Two edges to this sword
: I’ve been delighted to make contact with Iranian bloggers lately, supporting the cause of Iranian democracy, meeting new people with new perspectives, making new connections; that’s all good.
But I should acknowledge when a post on one of those blogs is disturbing. Steppenwolf, an Iranian blogger, writes a post out of the movie The Pianist that makes me uncomfortable — and some of the comments regarding his post make me even more uncomfortable. There is the bad smell of anti-semitism about it (asking why the Jews can’t just get over the Holocaust and then asking whether they doth protest too much); in the comments, there is also a misplaced effort to equate the Holocaust with Palestinian displacement. I debated whether to link to the post here but I decided to because I have linked to Steppenwolf frequently regarding the struggle in Iran. The context matters — both about the person and about the cultural, racial, religious struggles in that part of the world.
Steppenwolf: The Holocaust is not something you just get over. The murder of six million people just because of who they are is not something you get over. The struggle of the Palestinian people is, of course, a terrible burden. But it is not Iran’s burden. And it is not a matter of genocide. And if you can’t understand that, you can’t understand Israel’s motives of cultural self-preservation and you can’t understand what is necessary to bring peace to your region. Blowing that off with a flippant remark only reduces your own credibility and stature.
: And while I’m at it, since I linked to many Iranian webloggers, I got some email a few weeks back telling me about a new one calling himself Plate. I didn’t like the weblog then and now I really don’t like it. Won’t waste the bits saying why; won’t link to him, either. He’s not on my list of good Iranian webloggers.