That creed has lasted for centuries solely by the sanction of the victims—by means of the victims' acceptance of punishment for breaking a code impossible to practice.
--John Galt, chief protagonist of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
I think that Hizballah represents the hope. They are fighting to defend their homeland, they are fighting to defend the independence of their country...and I consider it to be genuinely to be an honor to be in their presence.
How can the foul taste of death become sweeter than honey? Only through conviction, ideology, and faith, through belief, and devotion.
--Hasan Nasrallah, head of Hizballah
In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm
--Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
Who is guiltier, the professional murderer or his sacrificial victim?
Regular readers of this blog will recall a previous article where we explored the bizarre obsession of academics, journalists, self-professed "liberals" and even clergy to perpetually fault Israel and the Jews for the escalating rocket attacks and violence that ended up culminating in the Gaza War of last year. The conclusion we came to was that no matter how violent and barbaric Palestinian terrorists were in the pursuit of their goals, in the end it was irrelevant because the rest of the world viewed their cause as just. All the while Israel's right (or perhaps "struggle" would be a more accurate word) to protect its citizens and simply EXIST was secondary at best, unnecessary and unjust at worst.
It didn't matter what was happening to the citizens of Sderot and Ashkelon and Ashdod and all of southern Israel in the years since the disengagement just like it didn't matter what had happened to the residents of Acre, Haifa, Nehariya and all of northern Israel during the 2006 Lebanon war. Nor did matter what had happened to Jewish residents of the Galilee in the years preceding the 1967 war, the Jewish victims of the Palestinian Fedayeen in the years preceding the 1956 war, the Jews of Hebron, Jerusalem, Kfar Etzion and all of Israel preceding the 1948 war and the Jews of Iraq, Yemen and the whole of the Arab world AFTER 1948. And what about that Gilad Shalit guy? STILL in captivity but who cares about him anyway, right?
Likewise irrelevant were the countless, unending (whether they be Jewish or not) victims of Palestinian riots, intifadas, knife attacks, bus bombings, airplane and boat hijackings, restaurant attacks, hotel massacres, disco infernos, highway shootings or other terror attacks over a century of upheaval.
None of this matters to the outside world because - as my earlier post argued - they believe that the Arabs are right and the Israelis are wrong. This has been the case at least since the UN resolution demanding the Arab refugees' "right of return" not just to the West Bank and Gaza but to Israel proper. Zionist experiment over, time to go back to the status-quo that existed before the Holocaust...sorry Jews, that was a nice run you had but who were you kidding trying to build a state and army of your own? How dare you try to ignore 2,000 years of historical dominance over your miserable nation?
Make no mistake, when you support people who support a policy that approves of the 4 million or so Arabs who today call themselves "Palestinian refugees" that is exactly what you are saying. When you support movements that have this as one of their stated (or unstated) purposes, regardless of what else these movements seek to accomplish - this is what you are getting.
And make no mistake, this phenomenon is not limited purely to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It doesn't matter that the Communists had a great space program, Mussolini made the trains run on time or that the Nazis were lovely environmentalists...they were all murderers whose evil far outweighed their good.
Yet today how many times do you see Americans and often Jews
wearing a shirt with this guy on it? Or do you see posters of Che Guevara in their college dorm rooms? Who cares if he hated the exact system that allowed your parents to save up and pay for the college education that taught you about Cuban history and Marxism? What does is matter if that system is precisely what Che wanted to destroy? And that if given the power he would have gladly rounded your parents up and had them executed at one of his "revolutionary tribunals" as he did to countless Cubans before trying to export his revolution to Africa. Buy the t-shirts, wear them with pride. If it's anti-establishment it MUST be cool, right?
Nor is this limited to long-dead, mythical, historical figures. Hugo Chavez must be totally wicked awesome if he denounces President Bush...nevermind the fact that he supports insane, nuclear-obsessed lunatics like the Iranian mullahs or that his government arms and funds FARC terrorists that kill innocent Columbians or that he incites anti-Israel hatred and creates an escalating climate of hostility towards Jews or that he destroys freedom of speech, shuts down political opponents and threatens them with bloodbaths.
Or that he apparently can't multiply...
So with that in mind, what difference does it make that Yasir Arafat or Saddam Hussein were as likely to behead you as they were to embrace your support? Keep wearing your kefiyyahs and anti-Israel t-shirts. Keep supporting countries that treat murderers as heroes and have parades for them. Keep demanding an end to the "occupation" and the installation of theocrats and dictators instead of the liberal democracy that is there today.
And is STILL the ONLY place in a 2,000 mile radius that guarantees the safety of ALL minorities, including gays.
