Our Children Are The Guarantors

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

Monday, July 16, 2007


Picture a comment like the following in a thread in Guardian’s Comment is free:

The only truly just two state solution and the best chance for a lasting peace in the region, is for some region in an unimportant and currently uninhabited part of the world to be recognized as the de facto Jewish State and for all the Zionist settlers currently occupying Palestinian land in the West Bank and within the Green Line to bequeath it immediately to its rightful owners and resettle in that new homeland. Of course, the world is not fair, so—barring a sudden and miraculous change of mindset on the part of the Palestinians and Israelis—this will never happen and the Zionists will eventually get the West Bank and Gaza one day.

What would be the reactions? A meager contigent of pro-Israel commenters protesting such a statement, eclipsed by a thick slew of pro-“Palestine” commenters commending it as a just and fair solution, a necessary proposal if there is to be “just and lasting peace” in the Middle East, and in the world as a whole.

The actual comment, by “deronda”, on the thread One option: two states, from July 16, 2007, is this:

The only truly just two state solution and the best chance for a lasting peace in the region, is for Jordan to be recognized as the fato [sic] Palestinian State and for all the Arab squatters currently occupying Jewish land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to bequeth [sic] it immediately to its rightful owners and resettle in Jordan. Of course, the world is not fair, so—barring a sudden and miraculous change of mindset on the part of the Palestinians and Israelis—this will never happen and the Arabs will eventually get Judea and Samaria one day.

And here are some of the reactions. By commenter “Yesterday”:

Deronda’s talk of ‘the Arab squatters currently occupying Jewish land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza’ sounds very much like the way the Nazis talked about Jews in Europe. I don’t think Israel needs friends like Deronda.

And by “Highbury”:

This is the kind of racist b******t that produced the ethnic cleasnsing [sic] and theft of Palestinian property.

And by “GrandOldMan”:

@Deronda: Well others have already torn into him and it’s a bit late to add my voice, but just for the record, I too find his statements omn [sic] this thread to be grossly offensive, patronising and racist towards the palestinians.

And the clincher, by “Shachtman”:

Deronda : Shut up please.

While a comment by “Lakeside”, similar to my hypothetical turn-around of the comment by “deronda”, has so far not been given such treatment:

If America invaded England and decided to split it in to two, will we ever accept it? After all its thanks to the British that we have/had the black slavery in the world and the issue of the Aborignies in Austrailia [sic].

So would it be just for Enland [sic] to be invaded and carved up to make room for the Aborignies [sic] or the Blacks? Lets say give Liverpool to the English and the rest of the country can go to the blacks or aborignies [sic]?

We Brits would never accept that and so similarly the Palestinians can not be robbed of what is theres [sic]. The fact is jews, christinas [sic], and Muslims all lived in harmony in the land of Palestine till the illegal state of Israel was created or should i say planted by the British, since when its only been a river of blood.

The land belongs to the Palestinians.
Its the Palestinians who have lost most life.
Its the Palestinians who need justice and this will only come via a single state soloution [sic]. If the British government or the Amerians [sic] have a problem with it then let them create an England Israel or an American Israel.

They should give London to the Jews or let them have TEXAS and get rid of the real problem.

A simple answer for a simple problem- Give back to the Palestinians what is theres [sic].

At most, the reaction to “Lakeside” would be that his proposal is impracticable—cannot be carried out right now, is not the most pragmatic course to take, needs refinement, and other objections in that vein. Objections to “Lakeside” from morality, like saying his proposal is unjust or inhumane, would be rare, made only by those who are in the class of “deronda”, and subsequently shouted down like his comment.

As one of the right-wing columnists of Yediot Achronot (either Uri Elitzur or Uri Orbach, I don’t remember which of the two) said: a Jew who says publicly to the world that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews by right is called an “extremist” and “fanatic”, while a “Palestinian” who demands a Judea, Samaria and Gaza emptied of all Jews, but just agrees to postpone the discussion on the “Right of Return” to a later date, is hailed as a “moderate”.

Now for some more, some relevant arguments. From Howard Jacobson on the British boycotts of Israel, via Engage:

On this occasion, though—a meeting called to oppose the proposed academic boycott of Israel—I felt I had to depart from the principles of my profession because academics in this country had departed from theirs. You don’t silence other voices if you’re a scholar, that’s where I stand. You don’t, if you’re a thinker and a teacher, remove from the unending conversation of the mind those of whom you happen, rightly or wrongly, to disapprove.


[…] Those in favour of excommunication weren’t removing Israeli voices in the sense of gagging or silencing them, they were simply refusing to listen to them. […]


Most of what Socrates did was listen. No longer to listen is no longer to engage in the dialogue of thought. […]

Indeed. The boycotts can be summed up in that quoted comment on Grauniad Ciff by “Shachtman”: “Deronda: Shut up please”. In other words: Shut up, we don’t want to hear your view; we want to hear only the view that portrays the “Palestinians” as the indigenous people of the land, and Zionism as a colonialist movement started with the nefarious intent of robbing the indigenous of their land.

1400 CE: It is justified to kill Jews because they are well-poisoners. 1850 CE: It is justified to kill Jews because they’re an inferior race infecting the pure Aryan gene pool. 2000 CE: It is justified to kill Jews, uh sorry, I meant Zionists, because they’re racist, Nazi-like settlers dispossessing an indigenous people, starving them with blockades and locking them inside bantustans. As always, it isn’t about merely saying bad things about the Jews—it’s about making an acceptable justification for murdering us (G-d forbid). That is the issue. That is why I sound the battle-cry, “To the Islamonazis and their Leftist enablers no quarter!”

Fact one: the other side isn’t interested in listening.
Fact two: today’s libel is every bit as dangerous to us as the libels of the past.

I don’t know what’s the use. As long as the other side is willing to listen, even if just a little, then it’s all worthwhile. But the eyes can see it is not so. And if they aren’t interested in listening, there’s no way of making them, short of reaching the state that many of them accuse us of having long achieved, namely control of the media. We don’t, of course—that’s why Israel’s targeted incursions in Lebanon last year got us a global opinion hailstorm, while the Lebanese army’s horrific, indiscriminate offensives against the “Palestinians” in their camps haven’t gotten so much as a squeak from the mainstream media channels.

I feel I can’t say anything of more use than I’ve already said. I’m preaching to the choir, the other side won’t listen, the arguments go in circles, reading the enemy’s libels just fills me with rage, and to top it all, my financial situation isn’t good right now.

Dialogue is closed, as per the other side’s insistence. They have asked, and soon, if HaShem wills it, they will receive, a new model of interaction wherein a combative and unapologetic Jewish State of Israel, headed by Torah-believing leaders, will hunt the anti-Zionist enemies of Israel just as Simon Wiesenthal hunted Nazis, and bring them before the Sanhedrin to be accorded justice. I for one would love to see people like Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu end up the same as Saddam Hussein. As it is written:

Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the nations, and chastisements upon the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written; He is the glory of all His saints. Hallelujah. (Psalm 149:5–9)

Make our enemies tremble, O HaShem! Destroy them all!

Poster: Top: "Critics of the Jewish State shouldn't be called anti-Semites."; Middle: Judge's gavel; Bottom: "They should be brought before the Sanhedrin to stand trial. (Speedily in our days, amen.)"

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Existential Threat, Radical Appeasement

It is not hard to find Leftist articles telling us the Muslims hate us because of our actions. (Random pick from yesterday: Prescribing World Terrorism, by Eric Margolis.) This idea, that Muslim rage is fueled by “Western imperialist aggression” meted upon Muslims, is so commonplace on the moonbat side of the blogosphere that I now hardly consider it worthy of mentioning (but see Herbert E. Meyer’s recent article on The American Thinker for a well-considered write-up). I have, however, found an article written from the self-blaming, appeasing point of view that is significant and worthy of a post of its own: US Role in Islamist Terrorism, on Antiwar.com, by Ivan Eland. The title may make it look like another one of those “our bombs made them hate us” articles, but inside there lurks a new and important kind of argument: the existential argument. The argument that says the mere being of US troops on non-Muslim lands is fueling their hatred. First quote:

To fully understand Islamic terrorism, one needs to understand what triggers this extraordinary rage. And throughout history one factor stands out above all else: the occupation of Muslim land by non-Muslim forces.

This is something else, beginning with the word, “land”. This isn’t the usual talk of bombs and projectiles and body counts; it’s about mere existence. The argument is reinforced the deeper we go down the article:

There is much the United States could do to defuse the problem, and a good place to start would be by removing land-based U.S. forces from the Persian Gulf.

Even Osama bin Laden claims he attacks the United States primarily because of its military presence in the region. Other reasons, he claims, are secondary.

