Our Children Are The Guarantors

Defending Zionism from its detractors. Anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism. Let the other side apologize for a change.

Monday, April 30, 2007

End-of-Month Leftist Hypocrisy Roundup

My post for Israel’s 59th Independence Day, Here’s to This Object of Jealousy, made the point of how the Leftists shrug off all the real-world achievements of Israel with the moralistic charge, “But it’s all stolen!” Under this post, I was treated to the spectacle of a commenter who argued exactly that which the post addresses (with the following words: “No amount of Israel’s achievements can ever rectify the fact that Israel is the product of land theft by Europeans.”). I answered the comment, though with the frustration that a whole post had been ignored by that commenter. However, as I said numerous times, it is less my line of work to defend Zionism than it is to attack the anti-Zionists. On that note, I bring two instances of Leftist hypocrisy in that regard (of morality vs. utility), one from (where else?) Daily Kos, and one from the blog of Jewish self-injurer Antony Loewenstein.

From DKos is the diary, Is the Bandar Bush Alliance coming to an end?, from April 29, 2007, by long-time Israel-basher “mattes”. In the diary itself he quotes Saudi Prince (prince? Prince?! What about all the “Standing for democracy!” the Kossacks harp on about? I guess it only applies when the policies of BushChimpMcHitler needs to be opposed…) Turki Al-Faisal, saying, “I think the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the primary cause for most of the unrest and terrorism that takes place in the world today”, or in other words: it’s time to do a Czechoslovakia on Israel in order to bring “peace for our time”. But later in the passage, Prince Turki says, “Just read the literature of all of the terrorist organizations, and you’ll find that they use this conflict as an excuse, not just to commit their acts, but also to recruit supporters and support from all over the world” (emphasis mine), which, it seems to me, pours some water on the whole theory—if it’s just an excuse, then in its absence a new one will be found. However, as usual, the real meat is found in the comments. A commenter named “Near Vanna” comments on how Chinese currency is rising over the dollar, and nods of agreement follow:

Saudis Like Chinese Money Fine

Yuan looks a lot better than the dollar these days. (Near Vanna)

The damage BushCo has done to the

United States will be felt for decades. Maybe for the rest of our history. Hence, the need to impeach now. (mattes, in response to Near Vanna)

GDP growth rate (1st quarter 2007 annualized):

  • China: 11.1%
  • US: 1.3%


  • China: 8.8 trillion
  • US: 12.2 trillion

At this rate, they surpass us in four years. (Opakapaka, in response to Near Vanna)

Is anyone paying attention???

At all? (mattes, in response to Opakapaka)

Screenshot: Daily Kos comments on the ascendancy of China's currency, April 29, 2007

That section of comments leaves me astonished—and, given the fact that I’m a long-time reader of Daily Kos diaries, that says much. Remember, if there’s one theme the Leftists are obsessed with, and take pride in emphasizing, it’s the theme of social justice. With that in mind, their jealousy over China’s monetary ascendancy is, to put it as gently as possible, disturbing.

It is no secret that the low prices of Chinese products are the result of cheap labor. The cheap labor there stems not just from sheer numbers, but from the fact that the Chinese government (in contrast to the hated BushExxonMcHalliburton) has neither restrictions nor scruples as to making the people work for low pay. Even the beginning of an attempt to organize a strike in China would meet the response of mass incarceration and “re-education”. So, it can be seen that those same Leftists who protest sweatshops are showing here an admiration of the one great sweatshop that is the economy of China.

There is no denying that China is in the process of economic ascent; but that is not because of the “bungling of the Bush Administration”, but because China is engaging in the economic equivalent of competing in the Olympic Games on steroids: forced labor at small pay. But I’m not holding my breath for the Kossacks to protest that, any more than I’m holding my breath for feminist organizations like NOW to protest the crackdown on women’s rights in Iran or for “animal rights” groups like PETA to protest the use of slaughtered animals as a means of reaching out to Muslim customers.

The riding of China’s economy upon indisputably ill-gotten gains (cheap labor bordering on slavery) is of no consequence to the Kossacks. Only in the case of Israel does “morality” all of a sudden take first seat.

Now to the second item: Antony Loewenstein’s co-blogger Andre has a piece, Why is the US trying to break Somalia?, from April 27, 2007, implying that things were beginning to get swell in Somalia at the hands of the peacemaking, unifying force of the Islamic Courts Union, until the USA had to trash it all by driving Ethiopia to invade the country. Excerpts:

Somalia was actually on a road to peace, when the US decided to introduce their own brand of chaos to the region.


Indeed, while warlords and secular governments have come and gone, the Islamic Courts have enjoyed relatively consistent support for over a decade.

Screenshot: post on Somalia from Antony Loewenstein, April 27, 2007

So how was life under that Islamic Courts paradise? A post from Jihad Watch, from December 6, 2006, may give you an idea: Somalia Town Threatens to Behead People Who Don’t Pray 5 Times Daily:

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Residents of a southern Somalia town who do not pray five times a day will be beheaded, an official said Wednesday, adding the edict will be implemented in three days.


Those who do not follow the prayer edict after three days have elapsed, “will definitely be beheaded according to Islamic law,” Rage told The Associated Press by phone. “As Muslims we should practice Islam fully, not in part, and that is what our religion enjoins us to do.”

Now, don’t tell me what the response to this is going to be. This theme is not new—I saw it several months ago on CounterPunch. The response, therefore, is already known: the Leftists will say, that even with those Taliban-like decrees, the rule of the Islamic Courts Union is better than the former state, because they keep order, unity and peace in the region. Preferable to chaos and “warlordism”. Better the certain danger to life from a tyrannical but unifying rule of law than the uncertainty of chaos.

Perhaps there is some truth to that argument. Perhaps the state of chaos was indeed too much to bear, prompting the acceptance of tyranny. But I am astonished again, when I consider the principles of the arguers: Whatever happened to “Those who trade their freedom for security are deserving of neither”, which is so quickly shouted each time a new anti-terrorism measure is adopted? How is it that the moral outrage of shariah law, of beheading people just because they don’t pray five times a day, is here washed white by the practical benefits of peace, order, unity and security, while the practical, material achievements of the state of Israel are all (according to the Leftists) null and void in the face of “the ethnic cleansing and apartheid that underlie the Zionist State”?

Who needs all those rhetorical questions? I need do no more than quote Steven Plaut’s piece on anti-Zionist hypocrisy:

We think the only country in the Middle East that is a fascist anti-democratic one is the one that has free elections. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.


We have no trouble with the fact that there is no freedom of religion in any Arab countries. But we are mad at hell at Israel for violating religious freedom, and never mind that we are never quite sure where or when it does so. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Read it all, it’s a brilliant piece.

To the Islamonazis and their enablers on the Left no quarter!

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hanan, Almost There

On April 24, 2007, the Arab (“Palestinian”) Christian woman speaker Hanan Ashrawi gave a speech in Washington, DC, an adaptation of which appears as an article on CounterPunch, from April 28, 2007. The bulk of the article is vacuous, the claptrap of diplo-speak, but toward the end I found something worthy of comment:

[…] To me, the real question is what is the nature of Palestinian society? This is something that people ignore. What kind of society are we going to build? Are we going to build an open, pluralistic, tolerant society or are we going to go back into a closed ideological system? This is what we want to know. Is there a deal being made between Hamas and Fateh at the expense of the people? Now, I must say in all candor that Palestinians have always been quite protective and possessive of our fundamental rights and basic freedoms. And we will not condone—and I will say this again—we will not condone the destruction of books or folk tales. And we will not condone the banning of the dabkeh or music as being immoral. And we will not condone the blowing up of internet cafes or beating up of young women because of the dress code in Gaza or burning of schools. They just burned the American school in Gaza.

So what we need to do, which is what civil society is doing, is stand up to any attempts at capturing Palestinian society and transforming it by force into a closed regressive unenlightened ideological system. That’s why we are calling, as another mechanism, the national council for culture, education and the arts. These are the legacies of the future generations. We cannot leave them at the mercy of one party or the other or the narrow concerns or petty ideologies of one party or the other. That council will be in charge of the curriculum rather than each party manipulating the curriculum to suit its ends. And for social justice, we need a women’s commission and the information council.

So after decades of “resistance” (read: terrorism), Ashrawi thinks it’s time for thinking about building the society, its culture and the future generation. Better late than never, I say… But my sarcasm aside, there is no better than this whole quote, from a Christian and woman no less, to show how the nationalistic or pan-Arabist narrative has duped not only the opposing side in Israel and the USA, but also some of the staunch supporters, people who consider themselves insiders, part of “the group”.

