Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Israel, Multiculturalism, and the Decline of Universal Human Rights

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under and Israpundit.}

kids-tshirt-no-justice-no-peace-d0012745602 The great unspoken tension within the progressive-left, today, is the ongoing ideological conflict between the dominant multicultural ideal and the declining ideal of universal human rights.

Given the racialized nature of World War II it is not the least bit surprising that American liberalism shifted from a primary concern with leveling the economic playing-field, under FDR, to what we might call "racial liberalism" as it emerged and evolved in the post-war era with the rise of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement.

It is also not the least bit surprising that the ideal of universal human rights emerged from World War II within two prominent and allied political "communities," despite the fact that it was betrayed by both. The first is the United Nations, an organization that has continually undermined human rights, as well as free speech, due to its inconvenience for a significant number of influential member states, particularly those associated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The second political community that embraced (and betrayed) this central value is the progressive-left as it came to dominate the Democratic Party, the Labour Party in Britain, and the European Union.

The multicultural ideal confronted ideals of universal human rights (or social justice) just beneath the surface of politics-as-usual. That is, the twin pillars of progressive-left ideology rubbed against one another because they are mutually exclusive. This tension within the movement remained generally unexamined as it played itself out in recent decades, resulting in the near total triumph of multiculturalism over its pain-in-the-neck rival.

For those of you who may wonder how it is that feminists justify the burka (a symbol of Islamic oppression of women) or why so many Gay people favor the Palestinian Authority over Israel (despite the liberal incorporation of Gay lifestyles into Israeli culture) or how it is that Democrats who favor liberalism and freedom of speech also tend to increasingly despise the only country in that entire part of the world that embraces both, this is the reason.

Universal human rights are generally incompatible with multicultural notions because those notions tend to chasten ideals of social justice when they clash with the prerogatives of other cultures to behave as they will without western "imperialist" intrusion.

burkaOne cannot stand for multiculturalism, after all, if one condemns the burka or the status of women, Gay people, and all non-Muslims throughout the Arab-Muslim Middle East. To do so, in today's hyper PC universe, is to display an offensive, "racist," and unacceptable disregard for the rights of other peoples.

The victory of multiculturalism over ideals of human rights was not inevitable and as late as the 1990s western feminists still stood up for the rights of women under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, but those days are now long gone.

The current western political atmosphere, particularly under the EU and the Obama administration, is increasingly racialized as a consequence of multiculturalism in its embrace of anti-white prejudice. This is so because white people (no matter what their economic standing) are seen as the heralds and bludgeons of western imperialism, colonialism, sexism, homophobia, militarism, and racism as conjured up by professors such as Rashid Khalidi, Noam Chomsky, and the late Columbia University professor, Edward Said. 

Furthermore, those of us who come out of the progressive-left and the Democratic Party - and who still hold fast to the ideals of universal human rights - are regularly defamed as "racist" and "imperialist." If we so much as dare to criticize forms of Islamic jurisprudence that call for stoning women to death, when accused of adultery, or hanging Gay people from cranes, as they do in Iran, then we are considered among Hillary Clinton's "deplorables."

Needless to say, the people who have thrown the ideal of universal human rights directly into the garbage tend to be the same people who endlessly lambaste Israel for its alleged violation of those very same rights. Israel, of course, has a far better human rights record than any country in that part of the world and the relentlessly malicious focus on the lone, sole Jewish State is an indication of the racial dogmatism at the heart of the progressive movement when it plunges itself head-long into Arabs against Jews in the Middle East.

If we happen to be Jewish people who deplore the fact of thirteen-hundred years of Jewish persecution under the boot of Muslim imperial rule - and who are distressed by the ongoing violent threats toward the various minorities, including Jews, Christians, Yazidis, and others - we are excoriated as apologists for genocide and ethnic-cleansing in our support for Israel.

This is because much of the Left still considers Zionism to be a form of racism, as reported by UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 in 1975, before it was rescinded in 1991.

The great irony, of course, is that outside of political Islam, the progressive-left has emerged as the foremost purveyor of racism in the West, today.

Prominent western-left racism is not the old-timey variety as represented by, say, the Ku Klux Klan or Pacific Northwest skin-headed homunculi. Instead progressive-left and Democratic Party bigotry takes the form of "humanitarian racism" which condescendingly views people "of color" as small children in need of protection from white, male barbarians.

Progressive-left and Democratic Party anti-Jewish racism, by contrast, takes the form of endlessly lambasting Israel, while ignoring the far worse human rights records of countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central and South America. And it displays itself in its acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger progressive-left, Democratic Party coalition.