This, never mind that the writer approaches it from an entirely erroneous point of view (appeasement), is perfectly true: the weapons of the non-Muslims, whether American or Soviet or Israeli or anyone else, are only a secondary affront; the real red rag in front of the Muslims’ eyes is the idea that parts that once were under the rule of Islam are now under non-Muslim control, with a non-Muslim presence in them. A core issue, an issue which makes the post-colonial rantings of other Leftist writers sound childish in comparison. Eland sees the truth on that matter. He writes also:

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza after the 1967 Six Day War and its military interventions in Lebanon triggered similar reactions, as did the U.S. military presence in Lebanon in the early 1980s. Indeed, it’s fair to say that Israel’s very existence—a non-Islamic state in land claimed by the Muslims—is part of the same pattern, as is the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. [Emphasis mine. —ZY]

An accurate perception. Military intervention, “Apartheid Wall”, checkpoints and all that yang are not, and never have been, the issue—from the start, indeed from the beginning of the 20th century, the disproportionate opposition of the Muslims to the peaceful and most un-colonialist-like Jewish acquisition of land cannot be explained except by the idea, a basic Islamic tenet, that Islam is programmed for perpetual gain of land and against the smallest loss of it. The demand of the Muslims, in all times, has been nothing less than the demise of all non-Islamic polities on earth. Gains for shariah could be postponed in the case of lack of feasibility, but losses of shariah-governed lands had to be countered immediately.

Eland sees the truth of this existential struggle, but if he reacted to it the way any sane, self-preserving non-Muslim would, he would be on our side, and I would not be writing this piece. Instead, he reacts in precisely the wrong way, counseling appeasement:

Only by minimizing the permanent U.S. military presence in Arab and Islamic lands can we hope to stem anti-U.S. terrorism.

A half-truth can be worse than a lie. Eland has half of the truth in that he perceives Muslim enmity to be rooted in the issue of governance over lands, and not in military actions against them. But he is missing the other half of the truth: the vision of Islam is not limited to the Middle East or to any of the lands now currently under Muslim rule. The vision of Islam is not limited, period. He shows his error near the beginning of his article:

From the time of the Crusades, the pattern has been consistent.

Like all of this article, that sentence is a maddening combination of deep insight and sheer blindness. The deep insight is that of winding the clock back to far-off ages, something that many on the Left refuse to do because (in ironic Occidental snobbishness) they do not imagine people could retain the memory of events so ancient. And he shares with me the emphasis on Muslims rather than Arabs, a necessary step if one is to succeed in understanding the current global conflict. But he does not go far enough in riding the Wayback Machine: he neglects to go further beyond the Crusades, back to the beginning of it all—to the 7th century CE.

Go to the beginning of the 7th century and you will see two kingdoms locked in combat: the Christian empire of Byzantium, and the Zoroastrian kingdom of Sassanid Persia. The Land of Israel, Syria, Egypt, Lybia and the Magreb were all Christian lands, part of the Eastern Roman Empire; and Mesopotomia and Persia boasted of a history and culture already stretching back more than a thousand years. Then, in the 30’s of the 7th century, Arab bedouin tribesmen, motivated by the religion of Islam, took it all: the Byzantines were left with Asia Minor and the Balkans, whereas Persia fell whole to the invaders, whose religion, heritage and values they subsequently imposed upon it, in what was one of the most egregious acts of cultural imperialism in all of history.

The attacks, invasions and conquests were unprovoked; under the standard Leftist “tit-for-tat” view, they would have to be on the side of the Crusaders, excusing the Crusades as blowback for the Islamic aggression of the 7th century. But it would not fit the agenda of allying with the Muslims to defeat the hated white, capitalist, Bible-believing (et cetera) West. So Eland does as he must in order to prevent cognitive dissonance, and avoids going any further than the Crusades, thus securing their place as the first instance of Western aggression toward Muslims in his narratives. But that is not the truth.

Spain sheepishly withdrew its troops from Iraq after the Madrid terrorist attack of March 2004. Surely, pace Eland, this should have been the end of all Muslim enmity toward Spain? Ah, the difference between what we wish and what really is… No, Spain has not been freed; of the rallying cries for jihadis worldwide, less known than the “Palestinian” cause but no less real and significant, is the call for “liberating Al-Andalus from the infidels”. Al-Andalus is the Arab, Islamic name for Spain. What was once brought under Islamic rule, say the Muslims, is to stay there, and to be prevented from being taken away by the non-Muslims; and what has never yet been under Islamic rule is to be brought under it eventually. The goal of Islam is world domination. “Islam will dominate”, say the signs.

Picture: Muslim holding a sign: Islam Will Dominate The World
The crucial half of the truth that Ivan Eland missed.

The existence of any land in the world not under the rule of Islamic law is the one and only root cause of Muslim rage. Entitlement to the whole world is that which, when deprived of it, the Muslims react in anger. Reasoning is not possible here, only resistance, resistance by those who know the whole truth and wish to preserve their freedom intact. The alternative is, at best, dhimmitude—an apartheid system where non-Muslims are second-class subjects constantly at the mercy of their Muslim overlords.

Closing quote:

The lesson learned is that empire does not enhance security—it undermines it. U.S. power on Islamic soil is especially problematic.

Only a few changes are needed for the truth: “The lesson learned is that caliphate does not enhance security—it undermines it. Islamic power on non-Muslim soil is especially problematic.”

To use a Leftism in an appropriate place just for once: to resist is to exist.

[UPDATE, Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 14:17] Ivan Eland is not a left-winger but a paleoconservative—a member of the Old Right, remnants of the bad old party of Charles Lindbergh. That I could mistake him for a Leftist is testimony to today’s shift of isolationist, appeasement-supporting and fascist-sympathizing positions from the Right to the Left in the West. My thanks to Jason Pappas for the correction.

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Lefty Blog Roundup for July 11, 2007

This is a roundup of some more noteworthy of the Leftist articles I’ve recently read. The most significant, US Role in Islamist Terrorism by Ivan Eland, has been given a post of its own. A reminder: the purpose of these links is to show the mainstreaming of Jew-hatred in the Western Left under the cover of anti-Zionism.

Slouching Toward A Palestinian Holocaust, by Richard Falk, from July 7, 2007. The “Zionists = Nazis” comparison is already in the title, as you can see. The author says of himself:

Against this background, it is especially painful for me, as an American Jew, to feel compelled to portray the ongoing and intensifying abuse of the Palestinian people by Israel through a reliance on such an inflammatory metaphor as ‘holocaust.’ [Emphasis mine. —ZY]

But despite his pain, he is conclusive in his verdict:

Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not.

I have a question too: Is it an irresponsible lack of foresight to make a comparison which could easily lead to the international acceptance of a real repeat of the Holocaust (G-d forbid)? And I too am conclusive in my verdict.

From Left I on the News comes an ominous headline of the day for July 9, 2007, where, after citing Jerusalem Post on the likelihood of a strike on Iran, the blogger says, “Expect Joe Lieberman (D I-Jerusalem) to pick up the call tomorrow.” It was “D-Jerusalem” before an edit, as can be seen in the screenshot I took:

The principle, however, is the same: sentiments with which I’m familiar from my reading of the history of 1930’s Europe are now being repeated, only by the Left rather than the Right (except the most extreme fringes on the Right, which now form a mutually symbiotic system with the Left on that point). It’s in the form of anti-Zionism and “criticism of Israel’s occupation”, and framed in the narrative of post-colonialism, but underneath nothing’s changed. In Yiddish we have a saying for that: Der zelbe dreck mit an andre dekoratsye (“the same excrement with a different decoration”).

From Daily Kos, the diary Israel/Palestine; Violence, the State, and Democracy for Some, from July 9, 2007, from a poster with a username that screams out his obsession: “jon the antizionist jew”. (Who knows, maybe it’s Richard Falk himself.) Of a solidarity concert held in Tel-Aviv for the people of Sderot, he has this to say (after a “please do not get me wrong” passage I don’t find very convincing):

Just look at the intent, that the people of Sderot should live just live the ‘safe’ citizens of Tel Aviv. I can imagine that the Euro-American settlers felt much the same way on the constantly expanding borders of the American frontier, vulnerable to attacks from the ‘barbaric’ violence of the natives, which of course, they were just defending themselves from, of course. But that is the way of the colonial settler society; the central, thoroughly ethnically cleansed homeland is much less risky than the rough borders of such activity, whether we are talking about Sderot and Tel Aviv or Little Bighorn and New York City.

And he gives us a subtle hint of the idea that Sderot is getting something it deserves:

And let’s also not forget that this is not new; Sderot was built on/next to the ruins of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Najd, and has, like many areas bordering Gaza and the OPT, has felt its share of violence from the conflict.

