Thursday, February 28, 2013

Professor Ruth Wisse: The Arab War Against the Jews

Mike L.

{Cross-Posted at Geoffff's Joint and the Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers.}

Harvard Professor of Yiddish and Literary Studies, Ruth Wisse, is the author of the very important work, Jews and Power.  I've put a recent video of Professor Wisse on the right side-bar of Israel Thrives and will leave it there for a week or so.  I would very much encourage you guys to give her a close listen because her view is both pristine and correct.  This is someone who is not the least bit muddled in her thinking on the Long Arab War Against the Jews.

This conflict is not a conflict between equals.  It is an aggression from the much larger Arab-Muslim population in the Middle East toward their former dhimmis and slaves.  It represents a hatred toward pluralism in that part of the world by the Arab majority and the refusal to accept the legitimacy of another people on their own land.

She argues, correctly, that anti-Zionism is actually worse than anti-Semitism because it incorporates all that anti-Semitism is while expanding it to deny Jewish sovereignty and Jewish self-defense on the land where Jews historically came from.

She also maintians that the organization of politics around hatred for the Jew within the Muslim Middle East, as well as within the international left, is not really about the Jews, at all, but about opposition to liberal democracy.  The Jewish State of Israel is merely a proxy.  It is a fashionable target through which opposition to liberal democracy, and therefore the United States, organizes itself.

One thing is certain, if political anti-Semitism, which is the very definition of anti-Zionism, means anything it means portraying Jews as a villain, either as Jews, individually, or in the collective, for the purpose of building political bridges with others around a common hatred.

My problem with the international left, and with "progressive Zionists," the political movements that I come out of, is that they accept the fundamental notion of Jewish guilt upon which the entire ideological structure of political anti-Zionist anti-Semitism is built.

In this way, whatever their best intentions, they nonetheless promote the kind of hostility toward us that results in violence and mass killings and war.

Until we recognize that we are not guilty of the charges leveled against us (and we aren't) then we can never convince anyone else of this truth and therefore we can never relieve ourselves of this perpetual hostility.

If "as-a-Jew" you tend to think that the Jews of the Middle East, via the government of Israel, is persecuting the Arabs under an imperialistic "Occupation" then you are promoting hatred toward us based on false grounds.  There is no "Occupation."  There is 6 million Jews surrounded by 400 million Arabs and those Jews want nothing so much in this world other than to be left the hell alone.

What you call the "Occupation" is nothing other than the means of an historically abused minority to finally protect itself from a much larger and hostile majority population in a part of the world where, outside of Israel, itself, very few people share your alleged values of "social justice" and "human rights."


  1. Thank you for this Mike and thank you for cross posting it at the Joint.

    I have linked to an open forum at Catallaxy Files

    We have friends and we need to encourage them

    "I certainly hope not. And if that sort of shit is starting to happen, then it is time to give in to the desire to ‘spit on one’s hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats’. And if the islamists and their left-wing lackeys don’t like that, then tough cheddar."

    Mk50 of Brisbane
    28 Feb 13 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you Mk50 and I know I risk sounding like an alarmist nut for howling about this. But it is the truth and so be it.

    The truth is that Jews are reluctant to make allegations of antisemitism. We know what it is and let’s face it, Jews invented the concept of “turning the other cheek” and the only people to live by it.

    But this is more than just about Jews.

    Please go to my blog and listen to what this lady has to say. Not for the sake of Israel and the Jews. If it was only about Israel and the Jews I would have shut up long ago. I find this stuff embarrassing and demeaning but it is about something far far more important than that.

    1 Mar 13 at 9:08 am

    1. Geoffff, I will check out the links.

      We have friends and we need to encourage them

      Absolutely, but they tend to be "conservatives."

      What I have been wanting to do for awhile is a little outreach to the Christian Evangelical community.

      They probably represent our best friends on the planet and although I do not necessarily agree with them on everything, a little outreach on our part is in order.

      Do you agree?

    2. I do agree. We should not take these people for granted and we certainly should not question their motives.

    3. I want to get a smart Evangelical on this page.

      We're all Jews here, but we shouldn't be.

      Oh, and btw, the readership of this blog continues to grow.

      We're a niche of a niche but if you write something here, it will be read by many people.

    4. Well, Jay, hate-filled nobodies will hate no matter what I do.

      The fact of the matter is that the State of Israel has no better friends on the planet than Evangelical Christians. I think that it is long past time that Jewish people acknowledge that friendship and cultivate it.

      The only Jewish leader that I am aware of that is focusing on this is Rabbi Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

      My idea for awhile now is that if we open up friendly dialogue with them we can perhaps help moderate their views on, say, Gay people or the role of women in society.

