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.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Anti-Bigotry: a Catch-22

Education against bigotry is a staple of the kumbayistic curriculum. Such education is not, of course, a bad thing in and of itself; its flaws in our time stem from the global context. There are two flaws:

  1. It is not universal; that leads to imbalance of power.
  2. It gives rise to its own variety of bigotry.

The first point is the same fact that holds true for disarmament, for birth control and for non-dualism: it can only work if all parties do it. There is a reason the vision of all nations beating their swords into plowshares is an End Times vision: currently, the result of any nation doing that is that it will be subjugated by another nation that has not done that. Birth control is the same: it could achieve its purported goal of “saving the planet from human population explosion” only if all human groups carried it out; in the current situation, it means the overrunning of the population-conscious by those who do not share that idea. And non-dualism, the core of anti-bigotry education, leaves one vulnerable to those who have remained dualists.

Anti-bigotry education consists in such guidelines as the following:

  • Human beings are complex; simplistic judgments should be avoided.
  • Do not generalize or stereotype.
  • Truth is not black and white but shades of gray.
  • Divisive labels are the source of all conflicts; we must accept that we are all citizens of the world.
  • Diversity is to be cherished.
  • The dreams and desires of all human beings are common; happiness on earth is the summary of them.

On the face of it, it doesn’t sound bad; nor do I advocate any return to a world where racism and baseless stereotyping is acceptable. There are contradictions in the above list, as well as a bit of cultural imperialism (some of the points go contrary to the culture of some groups), but that isn’t the main problem here. The main problem is, as I said, the impotence, nay, backfiring, of this education if any group of people fails to fall in line.

Much has been written of “the perils of childish binary thinking”. It is proposed that all conflicts can be healed by discarding the “Us vs. Them” mentality. Sixties-soaked “educators” in the West have been busy for years indoctrinating kids against black-and-white thinking. Which may not be bad per se, but when viewed against the fact that no such mode of education has ever been implemented by those who oppose Western civilization, this means the next generation is being mentally disarmed, forced to beat their cultural swords into plowshares while the enemies of the West have never had even the intention of doing so.

There are no calls for the intellectuals and clerics of the Muslim world to jettison their “Muslim vs. Kafir” dualism; the rare acknowledgment of the existence of such dualism is usually brushed off by the “Tiny Minority of Extremists” canard. They can keep calling the non-Muslims “the vilest of all creatures”, as per the Koran, and Jews “the sons of apes and pigs”, without criticism, although such tenets, such a heritage on which they bring up their children, are the very antithesis of anti-bigotry education. In effect, the non-Muslim child grows up believing in meeting the Muslim adversary with a welcoming embrace, while the Muslim child grows up harboring contempt for the former, hatred just waiting for the opportune moment of action. This has been the story of the West–Islam War for the past few decades. In the name of anti-bigotry, the non-Muslim approaches the adversary as a dove even in the face of the most hawkish statements of intent on the latter’s part. Even the word, “adversary” constitutes a thought-crime in the Politically Correct framework.

The second point is that the doctrine behind anti-bigotry—that all conflicts can be solved through education to acceptance of the Other—breeds its very own kind of bigotry, intolerance and dualism: the war against those who are perceived to be obstructing the doctrine. Remember that, in the name of “Imagine no possessions” (Communism), several of the opponents were branded, “Enemies of the people” and executed; now this vision, of “Imagine there’s no Heaven” and “Imagine there’s no countries” and “A brotherhood of man”, is a utopianism all its own, to be brought at all costs, its enemies in need of being laid low. From Gates of Vienna, November 15, 2006, is the story of how the cross in Wren Chapel at the College of William & Mary was removed in the name of “diversity”. Baron Bodissey quotes the President of the College, Gene R. Nichol:

But the Chapel is also used frequently for College events that are secular in nature—and should be open to students and staff of all beliefs. Whether celebrating our happiest moments, marking our greatest achievements, or finding solace during our most profound sadness, our Chapel, like our entire campus, must be welcoming to all.

I believe a recognition of the full dignity of each member of our diverse community is vital. For this reason, and because the Chapel is surpassing [sic] important in William and Mary’s history and in the life of our campus, I welcome a broader College discussion of how the ancient Chapel can reflect our best values.