This picture, taken at an anti-Israel rally during last year's Gaza war is essentially the ANTI-thesis statement for what must become the new focus of truly pro-Israel movements and movements that claim to espouse Jewish pride. This girl is the opposite of everything we need to be.
When we pretend that the moral high-ground can be achieved by sympathizing with the forces that will hunt us down and destroy us, no matter how pathetic or mainstream they may appear to the rest of the world, we become our own enemy. We sanction our own destruction and we become guiltier than the murderer that seeks to kill us - whether in Israel, America, Europe, India or elsewhere.
This simply cannot continue.
They are willing to bear nothing. You are willing to bear anything. They keep evading responsibility. You keep assuming it.
If it is now believed that my fellow men may sacrifice me in any manner they please for the sake of whatever they deem to be their own good, if they believe that they may seize my property simply because they need it—well, so does any burglar. There is only this difference: the burglar does not ask me to sanction his act.
We will return to Jaffa, to Acre, to Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, to Ramle. We'll play soccer, Saraa. I'll be happy when we go back there.
--Hamas puppet "Nassour" to young girl host of children’s program
Until victory, always.
--Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
For a long time I thought that simple ignorance of reality was what drove these people to embrace the paradox of their own demise, but it goes much deeper than that.
Because you see, the Jewish lesbian who supports Hamas (who if they had their way would execute her, which eliminates her support for them - hence the paradox) in all her absurd irony, answers the life-changing question posed by Francisco D'Anconia to Hank Rearden about midway through Ayn Rand's epic, Atlas Shrugged:
If the things I said are true, who is the guiltiest man in this room tonight?
While it is hard to boil down a 1,000+ page book into a single sentence - for the purpose of this article - the Francisco/Hank exchanges say it all. If you haven't read the book yet, go now and read it. I'll wait right here, patiently until you return.
While Atlas Shrugged is host to many themes, messages and subplots, the storyline that I always most identified with was that of Henry "Hank" Rearden. Rearden, a self-made, multi-multi-millionaire is a ruthlessly confident businessman and consummate professional with only one major weakness...he (like the entirety of the American society presented in the book) has been taught his entire life that it is his responsibility to support everyone who does not support themselves. His wife, family and the general public deride him as a greedy, selfish bully whose only concern is the bottom line - all the while living off the fruits of his labor even as they abuse him at every opportunity. Rearden's personal life is a truly miserable one as he is bound by a morality whereby he feels that by suffering at the hands of his tormentors and appeasing them, he is somehow a more virtuous person.
Even as society and the economy is decaying around him as the "looters" and "moochers" seize more and more of his wealth, property and freedom, Rearden continues to suffer and work harder because he loves his work and is driven by a desire to produce and progress - even though by the end he is producing almost exclusively for the thieves and murderers that make up the government in the book. The irony of course is that the people condemning him as being greedy and selfish NEED him to continue to produce because THEY themselves are incapable of it and without him they would be lost. Since everyone around Hank lives off of his production, if he refuses to produce, refuses to be "greedy" and behaves in the way his enemies pretend to want him to behave, they would ALL starve to death.
His willing subscription to their morality, his tolerance of their evil, his continuing to play their game with their rules is the only way they can destroy him. His enemies cannot succeed without the sanction of their victim. And it is thus the same with our enemies.
Since the first halutzim (pioneers) began working the fields and improving living conditions in what would become the modern state of Israel, Arabs against the Jewish state have demanded they vacate the land and "return" it to them.
Really? Where were these claims when Israel was a barren, backwater desert administered by the Ottomans for half a millennium? All of the sudden the Jews bring irrigation, highways and Tel Aviv to Israel and Arab residents who for 1500 years of foreign Turkish domination never even knew how to spell "nationalism" became the world's greatest political refugee problem.
The Arab Palestinian populations within those sub-districts that eventually became Israel increased from 321,866 in 1922 to 463,288 in 1931 or by 141,422. Applying the 2.5 per annum natural rate of population growth to the 1922 Arab Palestinian population generates an expected population size for 1931 of 398,498 or 64,790 less than the actual population recorded in the British census. By imputation, this unaccounted population increase must have been either illegal immigration not accounted for in the British census...That means that 14% of the ENTIRE ARAB POPULATION of British Mandate Palestine was made up of IMMIGRANTS from just the nine years between 1922-1931! If the Zionists were so bad for the natives, why move to be CLOSER to them? End the occupation? And do what? Turn the entirety of the West Bank into Gaza City? Or into the pre-Israel swamp and desert that the Galilee and Negev were, respectively?