Now, I’m not saying Jon the quisling anti-Zionist Jew is representative of the stance of all Daily Kos posters (though the fact that he feels comfortable voicing such ideas there goes to show something); however, the casual brushing off of the continuous suffering of the inhabitants of Sderot by the charge of “blowback for settler colonialism” is something that has taken firm hold in the thinking of Western Leftists. Significant also is the fact that Sderot is within the 1949 Armistice Line border of Israel, i.e. it’s a pre-1967 part of Israel, meaning that the old and cold comfort of being spared the ire meted on the “West Bank settlers” can no longer be sustained. Ultimately, it means there are many on the Western Left who wouldn’t be shaken much by a Muslim massacre of Israeli Jews (G-d forbid).

To make lemonade out of these lemons you can see above: we can scarcely be under more condemnation and vilification than we are now, so let’s put down our reins of “civility” and accountability to “international law” and do what G-d says.

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Seder Olam

“Out with the family!”, said the revolutionaries.
“We don’t need need that old-fashioned establishment
That unenlightened men did create.”
So in the revolutionaries’ new utopia
Was born a new, very extended family—the state.

“Out with patriarchy!”, said the radical feminists.
“Women must do away with this tool of male rule,
Forged for the control of men over each woman’s life.”
So in the rad-feminists’ new utopia
Women were liberated, doing the work of both husband and wife.

“Out with class distinctions!”, said the Marxists.
“Exploitation by the rich is the source of all woe.”
So in the Leninspired new utopia
A thin stratum of fat cats took post, and were called the Politbüro.

“Out with religion!”, said the hardcore atheists.
“Religion is the source of all bloodshed and wars,
Undebatable, the desire of despots all.”
So in the fanatical secularists’ new utopia,
Secular religions, such as earth-worship, held people in thrall.

“Out with nationalism!”, said the internationalists.
“Mankind’s division into nations should be finished,
For it does all enmity between humans hatch.”
So in the internationalists’ new utopia,
Support was pledged for new “indigenous peoples”
Created by colonials of old from scratch.

“Out with fascism!”, said the Liberals.
“Creeping authoritarianism is the plague of our time,
Demanding constant vigilance for every hole in the dam.”
So in the Liberal-Leftists’ new utopia,
All aid and comfort was given to fascistic Islam.

“Out with the old, in the new!”, said the Progressives.
“Change is inevitable, you cannot that path abort.”
So in the Progressives’ new utopia,
Life returned to be what it once was:
Solitary, nasty, brutish and short.

“A book of myths, irrelevant in our age”, so we were told.
But to HaShem is the last word:
Truth eternal ceases not being so by being old.
To believe in a literal Adam and Eve there is no need;
But of the changeless verities of human nature one should ever take heed.
There is no escape! Every attempt to rebel has only led to different forms of the same.
So come and let us reason together, and hear the word of His Holy Name.

Picture: Reading from a Torah Scroll

(“Seder Olam” is Hebrew for “Order of the World”.)

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Choice is Free

I don’t know if comment is free, but I’m sure choice is free, at least as far as the choice of who to boycott goes. I can’t choose for other people, but I can help them decide.

Picture: Israel's export industries (microprocessors, cell phones, sprinklers and new kinds of life-saving medicine) vs. "Palestine's" (suicide terrorists, grievance-mongering tactics, child abuse and resurgence of global fascism)

Boycott away, me hearties…

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Tip: Haveil Havalim #124

Issue no. 124 of the great Jewish blog carnival Haveil Havalim, for July 8, 2007, is hosted on Malachi Rothschild’s blog, V’HeChadash Yitkadesh, which gets kudos from me for 1) the radical innovation of using an exclamation mark instead of a hyphen for spelling “G-d”, and 2) including my submitted post. The second reason, as usual, merits my reciprocal, with the posts I liked best.

  1. Top post goes for empathy this time: Cry for the Children, by Seawitch, from July 5, 2007, where the Jewish lament over cruelty toward the merciful, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, caused by mercy toward the cruel, is raised. No child deserves to be raised to be a suicide terrorist!
  2. Almost knocking it, Jacob-like, for first place, is Make Noise! – A Heroine’s Cry, by SerandEz, from July 3, 2007, on the plight of Sderot.
  3. In Suicide bombing doesn’t work, from July 6, 2007, Mr. Bagel, the Bagelblogger, otherwise disposed toward jokes, takes some mathematical analyzers of the pragmatic merits of suicide bombing to task for their failing to grasp the psychological effects of it. In other words: no country should ever have to live with this threat. Why this is so hard for people, especially statesmen, to understand is beyond me.
  4. Speaking of leaders: a youngster like me is having trouble Rembering Entebbe: When Israel’s Leaders had Guts, but fortunately, Yid With Lid doesn’t, and in his post from July 5, 2007 he reminds us. It’s also a reminder of why we Jews set up our state in the first place. Aspiring leaders who wish to call themselves Zionist, please take note.
  5. On with the theme of leadership: it appears that 38% of Israeli Jews prefer Bibi Netanyahu, according to a Tel-Aviv University poll, cited in the post Waiting for Bibi, from July 6, 2007, on Rick Richman’s site, Jewish Current Issues. Bad move: as I showed in my link from the previous issue of HH, Bibi is no less an appeaser than the rest of them, proved clearly with his latest stunt of proposing to invite Jordanian troops to “secure” Judea and Samaria. No, we need a strong, Torah-believing, expulsionist leader who’ll kick all the Muslims out of the Land of Israel. On the bright side, the same poll has it that 24% reject all three candidates (Netanyahu, Barak and Olmert). I think that last figure is much higher, though.
  6. In his post Whatever… just don’t show up on my doorstep!, from July 3, 2007, David Bogner of Treppenwitz calls for Jews to calm down on the recent issue of the restoration of an old wording in the Catholic Mass. My take: even if it has real-world consequences, they are next to nothing compared to the danger we Jews now find ourselves in because of Marxist replacement theology. Fellow Jews, please update your list of enemies: not Nazis and Christian supporters of theirs, but Muslims and their Marxist sympathizers.
  7. In her post In Search of Pluralism, from July 5, 2007, Irina Tsukerman of The IgNoble Experiment voices doubts about the identification of Jewish values with “Progressive” values. I agree: those of the “Progressive” values that are not antithetical to Judaism are only a subset of Jewish values. G-d puts human systems in the pockets of His system, not the other way round.

That’s all for issue #124. My post featured there: Between Golus and Joluth, from July 4, 2007, where I attempt to uproot the misconception that Jewish life in Christian lands was all oy and in Islamic lands was all joy, by showing that they were the same, Jewish life being a series of ups and downs in both. That for the purpose of choosing our friends and naming our foes more carefully.

Thanks. ’Til next time, HaShem willing!


Monday, July 09, 2007

Spreading the Word: Julia Gorin’s Article

Blogger 1389, on the Serbian front of the resistance to Islamic imperialism, has requested a blog swarm to turn people to read Julia Gorin’s article, Ending the Balkan Quagmire at American Thinker. This is very important, because if writers staffing a neoconservative American blog like AT can get it wrong about what’s happened in the Balkans, there’s about the chance of a snowball in hell that any Mainstream Media (or should that be Dinosaur Media) outlet could give the public the correct view.

Please read and spread the word. Non-Muslims under attack by Muslims in all the world should know that there is no cause for those attacks other than the basic, inherent imperialism of Islam. Don’t let opinion-shapers anywhere get out their “Our action X made them do it” punditry unchecked.

May HaShem bless all those who resist Islamic fascistic imperialism.

P.S. From Gorin’s article:

Poole’s spelling and pronunciation Kosova impugns him as well. “Kosova” is the nationalist/Islamist/Fascist and dhimmi pronunciation. “Kosovo” means “of blackbirds” in Serbian. “Kosova” has no meaning in Albanian. The intent of inventing the word “Kosova” was to de-Serbify the name of the land. […] [Link original. –ZY]

ZY comments: There’s something very familiar about this…

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Parashat Mas’ei: G-d’s Peace Plan

The coming weekly parashah (Torah portion) is Matot-Mas’ei, two parashot joined in one. From Mas’ei, the last parashah of the book of Numbers, I bring a passage that I have quoted before, but now with a full elaboration. HaShem’s words in Numbers 33:50–56:

[50] And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying: [51] “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, [52] then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places. [53] And ye shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for unto you have I given the land to possess it. [54] And ye shall inherit the land by lot according to your families—to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer thou shalt give the less inheritance; wheresoever the lot falleth to any man, that shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers shall ye inherit. [55] But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those that ye let remain of them be as thorns in your eyes, and as pricks in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land wherein ye dwell. [56] And it shall come to pass, that as I thought to do unto them, so will I do unto you.”

