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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Livin’ in a Happy (Virtual) Nation

Now you don’t see me, now you do. How the “Iraqi nation” was created with pencil and ruler. Click image to view full size.

Of the things that the Leftards come complaining to me about, the top one is my assertion that the “Palestinians” are a fictitious nation, conceived for the purpose of winning hearts and minds in the West against Israel. “That’s a conspiracy theory worthy of the Protocols!”, they say. (Interestingly, that’s the same sort of complaint Bat Ye’or and Fjordman got about the Eurabia theory, which the latter masterfully refuted. I’m flattered to be in such company.) Here is my answer, which I give by taking the same situation but with a different nation that I hold to be fictitious, a nation whose reality I don’t particularly care about (contra the “Palestinian nation” question).

A conspiracy involves a group of plotters hatching a plan in secret. I do not say, nor did I ever say, that the “Palestinian nation” was devised in such a setting. The “Palestinian nation” is the same as the “Iraqi nation” in being the artifact of the pencil-strokes of Western colonial powers, drawn independently of the demographic divisions on the ground; this is true for Africa also. Many pan-Arab activists in the past, and many pan-Islamic activists in the present, have written against the idea of such “nations” precisely on that basis. The patriotic ideal, which holds that different groups of people can form unity on the basis of geographic proximity, has been a near-total failure; Belgium is one of the few countries in which it is successful, while Czechoslovakia (1919–39), Yugoslavia (1992–5), Lebanon (1976–90), Rwanda (1994) and now Iraq are just a partial list of where it can be seen to have drowned in a pool of blood. The nationalistic ideal, which puts ethnicity first and geography second, is the way to go; though not without its problems (especially when promoted into imperialism, as Nazism did for German nationalism), it is far more conducive to peace than the idea that mere lines on the map could act as melting-pot for very disparate groups.

There is no Iraqi nation; a Britishman and a Frenchman just sat and drew lines on the map to decide which territories each would get upon the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Britain got Mesopotamia, to govern it as an entity called, “Iraq”, an entity comprised of Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds and Assyrian Christians. France did the same for Lebanon: Maronite Christians, Sunnis, Shia and Druzes were lumped up in that single entity, regardless of their irreconcilable differences. The “Iraqi nation” held on just like the “Yugoslavian nation”—by the force of a strongman. Lebanon’s state was from an early stage, and is right now, like walking on a tightrope, with demographic shifts and non-state actors (PLO, Hizbullah) ever threatening to plunge it into a civil war. “Lebanese” is a geographic reference; there is no such nation.

Likewise there is no sharp demarcation line separating the Arabs of the Land of Israel from those of the Sinai Peninsula or of Syria or of Jordan; British Mandate borders were once again ruled arbitrarily. In truth, all the Levant is a continuum of Arabs; the Arab living in the Galilee has no problem comprehending the Arab just across the border in Lebanon, while he will regard the Bedouin Arab of the Negev as an alien, though both are living in the same state (Israel) and regarded by the world as being “Palestinians”. The idea of the “Palestinian nation”, just like the idea of internationalizing Jerusalem, had not come to the fore until there was a concrete and urgent purpose for it: fighting the Jews. From the beginning of this conflict (early 20th century) to this day, the grievance toward the Zionist Jews has always been the exact same grievance toward the Christian Spaniards post-1492: land once ruled by Islam cannot lawfully be brought back to non-Islamic rule. Mufti Hajj Amin El-Husseini (long may he roast in hell) thought so in his day, and Ismail Haniyyeh (may he go to hell soon) thinks so now, and the fact of Christian Arab dupes still believing in the “Palestinian” dream changes nothing. But there is great utility in keeping the “Palestinian nation” narrative, just as there was great utility for Jordan and Egypt to keep the refugees of 1947–9 in their squalid conditions from 1949 to 1967, as a propaganda point against the “Evil Zionists”. One has only to read a Leftist website or magazine to see this.

If there is any theoretical negotiated peace proposal for this conflict, then it could only be a two-state solution, for the two conflicting nations, the Israeli Jews and the “Palestinians”, are very different—more different from each other as the warring sects in present-day Iraq, for they share neither ethnicity nor religion in common. Anyone who advocates a one-state solution here, all the while that the fruits of a one-state aggregation of disparate groups are clear for everyone to see in Iraq, is either criminally stupid or diabolically malicious. But, as I said, the two-state solution is only theoretically better than the one-state solution, which has no redeeming value, because the narrative of “two nations being equal claimants to the land” is false. While the Israeli Jews, on the grassroots level and not just from the government, gave that narrative its chance for at least seven years (1993–2000, from the Oslo Accords to the Second Intifada), the “Palestinians” have never, not in 1929 and not now in 2007, been willing to think of Zionism as anything other than a colonialist invasion, an attack on Dar Al-Islam. For them, any two-state solution is just a step toward a one-state solution, itself only a stage on the way to the dream of reliving the past glory (of Arab supremacism, or Islamic supremacism, or both at the same time).

For as much as can be salvaged from the mess of Iraq—the result of President Bush’s naïve vision of making friends through democratization—the best solution is for it to be partitioned according to its demographic lines. The damage of Sykes-Picot was covered for more than 80 years by the strong rule of the British, the Hashemite kings and finally Saddam Hussein, but make no mistake: just like in Yugoslavia, the lid was waiting for the slightest opening in order to burst out. This is because of the simple fact that there is no Iraqi nation—lines drawn over a map do not a nation make.

Nor is there a case for a de facto “Palestinian nation”, based on the patriotic ideal, even when the Jews are factored out: as I outlined briefly, even within the 1949 Armistice Line borders of Israel there are many groups, far too different from each other for peaceful coexistence. Christian Arabs, Druzes, Muslims, Circassians, Bedouins and the multitude of tribal divisions that make the stories of the feuds of Irish clans look tame in comparison are too great an obstacle for peace. In the entire Middle East, the only states without internal strife are those where all the population is the member of a single tribe. Tribe, umbrella ethnos (Arab) or religion (Islam) are the only demarcations recognized here; nationalism has no chance, for it is a foreign import, brought along with Napoleon Bonaparte and his men. A foreign import, with only one exception.

And that exception is the Jews. Whether at the first time, when the Land of Israel was divided between Canaanites, Emorites, Jebusites, Girgashites and numerous other Semitic tribes, or in the modern era, when it is being claimed by people both splintered among themselves (as warring tribes and clans) and viewing themselves as part of a greater whole (Arab supernation or Islamic global ummah), the Jews have always been the only true Israelis, the only true Palestinians, the one and only real nation of this land. This nation was created not by two foreign officials dividing a pie for their own nations to eat, but by G-d; brought out of slavery in Egypt and birthed at Mount Sinai by the Ruler of the World for His purpose, under His infallible hand. If some American officials, on both sides of the political map (a rare occurrence nowadays), have come to the conclusion that an “Iraqi nation, governing itself on Western principles, just like any European state” is a lost cause, and is better off partitioned according to its demography, then it should not be so far-fetched to repartition the Land of Israel according to its constituent nationalities; only change that plural to singular, because there is only one group that is really a nation on the Land of Israel, and that is the Jews. “Free Palestine, from the river to the sea!” indeed, but only when it has been recognized that the Palestinians (the true ones, without scare quotes) are none other than the Jews.

As for the rest… the rest of the Middle East, and the rest of the world at large—the thorn in the side of world peace is now, as it was in World War II, imperialism. The fact that that imperialism is in the form a religion makes no difference. And trying to solve it by addressing the grievances of virtual nations won’t work. There is no “Iraqi nation”; there is no “Lebanese nation”; there is no “Palestinian nation”; there is a Jewish nation, an Iranian nation (its heritage suppressed by Islam), a welter of Arab identities along a geographic continuum, and a religion that is split between a particular cultural heritage (of the 7th century Arabia from which it sprang; hence the ability to paint anti-dhimmitude as “anti-Arab racism”) and a global mission (world domination, subjugation of all humanity to its rule, much like Nazism and Communism). A tangled web, no doubt. But at least the Leftists now can’t blame me for being simplistic…

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gavriela Avigur-Rotem’s Story (Sobol II)

Way back in September, I posted a translation of the interview with Israeli playwright Yehoshua Sobol, a fascinating example of how the 2006 Lebanon War drove an Israeli Jew to rethink this entire conflict. Today I bring a similar, though shorter, piece from the same Israeli newspaper (Yediot Achronot); shorter, unfortunately, because the bulk of the article is comprised of irrelevant gossip, while only the first few paragraphs are about the change of political view.

From Friday, May 25, 2007, from the section “7 Days” (Shiv’ah Yamim) of Yediot Achronot, concerning the writer Gavriela Avigur-Rotem’s new book, Ancient Red. Avigur-Rotem is one of the Zionist pioneers who left life in Europe to inhabit the Land of Israel when it was still under the British Mandate. When she says the October 2000 riots (the beginning of the Second Intifada) reminded her of the War of Independence (1947–9), she knows whereof she speaks. Here follow the scans of the relevant newspaper snippets, my translation and finally my commentary.