And lest you think that these migration patterns ceased in the 20's and 30's...every single day anywhere between 68,000 to 115,000 Palestinians cross either legally or illegally into Israel to work for their supposedly racist Israeli employers...or work for the very West Bank settlers who they claim to seek to displace! Apparently Zionist occupiers and Jewish settlers pay much better than Arab "freedom fighters". Just to put this into perspective, this means that approximately 10-20% of the ENTIRE West Bank labor force is employed by Jews or Israelis.
What happens when Palestinians work in Israel or for Israelis/Jews? They pay taxes on that income to the Israeli government...which then hands the money right back to the Palestinian government. When the 2nd Intifada broke out and when Hamas came to power Israel caused an international uproar by withholding the estimated $50-$60 million a month that they transfer to Fatah and Hamas. For those mathematicians not named Hugo Chavez, that works out to between $600 and $720 million per year.
If you clicked the link that had to do with the West Bank labor force, you would have read on the CIA Factbook that the ENTIRE PALESTINIAN REVENUE COLLECTION for 2006 was $1.63 billion. That means that nearly HALF of the TOTAL Palestinian intake (which is then used to purchase guns that kill Israelis, print schoolbooks that talk about eliminating Israel and fund TV programs that brainwash children into thinking that they should throw rocks at Israeli tanks) is funded by the VERY PEOPLE they seek to destroy. And oh, by the way, in 2009 an additional $900 million was pledged to them by the US and A State Department.
How about the case of route 443, a road that links central Israel to Jerusalem? Or any of the "Jewish-only" roads that I'm sure you've heard the people crying crocodile tears about for that matter. Since the 2nd Intifada, several roads through the West Bank have been closed to Palestinian traffic due to DAILY shooting attacks on Israeli civilian vehicles that left many innocent civilians dead or injured. My own cousin's car was firebombed while he was driving home from Jerusalem with his wife and baby girl.
Since the closure, this has for the most part ceased to be an issue. Now the Palestinians are demanding that this road be open to their traffic and in fact, the Israeli Supreme Court has ruled in their favor. Soon, the new rule will go into effect and many Israelis will be avoiding this road out of fear that their families will be targets again. The road (like the rest of the infrastructure in Israel) by the way, was built by Israelis. What's that you say, Israelis shouldn't be able to drive through or live in the West Bank? But if Israel closes its borders to foreign Palestinians after a terrorist bombing, that's "apartheid" right? Interesting...
Want more? Because we have it. Along with the "end the occupation!" refrain which we seem to have had since time immemorial, the newer, hipper catchphrase of the late 00's was the "end the seige!" mantra - referring of course to Israel's closure of Gaza in response to daily rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. From the Sderot Media Center:
Most English dictionaries define siege as an “act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies...”
Indeed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website has reported that in the year 2009 alone, Israel allowed for 703, 224 tons of humanitarian aid and 105,600,128 liters of fuel to be delivered into the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead.
“The IDF invested major resources to enable the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip” stated Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, in November 2009. According to Levi, humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip increased by 900 percent compared to the previous year. Over 22, 893 humanitarian aid trucks entered into Gaza throughout 2009.
Aid trucks ready to enter the Gaza Strip in the background. (Photo: Jacob Shrybman/Sderot Media Center)
Source: Blockading the Truth: Getting the facts straight on the ‘Gaza Siege’
Let's for now grant that "humanitarian aid" is just that (ignoring the propensity of Hamas to seize medical supplies in order to sell them and use the money for guns and rockets that kill civilians) and just think about those 100+ million liters of fuel.
What basic thing do all militaries need in order to operate? The ability to move. What enables a military unit to move quickly, set up a rocket and then flee the scene before the return fire lays waste to it? An automotive of some kind, be it a car, truck, van, motorcycle, rocket sled, whatever. What do all of these things need to operate? FUEL. Who gets first dibs on all the fuel that comes into Gaza (as well as everything else)? HAMAS. What does Hamas do with their fuel? KILL ISRAELIS. Who provides Hamas with fuel? ISRAELIS. Who provides the vast majority of electricity and water for the population that put Hamas into power? ISRAELIS. What do 68% of Palestinians think is a legitimate way to defend Islam? SUICIDE BOMBINGS AGAINST CIVILIANS. What people do 77% of Palestinians have an unfavorable rating of? AMERICANS. Who are the loudest supporters of Palestinians? AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS.
Who suffers for all of this? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who allows it to happen? Israelis. Americans. Jews. Who, often FUNDS and ENCOURAGES their own suffering? Israelis. Americans. Jews.
Sanction of the victim.
Is it starting to click yet? In the end, it's not about Palestinian radicalism, Palestinian corruption, or ineffective Palestinian "leadership". The guiltiest man in the room isn't Hasan Nasrallah, Ismail Haniyeh, Mahmoud Abbas or even Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
It's you. It's me. Like Hank Rearden WE are the ones that perpetuate this situation. WE are the ones that allow it to happen. And it is our fault because we should KNOW BETTER. And it isn't even that Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton's or Ehud Olmert's misguided policies allow the other side to succeed. Who put these in power? WE DID.
And by we I mean Jews who overwhelmingly swept Obama into power by giving him 77% of their vote and continue to defend their decision STILL TODAY, even as Iran continues to move towards nuclear weaponization and Israel's future hangs in the balance. This isn't to say of course that everyone who voted for Obama doesn't like Israel, but it's hard to claim you are a pro-Israel activist if you don't do the most basic thing you can do in a democracy if you care about something.
That is to VOTE for the people who will support it as opposed to people who will throw it under a bus.
This should be so obvious to us and yet still we pretend that it somehow makes us more virtuous to work (or at least vote) against our own best interests even as our actions directly or indirectly aid our would-be murderers.
This HAS to change. The clock is ticking.
However, we should recognize that the policies of Hamas are more forthcoming and more conducive to a peaceful settlement than those of the United States or Israel.
Our main goal is to occupy all of Palestine and to push Israel to the sea or back to their countries. We are over 10 million refugees, but we will return home soon.
--Talal Nasser, Hamas PR Director
It is the complete opposite; he [Ahmedinejad] wants peace and not to destroy the Jewish nation, that’s what he explained to us.
--Rabbi Yisroel David Weiss, Neturei Karta
We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary, to replace (sic) Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.
--Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Senior Iranian Official
There can be little debate on the fact that the Jewish nation as a whole has had a historically destructive habit of aiding the very people who seek to destroy it. However, this suicidal tendency was by no means invented by the state of Israel, assimilationist/secular Jews or godless Zionists. In fact secular Zionism - the movement that founded (and serves as a basis for) the State of Israel was arguably the first time victimized Jews refused to give their sanction to their destroyers and chose to take control of their own destiny since the Bar Kochba rebellion of nearly 2000 years earlier.
Nor was Bar Kochba the first to stand up to his oppressors of his own volition. One needs only look at the stories of Chanukah and Purim - the two holidays that were most recently added to the Jewish calendar - to see examples of Jewish heroes like Judah the Maccabee and Queen Esther.
So we know that at some point, the perception of the Jew shifted from being that of a brave warrior-scholar...
...like Judah the Maccabee, one of The Nine Worthies - who along with people like King Arthur and Alexander the Great were the historic exemplars of chivalric code...
...and instead became the pathetic, docile, self-deprecating, Woody Allen nebbishes we are today. How (and why) did this happen? It if imperative that we answer these questions because if we are to ever change this suicidal docility, we must first understand the mentality that allows it to exist in the first place.
What causes Richard Goldstone to devote so much time to destroying Israel's legitimacy? What causes the Jewish lesbian to go out and protest in FAVOR of a regime that would have her beheaded, shot or stoned to death? Why do Jews all over the world like Adam Shapiro and Peter Trainor advocate for the destruction of Israel, the only hope Jews have had since Biblical times of protecting and defending their own interests, whether within Israel or without? What drives people like Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman to embarrass and attack themselves, their culture and their legitimacy? How can Jewish parents be "happy" when their child grows up to become a Muslim fundamentalist and terrorist sympathizer? Why are Jews SO COMPELLED to always prove to the world that they aren't just looking out for other Jews or Americans or Israelis, that rather they are citizens of the entire world?
Often these people are labeled as being "self-hating" Jews...an allegation they vigorously deny. After all, how can you be self-hating when Fiddler on the Roof is your favorite movie?
Oh and don't be fooled into thinking that this suicidal tendency is prevalent only in the Jewish Left. Perhaps the worst offenders are the DECIDEDLY RIGHT WING Neturei Karta group.
Basing their hatred for Israel on the Talmudic commandment not to re-establish the State of Israel without a God-sent messiah as found in the tractate Ketuvot, page 111a, the Neturei Karta site states the following:
Jews shall not use human force to bring about the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the universally accepted Moshiach (Messiah from the House of David). Furthermore it states that we are forbidden to rebel against the nations and that we should remain loyal citizens and we shall not attempt to leave the exile which G-d sent us into, ahead of time.Nor is this approach to foreign policy limited to fringe lunatics like the Neturei Karta. Indeed several extremely conservative (but much more mainstream) Jewish groups are also extremely anti-self-determination. While the Neturei Karta are the most visible and most active (in several cases actually CONSPIRING with Arab terrorists against other Jews) other anti-Zionist/Israel or non-Zionist groups exist that take a more passive view. The hasidic Satmar group for example, along with many other long-peyos-sporting Jews, still to this day prefer the shtetl (be it in Williamsburg, Lodz or Me'ah She'arim) to the kibbutz.