And the authoritative commentary He inspired upon Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi):

“And ye shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein”: You shall drive out all its inhabitants, and then you will be able to stay in it; if not, you will not be able to stay in it.

“And as pricks in your sides”: The solvers who solve it say: it is of the meaning, “An enclosure of thorns covering you to close you and imprison you, such that there is no one who goes out and no one who comes in”.

Of course it was given concerning the seven nations (and indigenous peoples, by the way) of Canaan at the time. But there are those who conclude, from that, that it is not applicable today. In the sense that the Muslims do not have figured stones, molten images and high places as the pagans did, that is correct; but all the rest is open to discussion, and from the way things look today, the case for its applicability is very compelling. Compelling, both because of the theoretical matter of the truth that the Torah is a book for all ages, not a time-bound human-authored document as the unbelievers say, and because of the practical matter that the eyes can see that the warnings of the passage have come to pass—exactly.

In the recent war in Lebanon, almost a year ago, Hassan Nasrallah (may he go to hell soon, amen) called upon the Arabs of the Galilee to flee the state of Israel. They did not do so, but that was what had happened in nearly all cases in the Israeli War of Independence (1947–9). Some of the Arabs did flee under Jewish prodding, because the course of war made it necessary (the Leftists, as usual, will hold us to a unique and impossible standard, saying, “Jews aren’t meant to make war, they were chosen to bring peace to the world”. Nice of them to acknowledge our chosenness, but no, we’re not the ones who are destined to bring peace to the world, we’re not that powerful—G-d is the one to whom this honor belongs).

There was no premeditated plan of expulsion; the desired event according to mainstream Zionism was a partitioned land, shared between Jews and Arabs as per the 1947 UN Partition Plan. Having been attacked on the day of the announcement of the partition, and then by five Arab armies in 1948, the Jews could not be reasonably expected to lie down, and they had every right to expel all the aggressors. As history would have it, most of the Arabs fled of their own accord, out of the calling of their leaders. David Ben Gurion invited those Arabs to stay who did not participate in the aggression, in order that the world might see that the State of Israel was on a foundation of justice. He acted wisely in destroying the homes of those who had fled, in order that they could have nothing but fake keys to show the world—in order to give them an incentive to break with the past and begin new lives, just as the Jewish refugees from Islamic lands ended up building themselves, often from scratch, in the state of Israel. But then as now, the thirst for revenge militated against reconstruction for the Muslims.

So within the 1949 Armistice Line borders, we now have a 20% non-Jewish, Arab, mostly Muslim, minority in the state of Israel. Nearly a million and a half Arabs whose standards of living are much better than those of their sovereign brothers in any of the 22 existing Arab states; Christian Arabs with the rare privilege, extant only in Lebanon (and that too is falling into doubt), of not being accorded dhimmi status, not living under the apartheid regime of Islamic shariah law. And yet, recent times have seen them complaining about their status, and demanding changes to it.

Let us go now to 1967, to the aftermath of the Six-Day War, which was even worse: coupled with the utter folly on the part of Moshe Dayan, of giving the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf, all the Muslim inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and Gaza were left to stay where they were. Jewish settlements were built alongside them, in violation of G-d’s commands quoted above. Again, the reason for those follies was the ill-founded, un-Jewish consideration of world opinion, of “what the non-Jewish paritz (town notable, the powerful figure in the Diaspora whom Jews often asked for help in trouble times) would think”. To show the world that the state of Israel is an enlightened state. Which it is, and has been from the start, to the extent possible in a region where enlightened values are short in supply, but the world no longer thinks so, and says loudly that it no longer thinks so.

Do not castigate me when I voice some points of agreement with the Leftists; I do so because they are true, but rest assured that we will always differ on the solutions. I say: the occupation, in the sense of controlling an enemy population, must end; the separation fence must go down; and the checkpoints must be dismantled. All that must be done—but only after all the Muslims have been expelled from the Land of Israel.

The Leftist “peaceniks” among us say the occupation (again, in the sense of keeping a military garrison to control an enemy population; not in the sense of “stealing land”, which we aren’t) is taking a heavy toll upon our sons serving to uphold it. I agree! They say the separation fence is effectively turning the state of Israel into one big Jewish ghetto, walling us off from non-Jewish enemies just as the ghettos and malahs of the Diaspora did. I agree with that too! Leftists abroad say the checkpoints are a top cause, a photogenic showcase, for “Islamists” to rally around in their hatred of the West. I agree even with that, though the caveats I make are legion (example: a few cartoons are all they need as an excuse to whip themselves up into a frenzy).

Indeed our soldiers—fathers, sons, brothers of every single Jew in Israel, not some putative far-off “mercenaries” of whom a blog owner could petulantly say, “Screw ’em!”—are chafing under this role. The Israel Defense Army was never meant to chase little children throwing Molotov cocktails. It is unhealthy and needs to be ended.

The separation fence and checkpoints, those enclosures of barbed wire turning Israel into a Jewish ghetto from which no one goes out and to which no one comes in, are a disaster. First, they are a political statement of our borders: they make it out as if there were a distinction between the territories within the 1949 Armistice Line and the territories retaken in 1967. They cover up the truth that both are equally the parts of the Land of Israel, which G-d has promised us throughout all the Torah. Second, they are antithetical to Jewish resurgence, that “Out of the Galut” mentality that underlay Secular Zionism and not just Religious Zionism. Jabotinsky’s call for an Iron Wall ensuring peace between the Jews of Israel and their non-Jewish enemies is better than the proposition that talks could achieve that, but it isn’t good enough. Walls (and fences) are the signs of siege, of a people huddled inside an enclosure, just waiting for it to be breached (which is what happened on the 17th of Tammuz). The defensive posture, unless it is a short-term tactic for the sake of long-term strategic gain, is a grave mistake. We did not return to our land after 2,000 years for that kind of existence.

The solution? From 1993 for over a decade, one proposition was tried, and found to fail: land for peace. 1967 territories to the Arabs, 1949 Armistice Line territories to the Jews, and they lived happily ever after. Trouble is, they didn’t: the reason the separation fence had to be constructed at all was that the other side never maintained a separation between the two territories. The other side, it seems, has been more faithful to G-d’s words about the Land of Israel than we have. Again and again, HaShem sends enemies upon us to bring us back to the right path. The Father chastises His beloved son. Nor has world opinion stayed the same: taking hold more and more, with each passing day, is the idea that Israel was a wrong and injustice from the start, a “white settler colony”, an “apartheid regime”, even a “Nazi-like enterprise” (may G-d burn those tongues who say those things).

The Muslims in both 1967 and 1949 territories have been, as G-d promised, harassing us in the land where we dwell. One of the shocks of the October 2000 uprising (the Al-Aqsa Intifada) was to see the Arabs within 1949 territories joining those of the 1967 territories in the riots. The documents demanding (demanding!) that the state of Israel relinquish its Jewish character are the final straw. They don’t even hide their intentions anymore! Just as G-d said: whichever of them we have left in the Land of Israel, out of mercy and heeding world opinion, have turned to be those who make our life perilous every day, a constant threat hanging over us.

Our leaders cannot go on with the same lines of the halcyon days of Oslo, but their “updated visions” are little better. A recent proposal, endorsed by a few Religious Zionist leaders as well, is to resettle the “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, in an agreement which the “Palestinians” would accept voluntarily. Pipe dreams again. Not to mention that parts of the state of Jordan are within the boundaries of the Land of Israel, so that proposal goes against G-d’s commands too. There was no halakhic problem in giving back Sinai to Egypt; there is a problem in giving Gaza, Judea, Samaria or the Gilead to non-Jews. All the leaders seem to be in agreement in planning for a long war, a war of immense duration by necessity. See how, in their considerations of hostage exchanges, all sides of the debate proceed from the assumption that the war with Hamas and further hostage-takings (G-d forbid) will necessarily go on. But this is the thinking of unbelievers.

It is not necessary! If but we let go of the consideration of world opinion, and of the irrational fear of the International Court of “Justice” in the Hague, where self-appointed humans judge other humans without any solid basis, we could end this predicament entirely, within a few months! By expelling all the Muslims from the Land of Israel, most of our current woes would vanish like a bad dream.

We would no longer have to fear about hostages, for there would be no one to take hostages from us; our sons serving in the army would do the real work of soldiers, the work of fighting against armies and not grappling with unscrupulous guerrilla fighters, up to the day that there would be no longer need for an army at all; our civilian women and children would be able to roam the streets without fear, and to travel freely from any part to any part of the Land of Israel; economic prosperity would hit the roof, for there would be no enemy to vandalize what we have built, and no foreign investors would avoid our country on the grounds of security fears; overall, the losses from such a move, if any (a few weeks of international condemnation, I guess), would pale in comparison to the gains.

What is it about the G-d’s commands in Parashat Mas’ei that has so many people, even Religious Zionists, flinching from it? They keep the Sabbath, they try to prevent “Gay Pride” events from being held in G-d’s City, they hold debates about how best to observe the coming Sabbatical Year, but the command to expel all our enemies from the Land of Israel is a “fringe belief”?! The eyes can see how much we are losing because of our lack of heed to that explicit command.

The situation is mirrored in the whole world, in the form of the misnamed “Global War on Terror”: the rounds of appeasement, even unto dropping out “offensive terms”, as well as constant accommodation of the Muslims’ demands, is only making them more belligerent, for they give them confirmation that jihad pays. All these missteps, just in order not to be “racist”. Were the Muslims to be expelled from all their host non-Muslim countries, the current woes would vanish like a bad dream: no longer the fear of terrorist attacks, no longer the tortuous waits and checks at the airport, no longer the heavy expenditures for monitoring possible threats, and no longer the “racial tensions” which are in reality nothing but clashes between Muslim colonials and those who resist them. For the non-Jews, too, the solution is close at hand, if only the mentality of “death before considered a racist” were abandoned.

One could say G-d has brought this situation in globally in order that the world would one day understand and sympathize with us Jews in Israel, but I disagree: after all, Spain’s construction of a separation fence in Gibraltar to keep away illegal imm… uh, I mean, undocumented residents from Morocco doesn’t stop the Spaniards from criticizing Israel for its separation fence. No, it is the opposite: with the observation that events in Israel usually presage those of the rest of the world (Islamic terrorism being one of the prominent exhibits), it is only after we finally embark on doing the right thing that the rest of the world will follow suit. Whatever the case is going to be, world reaction should not even be in the list of our considerations.

For we know Who really is in charge of the world. He has spoken clearly in His word: when the Jews return to the land He has given them, the Land of Israel, they are to expel all those who form an opposition to the idea that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews. We should have done that in 1947–9, but what is past is past; let us, therefore, do it soon. May HaShem replace our current leaders with Torah-believing ones soon, amen.

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Lebanon, One Year After

The coming July 12 will be the first anniversary of what is officially called The Second Lebanon War. The passage of a year is premature for 20/20 hindsight, but not too early for a general reflection. Of my interest is less what happened in the battlefield (not because I don’t care, but because I’m not knowledgeable about military details), but in the arena of thoughts and opinions. The war of minds, in other words.

To hear tell any Western Leftist, the war was about the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah. The fact that they think so is the beginning and end of the failure of that war: it underpins the “Disproportionate Response” accusation that brought President Bush, at first supportive of Israel’s right to wipe out the terrorist organization at its northern border, to pressure Israel to accept a ceasefire agreement courtesy of the corrupt, Jew-hating United Nations.

The truth is the abduction of the two soldiers was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It had been preceded by nearly one year of Kassam rockets on Israel’s towns, foremostly Sderot, from within the same Gaza Strip that Israel had made judenrein for the sake of peace. No other state would tolerate rocket fire on its towns from within the border, no matter how “primitive” those rockets are. So when a new front was opened in addition, the northern front in July 12, 2006, the people and the leadership of Israel decided enough was enough.

Olmert’s downfall is—in hindsight even more than at the moment of happening—painful to watch. When he undertook the war, with full force, he had the full approval of the Israeli Jewish citizens, and his speech on the necessity of defending Israel at all costs was greeted with deafening applause (yes, such could be heard even on TV). His acceptance of the US-pressured, UN-authored ceasefire agreement marked the beginning of his political end. Had he ignored all pressure, had he pushed on until Hizbullah’s demise, he would have gone down in the history of Israel as one of her greatest, his portrait standing beside that of Levi Eshkol, victor of the Six-Day War. But he caved in to world opinion and pressure, and thereafter became the opposite of that applause-winning speaker: not only having left Hizbullah standing, but refusing to lift a finger to Sderot’s aid, and toying with all manner of insane “peace initiatives”. Min igra rama l’vera amikta (“From a high roof to a deep pit”, in Aramaic) in a twinkling.

The opinion pieces of the Muslim world picked up on this almost immediately after the war: “The countdown to the end of the Zionist project has begun” (G-d forbid), blared one of their newspapers. Instead of being a magnificent demonstration of how jihad does not pay by wiping out Hizbullah, the Second Lebanon War joined that long string of Israeli signs of weakness that goes back to 1993 (the Oslo Accords). This has global significance as well, because Islamic jihad is not limited to Israel, no matter how the “Palestinian” fakery may make it look that way: Hizbullah’s ability to stay up in the face of a strong army was proof to jihadis everywhere that they could do it. They learned from it that they could achieve physical victory by working the media, with propaganda in the form of dead bodies of children whom they themselves had put in the line of fire for that very purpose.

We cannot change what happened in the past, so bemoaning that unfortunate war should not be carried to a further extent that necessary. On this note, let me attempt to find some points of light in that episode, a try at making lemonade from that lemon. I can think of three good things that came out of it:

First, the war made manifest the asymmetry of the warring sides in the War On Islam, an asymmetry created by the total lack of any morality on the Muslims’ part. Hizbullah won by not ruling out any subterfuge: staging, photoshopping and sacrificing one’s own women and children. The complicity of Western media with the Muslim aggressors was also shown the light of day. Though the leadership is still with its head in the post-colonial sand, the younger generation watching this war knows two things now: 1) International law needs to be discarded if there is to be any hope of victory over the Muslims in the future; 2) The first step to take in any future war against the Muslims is to make the battlefield a no-reporter zone, except for reporters sanctioned by our side, with the promise of shooting anyone who violates that law. When the current leaders are replaced by one who is imbued with these truths, the beginning of salvation will be at hand. The question is not “if” but “when”.

Second, the war showed us Jews who our friends are and who our enemies, and not just on the physical battlefield. I was glued to the blogosphere at that time, and one of the things that prompted me to launch my blog was to see all the Jew-haters crawl out of their rocks at the scene of the war. Otherwise “evenhanded” lefty posters could be seen to sprout full-fledged Jew-hating feathers at the sight of the staged Qana massacre. If there is a lesson here, a lesson I’m sure many on our side have not failed to learn, it is that the old, visceral Jew-hatred, be it dressed as finely as it could in its shiny new anti-Zionist dress, is always there, just waiting for an opportunity to erupt, a justification to make it totally acceptable and righteous-sounding. Thus we have learned that world opinion must be ignored, and our right to defend ourselves comes first. To the Islamonazis and their Leftist sympathizers no quarter!

Third and most important was the behavior of the Israeli Jewish public during the war. All that time, the Jews were brothers and helpers toward one another; the volunteer organizations for aid for both the north and south were flooded with requests; all the internal strifes and rivalries ceased, switched off for the sake of the pressing need, the purpose of helping one another, for all of Israel are responsible for each other, and if Jews do not aid each other, no one else will; the feeling of “all in the same boat” was universal.

This is the true Nation of Israel. In times of political bickering, sex scandals, ineffective leaders and sectarian rivalries, the truth of the Second Lebanon War must be remembered: how we behaved then is how Jews truly are toward one another, rachmanim, baishanim, gomlei chasadim (merciful, bashful and given to acts of charity). Though in ordinary days it is tempting to think the old traits are no longer with us, that war showed otherwise: underneath it all, no matter to what faction they belong, the true Jew is still there. It is in the secular Jew who relentlessly thrashes the Internet with responses to the lies; it is in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbi who, no matter what his thoughts about the original Secular Zionism might be, orders his followers to pray for the IDF (when I heard of that back then, I burst into tears); it is in the Diaspora Jew who makes aliyah to Israel in order to be on the scene in the time of need; it is in Jews of all stripes and colors and upbringings ready to host refugees from the katyushas of the northern borders in their homes.

This, O HaShem, this, no matter what the appearances and lapses are, this is Your People! This is Your Nation Israel, the sons of Jacob, unchanged after all those years! This is the nation of those who received Your Torah, and, no matter their level of observance, this is proof that they are the same people inside!

O HaShem, having thus heard my defense of Your people, may it be favorable unto You to send them Your salvation soon; show Your power, bringing our enemies signs to show them they must repent, so that if they do not repent, wipe them off the face of the earth. Amen and amen!