Scan: Yediot Achronot, May 25, 2007, "7 Days", p. 66

Scan: Yediot Achronot, May 25, 2007, "7 Days", p. 67

Scans at 200 DPI. Click to view full size.

On October 1, 2000 the phone rang in the house of the writer Gavriela Avigur-Rotem and her partner, Dr. Aharon Avivi, in the inhabitation of Avtalion, in Gush Segev in the Galilee. “‘All men who bear arms are to take them and go out, and all the women and children are to stay closed in the house’, they said to us”, Avigur-Rotem recollects. “My first reaction was disbelief: Sorry, are we in the War of Independence?! And then I opened the radio and the TV and saw the demonstrations and the Molotov bottles and the gunshots. And I thought, Where exactly can you run away to from here?!”

The landscape seen from the gigantic window of the villa is admittedly superb, but when the owner of the house counts one by one the Arab villages surrounding them from all sides, she conveys a feeling of siege. At the events of October 2000, multitudes of young people from the neighboring village Arabeh did indeed get out and step up with Molotov bottles on the hill overlooking Avtalion. “36 hours we were besieged, it was impossible to get into or out of the inhabitation, and we searched everywhere for policemen but they didn’t arrive. The experience was dreadful, mainly because, up to that day, we were in good terms with the Arabs of the area”, says Avigur-Rotem. She was then just about to finish her previous book, Khamsin and Crazy Birds, and as part of the research she had read tens of books about the Holocaust. “The writing was then written down on the wall, and nobody wanted to read it. Even when the Holocaust arrived for one Jewish community, people in other communities didn’t believe it would reach them. I thought, maybe now too a writing is written down on the wall and we’re inclined not to read it because it’s threatening, it’s frightening and necessitates coming to conclusions we don’t want to come to. And maybe one day people will come and ask: The writing was on the wall, how could you not read it?”

Gavriela Avigur-Rotem’s new novel, Ancient Red (published by Kinneret-Zmorah-Beitan), which was written in the last four years, opens with the assassination of Rabin and ends with the October events; not a few of the details are drawn from the life of the writer, who had moved from Gush Dan [the conglomerate of Tel-Aviv and the nearby cities. —ZY] to the Galilee in 1997. “Those were still the days of Oslo, and the feeling was that finally this accursed conflict was coming to an end. Finally the formula had been found: we’ll concede a little and they’ll concede a little and we’ll live in peace. We thought our neighbors were happy we lived here, because, following the inhabitations of Gush Segev, new roads were laid and opportunities for livelihood and cooperation were created. Our attitude was: they’re the sons of this land, we’re the sons of this land, and we all live together and learn from each other what we can learn. And suddenly, we saw we’d told ourselves an incorrect tale, we’d painted a picture of the world that might be pleasant for us to look at and believe in, but is far from reality”.

[Translation ends here.]

Here are the salient points made by Avigur-Rotem:

  1. We’ve been here before. (“Sorry, are we in the War of Independence?!”)
  2. Leaving any part of the Land of Israel for the sake of peace only brings the enemy further home. (“Where exactly can you run away to from here?!”)
  3. Contrary to the misconception of the geographically-challenged that this is an attempt of colonialist invaders to hold vast swathes of land against the indigenous resistance, the fact is that, even within the internationally-recognized (1949 Armistice Line) borders, the Israeli Jews are engulfed by a sea of enemies. (“[…] but when the owner of the house counts one by one the Arab villages surrounding them from all sides, she conveys a feeling of siege.”)
  4. The authorities, the purported guardians of the very state that was set up in order to enable Jews to defend themselves (as not in the Diaspora), are in no hurry to do their job. (“36 hours we were besieged, it was impossible to get into or out of the inhabitation, and we searched everywhere for policemen but they didn’t arrive.”)
  5. Decades of peaceful, friendly life with the Muslims mean nothing; it can all end violently (G-d forbid) in one sudden moment. (“The experience was dreadful, mainly because, up to that day, we were in good terms with the Arabs of the area.”)
  6. The idea that the other side desires no less than our demise (G-d forbid) is rejected for the harsh, disturbing truth it is. (“[…] Maybe now too a writing is written down on the wall and we’re inclined not to read it because it’s threatening, it’s frightening and necessitates coming to conclusions we don’t want to come to.”)
  7. The desire of the Israeli Jews for peace is so strong that we gave the Oslo Accords repeated chances for at least seven years (1993–2000), and some of us beyond that (right up to 2006), despite the constant flow of evidence of the other side’s aforementioned desire. (“Those were still the days of Oslo, and the feeling was that finally this accursed conflict was coming to an end.” &c.)
  8. The misconception that the other side’s grievances were material had predominated, as it still does for so many of the world’s leaders and policymakers. (“We thought our neighbors were happy we lived here, because, following the inhabitations of Gush Segev, new roads were laid and opportunities for livelihood and cooperation were created.”)
  9. The Israeli Jews’ attempts to listen to the other side and relate to them as peers have not been reciprocated. (“Our attitude was: they’re the sons of this land, we’re the sons of this land, and we all live together and learn from each other what we can learn.”)

As far as political opinions go, Avigur-Rotem’s process is the same one I underwent, from complete belief in the Oslo Accords for seven years, then with increasing attacks of doubt from October 2000, through September 11, 2001, through the Kassam rockets on Sderot after the abandonment of Gaza in August 2005, through the Danish Cartoons Affair in September 2005, to the final shattering of whatever was left of my belief in negotiated peace on July 12, 2006, when the Second Lebanon War broke out.

Sobol, Avigur-Rotem and I are just a tiny sample of the minds that were changed by this course of events. I would venture to say, that it behooves the anti-Zionist peaceniks (yes, I’m talking about you, Daily Kos diarists and commenters) to consider that fact before proposing those boycotts of theirs. And the Muslims should take note that their victories, in Israel in particular, all the world over in general, are totally dependent on the reign of non-Muslim leaders who are out of touch with the reality to which the people are waking up in droves.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

“…When They Love Their Children More Than They Hate Us”


#50 Clio 5/27/2007 12:44:21 pm PDT

Here in Israel, children also put on performances.

Last week was the biblical holiday of Shavuoth, that is among other meanings the spring harvest festival.

Little girls danced wearing white dresses and wreaths of flowers in their hair. Little boys paraded carrying baskets of fruit.

Often, the flowers and fruits are then taken to various homes for the aged or the invalid.

The One and Only Source of Life says (Deuteronomy 30:15–20):

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil, in that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances; then thou shalt live and multiply, and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it. But if thy heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I declare unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over the Jordan to go in to possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;

Whichever writing says otherwise, and makes people act contrary to that, is not from that Source. And he who understands will understand.

And by His inspiration, the Psalmist (King David) says (Psalm 44:3–4):

Thou with Thy hand didst drive out the nations, and didst plant them in; Thou didst break the peoples, and didst spread them abroad. For not by their own sword did they get the land in possession, neither did their own arm save them; but Thy right hand, and Thine arm, and the light of Thy countenance, because Thou wast favourable unto them.

He does not care about primogeniture nor indigenous rights; He favored Jacob over Esau because the former was righteous, the latter wicked, and He did not care a whit of the Canaanites being the “First Nations” of the land, for they incurred His utmost wrath by sacrificing their children to their gods. G-d knows nothing of “multiculturalism” or “political correctness”: whether through the worship of Baal or Moloch or whether through abortion on demand or whether through raising children to be suicide-bombers, the murder of the innocent ones is a sin for which He judges nations with the harshest of judgments.

And no, “resistance to the occupation” cannot excuse raising children to be suicide-bombers. There is resistance, and there is the sign of a society that has wholly succumbed to rebellion against G-d the Creator. The worship of death stems from estrangement from the Holy One, Blessed Is He. Those who are close to Him love life and raise their children to it.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

(Personal) My “Mavoy Satum” Moment

Mavoy satum is [Talmudic] Hebrew for, “dead end”. When I talk about my feeling of being at a dead end, I don’t mean I’m tired. HaShem be blessed, HaShem keeps giving me the stamina I need to write new posts. The matter is, well… matter. Writing matter, in the view of repetition, both on my side and in the enemy camp, and, relatedly, my impression that I’ve covered almost all that needs covering in the realm of ideas while reality is still stuck. And now to elaborate on the meaning of all those abstract words.

Repetition: take a look at my blog archives. I did, and I couldn’t find a single post that didn’t repeat at least one point already made at some previous post. Islamic imperialism, leftist hypocrisy, post-colonial discourse, cultural warfare, the importance of ideological confidence, the discussion of indigenous peoples, the necessity of defending Zionism using G-d’s Word—all these points surface in one of the earlier posts, and then come again and again at later ones. It’s gotten so bad that it looks to me like some of the posts are 95% restatements of previous arguments and 5% new stuff.

