The first post tells why. It may be too little, but hopefully not too late.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Champion of displacement

Nobody is going to be surprised that today’s article in The New York Times, “A Champion for the Displaced in Israel”, is not about hundreds of thousands of Jews who were “displaced” (expelled and murdered) by Arab pogrom mobs throughout the Middle East, ethnically cleansing it of the ancient population that preceded Arab invaders by many centuries. These Jews and their descendants constitute half of the Israeli Jewish population, and have never been compensated for their losses. No, in the inverted world of the Times, the “displaced” in Israel are Arabs, the descendants of those invaders. It is unclear what exactly makes them to qualify for that status: the only people mentioned there who are displaced and whose homes are demolished are the Jews, Israelis, the Natives of the Land of Israel, who are given the preposterous misnomer of “settlers”. And the “champion” of those Arabs, whose only geopolitical dream is to displace the Jews from any piece of land, is a Jewish lawyer, Michael Sfard.

Usually, when a person raised in the Jewish culture (or a culture based on the Jewish values) takes an enemy’s side, it requires inversion of values and shedding of morality. When a lawyer in a democracy defends a murderer, he does not need to be on the murderer’s side to perform his duties. The murderer represents only himself even if he is a gang member. It is different when a lawyer takes upon himself the defense of a group against another group and does that consistently, especially when the group – in its overwhelming majority – is an enemy of the group to which the lawyer himself belongs. And not just any enemy. With some enemies, compromise can be and has been reached, but the Palestinian Arabs have given no sign of that possibility. They are self-proclaimed enemies of Israel. Their goal, at best, is Israel’s eradication, and at worst, the world-wide genocide of the Jews. It is symbolic that the name for the country they want to replace Israel is “Palestine”, the very same name that was invented by Hadrian the Roman emperor to eradicate the notion of Judea and the Jews from the same land. His wish has in part been fulfilled already, as the historic name of Judea has been virtually replaced by the nonsensical “West Bank”, an invention of Jordan that illegally occupied the land until 1967. Whereas the occupation ended, and the Jordanian annexation of the land had never been recognized by the world (with the notable exceptions of the UK and Pakistan), the name has stuck to the degree that somebody’s use of the original and true names, Judea and Samaria, is now viewed as a tell-tale sign of “right-wing” extremism. According to the article, those are just the “Biblical names” – and who cares about the Bible in our enlightened times. Obviously, since “right” is associated with fascism, it is easy to make the next step and accuse the Jews of nazism, a calumny that is so popular nowadays among antisemites in general and in the Muslim world in particular.

Sfard pathetically juxtaposes himself with the Soviet dissidents, expressing his satisfaction that he does his subversive work unmolested in a democracy. Soviet dissidents, which now have to defend the right of the Jews to live on the Land of Israel against him, have risked their lives for the Jews to be able to live in Eretz Israel, while he abuses Israel's legal system to ethnically cleanse it of the Jews. He is not "an enemy of the right" – he is an enemy of those who stand for what is right. He is the enemy's collaborationist. Along with other deluded or immoral people whom he defends, like the draft dodgers in Israel, he is adored by the likes of the NY Times and BBC, well known for their anti-Israel bias, and despised by the Israelis. Don’t expect this “defender of human rights” to defend the rights of the “settlers” – in his book, they are not listed as humans. Morally displaced, he is indeed a champion – of the displacement of Jews. No wonder that he has Gandhi's portrait on the wall - the "likeness" of a man who advised the Jews to comply with Hitler's plans.

April 2013. - A follow-up to this entry, in response to Sfard's talk at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is at "Antisemitism By Other Means: Lecturing Against The Jewish State", and, a shorter version, in The Jewish Chronicle, "Michael Sfard: 'I Don't Care About History'".

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Genocidal redefinitions

To be able to murder, to kill not in defense but on purpose, the murderer redefines his victim from a fellow creature into an alien, either threatening, or a tool providing sadistic pleasure denoting total power, or both. Nazis redefined the Jews into aliens, adding  biological subhumanity to the usual Christian depiction of the Jews as accursed for deicide and thus inherently and hereditarily evil. Even a small part of the Jewish "blood" was an intolerable threat to them. A Jewish child was a mortal danger to the mighty German nation. Genocidal Islam similarly redefines the Jews on  both biological and spiritual levels into descendants of pigs and monkeys that Allah turned Jews into as their punishment. To reconcile with continuous Jewish existence, Allah has scripturally promised the Muslims that they would eventually murder every single Jew before ushering in the end of days. As genocide has become a desired goal, Muslims have redefined for themselves the notion of the martyr from one who is murdered for his religion to one who murders because of it. The loss of the terrorist's own life in the process is incidental, because it is redefined into life eternal, as long as the earthly life was lost while murdering Jews. Allah, "most compassionate, most merciful", has taken upon himself personal torture of "unbelievers", giving a whole new meaning to compassion. Muslims have also redefined the notion of the prophet. Muhammad, "the Seal of the Prophets", has prophecized nothing but murder, conquest, subjugation and rape, which he himself indulged in. Islam means submission, and not merely as the literal translation of the word. It means the strict hierarchy of both physical and spiritual submissions: the man to Allah (read, to whoever wields power under this name), the woman to the man (who is legally worth twice the woman), the Jew to any Muslim. Any violation of this hierarchy is punishable - often by death: conversion from Islam, woman's disobedience, Jewish independence.  

