The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 23, 2002  

Seeing Terror Where There is No Terror

Today’s “Daily Dish” at carries this item, which we publish in its entirety at the risk of a copyright-related law suit:

”WHAT ARE THE ODDS: In today’s climate in France that the burning down of the Israeli embassy was the result of an accident? About as likely as president Chirac’s suggestion that there are no anti-Semites in France.”

Indeed, what are the odds?

The article to which Sullivan links, a Reuters report entitled, “Israeli Embassy in Paris Destroyed by Fire,” makes it perfectly clear -- at least to anyone who bothered to read the article -- that the Israeli ambassador himself believes the fire most likely resulted from “an electrical short circuit.”

In fact, this quote is included in the first paragraph of the article Sullivan cites.

The unnamed author of the article, moving deeper into the subject than the lede paragraph allows, then adds in the third paragraph: “Ambassador Elie Barnavi told reporters he could not rule out terrorism…but said an accident seemed the most likely cause.”

In the fifth paragraph we hear from the spokeswoman for the Parisian police force: “Initial indications from our investigation indicate it appears to be accidental in origin, perhaps a short circuit.”

Then, in the sixth paragraph, we again hear from Ambassador Barnavi: “It’s most probably an accident. The most probable theory is that it was a short circuit.” Barnavi further noted that the embassy’s ground floor was undergoing renovations.

Each day Sullivan sounds more and more like a mini Martin Peretz, which is truly a shame. We would have thought Sullivan’s disassociation from the New Republic would have led to a more independent frame of mind. But no.

Moreover, why have we not yet seen a thoughtful exposition on French anti-Semitism from Sullivan? Indeed, why is this subject virtually taboo in the American media? Are the French committing hundreds of anti-Semitic acts or are its Arab immigrants doing so? As far as we can tell, only Taki, of all people, has had the temerity to state the obvious: “The fact that every anti-Semitic act has been perpetrated by young Arab thugs does not seem to bother various Jewish groups over here. They’re screaming bloody murder over European anti-Semitism, where there’s nothing of the kind.” If Taki is correct, then “French anti-Semitism” is a misnomer at best, a slander at worst.

Uh-oh. Daniel Goldhagen, please call your office.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |