Thursday, November 21, 2013

Morally Equivalent Emptiness

Michael L.

{Cross-posted at Jews Down Under and The Bar and Grill.}

In the comments under a recent Times of Israel piece entitled, Netanyahu: Islamists taking us back to the ‘Dark Ages’, we read this:
 Louis Arpino · Knoxville, Tennessee
"The more isolated from the world that Israel becomes, the more hysterical Bibi becomes. Radical Judaism, with whom Bibi is politically in bed with, is no better than radical Islam. 
The both preach the same hate."

It is hard to know just what is behind this kind of stupidity.  For some people the moral equivalency canard derives from a liberal desire to be evenhanded.  For others, as I suspect with the gentleman above, it derives from a desire to kick the Jews in the teeth.

Whatever the reason for this kind of thing, however, we see it all the time and it is always wrong.

One cannot even begin to compare radical Islam with "radical Judaism."  It's a matter of having a rational sense of proportionality and of recognizing that Jews are not flinging their women into potato sacks or flinging acid into their faces for disobeying their men or shooting 12 year old girls in the head for wanting an education.

On the first matter, there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world so that if even a relatively small portion of them, say 10 percent, favor radical Islam that is 150 million people, which represents more devotees than either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union ever dreamed of having.  Furthermore, unlike radical Islam, "radical Judaism" (whatever that is exactly) is not a prominent international political movement.  There is no Jewish equivalent of the Muslim Brotherhood running around the world, supporting terrorism, and seeking to hijack entire countries.

The moral equivalency canard has a corrosive and highly toxic influence within the conversation around the long war against the Jews in the Middle East, as well as western foreign policies, more generally.  People, particularly on the left, will say things like, "Well, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."  When it comes to the Arab-Israel conflict, this is entirely false.  You cannot compare the efforts of a small, traditionally persecuted, minority to defend itself from a much larger hostile population, with the efforts of that much larger hostile population to slaughter or subdue the minority.

The problem is that this attitude is pervasive throughout the western world, including the United States.  One evening I was chatting with a friend of mine who happens to be gay and of a Christian background from Texas.  We were, not surprisingly, discussing politics.  I was making the case to him, and to the others in the room who were, to a person, on the left, that political Islam is an actual political movement that we need to take seriously.  My friend responded with words along the lines of, "Oh, yeah?  Well, what about the Evangelicals?  What about the Christian conservatives in this country?  What about those racist Tea Party people?!"

At the time I just looked at him slack-jawed.

It amazes me that so many people do not comprehend the vast moral distinction between a conservative American Christian who opposes abortion and gay marriage with a political movement that quite literally hangs gay people from cranes.  The ideological blinkertude of someone who would morally equate conservative American Christians with political Islam is just staggering in its failure of rational comprehension.

In conservative Christianity we have ministers who tell their congregations that he who blesses Israel shall be blessed and he who curses Israel shall be cursed.

In radical Islam we have imams and ayatollahs screeching to the heavens for Jewish blood.

In conservative Christianity we have mothers and fathers who do not want their children to run away to San Francisco, stick a bunch of metal in their faces and then come down with a sexually transmitted disease.

In political Islam they simply kill gay people outright.

In conservative Christianity we sometimes have men who would prefer it if their wives stayed at home with the kids.

In political Islam we have men who force their women into sack-cloth and refuse to allow them to leave the house without a male escort.

In conservative Christianity we sometimes have prominent preachers who sleep with prostitutes or who turn out, themselves, to be gay.

In political Islam we have preachers who call quite literally for genocide.

To suggest that either conservative Christianity or "radical Judaism" is in any way equivalent to what we see with political Islam is to reveal a deep and troublesome moral confusion.

Whatever its faults and flaws, conservative Christianity is a friend to the Jewish people and we should treat it as such.  In my view, we Jews have treated our conservative Christian friends like dirt.  We malign them and claim that the only reason they support Israel is out of an eschatological longing for the End of Days and the punishment of the Jews at the hand of Jesus.

This is to assign a malicious intention to people who simply do not deserve it.  Democrats and progressives encourage this hatred toward conservative Christians because they see conservative Christians as their Number One Enemy for cultural and electoral reasons.

In the mean time, blood flows from the Koran through the streets of Cairo and Damascus and Benghazi and Khartoum.


  1. In football, you wear a helmet.

    In baseball, you wear a cap! - George Carlin

  2. These kinds of people are not entirely stupid. They know that Christians and Jews will not slit their throats after being dissed. In a way, they are saying that the latter are more civilized than you know who because of that. Of course there are all sorts of pathologies at work but that is part of it.

    Also, IMHO, at the heart of all activism, especially the radical left kind, there is a festering kernel of Anarchism. Tear down trumps build up. Think about it. It explains a lot.

  3. A careful student of Raymond Aron would recognize in the current leftist cant of anti Zionism as little different from

    "First, they prefer ideology, that is, a rather literary image of a desirable society, rather than to study the functioning of a given economy, of a liberal economy, a parliamentary system, and so forth.(1983, p. 158)

    He likewise castigated the Left for falling prey to the false dichotomy of comparing western democratic reality to communist theory. Aron faulted intellectuals for what he called a “humanistic historicism” that attacked the liberal order in the name of a future universal liberation and emancipation of people and societies. This tendency led many intellectuals to criticize the faults of the West mercilessly, while overlooking the “progressive” tyrannies of the Left, such as Stalin, Mao, and Castro, so long as they were committed in the name of the proper doctrines (Mahoney 1992, p. 80)."

    VOLUME 21, NO . 3 (FALL 2007): 65–78 (page 70)

    And he was a Marxist Socialist.

  4. From

    "...When a Muslim sees a group of apostates, their reaction will be different according to their personalities and level of involvement in Islam.

    "a) For a Muslim who is a fundamentalist (and possibly a terrorist, he will be angry to see this group. If hes the terrorist brand, he will seek every way to somehow destroy our presence.

    "b) For a carefree Muslim, who already doesn't pray 5 times and drinks, and has girlfriends (or boyfriends) etc., he/she will be happy to see us :). Out of these, some will still stay Muslims, and the few brave ones who have strong personal integrity, will join us, because they know that they cannot live in a non-sense system of lies any longer. The more fortunate ones will have left Islam already.

    "c) The Muslim who is not a terrorist and is a regular citizen, who goes to Friday prayers once in a while, and in trouble recites Quranic ayahs: he will be sad to see the group, and a little angry in his/her stronger mood. Majority of Muslims will belong to this group, however as the group becomes larger and larger, we will start having more and more people from category (2), creating an avalanche effect.

    "All these reactions are varied and necessary, therefore we must create this presence on the Internet. ..."

  5. (from continued)

    Interviewer: "But invariably what happens, I can certainly say in the case of Australia, and in particular in Sydney there was an instance not very long ago when there was an attempt to open and Islamic school in the Western suburbs of Sydney there was a division between those who were very very vocally opposed to the opening of the school because they didn't want 'those Muslims' living amongst us and prosteletizing amongst us and those who were very very, I suppose you would call it 'Politically Correct', who were quite libertarian about it and who want to protect the sanctity and the ability of these people to actually practice their own faith and teach their own faith in that setting. So Political Correctness is an issue, isn't it? And that would stop people from approaching their next-door neighbor and wanting to have a discussion and pose alternate questions, because that's disrespectful."

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "It's disrespectful to deny people to pray. It's disrespectful to deny people to do something very [personal], individuals, something that they say 'I derive pleasure from' that doesn't harm other people. But to establish an institution where you take young children who come mostly from poor countries, and Muslims come mostly from poor countries, and you indoctrinate those young children between the ages of five to eighteen with ideas such as 'distance yourself from the infidels', that's the society that are supposed to integrate into, you indoctrinate young women to believe that they ought to submit to men and to mystify their sexuality, that they can only be son-factories, child-factories, you indoctrinate young men to give up their lives for Jihad, or 'Holy war', you teach them to be victims forever, because they are taught to believe that 'as Muslims, they are under siege', to discuss that openly and to deny the agents of that intolerant narrative and institutions where they can take poor children and indoctrinate them with this nonsense that is not respect. That is to [say], that is not being disrespectful. That is to say, we take these individuals first and foremost as fellow human beings, as Australians, and we are going to teach them what it is to be successful and loyal to the Australian society, and you agents of radical Islam, if you want to live under Sharia law, go to Saudi Arabia, go to Iran, go to someplace where Sharia law applies, but you're not going to do it here."

  6. Gavin Boby, British Lawyer:

    Gavin Boby, Brussels 2012 - Stopping Mosque Building In Europe - How & Why - مسجد

    "...It'a a straightforward public order issue. Because propagating Islamic doctrine in a free society is contrary to law. I'll say that again. In a free society, propagating Islamic doctrine is contrary to civil and criminal law. The Qur'an alone, forget about the Hadith, the Qur'an alone calls three times for unbelievers, that's us, to be killed wherever we are found, and all your families as well -- 'Kill them wherever you find them.'; it calls fourteen times for unbelievers to be enslaved -- usually sex slaves taken in conquest; it calls numerous times for unbelievers to be made war against, to be subjugated -- for 'harshness against' unbelievers, in language that is reminiscent of the language used by Reinhart Heinrich, the chief henchman of the Holocaust, in his last will and testament. The language is strikingly similar. Now, you don't have to be a lawyer to understand why that's unacceptable, why that is unlawful. Imagine a bunch of S.S. guys saying 'We want to set up a chapter house, somewhere we can stand in lines, wear our silly caps, our sawn-off trousers, and listen to incitement from our leader's book about killing Jews and Gays.' They would be shut down in a minute flat, and they should be. No society that allows that will survive. It can't survive if it allows that, and it shouldn't, and no one will have any respect, any sympathy for it when it fails to survive. And the same is true if you're a bunch of Muslim guys -- if a bunch of Muslim guys want to set up a chapter house where they can wear their silly caps and sawn-off trousers and stand in lines listening to incitement from their leader's book about killing Jews and Gays. ..."


    "...Hold the line on decency. Now, our leaders are boiling up a very unpleasant witches' brew of fiscal breakdown, welfare implosion, and hostile ethnic division. And when that bubbles over there will be some nasty things happen and we should resist them. In particular, and the touchstone, is that we should resist, everywhere, the persecution of Jews. ..."

  7. Typo correction:

    "...interviewer: ..."