So, in the name of “diversity”, one of the major objects making the chapel a chapel is hidden away from sight. Heaven forfend that, for example, a non-Christian student should accept that Christians write “AD” because they really believe in what is behind it (Anno Domini stands for, “year of our Lord”), and he, the non-Christian student, would continue writing “CE” (“Common Era”) himself; under the PC regime, with its utmost carefulness to avoid even the dust of bigotry, “AD” is to be banned, prohibited even for Christian students.

The cause of world peace—a noble one, no argument about that; intentions are not in dispute here—is the banner under which the PC regime justifies purging all perceived opponents. It is a dualism for all intents and purposes: believers in the opposing doctrines of American exceptionalism, Jewish exceptionalism, the relevance of the Bible, the belonging of the Land of Israel to the Jews, the threat of the inherent supremacism of Islam, the cultural superiority of the West (I could go on, but you get the drift) are enemies of The Idea (recall Lennon’s Imagine again), therefore requiring ostracism.

I recently encountered two instances, admittedly just harbingers and not yet full-blown manifestations, on Daily Kos. Diarist EnderRS posted a diary, Jewish “Loyalty” to Israel—love is what it is, on April 30, 2007, to counter the notion, common on the Daily Kos Israel/“Palestine” diaries, that American Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the USA (a notion that, with just “Jewish interests” substituted for “Israel”, was common among 1930’s “America First” members as well—hint, hint). Predictably, another diary of irenic intention degenerated into the usual flamefest that the DKos I/“P” diaries are. Two comments stand out in relation to my thoughts on anti-bigotry. First, “shpilk” says:

I did a diary about this a while back and asked people to 'self-identify'.

It was sort of tongue in cheek, but what I was trying to get people to understand is that 'human', or maybe even 'Terran' should be our first and primary identifier.

It didn't get too far.

[…]

ya, it's the hippie part of my past blasting through into the current time frame.

What can I say.

I'd love to think mankind could reach a point at which no one on this planet feels the need to self identify with any label other than 'human' or 'Terran'.

But we are a long, long way off.

Screenshot: comment by "shpilk" on Daily Kos, April 30, 2007

“Shpilk” resigns himself, but there are many other Lennonist believers who take a more active, prescriptive, proscriptive position in order to bring the vision of Imagine to fulfillment. It is they who make the equation, “Zionism = racism” and think the state of Israel, at least as a “Jewish ethnostate”, needs to be done away with (G-d forbid). Rootless cosmopolitanism is the way to their conception of Olam Ha-Ba (“World To Come”, i.e. the Messianic Age), and it is a requirement—anyone who goes against it is an “enemy of humanity”—dubbed “racist, hatemonger, warmonger, bigot” and so on ad infinitum.

The second comment from that diary, by “skwimmer”:

Hatreds that run deep don't die without intermarriage. IMHO.

Screenshot: comment by "skwimmer" on Daily Kos, April 30, 2007

By “hatreds” he was referring to the hatred running in the Israel/“Palestine” conflict. He suggested that the conflict would reach its really ultimate resolution when the Jews and Arabs of Israel intermarried (G-d forbid) until their distinction were erased. Now, intermarriage is against Jewish Law. As a Torah-believing Jew, I hold this view out of nothing more and nothing less than the belief that that is what HaShem has decreed for the Jewish nation. If, however, the idea of intermarriage as the only solution to this conflict should gain wide currency, it will not be long before not just Zionism but Judaism will be seen as a major obstacle to world peace. Again, this comment may not be representative even of the Daily Kos Israel/“Palestine” diary comments, but then that was true of anti-Zionist sentiments not long ago.

In closing, I have only to quote Uri Elitzur, from his March 16 article:

At the end of the 20th century, fashion changed. The post-colonial discourse took the stage by the storm, and it rules with a high hand and with zero tolerance. In nowadays’ films, the Indian is the hero dancing with wolves, and the white settler is the evil one. In all of them without exception. There is no tolerance whatsoever toward any film or book or scientific study that does not obey that rule. […]

However good the intentions underpinning it may be, the “anti-bigotry” stance of the PC regime will not achieve its purported goal: it both leaves the non-Muslims unarmed in this great Clash of Cultures, and leads to internal warfare through its own intolerant, uncompromising vision.


In Israeli Hebrew we have the phrase, “Im ata k’var ba-shvung”, meaning, “If you’re already carried away in that direction…” (“Shvung” is from Yiddish, of course). That diary from Daily Kos has more I want to excerpt here. Just a few snippets with my short commentary.

By “fugue”:

so few of us?

Hey go say that to the Palestinian. The [sic] are even fewer.

Screenshot: comment by "fugue" on Daily Kos, April 30, 2007

Lesson: under the true narrative of one small Jewish state against the mass of Arab (22) and Muslim (57) states, support for Israel as the underdog would be a no-brainer; the false “Palestinian nation” narrative inverts the roles of David and Goliath, turning it against us.

From a comment by “mickT”:

[…] May I start with 'Our Jewish Lord' Jesus. He saw the Jewish money changers and the Jewish suck ups to Roman rule and said 2000 years ago that these were nothing but con artists. Land and money can come and go. Races mean nothing. 'How you treat the least of us', was the important thing. […]

Screenshot: comment by "mickT" on Daily Kos, April 30, 2007

Wow, a good Christian posting on Daily Kos? Not so. Back on January 23, 2007, I recorded a comment by this “mickT” telling us what he thinks about the Bible. The relevant snippets:

Or does having something written in the 'approved' bible mean more than other unapproved documents uncovered about history of the 'sacred lands'.

Does myth make right?

[…]

I kind of thought that if a family had lived on a land for generations, that might stand for just some small shred above myths/ancient history/brute force. Oh well.

You get the message: we have here a typical Marxist, normally spitting on the Christian Bible, but quite happy to use it for his own Leftist agenda. And here he is using the New Testament as a springboard for his Marxist (“‘How you treat the least of us’, was the important thing”), anti-Zionist (“Land and money can come and go”) and anti-Jewish (“Races mean nothing”) opinions. This is classic Replacement Theology. How the Left and the Right have switched their positions!

Finally, there is an exchange between “theRoaringGirl” and “Bensdad”. She says (HaShem bless her):

Will someone answer this question for me:

When the conflict in Northern Ireland was raging, why weren't Irish-Americans who gave money to the IRA and supported the cause not accused of dual-loyalty? Why are the Jews the only group that are under suspicion when it comes to loyalties?

This has bugged me for years.

Thanks.

To which he responds:

I would certainly accuse them of dual-loyalty. But the answer may be that the covert support for the IRA by Americans, has never engendered the kind of hatred and reaction that our overt support for Israel has. In other words, support for the IRA, while perhaps immoral, does not threaten Americans. Our support for Israel has come at a very high price at times... including American lives.

Screenshot: exchange of comments between "theRoaringGirl" and "Bensdad" on Daily Kos, April 30, 2007

Remember that when a Leftist starts using the language of human compassion and the bleeding heart regarding the “Palestinians”. That’s the real man behind the curtain.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

Points one and two seem to be antithetical to one another. You can't simultaneously intellectually disarm yourself and fight against those who don't hold your anti-dualist views. I personally think your second point is valid but that your first point isn't.

A couple of thoughts for you: first, from my friend and fellow leftist Ben, who said that the only thing he hates more than an arrogant, closed-minded conservative is an arrogant, closed-minded liberal. (This was said about certain Big Orange commenters.) Always remember there are clowns to the left and jokers to the right.

(And now I have a mental picture of Michael Madsen cutting someone's ear off. Crap.)

The second thought is from Gandhi, who said that one should be slow to form their convictions, but once they are formed, they should be defended vigorously. Equally cursed, then, are those who jump to conclusions too quickly and those who are stuck in moral relativism, never having formed convictions. An anti-dualist view doesn't mean you don't have convictions, it just means accepting that there might be a shred of validity in someone else's.

A final thought, and it's a rebuttal to your first point. Seems to me that moral dualism is more intellectually disarming than a "shades of gray" view of the world. When defending your convictions (or attacking someone else's), isn't it important, for the sake of a more powerful, effective argument, to understand where the other person is coming from? If you can't understand your adversary, how can you hope to do anything but just shout back and forth at him?

May 02, 2007 7:07 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Jeff, you say: "Points one and two seem to be antithetical to one another. You can't simultaneously intellectually disarm yourself and fight against those who don't hold your anti-dualist views." Yes, indeed! I did say this whole system was contradictory. Doesn't stop its advocates from advancing it, though.

Gandhi... I don't have much respect for that bumbling, naive mystic and idiot, who won his day only because the British were relatively civilized and worn out from the recent world war (had he been active in the Muslim ruler Aurangzeb's time, the only independence he'd have gained would be that of his head from the rest of his body), and who exhorted the Jews to "prove themselves the chosen race" by choosing non-violence as their way of struggle, and lauded them for having offered themselves as sheep to slaughter in the Holocaust. He also did a grave disservice to the Hindus by appeasing the Muslims and agreeing to the creation of Pakistan. All in all, a evil and stupid man, a man I wish will burn in hell for a long time. But I ramble, and anyway, that's ad hominem, not a good reason to ignore what he said.

You say: "An anti-dualist view doesn't mean you don't have convictions, it just means accepting that there might be a shred of validity in someone else's." This doesn't have to do with dualism or anti-dualism, it has to do with the issue of postmodernism--"narratives" etc. I agree with you, and I wrote on just that them in The Postmodern Wedge, from March 26. My stance isn't "I won't listen to the other side"; my stance is, "I will listen to the other side and determine whether he is friend or foe". I understand and increase my understanding of my adversary each day; that understanding helps me combat that adversary. The antithesis of what you support is postmodernism: beyond mere listening to and understanding the other side, and into outright acceptance of his narrative as having equal worth as yours. That's prostitution of the truth and I can't do that.

May 02, 2007 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gandhi was indeed fortunate in his enemies and in the times he lived. At the battle of Culloden (1745 or 46, not sure which) between the forces of Bonny Prince Charlie and the English, English troops, fresh from defeating highland clansmen in battle, wandered the battlefield bayonetting wounded enemy soldiers, then went from village to village committing genocide. Two centuries later British troops weren't quite so ready to slaughter civilians.
Not only did Gandhi suggest Jews choose non-violence in response to the Holocaust, I read somewhere he thought the Jews should commit mass suicide as a noble gesture. What bilge!

May 02, 2007 8:02 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Lesson: under the true narrative of one small Jewish state against the mass of Arab (22) and Muslim (57) states, support for Israel as the underdog would be a no-brainer; the false “Palestinian nation” narrative inverts the roles of David and Goliath, turning it against us.

Israel does erect barriers and patrol borders that seperate this supposedly "false Palestinian nation" from the rest of the Arab world. The actions of Israel inforce the narrative.

May 03, 2007 2:45 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

Anon,

I especially get a kick (if you could call it that) from seeing, in lefty demonstrations, pictures of Gandhi side by side with those of bloody-handed terrorists (like Nasrallah).

unaha-closp,

If you're suggesting the Israeli government is clueless, you'll get no argument from me.

May 03, 2007 11:57 AM  
Anonymous shpilk said...

Nicely taken out of context. I suggest you read some of my other comments about Israel and Zionism before you personal attacks on me.

May 05, 2007 11:48 PM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

shpilk,

There is no personal attack here on you whatever. You can see that all I did was quote you, bringing your thoughts as an example of cosmopolitanism. And more: I explicitly denied that you were of the ones that try to force that view in a "my way or the highway" fashion: "'Shpilk' resigns himself, but there are many other Lennonist believers who take a more active, prescriptive, proscriptive position in order to bring the vision of Imagine to fulfillment."

As for context: I don't see how this quote can mean anything other than an expression of the desire to see human national identities blurred or erased for the sake of world peace; I don't see how context could modify that meaning, though I'm open to seeing it. Again, I denied that you are among the people who, in the name of that vision, would take active steps against those who promote forms of nationalism.

Just to make it clear: I hold that nationalism is OK so long as it isn't imperialistic. That was the problem with the German nationalism of 1933-45. It is imperialism, i.e. the wish to rule the whole world, that is the problem. That is the problem today with the non-nationalistic imperialism called Islam.

May 06, 2007 12:32 AM  
Anonymous shpilk said...

What you follow with is the implication that this 'image of Imagine' is necessarily an "anti-Zionist" one.

It is your summary judgment of people that might share my view in the same paragraph [that you conveniently failed to re-quote] that makes me recoil instinctively.

"It is they who make the equation, “Zionism = racism” and think the state of Israel, at least as a “Jewish ethnostate”, needs to be done away with (G-d forbid). Rootless cosmopolitanism is the way to their conception of Olam Ha-Ba (“World To Come”, i.e. the Messianic Age), and it is a requirement—anyone who goes against it is an “enemy of humanity”—dubbed “racist, hatemonger, warmonger, bigot” and so on ad infinitum."

