Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is the Nazi calling the kettle black?

Formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990 following his observation that all online discussions inevitably degenerate into comparisons with the Nazis, Godwin's Law has become a popular adage in the internet age.  Simply stated, the rule suggests that as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

The same may be said of Reuters online reporting of the Middle East conflict.

The news agency is so maniacally obsessed with demonizing Israel and their correspondents pen so many patently anti-Zionist stories every month, it was inevitable that something off their wire would ultimately draw an explicit comparison between the Jewish state and Nazi Germany.

In a story on Israel's decision to establish a facility to house some of the more than 35,000 mainly-African migrants that have entered the country illegally in the last few years, Reuters bows to Godwin:
In a country sensitive to comparisons with Nazi concentration camps where Jews were killed, officials insisted the camp would be open. But they did not say how often the migrants assigned there would be allowed to come and go.
Unbelievable.  There is of course, absolutely no rational parallel between the holding facility Israel is contemplating and the Nazi concentration camps where Jews were systematically exterminated but Reuters editors Douglas Hamilton and Mark Heinrich nevertheless implant an odious suggestion linking the two.

Interestingly, Hamilton, who is of German extract and has previously demonstrated his singular contempt for Jews, reacted to a comment critical of one of his stories for Reuters in 2009 by wildly accusing the commenter of claiming he (Hamilton) was antisemitic.  Hamilton's accusation was false but the rabid hostility to Jewish nationalism on display in his stories over the last 16 months suggests that he is indeed antisemitic and his knee-jerk reaction to criticism, a reflection that he knows it.

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