Kathryn Cramer is a well-known editor in SF and Fantasy (also a writer and photographer), and the wife of David Hartwell, a very well-known award winning editor in the genre field likewise. Hartwell edits an annual Year’s Best SF and Year’s Best Fantasy and Cramer has been a co-editor in this regard. Cramer is also the daughter of John Cramer, a highly regarded particle physicist who has also written science fiction.
To get straight to the point – Kathryn Cramer is uncomfortable even recognizing Israel’s sovereign existence. And she has been open about it. Cramer proudly related to her blog readers back in 2004 that in her wisdom she is reluctant to recognise the Jewish nation’s very existence. I mean the gall of it, not Cramer’s, I mean the tiny Jew nation, to think it has the right to its sovereignty! Such naked bigotry (even as she blissfully wouldn’t recognize it as such and naturally denies it) is naturally justified on brazen ignorance and lies.
As I make clear in my ‘what this blog is about’ post, N Sharansky speaks of three D’s in the test for new anti-Semitism, double standards, demonisation and deligitimization of Israel. Cramer’s brazen delegitimization of Israel (the Jew among the nations), unlike every other nation on earth, is all the evidence one needs of her bigotry.
Here is Cramer with her ugly screed at her blog ‘Let’s talk about the Jooos and not in a nice way neither’ oh sorry that’s ‘Let’s talk about Israel‘ from June 2004.
Some excerpts (the typos remain uncorrected and the bold in the text below is mine):
As a matter of habit, I do not think about Israel very much as it presents me with an irreconcilable social conflict: I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state and to my strongly atheist mind in adolescence, Israel is a theocracy. The reality is of course more complicated than that, but any state founded on a religious identity is not something I can feel comfortable supporting.
That a theocracy would opress those who were not of its religion was completely consistent with my general suspicions about theocracies, so learning of the plight of the Palestinians did not alter my perceptions of Israel much.
The resolution of this conflict for me, on an emotional level, is to believe that Israel should be expected to behave in accordance with international law; that its status as a theocracy gives it no special rights or privledges regardless of the rationele for and special circumstances involved in establishing the state of Israel. Israel frequently violates these expectations, but because I retain the feeling, from adolescence, that it would be uncouth of me to say so, I don’t say much about it and don’t think much about it. But it was on this basis that allegations that, say, Jason Raimondo was rabidly anti-Israel cut no ice with me. I find myself entirely unable to be interested in such condemnations. I did, however, restrain myself from responding “so what?”.
But it has been 25 years since I developed my basic take on Israel, and as a 42 year-old concerned with contemporary politics, I really ought not hide behind conflict avoidance mechanisms developed when I was seventeen. There are claims that Israel as a democracy. But I am unable to see it as a democracy both because I retain the suspicion that it is a theocracy and because a large portion of its population seems to be banned from participation in its democratic processes. Throughout my life, I feel I have been asked to see people moving to Israel as returning to their homeland. I persist in seeing them as settlers, whether their ancestors lived there a thousand-odd years ago or not. I cannot buy the argument that they are returning home. Finally, and most importantly, Israel is a showcase for the argument that extraordinary enemies require extraordinary tactics; tactics in frequent violation of the Geneva convention. This last point leads me to believe that if I took a sustained look at Israel or thought much about the Palestinians, I would rapidly lose the warm, fuzzy feelings toward Israel instilled in me as a teenager. This would cause me social problems, as some people would think badly of me for being anything but supportive of the State of Israel. I’m not sure how much longer I can avoid this confrontation.
There you have it!
Genre Jewry has it would appear avoided any confrontation with Cramer. No Surprise There. As if genre Jewry would do anything else. She didn’t and doesn’t have to worry about any Jews (well not the ones I know of) confronting her with her moronic bigotry; at best they are apathetic, at worst they are anti-Israel themselves. Just check out this blog’s archives, heck the previous article on Lavie Tidhar alone.
In at least one case, a notable Jewish writer would go out of his way to run cover for her – defending the indefensible – but that’s in part 3 of this series… (and it’s about something else entirely, but not unrelated to sinister and harebrained left-wing asininity) It’s simply boiler-plate new anti-Semitism from Kathryn Cramer, shoddily disguised as Middle-East analysis. Stupid, misinformed, riddled through with unrestrained modern-day Judenhass sloganese and mantras. It’s utter garbage.
Cramer says that because Israel is a theocracy (it isn’t but I’ll come to that) she is reluctant to accept its right to exist. It just gives her a queasy unpleasant feeling that the Jews dare to have their own tiny state, that just happens to be their ancient homeland, where Jews lived and died more than two millennia before Columbus set sail for the New World; a nation that was founded on the ashes of millions of Jews murdered and driven into exile from Jew-hating Europe. There you have it! Satisfied? Thing is Israel is not a theocracy, it is a constitutional democracy, and its Parliament, Judiciary and Supreme Court (which is overtly secular and left-leaning), media and public schooling at all levels (primary and secondary schooling and the universities) are independent of the Synagogue. (yes there are religious parties in the Knesset and private religious schools, so?) Yet even if Israel was theocratic – which it isn’t – what of it? Israel is the sovereign Jewish state yet it appears it is its very Jewish religious identity that so balks Cramer and her ilk. It’s as if she would consider accepting Israel’s existence so long as it rejected its Jewish religious identity or removed the Jewish faith from all aspects of public life.
