Monday, 5 April 2010

Dorothy King Calls Zahi Hawass a "Nazi" and Accuses me of "Probably Applauding" the Holocaust - What Nonsense is This?

Just after midnight on April 4, 2010 Dorothy King PhDiva surmises that the author of this blog is not only anti-semitic but also mentally incapacitated:

Some of the comments are clearly from an idiot, and whilst I appreciate efforts to argue against them - they are a waste of time. Those kinds of people would probably have applauded the confiscation of paintings during the Holocaust - and claimed they were German 'cultural property'. [...] It's pretty clear cut that he's anti-Semitic, and I find it distasteful that anyone would try to justify his views - unless they themselves share them?
In which case ["unless"] it is not something she would "find distasteful" (eh?).

Well, the subject of discussion was whether a synagogue restored in Cairo should be handed over to the miniscule Jewish community that let it fall down when they cannot look after the one they already have. I raised the point that emotional language was being used in what was essentially a discussion about the use of a disused building -a fairly common heritage management problem. Read the thread and the whole sequence of comments for yourselves and judge who is behaving like the idiot.

It would seem that bloggers who get their news from Jewish sites like the Elders of Zyon Blog might be getting a somewhat distorted view of things. In fact there was a religious dedication ceremony at the restored synagogue on March 8th to which the local Jewish community were invited. According to sources in Cairo, they however committed a diplomatic faux pas, because although not the hosts, they then invited delegates from the Israeli government over the heads of the Egyptian organizers of the opening. What would have been a local event of religious significance was thereby turned into one that invoked international politics; the Egyptian government officials that were supposed to have turned up - after having funded the whole project - decided not to attend alongside the Israelis, putting Hawass on the spot. That rather provocative infringement of diplomatic protocol by the Jewish community - which surely is not without significance in the development of this sorry business - of course is ignored by Ms King and her collecting supporters over on the PhDiva blog.

It is undeniable that many Egyptians both in the wider community as well as in government circles have a certain attitude towards the Israelis and Jews generally, something Ms Diva and her oh-so-"cosmopolitan" artefact collecting supporters would like to ignore. It is precisely for combatting such prejudices that the restoration of the built Jewish heritage is applauded by the rest of the international community - militant Jews excepted. While I understand that these attitudes exist in Egypt (and why), that does not mean I condone them or share them. Nor of course does it mean I would "probably applaud" the Holocaust, a suggestion I find more than "distasteful", it is downright offensive as it trivialises the Holocaust.

We will note though that PhDiva has not actually answered the heritage management question I posed. Like the rest of them she can only call people names. Now she has added "New comments are not allowed" at the bottom of the thread indicating that she has no intention of (or perhaps ability to) address those questions.


Museum Security Network said...

Paul, do not worry. I did erase Dorothy King (love the PhDiva) from my mailing list already years ago because of her extremely weird discussion etiquette.

Do continue the great job you are doing. It goes with the subject matter that you run into irrational attacks everty now and then. I have been there...


Paul Barford said...

Oh, I am not "worried" Ton, but thanks. She is in good company with Peter ("I have a new Conspiracy Theory") Tompa, camp-follower Alfredo de la Fe and two anonymous posters engaging in superficiality, irrationality and name-calling. Typical of the milieu in general in fact.

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.