Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Jewish Left and the Conflict between Multiculturalism and Universal Human Rights

Michael Lumish

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

It's very sad, really.

I am watching my former political home, the American progressive-left, rip itself into ideological pieces.

In an apparent effort to reconcile the irreconcilable - i.e., the multicultural ideal (as represented by Sharia) with universal human rights (as represented by western feminism) - it is throwing Enlightenment liberalism, and with it the tradition of rational discourse, directly into the toilet.

Things have gotten so bad that in the universities the very notion of rational discourse, as we received it from Enlightenment, is increasingly viewed as a racist, sexist, heteronormative social-political construct designed to serve the white patriarchal power structure.

Here, for example, is an uncomfortable truth that illustrates the tension between multiculturalism and universal human rights within the progressive-left, but which they refuse to even discuss:

You cannot favor Sharia and be feminist both at the same time.

Sorry, Linda, but this is one of those reasons why I call my Elder of Ziyon blog "Acknowledging the Obvious."

I have no doubt that since Linda Sarsour recently sprang into the national spotlight off the political corpse of Hillary Clinton that there have been any number of people trying to square this circle. If someone can point me to a source wherein that was accomplished - where Sharia law and feminism were intellectually reconciled -  I would like to learn of it because maybe I am wrong.

What do I know? I make no claims of expertise in Sharia.

All I know with certainty is that the Jews who refused to allow themselves to be chased out of Israel by the Romans faced thirteen centuries of oppression and persecution under that juridical philosophy in the centuries between Muhammad and the Ottoman defeat in World War I.

A mere thirteen centuries.

Although the rules of "dhimmitude" varied from place to place and century to century within the Islamic world, Jews, along with other dhimmis, like Christians and Zoroastrians, could not build homes on land above those of Muslims. We could not ride horses. We could not carry weaponry and had no rights of self-defense, nor access to courts of law. While the Byzantines may have used the area around the Western Wall for a garbage heap, the Muslims simply built a mosque above what was the Hebrew Temple and declared the holiest site of the Jewish people as forever non-Jewish.

And it is not as if this is merely some abstract, irrelevant, historical detail from the past.

It is not as if I am merely holding a historical grudge.

It is ongoing.

It is at this historical moment, like every other for century upon century, that popular Islamic preachers regularly call for the murder of Jews. Yet much of the left provides them with cover by portraying the Jews in the Middle East as the oppressors of the innocent "indigenous Arab" population.

Thus, if an American Jew, such as myself, so much as suggests that keeping jihadis out of the United States is a good idea we are subject to progressive-left contempt. Who are we, after all - we grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jewish immigrants from the Pale of Settlement - to deny succor to Arab children of war? Who are we beneficiaries of American generosity to deny that generosity to others?

These would be terrific questions were they not entirely otherwise.

Most Jews do not want to see jihadis move in next door because Sharia is a political theory that spells violent Jewish subjugation. Opposing the Jihad is no more prejudicial toward Muslims than opposing Nazism was prejudicial toward Germans. We do not have a problem with Muslim immigration into the United States. We do have a tremendous problem, however, with the importation of the Jihad into the United States as we are seeing currently in Europe.

Jihadism is a theo-political philosophy, an aspect of Islam, that calls for the spread of Sharia throughout the world. People who oppose the rise of political Islam are constantly told that all Muslims are not jihadis.

Let me assure you that we know this, already, but that is not the point.

We also know that this rhetorical tactic is a diversion. It is a method of evading the necessary national conversation around immigration policy. But, if anyone thinks that opposing the Jihad is the same as opposing Muslims, in general, then it is they who think of all Muslims as crazed head-choppers seeking the reinstitution of the Caliphate, not their political opponents.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party and the progressive-left are basically telling their Jewish constituency that if we wish to remain in good-standing we must embrace the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people from a culture that despises us and harasses our kids on university campuses throughout the West.

These are the same universities that turn a blind eye, or - as in the case of San Francisco State University - actually support and defend student groups calling for the murder of Jews. When the anti-Zionist contingent at SFSU confronted the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, on that campus, they cried out, "Intifada! Intifada! Long live the intifada!" This is nothing less than shouting for the racist murder of the Jewish people directly into the face of a prominent Jewish leader among Jewish students and staff at an allegedly "liberal" college.

The irony is rich.

Nonetheless, SFSU president Leslie Wong believes that the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) "is the very purpose of this great university."

The reason for all of this ideological chaos and inconsistency is because the progressive-left is increasingly anti-liberal and thus increasingly in opposition to its own professed values.