Note how Cramer doesn’t have a problem with the numerous very real theocracies out there (whatever disingenuous denials there may be to the contrary by Cramer), the theocratic national regimes that are despotic, murderous and willfully averse to civil liberties. That would mean numerous Muslim extremist national states like Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, and now of course Egypt and Libya (both of which are rapidly going that way, if they are not there already, thanks to the ‘Arab Spring’). What of Afghanistan? (and I mean under Karzai’s regime where Sharia law is enforced, I’m not even talking about the Taliban!) Would Cramer have a problem with an independent sovereign Tibet – even if theocratic as in the past – free of Chinese occupation and control? What do you think?
Naturally Cramer doesn’t have a problem with the sovereignty of these theocratic nation states (where are her blog posts about it?), that’s Muslim nation states whose governments and public life are not only theocratic, but destructively and oppressively so. The regimes of Iran, Sudan and other Muslim extremist states in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia are tyrannical and actively promote jihadist terror and quash civil rights (and the rights of women likewise). Cramer doesn’t even question their right to exist, their bona fides. Like Cramer, the theocratic regimes of Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia are averse to accepting Israel’s right to exist. It’s just the Jooooo nation’s bona fides that Cramer dismisses, they don’t meet her approval. Unlike her own nation – the United States – built on the theft of land, ethnocide and slavery along with the other nations of the globe carved out of the bloody British, Dutch, Spanish, French and Portuguese Empires (from Brazil to Mexico, Argentina to Australia and Southern Africa) – well that naturally doesn’t bring any queries re their sovereign rights from Kathryn Cramer. They are Christian, even if only nominally so. So their sovereignty is above board and uh kosher. It’s the Jew nation that ain’t … kosher that is.
See how it works?
As with all the Muslim states and Buddhist nations and whatever else, their sovereignty is not called into question. It’s the tiny Jewish state (not much larger than New Jersey) that is naturally to be doubted as having the credentials worthy of joining the nations of the world as an equal. (it’s the only nation in the Middle-East that any self-respecting feminist could actually live in, never mind)
New anti-Semitism is not recognizing the Jewish state as an equal among nations, it is not worthy. Old anti-Semitism is not recognizing the Jew as an equal among the races and ethnicities of humanity. The Jew as a little less human than everybody else. Le plus ce change…
There is a fair chunk of know-nothing mindless repetition of ‘progressive’ anti-Semitic libels against Israel in her screed. She doesn’t consider Israel a democracy even though it is one. Arab Israelis have the right to vote, sit on the Knesset (Israeli parliament) even as they are often enough overtly hostile to Israel (just like Cramer) and worse, sympathetic to the Jihad. She broadly hints that the Jew nation is a rogue nation, accusing it of brazenly ignoring international law. She doesn’t tell us where, when and how this is so. She just makes the accusation – I accuse the Joooos – that’s good enough. It certainly is for the Jew-hating Left. At the same time she justifies and rationalizes jihadist terror by the Palestinians against the Jews. It’s justifiable and understandable for Palestinian jihadists to flout international law and blow up Jews, because the Joooos are just soooo oppressive. Although Cramer doesn’t tell us how exactly, when and where the Jooos are being so oppressive, it’s just ‘common wisdom’ that they are, so why bother with evidence?
This is typical new anti-Semitism, justifying jihadist terror against Israel with vague sweeping evidence-free assertions, when not ignoring jihadist barbarity altogether. Naturally the jihadist terror against Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, animists, Jews and Muslims themselves over the last near fourteen hundred years that has witnessed the slaughter of tens of millions, the enslavement of millions, conquests of huge swaths of the globe, rape, pillage, burning etc is well something else entirely. The destruction of whole civilizations by Muslim warriors? Whatever.
Muslim fanatics have been persecuting and murdering Jews for over a millenium, from the very dawn of Islam in Arabia in the 7th century. Arab, Persian and later Turkish Muslims alike have persecuted and murdered Jewry for centuries. And not just the Jews. Not by a long shot. What of Muslim jihadist terror against Muslims themselves? From the Sudan to Algeria, Iraq to Afghanistan and Kashmir? What of Sunni and Shi’ite internecine slaughter that is over a millenium old? What of Arabs, Kurds, Persians, Turks and their centuries of conflict and slaughter of one another (that goes on to this day)?
When the Nazis and the Christians of the Middle-Ages mass murdered Jews, is that also the fault of the Jooos? Oh wait that’s different, right? And when Muslim men oppress and murder women, apostates and homosexuals, is that the fault of the latter likewise? Or is it just different somehow? It’s only the Jooos who are to blame for terror coming their way, at least from the Palestinians. When Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Persian Gulf Arabs are active players in the wars against Israel and in terrorism against the Jews, is that also the fault of the Jews? What of Hezbollah and Iran? If the Iranian regime plots another Holocaust (in case you haven’t noticed it is coming to a head..), is it the fault of the Jews too? Or not?
Well all that don’t mean a thing to Cramer and her ilk. That’s just different see? It doesn’t count. Although Cramer and her ilk never tell us how it’s different. It’s not even on the radar screen. Well naturally not, because to acknowledge the above (and that’s just a very brief sketch) is to tear so many holes in Cramer and her ilk’s Jew-hate thesis, that it falls apart at the seams. Maybe they think Islam spread through peace and missionary work and simple population growth if they even think about it at all. If they even think. Anti-Semitism and the suicide of reason (as Lee Harris calls it, no not the publisher at Angry Robot Books!) that is the apologetics for Muslim extremism and its resultant waves of murder and tyranny, go hand in hand.
Well there’s always the European media (which Cramer tells us she greatly respects on all things Israel related), as if it would be impossible for the European media to be anti-Semitic! It’s not as if French, German, British, Swedish, Dutch and Spanish newspapers and TV are distributing news fodder for nations still mired in anti-Semitism. It’s not as if the European media is telling its anti-Semitic audience what they want to hear (so they don’t have to feel so bad about their cultural legacy of Jew-hate and the mass murder of Jews for one thing). It’s not as if their audience is anti-Semitic at all. *Sarc* The numerous lies and slanders told by the European (and US for that matter) media on Israel don’t mean a thing to Cramer. The Muhammed Al Dura affair, the massacre in Jenin that never happened, the portrayal of jihadist fundamentalists such as Fatah as moderates and sooooo much more (all pre 2004) don’t mean a thing to Cramer and her fellow travelers. Oblivious, willfully clueless.
It would never occur to Cramer that one of her motives for her endorsement of fashionable new anti-Semitism (Judenhass the pretends it ain’t) – naturally it’s subconscious so it wouldn’t occur to her – is her desperate need not to feel shame about her German and European cultural heritage and ancestry. And the very word ‘Jew’ is a reminder that her cultural heritage is mired in extreme anti-Semitic bigotry and industrial scale murder of Jewry, and historically recently at that. So she can feel so much better – ‘I’m proud of my German heritage‘ – if we consider that the Jews aren’t any better themselves. Oh we mean Israel, not the Jews per se. Sigh. Well Germany may have murdered millions of Jews but look how despicable the Jew nation has become! So there!
Once again – and I will keep on hammering home this point – note the sounds of silence that have greeted Cramer’s odious and extreme anti-Semitism, that she’s naturally oblivious to. She’s a liberal after all. That’s good enough. She couldn’t possibly be prejudiced then. Cramer brazenly blathered her (ignorant) objections to Israel’s sovereign status at her blog way back in 2004 (advertising her Judenhass to those of us who have eyes to see).
Cramer of course had and has nothing to fear. Genre Jewry had nothing to say back then (and who expects them to have anything to say now that I have disclosed all this bigotry of hers at my blog?), so why should anybody else? Cramer has been active at Cons, her husband is leading SF editor David Hartwell. Does he like his wife not accept Israel’s right to exist, or does he differ here? Does somebody want to ask him? Cramer’s disavowal of the sovereign Jewish nation’s legitimacy is water off a duck’s back in the liberal genre community. Whatever. Yawn. After all she’s not the only one. It’s hardly an unusual position among the radical and even mainstream Left. Guess that makes it okay then?
Clearly the genre community and the liberal genre community at that doesn’t have a problem with Kathryn Cramer’s anti-Semitism (what anti-Semitism?), any more than they have a problem with China Mieville’s rabid and relentless anti-Semitism (and others). James P Hogan’s Holocaust Denialism didn’t mean much to anybody in his life and after his death (see my response in the main to writer Chesya Burke disputing my contention here). Then again since I outed conservative Tangent editor Dave Truesdale as a Holocaust Revisionist at my blog, one senses the embarrassed silence. It’s almost tangible. It’s actually been far worse than that, as the few intelligent readers of my blog know (those who have some moral sense and decency that is, certainly a minority of readers).
So in light of all this contextual background, would anybody expect Cramer to be disinvited from any SF and Fantasy conventions and panels or made persona non grata among feminist genre circles (as happened with Elizabeth Moon) merely because Cramer spouts ignorant, odious and obscene nonsense – yes that’s brazenly prejudiced nonsense – on the Jew among the nations? Me neither. Hardly. Au contraire. Ignorant and brazenly bigoted blather on Israel is de rigueur, progressive, all the rage. As long as you mislabel it ‘legitimate criticism of Israel’.
Silence is consent. And genre Jewry is deafeningly silent at best on all this fashionable Jew-hatred. At best. The professional genre community goes out of its way to emulate and even top the cultural zeitgeist of moral and cultural relativism, and the selling of the oldest hatred (and pour ridicule on anybody who dares to show it up). SF’s Court Jews can be counted on to lead the way in this respect.
In Part 2 of this Kathryn Cramer series I take a hard look at Cramer’s support and endorsement for the vicious anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist Dennis ‘Justin’ Raimondo, a political mate of the vile anti-Semite Pat Buchanan. It’s the icing on the rotten cake of Cramer’s anti-Semitic bigotry.