Writer’s block? I don’t think so. As encouragement, if it can be called that, I see the same kind of repetition on the enemy side—on the Daily Kos Israel/“Palestine” diaries and CounterPunch articles, to name two examples. There as here, new diaries and articles are long on restatement and short on new matter. You can see it in how the first months of my blog have a series of responses to Daily Kos diaries while in the later months I engage only a single comment here and a few words there from some DKos diary. It’s encouraging, in its way, because it means my feeling of being at a dead end isn’t because of some subjective change in me, it’s because this fruit has had all its juice squeezed out of it. Just the past week, I saw the phrase, “Oh, not another I/P thread!” appear on both Daily Kos and Comment Is Free (the equivalent of diaries with comments on The Guardian). It’s not even just the pro-Israel commenters who now demand some respite from the I/“P” debate (which would, in their case, be jumped upon as “deflection” by the pro-“Palestinian” commenters); now even the pro-“Palestinian” commenters, except those whose obsession with bashing Israel gives them no rest day or night, have called for a change of menu, off the diet of I/“P”. It’s because all the major points have been covered, so there’s little more to add. Repetition naturally follows. In a rare occasion, both sides have the same problem.

And there’s reality: something that was hammered home to me in an ordinary, commonplace exchange of comments I had with Michael on his blog, on the thread Fuzzy Logic in the News, from May 20, 2007. I wrote, concerning the reaction to the Kassams:


The real solution? We already know what it is: new rules of engagement based on the prescriptions of the Torah, and the application of Numbers 33:50–53. That requires an altogether new kind of leadership, a leadership of which our current one is well-nigh the antithesis. Ramp up those prayers for Ben David…

And Michael replied:

Knowing that he current gov’t will not take your advice (tho I won’t say it’s bad advice), it actually seems that the targeted assassination policy they’ve approved again is a good one. If it’s pursued aggressively, it can put a hurt on the terrorists. And it won't drag Israel into Hamas’s trap, of a long-term ground campaign in Gaza.

The most offensive thing for you to hear is usually the truth. The truth is this painful reality that, while we wakeful and right-thinking people are sitting here spinning ideas of what should be done, all good ideas (As Michael said here: “Tho I won’t say it’s bad advice…”), those with their hands on the levers are the naïve at best (George “Democracy Will Make Them Like Us” Bush and the rest) and the treasonous at worst (Ron “Iran Hates Us Because of Mossadegh” Paul and all the other apologists for Islamic terrorism). I tried to hide my frustration, but it’s now been cropping up in almost every post and comment of mine in the form of, ”Ramp up those prayers for Ben David” (i.e. for the Messiah, the Jewish, Torah-believing, world-opinion-ignoring leader who will by G-d’s authority save the nation of Israel from their enemies). Others, for example on LGF, may not put it in such a religious form, but let’s face it, those punctuated “Where is our Churchill?” questions are in essence the exact same thing.

So, I don’t want to stop writing, but I feel I’m being forced to do that, by the circumstances, just as a driver can’t drive any further once he’s up against a no-through road. I can write, but it’ll be more of the same: I can’t think of any new ideas, and neither can my adversaries on Daily Kos and the rest. As a consequence, I’m leaving my blog without updates (except sporadic things like a visual there and then), for as long as the next calling. I started the blog out of the calling to do so in the middle of the Second Lebanon War, and I have to say it’s been a very constructive and enjoyable endeavor. But now it looks to me like it’s spent, and my words about ramping up those prayers for Mashiach Ben David are the present calling: I did my part of giving a defense of Zionism in the marketplace of ideas, and now it’s time to do my part of speeding the coming of Israel’s deliverance, through an abundance of Torah and mitzvot that will please HaShem, and then He will send His salvation in a blink of the eye, amen.

One thing is still bugging me very hard: on May 10, 2007, Angel posted a post named, “I Give Up”, which a lot of readers took very seriously, me among them. I wrote:

Angel, I’m trying to think of your “I Give Up” as an expression of frustration and nothing more—frustration there’s hardly a day I don’t feel. But in case it isn’t just venting, I really want to say this:

The world needs more of us, not fewer. History will remember us by Winston Churchill’s phrase: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”. These are such times.

*very deep sigh* I feel so hypocritical now. The only thing I can say in defense of myself is I’m not doing this out of having given up, I’m doing it out of a need to refuel, and to make better use of myself in the meantime.

And to all who go with HaShem, supporting us out of belief in His promises:

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24–26)

PS I mentioned, both here and on LGF, my plan to make a compilation of Torah-based rules of engagement compared with the useless UN-devised ones. I haven’t forgotten about that, and it’s on my mind to do, with HaShem’s help. So there’s at least one update to look forward to.

[UPDATE, Monday, May 28, 2007] My intention never was to give up on the blog entirely; it’s just that the repetition and frustration made me plan on an extended break. But I guess, in hindsight, that was an overreaction; there are better ways of solving those problems than taking a break, and one of those way is simply to try a new posting format for some time. What a simple thought it is, yet the afflicted person is naturally short on such thoughts, so it takes suggestions from friends (the commenters below) to give him the ideas. Deepest thanks to you all! Most recent post, “…When They Love Their Children More Than They Hate Us”, looks promising. HaShem bless you.


Friday, May 25, 2007

The One and Only Argument

From the Midrash:

[There are] three places [about] which the nations of the world cannot oppress Israel, saying, “You have them stolen in your hands”. They are these: the cave of Machpelah, the Temple and Joseph’s Tomb.

The cave of Machpelah, as it is written: “And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver […]” (Genesis 23:16)

The Temple, as it is written: “So David gave to Ornan for the place […] shekels of gold […]” (Chronicles I 21:25)

Joseph’s Tomb, as it is said: “And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought […]” (Joshua 24:32)

Bereshit Rabbah 79:7

Our dear sister Melanie Phillips has lately posted three diary entries appealing for Israel’s legitimacy (read that again: appealing for Israel’s legitimacy!) from the point of view of international law: The war against Israel (14), from May 22, 2007; Occupation? No, legal entitlement, from May 23, 2007; and Israel and international law. These are truly great posts, bringing out the best in ammunition against those who haul the state of Israel to the court of international law to defend itself there. I agree with her that those documents should be disseminated as widely as possible. However, I am a Torah-based realist rather than an “incorrigible optimist” (her words in the first link), so I have little hope that that would sway world opinion to our favor en masse.

I have read far too many Daily Kos Israel/“Palestine” diaries to be in the dark as to the reactions of those who hate us. Regularly in those diaries, Jewish and non-Jewish posters and commenters standing up for Israel in the court of international law have appealed to similar documents. May HaShem bless them all! But the counter-arguments have been just as regular, and they are these:

  1. No one, be it a colonial empire like Britain or an international organization like the United Nation, had the right to give the lands of one nation (the Jews) to another (the “Palestinians”). (Those who idolize the UN say about the 1947 Partition Plan that it was the UN’s single great mistake.)
  2. The few lands that the Zionist settlers had bought from the Arabs until 1947 do not make for the dispossession of 1947–9.

“Is there a thing whereof it is said: ‘See, this is new’?”, says King Solomon (Ecclestiastes 1:10). In the above midrash we see our sages conducting an experiment—giving a nod to human (now “international”) law: the Cave of Machpelah, the Temple and Joseph’s Tomb belong to us according to human law, for they are bought territories. How has the experiment fared? What has become of those places now?

The cave of Machpelah now serves as a Muslim mosque, where Jews wishing to visit Sarah’s tomb do so at their great peril; the Temple is covered by a golden dome of Islamic denial of Jewish history; and Joseph’s Tomb, having for long been “historically revised” to be a Muslim sheikh’s mausoleum, is now in ruins, destroyed by the Muslims when given it as the first territory of their “Palestinian Authority” (oxymoron), just as the synagogues and l’havdil greenhouses of Gaza were destroyed once they were given those lands.

So what happened to our sages’ phrasing, “Cannot oppress Israel”? Were they naïve? Perish the thought. Do we not all know of the “can” of permission, the “can” of justice and moral right? “After I took you to the movies yesterday, you can’t steal from the cookie jar”—this is the “can’t” of the World of Ought, not that of the World of Is. The kid is clearly physically capable of illicitly sneaking to the cookie jar, opening it and taking a few of the cookies. The mother meant to say that it was not just, not right, not fitting, that the kid do so after such a favor as she had done to him the day before. So too goes for the Muslims who desecrated the Cave of Machpelah, the Temple and Joseph’s Tomb: it is not their physical capability to desecrate those sites that our sages denied, but their being morally justified in doing so.