From at least the days of Hitler’s Mufti, Hajj Amin El-Husseini, this conflict has been an Islamic jihad. The phrase, “Zionist Crusaders”, so astonishing in the light of that history (the Crusaders butchered the Jews of Jerusalem in 1099), can only be understood in the framework of the Islamic view of history. The present borders of the state of Israel are similar to those of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, and from the start, Zionism looked to the Muslims like a repeat of that history, in that people from Europe (not only—there were many Jewish immigrants from the Islamic lands, already in the late 19th century, but that is ignored by the race-baiting Muslims and their Marxist allies) established a non-Muslim domain on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. That is their narrative; I reject it completely, but I hear and understand, as it is crucial for knowing the enemy. The nationalistic and religious framings of this conflict have competed with each other from the beginning to this very day, but the Muslims can never be trusted to relinquish the religious reflex. Sooner or later the nationalistic party line is going to give way to the latent, ever-lurking substrate of religious education, as indeed Andrew Bostom makes clear with his 1916 quotes of Snouck Hurgronje.

And the time is now. Hanan Ashrawi’s words are proof (one among many) of that. After all the diplomatic hot air, which I frankly value only for its soporific properties, the quoted passages sound like a sincere call of distress. She, like the treasonous Azmi Bisharah (nominally Christian, in reality a Communist—much is thus explained), had stuck to the pan-Arab and nationalistic dream: the Arab state of “Palestine”, home of Arabs, base of Arab culture, serving Muslims, Christians and Druzes equally.

“Are we going to build an open, pluralistic, tolerant society or are we going to go back into a closed ideological system?” She had eyes but could not see that her Muslim “compatriots” never had any such plans for her. For her, the plan was dhimmi status, with the extra of the hijab and silence under it. Bisharah would be accorded either dhimmi status (if deemed a Christian) or the option between conversion and death (if deemed an atheist, which Khomeini did to the Iranian Communists).

“And we will not condone—and I will say this again—we will not condone the destruction of books or folk tales.” You will not condone, but the Muslims are going to do this anyway, for thus they have done for immeasurably long to all non-Islamic cultural artifacts.

“And we will not condone the banning of the dabkeh or music as being immoral.” You may not condone, but you are not performing the really effective task of showing them that sticking to the traditional interpretations of the Islamic canon doesn’t pay. Where were you when the cult of the suicide bomber was nurtured in the “Palestinian” territories? Why didn’t you tell the EU-UN-uchs to stop sending aid to a government supporting that cult since 1993? You have only yourself to blame.

“And we will not condone the blowing up of internet cafes or beating up of young women because of the dress code in Gaza or burning of schools.” You will not condone, but, in all probability, your only recourse in the near future will be to flee it all. Those who have seen an American Christian woman, Nancy Pelosi, wear a hijab of her own accord—do you really think the message of it is lost upon them? Can you not see how elated they are in the success of the Islamic ideology, for it has won them dividends of which their fathers just 30 years ago could only dream? What have you done to make them think it isn’t the way to go? Nothing. Not you, nor any other of the sympathizers of the “Palestinian” cause in the West. Your catering to their narrative has only emboldened them. You now reap the fruits.

“They just burned the American school in Gaza.” How can you now get them to see the burning of an American school in Gaza as something immoral, when they have been conditioned, by nearly 15 years of burning buses in Israel, to see such things as entirely justified? You praised the latter as, “legitimate resistance of the occupier”; they do the same, the only difference being that they see every non-Muslim as an occupier. What have you to offer to counter their narrative?

“So what we need to do, which is what civil society is doing, is stand up to any attempts at capturing Palestinian society and transforming it by force into a closed regressive unenlightened ideological system.” That’s cultural imperialism, Hanan. You’d better be very, very careful with such statements.

“That’s why we are calling, as another mechanism, the national council for culture, education and the arts.” Institutions we “evil Zionists” had right from the beginning of the 20th century, long before gaining independence. Culture, education and the arts thrived even under the unsympathetic hands of the British Mandatory Government in the 1930’s and 40’s, and even in the shadow of outbreaks of Islamic jihad (1929, 1936, to recount just two prominent ones). But your society is so consumed by hatred of the other side that it invests all its energies on destroying—turning greenery into a desert.

“These are the legacies of the future generations.” You have decided that it is finally time to think of the future generations. Well and good. I look forward to your constant and vocal denunciation of the practice of raising children to be suicide bombers. And I also hope you have a security plan when the fatwa arrives shortly after that.

“And for social justice, we need a women’s commission and the information council.” If, in the near future, Hamas permit your face to be shown (hijab, as opposed to the niqab or burka), consider yourself very lucky. And their idea of “social justice” is quite different from the Marxist one, as the Iranian Communists found out in the end. You know what dissident Iranians say about the ayatollahs: they got the better deal, because, while the Shah’s men could line their pockets with loot, they can line their turbans with the same.

These non-Muslim “Palestinian nationalists” and “pan-Arabists” have been of great service to their Muslim “friends”; but let there be no mistake: the ideology of Islam, as indoctrinated from a young age, has no other plan but to dominate and not to be dominated, with Christians like Hanan Ashrawi in their proper place as jizya-payers.

The two states in which Christian Arabs are not thus humiliated are Israel and Lebanon. In Lebanon the situation is already changing for the worse, with the demographic catastrophe there (high Muslim birthrates, especially among the Shi’a, coupled with mass emigration of the Christians—Europe, take a look at Lebanon, because that’s where you’re headed unless you change course now). Israel is a safe haven—and everyone knows it, for even reporters from the Backstabbing Brutus Corporation run away to Israel when their “Palestinian” allies prove a little too… Islamic—as long as it exists. In all Islamic countries, non-Muslims can live tolerably only under a strongman who thinks it to be in the best of his interests to protect them; as Iraq and Turkey show, the lack of such a strongman spells unending misery for them.

Let all the non-Muslim supporters of the “Palestinian” narrative realize on which side their bread is buttered, and make the right choice.

I just wish to close with a small passage by Phyllis Bennis and Robert Jensen, also from CounterPunch, that I couldn’t resist commenting on:

We need a new foreign policy based on justice, relying on international law and the United Nations, rather than the assertion of might-makes-right.

You can have a foreign policy based on justice, or you can have a foreign policy relying on international law and the United Nations. The corrupt United Nations, with its involvement in such scandals as “Oil For Food”, and with its preference for focusing on easy targets (Israel most of all) and ignoring the real and worthy ones (Rwanda last decade, Darfur now), and the myopic international law, with its total lack of foresight as to the utterly immoral enemy we now face, cannot by any stretch of creative imagination be the basis for a foreign policy based on justice.

And as for “Might Makes Right”, the answer is this: goodness without power is no goodness at all. Think about it the next time your precious United Nations reacts to a genocide (G-d forbid) with a “strongly-worded resolution”.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

What the AIPAC is going on here?

Flexing our world-embracing tentacles for all to see from 1600 BCE…

Collage: Top: Jimmy Carter saying, "No, I didn't say the Jews control US foreign policy... I said they influence it to a great degree."; Bottom: caption saying, "To-mah-to, to-may-to".
(Click image to view full size)

Darth Jimious says: “The dark side of the Oil is a pathway to many statements, some considered to be anti-Semitic”.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Cairo Market Scene, Updated Edition

Photo: Indiana Jones flailing his whip

SWORDSMAN [sword brandished]: Heh heh heh heh heh…

[INDIANA JONES pulls out gun from holster.]

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER [hand on Indiana Jones’ hand]: Stop! Don’t do that!

INDIANA JONES: What do you mean? There’s a man with a sword in front of me!

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: Yes, but you have a gun. A gun compared to a sword—it’s clear this isn’t a fair fight.

INDIANA JONES: “Fair fight”?! What are you talking about? Both of these weapons kill, at the end of the day.

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: But he’s at it from a position of weakness. You’re well-armed, with a weapon that can strike from afar, while all he has is the last resort of the poor and weak—the sword.

INDIANA JONES: Then what are you suggesting? That I just let him do what he wants?

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: Shooting at him would be a disproportionate response! Only if he’s in the same stature as you—Western, wearing a suit, armed with a gun—only then can you be possibly justified in using your gun. Even then, violence isn’t the answer. You’d better work things out with him to solve the dispute peacefully.

INDIANA JONES: “Work things out with him”?! Can I have some of the stuff you’re smoking? Look, that man is standing, flipping his sword with the clear intention of killing me!

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: How do you know it’s with the intention of killing you? You aren’t versed in those things, so let me tell you: it’s the custom of the East to brandish traditional weapons so as to thwart, beforehand, any attempt of foreigners to appropriate that which belongs to them, to the natives. No intention of killing you, just a warning to cease and desist from oppression.

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: You heard what he said: respect, respect, respect! Don’t step on the turf of another like that. [To his friends, whispering]: We’ll deal with the European later. In the meantime, he’s very helpful to us.

