a former UK Labor leader describing, in private conversation, “Wedgy” Benn (the former Viscount Stansgate who renounced his peerage so he could remain in the House of Commons and go on causing his party trouble there) as “loony left”. But, by conceding that there just might, just possibly, be a case you could make that the Spectator has, had or could have a “loony right or left” editor, I challenge you to make such a case with a semblance of evidence.

  18. Kevin Herbert

    Golden Dawn’s modus operandi is not in the same league of thuggish racist behaviour as that of the Israeli Governments of the past 65 years & the IDF, who are global leaders in ethnic cleansing & race supremacism.

    The credibility of Australia’ old guard Jewish community is in tatters over its failure to
    condemn this virulent racism,particularly among those brave Aussie Jews, such as Antony Loewenstein and Peter Slezak, who now call for the dismantling of Zionist Israel, and fomation of one State for both Palestinians & Israelis.

  19. Warren Joffe

    For those wanting to lighten up a bit try


    PS For the obsessive who insist on over-interpreting every available bit of possible evidence to fit their preconceived ideas of “what it’s all about” consider this:

    Chifley to Calwell: “They tell me that if we don’t move fast the XYZ (a union dominated by Catholic Action) will be taken over by the Comms!” Calwell to Chifley: “We should be so lucky!”

    Segue to Communist evils which some think still get off lightly. Interesting that Stalin, who was, quantitatively, and over a much longer period, a far worse criminal than Hitler [on pure ethical grounds one could just place both of them at the bottom of the pit with a few other quantitatively lesser figures] continues, as do his henchmen, to receive less demonising treatment than Hitler and the Nazis.

    Why? Perhaps because, racists as we are [please detect ironical or satirical intent] we regarded Germans as an important part of and contributor to our modern relatively humane civilisation whereas the subjects of the Czar’s old dominion were relative primitives despite greats like Pushkin, Chekov, Herzen, Tolstoy etc. Almost a case of “diminished responsibility”. Also because the Soviet Union did so much of the winning of the war for our side and was allowed to cover up a thousand crimes and blemishes. The Katyn Massacre was on a par with the Germans’ special actions before inventing the gas chambers to relieve their poor soldiers finer feelings. Like Mussolini, Stalin turned against Jews to improve relations with Hitler. Litvinov, being Jewish, had to be sacked as Foreign Minister to tie up the deal with Hitler in August 1939. And the Soviet Union handed back Jews to the Nazis. No doubt Trotsky had begun to turn Stalin off his many Jewish Bolshevik colleagues…

    Another reason is probably that the moral tone and political themes of the post WW2 world have been hugely influenced by high-minded educated upper-middle class English and the (as always) educated persuasive Jews in academe and media – including Hollywood. So, and I don’t disagree at all, the Holocaust is *the* great crime. Germans have taken up the running as one might have expected of the heirs of Goethe, Schiller and co. once they had purged themselves of Nazi ideas in the educable population.

    An idea I have, one might think surprisingly, just come across, is that the Nazi’s used their anti-Semitic campaigns as a way of ensuring that so many Germans, particularly in the armed forces, were drenched in blood and guilt that they would stay the distance and the disaster of 1918 (as the German, not just Nazi, myth portrayed it) couldn’t happen again. It was to be made impossible for deals to be done for an armistice with later divisions and chaos arising in a not-really-defeated-but-betrayed country. I’m not sure how that fits with another suggestion, namely that Nazi anti-Semitism was absolutely fundamental but misunderstood by e.g. the Frankfurt school of exiled Marxists, who thought persecution and killing of Jews was simply the Nazis trying out methods to be used on others later.

  20. Eric Smiff

    Monbiot himself is an extreme right wing eco fascist.


    God of the Soil

    The peculiarities of the Abrahamic religions – their astonishing success in colonising the world and their dangerous notion of progress (now inherited by secular society).

    At Easter, the Christian belief in a permanent resurrection is mixed up with the pagan belief in a perpetual cycle of temporary resurrection and death. In church we worship the Christian notion of progress, which has now filtered into every aspect of our lives. But, amid the cracking of easter eggs and the murmur of prayer, there can still be heard the small, faint voice which reminds us that our ecological hubris must eventually be greeted by nemesis.


  21. Kevin Herbert

    Warren Joffe: you said at 7.58pm last night:

    “I happen to think the destruction of European Jewry, including those widely despised by German Jews, even those still observant, as premodern Ostjuden (whose cousins were producing a next generation of Nobel Prize winners in New York)was a disaster which saddens me in the way that destruction of gypsies, Slavs (and Stalin did more of that) and others just doesn’t”.

    Two questions:

    1. Exactly why does it sadden you more than other genocides?
    2. Given that there is no credible scientific evidence of Jewish ethnicity i.e a Jewish gene, as clearly evidenced by Tel Aviv University’s Prof Shlomo Sand’s scholarly research, how can US Jews have been producing the next generation of Nobel prize winners?

    I’m genuinely interested in your views.

  22. Warren Joffe

    @ AR
    I remember Taki having to apologise or having his column left unpublished one week over something but couldn’t remember what – and still don’t – but your observations got me searching for “Taki suspended” and “Taki chastised” with no luck but has led me to unfinished searching including a vist to Taki Mag which I was aware of but hadn’t read.

    I did find this though which makes your remark about his never having earned enough to keep himself in drink look a bit cheap:

    “Taki is an ex-Greek Davis Cup player as well as a former captain of the Greek national karate team. He has won the U.S. national veterans judo championship twice, and in 2008 was world veterans judo champion 70 and over. Since 1967, when he began his career with National Review, he has been a columnist for the London Spectator, the London Sunday Times, Esquire Magazine, Vanity Fair and Chronicles Magazine. In 2002 he founded The American Conservative with Pat Buchanan. He has covered the Vietnam War as well as the Yom Kippur War and the Cyprus conflict of 1974.” No reason to doubt that it is all true. Not that he didn’t start with a lot of unearned advantages but, if his self-reporting on his drinking is correct he must have a formidable constitution and capacity for work. He did time for what should probably be read as a typically arrogant indiscretion (expecting as usual to get away with not sticking to the rules like an ordinary person) when he was found to have cocaine on him after flying from New York to Heathrow in the mid 80s. Compared with Dominique Strauss-Kahn of course he is a mere also ran in getting away with outrageous behaviour.