This is the small morsel of appeal to international law our sages have given to the accusers of Israel. This is the test of justice, the test to check if they are truly beholden to international law, or if they only use it as a club to beat the nation of Israel with, to be discarded when no longer serving that purpose. And they have failed! Failed! Totally failed! Just like the Daily Kos anti-Israel diarists and commenters who, after a barrage of appeals against Israel in the court of international law, all of a sudden tread that same international law underfoot when one of the pro-Israel diarists or commenters uses it to appeal for Israel.

That is where I disagree with my beloved sister Melanie Phillips: “The vilification of Israel is a prejudice which is not susceptible to reason” (from the first link again), the point with which she begs to differ, is exactly that which I hold. There are those who can be swayed by the appeals for Israel from the standpoint of international law, but they are of the type of the evenhanded posters on Daily Kos, not of the type of the obsessive Israel-bashers there, those who refer to all Islamic terrorism (and not just against Israel) as “blowback”.

Jew-hatred is HaShem’s institution for keeping His nation separate from the others and close to Him. In order to refute that proposition, bromides such as “I’m NOT anti-Semitic! Criticism of Israel’s policies does not equal anti-Semitism!” will not do; it is necessary to refute the truth of the Torah for that, and mere denial won’t fly here any more than did the refusal of the inquisitors to look inside Galileo’s telescope. “A fanatic is one who won’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”, said Winston Churchill; the obsession the world has with Israel (rather than with countless true instances of injustice, oppression, apartheid and human rights violations), and the world’s unwillingness to think any good of Israel, to yield to any of the arguments for Israel’s favor, bespeaks fanaticism, not something that can be remedied by a handful of reasoned debates and appeal to human sensibilities and international law. Are the pundits of today any wiser than the writer of Bereshit Rabbah? No way that can be so. Therefore, do not put your trust in reasoning with our haters.

I have never seen anyone change his position by virtue of the preponderance of the evidence; if you show me someone who appears to have done so, I will show you someone who was already on the way to changing his position, and the presented evidence was just the final nudge he needed in order to do so, to rationalize it. In truth, conversion does not consist in going where the evidence leads, but in a change of heart first, which then leads to “fresh evaluation of the evidence”, or in more honest language: rationalization.

It is not a total waste of time; HaShem bless Melanie Phillips and all others who provide people with the nudge they need to cross the river onto the other side. However, I do not delude myself that mere arguments can change the situation of the world to our favor; there is too much of the error of, “My power and the might of my hand” (Deuteronomy 8:17) in this way of thinking. It denies G-d’s control over this whole state of affairs, the fact that with Him it began and that by His hand it will end. Those who hate us will not be turned by any argument; they will die in their obstinacy, G-d will destroy them all in the end, through the descendant of King David, who wrote:

1 A Song, a Psalm of Asaph.
2 O God, keep not Thou silence; hold not Thy peace, and be not still, O God.
3 For, lo, Thine enemies are in an uproar; and they that hate Thee have lifted up the head.
4 They hold crafty converse against Thy people, and take counsel against Thy treasured ones.
5 They have said: ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.’
6 For they have consulted together with one consent; against Thee do they make a covenant;
7 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites;
8 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
9 Assyria also is joined with them; they have been an arm to the children of Lot. Selah
10 Do Thou unto them as unto Midian; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook Kishon;
11 Who were destroyed at En-dor; they became as dung for the earth.
12 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, and like Zebah and Zalmunna all their princes;
13 Who said: ‘Let us take to ourselves in possession the habitations of God.’
14 O my God, make them like the whirling dust; as stubble before the wind.
15 As the fire that burneth the forest, and as the flame that setteth the mountains ablaze;
16 So pursue them with Thy tempest, and affright them with Thy storm.
17 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek Thy name, O LORD.
18 Let them be ashamed and affrighted for ever; yea, let them be abashed and perish;
19 That they may know that it is Thou alone whose name is the LORD,
the Most High over all the earth.

The gentleness and human sensibility exemplified by the midrash with which I started the post has not been reciprocated. Very well: it will be King David’s way instead. That is inevitable; but may it be favorable to HaShem Yitbarach, by virtue of Bnei Yisrael’s return to the Torah that is happening as we speak, to bring us David’s seed speedily in our days, amen and amen.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Endgame: Professor Alam Attacks Judaism

I have said many times that I think the final harbinger of Israel’s war for survival will be the expiration of the taboo of attacking Judaism. Muslims have never been averse to doing so in our times, but now the Western Left gives its first sanction to it, in the form of an article on CounterPunch from May 21, 2007 by M. Shahid Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University. The article, Chosenness and Israeli Exceptionalism, subtitled, “Zionism and the Doctrine of Election”, goes beyond the usual CounterPunch “Zionism is just like Nazism, a Blut und Boden fascism centered on racial purity” narrative by connecting it to Judaism itself. That Zionism is based on traditional, Orthodox, Torah-believing Judaism is true; but with this article, the old line, “We’re against Zionists, not against Jews”, will be hard to maintain (but it will be maintained, for the Marxists have never let contradictions get in the way of their theories).

It is amazing, how Marxist (“Religion is the opiate of the masses”, according to the founder, a self-injuring Jew named Karl Marx) websites feature articles by Muslims speaking out of the Koranic worldview, and how a Daily Kos diary and a post on David Duke’s site share themes and pictures, complete with the use of debunked fauxtography (the Red Cross ambulance, refuted by Zombietime) on the latter. Baron Bodissey’s demonic convergence is doing overtime. But enough with the far-flung musings and on to fisking the article.

No idea has played a more seminal role in the recent history of Jewish and Christian Zionism than the Jewish doctrine of divine election or chosenness.

Good insight. The role must not be overlooked, however, of the Islamic doctrine of divine entitlement to rule the whole world. Ignoring the one or the other makes for an incorrect view of current affairs.

Since this doctrine is the cornerstone of Zionism, divine sanction for Jewish uniqueness has been inseparable from Israeli exceptionalism and Israeli history. [2]

Not a bad assessment; if, however, someone veers to the direction of demanding the end or reform (G-d forbid) of Judaism because of “the danger it poses in the arena of geopolitics”, then I would caution that we are talking about beliefs held to be true, truth-claims which, if substantiated, are true for all people and not just for their believers. And I would add: are these not the same people who cry about “religious insensitivity” when the suggestion is made to discard or reform Islam for the sake of world peace?

Going into the footnote (#2):

Like God’s chosen people, this land too was unique: it was a pure land, “flowing with milk and honey (Exodus: 33.3),” devoid of impurities, the best of all lands on the earth; it was also a holy land, set apart from other lands, because it was His earthly dwelling place.

The uniqueness of the Land of Israel is in the fact that it is ruled by visible divine law, unlike all other lands, which have the appearance of being subject to natural law alone. This is why the Land of Israel was a desolate place from circa 400 CE to the late 19th century—the whole period in which its people, the Jews, were nearly absent from it.

It appears that the cumulative deficit in Jewish conduct finally led to their expulsion from the Promised Land in the first century CE.

To be fair, this remark is in the context of the previous words, “Conversely, He threatens them with dire punishments, including exile from the Promised Land, if they break their Covenant (Exodus: 19.5)”. However, there is no shortage of enemies of Israel, both Muslim and Marxist, who yank this divine decree out of its context and assert (making a law unto themselves, playing G-d, no less!) that the Jews are not worthy of inhabiting this land (G-d forbid). Marxist Replacement Theology puts this in doctrinal form.

Back to the main text:

At first, political Zionism had little to recommend itself aside from the mythic allure of the Promised Land. Most Jews greeted the project alternatively with consternation and derision. They could instantly sense that the creation of a Jewish state would give an impetus to anti-Semitism in Europe; […]

It is indeed the case that Jews not sufficiently versed in Jewish history and Torah belief think Jew-hatred is based on causes. It is not; it is an unchanging institution (until HaShem puts an end to it, speedily in our days, amen), adapting to the spirit of each age. Or how else can it be that the 1930’s Jew-hating battle-cry, “Jews back to Palestine!”, has now been superseded by the 2000’s Jew-hating battle-cry, “Free Palestine! Jews out of Palestine now!”?

[…] the project also struck most of them as a fantastic utopia with little chance of success. The success of the Zionist plan required three steps: persuading Jews to abandon their homes in Europe for the hazards of colonizing a backward land, wresting Palestine from its Ottoman sovereign, and somehow making the Palestinians disappear. Some very real hurdles blocked each of these steps.

