Friday, December 14, 2007

Martin Amis's Distorted Sympathy

Martin Amis is a troubled writer, so incredibly afflicted since 9/11, that even the terminology 'right-wing' is insufficient to fathom his deep-rooted failure to either favour sensible realpolitik (like the globalists in London and Washington) or downright conscientious appreciation of other civilisations and peoples. Indeed, the cradle of civilisation is Mesopotamia in the Eastern hemisphere, however incomforting the fact may be to perceived liberals and Likudniks. In his address to the students at Manchester University recently, Amis decried the "abject failure" of Muslims to condemn suicide bombing and terrorism. However, it gets interesting when he legitimises "retaliatory urges" among the British public on learning about Muslim terrorist schemes.

Only a machine would not have felt anger, he said.

Most of us don't have a problem with that reflection, except that it illustrates Amis's own "distorted sympathy". Amis permits no sense of "retaliatory urges" among Muslims when they learn about the British military aligning with the US in the occupation of Iraq, an action which has cost the lives of over 1.2 million peoples. Holocaust deniers disagree with the figure. On suicide bombings, Amis calls for factory sirens "from every corner of the West" exhibiting "disgust for these actions". He does not make any call for factory sirens "from every corner of the West" for outrageous Western actions, which surpass privatised terrorism in their scope and disregard for human life.

His comments on the Palestinians prove to be the most absurd.

"I have sympathy for Israel. It's not nothing to have six million of your number murdered in central Europe in the last century. Don't you think that this has had a psychological effect on this race or religion, or whatever you want to call the Jews?"


"Palestinians have never suffered anything as remotely terrible as that."

While Palestinians may not have suffered gas chambers en masse, complete ethnic cleansing is the officially sanctioned and predictable outcome of Israeli policies. Ilan Pappe, the fearless Israeli academic, documents this in The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Edward Said's 1979 essay Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims is one of the strongest critiques of Zionism and its supporters.

One needs to repeat that what in Zionism served the no doubt justified ends of Jewish tradition, saving the Jews as a people from homelessness and anti-Semitism and restoring them to nationhood, also collaborated with those aspects of the dominant Western culture (in which Zionism institutionally lived) making it possible for Europeans to view non-Europeans as inferior, marginal, and irrelevant. For the Palestinian Arab, therefore, it is the collaboration that has counted, not by any means the good done to Jews. The Arab has been on the receiving end not of benign Zionism-which has been restricted to Jews-but of an essentially discriminatory and powerful culture, of which, in Palestine, Zionism has been the agent.

And Amis is dead wrong.

Exactly a year ago, Ziauddin Sardar coined the word "Blitcon".

The British literary landscape is dominated by three writers: Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan. All three have considered the central dilemma of our time: terror. Indeed, Amis has issued something of a manifesto on the subject he terms "horrorism". In their different styles, their approach and opinions define a coherent position. They are the vanguard of British literary neoconservatives, or, if you like, the "Blitcons".

It is more relevant now. As for Amis's essay 'The Age of Horrorism' that appeared on the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, much of it illuminated by the Orientalist Bernard Lewis's crafty crusade (concealed under shades of scholarship) to legitimise and promote American and Israeli imperialism against Arabs, it was proof of another writer's mind collapsing with the twin towers.

1 comment:

CresceNet said...

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