While they do not actively work against the state of Israel they absolutely reject its legitimacy. Few things in life are as paradoxical as the shtreimel-wearing haredi residents of some Jerusalem neighborhoods who refuse to vote or participate in Israeli society (often conducting massive protests against it) but still rely on the police and military to protect and defend them. It should be noted that not ALL haredim are anti-Zionist/Israel and that in recent years that there have even been signs of integration between these groups and the State.
Now, most secular Jews (especially those who voted for Obama) would never be caught dead hanging out with religious fanatics like the Neturei Karta. In fact, if she was caught being "queer" under a Neturei Karta regime, our Jewish lesbian friend from earlier would likely find herself in the same predicament as under a Hamas or al-Qaeda regime. That is, stoned to death.
And yet, it is this VERY POLICY - as quoted by the Neturei Karta and enacted by the post-2nd Temple rabbinic authority - that was based on a desire to appease the Romans and whoever the conqueror-du-jour of Judea was, that has been an accepted Jewish way of life for almost TWO THOUSAND years. All through the centuries of persecution, pogroms, Inquisitions, crusades and Holocausts there was NEVER an organized movement to re-establish a Jewish homeland in Israel or anywhere else for that matter. Since the Bar-Kochba revolt there were almost no examples of Jews even so much as FIGHTING BACK against persecution until the very height of it, the Holocaust. And even then it was far too late by the time we took up arms.
For thousands of years we were taught to be docile, to be pacifists, not to upset the balance and to be good citizens of the world wherever we went. This pragmatic, "man-without-a-country" mentality has allowed Jews to succeed in ways few other minorities have been able to in the United States and Europe but it also created a victim-mentality that still pervades Jewish culture to this day.
It really isn't about an emotional feeling of self-hatred...it's that this self-PRESERVING, pacifist behavior is so completely ingrained in our collective psyche that we don't even realize it's there anymore. And up until fairly recently in historical terms, this behavior was necessary - how else were we to survive in a world where we were always at the mercy of our host countries?
Why else do we constantly hear from Jews that they don't vote for "Israel's interests" but rather for the good of whatever country they live in? Why is there this need to constantly demonstrate our loyalty to our host countries even though (with the exception of the United States) they have committed unspeakable atrocities against us in basically 100% of them? Whereas at one time this was the only way for our people to survive, today it is something akin to national suicide.
Why is there such an aversion to demonstrate real Jewish pride and support for ZIONISM - which is essentially nothing more than a Jewish self-protection movement? Why does every other minority in the United States claim "minority" status, while Jews are listed simply as Caucasians? The Jewish experience has absolutely NOT been the same as the Spanish, French, English, German or other European nationalities. Why do we allow ourselves to be lumped in with them?
You Jews who are reading this...ask yourself these questions. Can you answer them? Does it bother you that you are thought of as a pushover by the rest of the world? Do Jewish stereotypes bother you? What have you done to break them down? Why do you behave the way you do? Do you like the fact that the most well-known Jews are self-hating, embarrassments like Woody Allen, Sarah Silverman, Noam Chomsky and the rest of the bagels-and-lox brigade who thrive on the image that you're just a kvetching, oy-vey spewing, no-tipping cheapskate whose cousins steal land from Arabs? Does that define you? If not, then WHY do you accept it?
I'll tell you why - it's because you've been indoctrinated to accept and perpetuate it by 2,000 years of self-deprecation in the face of anti-Semitism. Whether you're Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanist or completely secular you all share a common foundation and that is page 111a in Ketuvot - the part where your ancestors decided on your behalf that it was best to grin and bear it and wait for God to forgive us and bring us out of exile.
Then when your great-great-grandfather crawled to America in search of streets paved with gold, he found a place where he could cross the street without being trampled to death by some angry Cossack and wow, was it nice. So what if they wanted him to work on Saturdays, as long as they didn't send him back to Lodz or Oddessa or Kiev and burn down his synagogue he would grin, bear it and provide for his family.
This is what he taught your great-grandfather, who taught your grandfather, who taught your father who TRIED to teach your mother - who was born a Catholic and got a Reform conversion to make your grandmother happy - but she didn't quite understand what all the fuss was about. Hey at least she likes pastrami from Katz's deli just like your father does, so she's like 99% Jewish anyway, right?
And so today, you think the the main purpose of Judaism is tikun olam (fixing or improving the world) which in your mind means voting for social justice programs that benefit the "real" minorities who didn't have the benefits of your father's NYU law-degree-assisted salary. All those rules and regulations are just outdated mysticism that doesn't apply in the 21st century and besides, you're never giving up your grandmother's delicious chicken parm that she makes every year for Christmas/Hanukkah.
Certainly no JEWS need any help anywhere in the world because their fathers are also all accountants or lawyers or doctors or investment bankers like you and your friends are. And if you look at the Middle East, you see a bunch of white Israelis on CNN (and they MUST be white because there was no "Jewish" or "Israeli" option on your FAFSA form) living in beautiful apartments and working in huge skyscrapers surrounded by a bunch of starving Arabs who live in mud huts.
Obviously the Israelis must be the oppressors and the Arabs must be the oppressed because the Jews have it all and the Arabs have nothing. Therefore the Arabs need our help and besides weren't they there before the Zionists came and stole their lands? After all, you DID learn in your Arab-Israeli conflict class (that you only took to impress that cute Egyptian girl that you met at the interfaith mixer the weekend you moved into your dorm) that there weren't any Jews in Israel before the 1800's, right?
And your grandfather always told you that the only way to survive was to fit in...you wouldn't want anyone to think you support ISRAELI interests over AMERICAN interests. That's what makes everyone hate us. Our job isn't to fight it's to stay quiet and go with the flow. Who even needs a Jewish state anyway? It just makes people hate us even more with their crazy wars and apartheid. And besides, we have America! We have Sandy Koufax! We have matza balls and gefilte fish! Who needs Israel?? Gilad who? Forgotten Refugees what? End the occupation! End the seige! Free Palestine!
Congratulations you're a Neturei Karta.
You may THINK you're bravely choosing to fight for the oppressed or Tom Joad or whatever other nonsense Zach De La Rocha told you you're doing but really you're just acting the way you've been trained to act by 2,000 years of oppression, massacres and beat-downs. You've perpetuated the most right-wing, conservative interpretation possible of the culture your Democrat-voting, liberal father always told you was silly mysticism. Grow out your sideburns and put on a black hat. And then stone yourself for having pre-marital sex.
If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli.
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.
וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-חֻקֹּתַי וְאֶת-מִשְׁפָּטַי, אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם
Ye shall therefore keep My statutes, and Mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them:
Better to die standing, than to live on your knees.
--Ernesto 'Che' Guevara
So now we know the issue, we know the how and we know the why.
The ISSUE is the perplexing, self-defeating behavior of Jews throughout history, the HOW is the aid given to our enemies that gives them the ability to fight and kill us and the WHY is because we have been hard-wired by 2,000 years of oppression, pain and sorrow to be docile and think that it is righteous to not resist our enemies.
The big question now is WHAT do we do about it? Because there is only so far a culture of acceptance and quiet kvetching can take you...and the result is a malaise that has been steadily creeping over Jews for the past several centuries.
It is that which cannot be said. Everyone knows it's there, but no one dares to speak openly about it.
We all try to blank-out, to pretend it's nothing but an uneasiness about us. We banish the feeling to the backs of our minds, to fill our heads with American Idol and Dancing with the Stars and Tiger Woods...trying ever harder to doublethink it away...but we can't, deep down we know it's there. You know what I'm talking about...that quiet, unsettling feeling of something being somehow...incorrect...that you can't quite put your finger on...something uncomfortable...almost as if there's something you're doing that you're not really proud of, even when you're not really doing anything at all.
We ignore the reality that it is this very same unspoken feeling of melancholy and emptiness that has driven young Jews to seek Islam or Buddhism or Christmas trees or Marxism or pathetic attempts to emulate hip hop culture or blind pursuit of hedge fund success at the expense of their pride and heritage. And it makes sense that this would happen...because WHO could be attached to a culture that glorifies docility?
This is why early Zionists changed their last names, forced everyone to learn Hebrew and mocked Yiddish as a language of the oppressed. It was a clean break from the embarrassment of 2,000 years of abuse at the hands of our hosts. This is also why today it is so hard for Israelis to clarify the justification for going to war to protect themselves...to them it should be self-evident to anyone reads history!
And this is why Che Guevara and Yasir Arafat are so attractive to misguided "liberal" American youths. For years I thought that it was simple ignorance that caused college students to follow these barbarians but it actually goes much deeper than that. While they often are ignorant of what their heroes are actually guilty of, even when the truth is brought to them they often STILL follow them...because even a flawed hero is still a hero.
Who are the modern Jewish heroes? Where are they? Ask the average American Jew and what would they say? Jon Stewart? Steven Spielberg? Adam Sandler? Ari Gold?
Famous? Sure. Successful? Filthy rich? Absolutely. But you're not exactly going to be studying them in college as revolutionary figures or instruments of social change, are you? In fact the only one among them you could perceive as "strong" or "brave" or "intimidating" is a completely fictional character! You're not going to get young Jews excited to emulate these people. When children and teenagers have no one to emulate, they're going to look outside the box for them and they're going to be ripe targets for missionaries, demagogues and worse.
They're going to leave their culture and idolize other cultures instead. And all the money their parents spent on Hebrew schools and bar mitzvah lessons will be wasted when Adam comes home with a beard and tells his family he's going to "study" to Pakistan. Or Rachel decides to go on a "humanitarian mission" to Gaza and doesn't understand why her parents are so upset when she tells them. This is of course assuming the parents even bothered to care about the cultural identity of their children...a trend that has been distinctly on the negative side for the past three generations at least...which not-so-oddly also coincides with the declining size of the community.
The future certainly looks grim for non-Orthodox Judaism.
As if this wasn't enough of an issue there is still the Talmudic prohibition against re-establishing a state and army in the absence of the messiah. Because we sinned and have been exiled, the rabbis who survived the disastrous Bar Kochba revolt surmised that we had best sit quietly and try to get along with our new overlords.
And so it goes...we continue to tread water...doing just enough to get from one generation to another...taking unimaginable losses all along the way...paralyzed by our own indifference and just hoping not to finally get swept under a tide that gets higher and more dangerous with every passing day.
What is the answer to this malaise? How do we break out from 2,000 years of docility? Or do we give up? Accept our own victimhood and impending doom? Sanction our own destruction?
No my friends, this is not the answer. The time has come to put this policy to bed once and for all.
First on the religious level. While Judaism's docility has been well-established over the years, there is a very strict RELIGIOUS prohibition against suicide or suicidal behavior. There also exists a concept in Judaism of פיקוח נפש (transliterated as pikuach nefesh) - literally "saving a soul/life" which overrules almost all other commandments...even many of the 10 Commandments themselves.
There is no QUESTION that the State of Israel has saved the lives of thousands, if not millions of people who would otherwise be doomed to persecution, oppression, starvation and. And lest you think that this service provided by Israel is limited to just Jews - ask yourselves this question...why would a cash-strapped Jewish state that is embroiled in a perpetual state of war with its neighbors spend resources to assist with tsunami and earthquake search and rescue efforts? Please note the earthquake link was about a specific team of ULTRA-ORTHODOX Israeli Jews who had voluntarily travelled to Haiti and were violating the sabbath to save the lives of people that under normal circumstances should never have even come across.
In fact, it was widely reported that for days, Israel's field hospital was the only one able to perform at any acceptable level in Haiti. So Israel saves lives, both Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and non-religious. That alone should be enough of a reason for all Orthodox Jews (and everyone else for that matter) to embrace a state that everyday provides a literal life-saving function for people all over the world as well as a cultural, religious and spiritual life-saving function for Jews who would otherwise be lost to the tide of assimilation. It may not be the religious, messiah-driven state they crave, but for now it sure serves a purpose that they should rush to embrace (and many - but not all - do).
Furthermore, our pact with the nations we were exiled to was supposed to be a two-way street. We were supposed to behave like good little refugees and they were supposed to let us be. It's time to face the facts (as early Zionists did in the 1800's) that they did NOT hold up their end of the deal. Not taking steps to protect ourselves is a violation of the commandment against suicide. Giving up our lives to adhere to a rabbinical decree from 2,000 years ago is not only insane, it is a DIRECT VIOLATION of Jewish law. This is FACT. In a post-2nd Temple world this decision made sense...in a post-Holocaust world it no longer does. The Neturei Karta, for all their black hats, white beards and Talmud-quoting signs and pamphlets are WRONG. This is also FACT.
So religiously we can follow God and take inspiration from the Bible. But what to do about the secular Jews? Where do they get their inspiration from? How do we replace Guevara and Chavez and Arafat if all we have are Sandler, Spielberg and Stewart? Or worse, total useless wretches like Chomsky and Finkelstein. Where are our revolutionaries? Where are our warriors and heroes? And what can we do about the perception that we're all nerdy accountants?
Well, first we start out by pointing out that the perception is WRONG.