For My American Friends

Belated, I know, but that’s what happens when you change your posting mode to en bloc. Happy American Independence Day! And specially from your sister-state of Israel: don’t let…

Drawing: flag of the USA, with text, "Nil Illegitimi Leftscum Carborundum", meaning, "Don't let the Marxist bastards grind you down", underneath

…the ones who are saying of both of our states that they are of illegitimate birth grind you down. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is that most of the states making the calls in the Useless Nothings are tin-pot dictatorships whose leaders aren’t worthy to shine any American or Israeli citizen’s shoes. To life and love!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Between Golus and Joluth

I explained (in my post from last Passover, Out of the Galut) how the Jewish concept of galut comprised the state of spiritual exile from HaShem, a state which may be accompanied by the physical state of being in the golah, i.e. outside the Land of Israel. Golus is the Ashkenazi way of pronouncing it, while joluth is the Yemenite way. But whichever way one pronounces it, the reality behind it is the same, whether the Jew lives in Poland or in Yemen—or even in the Land of Israel, for that matter. The denial of the sameness of this reality everywhere is one of the staples of the anti-Zionists today.

The argument, in concise form: “Throughout history, Muslims have treated Jews far better than Christians did; the present enmity between Jews and Muslims started with Zionism, and is wholly a reaction for stealing the Palestinians’ lands”. A powerful argument, killing two birds with one stone: it both urges Jews to make a negotiated peace with the Muslims in the Land of Israel, and exhorts them to turn their backs on their Christian Zionist supporters. Appealing to historical experience, those who make the argument say the Jews are much better off trusting in a peace treaty with the Muslims, who are (they say) free or nearly free of any anti-Semitic history, while the historically Jew-hating Christians are not a good horse at all to bet on.

An appeal to history is normally a good move; but in order for it to be sound, first the historical facts need to be straight, and then the comparison has to be on target. The latter is the problem with the Leftists’ comparison of today’s conflict (the War Against Islam) with 1972 (the Vietnam era). The former is the problem with the argument here: the difference between golus and joluth that the anti-Zionists are presenting is not true to reality.

The view of Jewish history between Orient and Occident is slanted from the outset: many have heard of the Golden Age of the Jews of Muslim Spain, but few have heard of the Golden Age of the Jews of Christian Poland; conversely, many know of the disruption of the Jewish communities of Poland by the Cossack invasion of 1648–9, but few know of the disruption of the Jewish communities of Spain by the Almohad invasion of the 12th century, from which one of the most famous refugees was Maimonides, in 1148. Sheer ignorance enables the painting of a false picture in which an Occidental Jewry in constant misery is contrasted with an Oriental Jewry in constant comfort.

When the Almohads, fanatical (today one would call them, “radical”) Muslim invaders from Morocco, persecuted Maimonides’ family, they fled to Egypt, where they found a better life. Now the Almohad kings and Saladin of Egypt were both Muslims; it can be pointed out rightly, then, that the experience of Jews in Muslim lands was not uniform. But the same is true of the experience of Jews in Christian lands as well! Jews dispersed throughout Europe for the same reason that Maimonides got from Spain from Egypt: fleeing the land of a Jew-hating ruler for the land of a tolerant one. Thus it was that Jews from Western Europe, during years of persecution and pogroms, from the end of the 11th century to the 15th, moved to Eastern Europe, to Poland, to the invitation of the kings Boleslav III and Boleslav V, who granted them edicts of tolerance in exchange for developing the economy of their kingdom. Jewish autonomy in Christian Poland, epitomized by the Council of Four Lands, was the counterpart of the famed Jewish autonomy in Muslim Spain. All that was while the Jews of Western Europe were being hounded out of the states (England in 1290; France in 1306 and 1394; Christian Spain in 1492). Examples of Jew-hatred and tolerance can be found for the Occidental Diaspora just as for the Oriental one; the dichotomous view of a tranquil Jewry in Islamic states versus a troubled one in Christian states has nothing to stand on.

Indeed, most of the well-known ways and methods of persecution of Jews in Christian countries can be found historically in Islamic countries as well. Dress-codes for Jews in Christian lands, such as pointed hats and the yellow star, are famous; less remembered is that the Jews of Islamic lands, by virtue of the dhimmi laws (which applied to Christians there as well), were subject to similar rules. Unless a tolerant or pragmatic Muslim ruler defended the Jews by personal decree, Islamic law left Jews under a constant protection racket, which, even when adhered to (that is, the poll-tax paid), did not provide any guarantee of protection. (An aside: those who laud the status of dhimmitude as “protected” should know that, in our day, we usually refer to such a status with the word, “apartheid”.) They did not stand a chance in court against a Muslim, because their pleas would not be taken over those of the Muslims; therefore, the danger of false accusation hung over them like the Sword of Damocles. If a synagogue fell into disrepair or was destroyed, they could not rebuild it except with a special dispensation from the ruler. The ghetto, walling off Jews from the Christians in Europe, had its counterpart in the malah in the Islamic world; in both diasporas, its purpose was the physical protection of the Jews from pogroms by the non-Jewish population.

The word, “pogrom” itself is a symbol of the bias: it is a Russian word, therefore cementing the idea that pogroms on Jews were a feature of the Christian world only, from which the Jews of the Islamic world were free. Nothing could be further from the truth: there were pogroms on Jews by Muslims long before the first inkling of the “Palestinian” question, and as in Christian Europe, many were state-sanctioned. In both the 12th and 17th century, fanatical kings of Yemen ordered pogroms, expulsions and obstruction of Jewish religious life in order to force the Jews of Yemen to convert to Islam. In the latter case, king Ahmed Ibn Hassan Al-Mahdi commanded the destruction of all the synagogues in Yemen, and expelled all the Jews of Yemen to the lowlands of Mawza for two years, where many of them died.

Another episode of European Jewry is that of the anusim, crypto-Jews, Jews who observed the Jewish religion in secret for fear of persecution. In Christian Spain until 1492, Jews were forced to convert to Christianity and renounce all Jewish practices under the threat of the Inquisition, so they either had to leave to a more tolerant country, whether Christian or Islamic, or to attempt to keep their Jewish observance secret. This too is well-known, in contrast to the similar episode of the anusim of the Jews of Persia, Shi’a Muslim Persia, from the 16th to 19th centuries. The Jews of Meshed accepted conversion to Islam under duress and continued observing Judaism in secret. Around the same time, the Jews of Tabriz chose a different route, much as did some Jews in Christian Spain: they refused to convert. This was followed by the massacre of the entire Jewry of Tabriz. Here is an answer to those who cite lack of precedence when they argue Muslims would never do a repeat of the Holocaust.

In summary, the state of Jewish exile is the same whether pronounced golus or joluth; whether in Poland or in Yemen; whether within a Christian population or within a Muslim one. Jews of the Diaspora, everywhere, have had an existence between the ups of tolerance and moderation and the downs of persecution and fanaticism. The fickle existence that led Herzl and Pinsker of blessed memory to desire to get out of it all by going back to Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel was by no means strange to Jews of Islamic countries. Therefore, the anti-Zionist charge that Zionism is at its heart a “European, Ashkenazi, white colonial settler movement” is nothing but a libel, an outright falsehood concocted for the purpose of recasting Jewish nationalism in the mold of post-colonial discourse, for denying the Jews’ right to have sovereignty over their land and inhabit it without restriction.

In the light of all this, this historical parity between Jewish Diaspora existence everywhere, the concessionist arguments need to be repudiated. The yardstick of friendship toward us should be, instead: the belief in our right to the Land of Israel, meaning also Gaza, Judea and Samaria and not just the territories within the 1949 Armistice Line. He who believes so is our friend; he who makes a distinction between the 1949 and 1967 territories, saying the former is legal while the latter is illegal, is most probably just naïve; and he who believes that all of Israel, including the 1949 territories, is illegitimate, that the “Palestinian Right of Return” is a prerequisite to peace, that Zionism is a colonial enterprise and that Israel as a Jewish state is as unacceptable as Apartheid South Africa—that is our enemy and should be treated as such. For Zionist Jews, that, and not historical misconceptions such as an idyllic Jewish–Muslim relationship until the advent of Zionism, should be the measure of friend and foe.

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You Can Leave Your Accusations of “Racism” Here

Picture: British Sikhs and British Muslims compared side by side, the peaceful vs. the seditious

Islam is not a race. That sounds obvious, but apparently not obvious enough to those who nip in the bud any resistance to Islamic imperialism by pulling out the race card.

Hateful and simplistic, you say, Leftist scum? I’ll remember that for the next time you make your oh-so loving and complex proposal of ending all terrorism by reaching “a just solution to the Israel/Palestine conflict”, or, more accurately, sacrificing the Jewish state to the Muslim wolves around her (G-d forbid). What’s good for the goose, and all that…

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Why Bring Religion Into It?

