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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Jewish Windows Break

Several years ago a small group of notable British Jews, such as Anglican Atheist comedian Stephen Fry, Quaker writer Stevie Krayer and Claire Rayner, who once visited Israel and said she didn't like it because the people were rude to her which probably justified all those suicide bombings, put out a statement announcing that they were refusing to celebrate Israel's Independence Day. Rather they said, "We will celebrate when Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East."

That the likes of Ivor Dembina or Selma James refuse to celebrate Israel's Independence Day is about as newsworthy as the revelation that David Duke will not be attending a Black Power rally. Considering that there is a neck and neck race between the far left and the far right over who hates Israel more and is readiest to blame any and all world events on a vast Jewish conspiracy, no one expects Mike Marqusee to wave the blue and white, anymore than we expect to find an undiscovered poem by T.S. Eliot in which he describes how much he enjoyed celebrating Chanukah.

What is interesting however, is that the likes of Harold Pinter make their ultimatum conditional on achieving a state of affairs that has never existed in the history of the Middle East for thousands of years.

If we take their demand, that "Arab and Jew live as equals in a peaceful Middle East" literally, then Israel can never have legitimacy until Saudi Arabia opens up Mecca to the Jews it slaughtered and expelled from there. Only when Yemen and Syria extend equality to Jews, and everyone tosses away their weapons, instead settling their disputes with nice and orderly chess matches or humus cooking contests, then Hilda Meers or Arthur Neslen of Al Jazeera, with his countless peace proposals that involve legitimizing Hamas, will stop by for a fireworks display and shed a tear for the dead.

Since then Harold Pinter has since gone to the great wastepaper basket in the sky, but the small petty malice of notable British Anglicans, Marxists and Quakers, who all turn out to be Jewish when there's a petition slamming Israel to be signed, a boycott to be arranged, or a flotilla carrying vital supplies of aging anti-war activists to Hamas to be sailed, goes on.

Israel stole the land, they declare. Whose land did they steal? The land of the people who stole it from them. This reduces Arab grievances to a farce in which an angry burglar phones the police to report that the owner of the looted property he stole had broken into his house and took it back. (The only possible reply is that time legitimizes theft, in which case the only difference between a racist occupying colonialist entity and a native inhabitant is a few generations.) Common sense renders such outrage ridiculous, but to the moralizer, the man who takes back what is his, is just as bad as the man who took it from him. Even worse. To the moralizer, the original thief was deprived, while the homeowner is depraved. The thief only took what he needed, but the homeowner is the oppressor who took away a deprived man's necessities, he should have just kept his mouth shut.

For over a thousand years, Jews in the Middle East were deprived of their land, their property and their lives. They were legal and social inferiors of the colonizers who had occupied their country. From the Arab mercenaries who fought for Rome, to the Bedouin bandits who raided the outposts of a decrepit Byzantium, to the Caliphs dreaming of glory and gold, they had lived under an occupation that makes the wailing of the Nakba into something laughable. And the moment they managed to gain their independence, they went from deprived to depraved. In an unprecedented turn of events, they became the occupiers of their own country. The settlers of towns and villages built over the ruins and remains of the old towns and villages where they had lived.

Suddenly the nation that had gained its freedom against the will and armed force of its British colonial occupiers, was deemed the colonizer and occupier. The state that curiously extended political and religious freedoms to minorities, in a region where such minorities are usually stamped out or herded into ghettos, became a racist entity. And one of the world's oldest peoples were denounced as foreign interlopers, on behalf of a mythical Palestinian nation that had never existed at any point in history, as anything but a Greco-Roman designation for a portion of the territory on their maps.

And who are these racist Israeli Zionists anyway? Is it the Israeli Druze, Circassian or the Samaritan? The Israeli Armenian or the Israeli Arab? Of course not, it is the Jew. Of course it always the Jew. Was it the Jews who had lived there since the last massacre that wiped out their kind? Is it the Moroccan, Ethiopian and Yemenite Jews who fled oppression and tyranny to find refuge in a land where they were not required to bow to Muslim Arabs and accept them as their superiors? Was it the European Jews who fled the Holocaust to return to the land from which Arab mercenaries had expelled them to Rome, and were forced to fight the armies of General Sir John Bagot Glubb?

They, the occupiers of their occupiers. The colonialists of their colonizers. The slaves who had become masters of their masters, yet treated them with far more decency than they themselves had been treated. A crime which can never be settled, until the balance is restored, and the slaves again become slaves, and Arab and Jew are once again equal. As they are today in Saudi Arabia. Then finally Harold Pinter and the rest of the heavenly choir of West End immortals will wave the white and the blue. Because there will be peace. The peace of the slave. The peace of the dead. The butcher's bill served to Israel for daring to be free.

The Jews have been served with such bills before. After Kristallnacht, when the Nazi thugs had gotten through looting and smashing Jewish shops and synagogues throughout Germany, the Nazi regime presented the Jews with a bill of 1 billion Reich marks. For the damage that the Jews themselves had suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Today when there is broken glass and charred walls to be found in Sderot or in a family car overturned on the road to Hebron, it is still the Jews who must pay for it in the form of territorial concessions. Some 72 years later, when Jewish windows are smashed, it is still the Jews who must pay.

But this is not about the facts. Facts are cold, dead things that stir no souls. It is emotions that do this. Hate is one of the strongest of these.

I have seen several anti-Jewish outbreaks in Germany during the last five years, but never anything as nauseating as this. Racial hatred and hysteria seemed to have taken complete hold of otherwise decent people. I saw fashionably dressed women clapping their hands and screaming with glee, while respectable middle-class mothers held up their babies to see the "fun".

So wrote the Daily Telegraph of Kristallnacht. There are occasionally similar articles in the Daily Telegraph today, but the paper and its articles are denounced those same "otherwise decent people" who don't want their fun of breaking Jewish windows spoiled. Because once you look past the veneer of respectability, they aren't decent people at all. They never were. And once the windows start breaking, once they are given permission to clap and join in the fun, then the masks begin to come off. All it takes is an excuse. A whistle that starts it all.

Excuses are often rational facades for irrational emotions. But where reasoned principles are absolute, emotional principles are selective. And that selectivity is rationally unjustifiable. When it is challenged on rational grounds, it replies on emotional ones. Ask about the Kurds of Turkey, the Copts of Egypt or the countless other minorities in the region deprived of civil rights on an elementary level that is unimaginable in Israel, and you will get photos of smiling or mutilated children in Gaza thrust at you. Because there is nothing like using children as a primal emotional lever to bypass the minor question of principles.

Goebbels formulated the question neatly enough. It was not about whether Jews had rights, but whether good Germans were willing to stop Jews from preying on the children of Germany. Substitute in the children of Palestine and the same question is being asked of Europeans by smiling decent people who can't wait for a chance to clap their hands and join in the fun. The boycotts are already here. There are Jewish cosmetics and Jewish vegetables to ban and burn. Next it will be Jewish books. Some British authors have already declared that they refuse to be translated into Hebrew. Damaging stores or factories has already been deemed legal by courts, so long as the target is one particular Hebrew speaking country. For the children of Gaza of course, never for the pleasure of clapping their hands while stones fly through windows. Never that.

The only difference, is that the far left has always understood that the people who are most enthusiastic about leading assaults on Jews, are other Jews. In the Soviet Union, Jewish Communists were given the chance to purge Jewish religion, culture and Zionist-- before being put up against a wall themselves and shot. Being a minority does interesting things to the psyche of a nation. Some are ennobled by it and learn to stand tall. Others grow misshapen, with poison lurking in their hearts and a snarl forever creeping up into their teeth. Yet slavery was no less racist, despite the complicity of Africans in it. Nor was the Holocaust any less racist, though there were Jewish Kapos and Jews who had secretly managed to insert themselves into the machinery of the Third Reich, including one George Soros. The "hatred and hysteria" that is directed at Jews and their land today is no less racist, no matter if the oppressors line their ranks with select members of the oppressed.

