Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We Are Standing Up for Our Human Rights

Mike L.

I like to think of Israel Thrives as simply a way to think aloud about a topic that is very important to Jewish people and to those who care about the well-being of the Jewish state of Israel. I like it when people present alternative viewpoints here if they do so in a manner that is not insulting or nasty because it helps me to clarify ideas in my own mind.

In a recent comment to Stuart, I wrote this:

What we've been seeing since the anti-Jewish pogroms of the 1920s is a continuation of anti-Jewish racist policies that goes back to the time of Muhammed.

When we stand up for Israel, therefore, we are standing up for our civil liberties.

This strikes me as a key point and one that we would do well to bear in mind.

Those on the left who oppose Israel, or who think that Israel is unjust to the Palestinians, do not understand this. They think of tiny Israel as some sort of western behemoth in the Middle East.

It isn't.

The whole Zionist project was about securing our freedom and our human rights after 2,000 years of persecution and 1,300 years of dhimmitude under the boot of Islamic imperialism. In this sense, all Jews, both Israeli and diaspora, owe the Zionists a tremendous debt. The redemption of the Jewish people came at the expense of their blood, after all.

The reason that Israel does what it does is because it lives within the crucible of continuing Arab-Muslim hostility, a hostility that goes back to the days of Muhammad. The Jews of the Middle East are, and have been, a tiny persecuted minority doing whatever they can do to protect themselves and their children from the murderous hostility of the region's majority.

Perhaps this is too obvious to even express, but it seems to me that we need to keep it in mind. All Israel wants is to be left the hell alone. The Jews of the Middle East have no desire to oppress anyone. The reason that there are checkpoints in Judea and Samaria (and, yes, we should give up the Jordanian term "West Bank") and the reason that Israel maintains a blockade of Gaza is because the Arab majority in that part of the world absolutely refuses to leave those Jews in peace. Were it not for ongoing Arab and Muslim hostility toward Jews there would be no "occupation." What we think of as the occupation is nothing more than Jewish efforts at Jewish self-defense from a hostile population that outnumbers us 50 or 60 to 1 in that part of the world and 100 to 1 worldwide.

We need to remind ourselves, and to remind others, that when we stand up for Israel we are standing up for our human rights. There was a time when the progressive-left respected that. They certainly respected it when Black people stood up for their own rights during the Civil Rights Movement and the movement for Black Power. They respected it when Latinos stood up for themselves in the Brown Power movement and when women and gay people stood up for themselves in Second Wave Feminism and the contemporary LGBT movement.

If the progressive-left refuses to stand with us in our movement for national liberation, despite the fact that we always stood with them, then they throw their own values in the gutter. They also, consequently, should lose our support.

Whether anyone likes it or not, the Jewish people will stand up for our rights to self-determination and self-defense.

And that, to my mind at least, is precisely what Israel (G-d love it) is all about.

Happy Rosh Hashanah.


  1. First off, I think it's bear in mind.

    I would quibble as well that it's about civil liberties. It is about human rights, to which Jews, so long as they are considered human, are entitled.

    These rights are set forth in the ICCPR and ICESCR, the progeny of the UDHR, and are binding on states. One could argue that they are jus cogens, in the face of the Cairo Declaration that is "subject to the Islamic Shari'ah."

    Jews are refused to be considered as victims, even though, as the smallest minority, they have been continuously persecuted and victimized by the two other monotheistic religions. When there is a genocidal call to extinguish Israel, Zionism, Jews, how can it be that the targets are not victims?

    The inability to see Jews as victims is also based on an ideology that sees Israel as instruments of a Western power that is responsible for the world's misery. These ideologues seem to prefer the ways of the overt, most repressive regimes, and seem to believe that Western capitalist and imperialist hegemony is the greatest enemy to humanity.

    Needless to say, I think these people are dead wrong. In the context of Israel, the collective Jew among states, and the Jews as people, the behavior and support is discriminatory and takes the shape of antisemitism, even if unintended.

    1. "Bare" and "Bear."

      I have a chronic problem with homophones. I suspect that it might have something to do with a mild case of undiagnosed dyslexia.

      As for your distinction between "civil liberties" and "human rights," I suppose that is not unreasonable.

      On the question of Jewish victimhood, however, there is no doubt in my mind that the Jews of the Middle East remain victims of the region's majority population.

      The Palestinians, and their progressive-left friends, portray the Jews in that area as something akin to Nazis. The opposite is the truth.

      It is the Palestinian movement, itself, which has a historical provenance with ties to Nazi Germany, as you well know.

      In any case, School, it seems to me that we should present our position within the context of the great liberation movements of the past. Aside from whatever effectiveness such a stance may have, it has the additional virtue of being accurate.

      What we want is freedom, yes?

      Freedom from persecution.

      Freedom from violent harassment and murder.

      Freedom of self-determination and self-defense for the Jews of the Middle East.

      Political Islam is a huge force in the world and it is one that is specifically oppressive, if not genocidal, toward us.

      We need to stand up for the Jews of the Middle East.

    2. oldschooltwentysix,

      I understand to be true everything that you wrote except for the following that you wrote.

      You wrote:

      "...In the context of Israel, the collective Jew among states, and the Jews as people, the behavior [toward Jewish people] and support [for the most repressive regimes] is discriminatory and takes the shape of antisemitism, even if unintended."

      "...even if unintended."

      It's anti-Jewish racism / anti-Jewish bigotry ("antisemitism"). Period.

      Anti-Jewish racism is anti-Jewish racism. Anti-Jewish bigotry is anti-Jewish bigotry.

      Anti-Jewish racism is racism. Anti-Jewish bigotry is bigotry.

      Racism is racism. Bigotry is bigotry.

      Racism is a form bigotry.

      "Antisemitism" is not a "thing". That is: "Antisemitism" -- anti-Jewish racism / anti-Jewish bigotry -- is not a "thing" that needs to be "qualified" in any certain specific way in order for it to be what it is -- bigotry. A big problem is that anti-Jewish racism, in culturally Christian-European -- Christian and formerly Christian -- societies, is so pervasive, and so deeply engrained -- so "normal" -- that most people, I think including most Jewish people in culturally Christian-European -- Christian and formerly Christian -- societies, and most Jewish people from culturally Christian-European -- Christian and formerly Christian -- societies (such as, in particular, Israeli Ashkenazi Jewish people), recognize it as existing only when it is manifested in certain specific ways -- such as being expressed in, and consciously thought of in, explicit genocidal terms, and such as being expressed in, and consciously thought of in, explicit "racial" terms.


      Anti-Jewish racism is racism. Anti-Jewish bigotry is bigotry.

      Racism is racism. Bigotry is bigotry.

      Racism is a form of bigotry.

  2. School is correct that this is a matter not of "civil liberties," but of human rights.

    The two concepts have, over the years, become so entwined together, at least in my own mind, that I mistook one for the other when writing this piece.

    The general principle stands, however.

    If you do not believe that the Jewish people of the Middle East are not the victims of endless Arab and Muslim hostility, then you cannot be an advocate for the Jewish people there... and that is the point.

    The truth is that pro-Israel advocacy coming out of the Jewish left is weak. The reason that it is weak is because "progressive Zionists" tend to believe Arab propaganda that casts the Jews as the villains.

    They aren't.

    1. Yes. Exactly.

      A comment that I posted which lists facts that unequivocally demonstrate this truth:


    2. A comment by another commenter on Jihad Watch (a comment which includes the citing of critically important truth spoken by Ayaan Hirsi Ali):

      ( http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/09/romney-under-fire-from-leftist-media-for-stating-the-obvious-fact-that-palestinians-are-not-interest.html#comment-905271 )

      ---- Beginning of comment by another commenter on Jihadwatch ----


      Get behind him and PUSH, people.

      And right now: make sure he gets a FLOOD of letters and phone calls, *agreeing* with this piece of simple commonsense.

      the more such he gets from people who explicitly identify themselves as non-Jews, and even as nonreligious, the better. Let him know that there's a broad spectrum of decent people out there who have figured things out, too. Hindu Indian posters and lurkers here, who have migrated to and are happily settled in the USA, could be particularly helpful. So that when the idiots tell him he's being influenced by the 'Zionists' and 'the Evil Evangelical Christian Zionists', he can point out acerbly that there are lots of folks who belong to neither group, who have also seen the obvious: what's going on is a Muslim Jihad Against the Jews, this being a subset of the Jihad Against Everybody Who Isn't Muslim.

      You might like to read what you will find at this link

      Thursday, 28 June 2012
      Ayaan Hirsi Ali Imparts Home Truths About Islam To Those Who , It Seems,Stilll Need It

      and use some of the insights there offered, when you write to Mr Romney.

      Excerpt, from this report on a presentation that Ayaan Hirsi Ali made recently to a room full of Israelis, and earnest 'peace-processers' both Israeli and non-Israeli (including the likes of Dennis Ross) in Israel:

      "The night before, Henry Kissinger, Shimon Peres and Tony Blair all spoke about peace as if tomorrow it will come…if only we want it badly enough.

      "Quietly, Ayaan spoke and without ever mentioning their names, she made these men sound like naive fools.

      "She never said it [that is, that they are naive fools - dda], but it was there.

      "You cannot make peace with a society that does not want it; you cannot compromise with a people who refuse to accept that you even exist.

      "Dennis Ross suggested one of the steps that the Palestinians must take is to simply put Israel on their maps – even this, they will never do because this is about compromise and, according to Ayaan, an impossibility."...

      "At one point, as someone on the panel was suggesting ways towards peace, Ayaan said something. I’m sure I heard it and perhaps can find it on a video somewhere to confirm. I believe she said, “Even if you give them Jerusalem,” and then she repeated it, “even if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace.” No compromise....".

    3. It's Jewish leaders -- leaders of the government of Israel -- themselves who have most caused all of this.

      It's leaders of the government of Israel who brought Fatah-PLO from their then residence in Tunisia into what is now called "The West Bank" (Judea (Yehouda) and Sameria (Shomron)) and into what is now called "The Gaza Strip".

      It's leaders of the government of Israel who legitimized Fatah-PLO -- actual Nazi Fatah-PLO.

      It's leaders of the government of Israel who acquiescently accepted and propagated and most legitimized the intendedly genocidal lie of there existing a "Palestinian people" (and, therein, the intendedly genocidal lie that there existed a nation called "Palestine", and that, therein, Israel is "Palestine" and that, therein, "the Jews stole 'Palestine' from 'The Palestinians'").

      Leaders of the government of Israel did this in an effort to end the racist intendedly genocidal war against Israel by the surrounding Muslim Arab states, and in an effort to appease U.S. government administrations -- the U.S. government administrations of George H. W. Bush, etc.

      Jewish Stockholm Syndrome is detrimental.

      What must be done now is to tell the truth.

    4. The Psychology of Populations under Chronic Siege, by Kenneth Levin, American Jewish psychologist

      "The phenomenon of Diaspora Jews embracing as truth the indictments of Jew-haters has been so commonplace that a literature on the subject emerged under the rubric 'Jewish self-hatred.' A similar predilection evolved in Israel, particularly among the nation's cultural elites, in the context of the Arab siege.

      "Segments of populations under chronic siege commonly embrace the indictments of the besiegers, however bigoted and outrageous. They hope that by doing so and reforming accordingly they can assuage the hostility of their tormenters and win relief. This has been an element of the Jewish response to anti-Semitism throughout the history of the Diaspora.

      "The paradigm on the level of individual psychology is the psychodynamics of abused children, who almost invariably blame themselves for their predicament, ascribe it to their being 'bad,' and nurture fantasies that by becoming 'good' they can mollify their abusers and end their torment.

      "The rhetoric of the Israeli Peace Movement, its distortions of Arab aims and actions, and its indictments of Israel likewise reflected the psychological impact of chronic besiegement. The Oslo process that the Peace Movement spawned entailed policies grounded in wishful thinking and self-delusion analogous to that of abused children."


      "Various explanations for this self-destructive course have been offered by people who initially embraced Oslo and were even active in promoting it. Nissim Zvilli, a Labor MK and member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee at the time, recalled in 2002, 'I remember myself lecturing in Paris and saying that Arafat's double-talk had to be understood. That was our thesis, proved [later] as nonsense. Arafat meant every word, and we were naive.'

      "But 'naïveté' hardly captures the self-delusions that underlay Oslo. In 1997, Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit wrote of the course forged by Israel's political elite and passionately embraced by its intellectual and cultural elites, including himself: 'In the early '90's...we, the enlightened Israelis, were infected with a messianic craze.... All of a sudden, we believed that...the end of the old Middle East was near. The end of history, the end of wars, the end of conflict.... We fooled ourselves with illusions. We were bedazzled into committing a collective act of messianic drunkenness.'

      "But while Shavit's 'messianism' gives a label to Oslo-era thinking, it does not explain it. The explanation lies in the psychology of chronically besieged populations. Whether minorities enduring persistent marginalization, defamation, and attack from the surrounding society, or small states under continual siege, segments of such communities almost invariably embrace the indictments of their enemies. They hope that by reforming themselves in a manner consistent with those indictments they will win relief."


      "Perhaps the single example of Oslo rationalizations most resonant of the psychodynamics of the abused child is a statement by Oslo's chief architect, Yossi Beilin, in 1997. Defending his Oslo endeavors, Beilin declared, 'I want to live in a world where the solution to an existential problem is possible.... I am simply not prepared to live in a world where [problems] are unsolvable.'"


      But there is a solution!

      The solution is to tell the truth!

      ...and, firstly, and moreover, to accept the truth.

      The truth:


    5. And as a part of that, to reject lies. Every time you encounter them.

      Dr. Levin's findings are no surprise. Is there any other relatively small group of people besides the Jews who have faced such vehement and relentless antagonism and opposition over two millenia?

      The answer is no, of course.

      And if there were, would the self-hatred found too often among Jews be manifest in this other group as well?

      I believe so.

      So when giving a thought (which I usally avoid) to the self-haters among us, a touch of compassion might be in order.

      Or not. ;)