      The people that you are referring to are bigots. They are racist toward Arabs who they treat like children and they absolutely despise conservative Christians. The level of hatred toward conservative Christians among "progressive Zionists" is absolutely off the charts.

      The only people that they despise more than conservative Christians are Jews who live where neither Mahmoud Abbas, nor Barack Obama, want them to live.

      I consider it a disgrace.

    5. The loser deleted my comment there, since it clearly must have struck too close to home. Here it is, in reply to being told "fuck me" and my being called a "Jihadi", for reasons that are only clear to whatever beings talk to that guy inside his head -

      Oh, look. It's more joyous internet war. "Fuck me," and I'm a "jihadi" because I don't sit in an office all day, and apparently have the time to read everything ever written on the internet? Let alone declare myself arbiter of what is acceptable to say on someone else's blog. Perhaps you can offer your service to Mike on that count, since you're so concerned?

      And now you've added insulting one's parents to your compelling repertoire of retorts?

      Grow up, volley.

      I should have known better than to think you'd become more reasonable now that you're without the unfortunate Daily Kosinfluence. I will now go back to doing what I should have been continued to do all along, and simply ignore you. I care as much what you, or anyone else here, thinks about me, just as much as I care about what the guy who mumbles to himself on the El thinks about my shoes.


      Shame on me for thinking he'd become a more reasonable person. Clearly, he doesn't want to leave the juvenile Daily Kos games back at that shitpile where they belong. That's his problem, I've left all that behind.

      I mean, if I wanted I could point out that someone recently left a comment there gleefully considering the (delusional) prospect that the anti-Zionist Arab parties could form a 'liberal' Knesset ruling coalition with Labor, Meretz and the centrist parties (though what's truly 'liberal' about the former parties is beyond me). He didn't condemn that sentiment forcefully enough, so does that make him an anti-Zionist? Of course not. But hey, he can feel free to tilt at windmills all he wants. Perhaps every once in a while he can update us on how that project's coming along. It's kind of pitiful, but I won't lose any sleep over his electronic self-immolation.

      I won't ever be clicking on his insignificant little blog again, so there goes probably about 10% of his traffic, since it's obvious he has less than a dozen readers, and at least one of them is a stalker troll from Daily Kos. They deserve each other, actually.

  2. And sorry for the meta digression. As to your other points, sure why not?

    Unlike bigots like that guy, who hilariously seem to think that they are not bigots, why not let's listen to what these people (or any people) have to say, rather than judge them based upon our simplistic preconceived (ahem - prejudiced) notions of What We Already Know They Must Be(tm).

    I had a nightmarish run-in with a certain group of them earlier in my life, but that's not something I want to get into here. If anyone has 'reason' to be wary of Evangelicals qua Evangelicals, it would be me. And I was for a while, I'll admit. I realized that was wrong, and I try to improve myself all the time. To the best of my ability, at least. It's been much easier to do this after having left hate-filled echo chambers like Daily Kos, and certain other sites, where it's almost like a contest to prove who can hate [insert group here] more than the next person, and therefore prove their 'progressive' bona fides. That they can not see how they are just as guilty of this as those they decry on the other side of the political aisle is simply astounding.

    I know one thing for sure - mindless hatred directed toward any group of people is the very definition of bigotry. If we are to disqualify anyone's words, let it be based upon what they say or do, personally, rather than what We Know(tm) about them as a group.

    You're right to do this, Mike.

    1. I understand.

      All throughout the Bush II years I pretty much loathed social conservatives. In fact, from the moment I grew into any sort of political consciousness I knew immediately that they represented "the enemy."

      I no longer think so and, in fact, I feel a little bad for holding malice toward people who I did not really know and that are good friends toward Israel. I may disagree with them on social issues, but I also recognize that the younger generation of Evangelicals is not nearly so reactionary as the older generation. They have also taken up environmentalism out of the biblical notion of stewardship.

      Some toxic progressives would say that they pretend to like Israel out of a crazed eschatological dooms-day scenario in which Jesus will return and show Adolph Hitler and the Catholic Church just how Jews should be dealt with, but I don't believe that this is true for most of them.

      Not even close.

      Conservative Evangelical Christians are friendly toward Israel because the land of Israel is central to their holy book. That's why so many towns in the US are named after biblical spots. I grew up in New York and Connecticut. In Connecticut we have Bethel and New Canaan and Bethlehem and Jericho and Hebron.

      Evangelicals tend to like Israel because Israel is at the very center of their religion.

      If there was ever a reason for diaspora Jews to hold this against them, I cannot see why it should be so now.

      They're our natural allies if we could simply free ourselves of our bigotry and blindness and close-mindedness.