There will of course be no new dawn of peace and equality through the Middle East. The best testament to that can be found in the status of minorities through the Middle East and the Muslim world. When even the most moderate Arab Muslim countries cannot respect the rights of Arab Christians, let alone the rights of Zoroastrians or Kurds, when even among Muslims, Shiite and Sunni bar their teeth at each other, there will naturally be no peace. There may be the occasional treaty or handshake, but these are things that governments do to and with each other. It has to do with the basic attitudes of the man on the street, his culture and religion. His need to believe that however few rights he has, his way of life is still best.

And the best testament to Israel's own status is this. After its founding, the vast majority of Jews in the Muslim world fled there. Today there are millions of Jews in Israel. And millions of Arabs. Because the Arabs for the most part stayed in a Jewish country, despite plenty of Arab countries they could have fled to. While the Jews fled the Arab Muslim lands as soon there was another option. Today Sudanese refugees from genocide in a Muslim war, cross through Egypt to get to Israel. It is almost as if Israel is actually not the worst place in the Middle East. Almost.

But it is not about the facts. Hate is not factual, it is an emotion. It is not a creature of reason that strides out of the gray matter with a top hat and a cane, but a creature of nightmare and id, a lurking thing that slithers out of the dark side of the human mind. One can psychoanalyze hatred and read psychoanalytic texts to it night. One can try to soothe or shame it, but it will always rise up again. In "otherwise decent people" who cheer and clap when windows are broken, it tugs always toward the id. The madness of the mob. The scent of violence let loose upon the air. Then the chant was Heil Hitler. Today it is Allah Akbar. The details do not matter much. Words fall away when the drumbeat begins. When the mob stirs. When the windows break.

18 comments:

Lemon said...

The sheer amount of hatred for Jews, for Israel ought to give people pause. Especially when the attacks on Jews and Israel are so blatant.
But, because no one really cares, they don't bother to really look at the hate. They just invest in it.

Paul said...

Well said.

"Excuses are often rational facades for irrational emotions. But where reasoned principles are absolute, emotional principles are selective. And that selectivity is rationally unjustifiable. When it is challenged on rational grounds, it replies on emotional ones. Ask about the Kurds of Turkey, the Copts of Egypt or the countless other minorities in the region deprived of civil rights on an elementary level that is unimaginable in Israel, and you will get photos of smiling or mutilated children in Gaza thrust at you. Because there is nothing like using children as a primal emotional lever to bypass the minor question of principles."

It isn't even just a question of principles, but a simple question of truth. Even hatred has its place. It is just an emotion and capable of being driven by reason as much as love. It is naked irrational hatred that is the scariest. When hysteria does not even pause at its contradictions, but seems to be excited even greater by them, as if the act of lying were a sacred and validating act swelling the rotted soul even greater. This was the spirit of Krystalnacht and is easy to see in the incitements against Israel now.

Daphne Anson said...

Sultan, I'm glad you've pulled no punches in identifying those "occasional [for Israel-bashing purposes] Jews" Fry and Ms Krayer by the religions they were, respectively, brought up in and profess. Claire Rayner herself was a leading member of the British Humanist Association. Furthermore, a number of "Jewish" serial defamers of Israel trade off the fact that they have an (outmarried) Jewish parent or even grandparent, but have no ties to Judaism or the Jewish community themselves, and I suspect that a large proportion of "as-a-Jews" have never seen the inside of a shul but are to some extent familiar with the liturgy of the Anglican Church, at least so far as "hatching, matching, and dispatching" are concerned!

Will48 said...

It's not Mecca, it's Medina, formerly Yathrib, that Muhammed expelled the Jews from. Mecca was always a Qureishi stronghold, who oversaw the Kaaba for centuries prior to Muhammad's the Qureishi chieftan's nephew's overhaul of the moon god Allla's cult, proclaiming Allla was "greater" (akbar) then all others.

mindRider said...

The intrensic genetically bound hatred from Amalek's (our eternal enemy) and Ishmael's (rejected by his father Awraham awinoe) decendants for the Jewish people one can understand (not justify!), but why do Jewish apostates hate their own with even more fervour remains a mystery.

Stan Tee said...