Of the objections to my lines of argumentation, the greatest concerns my use of the religious argument for the Jewish ownership of the Land of Israel. People say any argument from religion is a show-stopper in a world that is (they say) largely secular. They say religion arrests any possibility of debate, because there is no arguing with G-d. They insist the only way to secure peace is through pragmatic dialogue, something that requires separation of religion and politics.

I admit I was at first reluctant myself. Though my blog has focused on ideology and ideological arguments from the start, it took me some time until I got comfortable with making the religious Jewish claim to the Land of Israel. The road from the initial reluctance to the present comfort has provided me with the answers to those who say there is no room for religious claims here. In points, these are they:

  1. Religion is already in this conflict, and at the heart of it, whether people like it or not.
  2. The enemies of Israel, even the non-religious ones, have no problem using religious language against Israel.
  3. Religion is no more undebatable than the bloody secular ideologies from the 18th century onward.
  4. Separation of religion and politics is a situation that does not exist in pure form in the real world.
  5. Zionism, down to its very name, does not make sense apart from religion.
  6. Religion is a higher authority that is needed for countering the corruption of law in our age.

And more at length, one by one:

Religion is already in this conflict, and at the heart of it, whether people like it or not. It is the attempts to force reality to the straitjacket of one’s wishes that has been the undoing of the entire non-Muslim world, and in this there is no difference between left-wing and right-wing leadership. Leftist appeasement, driven by historical materialism, is worse in quantity, but not in quality, than President Bush’s belief that democratization (“Iraq the Model”) could magically convert Muslims into friends of those infidels living in Dar Al-Harb. Bush’s insistence on “not making this a religious war” is cut from the same cloth as the American Democrats’ cut-and-run motions and the Kossacks’ calls for “a more evenhanded approach to the Israel/Palestine conflict” (translation: sacrificing Israel to the Muslim wolves, G-d forbid), for both are rooted in that Westphalian dread of religious war.

The reality is different from the wishes—the reality is that the Muslim world has undergone little in the process of secularization, so the argument that “the world is largely secular” fails to acknowledge a sizable chunk of the population of the globe. As the various riots (Rushdie I, Danish Cartoons, Pope Quotes, Rushdie II) showed, the masses of Muslims are easily manipulated by the Friday mosque prayer speeches, however much this may seem surreal or outdated to those in the West who think all people are the same everywhere. The suicide terrorists show that people are capable, even in this day and age, of believing in the afterlife promises given them. Those who argue against the mere idea of this being a religious conflict are, in effect, saying it is inconceivable for people to believe in what religion says, in what the scriptures promise and in the overall seriosity of religion in human beings’ lives. Here is, again, the fallacy of assuming one’s way of thinking is everyone’s way of thinking. Joe Secular Public in the United Kingdom believes in the pursuit of personal happiness on this earth, but his neighbor Youssuf may well be a believer in a collective goal, in a grandiose vision of empire in this world (the Caliphate) and eternal pleasure beyond it, pleasure for which he could fearlessly blow himself up in the midst of non-Muslim Britons (G-d forbid).

I return to my neck of the woods with the second answer: the enemies of Israel, even the non-religious ones, have no problem using religious language against Israel. I might summarize, in advance, that the call for Jews to avoid making the religious claim for the Land of Israel is a call for participation in an asymmetric war of minds, just as we are ever called to participate in asymmetric warfare on the battlefield of flesh and blood. Our enemies, and here I am talking not just about the Muslims (who can be expected of such behavior—see above) but also about the Leftists (who claim to stand for secularism and “realism”), have no trouble using religious language when holding Israel to a different standard than all other nations criticizing Israel’s policies: they speak of Israel’s “original sin” of driving the “Palestinians” away from the land in 1947–9, for which, they hold, Israel should pay through the nose, preferably by shedding off its Jewish character as satisfactory atonement; they say Israel should make all the peace initiatives and concessions because it’s the “light unto the nations”; they have no trouble using the Biblical story of David and Goliath, turned on its head, against Israel; and they have no qualms about recruiting “Jewish ethics” in the service of demanding that Israel turn the other cheek, even quoting the most fanatical and unprogressive of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects for that purpose.

Screenshot: exchange between "litho" and "zemblan" on Daily Kos, regarding the former's expression, "Israel's sins"
Religion is the opium of the masses. Except when it advances the Progressive cause. Exchange from Daily Kos, from June 22, 2007.

Like the now worn-out, “Criticism of Israel isn’t anti-Semitism!”, which is there for disarming us while they freely heap their vilest abuse on Israel and Zionism, the Leftists’ brushing off of our religious claims as “insane, irrational fanaticism” while they indulge in a way of thinking having roots in the Middle Ages is unacceptable, as it is an invitation to an unfair fight. Not even the Taliban would kill an illegitimate baby (they would kill the mother, without doubt, but not the baby), but the Leftists top the Taliban in calling for, or at the very least voicing sympathy with the idea of, the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state (G-d forbid) because of its “illegitimate birth” by virtue of the partial expulsion of the “Palestinians” in 1947–9.

One cannot be more Catholic than the Pope, and we cannot be expected to avoid religious arguments when our ostensibly secular adversaries do not do so.

Now for the issue of debatability, the contention that religious is a show-stopper as far as intellectual debate goes. I hold that religion is no more undebatable than the bloody secular ideologies from the 18th century onward. Those ideologies have made wild, unverifiable, irresponsible claims from their inception, usually with disastrous results—the same charges that are leveled against religious ideologies. To those who argue that all debates between the various religionists, or between theists and atheists, have invariably reached an impasse sooner or later, I say: I agree, but the same is true for the secular ideologies of the last few centuries! Or has the debate between Capitalism and Communism—to name just one example—been sealed with a conclusive verdict? Not as far as I know. There are still Communists nowadays, after nearly a century of colossal failure and more than 100,000,000 dead by its hand. There are still even Nazis in our day! Those ideologies are no more amenable to a conclusive verdict than are religions, and in that, both contrast with science, meaning the hard sciences, that which is capable of sealing the case for heliocentrism over geocentrism, or of banishing theories such as phlogiston and the humors to the dustbin of historical curiosity.

Ideas such as Nazism’s “Thousand Year Reich”, Communism’s “New Man” and “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, Primitivism’s “Return to Pre-Industrial Eden” and Humanism’s “Basic Good of Humanity” are no more rational, arguable, debatable, verifiable and refutable than ideas spawned by religion; if they can be stood in the arena of intellectual debate, then so can religion, and if religion cannot, then neither can those secular ideologies. Those ideologies can be made palatable and convincing to many people by coating them with sophisticated language, making them sound like the best thing since sliced bread, but then so can any religious ideology, at the hands of an Angelic Doctor or a capable apologist like William Lane Craig. Post-1648 Europe arose from the shock of the Thirty Year War (between Catholics and Protestants), realizing the capacity for bloodshed, only to subsequently fall for equally unverifiable ideologies born of the Enlightenment, with results more catastrophic than before.

There is no escape. People either stand for something or fall for everything. A conclusive verdict is usually available in the hard sciences, but alas, these have no bearing on how humans relate to each other. Human relations are necessarily outside the bounds of conclusivity, therefore fraught with the risk of faith. Replacing religious faith with faith in a secular ideology will do no good.

Building on this, I can easily make the argument that separation of religion and politics is a situation that does not exist in pure form in the real world. Unless religion (or secular ideology, as I said) is a totally personal affair, involving no more than one person, an element of politics will always enter the fray. Even, say, a Christian pastor who conscientiously avoids talking about world or state politics must engage in political activity, however local, in that he is called to maintain the harmony between the members of his flock. The involvement of religion in the real world requires attention to resources both human and material, thus leading to the multitude of situations which humans are used to in politics.

On a less mundane level, the line between religious and political ideology is more often than not a blurry one, not only on the side of religion (religion going into politics, which is what secularists routinely decry), but also on the opposite side (politics going into religion, which secularists are usually oblivious to). As I said before, Islam is a deeply political religion while Marxism is a deeply religious political theory. Environmentalism (as distinct from caring for the environment) and Radical Feminism (as distinct from standing up for women’s rights, also known as first-wave feminism) are so-called secular ideologies which in fact have a profoundly religious core, complete with theories of origins, explanations of what went wrong and how to fix it, and a vision of the Last Days. And in another great irony, the Religious Left is the most politicized, because, by having shorn religion of all its otherworldly tenets (i.e. the supernatural), adherents of the Religious Left have nothing to concern themselves with except politics (“Social Gospel”, “Tikkun Olam” et cetera).

In summary, separation between religion and politics is a Platonic ideal, a construct to which humans can draw near but never reach. Again, as in the previous point, relinquishing religion for secular ideologies such as Communism or Humanism provides no refuge, for they suffer from the same problem in the opposite direction—tainted by elements of religion, elements which the secularists themselves denounce as “intellectual show-stoppers”.