We're not ALL Woody Allen clones
You see we DO have our own strong heroes, revolutionaries and role models. They're just currently labeled as "Zionists" rather than Jews and are part of "Israeli history" instead of Jewish history. Theodore Herzl. David Ben-Gurion. Golda Meir. Why wear a Che Guevara t-shirt when Vladmir "Ze'ev" Jabotinsky was twice the warrior he was with none of the communist dictatorship baggage?
Unabashed, unafraid, unapologetic ZIONISM is the answer to our Jewish malaise problem. Real JEWISH nationalism, an impossible 2,000 year old dream that has actually been REALIZED is the answer. We don't need to be victims anymore. We don't need to play their game anymore. We don't need to play by their rules anymore!
"If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"
I will no longer be a victim.
I will no longer apologize for my success, nor feed into the myth that my success somehow comes at the expense of someone else.
I will no longer be afraid to stand up for myself and defend the Jewish homeland, MY homeland, Israel.
I will no longer feel that I have to prove my loyalty to whatever country I live in by going against my homeland of Israel.
I will support Israel because it is my ancestral home AS WELL as because Israel has brought substantial gains to the United Sates as well as the rest of the world.
I will no longer allow the hypocrites around me to make me feel as if I need to prove my docility.
I will no longer abide by everyone else's nonsensical, politically correct definitions of right and wrong or their expectations for Jews, for Israel and for me.
I am NOT a Jewish American who is pro-Israel.
That is a passive statement similar to saying that you're pro-freedom or pro-money or pro-food or pro-happiness. Of course I am in favor of a Jewish country...that should be a given for EVERYONE regardless of who they are or what their political ideology is.
What I am, is a JEWISH AMERICAN ZIONIST.
I believe that Jews are no longer the world's victims, to be used and abused as they were throughout history. I believe that the Jewish homeland is Israel even if I don't live there and never intend to. I believe that just as the Italian national home is Italy regardless of where an Italian lives, so to is Israel the Jewish national home regardless of where a Jew finds him or herself. I believe that I must actively take steps to prevent myself, my family and my friends from being abused. I believe that I control my own destiny and no one has a right to choose my path for me, but me.
And I believe that it is not my responsibility to clean up the messes created by others. It is not my fault that other ethnic groups have also been beaten down over time. I will have solidarity with them, empathy for them and do whatever I can to help them to reach the levels of success that I have achieved.
But it is not my obligation and it will NOT achieved at my expense. I will NOT sacrifice my own future for a parasite that will end up destroying both of us. And I am finished with allowing others to guilt me into believing that there is something wrong with this way of thinking. I will no longer be the guiltiest man in the room because I know better and I will act on that knowledge.
אִם אֵן אַנִי לִי מִי לִי
וּכשְׁאַנִי לְעַצְמִי מָה אַנִי
וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו אֵימָתַי
If I am not for myself, then who will be?
When I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, then when?
--Ethics of our Fathers
This is my belief. This is my pledge.
And this applies to Israeli Jews as well as non-Israelis. Just because the Palestinians got the short end of the stick after the British and French carved up the Ottoman Empire and created a bunch of artificial states that were doomed to failure from the start, does not mean that the residents of Sderot need to live in a perpetual state of terror. Just because the Palestinians were abandoned and sold out by their disorganized Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi Arabian, Lebanese and Iraqi cousins does not mean that a Jewish family should not be allowed to live in Hebron. Just because a Palestinian's great-great-grandparents didn't think to hold onto their land deeds under the Ottomans or that their grandparents thought they'd be better off trying to push the Jews into the sea doesn't mean that I should sacrifice my capital to atone for it. Just because they couldn't live next to the Jews and instead started THREE wars that they lost doesn't mean that I need to allow the creation of yet another terrorist, dictatorial regime that wants to eliminate a liberal, pluralistic democracy.
It's not my problem. Just because I am successful, it does not mean that I deserve to be sacrificed to those who are not so that they should live and I should not.
It is only if the Jewish community of the Diaspora adopts this same mentality, this anthem, this pledge to leave the shackles of victimhood behind that it will be able to reverse what appears to be an inevitable decline and disappearance into the irrelevance of assimilation. If not now...when?
These rules that we think we've set for ourselves but really have been set FOR us by faceless ancestors are impossible to follow. This game we've engaged ourselves in is impossible to win and if we continue to play it we are doomed to fail.
But the beauty of life is that we always, always have a choice.
Like Hank, I finally choose NOT to play their game.
And neither should you.
Spread the word, we shall be victims no longer.
That's what I think...what's YOUR reaction?
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