All three steps Alam talks of are perfect lies that the Muslims have peddled to the Western Left, and they have accepted without question. The truth is:

  1. It was not “abandoning their homes in Europe” in order to “colonize a backward land” that the first Zionists had to convince Jews of, but the urgency of acting now to achieve it. All but the most far-out Jews in the 19th century regarded the Land of Israel as their true home and Europe as a temporary place of residence, however long that residence might take. Also here is another classic anti-Zionist lie, the construing of Zionism as a European colonial movement. The fact—one of many such—of Yemenite Jewish settlers in the 19th-century Land of Israel is conveniently brushed away, because it does not fit the Narrative.
  2. The first Zionists, including the founder, Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl of blessed memory, talked of obtaining a charter from the Ottoman Empire permitting them to settle on the land, not wresting it away from it. Piggybacking on the British victory over the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I was a side-effect, not a plan.
  3. In the late 19th century, the Land of Israel did not have any nation on it; note “nation” and not “people”, i.e. the Land of Israel did have people in it, but in very small numbers, such that Mark Twain could then describe it with the words, “Palestine is desolate and unlovely”. The correct English rendering of the Zionist slogan is, “A land without a nation for a nation without a land”. That is absolutely true: there was no nation inhabiting the Land of Israel when the first Zionist settlers came to it.

All those “very real hurdles”, then, are fictions of the Marxist and Muslim Jew-hating minds.

In addition, there was another hitch. The political Zionists did not have the religious sanction to work for Jewish restoration to Palestine. Jews had long believed that this would be the work of the Jewish Messiah as part of God’s plan for the culmination of history; […]

That was a real objection, and has underlain religious Jewish opposition Zionism to this day; but G-d definitely gave His sanction to Zionism, although carried out by secular Jews, for there were so many points in which it could have all gone to naught, such as the war against five Arab armies in 1948–9. Today even the Ultra-Orthodox Jews, de facto if not de jure, are coming to terms with the Zionist State; the rise of Religious Zionism has much to do with that.

[…] and some had come to invest the return to Zion with symbolic meaning that could be pursued even in exile.

Yes, “We are Germans of Mosaic persuasion, and Berlin is Jerusalem”. We know where that ended.

The Zionists, some of whom were secular, regarded these objections as minor inconveniences.

They did not; they overcame those objections through their sense that there was no choice. Read Leon Pinsker’s Autoemancipation: the sense that life in the Diaspora was no longer tolerable just seeps out of every word. That sense, of dire straits, was more than enough to overcome the hurdles.

The vision of reconstituting Jewish power was heady. It revived Jewish memories of Davidic splendor. It inspired hopes of establishing Jewish power in the Middle East on a scale that their ancestors could not attain in ancient times.

Utter lies. All the first Zionists wanted was sovereignty on their own land: an end to the constant fear of pogroms and anti-Jewish state legislation by having a state of their own.

In as much as it appeared utopian, even quixotic when it was first proposed, Zionism offered a Nietzschean challenge to create a new world, to change a destiny of ‘exile’ into which Jews had been trapped for close to two millennia.

I wonder: is the writer voicing the notion that exile is the natural state of the Jews? I cannot say, but it dovetails with the part of the PLO Convention that says, “Jews are the citizens of the lands in which they are situated”. As with the first of the three lies I refuted above, this derives from the misconception that Judaism is separable from the Land of Israel.

Once the moral implications of their plan became clearer, […]

This is based on all the lies I refuted above, so it is obsolete. But the points must still be addressed:

“One need only imagine what would happen in the world,” Nahum Goldmann was to write, “if all the peoples who lost their states centuries or millennia ago were to reclaim their land.”

Ah, this is reminiscent of Erich Fromm’s quote, “If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers had lived two thousand years ago, this world would be a madhouse”. Trotted out as justification for wiping out Israel as a Jewish state (G-d forbid), by means of the demand of the “Palestinian Right of Return”, people never actually follow that counterfactual question with an answer: What would happen if all nations suddenly demanded to realize their ancestral claims from two millennia ago? The answer is: precious little; the reason being that there are very few nations that have held on for so long. The Jewish nation, by HaShem’s protection, is among those few.

In other words, how were the Zionists going to justify the ‘theft’ of Palestinian land?

Look at that great example of how the anti-Zionists skew the debate to be against us by default: charge and convict us of a crime, then challenge us to justify it. “Give a dog a bad name and hang it” could never be better demonstrated.

I must admit I have fallen into this trap many times myself. I now know that this political equivalent of “Have you stopped beating your wife?” must not be taken as bait; instead, the point must be hammered home that we are not under trial, from any facet you view this conflict. We do not have to justify anything; on the contrary, it is the other side that needs to prove its claim to this land (but can never do so) and justify its destructive actions (but can never do so, even if the world seems to be in full terrorism-sympathizing mode).

One argument claimed that since the Palestinians were not a ‘people’—presumably, because they were not rulers over Palestine—they had no juridical rights over their lands.

That was not, and is not, the argument. The argument is that the “Palestinians” have never been a nation, not even in their own eyes, until political expedience made them fabricate their nationality from scratch. The world has taken it uncritically, but when pressed, the “Palestinians” are incapable of linking themselves to the far past of this land, for their ultimate roots lie in the Arabian desert. They are little different from their Egyptian and Jordanian brothers, and they could feel at home in any of the 22 Arab states were it not for Arab clannishness.

Another, more cleverly argued that most of the Arabs living in Palestine at the end of the British mandate were not natives; they were recent immigrants from neighboring Arab countries, attracted by the growing demand for labor induced by Jewish colonization.

That argument is true, except for a slight correction: not the growing demand for labor but a land beginning to bloom after centuries of desolation (see Mark Twain above) brought them here. On this note, I must express my amazement at how HaShem steers things so that what happens first to Israel happens to the rest of the world later. Namely:

How many Muslims were there in Europe in 1957? A negligible number. How many are there now? Millions. How and why did it get to be that way? How: better transport, and accommodating immigration laws. Why: being attracted to the much better standards of living. This is not something that historians can now dispute, this is something that has happened before the eyes of only two generations! Europe with nearly no Muslims 50 years ago, but now with millions, because of the attraction of the place. Thus we see a living proof of how a land can be Islamized from scratch. And, as with the “Palestinians”, the Muslim immigrants in Europe view their new land as theirs by right, and make constant demands for recognition of their laws (under the aegis of multiculturalism and “equality”, of course).

Why is it inconceivable that that was what happened in the Land of Israel? Don’t tell me, I know: “Racist!” Discussion over.

A third argument was simpler. It contended that Palestine was ‘empty,’ that the Palestinians simply did not exist.

Already addressed: land not empty, but nearly so, and no nation on it in the late 19th century.

However, it was the theological doctrine of chosenness that would most convincingly settle the morality of Zionist claims to Palestine.

The belief that the Torah is actually G-d’s Word. Chosenness is a Jewish doctrine, but it is not, and has never been, a Herrenvolk ideology, despite the intimations of the anti-Zionists.

The Zionists would have little difficulty convincing their Jewish and Christian audiences, the only ones that mattered at that time, that this was no ‘theft.’ It was widely believed by populations raised on Biblical myths that God had promised Palestine to the Jews as their eternal inheritance.

Yes, just as a population raised on Koranic myths believe Allah has promised the whole world as their eternal inheritance. Even if you are secular, holding both the Bible and the Koran to be myths, I think it is clear which of the two claims should be preferred.

Since Jewish ownership rights were divinely ordained, they could not be annulled by absence of the owners. In other words, Zionism was not a colonial movement to expropriate the natives: it was a ‘messianic’ movement to restore Palestine to its divinely appointed Jewish owners. The European Jews who arrived in Palestine could not be accused of stealing their lands; as the Jewish National Fund claims, they were only “redeeming” lands which had had always been theirs.

Excellent. With the exception of that “European Jews” bit (as I said, Zionism was by no means confined to European Jews, even in its early years), I commend Alam for understanding the Zionist Jewish narrative. This means a fruitful debate can be held.

The sacred history of the Jews supported Zionist plans on another important matter. The Zionist plans for a Jewish state required a Jewish majority in Palestine, and preferably a territory cleansed of its native inhabitants.

Yes, I fail to see the point of Zionism—Secular Zionism just as much as Religious—if there is a non-Jewish majority that can make anti-Jewish laws. That was the situation on the Diaspora that gave birth to Secular Zionism in the first place. Of course, our Marxists will file it under “Zionist racism, Israeli apartheid”. Full compassion for “the plight of the Palestinians”, zero willingness to even listen to our truthful narrative that a Jewish state is a necessity. This does not mean non-Jews are second-class citizens—the rights of the ger toshav, or non-Jew living under Jewish rule, are guaranteed, and exhorted (see Exodus 22:20); but the ger is one who recognizes that this is the state of the Jewish nation, which the “Palestinians” do not, thinking it is theirs. This is no different from requirements of naturalization anywhere, but only the Jewish state is held to a different standard.

At first, the Zionist thinkers gave little thought to the Palestinian presence. They assumed that the Palestinians were Bedouins, temporary sojourners, without any love for their land or homes, and could be easily persuaded to move on. [6] When the Palestinian resistance dashed these hopes, […] [Emphasis mine. —ZY]

Recall what I said above about Muslim immigrants populating Europe by the millions from a state of near-absence 50 years ago. In that context, how about the idea of saying something like, “When the Muslim resistance dashed these hopes…”, concerning an event like the Danish Mohammed Cartoons Riots? It makes just as much sense.

[…] the Zionists quickly made plans to evict them from their lands by force of arms. Indeed, in 1948 the Zionists nearly implemented their totalitarian vision when they expelled some 800,000 Palestinians, leveled their towns and villages, and made sure that they would never return to their homes in the Jewish state of Israel. This may have been troubling to some, but Zionists steeped in Jewish sacred history knew that their Lord had urged even more radical measures when their ancestors were taking possession of Canaan.

Good defense of Secular Zionism from those who attack it on religious Jewish grounds: they acted as the Torah said. Trouble is, they weren’t thorough enough, and now the state of Israel is back to the 1947 situation in many ways, with the “Palestinians” even within the 1949 borders raising their heads against Zionism and the Jewish character of the state. Nakba Reloaded will be a necessity; it’s either that or a Second Holocaust (G-d forbid).

Now the writer gets into the issue of expansionism:

The theology of chosenness offered another advantage; it did not limit Zionist ambitions to Palestine alone. The Lord’s promise was not restricted to Canaan; in a few more generous verses, He had expanded the Jewish inheritance to include all the lands between the Nile and Euphrates (Genesis: 15.18). [8] With present-day borders, this expansive Israeli empire would include Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and perhaps more.

Another case of turnspeak, projecting their own (Islamic) greed onto us Jews. The fact is the Land of Israel has well-defined borders, comprising a territory not very much beyond Israel in 1979, after the withdrawal from Sinai, but with Judea, Samaria and Gaza; the chief difference is the inclusion of part of present-day Jordan, but even then, the Promised Land is still a small plot of land on the east coast of the Mediterranean.

Picture: Map showing the territories referred to by the recurring Biblical phrase "from Dan to Beersheba"

HaShem’s offer of expanding upon those borders is completely His decision; we are not to force it or demand it. We rightfully demand those modest-sized borders; territories beyond that are not considered part of the Land of Israel by the Halachah (Jewish law). In fact, the pragmatism of the Secular Zionists (contrary to the writer’s charge that they were religion-driven fanatics) was a hallmark of their activities, right up to the acception of the 1947 UN Partition Plan: the thought was, for a people tired of centuries of Diaspora life, “Let us have a sovereign state of our own, no matter how small”. That the 1949 borders were larger than that, and the 1967 borders larger than those in turn, was in both cases because of an imposed war, imposed by those who did not agree that the Jews should have a single inch of land (because the establishment of non-Muslim rule over any land that was ever under Islamic rule is forbidden). How differently things could have turned out if the other side had accepted the 1947 UN Partition Plan. As Abba Eban said: they never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

If the Zionists could successfully use the Bible to claim Palestine, they could invoke the same divine authority to claim the rest of the Arab Middle East as well.

We are not interested in “the rest of the Arab Middle East” any more than we are interested in Timbuktu or New Zealand. Those are not our lands. In contrast, the Muslims already have Timbuktu, and they are interested in adding New Zealand to the Caliphate in due course. But to point that out is… “Racism!”

In the middle of the Suez War in 1956, Ben-Gurion told the Knesset “that the real reason for it [the Suez War] is ‘the restoration of the kingdom of David and Solomon’ to its Biblical borders. At this point in his speech, almost every Knesset member spontaneously rose and sang the Israeli national anthem.” [9]

The source (#9): Israel Shahak, Jewish history, Jewish religion: The weight of three thousand years (London: Pluto Press, 1994): 8–9; as credible a source as Norman Finkelstein, who is also cited (#4, calling Joan Peters’ From time immemorial a “monumental hoax”—beyond chutzpah!). Remember this: our enemies, and their misguided Jewish useful idiot collaborators, are not above spreading lies for achieving their goals. After the scandal of the staged and photoshopped Reuters photos of the Second Lebanon War, there should be no doubt about that.

The doctrine of election did not merely set the Jews apart from other nations; it also set them above other nations. [10] [Emphasis original. —ZY]

Source #10 quotes Rabbi Kook:

So on the collective level of Israel, God ordained these two faculties: a faculty corresponding to the physical entity, that aspires to material improvement of the nation, and a second facet devoted to the cultivation of spirituality. By virtue of the first aspect, Israel is comparable to all the nations of the world. It is by dint of the second aspect that Israel is unique, as it says: “The Lord leads it [Israel] alone”; “Among the nations it [Israel] shall not be reckoned.” It is the Torah and unique sanctity of Israel that distinguish it from the nations.

That quote is good, for it refutes Alam’s charge of Jewish superiority. Chosenness, separateness is right; but if the Jewish people are charged with a superiority complex, then every time a person is chosen out of many for a particular task (say, a schoolchild in the classroom chosen by the teacher to fetch a book he needs for the class), he can be thus charged. G-d says (Genesis 12:3): “[…] And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”; and as I laid it out in full in my important post The Meaning of “Light unto the Nations”, the ultimate goal of Jewish chosenness is to benefit the world by preparing it as a dwelling-place for G-d. All the nations will benefit from that; in contrast to real ideologies of superiority and supremacism, such as Nazism and Islam, which exclude all those who are not members of the club.

Over time, this has encouraged racist tendencies.

Such timidity, Professor Alam! A while back, you were talking of the radical measures the Jews took when possessing Canaan; why, then, do you now say it was only “over time”? It seems the idea of “Judaism is racist to the core” is still taboo, still needing of being masked by saying it of Zionism instead. No matter: just as “Zionism is racism” used to be taboo but is now not, the taboo concerning Judaism is similarly destined to be broken. Indeed, this very article would be unthinkable just a year ago.

Since the Jews were the chosen instruments of God’s intervention on earth, this was interpreted by some Jewish thinkers to mean that Jews were not subject to the laws of nature and society. [11] In other words, as long as the Jews believed that they were acting as instruments of God’s will, they did not have to follow the laws of gentile nations.

I am disappointed, for this is a misunderstanding of the Torah-believing Jewish narrative.

That narrative says: the entire universe and its governing rules (“laws of nature” and the like) are the institution of G-d. Whether by working through the laws of nature or by breaking them (miracles), G-d is the one who makes the rules, rules to which all His creations are subject. Just as the game of chess has rules, so does the universe. Change the rules of the game and it is no longer chess; but in the case of the universe, it is not possible to go outside the framework, for it is all there is. Therefore, to say, “[…] this was interpreted by some Jewish thinkers to mean that Jews were not subject to the laws of nature and society” constitutes a fallacy: it posits a contrast between Jews and non-Jews with regard to being subject to the laws of nature, when in reality, considering that the laws of nature are subject to G-d, there is no contrast, for all nations, Jews and non-Jews, are subject to His laws. The only difference is that G-d keeps the Jews, even through the harshest climates, because they are appointed for His purpose.

This point is important, because it is an answer to those who swear by international law and charge Israel with scoffing at it: we are not making a law unto ourselves, but the opposite, it is those who follow the UN-devised international law that are making a law unto themselves, scoffing at G-d’s Law. The moonbat laws (multiculturalism, politically-correct legislation) that are now gripping all the nations and rotting their judicial systems from within are not laws at all, but lawlessness codified. They are a travesty of justice, to such a degree that the entire free world will one day cry out to HaShem for deliverance from them—and then He will do so, and the previous quote about all the families of the earth being blessed will be fulfilled. Speedily in our days, amen.

As Israelis have moved to the religious right, a shift propelled by the rationale and experience of Zionism itself, Zionist advocates have shown an increasing willingness to justify their human rights abuses as a Jewish prerogative.

Demonization of Israel, calls for boycotts, shameless advocacy of the end of its existence (G-d forbid), moving the demands away from the previous 1967 territories and into 1947 issues like the “Palestinian Right of Return”, firing rockets from newly-evacuated territory onto towns within the 1949 Armistice Lines, the growing worldwide acceptance of the narrative of Zionism as a “colonialist enterprise from the start, racist to its core, with the state of Israel having been born in sin that needs to be atoned for”—take all those ingredients, mix and stir, and what you get is a mass shift of the Israeli Jewish public to the Religious Right. You cooked that meal, you eat it.

As Zionist plans continue to be challenged by their victims, the ‘chosen people’ slowly but surely take on the hues of a ‘master race’: they begin to imagine that they have the power to legitimize their actions by merely willing them into existence.

The New Orthodoxy in plain form: “The Palestinians are the New Jews, the old Jews are the New Nazis”. And since we can all remember how we didn’t even bat an eyelid when Indiana Jones said, “Nazis. I hate these guys” and killed them by the boatload, it is clear to us that this New Orthodoxy, whether inadvertently or as a plan, is priming the hearts of people everywhere to view a massacre of Israeli Jews (G-d forbid) as something deserved. This is no paranoid feeling: already acceptable to say in public regarding the Jewish inhabitants of Judea and Samaria, it will be easily carried over to the rest once the idea of the entire state of Israel being a “settler colony” is mainstream.

