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Among the questions Galtung wants to see discussed freely – in order, you understand, to prevent an explosion of anti-Semitism – is whether, as one of his fellow “peace researchers” in Sweden has proposed, Anders Behring Breivik was an operative for the Mossad. (In other words, Galtung expects us to mull over the proposition that the government of Israel masterminded the cold-blooded execution of dozens of Norwegian teenagers attending a summer camp.)
Galtung also suggests that a more open and robust discussion of the contents of a certain book would be yet another healthy way to prevent anti-Semitism from spinning out of control. Which book? Why, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, of course. “I wonder how many of those who have such definite opinions about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion have actually read them?” Galtung writes. “It’s impossible to do so today without thinking of Goldman-Sachs.”
Never mind the plain historical fact that the Protocols have been shown to be a vicious forgery perpetrated by pre-Revolutionary Russian officials out to demonize Jews: Galtung dismisses this with an imperious wave of the hand, on the simple grounds that “it’s hard to believe that the secret Russian police were capable of writing such an analysis.” On this issue, he says, he is in total agreement with Erik Rudstrøm. And who, you might ask, is Erik Rudstrøm? According to Terje Emberland of the Norwegian Holocaust Center, he’s “a known anti-Semite” who has explicitly asserted the authenticity of the Protocols. So there, then.
The other day, after Galtung’s Humanist piece appeared, a reporter for NRK spoke to him by telephone. Galtung was, as it happened, in Washington – a city whose utter destruction he has vividly and gleefully imagined in print, as a just payback for America’s manifold sins. (He is the type of European intellectual who, by consistently demonizing America, has guaranteed himself a steady flow of all-expense-paid invitations to spread his views to American audiences.) Galtung informed NRK’s reporter that he was utterly indifferent to the question of who had actually written the Protocols: all that matters to him, he said, is that there’s so much in them that has extraordinary contemporary relevance. He repeated that he considers it vitally important for people today to read the Protocols and contemplate their profound insights into the present international economic situation. (Remember, we’ve got to do everything we can to keep anti-Semitism from exploding!)
Just one more item from Galtung’s list of things that, in his view, should be the subject of more energetic discussion (with, remember, the pure and noble goal of keeping anti-Semitism from breaking loose): the fact that the CEOs of many top American media organizations – of which he helpfully provides a comprehensive list – are Jewish. (Galtung acknowledges that Rupert Murdoch “is not Jewish,” but adds that “many of his top people are.”) And where did Galtung acquire this list? From what he innocuously identifies as “an article from the U.S.” If you click on his link, however, you will find that the “article from the U.S.,” entitled “Six Jewish companies own 96% of world media,” is in fact marked as originating with the “Pak Alert Press (Pakistan)” and as deriving from a text produced by National Vanguard Books, an imprint of National Vanguard – the American Nazi organization founded by William Pierce.
As if all this weren’t more than repulsive enough, Galtung also serves up, for good measure, quotations from Norman Podhoretz and Ruth Wisse – bothborrowed from Eric Alterman, and both provided to his readers for no other reason, apparently, than to suggest that American Jews’ first loyalty is not to America but to Israel.
What to make of this latest glimpse into Galtung’s mind? The good news is that it was too much even for many members of the Norwegian cultural elite – people whom one might have expected to rush to Galtung’s defense or, at the very least, to turn away uncomfortably and change the subject. For example, Emberland, to his credit, called “On Clear Lines and Ambivalence” a case of “intellectual and moral suicide.”
The bad news is that Galtung, a man with a thoroughly clear and totally unambivalent record of partiality toward despotism and fierce hostility to freedom, was ever considered by anyone in a position of authority to be remotely respectable in the first place. Alas, for all the sound and fury that have greeted his latest horrific rant, one fears that when the hurly-burly’s done, Galtung will turn out to have lost little or none of the rénommé that he has enjoyed throughout his career, and that he will – until he or God puts an end to it all – continue to fill auditoriums, publish prominent op-eds, and bring audiences to their feet.
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