INDIANA JONES: OK, so I won’t shoot at him now. But I can’t just stand here, motionless!

RUSSIAN SALESMAN [to swordsman, presenting a cannon to him]: Here, Achmed, I’m offering you a state-of-the-art gun at a very competitive price.

INDIANA JONES: What the…?! That’s heavy artillery, guys! No way I could win this fight if he gets that!

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: Good, it’ll get you to exercise more restraint before you put your hand on the trigger. I already told you: talks are the only way to go.

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: And it’s not as bad as it looks. He actually needs it for his urban renovation plan—he’s demolishing his house and building a larger one for his wives. It’s for peaceful purposes.

INDIANA JONES: For peaceful purposes? Who are you trying to kid? This is a weapons-grade cannon, built for nothing but mass destruction.

ARNOLD TOHT: You have nothing to fear. It is peaceful, just like my nunchaku here is really nothing but a shirt-hanger.

INDIANA JONES: I… I’m still suspicious…

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: Jones, it’s well-known that you have your own cannon in your arsenal, hidden there, just waiting to be used in a state of emergency. Everyone is entitled to such a deterrent device. I’m considering purchasing one myself.

MARCUS BRODY: Assuming that’s true, what does it say to you that Indiana Jones, despite years of getting into life-endangering situations, has never used it so far? And what can convince him that this swordsman is to be equally trusted?

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: Jones is a Western colonial with a long history of coming to our lands uninvited, plundering everything he can. That he does so under the pretext of archeology is no excuse. We need advanced weapons to defend ourselves from him and the likes of him.

INDIANA JONES: I can’t stand this anymore! He wants to kill me, and I’m going to…

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: Don’t! You could start a riot! And if you attacked first, people everywhere would hate you with undying hatred.

RUSSIAN SALESMAN [with servants, dragging the cannon along]: Here it is! That’ll be 20,000 rubles, please.

INDIANA JONES: All right, now he’s armed better than me, I’m not waiting any longer.

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: No! You can only attack in reaction. If you attack first, you’ll be the aggressor, and, as our European friend can tell you, that is grounds for hauling you to court.

INDIANA JONES: OK, let’s talk.

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: Good, now you’re behaving rationally!

[SWORDSMAN moves his cannon to position.]

INDIANA JONES: I propose an exchange of some of my archeological findings.

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: 50 percent now, and the rest will follow later. You will have your right to cross the market.

[SWORDSMAN loads a cannonball and readies the cannon to fire.]

INDIANA JONES: 50 percent is quite fair, isn’t it? What do you need the rest for?

EUROPEAN ONLOOKER: 50 percent is only your recent acquisitions. You’ve stolen a lot more ever since you visited Cairo for the first time.

CAIRENE SHOPKEEPER: Remember, it’s only fair and just that you return everything, and compensate for it. And you want to reach the other side of the market so much…

INDIANA JONES: Very well, I’ll…

[Cannon fires; cannonball hits Jones and kills him on the spot.]

RENÉ BELLOQ: Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Must such events as in this parable take place? No. But there is another parable that most surely will take place: that those who covet Jerusalem, Zion, G-d’s Chosen City, home of His Temple, will face a fate similar to those who coveted and stole and opened the Ark of the Covenant in that Indiana Jones movie.

And he who understands will understand!

Hat tip for the inspiration for this whole post goes to sister BabbaZee of LGF, who on on one of the open threads remarked on Yousef Al-Qaradhawi’s quote, “They fight us with the Torah, so we should fight them with the Koran”:

It's like taking a knife to a gun fight.
Yousef Ekkin Stoopid.

You go, BabbaZee!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tip: Haveil Havalim #113

Jewish blog carnival Haveil Havalim, in its 113th, for April 22, 2007, hosted by Soccer Dad, has the following posts I liked:

  1. Start with a joke, because all the rest are going to be heavy (the theme is Holocaust Day). Rafi G of Life in Israel has the post Funny story with former Israeli minister, from April 17, 2007. Classic!
  2. Shanah, the ConservaJew, has the post Yom HaShoah, from April 15, 2007, featuring an animation that shows nothing has changed between then and now.
  3. Blogger lynn-b of In Context has the post Split, from April 13, 2007, ridiculing the penchant of policymakers worldwide to see every conflict through the glasses of historical materialism and pragmatism. At least that’s my take on that post, from my own glasses of historical idealism. I hope to post on the subject sometime.
  4. Ron Coleman of Likelihood of Success posts Thought crimes of the depraved – criminalizing Holocaust denial, from April 17, 2007, on how the criminalization of Holocaust Denial backfires. That’s exactly the message of my post From Anti-Defamation to Intellectual Meritocracy, from October 13, 2006. Coleman also berates the Europeans for their hypocrisy (enacting that law while supporting the genocidal “Palestinians”), and for giving a free pass to the denial of the Armenian Holocaust.
  5. Cotton gloves alert from AgentAzure of SimplyJews: Islamic Hate Film Gets PG Rating, from April 14, 2007. Muslims can rest easy in their knowledge that their assaults on critics like Kadra and Ayaan Hirsi Ali will go unpunished.
  6. Smooth Stone has the post From the LOL department: Lebanon to seek war reparations from Israel, from April 18, 2007. I disagree about the “LOL” (“Laughing Out Loud”) bit, though: with the support of Leftist pressure groups worldwide, the weight will be pushed down heavily on Israel to do exactly what they want. And with our current weak leaders, this could get bad. HaShem help us.
  7. From Boker tov, Boulder! comes the post Which is which?, from April 17, 2007, in which two similar viewpoints bring out the unholy Left/Islam alliance starkly. A commenter adds a third, even more striking, statement.
  8. Gail of Rubicon3 has the post Chilling, from April 19, 2007, with the horrible but important link to Inside Terrorism: The X-Ray Project. No pictures of dead bodies (I wouldn’t have linked to it if it had those), but X-ray and CT scans of Israeli victims of Islamic suicide terrorism. Those are the acts of people of whom many in the Western world say things like, “Boy, those suicide bombers have got guts. I wish more people in the world had their courage”. (Hat tip: Solomonia.) There is a tribunal above where all this will, one day, be judged.

My post for this issue: Trusting in HaShem after the Holocaust, from April 16, 2007, on the theological question, the issue of how to maintain belief in HaShem’s future salvation of Israel.

I think I’m going to give the next issue of Haveil Havalim a rest, because I don’t consider it likely for me to do a Haveil-Havalim-worthy post until next week. Happy Independence Day!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Here’s to This Object of Jealousy

The State of Israel celebrates its 59th year.

What a rocky ride this has been, a ride that started nearly 150 years ago, when this land was nearly entirely a rocky wasteland, a land of which all contemporary travelers said, with certainty, “It will never bloom, it will never come again to what it once was, to the description of it we read in the Bible”.

And also, that which He said, “And your enemies that dwell therein shall be astonished at it” (Leviticus 26:32) is a good tiding proclaiming in all the lands of exile. For our land does not accept our enemies. That too is a great witness and a promise unto us, for you will not find in all the inhabitated world a land that is good and wide and was inhabited and is as much in ruin as it. Because, ever since we got out of it, it has not accepted any nation and tongue; all make an effort to inhabit it and do not succeed.

HaRamban (Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman, 1194–1270), in his commentary on the Torah (Leviticus 26:16)

This state has been the home of Jewish culture, whether religious or secular. With G-d’s favor, the Jewish people have made it bloom, and with G-d’s favor it has been the source of copious innovations, including the microprocessors that power countless computers today, and advanced irrigation systems, and medical inventions—the list is exceedingly long.

And it has withstood surprising challenges. Recall, that after September the 11th, there was vocal opposition to the PATRIOT Act because of “the risk of having individual liberties curtailed under the pretext of wartime” (thus from the cowardly appeasers on the American Left). The state of Israel has been at war for every decade. It cannot be said that the history of Israel is punctuated by wars; the opposite is true: it is punctuated by ceasefires. Going by the logic of those who opposed post-9/11 measures against terrorism, the state of Israel should have turned into a dictatorship long ago—could have done so as far back as 1956. Instead, emergency governance was rescinded as soon as the war ended, every single time. A noteworthy achievement not just in the Middle East, but among democratic nations worldwide.

This state, situated in a cruel region of the world, surrounded by enemies bereft of any morality, could have retaliated terribly, and be justified at that. It did not: 20% Arab population in the Jewish state, despite all claims of “ethnic cleansing”; Cairo, Amman and Damascus still standing, although they could have been, and justifiably, reduced to ruins in 1967 and 1973; the population of the 1967 territories, far from being decimated as the accusers of “Zionist genocide” say in their blood libel, has grown exponentially. Arab members of the parliament; an Arab minister; autonomy for all non-Jews in their religious affairs (Muslims have recourse to shariah courts); and the best place a woman could live in, in the entire Middle East.

The state of Israel reflects the glory of nearly 150 years of achievements—thanks be to G-d!

It is only natural for such a state to provoke feelings of jealousy among those who are less constructive.

There is the Jewish joke about how Moses, in his stuttering, meant to say, “Canada”, but couldn’t, thus landing us in Canaan. Golda Meir of blessed memory quipped that, of all the states in the Middle East, Moses brought us to the one without oil. But aside from these jokes, these instances of Jewish humor making the troubles bearable (as opposed to the attitude of Ayatollah “There is no humor in Islam” Khomeini), there is a good reason for this, given by G-d in His Torah:

For the land whither thou goest in to possess it is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou didst sow thy seed, and didst water it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs; but the land whither ye go over to possess it is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water as the rain of heaven cometh down; a land which the LORD thy God careth for; the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:10–12)

The yearly rise of the Nile brought the Egyptians to complacency and total self-reliance, and their pharaohs to think themselves deities. The daily flow of oil from the fields of Arabia brings the Ishmaelites to lethargy—the existence of unearned, effortless wealth is inimical to progress and constructivity. The towering skyscrapers of Qatar are the residue of petrodollars, and nothing else; Qatar cannot boast of any other achievement, and those Muslim states without oil are the living hells of the world, with no prospect for the morrow but… jihad.

Jihad, and Communism—two facets of the same pernicious stone. Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and, it is all too clear, those can neither do nor teach, steal from others who have been industrious enough to do both. The failures of humanity, having been chronically unable to achieve anything of their own, have opted to steal those of others. And, to make it acceptable, to hide the naked truth of its being daylight robbery, they cloak it under the mantle of social theories, religion, post-colonial discourse and the talk of “justice” and “morality”. Marxism and Islam, two systems of legalized theft, are spared the condemnation of the world (apart from a few righteous who see the truth) because they are disguised as such positive movements. Justice, equality, fairness—who could object to such concepts? But it pays to reveal the diabolical reality lurking behind the curtain.

The fact is, the bare truth, arrogant though it may sound, shrill screams though it may elicit from the bien-pensants, is that most of the states of the world aren’t fit to lick the USA’s and Israel’s boots. The United Nation departments for “justice” and “security” and “welfare” are populated by the representatives of tin-pot dictators and oil-complacent sheiks whose subjects enjoy nothing in the way of justice or security or welfare. Those states that dare to place themselves on the tribunals of the world are the ones most deserving of being put in the dock. 22 existing Arab states and 57 existing Muslim states are hardly in the position to complain of “dispossession” and “land theft”. But they do. All the time. Greasing it all with oil-money, at that.

It is the mark of a man-made religion that it gives its followers exactly that which they humanly desire. The man-made religion of Islam gives its followers the most extravagant and gaudy of carnal pleasures in the afterlife; and in this life, it entitles them to the entire world. Conquer, pillage, burn and murder in all the lands and properties of the infidel, says this religion, for they are all yours. Legalized theft. That which every man dreams of—being king over others, possessor of endless riches, sampler of infinite pornography—this man-made religion promises him. The eye sees and the heart covets and the body commits the transgressions, as Rashi said. And Marxism is the same: all is yours under the fabled “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, all the wealth plundered from the non-Marxists.

What a contrast to this is Judaism! It would be expected, by dint of common sense, that those who believe themselves to be G-d’s Chosen would believe themselves entitled to the whole world. But G-d says: only the Land of Israel, and nothing else. Only this (even under its most expanded borders) minuscule strip of land on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Only this tiny land, without a regularly-flowing river to irrigate it, without oil to export, with nothing but the promise of flowing with milk and honey on condition of doing what G-d says.

One single, solitary state for the Jews! One state, whereas the Arabs already have 22, and the Muslims 57. Surely no one could be so stingy as to begrudge such a thing? Surely no one could imagine refusing this tiny strip of land? Surely this single, small, prosperous Jewish state would be fine with everyone?

No. In truth, no. It would be, if common sense were all there is to it, but it isn’t. No, the state of Israel is the one single, solitary state in the world of which it is acceptable to say, “It should never have been set up in the first place” at the very best, and “It should be fixed in the name of justice” (or tack “wiped out off the map” [G-d forbid] for the acceptable-sounding “fixed” and you get the true sentiment) in the now more common case, ever increasing in its fashionability. One single state for the Jews, set up on what was, nearly 150 years ago, an almost totally desolate land, and the nations do not want to hear of that. For Jews to inhabit Judea, Samaria and Gaza has now for long been the mark of the “Jewish extremist”, while the Muslim who “only” says that the discussion of the “Palestinian Right of Return” should be postponed for a later date is crowned a “moderate”.

“We made this desolate land bloom.” – “Listim atem!” (“Ye are robbers”, from Rashi’s commentary on Genesis 1:1)

“We created a new life and culture on this land.” – “Listim atem!

“We are the only democratic state in the Middle East.” – “Listim atem!

“We are the only state in the Middle East where women have equal rights.” – “Listim atem!

“We are the only state in the Middle East where minorities are actually given a voice.” – “Listim atem!

“Ours is the only state in this region whose culture is the same as that of America and Europe.” – “Listim atem!

“Israel is the only state guaranteed to stay pro-Western, no matter what happens—remember Iran before and after 1979.” – “Listim atem!

“Ye are robbers!”, “ye are robbers!”, “ye are robbers!”, again and again and again. Not a shred of consideration toward Israel’s achievements and culture and orientation and humanity in this hell-hole of a region of the world. Not the tiniest movement of the ear to listen to the truth that this is the only Jewish state, in a sea of Arab and Muslim states, situated on a really, really tiny strip of land. “This land is not yours”, the cold, hard, unrelenting wall of Jew-hatred keeps on saying.

While, in the meantime, those who think themselves entitled to the whole world get preferential treatment everywhere: self-censorship of Western artists, halal meals at schools, toilets facing away from Mecca, two attentive ears and one full heart toward their “legitimate grievances”, a multitude of excusations of their crimes by the pretext of “resistance to Western imperialism”, a call to “respect their culture”, warnings against stereotyping, all in all a snow-white moral check for the most depraved actions, such as raising children to detonate themselves in the midst of enemies or to behead them. All this, remember, is happening while the state of Israel, the one single, tiny Jewish state, the only modern and reliably pro-Western state in the Middle East, is decried as an “outlaw state”, and people shamelessly advocate its demise (G-d forbid), to much applause.

The word, “preposterous” doesn’t even scratch the surface in describing this state of affairs.

By natural, material merit alone, there should be no question about the state of Israel—about its right to exist, and about the right of the Jews to inhabit it without obstruction. But then those “reality-based” people, those “historical materialists” who likely as not believe religion to be “the opiate of the masses”, ignore the material achievements of the state of Israel completely, and supernaturally cling to non-material arguments: “Ye are robbers”. “Justice”. They speak of “justice”, a concept that falls well outside the bounds of the discourse of historical materialism.

Very well, then. If material arguments do not sway them to support the one single Jewish state, if they fall back to the abstract, airy, idealistic argument every single time, then we have no recourse but to our spiritual argument:

G-d, Creator-Owner of this entire world, says the Land of Israel is ours.

He says that, of the entire world, His Chosen are entitled to this tiny strip on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This land and no more! Only this! The Jew-haters prefer to be stingy. Not even this tiny strip of land for the Jews. But they do not know, they do not know yet, that theirs is an affront not to the Jewish people—it is an affront to the Creator Himself.

And the consuming fire of His wrath will grip them unless they repent.

The righteous Victor David Hanson says:

Israel serves today as the ethical barometer in the western collective mind. Support for it brings no oil, no ingratiation with terrorists, no psychological lift of the usual easy bullying of a small democracy, but it does reveal respect for democracy, confidence in the history of the West, and respect for a humane culture and an accomplished people under terrible assault. So, I confess, as I age I sort of judge Westerners I meet now by their degree of fairness toward Israel. I’ve gotten to the point when I hear a rabid Leftist or a creepy Right-wing nut rant on Israel, I just pack it up and walk away. Life is too short for such nonsense.

On you, Victor, will G-d shower His endless blessings, as He has promised (Genesis 12:3).

This is the 59th birthday of the Jewish state. Enemies encircle her, but her only concern should be the question whether it is faithful to G-d’s commands. “A brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a fool understand this: When the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they may be destroyed for ever.” – Psalm 92:7–8, by King David, from whose lineage the Messiah will come, through whom G-d will save Israel, speedily in our days, amen.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Iraq: What I Really Think

I post this post out of a feeling of obligation to my American friends. In the previous post, I wrote of the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq:

[…] Both moves can now be seen as failures: the Taliban are rearing their heads again, and as for Iraq… suffice it here to say that there is no greater indication of the failure of it than the rise of Islamic parties and the plight of the non-Muslims of Iraq. “We fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” has resulted in the opposite situation, in which the flower of the West are stuck in a faraway place without even a name for the enemy, and of course, following from that, without the foggiest idea of what the word, “victory” could mean in this context; all while the heartland of the West is being assaulted by the Marxism-Islam alliance from within. Which brings me to the recent events.