We see it at UC Berkeley when leftists beat the holy crap out of Trump supporters or pepper-spray them in the streets.

UC Berkeley (2017)
We see it when they demand ideological conformity over free speech and, thus, undermine not only the honest interrogation of ideas, but the very foundation of social justice, to begin with.

Ultimately the tension between multiculturalism and universal human rights is undermining Enlightenment liberalism. In the ongoing, but largely unspoken, tension between these twin progressive-left ideologies multiculturalism is slowly devouring universal human rights and liberalism along with it.

This decline in significance of universal human rights led, in recent decades, to the progressive-left and Democratic Party betrayal of women, Gay people, and minorities throughout the Middle East, the emergence of the new politically-correct racism at home, suppression of freedom of speech on the campuses, and the rise of left-leaning antisemitic anti-Zionism throughout the West.

The progressive-left has, in fact, betrayed us all, particularly those of us who counted on it the most.


  1. How hypocritical is it to believe that "progress," equals sharia, hijabs and embracing a religion/culture that violates most of what progressiveness is supposed to be about? Speaking truth to power: Dear Progressives, abandoning your principals to garner a larger voter base stinks. It's corrupt. It will be your increasing demise.

    1. I don't think they are abandoning anything. Their only principle is lust for power, all the rest is camouflage.

    2. How hypocritical is it to believe that "progress," equals sharia?

    3. Jacob, I disagree with you.

      Most Democrats and progressives are not driven by cynical motives. I know it is not true because I was one for 30 years.

      Professionals are, of course, but that's why they are professionals.

      The rest are people reacting from conscience according to their personal experiences and understanding of the world.

  2. Even if rights are universal and limitless, so are the responsibilities that go with them.

  3. I emphatically do not favor a ban on general Muslim immigration into the United States. However, two things are necessary. The first is opening a general conversation within the US concerning immigration policy. We cannot have a rational immigration policy without a rational discussion and we cannot have a rational national discussion until Democrats and progressives stop suggesting that those of us who do not favor open borders are vile racists.

    That is problem number 1 and the problem that I am primarily interested in.

    The next set of problems, of course, revolve around how we separate Sharia-advocates from the non-Sharia-advocating variety. I do not know. What I do know is that any Jew with two brain-cells to rub together understands that we must keep the Jihad out of the US.


    We had 1,300 years of that crap. We're done with it.


    So, yes, it comes with a whole series of questions and difficulties that will need to be addressed by many people. I do not have all the answers. I am merely raising fundamental questions and putting forth commonsense ideas.

    One commonsense idea, if we have any respect whatsoever for the Muslim people, is to take the rise of political Islam ("Jihadis" "Islamism") seriously. This is particularly true given the fact that in recent decades they keep reminding us of just how serious they are from Jerusalem to Paris to San Bernardino, California.

    Y'know, my father was an immigrant from the town of Medzhybizh, Ukraine. He passed through Ellis Island in the arms of my grandmother during the 1920s. They came with nothing and my grandfather died in Argentina before they even received visas into the United States. So my grandmother came alone with my 2 years old father.

    But they came legally.

    And they did not come out of a culture that despised any ethnic group with murderous rage. Nor did they hold to a political-theological ideology that called for the submission of all non-Jews.

    I do not give a damn about any persons skin color or ethnicity or the religion that they self-identify as.

    I only care if they want to spread a familiar ideology of dominance into the West.

  4. There is only one way to keep Jihadist immigrants from entering America unfortunately until the time they invent mind reading technology; a complete Muslim ban as distasteful as that may be. That will never happen. In the meantime a complete zero tolerance policy would be a good second choice but that also will never happen unless there is an explosion of terrorist events in America; in which case, it would be blamed on Trump as a false flag.

    It's at heart a numbers game. Low casualties are an acceptable risk to maintain an aura of liberty and human rights. Truth be known, it's a formula practiced for the most part even in Israel which has almost daily terrorism.

    1. People who advocate an open doors policy under which undesirables have a better chance of entering the country never think to assess just how much money and manpower it actually takes to keep us safe from terror threats. Eventually, the ability of our intelligence and policing for such threats can be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people who need to be watched.

    2. Exactly Jeff. And the inevitable result is poor intelligence and policing and increased crime and terror. Just look at Sweden, etc. Much of what isn't necessarily terrorism is crime/gangs. Why import any of that crap?

  5. For more about how Sharia violates human rights:

    Forgotten Muslim Oppression against Jews: