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    This is a Rule, not an Exception

    Anne Frank is not related to Zionism, to the spoliation of Palestine or to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The German youth died in the Nazi concentration camps following years in hiding, for reasons unrelated to the conflict over Palestine. Her Jewish German family had fled Germany following Hitler’s accession to power in 1933 and moved to the Netherlands. The Nazis, however, reached that country as well, and all the 15-year-old had left was the attic at her parents’ place in Amsterdam, where she hid and wrote her diary depicting her tiny, day-to-day life in the midst of sheer horror.

    Anne Frank’s story and diary have become, in Europe at least, synonymous with human suffering and a testimony to brutal violence because it targets innocence. Some countries have taught the book so as to teach their young generations the meaning of tolerance and urge to reject violence and hatred. Still, the book has been translated into all world languages, except into Arabic. Why? Because this would be tantamount to normalization with Israel!

    Beirut has been the stage for the latest episode of this stance. Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV launched a vicious campaign against a private school because it has included a chapter of the diary in its English language textbook. According to Al-Manar, this is equivalent to promoting normalization with Israel using the Holocaust as an “alleged story”, according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Anne Frank as an alleged victim.

    This is merely an example of how normalization and anti-normalization can be invoked as a shield against the world and its progressive and humanitarian values. Indeed, we have a history that is different from the world’s and principles that are different from world principles. Our language is rich in meanings that are not expressed in other languages, and the opposite is also true.

    Yet what is going on is not an odd occurrence within the Resistance. It is… the Resistance with its compact and closed system of awareness, which may become a political system as well. The referential background of that behavior does not try to conceal its nature.

    In truth, Iran, as the head of all resistance movements, had already given us a preview of this enlightenment and illumination with the trial of reformists. Said Hajjarian, a political scientist and one of the country’s leading reformists, launched in his fabricated “confessions” an attack against German sociologist Max Weber and his ideas about rational power, which he accused of stirring up revolt. Hajjarian said, “Human science theories include ideological weapons that can be transformed into strategies and tactics used to target the state’s official ideology.” He said that these ideas work only in countries where citizens do not enjoy their rights, and Iran is not one of those countries.

    It is a well-known fact that the Khomeini Revolution had, from the outset, closed down universities and purged them of teachers whose Islamic loyalties were questioned. The ayatollah, who became the Revolution’s Supreme Guide, did not think twice about saying that “our college students are contaminated by the West.” He formed a “cultural revolution” committee tasked with drafting an Islamic platform to be put into practice when colleges were reopened, which actually happened four years after they were closed.

    Max Weber, however, was not the only one who was targeted by the regime’s wrath. The latest wave of trials also lashed out against Talcott Parsons, John Keane, Richard Rorty and Jürgen Habermas along with several feminists and iconic figures in the field of “post-colonial” studies. These figures “represent a threat to national security and undermine the pillars of economic development.” Out of all of them, German philosopher Jürgen Habermas was the object of noticeable focus. Indeed, it is the name that is most commonly linked to the “public sphere”, and how the more this sphere shrinks, the tighter the state’s tyrannical grip. The Iranian prosecutor did not refrain from bringing up the brief visit by Habermas to Iran in 2002, claiming it is irrefutable evidence of his conspiracies aiming to “laicize” Iran … Such behavior is a natural part of the system of resistance and rejectionism rather than a foreign element, the existence of which in this system is – according to some – an oddity.

    Hazem SAGHIYEH
    NOW Lebanon

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