Now, with American Democrat Senator Harry Reid’s cowardly words on the situation in Iraq, saying that the war there is lost, the question may arise as to the difference between Reid’s opinion and mine.

The difference is the following: Reid says America has lost in Iraq, while I say America has neither won nor lost, but rather is stuck in a limbo that drains its resources, both human and material.

The main thrust in my argument is that it is impossible to talk of either a victory or a defeat in the case of Iraq, because victory was never defined in the first place. If it’s about wresting Iraq away from Saddam, then the US achieved victory back in 2003, not long after the invasion. Weapons of mass destruction have also been found, though this is something most states have, so it’s no big deal. The people of Iraq have been freed to hold elections, to bring to power those they have wished. As far as all those goals go, the US is victorious.

But what is the US Army doing in Iraq now? What is the present goal? American soldiers are assaulted in Iraq every day, by Muslim terrorists. Those are named, “insurgents” or “militants” by the Western TreasonMedia, and hailed as “resistors of American imperialism” by those who have done away with pretensions to objectivity (see on CounterPunch any day). Free elections have not transformed Iraq into a Western-style state; on the contrary, they have enabled the Muslims of Iraq to raise theocrats to power. Finally, the demise of Saddam’s iron hand has spelled chaos and bloodshed to this multi-sectarian country.

There is this fact that our clueless policymakers (in State Department, in the EU—everywhere) fail to grasp: Muslim societies have never been able to rise above the dichotomy of orderly repression versus bloody anarchy. It is a proverb among them, that a thousand years of repression (dictatorial rule) are better than one night of civil war. Those are the only options. The Western concept of self-sustaining order, held by the people themselves, is foreign to the Islamic world. In the Middle East, the only exceptions are Israel and Lebanon, the latter now in jeopardy because of the demographic decline of the Christians there.

The absolute worst outcome of the US invasion of Iraq, in my opinion, is the return of dhimmi status for the non-Muslims. Saddam Hussein had held Islamic law in check in order to preserve Iraq’s secular, Baathist veneer; now the proponents of shariah law are free to wreak their atrocity on the non-Muslims of Iraq. This is exactly the opposite of where this war should be headed: the goal should be to make conditions for the non-Muslims better, not worse! But with such policymakers as think that the “hearts and minds” (another useless phrase from the Vietnam era) of the “Iraqi people” (a “people” as real as the “Californian people” or the “Palestinian people”) need to be won away from the “tiny minority of radical Muslims”, instead of recognizing that the enemy is Islam, the religio-political ideology that drives people to blow themselves up and to raise their children to commit atrocities, there is no chance of victory. The American troops in Iraq are neither winning nor losing, but stuck in a bloody limbo because of the government’s failure to name the enemy and to set a goal.

Naming the enemy, setting the goal of victory over it and taking the steps toward achieving it are all moves outside the bounds of the politically correct. Denazification, as Steven Plaut (HaShem bless him) puts it, necessarily involves acts of “Western colonialism” and “cultural imperialism”. Just the first, minimal step of mercilessly executing those imams and their followers who are for killing apostates is something that the bleeding hearts at CounterPunch would decry as “a continuation of the old White disregard toward the rest of the world”. For victory to be achieved in Iraq, the policymakers need to be men that can respond to such accusations with an extension of the middle finger—not the type who change the name, “Operation Infinite Justice” to “Operating Enduring Freedom” just because some call it offensive.

Under the current way of operating, the US presence in Iraq achieves little that is positive, and much that is negative. Reid says this is the reason why the US needs to pull out of Iraq. I do not say so; I say this is the reason for some change of course: either staying in Iraq but together with letting go of the politically correct shackles that are making it a real quagmire for the troops there, or pulling out in order to put those fine, upstanding men and women to good use in the homeland. The current way is senseless.

Al Qaeda has not defeated the US. Islam has not defeated the non-Muslim world. It is beyond the current military capability of the Muslims to do so. Ideological anemia of the non-Muslim world is the only enabler of their victories. This is true both in faraway Iraq and in the American and European heartlands. The only surge sure to bring us victory is a surge in ideological self-confidence. Rid the world of excessive self-doubt and its proponents, and the evildoers will follow shortly.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Wolf Age

Did you ever get the feeling that the recent events in the world followed a theme? About two months ago and half, the recurring theme of punishing the law-abiding common man and rewarding the bully and outlaw prompted me to write the post The Lawlessness That Masquerades As Law. Now the theme, demonstrated by the British sailors incident (taken hostage by Iran, then released as a “gift”), the clash in Malmö (three posts on Jihad Watch: [1], [2], [3] ), and now the shooting at Virginia Tech, is that of self-defense—the right of individuals to defend themselves from attackers, and how the modern state is failing them, and by extension, the right of states to defend themselves from attackers, and how international law is failing them.

The worldwide ideological cause of our frustrating inability to attain even the beginning of the end of this war, more than five years and a half since the fall of the World Trade Center towers, is, I contend, the inability to perceive the (sorry about this, I know the phrase is cliché, but here it’s really the best fit) paradigm shift in world politics since the fall of the Soviet Union. We are led by capable, competent former Cold Warriors, even a few former World Warriors, but their expertise goes to naught, because the paradigm that ruled supreme in the years 1914–91, the paradigm that dates at least back to the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, has become of reduced relevance. The state-oriented way of thinking is outdated.

How amazing it is to contemplate that Franz Joseph Haydn was, in effect, nothing more than a minstrel, a troubadour, while Ludwig van Beethoven was a free composer setting the timetable for his own concerts, and all that because of just a century’s separation, the difference between Europe of the 18th century, with its princes and dukes and barons giving patronage to their artists, and Europe of the 19th century, with its nation-states. That is not to say Haydn did not live in nation-states, or that Beethoven did not sometimes perform for nobility who requested it; but the significance had shifted, to such an extent that even culture, even art, was influenced. Although Metternich attempted to restore the old order (through the dictates of the Congress of Vienna, 1815), it was futile: the Battle of the Nations (also known as the Battle of Leipzig) had taken place just two years earlier, and by 1848 the rebellion against the former way was clear for all to see.

The formation of more nation-states, such as the united Italy and the united Germany, marked the rest of the 19th century. By the time we get to 1914, although the old titles are still there, such as archduke, the assassination of an archduke triggered not a local feud but a war between states, mushrooming into a world war of state against state. The wake of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 saw the defeated Germans wishing to address their grievances as a nation and state, and World War II, though it was about an ideology striving for world hegemony (Nazism), was about nation-states, just like the previous. It ended when those nation-states were defeated by other nation-states.

After that, the Cold War brought a slight portent of our age, in the form of a non-nationalistic ideology: whereas Nazism was tied to the German Volk, Communism was transnational; Soviet Russia was its material powerhouse, but not its ideological root, and indeed, today, more than 15 years after the demise of the Soviet Union, Marxism is alive and well, and operating, and sabotaging the West from within as it had done for long. But the Cold War was still within the state-based paradigm, with both material powerhouses competing for states, fighting proxy wars. It was because of this that the United States of America got involved in Vietnam, while the Soviet Union meddled in the Middle East by aiding “Arab Socialist” states (Nasserist Egypt, Baathist Syria) against the USA’s allies there—Israel and Turkey.

I can trace the beginning of the present order to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979). Khomeini disavowed the West/East, Capitalist/Communist dichotomy and declared Islam the only right political framework for a state to be governed by. But because this was a state revolution, a capturing of a state by an ideology, similar to that of Russia by Communism and Germany by Nazism, there was no way the superpowers could think outside their state-based box. The USA pitted another state, Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, against Iran, and the Soviet Union attempted to quell a potential Islamic revolt within itself by invading Afghanistan. Whenever people mention the blunders of Ronald Reagan, truly one of the best leaders the free world has ever had (all the more so when compared with the dimwit who preceded him), in confronting the rising political challenge of Islam, my reaction is: Even now, nearing six years after the explicit Islamic attack on the USA, people, including President Bush himself, are circling around the issue; how, then, could you possibly expect such awareness from a world still in the midst of the Cold War? And even if there had been an awareness of the Islamic threat, freedom to operate against it had to wait until 1991 at the earliest, when the polarity of the two superpowers and their proxies was broken.