Here ends the fisking of the article. My final note:

There is a small nation that believes what it believes because its first people beheld the giving of Law to it by G-d; we celebrate this coming Shavuot in commemoration of that, and had that not taken place, we would not be here. On the other hand, there is a big, populous, world-encompassing movement that can trace its beliefs to a single witness, something that is unacceptable by the standards of any court of law, and the existence of all the people holding those beliefs does not require the factual occurrence of that alleged revelation as its explanation. And more: we make our claim to Jerusalem, to Zion, on the basis of thousands of years of Jewish history there; the Muslims cannot but try to cover this up, literally or through Goebbelsian repetition of lies, and their own claim to Jerusalem is based on an event that took place in a dream. Jerusalem has always been our one and only holy city; to the Muslims, it is de jure only the third holiest city, and de facto they neglected it except when it served as their rallying-point against non-Muslim challenges.

We have all the substantiated claims, and the Muslims have none. It is the adherents of the Master Religion who “imagine that they have the power to legitimize their actions by merely willing them into existence”. Falsehood cannot stand; no matter how long it takes, how harrowing the tribulations, Truth is destined to be the victor. Speedily in our days, amen!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Tip: Haveil Havalim #117 (with additional links)

Here is the roundup of the 117th issue of the great Jewish blog carnival Haveil Havalim, from May 20, 2007, hosted on Jack’s Shack. My favorite posts:

  1. Elder of Ziyon tops the list with the best show of enemy duplicity, with his post Lifestyles of the rich and terrorist, from May 16, 2007. Reference this for the next time a Leftscum terror apologist talks about those “poor, starving Palestinians”.
  2. One Jerusalem brings VIDEO EXCLUSIVE:: Semi-protected Schools, Damaged Homes and Kassam Rockets: A Day in the Life of Sderot, from May 15, 2007. Videos that should be on the Mainstream Media but aren’t, because they’d be unhelpful for later portraying Israel as a “brutal aggressor” when it does something about it all.
  3. Speaking of our reaction, Robert J. Avrech of Seraphic Secret has a few words about our military situation and world opinion, in his post The Inbetween War, from May 18, 2007. As I put in on Belmont Club, we’re going to have to leave all those niceties if we’re to survive.
  4. Lel, the Fiery Spirited Zionist, in her post Why “Palestine” should never come into existence (with those good scare quotes round the name of the fictitious nation just like there ought to be!), from May 12, 2007, explains why the “Palestinians” have no valid claim on this land and do not deserve to have a state of their own. She also jabs at the hypocrisy of those who are in no hurry to created a state for the Kurds, who, in contrast to the “Palestinians”, have proven themselves worthy of a state. This Is The World, 2007: no evil deed unrewarded, and no good deed unpunished.
  5. On the Astute Bloggers, Omri (of Mere Rhetoric fame) posts Islamists Advocate Raiding American Forums And Repeating Democratic Talking Points, from May 16, 2007, in which he brings yet another damning exhibit of the Left/Islam alliance. “Nazis and Nazi-sympathizers of the world, unite!”
  6. Yid With Lid has the post The Muslim American Society Promotes Terror, from May 17, 2007. Note the fatwa, especially the part, “The enemy relies on sophisticated military equipments […] So the Palestinians have nothing but throwing stones at their enemy in order to defend their country. […] So the Palestinians resort to martyr operations, in which the martyr seriously harms the enemy meanwhile sacrifices his own life.” This appears frequently as the terrorism apologists’ line on lefty sites like Daily Kos.
  7. Saving the most personally rewarding post for the last: Rabbi Without A Cause posts My problem with Platonics, from May 16, 2007, in which he details the fences which our saintly rabbis raised around the holy institution of marriage. I just want to say this: I don’t care if this sounds like the dictates of Islam to some people; the fault of copying the original (and bastardizing it) lies with the copier, not with the one who has the original.

My featured post: Nachamu, Nachamu Ami!, from May 16, 2007, in which I call for rebukes to be based on both truth and love.

I now take advantage of this opportunity to bring links from outside Haveil Havalim:

  1. Blogfather Gates of Vienna brings All Jihad is Local, from May 17, 2007, with a wonderful attempt by the Baron to convey the meaning of the rocket barrage on Sderot.
  2. On Jihad Watch, the post U.S. embassy in Iraq to be world’s biggest, priciest, from May 20, 2007, provides an impressive view into the cluelessness of the current American administration, an administration that can be praised only in comparison to the treasonous opposition, the Democrats. Many otherwise right-thinking people get this wrong: if you root for American victory, then that’s good, but you need to define the meaning of victory. I have long maintained that a US victory in Iraq is to be defined thus: Iraq being turned into a non-Muslim country. But that’s blood for the “Racist! Bigot! Cultural imperialist!” yapping chihuahuas on the Left.
  3. And from Jihad Watch’s subsite, Dhimmi Watch, is the post “The principle of secularism cannot be applied on Bosnia because Muslims are not a minority”, with a title straight from the horse’s mouth. Interesting is how the permission of Christian icons and crosses to be brought into classrooms in Bosnia is being debated—in what was the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet! I’m not a Christian, but you don’t have to be a Christian in order for it to outrage you; just the principle of it is enough.
  4. In that vein, from Little Green Footballs, is Little Mermaid in a Hijab, where it is told how vandals had put a hijab on the famous Danish statue. The photo is the real-world equivalent of those “Wishful Thinking” thought-balloons that I saw once as an article on MAD Magazine. To let you know what the Muslims’ wish for the world is. Ah, but it can all be solved by forcing an end to the Israel/“Palestine” conflict! (Deep sarcasm intended, of course.) [UPDATE: this is probably an anti-dhimmi jab. See comment by “kepiblanc” on Gates of Vienna.]
  5. From the enemy side, take a look at the Daily Kos diary Sderot: On the Frontline, by Jewish, pro-Israel poster Pumpkinlove, from May 20, 2007, where he attempts to portray the effect of the Kassam rockets, only to get a handful of apologies for terrorism (a sample, by commenter “cenobite”: “And now there are rockets falling on Israeli towns? This should surprise no one. Everything that has happened is the result of decisions the Israeli government has made. Step 1 is stop listening to Dubya and his neocon friends”). Beloved brother Pumpkinlove: you’re better off posting on Stormfront—they’re just as Jew-hating, only more honest about it.
  6. Moonbattery (on our, the good, side) brings the post Retroactive Correctness, from May 19, 2007, which struck me with the similarity of the Muslim and Marxist ways of handling the world: the thought that they know what’s best for everybody; the desire to force their ways on the whole world; and, demonstrated by this post especially, the lust for visiting their own vengeance for sins committed ages ago. The face of evil.

That’s for now. In case I don’t post anything new by tomorrow evening: Happy Shavuot!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lips For The Indigenous, Hearts Against Them

I have already addressed the external inconsistency of the Leftists’ focus on the “Palestinians” to the exclusion of other, similar, usually much more serious, issues (e.g. Darfur), explaining it with the very self-interested reason of the erroneous belief that the Israel/“Palestinian” conflict is the key to peace between the West and the Muslim world. But even though this inconsistency means that the Leftists’ battle-cry of, “Stand up to the right of indigenous peoples!” is hollow, it is further made hollow by the internal inconsistency of cultural, political and spiritual indigenism, otherwise known as the New Age.

I have explained indigenism as a modern, urban, Western yearning, and shown how it can be harnessed as a potent conservative rallying point. I now wish to detail the disparity between the words, even the feelings, of those who claim to stand up to the rights of indigenous peoples, and their actions and even their thoughts. This issue is important because the conception of the West, the Bible and Israel as colonialism personified, as against the conception of the Muslim world, the Koran and the “Palestinians” as indigenous, native culture personified, is what drives the great majority of today’s Western Leftists to support the latter against the former.

From the Toronto Sun, via Common Dreams, in the article Negotiate with the Taliban, dating from March 4, 2007, by Eric Margolis, come the following interesting excerpts:

Anti-Western forces are quickly gaining ground in Afghanistan. What Washington and Ottawa keep claiming is an “anti-terrorist operation” against a handful of al-Qaida fighters and Taliban has, in fact, turned into fast-growing Afghan national resistance to foreign occupation. Were it not for the U.S. Air Force’s might and ubiquitous presence, U.S., Canadian, and British troops would soon be driven from southern Afghanistan.


In the 1980’s and 90’s, I explored and became fascinated by the wild, lawless, then little-known frontier tribal agencies of north and south Waziristan, Khyber, Mohmand, Orakzai and Malakand. Their warlike, fiercely independent tribes joined Pakistan in 1947 under constitutional guarantee of total autonomy that excluded government soldiers from the tribal agencies.


