Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Elder's Assumed Symmetry Fallacy

Mchael L.

{This is an old retread, but I like this one. Besides my laptop is busted... as is my right hand. So I am functioning off of Laurie's laptop - and G-d, how I hate it. I am feeling mean and surly so you better watch out!}


The Elder of Ziyon has a piece entitled, "Peter Beinart cannot tell the difference between a 'narrative' and a fact."

Speaking before a group of Democrats and progressives, Beinart said the following concerning conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson:

In 2008, when Tel Aviv University's Shlomo Sand published a book called "The Invention off the Jewish People," he was widely called anti-Semitic.  When Adelson says the same about Palestinians, he's a Republican rock star.

This is an example of what the Elder calls the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy.  He writes:

I am not a logician and do not know of a formal name for this fallacy, but let's call it the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy: the assumption that two sides - by virtue of their opposition - are falsely assumed to be symmetric.
This is a very important insight and one that we need to consider.  The Jews of the Middle East, via the State of Israel, are now a powerful people and we should be very proud, as Jews and friends of the Jewish State, of their accomplishments.  The success of Israel is nothing short of remarkable, given its humble beginnings.  Israel has the most powerful military in the entire region and one of the best economies, given its relative size, of any country in the world.  Israel is creative, innovative, technological, internationally-minded, and sophisticated.

However, the Jews of the Middle East also represent a tiny minority surrounded by a much larger, hostile majority of Muslims who have made it very clear, over the long and brutal course of 1,400 years, that they simply will not stand for Jewish sovereingty on historically Jewish land and will do everything within their power to make life miserable for the Jewish minority.  They teach their children that Jews are the descendents of orangatans and swine and that killing Jewish people is pleasing to the heart of Allah.  They wage war against us.  They shoot rockets at us.  They strap suicide belts onto women and children because when Muslim women and children commit suicide in an effort to murder Jews it is considered not merely a noble act, but the most noble spiritual act of the shaheed.

The truth is that in the Long Arab War Against the Jews of the Middle East, there is no symmetry.  In terms of numbers, resources, land mass, every advantage goes to the Arabs.  They outnumber the Jews by a factor of 60 or 70 to 1 throughout the region and if you include Muslims, more generally, the odds are over 100 to 1.  They conquered and conrol over 99% of the entire Middle East, with the sole exception of the Jewish State of Israel, and are committing a genocide against the native Christian population.  Muslims hold all non-Muslims under submission within imperial Islam since the rise of that religion in the 7th century throughout the Middle East with the lone, sole exception of Israel.

And now they literally created a brand-spanking new people, the "Palestinians," for the distinct purpose of countering Jewish sovereignty and freedom on historically Jewish land.

So, no, there is no symmetry in this fight.

The Jews are fighting to maintain freedom and sovereignty and the great Arab majority is dedicated to destroying that freedom and sovereignty and will ruin their own cousins, the Palestinian-Arabs, in order to keep them as the dagger pointed at the heart of the Jewish people on Jewish land.

Peter Beinart, it should be noted, is perhaps the single foremost example of Jewish dhimmitude in the public square today.  He represents an excellent example of the kind of Jewish "progressive" who cannot only not bring himself to take his own side in a fight, but who has so incorporated the "Palestinian narrative" of pristine victim-hood into his apprehension of the conflict that he honestly believes that the besieged Jewish minority in the Middle East are the aggressors upon their former Arab-Muslim masters.

Finally, and most importantly, the Elder is generally correct when he writes this:
The Palestinian Arabs are a recently invented people. They exist today, to be sure, but they were not a "people" before 1948 at the very earliest.  Westerners who drew the borders after World War I created what today's Palestinian Arabs laughably call "historic Palestine" - arbitrary lines that surrounded a people who had as much in common with those across those lines as with those within them.  Arabs in the Galilee had more in common with those in Damascus than those in Bethlehem.  Tribes and families trumped geography (and they often still do.)  They became a "people" because of how their Arab brethren refused to allow them to integrate into their countries, forcing them to suffer as a separate group that eventually did turn them into a people.  Arabs themselves admit freely that they kept Palestinian Arabs in miserable conditions in order to foster their nascent "unity."
And that, of course, is his primary point concerning the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy.  The Jews have been a people for over 3,500 years and perhaps considerably longer.  Among the peoples of the earth the Jews, along with the Chinese and other indigenous peoples, are among the oldest on the planet.  Jews are also, along with native Americans, for example, among the most persecuted.  The Palestinian-Arabs, by contrast, only emerged as an allegedly distinct people toward the end of the twentieth-century and did so for the specific purpose of beating up on the Jews.

And I suppose this is where I disagree with the Elder.  Are the "Palestinians" a distinct and separate people from Jordanian Arabs or Syrian Arabs or Egyptian Arabs?  The classical definition of nationhood would suggest not.  So-called "Palestinians" share the same religion with other Arabs, the same food-stuffs, generally speaking, with other Arabs, the same language and traditions.  The "Palestinians" are Arabs.  Period.  And, in fact, most of their grandparents immigrated into the area following the Jewish aliyahs around the turn of the century.