    Like you I have wondered about “the mother of my children” and how to interpret it. As you would hardly expect him to be insulting his wife in public, least of all in print, is it not like saying that there is no higher calling than mother and for me the mother of my children is the tops. Nonetheless I did wonder if it was some sort of acknowledgment that they didn’t live together any longer. And then I saw his wife at the next table to the one from which he rose to make a dinner address in America. The conference had related to the media and his speech was, from memory, a take off from “Power without Responsibility, the Prerogative of the Harlot throughout the Ages” his title, relating to the press being “Unfair to Harlots?” He was amusing and outrageous and,as he was leading up to an outrageous but funny punchline, his wife was looking at him with obvious anticipation, enjoyment and affection and then laughing as he delivered as expected.

    I think it impossible to brand his old-fashioned Mediterranean male attitude to women as anything that could be squeezed into even the most ideological definition of misogny. He professes to love women’s company and I see no reason not to believe it quite apart from his enjoying flirting. (His wife is oonsiderably younger and v. attractive so he probably doesn’t get too upset that his attempts at the extra-curricular have been knocked back pretty consistently in the last few years).

  23. Warren Joffe

    @ Gregory Gee

    I suppose you can use “endorsement” as a Humpty Dumpty word and I won’t bother to dispute in nice detail the reasons for my rejecting that description of Taki’s case in mitigation (if that is more appropriate as I think it is). BTW, I wouldn’t necessarily say “rhetorical excess” of the passage you quote. No doubt there is some traditional term used by the classical rhetoricians and it would be describing the use of obvious exaggeration or impossibility to make a point emphatically as in my imagined passage between Chifley and Calwell.

    I take your point about the Royals and others who joined the Nazi party and some of them would have been Prussians of old military and landowning families. There are any number of reasons why people one might expect better from do things in their own self-interest. And plenty did. And it wouldn’t only have been the stupid ones whose family fortunes had suffered: just think of what Heidegger got himself into (though I am not sure if he was upper class). However, I suspect that there was a lot of contempt mixed with self-serving behaviour. So I suppose my original question or hypothetical becomes a question about what Taki might have done for money despite a snobbish, and moral, objection to the Nazis. Impossible question. The Taki one knows of today wouldn’t have shut up!

    As to his admiration for the martial qualities of the Germans which I think is evident enough in his writing, I think he probably regards the German army from the mid 19th century as much better officered (for effectiveness in war) than any other and the German soldier as at least as brave and stoic as any – though it helps to have 1. been more or less compelled to be involved in war crimes; 2. the SS and Gestapo shooting anyone looking remotely like deserting; 3. fear of the Red Army’s revenge at the forefront of one’s mind.

    Interesting that it is Royals you cite (correctly I do not doubt) as helping Hitler’s rise. (One was a descendant of Queen Victoria who was brought up in England until he was 16 think!). Who could have felt more useless and declassé than those Royals with neither the brain nor the education or experience to make their way in the post WW1 world? I contrast them with the highly educated minor aristocracy of my acquaintance. Not that the contrast resolves the hypothetical about Taki.

  24. Warren Joffe

    @ AR
    My searches haven’t so far turned up anything new bearing on your charactrisation of Taki, including casting him as an anti-Semite. But I think he does evince a tendency to idealise the best German officers and even the Wehrmacht as a whole in part because he enjoys boring it up the English whose preparations for war were so incompetent and who lacked a reserve of competent generals. Partly that could be just a liking for boring it up important or self-important people, partly I guess because those upper class and aristocratic English who don’t find him entertaining would often have spoken of him derogatorily no doubt. Plenty of Etonians have had a go at behaving like him but he is not your standard product of a fine old public school for the middle classes. And boring it up or taking the piss out of the English upper and upper middle classes should make him a sympathetic figure to the traditional Oz.

    I haven’t come across any of those “vilest descriptions of rich and powerful New York Jews” that you refer to. Can you give references or quotes? I don’t dispute it because I have not the slightest doubt that his snobbish instincts (not entirely different from “good taste”) would make him take exception to a lot of people in New York, especially those associated with making a log of money fast at the expense of poorer people and/or good tasted and preservation of good things. If you wanted to criticise Goldman Sachs which would hardly put you in a minority of interested people, including lots of Jews, you would have trouble not saying critical things about some Jews. But, so what? He also objects in vivid language to the Russian owners of big powered yachts and referees to rich Arabs as “towel heads”. If you are trying to suggest that there is evidence of general Nazi type anti-Semitism in Taki (i.e. in relation to the oldest Abrahamic branch of the Semites) I think you would have to produce more than his insults to some Jews.

    BTW, my searches put me on to an old story of Taki being on the side of someone poking a worthy British Tory in the eye. He was one of the supporters of Count Nikolai Tolstoy (who took the case eventually to the European Court of Human Rights under the name, as I read it, of Tolstoy Miloslavsky) in his long battle with Lord Aldington who, as Brigadier Toby Low, had supervised the sending back of Cossacks to be killed by Stalin. Tolstoy lost the expensive libel case because Low was found not to have known the Cossacks would be killed by Stalin and the Ustashi by Tito.

  25. Warren Joffe

    @ AR sorry about literals…

  26. Warren Joffe

    @ Kevin Herbert

    The answer to your questions

    1. It could be put in a mildly derogatory way as attributable to my being an intellectual snob and I wouldn’t dispute that too hard even though the word “snob” typically connotes applying inappropriate values. I think I chose the word “saddens” probably because of the feeling for what the world lost. After the English and Lowland Scottish initiation of the Scientific then Industrial Revolutions which got us out of the Malthusian world of breeding up until war, famine or pestilence put a stop to it Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment learning and science were disproportionately carried on by Jews, and not gypsies, Cambodians, Tutsi or any other ethnic group. Parsees might have made a similarly disproportionate contribution but were too small in numbers. Since Hitler’s misuse of science, and belief in bad science, Jews have been at the forefront of deploring anything like ethnic explanations for almost anything, especially if tainted by biological explanation. But it doesn’t really matter if Ashkenazi and some Sephardi intellectual achievement is a matter of natur or nurture, there is still every reason to suppose that Hitler (and Stalin) set back science by many years when they killed so many Jews.
    2. Apart from the point that Jews have a tradition of learning and scholarship and use of the intellect which distinguishes them from any other ethnic group (I concede that the Chinese Tiger mother can compete with the Jewish mother but there is little doubt that Confucian respect for parents and authority inhibited the East Asian contribution to modern science while the natural/cultural Jewish devotion to argument, including argument with G-d, when liberated by the Enlightenment and fertilised with Enlightenment learning has made and continues to make a huge contribution to the welfare of those of us who benefit from modern science and technology, not least from modern medicine.

    As to the “Jewish gene”: of course not. But I suspect that the fact that you express it that way – even if only for a potential association with Jewish ethnicity and not necessarily Jewish intellectual capacity – means that I would have to give a ten page summary to show you where I start. There isn’t actually a “human gene” I suppose would be one short answer. After all we apparently share 70 per cent of our genes with pumpkins (and 99 per cent with chimps). [I can’t resist quoting the response of a clever chap who had just read of that 70 per cent on a BBC website. Within two minutes he had come up with
    A certain young hillbilly bumkin
    Was caught having sex with a pumpkin
    When arrested he swore
    What’s all the fuss for
    Where I’m from it’s OK to hump kin.

    Irrelevant I know but I couldn’t resist it. However, it while it may be true that there are some alleles which would allow you to say “this is from a human not a pumpkin, or a chimp” the equivalent for ethnicity would be equally valid if you accept a probabilistic verdict based on a collection of alleles. Thus it would be vanishingly unlikely for people to be non-Jewish if they had alleles for Tay-Sachs disease, Wiston’s Dystonia and Gaucher’s disease. (As it happens a plausible case has been made by Cochran, Harpending and anor a few years ago, as reported in the MSM by the Economist and NYT, that the prevalence of a number of neurological diseases in Ashkenazim was causally related to the high average IQs: a computer analogy was finding “quick and dirty” solutions in the centuries when Jewish survival depended on sharp intellects, since Jews couldn’t own land but the longer processes of beneficial mutations and natural selection didn’t have time to operate quickly enough).

    AS a matter of interest it is apparently true that Cohens (give or take a bit of extramarital activity on the way) can trace their Y chromosomes back for 2500 years.

    But your question puzzles me because I presume you are aware of the amazing number of Nobel Prizes won by Jews, including, not least, those who proceeded from NY’s selective high schools to the City College (later I think City University) of New York. And then there were those who were so successful in getting into the Ivy League Univesities that, by 1925 those old WASP institutions had started applying quotas. (There is now evidence of de facto quotas or something like it being applied in favour of Jews as against Asians and other whites. If you are interested Google for “Ron Unz The Myth of American Meritocracy” and be prepared to be surprised, though not surprised at some of the bad arguments produced against him later).

    Whether or not you want to stick (as quite a lot of PC Jews do) to the idea that it is just the Jewish tradition of valuing learning etc. that is responsible for the extraordinary Jewish achievents, and therefore supposing that even the illiterate immigrants from the Czar’s realms from 1880 to 1925 approx, harboured a wistful hope that their children would be learned like rabbis, which was probably true, you still can’t get away from Jewish intellectual achievement can you?

    It seems probable, by the way, that Jewish IQ type intelligence was selected for over a period of 500 or more years of being prosperous only if they could manage estates or handle money (requiring literacy and numeracy) but that, about 1650 population growth continued without there being enough of those high IQ jobs to go around. So the genes were preserved in the tinkers, tailors and shoemakers of Eastern Europe without much further selection. No one gene of course, but a pretty characteristic distribution of alleles, just as one would expect to find characteristic collections in the West African populations which provide sprinters and the East African which produce middle and long distance runners. Another BTW of some interest is the probability that Hasidism with its mystical and unintellectual emphases arose when life began to be harder for the expanding Ashkenazi population of four or five hundred years ago. Still it will be the descendants of the Hasidim and Ultra Orthodox, even Haredim, who will be the Jewish Nobel Prize winners of the 22nd century – but no longer of those strict sects.

  27. Liamj

    Warren Joffe’s apologetics on Taki are much like Gerard Henderson on John Howard, but with more revisionism.

  28. David Irving (no relation)

    … and even more turgid, Liamj.


  29. Warren Joffe

    @ Liamj

    Easy isn’t it to blog on Crikey however lazy or ignorant you are. Your words are few enough for you to have chosen apt ones even if you can’t be bothered with the facts. What “apologia” unless you are part of Crikey’s Humpty Dumpty brigade because, outside Christian theology the following definition is pretty well standard:

    ” Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system”

    If you have bothered to consider what I have written it is just a reasonably careful attack on Rundle’s careless sneers and other fairly characteristic cheap Crikey blog shots (plus some attempting to be serious but not, understandably and forgiveably, having a sufficient knowledge of Taki or the Spectator or Taki’s writing to get it right).

    Would you care to come up with some facts and reasoned argument to support a view that the Spectator editor should have blue pencilled at least a couple of Taki’s pars? And that Taki is someone who should be regarded as a vulgar anti-Semite or an equally malign David Irving type.

  30. Warren Joffe

    @ David Irving (no relation)

    As a reasonable definition of turgid in relation to writing would be

    “Excessively ornate or complex in style or language; grandiloquent”

    I readily confess to excessively long sentences when I haven’t taken time to edit, but as they are still grammatical as Gibbons were or writers of classical Latin**
    were it is only the lazy or barely literate who would have trouble with them being “complex”. Ornate? Grandiloquent? Justify. I concede that you might have a problem with the nuance of saying “vide supra” instead of “see above” and that the former even contains one extra letter but…. Over to you if you fancy yourself as a stylist or rhetorician or just as a writer of plain lucid, logical English.

    Of course I don’t expect you to front up on the matter of substance to the extent that Guy Rundle’s careless sneer or outburst of indignation raised a matter of substance.

    **German academic writing could be another matter altogether but it is the obscure ideas which usually give/gave difficulty rather than the long sentences waiting for the complex verb.

  31. Liamj

    @ Warren, i don’t engage with profascists, it only distracts from their selfincrimination.

  32. Warren Joffe

    @ Liamj

    I guess you may be amusing yourself by trolling which obviously costs no effort but, as you have engaged, pro tanto, with me by your

    “@ Warren” allow me to ask who is/are the them whom you regard as “profascist” and while you are at it what you mean by fascism and fascist and what the political and philosophical characteristics are to your mind.

    There appears to be no evidence of your ability to engage with Taki who (exclusively so far as the article and blog are concerned) Rundle and others seem to think is pro-fascist what you say is a bit of a puzzle. Also your sentence is illogical because “engage” is exactly what the investigator or cross-examiner does to prompt responses without which there could be no self-incrimination. Or doo you think you have a complete case already based on self-incrimination? If so, logically, you have no reason not to engage with us all and expose your intellectual powers to the test of setting out your case.

  33. Warren Joffe

    “As there appears……” [beginning of last par.]

  34. Mike R

    I note with some bemusement (actually with more amusement) the accompanying debate to Guy Rundles article. For the benefit of those who have limited patience to wade through the original article and the subsequent 31 tortuous comments (and counting) here is a brief summary of the debate so far.

    1. In his article Rundle is having a go at Taki and the Spectator for promoting and/or defending and/or not attacking the Golden Dawn.
    2. Rundle then inserts a favoured thesis of his, that Jewish community bodies go easy on right wing organizations which are assumed (by him) to be pro-Zionist in nature.

    In the comments following the article,
    3. Warren Joffe defends Taki as being a bit of an eccentric and not necessarily anti-Semitic.
    4. Kevin Herbert thinks that Taki is not anti-Semitic but just anti-Zionist.
    5. A.R. thinks Taki is anti-Semitic.
    6. Warren debates with sundry commentators, the role of the German and British aristocracy in the rise of Facism in Germany and England.
    7. Kevin can’t help himself and lifts his hind leg and gives Israel a spray. Kevin thinks Golden Dawn is not as bad as the Israelis. Maybe he is conflicted and coming to the defence of Golden Dawn due to its rabid anti-Zionism?
    8. Kevin and Warren go off on a tangent and argue about Jewish genetics.
    Apologies to any others who I have left out of the list of honourable mentions.

    Due to limitations in time, and a limited knowledge regarding Taki (which does not necessarily bother many of the other contributors) I will restrict myself to point 2 regarding Rundle’s assertion that ‘Jewish community peak bodies’ do not condemn right wing organizations that display anti-Semitism due to these right wing organizations support of Israel.

    This is an ‘interesting’ take. Traditionally right wing fascist neo-Nazis are not usually pro-Zionist (I am aware however it has occurred on occasions when their Islamophobia overtakes their hatred of the Jews). I don’t know the exact percentages of anti-Semites who are Zionists (but maybe Guy has the figures at hand) but if going by Google (I know, not very scientific, but may be indicative in the absence of other concrete information- A good starting point, if you have the stomach for it, is realjews.com. Just follow the links embedded within) then the anti-Semites that are of the anti-Zionist persuasion, seem to be either prolific or know how to manipulate the Google rankings. There appears to be little evidence of a preponderance of anti-Semitic pro Zionist organizations.

    Regarding the organization that is particularly pertinent to Rundle’s article, Golden Dawn is the last organization that would be useful to support his contention that the peak Jewish community bodies refrain from criticism due to pro-Zionist leanings. A cursory Google search combining the words ‘New Dawn’ and ‘Zionism’ strongly suggest that New Dawn activists are not likely start their meetings by singing the Israeli national anthem with accompanying Israeli dancing. The Google search provides such classic You Tube titles such as “GREECE GOLDEN DAWN VS THE ZIONIST JEW” with the associated comment “F— YOU ZIONIST JEWS! HELLENIC WORLD ORDER COMING SOON!” . This maybe just over-enthusiatic letting off of steam by Golden Dawn supporters but it would be a long stretch of the bow, even for Guy Rundle, to portray Golden Dawn as pro-Israel.

    Is Rundle really surprised that Golden Dawn is anti-Zionist? Who would have thought that an anti-Semitic Holocaust denial organization would also be anti-Zionist? That’s never happened before surely.

    Now when it comes to condemnation of the Golden dawn, you can find condemnation of Golden Dawn by Jewish community peak bodies that appear to fit Rundles criterion without expending a great deal of investigative energy, i.e. the World Jewish congress, Anti- Defamation League, European Jewish congress, and obviously the Greek Jewish community. It all up there in black and white if you care to look*.

    Another example which perhaps Rundle is alluding to is the British National Party whose leader Nick Griffin, to the angst and chagrin of his members, declared he was pro-Israel in 2009 . However he has recently reverted, literally on his road to Damascus moment, to a rabidly anti-Zionist position. The BNP has been vehemently condemned and incessantly opposed by the peak Jewish body in the UK (The British Jewish Board of Deputies) even during Nick Griffin’s honeymoon period.

    Look Guy I am sure, if he bothered to research, could find other cause celebres but his generalization regarding Jewish bodies going soft on the right, does not stand up to much, if any, scrutiny.

    *References upon request but again Google is your friend.

  35. The Cleaning Lady

    Guy, I’m with you except for the unwarranted extension of your criticisms to the whole of “the Right”. (Disclosure: I’m a progressive.)

    Criticise the authors, the editors, the publications, but to suggest that half the population have “warped moral priorities” and are guilty of “selective abhorrence of anti-Semitism” is both false and unhelpful (to put it euphemistically).

  36. Kevin Herbert

    Hey Mike R:

    I see that reports of your intellectual demise…are accurate

  37. Mike R


    Thank-you for your concern regarding my health. You can reassure those who appear to be monitoring my condition that reports of my demise, intellectual or otherwise, are greatly exaggerated.

    However you are correct, I have noticed a deterioration in my intellectual abilities. At this rate I expect ,maybe in decade or two, we will be able to have of our forthright exchanges on a level playing field.

    I hope you too are well and taking your medication.

  38. Warren Joffe

    @ Mike R and all

    I am not conscious of having read Mike R’s contributions before but look forward to reading more of such urbane, thoughtful and careful contributions. The Mike R I am made to think of by just a few clues would know about a school with a name which had a Welsh connection in the 1940s – and still exists somewhat changed. If so, and anyway, I would be pleased at any and all confirmation that the glooms were gone and not amounting to ill health.

    You don’t bother to distinguish between fascism and the Nazis as most other haven’t. It seems to me important – and no doubt many more distinctions should be made – because there isn’t the slightest suggestion that I am aware of that Italian fascists, let alone Mosley and co., would have pursued the genocidal policies of Hitler. Of course German anti-Semitism had a long history and seems to have been much more solidly grounded in Lutheranism, as well as Catholicism, than one would find it in Anglicanism, let alone the British Protestant sects which gave rise to many of the US pro-Zionist Christian enthusiasts.

    We know that Australia’s White Australia policy was most passionately upheld by representatives of the working class and the Eastern European phenomenon of economic envy and sheer competition (a money economy’s equivalent of the fight for lebensraum over the millenia) seems to have been far from absent in Germany, especially after WW1. In the UK I have been told by distinguished Jews of anti-Semitism at English upper (middle) class schools in the 30s and 40s,dismissed as “typical English upper class anti-Semitism” but still remembered even if it didn’t stop the Jews winning the scholarships to and from the schools. That surprised me once as it seemed to me that being truly upper class put one above that sort of thing. Maybe I put too much store on the ways of the more intelligent monarchs, including those who used Jews skills and money, and so it came as a surprise to me to learn only v. recently that Arthur Balfour, the nephew of that quintessential aristocrat, PM and 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, was a Zionist ( whether or not you would class him as Christian Zionist) partly because he was anti-Semitic! Not surprisingly the Scottish, albeit, from memory old Etonian, PM, Lord Rosebery was a practical chap and married a Rothschild. That may have been where I got my slightly overstated view of English upper class philo-Semitism to which the fact that my first political hero Disraeli was leader of the Tories must have contributed.

  39. Kevin Herbert

    ‘Warren Joffe’:

    When wading thru the mountain of unsupported claims you’ve made to date, the adage “I wrote you a long letter, because I didn’t have time to write you a short one’ springs to mind.

    Thanks for your 1000 word + response although I don’t feel any the wiser for it given that you have made some rather grand assumptions, which fail to gain any traction when closely scrutinised.

    I won’t bother to rebut every one of your overblown claims given that my general position when engaging in blog discussions is that claims presented without supporting data may be rejected without supporting data. In other words what you’ve written to date is simply puffery.

    Your tone suggest that your views of the importance of the Jews are straight out of the post Sulzberger /Zionist/MSM playbook of the past 120 years. In particular, your spurious claim re the over representation of Jews among Nobel laureates, is riven with faults e.g. a cursory inspection of the list show that many of those included had ‘Jewish ancestry’, hardly a basis for inclusion. Also, there are a number of crucial confounding factors in virtually all those on the list e.g. competing ethnicity, environmental societal influences, educational opportunities et al…each of which nullifies your silly proposition. In short, what you propose can be easily labelled as a junk research, unless of course you have the peer reviewed research papers in support of your claim…I’m not holding my breath.
    Also, the ‘The Jew Einstein was the greatest ever scientist’ myth perpetuated by Zionists via the Jewish controlled US MSM is considered something of a poor joke by those with real world analytical abilities given that Einstein was educated a Catholic school in his most formative learning years, his parents were not observant, and he lived life as an avowed agnostic. Add in the confounding factors I’ve mentioned, and the myth is destroyed. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good piece of Zionist propaganda. And this scenario is why no self respecting researcher could agree with your conclusions, taken off Wikipedia no less, and explains why even Zionist propogandists have no published any such “research’ findings.

    You should take the advice(with which you opened your turgid commentary) to Guy Rundle that “Writing too much to ever pause and think that one might be better off shutting up”.

  40. Warren Joffe

    @Kevin Herbert

    I remember the late Richard Crossman observing genially that the best tribute to the British performance in Palestine was that they were hated and attacked by both sides. I think someone has suggested I am profascist and now you align me with the Jewish controlled MSM’s propaganda for Jewish greatness.

    The last time I heard the complaint about Jewish boosting it was about the supposed pretence that Mahler was a greater composer than Brueckner! (I wouldn’t know. I enjoy the music of both).

    I had assumed greater knowledge of the literature on your part and, also, understanding of the simple point that mixed ancestry doesn’t prevent Jewish genetic inheritance being useful for high cognitive ability. I am well aware for example that the great Art Jensen was half-Jewish and I know literally dozens of smart people with some Jewish ancestry who may or may not have got the best genes from their Jewish ancestors.

    Do you deny that IQ is a good indication of useful cognitive abilities on average? Do you deny that it is to a great extent heritable? Or do you fly in the face of the evidence and common sense (smart parents tend to have the smarter children)and agree with those Harvard Jewish Marxists Kamin, Lewontin and Gould? (Steven Pinker contra)?

    Try reading Ron Unz’s magnificent iconoclastic article “The Myth of American Meritocracy” in The American Conservative which you will find online and see how a very smart Jew objectively deals with the degree of Jewish intellectual merit and its relative decline (corresponding perhaps to the changing consensus over the last 15 years from estimating average Ashkenazi IQ at about 115 – SD being 15 – down to about 108 which is not far from the estimate for Chinese Americans). You should certainly be aware of Cochran and Harpending’s work too. Are you not?

  41. Warren Joffe

    @ Kevin Herbert

    It’s a bit rich to go on about “unsupported claims” when you have said you would be genuinely interested in my views [sic] not my referenced sources AND have delivered your verdict in advance with just one mention of a Professor Sand’s research without link or reference. What are my “unsupported claims” that you dispute? Would you dispute e.g. “Thus it would be vanishingly unlikely for people to be non-Jewish if they had alleles for Tay-Sachs disease, Wiston’s Dystonia and Gaucher’s disease. ” If so, why?

  42. Mike R

    Thank-you for your kind words. The school I attended , as far as I know, did not have an affiliation with the Welsh in the 1940s. The emblem of the school was a unicorn which I think is a Celtic symbol more associated with Scotland.

    However in common with your friend I have experienced periods of the blues. As a catharsis, I have in the past often laced my comments to many of these articles in Crikey with an element of humour. I find it is useful as an antidote when dealing with subject matter like the Mid-East that is usually so bleak. It can also be useful when having to deal with comments for people with mindset of Kevin, and there are more than enough of them to go around. However my sense of humour is not to the liking of Kevin and some of his ilk which is understandable as humour is so subjective but Kevin even has his own warped humour despite it being unintentional (see below).

    Kevin has again able to come to the table with another gem, to quote ‘your spurious claim re the over representation of Jews among Nobel laureates, is riven with faults e.g. a cursory inspection of the list show that many of those included had ‘Jewish ancestry’, hardly a basis for inclusion.’.

    What would his basis for inclusion be? If the Laureate once ate a bagel with lox would that make him a candidate?
    In light of this I am waiting for Kevin’s recalculation of the number of Jewish Nobel prize winners. Can he indicate what criteria he will use for each case? Is he going to use the traditional matrilineal criterion favoured by religious Jews or does he prefer to categorize using the Nuremberg Laws? Would he like to see a list of the names sorted into full breed, half breed and ‘mischling’.

    If he was to use these criteria then he might find he has inadvertently increased the number of Nobel Prize winners that are considered to be Jewish. I think a list of Nobel Prize winners that would have been victims of the Nazis if they had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time would indeed be interesting.

    He may even have set the bar higher – I gather if a Jewish Nobel prize winner attended a Catholic school at some stage ( in Einstein’s case between the ages of 5 and 8 ) then Kevin thinks he clearly could no longer be considered Jewish. Clearly Kev is an old school Lamarckian (He may have missed his calling when Lysenko was purged). If this is the case, for consistency (admittedly not his strong suit) , he must support classifying any Laureate that has eaten a pastrami on rye at Katz’s delicatessen as being Jewish.

    Re Einstein, Kev has also claimed that due to Einstein’s agnosticism he can’t be considered to be Jewish! If this was part of the criteria for Jewish then, yes, the list would be vastly reduced. This would also decimate (in the commonly accepted sense of the word) the Jewish population of the world (if only the Nazis had used this technique in their European endeavours). You should also let Anthony Loewenstein, Norman Finkelstein and sundry Jewish anti-Zionists know as they will no longer be able to obtain credibility by playing the Jewish card. The only Jews of an anti-Zionist persuasion left are groups like the Neturei Karta that believe Israel should only be established upon the arrival of the Messiah.

    In summary if ‘The Jew Einstein was the greatest ever scientist’ is contentious then the only sensible debate is whether he was the greatest ever scientist. My professional view ( as a physicist) is that he was probably the greatest scientist of the last century. In my humble view, Isaac Newton was the all time great, but if you are going to make outlandish claims regarding Einstein then I will make the equally ridiculous counterclaim that Isaac Newton was Jewish (I believe he was known by the name Izzy to his mates).

    Further to the over-representation of Jews on the list of Nobel laureates. As a starting point only, Wiki’s entry on the matter indicates that the number of Jewish Laureates as a percentage of the total Nobel Laureates is 26% compared to the Jewish population of the world of 0.2% . This is an over-representation of a factor of 100 or so, which I guess for Kevin is only a slight over-representation. Kevin can go through the list and cull the number using his assorted criteria by a factor of 99 out 100. Of the three hundred or so Jewish Laureates I am sure he could get the required number down to 3 or even less.

    In defense of Kevin he has made the point ‘there are a number of crucial confounding factors in virtually all those on the list e.g. competing ethnicity, environmental societal influences, educational opportunities et al’… . for the over-representation of Jews ( which according to Kevin does not exist according to his previous argument). I am not sure what he means by competing ethnicity but he is right when you take the other factors into account you can get a different result. Yes, if using the same cohort, such as the US, the ratio instead of being a 100 is only 13 times. I eagerly await the statistical meta-analysis from Kevin that addresses these issues and maybe with heroic assumptions he can get the ratio to within his range of numeracy (the number of fingers on one hand is what I have in mind).

    Another gem from Kev- “ my general position when engaging in blog discussions is that claims presented without supporting data may be rejected without supporting data”.

    I recall this is his default position when he has no clue. Kev, here is your chance to reject with supporting data. You have claimed on a prior occasion, I recall, to be a journalist, without providing any evidence to support this claim . Kevin prove me wrong. Here at last is your big chance! You can use your self- professed investigative skills to generate a published article demonstrating that the number of ‘real Jews’ on the list is miniscule. You could also include the results of your meta-analysis .You could blog it, or even easier, submit it for publication to one of the web sites I mentioned in my previous dispatch (or the myriad of other sites that have similar viewpoints ). I am eagerly awaiting your revised list of Nobel Prize winners (minus the ersatz Jews).

    Lastly, Kevin’s comments have always involved accusations of Israeli and Zionist perfidy. At least he has dropped the pretense and now is happy to frame his discussions in term of the ‘J’ word. Another thing that I am grateful for is his indefatigable nature. He will always line up for another bollocking. Where would I be without Kevin?

    As usual I have rattled on way beyond what is necessary to deal with Kevin. The combination of ignorance and ridiculous arguments he spouts has this unfortunate effect on me.
    Like Warren, I do have a propensity to overdo the rhetoric. We must share the same gene.

  43. Warren Joffe

    @ Mike R

    Totally justified rhetoric. One can only hope that someone, somewhere, even if not Kevin, will learn from careful exposition and argument and somehow help to make the world a better place by small increments. One quibble only:

    Where you say e.g. ” for consistency (admittedly not his strong suit) , he must support classifying any Laureate that has eaten a pastrami on rye at Katz’s delicatessen as being Jewish.” you really need to insert some such words as “being of the class of scientist that Jewish boosters claim to be [Jewish]”. I don’t like to give the petty nitpickers (as opposed to moi-même a grand nitpicker) given a chance to offer a quick barely relevant and trivial sneer and run.

    Delighted to read that you are a physicist. I dropped my physics too early, so I didn’t even know that, when sitting next to a Nobel Prize Winner his great contribution that I could have shown knowledge of was the Standard Model. But I do find physicists the best scientists on the whole to explain to me things I might need to know if I didn’t think that “climate science” was almost irrelevant to decisions Australia might make about how and when and how much to reduce CO2 emissions in this country.

    One of my physicist friends who is scornful of most so-called “climate scientists” tells me that there are 23 different models used or relied on by the IPCC and I wonder if any of them have any claim to model the notoriously important feedbacks adequately (that is the supposed positive, though maybe even negative, feedback from the production of more water vapour by evaporation as the atmosphere heats up). Also can any of them meet the test of retroprediction even for the Holocene when so many big climatic events have occurred?????

  44. Kevin Herbert

    Warren Joffe:
    You’re posts clearly evidence your delusions of intellectual sophistication – what I refer to as a ‘cut & paste polymath’.
    Most of the data you have posted as your views is plagiarised directly from the net. This is further evidenced by the fact that when you’re directly challenged as to the basis for your views, you can’t /won’t answer…you just blather on in the vain hope that you’re keeping up the ruse.
    The following example of your blathering will be my last comment on your turgid commentary. You asked that I point out further examples of your unsupported positions. If I was being paid for the analysis – or I thought it would do any good – I’d do so. However, I have better things to do with my time, unlike you it appears.
    Here’s a prime example of your repetition as a given of a now totally discredited Israeli/Zionist talking point churned out by the Jewish controlled MSM globally over the past 60 years where you say:
    “Of course German anti-Semitism had a long history and seems to have been much more solidly grounded in Lutheranism, as well as Catholicism, than one would find it in Anglicanism, let alone the British Protestant sects which gave rise to many of the US pro-Zionist Christian enthusiasts”….yes of course….all you have to do is say it and you’re right Warren.
    Sorry to rain on your parade old chap, but that view has been bagged by just about every Jewish & other historian of note globally e.g. in the words of the world’s most eminent Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg, Daniel Goldhagen’s odious book ‘Hitler Willing Executioners’ is “totally wrong about everything” and “worthless”. The text, for its alleged “generalising hypothesis” about Germans, has sometimes been characterized as anti-German. The Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer wrote about Goldhagen: “He does not seem to be acquainted with some basic developments in German society in the nineteenth century. Bauer argued that:”There simply was no general murderous, racist anti-semitic norm in Germany in the nineteenth century. There was a strong and growing antisemitic influence among the elites, but even here it is difficult to speak of unanimity…But to speak of an eliminitionist norm is wrong. Goldhagen’s thesis does not work.” Finally Bauer charged “…that the anti-
    German bias of his book, almost a racist bias (however much he may deny it) leads nowhere”
    The American historian Fritz Stern denounced the book as unscholarly and full of racist Germanophobia. Hilberg summarised the debates, “by the end of 1996, it was clear that in sharp distinction from lay readers, much of the academic world had wiped Goldhagen off the map.” Goldhagen left Harvard not long after with his academic tail between his legs, and is largely seen by legitimate historians as a shill for far right Zionism. Finally, I note that the eminent US Jewish historian Dr Norman Finkelstein has also dismissed Goldhagen’s book as a work of fiction.Of coursxe if you have peer reviewed research which rebutts these views, then let’s have it.
    You should spend more of that endless time on your hands doing something that contributes to the community – instead of blathering on about matters you clearly do not understand. I reckon you’re a bored, retired accountant with little formal education.