The interim period of 1991–2001 had the people of the world too immersed in their desire to enjoy the new “Peace at last!” rather than acknowledge the dangers looming on the horizon. Bosnia, the 1993 attempt on the World Trade Center and the suicide bombings in Israel were rationalized as local conflicts and incidents. The opening shot of the 21st century was fired on that terrible day, September the 11th of 2001, but the reaction had “Old Order” written on it from the start.

The USA invaded Afghanistan, because of the Taliban regime there, giving sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden. It would have made just as good sense to invade Saudi Arabia or Iran, which are terror-supporting regimes without doubt (the 19 suicide-terrorists of 9/11 were Saudis). Later, it invaded Iraq, for a reason which, despite all speculations (WMD, oil etc.), is still unknown. Both moves can now be seen as failures: the Taliban are rearing their heads again, and as for Iraq… suffice it here to say that there is no greater indication of the failure of it than the rise of Islamic parties and the plight of the non-Muslims of Iraq. “We fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here” has resulted in the opposite situation, in which the flower of the West are stuck in a faraway place without even a name for the enemy, and of course, following from that, without the foggiest idea of what the word, “victory” could mean in this context; all while the heartland of the West is being assaulted by the Marxism-Islam alliance from within. Which brings me to the recent events.

Today’s states have failed their citizens, and today’s global rules and laws have failed the states. The welfare state and the Geneva rules of engagement made perfect sense back when they were devised—in the aftermath of World War II. Today, they are as sure a shackle on the backs of the West as it would be for a soldier to carry a musket in addition to his M-16. The welfare state and the UN conventions on warfare were conceived with the purpose of preventing a global conflict between nation-states. Though it is probably because of wise or fortunate moves that the Cold War did not erupt into another worldwide conflict as many thought it would, the old laws can be said to have basically succeeded. But the old order is gone, and the world is chafing under its rules, much as Europe did under the aforementioned dictates of the Congress of Vienna.

This war is not between states. States are just its most potent vehicles, and the capturing of states just the ultimate goal. This war is between cultural systems that rule the minds of men first and the political systems after. If one really must frame this war in the old state-based paradigm, then he could say this is the war of existing states against the formation of autonomous states within them, expanding in their independence and scope until the critical point is reached where the original host state is under threat to its existence.

This war is not one we are destined to lose. But we cannot win under the old, post-WWII order. We cannot win under a paradigm that robs the individual, and the individual state, of the capability of self-defense by relegating it to the state and to the supra-national organization, respectively. We cannot win when unelected officials use the old order as a means of preserving their power. And we cannot win when the former counter-measures, for example the swift and immediate reaction against the once very real problem of racism, are used to nip any attempt at self-defense in the bud.

What is so apparent about the leadership of the current world is how out of touch it is with the citizenry it claims to represent. On YNET (website of Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot), I read each time of an Israeli Jewish politician saying something like, “It is important to reach an agreement with the Palestinians” or “Syria can provide a diplomatic horizon”, and below that, on the talkbacks, an overwhelming number that say things of the type of, “What is that guy smoking?!” The leadership worldwide is clueless, so clueless you feel like banging your head against the wall. The state not only does not do its purported job of protecting the individual, but the opposite—it takes all the steps to rob the individual of the capability of self-defense, thus concentrating in itself that ability to blackmail the individual into submission. Multinational organizations like the European Union dictate the policies of the individual states in opposition to their interests. And, towering above them all, the UN Rules of Engagement are providing a haven for the global Islamic insurgency: the non-Muslim signatory states are bound to them, and receive condemnation if they break them, while the Muslim non-state actors are free to disregard them entirely. That is the essence of asymmetric warfare.

The Old Order must go. Whether it will go in Armageddonian fashion or peacefully is as yet unknown, but this situation, in which Ahmadinejad must be laughing himself silly at the sight of those sailors who were ordered not to defend themselves, and in which Al Qaeda terrorists must be looking in great interest at the recent event of a shooter unstopped because he was the only one with access to arms, cannot be allowed to go on. Its toll is already high, and it could only get higher, G-d forbid.

The new order is marked by a return to that pastoral metaphor: a world of wolves, where the survivors are those who take on the role of sheepdogs themselves, rather than waiting for a government above to do it for them, which, as we can see, isn’t happening. That Holocaust survivor who defended the students, Liviu Librescu (HaShem avenge his blood), conveyed the message bodily: unarmed, people are destined to be sheep led to slaughter; armed, they stay alive as sheepdogs fending off the wolves. This so-called “progressive, enlightened” age is nothing of the sort. The right of individuals and states to defend themselves both inwardly and outwardly is the critical issue of our day.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You Make Us So

A short one for today. I don’t have much time, and also, American readers most likely aren’t in a state to read long essays today.

Of the many complaints of Leftists about the state of Israel, about Zionist exceptionalism and therefore, knowingly or not, about Judaism itself, there is the contention about the Jewish conception of chosenness. Even when it is pointed (as I did) that Jewish chosenness is not a pretext for world domination and subjugation of all the outsiders, the Leftists decry the concept of Jewish chosenness as “racism”. Under the article, ‘Never Forget’ Is Never Enough on Common Dreams, from April 13, 2007, by Jewish Leftist Seth Freedman, who is a columnist on the British Jew-hating rag The Guardian, here is a pertinent comment, by “PJD”:

I may get a lot of flack for this [No, you won’t. Quite the opposite: you’ll be praised as “championing progressive values”. —ZY], but there seems to a very USA-like exceptionalism that runs through Jewish culture. And, please educate me if I am making a logical mistake somewhere, but how can a belief in being a “God-chosen people” not be a form or racism?


Screenshot: comment by "PJD" on Common Dreams, April 13, 2007

Possibly an indication of where things are going to come to soon. The Leftists have no problem respecting, à la National Geographic, all manner of barbaric customs of exotic peoples, saying, “That’s what they believe, that’s their culture” (and often wishing they, the Westerners, had something comparable), but when it comes to something we Jews believe out of the same motives, i.e. out of acceptance of the truth of our traditions, the attitude is changed. Picture a Leftist saying, for example, that the Druzes’ insistence on keeping their religion secret except to an elite stems out of a basic “plotting in the dark to rule the world”. Ridiculous, of course. But, for Jews they have a different standard.

Which brings me to the main point of this post: I, as an Orthodox Jew, may believe in Jewish chosenness out of acceptance of the tradition of my people; the Leftists, however, make it so through their actions. Consider this passage:

All our current foreign policy problems stem from our one-sided support of India against the Kashmiris. When we, at the behest of the India Lobby, support India’s oppression of the Kashmiris, who are fighting for their right to self-determination, we fuel the hatred of the whole Muslim world. That is the root cause behind 9/11, and all the ill-feeling on the part of the Muslim world toward us. For the sake of peace, we must force India to the negotiations table, to sign a just and lasting peace accord that will provide for security for both India and the Kashmiri people. That isn’t prejudice against the Hindus, it’s just criticism of India’s policies.

I do not have to warn that the above is a fiction of mine. But, on the other hand, we all know that if you change a few names, you get the Leftist position on the Israel/“Palestine” debate.

I do not understand, from the rational point of view, why the USA’s support of Israel is the root cause of 9/11 and Arab/Muslim hatred toward it any more than the USA’s support of other countries. Far beyond my understanding is the train of thought that leads one to say the resolution of the Israel/“Palestine” conflict would spell the end of, or at the very least minimize, the risk of a terrorist threat to the West. Muslims are fighting for “self-determination” everywhere—Kashmir, Thailand, Australia, Malmö, anywhere on the globe where they are in sizable numbers—yet the Leftists choose to give an unrelenting, uncompromising, raging focus on the Israel/“Palestine” conflict.

From time to time there have been Jews who tired of Jewish exceptionalism and wanted to become “a nation like all other nations”. Zionism, by the way, originally had that as one of its goals. But the Leftists, much as they may condemn Jewish exceptionalism as “a form of racism”, are the ones who, by G-d’s direction, are doing everything to perpetuate it. Through their divinely-inspired madness of focusing on the state of Israel, they make Jewish chosenness a naturally visible reality.

Ma gad’lu ma’asecha, HaShem, m’od am’ku machsh’votecha—“How great are Thy works, O LORD! Thy thoughts are very deep” (Psalms 92:6). How amazing it is to see HaShem rule His people, keep them close to Him, through the agency of—of all possible people—the “reality-based community”. You, Kossacks and CommonDreamers and the like, you make our chosenness a visible, undeniable fact.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Trusting in HaShem after the Holocaust

This post is about the vexing theological question posed by the Holocaust, especially as it relates to the subject of my blog, the peril with which the Jewish people is confronted today.