The Jewish people, or so it seems to me, are under no obligation to recognize a brand-new allegedly distinct people who came into existence for the explicit purpose of robbing the tiny Jewish minority of sovereignty on Jewish land.

The truth of the matter is that we owe them nothing, not even recognition.  If this sounds rather harsh, I am sorry, but the "Palestinians" have turned down every single offer for a state in peace next to Israel since 1937.  They are never going to accept a Jewish presence with autonomy on land that was once captured by the forces of Islam, because to do so contradicts the very reason that they came into existence as an allegedly distinct ethnicity to begin with.

What the Elder understands, and what Beinart clearly does not, is that there is no symmetry.  Shlomo Sand is a racist and a traitor to his people.  The very notion that the Jews are a recently invented people is historically preposterous and Sand is a fraud.  Adelson, however, whatever one may make of his politics was correct if he suggested that the "Palestinians" are a newly invented people.

This is not a matter of opinion.

It is a matter of fact.


  1. "Palestine" is not a state. It is an anti-state. The first in all of history. A monstrosity brought into existence for the sole purpose of destroying and suplanting an existing state.

    Those who clamor for its "recognition " should be required to explain what exactly are they recognising.

  2. Mike,
    Thank you for the post and the link to Elder's article about the Assumed Symmetry Fallacy. There is a commenter over at UKMediaWatch who uses this constantly, and I was about to name her "The Great Equater." She always posts links that are supposed to even the playing field, so to speak. In fact, I have noticed this tactic amongst anti-Zionist "pro-Palestinian" advocates for a long time now, i.e., initially attempting to equate the two sides before taking out the club to bash Israel, i.e., a kind of twist on Orwell's "Animal Farm," but in this case it's "everyone is equal, but Zionists are less equal than others."
    On the question of whether or not the "Palestinians" are now a people is a tough one. It's hard to consider them as a separate people from the rest of the Arabs in the region in an organic sense. Of course, and you are the historian so correct if I am wrong, before the American Revolution didn't the American colonists consider themselves Englishmen? Then again it seems to me that the Pal Arabs have so many negative pathologies that it's hard to imagine what their shared values would be other than a fantasized victimhood at the hands of the Jews, which is, I think, where we are today - I'm just thinking out loud here.

  3. Geoff,
    That is a very interesting take! I agree.

  4. Er...everyone please go to the London Telegraph site to see the latest in the UK Labour party antisemitism crack-up. Ken Livingstone has just gone beyond even the normal level of complete Jew-hatred by declaring that antisemitism isn't really racism, and that it's never really existed. At all. It's just a conspiracy by the "Israel lobby." Oh, and that Hitler supported Zionism, and wanted to send all Jews to Israel. Seriously!
    There's a video of John Mann (Labour MP) calling Livingstone, "A Nazi apologist."
    It would be funny if it weren't so utterly appalling.


      UK Labour party in action.

    2. 12 minute interview on "The Daily Politics."

      Ken Livingstone car-crash interview on the Daily Politics.

    3. k,
      Labour is considering suspending Mann for confronting Livingstone "in from of cameras?" Did you see Livingstone's reaction to him? It's just like that of trolls. This episode should make it clear to the public that Labour has its priorities totally mixed up.

    4. Jeff,
      Yes. Saw it. The whole thing is appalling. If Corbyn suspends Mann it will - should - have really bad repercussions within Labour. John Mann is highly thought of and has a lot of respect.
      There is the full version of that interview available on youtube, in which Nick Clegg actually confronts Livingstone about Hitler/Zionism comments and Livingstone digs even deeper. And John Mann is onscreen during it having his say. If I can I'll try and link it. It might come up on Google on "Daily Politics Ken Livingstone car-crash." It's an extraordinary thing, really. The toxicity of the party is on full show.
      I don't know where they go from here, apart from the usual denials.
      The blog "Guido Fawkes" is being brilliant at following it, and bringing the stories up in the first place. I imagine all links are there.

    5. k,

    6. Jeff,
      Thanks for link.

      No action will be taken against John Mann, apparently.

      Corbyn seems to be siding with those in Labour who think this is all "a plot." :-(

    7. Corbyn,apparently, wanted Mann suspended, whips said no.

  5. My computer is dying and my right hand is broken.

    Woe is me.

    F**k it. I have stuff to do!

    Y'know, in my opinion, we simply stand up for what we believe to be the truth... and try not to be morons about it.

    I am just rambling, I guess, because I know that I have limited time on this miserable laptop until it gets either fixed or replaced. I am sitting here watching the power bar diminish as I type!

    And I still owe Michael and Alan and Nothing Left out of Melbourne words.

    Kind of like life, actually.

    Ask Shirlee, she'll tell ya.


  6. Mike, how did you break your hand? That's awful!!
    Get better soon.