  45. Warren Joffe

    @ Kevin Herbert

    I’ld like to think I don’t make wild generalisations about someone else’s sources of knowledge and belief when they are mere guesses based on one’s own preoccupations as you make clear by citing much criticism of the Goldhagen book which I haven’t read or even looked at as though it was relevant.

    Except for your particularly cranky tone you remind me of an old friend who, though a lawyer, pursued his individualistic bent into Holocaust denial, quite conscientiously I have no doubt, and gradually became alienated from his (largely left wing) early political comrades. So I wouldn’t be surprised if you had a couple of degrees though it makes one wonder when you say something as silly as your final ” I reckon you’re a bored, retired accountant with little formal education”. Silliest if you actually believe it since you are completely wrong on each of your three guesses”.

    My knowledge of Jewish history, started of course with old-fashioned reading of the scriptures to learn of the deity’s genocidal instructions to his people (later improved by reading recent very scholarly books on how the Bible came to be as it is – the up to date continuation of that fine 19th century German scholarship which really got modern Biblical studies under way). But my best source was recommended to me by someone I had reason to trust and is Paul Johnson’s “History of the Jews”. I don’t know PJ as well as Taki appears too but like him and find him invariably readable and informative. His enthusiasm for Catholicism while berating Poples is bemusing but one can be sure that he didn’t write about the Jews with any other approach than objective scholarship.

    As people almost everywhere that Jews have lived in large numbers have exhibited anti-Semitism, at least when under some stress, such as economic distress, or when easily identifiable scapegoats are needed, and as favouring the ingroup is as old as mankind, I do not say that no other people could have been induced to do what many ordinary Germans did to Jews if the circumstances were similar to those affecting the German not-particularly-well educated lower middle and working classes and those in higher socio-economic groups who were not successful academically, commercially or in personality, i.e. those wanting to externalise their own failings. Add in 10 years of propaganda in a relatively unsophisticated age etc. and it is possible that even the English could have been recruited. (Though, come to think of it, it is interesting that no attempt seems to have been made to recruit POWs to that particular aspect of Nazi frightfulness. Contrast the easy recruiting of French police to deporting Jews. And, of course, there were any number of Eastern Europeans who actively engaged in the Nazis exterminations. Add the fact that even the SS were apparently in need of psychological protection from the brutality of shooting naked men, women and children and, one has to concede that the German lower ranks were caught in a difficult situation of oath to the Fuehrer, traditional German obedience [you will allow that stereotype will you not?] to authority and fear of what would happen to them if they didn’t act as part of the murderous team. Unfortunately the recently disclosed recordings of German POWs talking to each other indiscreetly shows that a lot of them were indeed willing murderers. Your point is, apparently, that this isn’t a consequence of traditional German anti-Semitism, or maybe you deny the Holocaust or maybe you say anyone else would have behaved the same way…. I am not sure. I take it that your passion for thorough scholarship would make you aware of the profoundly and viciously anti-Semitic utterances and writings of Luther? Can you find anything comparable in the genesis of Anglicanism for example? True, Jews were only allowed back into England in any numbers from about 1650 so it is not surprising that England has not been as anti-Semitic as Germany, assuming that some knowledge of the object of hate is almost a prerequisite (though there is evidence of entirely theoretical religious based anti-Jewishness in Latin American countries with virtually no resident Jews).

    German academics didn’t have a great record of course, but then anyone who knows how self-centred academics often are wouldn’t be surprised. A politician serving on a university council observed that he loved the company of most of those he worked with on the council and on committees but couldn’t help noticing that academic politics was far dirtier and more rule-free than the real politics where other people’s ideas and preferences and likely reactions had to be constantly taken into account.

    When staying with a German aristocratic family before starting to study for the first of my several degrees I was told by them that they didn’t think for a moment that England would have invaded Belgium in 1914 or engaged in persecution of the Jews in the way their countrymen had. When an elderly female member of the family tried to say it was all the Nazis fault the rest of them wouldn’t have it but said it was the fault of all Germans. You might say that was an excessive appropriation of guilt to themselves but was certainly not supportive of your apparent contention, and came from people who lived through it all.

    As well as Johnson as a source for some knowledge of German at


  46. AR

    WJ & KH – get a room. Logorrhea is not logic.

  47. Kevin Herbert


    Such wit.

    Can’t keep up eh?

    Well don’t read it

  48. Mike R

    Warren, Kevin is employing his usual tactics. When confronted with information that indicates that his claims are ludicrous beyond belief (see above discussion of Nobel prize Winners above) he moves on with haste and resorts to introducing a ‘red herring ( I am not sure whether it is Matjes or Bismarck- probably Bismarck). He has done this particular move (commonly known as ‘The Goldhagen maneuver’) before see Kevin’s comments http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/10/19/making-beer-is-a-form-of-resistance-brewing-tensions-on-west-bank/. If anyone is interested ( somehow I doubt it) please check the comments to the above article .

    Re-reading these comments you can get a feel from where Kevin is coming from. This is the ‘real Kevin’. In the same comments he disputes the existence of anti-Semitism – Never happened, nothing to see here, move on. I am not sure where he is getting his reading material from, but I can hazard a guess.

    He has also suggested in Crikey that the Holocaust is a just a Zionist beat up , to quote Kevin on the matter. ‘Just like the ‘Holocaust” has become the marketing term for the Zionist guilt mongers in..’ http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/06/08/jewish-cultural-festival-no-place-for-israel-critics/. Does anyone wonder why he gets up my goat.