The Democratic Party price for Jewish admission is a willingness to sit across the table from anti-Semitic anti-Zionists in a spirit of political brotherhood.

This would be something akin to requiring black people to sit across the Democratic Party table from Klansmen for the purpose of defeating Republicans.

African-Americans would never, today, put up with it, yet Jewish Democrats do so on a daily basis.

Some of us, however, are regaining our self-esteem and increasingly willing to stand up and say, "NO."


  1. The reason that the left was able to appropriate the concept that they and only they stand for human rights is because they said so over and over millions of times. But two things: 1) there's little if any evidence to suggest this is the case and 2) its narrative made up by the Soviets in the wake of WW2 out of whole cloth. It was concocted as a tool in the Third Worldism Movements of the 1950's and '60's. So called 'People's Liberation' movements were created by the Soviets as political weapons. They had nothing to do with rights or freedom or people.

    1. They did fight for the "people's leaders" rights though.

  2. Typically the people who say power to the people are the people they want the people to give all the power to. For instance the first thing Lenin did was abolish trade unions.

    In the 'post colonial' world of the 1950's and beyond, particularly in Africa where did all the 'people's resistance movements' actually lead? Other than endless war, genocide, famine and atrocities, nowhere. Say what you like and it's very very unpopular to say this now, but Ian Smith was essentially correct when he stated that black rule was inevitable but just not yet. It had to be a managed process. There are perhaps possibly only 2 examples where flipping the switch on a crash course of self rule didn't end in a sea of bloodshed; Ghana and the RSA. And it would be overly simplistic to assume that all that violence was white on black violence or 'colonial' on 'indigenous' violence. After all, in Mozambique the revolution to separate from Portugal was, by African standards fairly benign. It was the Marxist revolt that followed on AFTER independence where they really ramped up the mayhem. Ditto, Angola.

    There are no good guys here. The Marxists and the anti Marxists were all guilty of atrocities. But it was this fake 'people's revolt' engineered by the Soviets that kicked things off. Today we see that the best thing for 'people', their rights and freedoms, their affluence and such isn't revolution and kangaroo courts, it's trade, cell phones, the internet, freedom, capital formation, a working court system, rule of law and and end to the secret police.

    I suppose what it comes down to is there's no such thing AS universal human rights. They have to flourish organically of themselves. 3 or 4 or 500 years of infantilized colonialism doesn't morph into perfection in a day, year or decade. It takes a great deal of time and great deal of patience with false starts and failures. But having said that, some failures are allowed to go on too long. Far too long. The 'palestinians' are nothing more than a made up people oppressed by a neo-colonialism of their own making. The treatment of them by the UN and is no different than how the Belgians administered Congo. A paternalistic benign neglect. THAT is the real yoke of oppression, that is where the real 'people's revolution' has to occur. All the EU &co has managed is to replaced the iron chains of Ottoman slavery with silver and gold ones courtesy of Brussels.

  3. Probably general knowledge by now, Shimon Peres has died yesterday. We are not supposed to say anything bad about the dead, so I won't.

  4. improved version:

    by Mr. Cohen, 2016/9/29

    Shimon Peres (born 1923 CE, died 2016 CE) never understood that Muslims have always hated Jews, and will always hate Jews forever, because that is what their religion requires them to do.

    Shimon Peres never understood that Muslims have always deceived non-Muslims and will always deceive non-Muslims forever, because that is what their religion requires them to do.

    Shimon Peres never understood that according to Islamic Religious Law [sharia], peace-treaties between Muslims and non-Muslims are worthless, and should be violated as-soon-possible by killing the non-Muslims that the peace-treaty was made with.

    Shimon Peres never understood that Islam cannot tolerate any Jewish state anywhere in the Middle East, regardless of its size or the shape of its borders.

    Shimon Peres never understood that Islam requires that Jews must be constantly oppressed by Muslims and trembling-in-fear before Muslims.

    Shimon Peres never understood that Jews having their own land and their own army is extremely offensive to Islam, regardless of its size.

    Shimon Peres never understood that Islam requires that Jews must be only a little-bit-better-off than slaves.

    Shimon Peres never understood that Muslims view any compromise as humiliation, and humiliation is the worst thing in Muslim culture.

    Shimon Peres never understood that tolerance and forgive-and-forget are NOT part of Muslim culture, especially when dealing with non-Muslims.

    Shimon Peres never understood that many millions of Muslims believe that Jews are apes and pigs.

    Shimon Peres never understood the Muslim belief that the Muslim-Messianic-Era cannot occur until ALL JEWS EVERYWHERE ARE DEAD.

    Since Shimon Peres was a good-hearted person (even though he sometimes made mistakes), he was unable to comprehend the amazing wickedness of Islam and Muslims.

    Shimon Peres tried to negotiate peace with Muslims, but with zero understanding of Muslim beliefs.

    The result:
    The Oslo Accords were a disaster for Israel, and the severe troubles that Israel faces now were caused by it.

    1. Mr. Cohen,
      Yeah. Sure. He was such an amateur. You're the expert. Got it!
      BTW, do you do everything your religion requires you to do?

    2. I know MUCH more about Islam than Shimon Peres ever did.

      You seem to not understand that most Muslims have NOT become totally-secularized, unlike most Jews, who have become totally-secularized.

      You seem to not understand that anti-Jewish hate is constantly being taught in Arab schools, and Arab mosques, and the Arab news media and Arab entertainment media.

    3. You seem to assume a lot about others.

  5. Well at least he put his money where his mouth was. He stayed in public service his entire life unlike the gadflies now who lose an election or two and run off to the private sector to make millions. I'd rather have a man who stands proudly with the courage of his convictions than a crook, even if I disagree with them.

    I think the problem with Oslo is that people took it rather too seriously at the beginning as if it meant something. And then sadly the politicos in Israel put themselves in a corner with it even though Arafat was laughing at them. In practical terms Oslo died in 2000 with the al Aqsa war but Sharon blundered in trying to appease Bill Clinton and then George Bush. In the 16 years since then, Oslo was zombie - the walking dead that everyone pretended wasn't a zombie. What Israel should have done in the 2000-2006 period is declare Oslo dead and buried. By 2008 or 2009 with Abbas making it patently clear he is a dictator they should have torn up the agreement already 15 years out of date and told Abbas and Obama the 'facts on the ground' are too materially different to follow an old treaty.

    1. Israel should still pronounce Oslo dead and buried. It would be an honest acknowledgement of reality rarely seen these days.

  6. Well, I guess that I am not going to get out of his without saying at least something about Shimon Peres.

    I tend to stand with Trudy on this one.

    He was, in my opinion, a good and great man who made a tragic mistake, along with Yitzach Rabin, with the Oslo Fiasco.

    He was also the last of the founding generation.

    Through him some people may feel awash with sentimentality for days-gone-by, but I don't, simply because that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

    I deeply regret Oslo, however, and whatever current Israeli leadership may think concerning the two-state solution, there is no way that the EU or any US Democratic administration is going to allow Israel free from it without extracting more than a pound of flesh.

  7. I always come back to the inherent Potemkinism that's deeply embedded in all of this. Multi-culti implies actual cultures. But is our at a distance Disney-fied, formerly filthy 'refugees' now attending US public schools and watching Dora The Explorer a legitimate definition of their 'culture' or just our soft furry hope and delusion of what it should look like? Not to sound like a Q-tip screaming at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn, but what, exactly do white middle class and upper middle class private liberal arts college students in the warm embrace of their families' money and privilege actually experience let alone understand about their OWN culture let alone some other? How genuine is that?

    On The Hill, I commented on something a while back and a liberal countered that 'he' (dunno who) knew all about communism because he was in a communist club in college and that my experience, the child of ex Soviet CPSU members was invalid. The only 'genuine' point of view is from someone wrapped in the lap of luxury in the US who graciously lets him march around screaming about this and that free from any consequence of that and from the heights of perhaps the top 5 or 10% of THIS wealthy country.

    Be that as it may. Whether you or I think their personal experience is more 'real', it's not. This is not a communist nation not even a little bit. It's not a slave state, a Arab caliphate or a lesbian cloud city paradise. It's just not. Saying you identify with those things is utter silliness. American Jews are badly guilty of this. You're not (for the most part), black, Arab, Muslim, Buddhist, illegal Mexican, illiterate, foreign, poor, oppressed and so forth. You don't even know very much about your own Judaism. Few of you are blue collar/no collar or didn't make it through high school. You didn't come here from Juarez in the back of a reefer truck.

    So stop telling us that we, who point this out, are evil, racist monsters. Multi-culti means what it says it means. It means some vague theory like pre school childhood developmental psychologists describe 'parallel play'. It doesn't mean I wear a dashiki. It doesn't mean I pray to Allah. But importantly it doesn't mean those other cultures embrace mine. And that's where the problem lies because I am of this milieu. This culture is the dominant one. Immigration means this culture makes immigrants more 'American' than immigrants turn America into something else. Sorry but that's reality and didn't understand that coming here then you goofed or you were lied to.

    1. Those upper middle class kids are taught that to whatever extent they have a culture, it is pure evil, so they run to find another culture to embrace, i.e., they go culture slumming.
      I am a bit astounded that there are communist clubs in colleges. Any Nazi clubs?