I return to the Jewish question. Though Zionism began as a nationalistic movement along the lines of all the rest of them of the 19th century, advanced at first mainly by secular Jews who were of the opinion religion was on the way out, it was inseparable from religion even in its first days. The fact is, Zionism, down to its very name, does not make sense apart from religion. For although both Herzl and Pinsker of blessed memory came to see the need of Zionism out of the hopeless existence of Jews in Europe then, the insistence on the Land of Israel as the Jewish homeland cannot be separated from over three millennia of religious Jewish promises, claims and wistful prayers. Had the goal been nothing but the ameliorating of the Jews’ everyday situation, any empty land could have sufficed; but when Herzl suggested Uganda, not as permanent abode but as temporary shelter for the Jews, he was greeted by the sight of members of the Zionist Congress walking out of the room.

All the nationalistic movements of the time made pragmatic sense. Not so Zionism: to try to inhabit such a desolate land as the Land of Israel in the 19th century, as so aptly described by Mark Twain, instead of, say, allocating the resources to the more hopeful project of setting up colonies in Argentina, was truly insane, from the pragmatic point of view. But though the Secular Zionists left the religious Jewish way of life, they knew what anyone with Jewish upbringing knew: that for a Jew there is no land that he can call home except for the Land of Israel. Not Germany, not Uganda, not Birobidjan, not Argentina—the Land of Israel and none other. As for secular Jews being insistent on such a religious point, it may seem surprising, yet just 40 years ago the world could see secular Jewish soldiers crying upon retaking the Western Wall.

British TreasonMedia rag The Guardian recently had an article by Khaled Diab, “The other right of return, in which he proposed “balancing” the “Palestinian Right of Return” by granting Jews expelled 60 years ago from Arab countries the right to return to those countries. This is not a new argument: I first encountered it on Daily Kos, and subsequently addressed it. The argument is somewhat respectful to us Jews, in that it states that we can be called an indigenous people of some place rather than rootless cosmopolitans who are destined to wander; yet it ignores the basic Zionism of the Jewish religion entirely. A religious Jew living in Marrakesh or Frankfurt could trace his ancestry of 1,000 years of living on those same spots, but he could never consider himself an indigenous inhabitant of that area because of that. The current argument for indigenous rights, enthusiastically espoused by the Leftists, is counter to the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel, for it takes account of the mere length of inhabitation while ignoring what the Torah says. Thus it is possible for clueless Muslims and Leftists to demand Jews evacuate parts of the Land of Israel “because they are stealing it from its indigenous people”, and to offer a “Right of Return” to the Diaspora as compensation, “because that had been the Jews’ home for centuries”.

It is necessary to bring the religious claim for Zionism, because the secular arguments are easily turned against us. The “indigenous peoples” argument is being used against us now, just as it could easily have been used against us back at the first time when we took the Land of Israel, in the days of Joshua (peace be upon him). Except for the Three Patriarchs, there had been no Jewish history on the Land of Israel when our forefathers crossed the Jordan. Those seven nations, the Canaanites, Girgashites and the rest, were by all accounts the indigenous peoples of the land. G-d said: take the land, driving away all those indigenous peoples with their “rich cultural heritage” of sacrificing their children to Baal and Moloch, and divide it among yourselves after that. Now when the modern movement of Zionism started in the late 19th century, such was not the case—again, Mark Twain’s descriptions are the most damning toward those who speak of “a teeming Palestinian nation, whose peaceful existence was disrupted by the coming of the Zionist invaders”—yet there is no difference in the force of the religious claim: although neither Jews nor non-Jews could be considered the indigenous peoples of the Land of Israel today, for there has been no national continuity on it ever since its dwindling in Byzantine times, the land belongs to the Jews by virtue of G-d’s promise.

For the Israelites in Joshua’s time, the belief in G-d’s promise was what enabled them to surmount the obstacle of there already being nations on the land. For the Zionists of the late 19th century onward, the imprint of Jewish education, of which G-d’s promise are an inseparable part, was what enabled them to surmount the obstacle of the depressing desolation of the land. In both cases, the insistence of the Jewish nation on this land and none other can only make sense in the framework of the religious claim. All other types of claim would not lead to the Land of Israel, but to places like Uganda or the centuries-old towns of the Diaspora. Therefore, the call to leave religion out of Zionism, out of the movement for the return of Jews to the Land of Zion (Jerusalem), is the most irrational and unacceptable that could ever be made.

I mentioned how international law was being paraded by the enemies of Israel against us. But international law, in its current form, is a problem not just for Zionist Jews—it is the scourge of the entire non-Muslim world. In this area, religion gains more relevance than ever, for religion is a higher authority that is needed for countering the corruption of law in our age. It is through their adherence to their own religious law rather than to international law that the Muslims are able to chip away at non-Muslim states and societies everywhere, and it is only through jettisoning of the present-day corrupt international law in favor of some other system, some higher authority, that any non-Muslim state and society could have hope of repulsing this threat.

International law, or Politically Correct law, or Moonbat Law, or whatever name you wish to give to this so-called system of law that is really nothing more than the codification of the breakdown of law in our age, is dragging us along into a state of perpetual asymmetric warfare with the Muslims. When people think of asymmetric warfare, they often—especially if they are Progressives—raise the romantic picture of a band of threadbare, scantily-armed guerrillas standing stubbornly against a massive army featuring the latest in heavy weaponry. It is clear which is the underdog that should be rooted for. But surface appearances apart, it is the other side, our side, especially our civilian front, our women and children, who are at a disadvantage, and are the underdog that should be rooted for.

The Islamic enemy is subject to the Law of Jihad, not to the Geneva Rules of Engagement or any derivative of them; they can do whatever they wish, including hide behind their own women and children, or better (worse), send their women and children as combatants. Modern-day international law regarding warfare is based on the assumption of a distinction between civilians and combatants. Though guerrilla warfare has always blurred this line to some degree or other, the rules of engagement are still workable. But the Islamic jihadists are engaging in an altogether new kind of warfare, one in which the line between civilians and combatants is not just blurred, but erased. This has had the effect of bringing powerful Western armies to their knees, without need—many a potentially successful operation against the Taliban was called off for fear of hitting civilians.

Steven Plaut (HaShem bless him) brings the account of how the Allied forces brought down the Nazi insurgency in the aftermath of World War II. It is amazing to read that article, especially considering that the Allies had the constraint of keeping the German population in place (we of today have no such constraint—we are not obliged to keep the Muslims in any of our countries). On the other hand, they did not have to contend with international resolutions and condemnations, for the UN was just hatching. Now, with the whole corrupt system in place, terrorists can strike with no inhibitions (I am reminded of General Alcazar’s line to Tintin in Tintin and the Picaros: “See? None of your fancy scruples here.”), whereas, should a non-Muslim state, especially a Western state, be so careless as to make the beginning of a right move, condemnations of “the heavy-handed attempt to maintain colonial rule against the indigenous people” would come swiftly.

International law is the staple of Leftist motions against Western self-defense, whether it be against illegal immigrants smuggling through the border or against Islamic imperialists turning more and more tracts of land into Dar Al-Islam. The International Court of Hague is invoked by them like a deity against anyone who proposes a no-nonsense, realistic solution, such as mass expulsion of the irredentists, as was done to the Sudeten Germans (again an example from right after World War II—the veterans of that war had no time for games). One would think of those institutions as paper tigers, and yet world leaders really fear them, and really abstain from sane actions because of that fear. Their authority is sacrosanct, and he who scoffs at them is labeled, “warmonger”, “neo-colonialist”, “racist” and worse. All while the Islamic imperialists scoff at them with impunity.

I do not know about other nations, but we Jews must abandon our suicidal adherence to international law, specifically Rules of Engagement based on it, both because our situation is critical—physically threatened, and not just culturally as are most other non-Muslim states—and because the Torah offers a complete, comprehensive and adequate basis for warfare against such an enemy as we are confronted with. In one of those fickle turns of history, modern warfare is severely hampered by the existence of combatants who wage war according to 7th-century precepts, therefore the only way for us to win is to fight with the precepts of the Torah, which does not suffer from the snobbish belief that, just because one part of humanity has left the old ways of warfare, all of humanity has done the same.

To conclude the post: the other side is the one that has “brought religion into it”, or, to be more accurate, never left religion in the first place; the erroneous thought that the whole world has been secularized and pragmatized is behind the softening of the whole non-Muslim world today, both politically and militarily. Only a recognition of the nature of this war, followed by the abandonment of Rules of Engagement that foster asymmetric warfare to the enemy’s advantage, can bring the end of this long and drawn-out conflict. HaShem be in our help.

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