Great article (as always), but I do have a quibble towards the end. You write "... the Jews fled the Arab Muslim lands as soon there was another option." But the thing is, they weren't GIVEN another option. The Jews of Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt et al were forced out of their homes by hatred, pogroms and confiscation of their property. Many of them may have stayed there (Egyptian Jews took years to leave and some only made the move when they had no other choice). It wasn't the fact of Israel's existence that allowed them to leave; it was the fact of their rulers' hatred of Israel's existence that forced them to leave.

Eris said...

If events are know as you describe, that Obama is like Lenin and the Palestinians like Nazis, it is worthwhile to recall what it took to put an end to one-half of the Communist+Nazi problem: a war that killed 50 million people and ended as a nuclear war.

They won't stop. No vote will set aside their Jew-hatred. No plea for mercy will end their desire for control.

How are you preparing for the end of civilization as we know it? When will this end arrive?

Keli Ata said...

"But where reasoned principles are absolute, emotional principles are selective. And that selectivity is rationally unjustifiable. When it is challenged on rational grounds, it replies on emotional ones. Ask about the Kurds of Turkey, the Copts of Egypt or the countless other minorities in the region deprived of civil rights on an elementary level that is unimaginable in Israel, and you will get photos of smiling or mutilated children in Gaza thrust at you. Because there is nothing like using children as a primal emotional lever to bypass the minor question of principles."

That would make them hypocrits and liars. Objectively Israel is in the right. They have to know this yet their emotions and actions don't reflect it.

The flip coin or maybe the same coin is seen in people who say, "I love the Jewish people but I hate XYZ"

Any rational and minimally decent person would want to find out who exactly is hurting the children of Gaza. The emotion at the abuse and murder of innocent children should bring natural emotions of outrage and objectively place blame on the doorstep of Hamas.

What I'm saying is you can't really slipt emotions and objectivity and principles. Unless you're a hypocrit and liar, which the majority of these anti-Israel, anti-Semitic scum are.

In which case their words carry zero credibility.

Mikec said...

Half my family hate Israel, (and hate being Jewish) these are those whose real religion is humanism (courtesy of Darwin). A half of the others could not care less and tend to profess an agnosticism of convenience, and those left are the Frum ones who believe that G0d was creator.

A Rabbi once told me that many more Jews have assimilated since WWII, than died in the Holocaust.

Christian friends, those who also believe in a creator G0d visit us in Israel, and will also discuss the issues that face Israel even if we tend to disagree(amicably) about other things.

I strongly suspect that BELIEF (trust and reliance)is the fault line here, I cannot think of a time when I have heard a believer in Genesis 1,2 & 3 curse Israel.

Anonymous said...

...speaking of pogroms...

I'm a bit worried and I'm sending this out in the hopes that something can be done.

I've been noticing an increased Muslim presence in Tsfat. Its been building up. and I know something is going to go down -according to what I learned, when they reach a certain percentage in a place then comes stage 2: riot, upsetness, violence. True enough, this past Shabbat there was a scuffle at a college and some Palestinians put up their flag here.

I am concerned that more will follow... just ...calling out for help here.

Anonymous said...

When I was a teaching fellow for my university's Arab-Israeli Conflict course, I suggested to my students that bias was understandable, given cultural connection and the sometimes emotional nature of the subject, but prejudice was not acceptable.

Yet the prejudice is on full display today. I was reading an article on Yahoo News about the olive harvest in the Palestinian territories and every comment I encountered in the first 2-3 pages was loaded with anti-Israel bile, with every Palestinian claim taken as fact. When Israel is deemed Israel personified, rational discussion becomes extraneous. A truly disturbing state of affairs.

To Anonymous from Safed/Tsfat: What you're witnessing is hardly surprising. Unlike Jews, Muslims are a dominant culture with little experience living as a minority. Such a state of affairs is, well, contrary to their theology and world view. That's why they're always struggling to get back on top, whether through a struggle for independence or autonomy, or a demand for accommodation to their culture's special needs. Just look at the "no go" zones in some European cities and ask, "Who's in charge here?" The answer, of course, is the Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Lemon said it. Nobody really cares.

I really don't understand Stephen Fry, he was on a programme here in the UK: 'Who do you think you are?' where celebrities trace their ancestry and the shocking truth that a whole side of his family, the Lambs were murdered in the holocaust was discovered. He said himself, 'as Lambs to the slaughter', we were in tears along with the family.

How, when you've lost your family to a brutal ideology akin to the tenets of Islam with 'kill or be killed for Alah' at the heart of its message can you be on the side of the murderers.

I don't get it. kate b

Keli Ata said...

People do care. We just need to assert ourselves more.

SabaShimon said...

One of your better pieces Daniel, in a collection of great works.
There have always been, and always will be Jewish Kapos. We are most definitely an "Am mitusbach", but it can't be just coincidence that we have survived them and worse.
We keep doing our damnedest to help our enemies, and yet.....where are the ancient Romans, the ancient Egyptians, or the Third Reich, among the many other long gone civilizations who have made our destruction their raison d'être?
He seems to be on our side......it would be nice if just ONCE we gave Him a helping hand.
Imagine if Rav Kahane was PM today.
Forgive me if my writing is a bit disjointed.....I've just returned from a difficult three weeks of reserve duty with little sleep, and am still under the influence of a government that doesn't seem to want to allow it's soldiers to win anymore.

wanumba said...

Mikec said...
I strongly suspect that BELIEF (trust and reliance)is the fault line here, I cannot think of a time when I have heard a believer in Genesis 1,2 & 3 curse Israel.
..........

That's exactly the problem. We are identifying the features, the fruits, the charcteristics we are seeing of what's going on, but the root of it is a great divide between believers in the Lord God ALmighty as witnessed to in the scriptures, and those who believe in a lesser gods and idols .. even athiests believe in a supreme being .. alas it's the EGO.

There is already a great divide between people who have a religious perspective of any traditional sort and those who don't. In this confused time, idol-worshippers understand the reality of sin - perhaps better than many of the Judeo-Christian heritages, for the pagans routinely make offerings, but athiests violently reject the concept of sin, and brook no suggestion of it. One can have a more satisfying discussion/debate of life, the universe and everything and God with a Hindu or Buddhist than with a secular humanist.

We have insecure Jews and insecure CHristians trying to build a defense on a wobbly base of nominal Jews and CHristians who will get zero support/empathy/solidarity from egotistical narcissists.

Go back and re-read David's aghast analysis of the scene of the Philistine Army and Israelite Army as Goliath struts to the fore to taunt and abuse the Israelites. What does he blurt? Something to to the effect of: "What's WRONG with you people! WHERE is your FAITH?"
GOD will protect Israel. He SAID so.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2: you talk like a distant observer. I'm talking like someone with self preservation mode on.

Moriah said...

Rabbi Kahane, may G-d avenge his blood, once said; "Every Jew a .22"
When will Jewish leaders wake up? If Jews are really to have the power of self defense they have to be able to own guns. But instead of arming and training every Jew, Israel arms the enemy and allows America to give the haters and murderers of Jews state-of-the-art training. My head hurts from all of this stupidity. I'm sick of the constant nostalgic glancing back at the Holocaust. I cringe inside when I hear so-called Jewish leaders say, "Never Again" when the government of Israel is disarming Jews in Judea and Samaria for the most ridiculous reasons. Can someone give me an answer why the people most hounded throughout history cannot own guns in a country surrounded by billions of Muslims?

Moriah said...

Anonymous1 : This is typical behaviour all over the world where Muslims come to live.(Ask the Maronite Christians in Lebanon) Once they are sufficient in numbers they start agitating for their "rights" and accusing the Infidel population of the hatred they themselves have for the host nation. Time out to pray here, a footwash there and maybe a few cars get burned, a riot, maybe a few rapes, and a pogrom or two. That's when everyone, instead of using strict justice on them, bend over backwards just like they do all over the Western world. If you want to do something, you have to have a massive influx, 3 or 4 Jews per Muslim, move to Tsfat who are willing to stand up to them because they will entrench themselves like ticks on a dog and they will not be removed without forcing us to shed their blood. Before you know it they're telling the world there are Muslim holy men buried in Tsfat.

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