Sincerity Is Not Enough
Every time I pay a visit to American Leftist or Jewish anti-Zionist blogs and websites, I stare in utter amazement at the self-deprecating, enemy-praising writing, wondering how people could reach such a state. That people could brand their own side, the free countries of Western civilization, as fascist oppressor and colonialist aggressor, while giving a free pass to cultures of death that bring up their own children on the heritage of suicide bombing and make it a value to kill relatives for restoring the honor of the family, is beyond belief. I try to assume it’s the result of easy bravery in the face of those who know won’t be hard on them (the US and Israel) and true cowardice in the face of their potential overlords (the Muslims), but dhimmitude can only go so far in explaining it all. In my discussions with such quislings, it turns out they’re very sincere in their ways of thinking.
The American Leftists truly believe hatred toward America is the result of its foreign policy. The Jews who post pictures and accounts of the hardship of the Palestinians for all to see sincerely believe Israeli “occupation” is the root cause of “Arab” hatred toward it, and therefore the absolute ending of said “occupation” would lead all enmity to cease. Above all, the thread that runs through their talks and writings is the desire to outstretch a helping hand to the other: they say the actions are with the intention of helping both America and the Muslims, both Israel and the Palestinians. And now I say: I may surprise the reader by this, but I actually share that sentiment. I too desire to help all sides, and am sincere in that. But—and this is the crucial difference—I say sincerity is not enough. It has to be backed by having the correct facts.
Let’s take the example of “conscience organizations” like B’Tselem. They send their activists to photograph “human rights abuses” and “military brutality” by the soldiers of the IDF on the Palestinians. Why do they do that—what do they believe will be achieved by doing that? They think those photos would, eventually, force Israel’s hand to end the “occupation” entirely, and then the Palestinians wouldn’t be oppressed any more, and then they wouldn’t have any motivation to send suicide bombers to Israeli shopping centers or fire rockets onto Israeli towns, and both sides would then live happily ever after. Now, if I had, following extensive research, arrived at the same conclusion as the B’Tselem folks, I’d now be doing the same thing as they are. Not for a moment do I doubt their sincerity. I totally deny, however, the correctness of their conclusions.
The photographs taken by the B’Tselem activists don’t achieve their ultimate objective any way you slice it. They end up in the media of the Islamic world, which seizes them as proof of the necessity of wiping the Zionist entity off the map (G-d forbid), and in the media of the Western Left, which is only glad to use them for bolstering its anti-Western, Islam-sympathizing stance. Eventually, the international pressure caused by the cumulative media effect of all those photograph may force Israel’s hand to concede more land, as it happened in August 2005 (the evacuation, or should it be total Entjudung, of the Gaza Strip), but the hoped-for peace doesn’t come, because after a short period the crocodile decides it wants more (the Kassam rockets fired from Gaza onto towns within Israel’s internationally-recognized borders), and then the IDF has to engage in preventive military activities again, which sets the B’Tselem photographers once again, and it never ends. Or it will end, when, G-d forbid, the state of Israel has conceded itself to death. Good intentions, sincerity about them, but, alas, all leading to hell because of not having researched the issues thoroughly, not letting the facts lead to the theories instead of the other way round.
I don’t like the adage, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Because of its incompleteness, it could lead one to cynicism and nihilism, saying, “Yeah, don’t ever have good intentions and you could never go wrong”. The complete wording should be, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions unsupported by sound research”, though it isn’t as snappy as the abridged version. I’m sure nearly everyone has good intentions—neocons, Zionists, Liberals, B’Tselem activists, even Communists and Muslims. But good intentions are not enough—you need to find out, by research if possible, their ability to deliver on their promise of making the world a better place. If not by research, then trial and error may be the only option, but then you have to take care to follow the conclusions of that trial and error. For example, Communism looked good on paper, but over 70 years of its application have demonstrated its total failure, so being a Communist today reflects intransigence in the face of the facts.
It was excusable for a 19th-century atheist to believe all religion to be the only cause of major wars and war crimes, but is inexcusable for a 21th-century atheist to believe so. It was excusable for an Israeli Jew in 1947 to believe partitioning the land between Jews and Arabs would bring peace, and still passable for an Israeli Jew in 1993 to believe the same (under the thesis that 45 years were enough for the other side not to repeat the uncompromising reaction of the first time), but is inexcusable for an Israeli Jew in 2006 to believe so. It may have been excusable for an American after 9/11 to believe American foreign policy to be the cause of hatred of the United States, but it is certainly not excusable now, after both Danish Cartoons and Pope Benedict XVI affairs have shown that it takes much, much less than foreign policy to set the tempers of the members of the Religion of Peace™ ablaze. If you aren’t an accomplished researcher of Islam like Robert Spencer or Hugh Fitzgerald, then at least let your theories conform to the facts laid out by world events such as those two affairs.
Armed with the straight facts and the correct inferences from them, one can be a better peace activist than those of B’Tselem, a better Tikkun Olam activist than Michael Lerner, a better helper of people in hardship than Noam Chomsky. Having the incorrect worldview of the Left, helping Muslims consists in listening to their “legitimate grievances” against the West and aiding their every act of “resistance” against it. With the correct worldview, helping Muslims consists in encouraging as many of them as possible to leave Islam and providing them with freedom from fear of reprisals for doing so. Research and looking at the events has led me to the conclusion, “Grievances Yes, Legitimate No”, to the conclusion that those people need help not by us addressing their grievances, but by us providing them with a way out of their death-cult, as the Pope has recently done (and the fury of their reaction testifies to the rightness of that action and the folly of giving in to their demands and temper tantrums).
Contrary to postmodernism, evil does exist; yet there is no evil for evil’s sake, but evil is caused by lack of knowledge of the Good. As He said through His prophet Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). It is by thorough research and letting the facts lead the way that any person can become G-d’s servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.