    I will however partially swallow his bait, despite the herring getting so old that the odour of putrefaction has set in (so apposite for all of Kevin’s contributions). There has been more recent books on the matter such as ‘What we Knew’ (2005) by Eric Johnson and Karl-Heinz Reuband (review scan be found http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/203103.article and at http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/rezensionen/2005-4-011 examining the extent of the German population’s knowledge (and by inference their complicity and/or culpability). Their study which involved interviews with relevant (both non-Jewish and Jewish) Germans who were all present at the relevant time. From the above reviews it seem that authors of ‘What we Knew’ disagree as to the extent with one claiming half of Germans having knowledge and the other only about one third. The disagreement stems for the interviews being biased toward the younger cohort as the older ones had passed onto Valhalla by the time the interviews took place and the youngsters may have been too young at the time to be aware of what was happening around them. So Hitler’s willing executioners may have only been 1/3rd to one half of the population of Germany at the time. The Seargent Schultz defence may not be required for the majority of Germans at the time, but (not counting the Austrians and the inhabitants of the Sudetenland) only for the sum total of 20 to 30 million Germans.

    I am waiting for Kevin’s forensic analysis of this book. If he does not have a copy I will send him one if he provides his postal address. I will also send him a ticket to the Holocaust museum of his choice.

    I myself have not read Goldhagen’s book but I am aware it has been widely criticized by all sides of the spectrum and cannot comment, unlike Kevin who as a result of his extensive research skills has clearly dissected the contents. Like Warren’s, my comments are admittedly ancedotal . My experience is only second hand but I encounter daily with people who had very relevant first hand experience regarding German ( and also Polish) treatment of Jews during World War Two . They did not think highly of them, but that may well be due to the circumstances, locations and nature of their encounters with Germans. Clearly also the limited number of such acquaintances means the sample could have been biased. Unfortunately the number of Jews who are able to testify regarding their encounters with the relevant Germans was drastically thinned out at the time and they were never able to provide victim statements.

    In light of this I suggest Kevin visits a few Jewish aged care homes in, say Melbourne, and discuss your views with the residents. I hope you know how to defend yourself against a 90 year old armed with a Zimmer frame.

    Look you would be on much safer ground if you visit the Adelaide Institute and meet with Dr Tobin ( sounds like you two would get on like a house on fire). In light of your revisionist leanings, on full display by your attempts to make the Nobel Laureates ‘Judenfrei’, he might even offer you a research position.

    I also find it amusing l to the point of hilarity ( I told you that he has a wicked sense of humour), that Kevin accuses Warren of cut and past and then proceeds to a mash up of a cut and paste of Yehuda Baer’s comments from the Wiki regarding Goldhagen’s book.

    I think it is getting even clearer and clearer where Kevin is coming from and possibly even where Kevin would like to go. Look it must be frustrating for Kevin to attempt to cloak his real attitudes to Jews. Unfortunately he just either don’t try hard enough or just incapable of controlling his urges.

    Warren, I wouldn’t be particularly bothered ( you probably aren’t) by his claims that you are a ‘ bored, retired accountant with little formal education’. Kevin’s intellectual snobbery in this matter is clearly delusional. He has had the propensity to make outrageous claims about his abilities without a skerrick (even a micro-skerrick would do) of evidence, but I am not sure what, if any his formal qualifications are. I recall that during my matriculation year we were required to do , as part of the English course, a component devoted to clear thinking, in particular how to analyze and construct arguments. We could not proceed to higher Ed if we did not pass English. All evidence appears that Kevin would not have done well at this aspect, but standards seem to have slipped and maybe he progressed to tertiary education. If indeed has qualifications in this regard at some University, I think he should keep quiet to protect the reputation of the unfortunate University.

    p.s. Kevin’s claims Goldhagen fled Harvard with his tail between his legs. This is another of his claims that are not able to withstand scrutiny ( I do not recall any that have stood any such test). Goldhagen is currently affiliated with the Minda De Gunzberg Center for European Studies at Harvard. I think Kevin maybe you could fill in the online application form to apply to be a visiting fellow there. However I think your chances are much better at The Adelaide Institute where you can get to work with like minded individuals ( the only downside is that you may not be able to visit Germany).

  49. AR

    KH – you don’t imagine that anyone reads those slabs filling our inboxes. Apart from obsessives, including MR.

  50. Kevin Herbert

    Mike R:

    Yet again you resort to that old Zionist stand-by propaganda i.e. Holocaust denial.

    It worked when the Jewish US MSM controlled global opinions, but not any more old girl.

    The only fitting response to both yours & Warren J’s attempts at discrediting me is:

    You’re really just a couple of silly old sausages with too much time on your hands.

  51. Sophie Benjamin

    Sophie Benjamin here, Crikey website producer.

    There is some robust debate in this thread but can I please ask people to move the tone of the discussion to something less personal. At Crikey we endorse the technique “play the ball and not the person.” In other words, please don’t attack each other. Please keep this in mind and consult our code of conduct for more info.

  52. Kevin Herbert

    Sophie Benjamin:

    agree 100%.

  53. Mike R

    Many thanks to Sophie for reminding us of the rules of engagement and, for once, I am in total agreement with Kevin.

    I am probably not being too presumptuous to assume I am being gently admonished along with the other protagonists. I plead ‘Mea Culpa’ . Along with my infamous, verbosity and ‘humour’ I have clearly been unkind to at least one protagonist. I won’t use the weasel words ‘If I have offended’ . I unreservedly apologize to him and to any others who I have offended.

    In future, I will endeavour, despite my instincts, to bite my tongue and be as polite as possible to those who seem unaware of the offence they cause to others. Is is understandable, due to the passage of time, they have forgotten that the arguments they use have a certain distasteful familiarity to those who still have personal proximity to those who were on the wrong end (usually terminally) of such arguments in the past. I will try and keep the debate ‘nice’ .

    I hope, in the same spirit of generosity, my protagonist(s) will likewise apologize. A bit like having a quiet beer with your opponents after a bit on field biffo.

    Further to this, my previous attempts at humour may have been self induced to counter the effects of a dreary wet weekend . Hopefully with a bit of sunny weather , if I meet the usual suspects again, on some far flung field, we can relive the good old days (for some) with a chorus of ‘we’ll meet again, don’t know where , don’t know when’ . May peace be with you all.

  54. Mike R

    Hi Sophie,

    Just a quick note. The link in your preceding comment was incorrect. The correct link is http://www.crikey.com.au/about/moderation-guidelines/.

    I note that there are no limits in the guidelines regarding group vilification (religious, ethnic or racial). Vilification typically provokes exchanges that involve the kind of personal attacks that the guidelines are meant to discourage. It then may make sense to include in the guidelines, statements to dissuade vilification as well as ad- hominem attacks.

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