I am an Orthodox Jew. I believe HaShem is personal and controls the world and history. I have preached numerous times of the need for Jews to trust in HaShem rather than in negotiations and peace treaties. Now, for Holocaust Day, I feel obliged to answer, or more accurately to attempt to answer, the question, “How can you trust in HaShem after the Holocaust?”

Even personally, this is no academic question for me. I’m a former secular Jew, and I still have to wrestle with this upbrought question, as well as, sometimes, to answer secular Jews who pose it before me. The question that slithers periodically, sometimes during prayer, is that question indeed: “After G-d let six million Jews go such a way, how can you still trust in Him to save us?”

The first theological responses to the Holocaust were the usual Orthodox Jewish ones, of retribution for the sins of the nation. They were swiftly answered by the rejoinder, “I would not worship a deity who kills more than a million children, for whatever sin”. It is not that that exchange was new, yet I have my own good reason to back away from that kind of theodicy: our generation is too weak to bear it. I mean “weak” in a sense of pity, not disdain: ravaged physically by every kind of enemy, besieged spiritually by fifty gates of impurity (not just forty-nine as in Egypt—this is the generation that has been destined to go down Sha’ar Nun, the gate of Unbelief. But also to get out of there, and then the final salvation would come), this generation is in need of spiritual encouragement to do good rather than rebukes to stay away from evil, which are less effective for it, because of said state. An emphasis on aseh tov rather than on sur me-ra, in other words.

A lot of people, even rabbis, in our age have decided to eschew attempts at explanation and choose silence—the silence of Aaron at the sight of the death of his two beloved sons (“And Aaron held his peace”, Leviticus 10:3, from last week’s parashah) and of Job. Exemplary is the answer of Rabbi Amital zt"l to Abba Kovner when the latter asked him how he could still believe in G-d after the Holocaust: “How can you still believe in mankind? Mankind can be understood, while G-d is incomprehensible; I can lay the Holocaust at G-d’s incomprehensibility, but if humanity does such a thing, then you now know that it is part of humanity, so how can you still believe in mankind?”

All those are attempts to keep the faith, the torch we have carried, father to son, from Sinai to our day. But they do not address my doubts about the future. Each time I write, on this very keyboard, “We must trust in HaShem”, what is there to sustain my belief, to make it alive rather than finger-tax?

I will give my answer, but be warned: though it’s good enough for me, it may not be for you. In fact, you may find it not merely unsatisfying, but possibly outrageous. With this warning, here goes:

We must trust in HaShem because we have no choice.

I come back to the standing before G-d at Sinai. Our sages say HaShem forced it upon them: kafah aleihem har k’gigit, set the mountain upon them like a tub covering them, with no way of escape. The Midrash further says HaShem told our forefathers, that if they did not agree to receive the Torah, kan tihyeh k’vuratchem—“Here shall be your burial-place”. It can be explained in many ways, including one less harsh-sounding than we are led to believe, that, because the entire world was created for the reception of the Torah, G-d would have undone it, destroyed it if our forefathers had refused to receive it, and then they, along with the rest of the world, would have been buried under its ruins. But to the question of the Holocaust, I see a possibility of regarding that forcing as something natural and circumstantial as well:

There were only two ways for the Israelites. One was forward to the Land of Israel, then (as not in the late 19th century) a populous land with many strong kingdoms—kingdoms that our forefathers could not hope to conquer without HaShem’s help. The other way was: back to Egypt. Back to slavery, to day after day of work without pay, of whippings, of humiliation and of no future to look forward to, just a hope of passing to the next day. Our forefathers, then, had no choice: they had to go with HaShem and receive His Torah. Death on the way forward (if they went forth to the Land of Israel without Him helping) and slavery on the way back (if they returned to Egypt) persuaded them to trust in HaShem regardless of their fears.

We are little different.

Where should we go? We can stay here, but, in the view of enemy armies and a nuclear threat amassing upon us with each passing day, it should be clear that military might is not sufficient to pass this. The alternative? Back to the Diaspora. Where to in the Diaspora? Most of Asia and Africa are Muslim, so they are out. Europe is becoming Muslim with each passing day, and the Jews in it are under constant threat of attacks by the immigrants, soon to be overlords, of the continent, attacks that are justified by the Western Left as “responses to Israel’s cruelty toward the Palestinians”. The United States of America, truly Land of the Brave and the Free, is still relatively safe, and friendly toward the Jews; but that could never be counted on to stay that way, and besides, it takes just one Muslim drive-by shooter (G-d forbid) to put an end to that idyllic condition. Like that merchant who tries to evade Death by fleeing to Samara, Jews can try running away to any part of the world, only to find the Islamonazi enemy following them.

The way forward is the Land of Israel—but we need divine help to withstand all our powerful enemies. The way back is no escape from those same enemies. As with our forefathers, HaShem is forcing us to trust in Him, despite all our fears. There is no other choice.

I apologize if this post hurt you. This is the way I see it, and the pattern of thought that helps me overcome the doubts. But even if you don’t believe, at least heed Rabbi Amital’s word that trusting in humanity is not an option either. Chomskyan attempts to save your skin by siding with the enemy won’t save you. Even if you don’t believe in G-d, you should make the natural, human efforts to defend Israel in this good fight, the way sane Jewish secularists like Ben-Dror Yemini and Yehoshua Sobol do, HaShem bless them. Be on the right side of history.


Tip: Haveil Havalim #112

Yid With Lid does issue #112 of the toppest Jewish Blog Carnival, for April 15, 2007. It’s a big one, because it comes after the Passover hiatus, and so I feature a bigger number of favorites.

  1. Daled Amos makes the head of the list because of well-speaking of Eretz Yisrael, in his post Why come live in Israel, from March 28, 2007, quoting Rabbi Chaim Malinowitz.
  2. Elder of Ziyon exposes an egregious instance of Phakestinian Phraud in his post “Destitute” PalArabs lose millions to con man, from April 10, 2007, where those who sell to the world an image of “poverty-stricken, downtrodden people” are shown to have wasted huge sums to a con man.
  3. From Boker tov, Boulder! comes a tribute to the 3,252th anniversary of the death of Joshua, from April 14, 2007; which leaves me begging to HaShem: “Please, HaShem, can you bring us a replacement for our current weak, clueless leaders even a tenth as good as Joshua? Please!”
  4. Carl in Jerusalem, owner of Israel Matzav, has the post ‘Unilateral withdrawal’ – the ultimate in cynicism, from April 9, 2007. What I get from this is the demonstration of how estrangement from the heritage of Israel (as shown by Schueften’s loathing for the Ultra-Orthodox Jews) necessarily leads to a self-hating rootless cosmopolitanism that favors our enemies over brothers and friends.
  5. Media Backspin details, in the post “Grandstanding For The Cameras”, from April 11, 2007, the media-consciousness of the “Palestinians”. The know-how of the Muslim enemy in working the Western media is something we must never take lightly.
  6. Lchaimlover of Oy Bay! (Wow, what a cool name for a Bay Area Jewish blog!) has the post A Walk through the Tunnel of Oppression, from April 11, 2007, where once again it is shown that the other side is interested in perpetuating its hatred toward us to the very end (G-d forbid) rather than making real steps toward peace. Let’s sign treaties with them—because pieces of paper are a much better guarantor of permanent peace than frivolous things like reforming the way they educate their children. Yeah, right.
  7. David Bogner of Treppenwitz has the post Quantifying that which shouldn’t be quantified, from April 8, 2007, where he takes our chattering classes to task for proposing an eifah v’eifah (double standard) regarding Israeli Jewish victims of Islamic terrorism. Chilling.
  8. The carnival host, Yid With Lid, has the post What Kind Of Pesach Will Our Grandchildren Celebrate?, from April 2, 2007, writing on how “Never Again” is a slogan to earnestly live by, in view of the circumstances of today.
  9. Saving for the last, a post on a subject I write on frequently on my blog: Chaim of Freedom’s Cost has the post Eurabia Express, from April 12, 2007, on the creeping Islamization of Europe, and how it is caused by lack of ideological self-confidence.

My posts on this issue of Haveil Havalim: Out of the Galut, from April 8, 2007, and Compassion, from April 10, 2007. I also submitted the post From Exodus Past to Salvation Future, from March 30, 2007, but Yid With Lid had too many submissions to deal with already—he did a super job, and for that he deserves our congratulations.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why Are We Under Trial?

From Media Backspin: UK Journalists Union Boycotts Israel. Quoting The Guardian:

The union’s national executive committee has been instructed to support organisations including the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice in Palestine and the Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding.

Thus is the state of mainstream reporting (neutrality can go to hell), of peace movements (the end justifies the means, including giving aid to suicide terrorists) and of human rights organizations (pick on the one state you know isn’t going to order the execution of your activists). Our age epitomized: no good deed goes unpunished, no evil unrewarded. We have once again been put in the dock, in the defendant’s seat, in a trial forced on us. We can defend ourselves, we can exculpate ourselves, we can produce alibis galore, but I have to ask: why do that at all? Why do we have to play by rules rigged against us? To the root of it all: why are we on trial?