I find your rhetoric self serving on your part, to the extreme. I happen to Jewish, and I am a Zionist, as well. I defend in today's world the right of Israel to exist as a religious State.

After reading your posts, I'm curious to see what you answer is to these questions ..

What are Palestinians, exactly?
Do they deserve the right to have their own State? Or should they be booted off the lands they occupy now and forced into the surrounding Arab countries? Why doesn't Israel have the right of eminent domain to simply take over the occupied territories at will?

What is the 'solution' to this greater issue about the survival of Israel? Should we remove only Muslim Arabs that now live in Israel, or does that include Christian Arabs, too?

May 06, 2007 1:19 AM  
Blogger ZionistYoungster said...

It is a recurring theme for anti-Zionism on the Left to be based on the view that nationalisms are anachronistic. (That "Palestinian" nationalism is not viewed as such is something to chew on, but that's another subject.)

For you, nationalism may be an anachronism but you've resigned yourself to the idea that we're a long way off before they go away. But for others (the "they" of my "it is they who make the equation [...]"), this is the foundation of their belief that Israel has no right to exist in its current form, i.e. as a Jewish state (only a "state of all its citizens").

As "self-serving"... I don't know if that's a meaningful adjective in my context. It can be considered self-serving only in the sense that my blog is self-voicing--I voice my worldview. I can't have it otherwise; I try to listen to other accounts and narratives, but I definitely have my own and believe in it.

To your questions:

By "Palestinians", people mean the Arabs of the Land of Israel (commonly called "Palestine", following Emperor Hadrian after crushing the Bar Kochba Revolt in 135 CE). They have been a geographical reference until recently just as "Appalachian" and "Californian" aren't names of nations today but of people living in certain regions (and see my post The Californian Nation for in-depth treatment of this). They differ from the Arabs of Syria, for example, only the difference of a continuum, much the same as the Arabs of the Negev and those of the Galilee differ from one another. Most of them are the descendants of early 20th-century immigrants from Egypt and Jordan; when the first Zionist settlers came to the Land of Israel in the late 19th century, they found it as Mark Twain describes it: a few old cities, here and there a village, and all the rest desolate. Certainly not a teeming land with a nation already situated on it.

Their future depends on how much they try the patience of the Jews of Israel. In the 1990's it was commonly believed that this conflict was entirely about the territories taken in 1967. But now that part of the 1967 territories have been totally evacuated of all Jewish presence yet rockets continue to be fired from them onto Israeli territories within the 1949 Armistice Line, and now that the demands of the "Palestinian nation" extend beyond the 1967 territories and into the 1947 issue of the "Right of Return", on which Israel cannot compromise, and now that even the Arabs within the 1949 Armistice Lines have started making demands, the Israeli Jewish public has lost faith in a negotiated peace at a frightening rate. The siege mentality has deeply intensified, and consequently the care for "the legitimate grievances of the other side" has diminished.

Support for the Oslo Peace Process among the Israeli Jewish public was entirely predicated on the view that the conflict was about 1967; now, thanks in no small part to anti-Zionist Leftists who insist on settling the 1947 issues as well, and on painting Israel as having been "born in original sin" in 1947 and Zionism as "a racist ideology, rotten to the core", the Jews of Israel are shifting more and more to right-wing position, even to some that were totally unacceptable just fifteen years ago.

Barring an unexpected change of course in which the conflict is brought to be solely about the 1967 territories, the Jews of Israel will one day lose all patience and elect a government ready to take the necessary step (expulsion). I see this conflict as having always been an Islamic jihad, even if clothed in the mantle of a nationalistic land dispute, and therefore I hope the non-Muslim Arabs will stay; however, the active siding of many of them with the Muslims might make that impossible.

I wish things would never come to this, but wishes are one thing, and the harsh reality of a world that's becoming more perilous with each passing day is another. With Islamic imperialism threatening the whole world, a lot of states will, each in its turn, be confronted with the same choice. I don't see a "Palestinian nation" struggling for self-determination on this land, I see an Islamic worldwide movement striving for domination of this whole planet. That is the only explanation I have for the similarity of what's going on in Southern Thailand to the situation here.

May 06, 2007 2:52 AM  

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