Negotiating a deal with Taliban and other Afghan resistance forces is the only way out of this morass, not expanding a war that is already lost. [All emphases mine. —ZY]

Let it be very clear that these are the same people who featured a video showing a 12 year old boy of theirs beheading a captured enemy. “Wild”, “lawless” and “fiercely independent” are still within the bounds of the romantic (“One village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders…”), but “warlike” is, needless to remind you, something that the present US administration is constantly berated for by people such as this writer, people who swear by the slogan, “War is not the answer”. A good encapsulation of the inconsistency.

Photo: "Palestinians" dressed as Native Americans, holding signs. One sign says: "Mr. Bush, Israel's War Isolates Us in Reservations Centers"
“Palestinians” dressed as Native Americans, for Western Leftist eyes. Hat tip: Solomonia. I cannot stress this enough: our enemies know which strings to play to turn the world against us, therefore we must adapt as swiftly as possible.

What is it that those indigenists, those incurable romanticists, those New Agers, find in such cultures such as the Pashtuns of Afghanistan, the Native Americans and the Celts? Here is a brief list:

  1. Connection to the land, to Nature (thus capitalized).
  2. A healthy social life (“Wife, Children and Friends”, as the title of one Celtic song goes), undisturbed by modern pollutants (cell phones, the Internet and the like).
  3. Frugality, both personal and political. By the latter, being satisfied with one’s land and not going on colonial expeditions or imperial adventures is meant.
  4. Localized spirituality, in tune with the land, not imported from elsewhere as a universal message for all people.
  5. An oral, living culture, without the petrifying effect of the written word.

There are surely more, but these are the most salient points. When I compare those points with the Pashtun tribesmen for whom Eric Margulis has expressed such admiration, I am dumbfounded. It is an example of not letting the facts get in the way, but not just in the way of one’s view of reality but in the way of one’s very ideals and yearnings of the heart. It is the ultimate betrayal.

The contradiction runs in both directions: on the one hand, the objects of admiration in the real world are, more than often not, counterexamples to the indigenists’ ideals, sharing many points in common with the hated West, Bible and Israel; on the other hand, the ideals run counter to that which the admired ancients ever were.

Let me begin with the Pashtun tribesmen. Their connection to the land exists, but is the functional one of birth and acquaintance; as believing Muslims, they are taught to regard the whole world as their land. They are taught this from the Koran, which is scripture; an individual Pashtun may be illiterate, but the imam who teaches him is not, and he gets his ideas from the written word, a message which is universal, for all people, and an import from the desert of Arabia, not a native Pashtun growth.

As for their social life… Mr. Margulis can admire their fierce tribalism all day long, but in the end, this tribalism is made possible by the same concepts which, when expounded by people in America, are decried as “the darkness of the Religious Reich”. Or to put it another way: this healthy social life with a loving wife, dear children and beloved friends is not possible with the social innovations that the Leftists uphold. Polyamory and “open marriage” have to be thrown out for there to be a real soul-relationship between a man and a woman; the creation, and healthy rearing, of children requires a father and mother, no matter what the spirit of the time says; and a company of friends can gather only if there is a shared interest in real life, not the “everyone blazes his own trail” mentality of Progressivism.

Also, regarding the much-admired “resistance” of the Pashtun tribesmen and the “Palestinians”, it should be noted that they no longer rely on romantic indigenous artifacts such as swords, horses and bows and arrows; their AK-47’s and suicide vests are made from the finest products of the Western industrial assembly-line. But the indigenists are so obsessed with shaking their fists at the ugly sight on their mirrors (Western culture) that they fail to ask themselves whether their objects of admiration think the same.

This brings me to the next point: the ideas of the indigenists about indigenous cultures, especially ancient ones, are so out of sync with what scholarship tells us about them that it is astounding. Apparently only White Man is capable of mass murder and environmental destruction, yet the truth is all humans, throughout all history, have known bouts, and even continuous periods, of atrocity, whether given or received, and taken some measure of shaping the environment to their needs. (We’d still be swinging from tree to tree if that weren’t so.)

Ancient indigenous cultures were as varied as modern ones are, and the romanticists’ lumping them together with broad brush strokes is at the very least a mental form of cultural imperialism. From Lisa Aldred’s Plastic Shamans and Astroturf Sun Dances (American Indian Quarterly, Summer 2004, vol 24, no. 3) is the following passage:

Many Native Americans have been offended by the mockery these bastardized versions make of their sacred ceremonies. Some of the incidents denounced as most offensive include Sun Dances held on Astroturf, sweats held on cruise ships with wine and cheese served, and sex orgies advertised as part of “traditional Cherokee ceremonies.”

What most struck me in that passage is the idea that the Native Americans were offended by the hedonistic practices. In the romantic image, non-Biblical cultures are rife with sexual freedom, yet here we see that those played no part in traditional Cherokee ceremonies. The idea that “Puritan notions of sexuality” could be found in pagan cultures is shocking to the romanticist, but that is the reality. The Bible describes scathingly the child-sacrifice of the Canaanites; from that, one might gather human sacrifice was a universal pagan practice, but we find as matter of historical record that the Romans (pagans) banned the Celts (also pagans) from sacrificing humans. (As an aside, from my Jewish point of view: I think it is for that reason that G-d let the Romans have a vast and durable empire, as a reward.) And today, the only ones who are known to engage in human sacrifice, and child-sacrifice no less, are monotheists—the Muslims.

Photo: "Palestinian" stamp featuring Ba'al
This is whom our enemies serve in their hearts. See this, O HaShem, One and Only True G-d!

This lumping, this wide brush, this stereotyping underlies the New Age, which is indigenism and romanticism writ large, universalized and reworked into an all-eating global movement. It takes from the nations and religions it admires only those features that its romanticist adherents like, melts them into a hodgepodge and discards that stuff which the New Agers consider nasty. Many indigenous cultures had quite definite, and Biblical-sounding at that, roles for the sexes, and condemned homosexuality? To hell with that. Many ancient peoples had gods of war and praised warfare and bloodshed, and some even sacrificed their war-captives to those gods? That’s very nice, but that makes us queasy—you know what, we’ll pay tribute to those ancient customs by supporting those who still have the stomach to follow them, such as the mujahideen of Afghanistan. And how about leaving the comfort of your armchair in front of the computer monitor reading about primitivism and actually living those ideals? That’s rad, man, but it’s just, you see, I ain’t got that thing for mosquito bites, y’know.

The New Age is the theological error of paganism without the real-life circumstances under which pagans lived: crystals and necromancy and vision quests and “free love”, without the concepts that are far too reminiscent of true, Biblical belief for comfort, such as the idea of divine judgment and punishment, even if those are believed to be meted by deities which are permissible and hypocritical, unlike the One True G-d.

Thus much for the disparity between the indigenous reality and the romantic idea. But I must bring this post back to the purpose of my blog, namely defense of Zionism in particular and the Torah-based view in general, before it drifts too far away. When I consider this very old, yet for me newfound, faith of Judaism, and what it means to me, a rootless cosmopolitan seeking his roots and his connection to this land, I realize there is in Orthodox Judaism, in Religious Zionism, so much of what the indigenists yearn for. To compare the points I raised near the top of the post:

  1. Judaism and the Land of Israel are inseparable. Many of the 613 commandments can be performed only on the Land of Israel. Most of the festivities (including the coming Shavuot, or Festival of Weeks) are tied to the characteristics of the Land of Israel.
  2. Marriage is enjoined on all, for the purpose of procreation, as well as love. Once a week, by G-d’s command, all the modern disturbances are switched off (my cell-phone gives me a rest for about 25 hours).
  3. No other land than the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews; any other land is a temporary stay, even if that stay takes centuries, while the Land of Israel is the only one which we desire to possess and which we can call home.

The Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is of divine ordination; ordained when we were still in the desert. G-d says (Leviticus 25:1–4):

And the LORD spoke unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the produce thereof. But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath unto the LORD; thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

Of this, Rashi asks, “What has the Sabbatical Year to do with Mount Sinai?” For these words of HaShem were spoken to the Jews when they were still in the desert, where such a commandment is totally out of place. But the Land of Israel was given to us in HaShem’s will, and not by our having been its “First Nation”. This link to the land is the strongest possible, and throughout more than 2,000 years of being outside the Land of Israel, the Jewish nation never relinquished its spiritual connection to it.

Contrast this with those self-professing indigenists and make-believe indigenous peoples such as the Fakestinians: they scramble to find out any ancestral scrap, to fabricate any ancient tie, to their desired lands. White American indigenists try searching the family tree for the tiniest hint of Cherokee blood, some—like Ward “Little Eichmanns” Churchill—making it up when they can find none, and the Muslim usurpers of the Land of Israel have engaged in the impressive feat of creating a whole new nation from scratch, yet though they have taken much of the world on their ride, they have no ancient connections to speak of.

What they, both the Muslims and their Marxist sympathizers, covet in us and causes much of their hatred toward us—no matter how much they deny it—is this great favor that HaShem has conferred upon us: our sure heritage.

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