We started coming in the 19th century to inhabit a land which, apart from being ours by ancestral inheritance and divine title deed, was then nearly bereft of people: a few old cities (Jerusalem, Safed and the rest), scattered Arab villages here and there, but all the rest was rocky, barren wasteland and malaria-infested swamps.

We began to make the barren land bloom after so many centuries. Arabs from outside said, “Look, the blessing is with the Jews”, and settled (yes, settled! You though only Jews did that, right?) on the land. By rights we could have driven them out then already, but instead, following upon Abraham our father in buying the tomb for Sarah from Ephron, we bought lands from those settling Arabs.

The British promised us this land in 1917, to be given after vanquishing the Ottoman Empire. Instead, they first ripped out the land east of the Jordan River for the sake of the alliance with the Hashemite ruler, and then, throughout the years, including the critical World War II years, made various moves to allot us an even smaller proportion of our land, and published the White Book laws prohibiting us from inhabiting what has always been ours. Yet we agreed to partition the land between us and the Arabs; we agreed to have an area much smaller than the original.

We agreed, then, to the UN Partition Plan in 1947. The Arabs would not hear even of that, and started war. We defended ourselves. If one considers that, in such a war, of two groups of people on the same land fighting neck to neck, the outcome is usually a massacre (see: Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Darfur), then one comes to the conclusion that the actual outcome, that of many (but certainly not all—how often that is overlooked) of the Arabs having to flee to beyond the 1949 Armistice Line, was very fortunate. Such consequences for a war they started are seldom to be found in history. Yet we are condemned for that.

We watched Egypt, Jordan and Syria make all the preparations and issue all the statements with the intent of wiping us off the map in 1967, yet we were expected to just sit idly by, waiting for the blow. But back then we had a government with something of a Jewish consciousness, so we carried out our sages’ precept, “Rise up early to kill him who stands up to kill you”, and HaShem handed us a magnificent victory. A multitude of states used that as an excuse to cut off their ties with us. Sorry for continuing to exist!

In that war of 1967, we could have, by rights, pressed on the attack and laid waste to the capitals of Egypt, Jordan and Syria—such is what normal nations have done to enemies in a position of weakness. Instead, we took Sinai, Gaza, Judea and Samaria and the Golan, and nothing more. In 1973, following a reversal of fate after the prospect of defeat in the Yom Kippur War, we were poised to take out Cairo and Damascus, but we did not, out of misguided mercy cloaked as “pragmatism”. A fat lot of good that did us: we are still the aggressors.

Rockets from Lebanon came raining upon our north from the late 1970’s onward. The world’s expectation? That we just grin and bear it, and solve the problem through talks, negotiations, concessions etc. In 1982 we had enough, and decided to do away with the source of the terror, the “Palestine Liberation Organization” in Lebanon. We got condemned for the fact that some of the warring sects in Lebanon decided to piggyback on our expedition for settling their old scores.

We decided to “give appeasement peace a chance” by recalling that same PLO, headed by the same two-legged beast, from Tunis in 1993, to do a retry of 1947, partitioning the land once again. The result? Bus bombings in the streets of Israeli towns within the 1949 Armistice Line. We held through numerous airtight cases of casus belli, right until 2000, when we offered the other side nearly everything—Gaza, Judea and Samaria, even the eastern part of Jerusalem, with all the ethnic cleansing of Jews that those steps entailed. The reaction? The Second (Al Aksa) Intifada, with murders of Jews in the 1967 territories, and rioting on part of the Arabs within the 1949 Armistice Lines.

In August 2005, although 9/11 had made it clear that the other side was part of a global menace and not an isolated, local adversary, our clueless government topped everything with the greatest gamble yet: the uprooting of all the Jews of the Gaza Strip. Kassam rockets upon Israeli Jewish towns within the 1949 Armistice Line soon followed, launched by the order of democratically-elected (i.e. reflecting the will of the man in the “Palestinian” street) Hamas, prompting us to return the IDF for preventive action in Gaza. To this, the reaction from the “enlightened” world to this day is:

“Gaza? Was a matter of removing settlers and sending IDF in. Unilaterally.” – commenter “Eiron” on Daily Kos, from April 10, 2007

Screenshot: comment by "Eiron" on Daily Kos, April 10, 2007

Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Condemned for holding on to the land, rebuked for having to defend ourselves after abandoning it has backfired.

In July 2006, replaying 1982, we get rockets from Lebanon onto our north again. Our government suddenly remembers its old consciousness, and deploys the army, navy and air force to remove the threat, this time from Hizbullah. But that flashback is only temporary, for once the world screams in condemnation of Israel for striking at civilians that Hizbullah put as human shields, the government slithers back into full weakling mode, accepting a UN ceasefire agreement, and, ever since, doing nothing to stop either Hizbullah in the north or Hamas in the south from rearming for the next war.

Nor quelling the fifth column within. Muslims and their Christian Arab useful idiots within the 1949 Armistice Line heap the same vitriol on Israel as those on the outside, and the government does nothing, out of fear of world opinion crying, “Racism!”—as if they aren’t doing that already, as if the comparison of Israel to Apartheid South Africa isn’t already mainstream. Raed Salah of the Islamic Movement preaches taking hold of the Temple Mount; in a normal state, he would at the very least be thrown in the slammer, but he remains free. Azmi Bisharah, Arab Knesset Member in that “apartheid state”, voices publicly his thought that “Israel is the greatest daylight robbery carried out in the 20th century”, and visits the enemy state of Syria to sing Assad’s praises (no, Hijab Nancy wasn’t first, sorry); in a normal state, he would be tried for treason and put in front of a firing squad, but the state of Israel, because of its fear of world opinion, because of its feeling of being under trial and needing to defend itself from a guilty position, does nothing.

This is our story in a nutshell: in the Middle East, a region known from time immemorial to be one where cruelty and pitilessness rule the day, we have acted as humanely as could possibly be here, although we could have been far less merciful and that would be our right, and yet, we are condemned day after day for not living to an impossible ideal, an ideal which even for Christians does not apply to states, only to individuals.

And we are under trial?! Us, who live in the eye of the storm?! Us, who were the first to receive what the rest of the world is only now beginning to taste?! Us, who have set up the only sane state in this entire hell-whole of a region?! Us, who are the only reliable ally the Western world has in this region—the only state in which it is not true that a single bullet is the only thing between a pro-Western regime and a sponsor of worldwide terrorism (see: Iran before and after 1979)?!

From this summary survey of our history, it ought to be clear that we should not be sitting at the defendant’s seat. It ought to be manifest that we have nothing to apologize for. We are accountable to G-d, as indeed are all nations and all men. We can and should voice contempt for this rigged court of international law that holds us to an impossible, not to mention wicked, standard.

“Defending Zionism from its detractors” is my goal. But, since I recognize that those detractors are operating from an ultimately irrational basis, since “anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism”, I do not pursue my goal through apologizing for Israel’s actions, through admissions of guilt. In this case, the only (not just best) defense is a good offense—“Let the other side apologize for a change”. I aim to put our enemies under trial, to show how they are guilty of crimes and sympathy toward criminals, of horrors, of atrocities and complicity with atrocities, of evil.

For we are not the ones who said, “You love life; we love death”. We are not the ones who riot and pillage and burn and murder on the sight of a few crude line-drawings. We are not the ones who raise our children to be “fire bombs”. We are not the ones who believe every unfounded rumor and latch onto every baseless conspiracy theory. We are not the ones who shut down every form of normal life, every abode of art, music and entertainment, in order to leave no alternative to young men but sprees of murder, decapitation and suicide terrorism.

And we are not the ones who brought to the world a system of “social justice” by means of which a new ruling class can steal the earned wealth of the citizenry. We are not the ones who thought up a system of “smoothly-functioning anarchy” that has only given rise to hideous totalitarian dictatorships in which millions were executed. We are not the ones who are so self-righteously “anti-racist” as to advocate righting old racism through “reverse racism”, so self-righteously “feminist” as to show “understanding” for female genital mutilation, and so self-righteously “freethinking” as to exempt from criticism just one religion because the price for such criticism might be a little high.

We are not under trial. Our enemies are. That’s a fact, and we must press on with it. Push them, push them, push them to the defendant’s seat, kicking and screaming. Make them squirm in that seat. Bring out the full humidity of sweat in their faces, as they try to defend the truly indefensible.

And if they persist in defending the indefensible, if they keep to their unrepentant position, the One and Only Just and Incorruptible Judge will try them on His court in the future, whether near or far. And that’s not a threat—that’s a promise.

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