From the pragmatic, rather than lofty spiritual, viewpoint, targeting civilians - children, women, the elderly - rather than soldiers, the Muslim murderers act on the knowledge that these random murders produce a greater demoralizing impact than a death of a soldier, horrible as it is. A soldier's work is to risk his life, and he dies fighting even if it was in his sleep. Children and women, civilians, are not expected to live life at the same kind of risk. They are not fighting. Children are supposed to be pampered, not tortured to death. Their parents and relatives are supposed to see them grow, not bury and grieve forever. This is exactly why the murderers choose to kill civilians, transforming everyday life into the expectation of death, thinking they will crash the people's spirit because everybody will be touched by death. The murderers cannot appreciate that they deal with the Jewish spirit, indomitable, inoculated by the millennia of murder and torture by the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, English, Spanish, French, Germans, Poles, Russians, Ukranians, Latvians, Lithuanians - the list can go on. Israelis rank 7th on Gallup's "happiness index" (life as a whole), just below the Netherlands (was above in 2011) and the happy Scandinavians, and higher than the UK, Germany and France. Even in Sderot, under almost ten years of incessant rocket bombardment,  only about a third of the population suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a number comparable with that in trained combat troops - except that for the children of Sderot there is no "post" in "post-traumatic". The stress has never stopped. 

In all these innumerable slaughters, from a single person to the millions of the Shoah, the reasons have been the same: irrational hatred toward the Jews, to the very name of the Jews regardless of how different it is in different languages, and the permissibility of murdering a Jew, whatever ideology is applied - Christian, Nazi or Muslim. A Jewish baby, impaled on a Cossack's spear or a Nazi's bayonet or having his throat slashed by a Muslim, can be nothing to the murderer but a representation of the name, with all the hate that was connected to the sound and letters of this name by the murderers' parents, teachers, friends, imams and priests. The Poles who tortured to death, beheaded, dismembered, raped, and burned alive hundreds of their Jewish neighbors in the village of Jedwabne, 71 years ago this week, were led only by the name, made hateful to them by the myth of deicide justifying an utter removal of civilizational boundaries on behavior, even those that command humane slaughter of animals. They were driven by the same genocidal hate as their compatriots in many other towns and in Kielce, already after the war, when Nazis could no longer be claimed as the real enforcers of the genocide for their voluntary helpers to hide behind. Whether at the blood libel's pretext, as in Kielce, or at the Nazis' welcome permission, it was the common folk that committed those atrocities. 

Poles would never call their neighbors "Poles of Mosaic persuasion", nor would the Russians call the Jews "Russians". In fact, the Russian language distinguishes between the ethnic Russians and those whose citizenship is Russian. The former are called by the noun "Russkiy" (sing. masculine; "Russkaya", sing. fem.; "Russkiye", plural), which is also the adjective that means belonging to the Russian nation, the meaning of "nationality" in Russia. Those who are citizens of Russia but do not belong to the Russian nation are called semi-informally "Rossiyanin", i.e., only belonging to (but not "in") Rossiya-Russia rather than being of Russia like the language, which is "Russkiy". The Jews would always be alien in Russia or elsewhere in East Europe, under the fickle protection of the state, which, along with the church, would keep the hate fire going.  The East Europeans' condoning and participating in the genocide is not canceled by some Poles' and Russians' having risked their lives to save Jews, and by the fact that millions of ethnic Poles and Russians themselves were murdered by the Germans. Bulgaria, a country relatively recently liberated from Islamic yoke, was the only exclusion during WW2 where the church authority intervened on Jewish behalf. But we Jews coming from East Europe are now called "Poles" and "Russians" by the naive Americans and Israelis who have a very vague notion of ethnicity.

Islam, in its foundational scripture, openly justifies the same treatment of the Jews as that allotted to them by the Nazi Germans and their many European helpers. The editor of Der Stuermer was the only non-governmental Nazi hanged in Nuremberg, executed for his speech. If not for his inhuman efforts, there would perhaps be fewer "willing executioners" (by Goldhagen's term), although it's just as likely that somebody else would have happily and as efficiently replaced him. The multitude of the Muslim Streichers, however, - from Muhammad the "prophet" himself to today's imams - are not only unpunished, but threaten the rest of the world with punishment, this time by nuclear fire. The Iranian mullahs, who head the whole branch of Islam, Shi'a, have promised to exterminate Israel - before they get to defeat the Great Satan, the US. The leaders of Sunni Islam, the other main branch of the "religion of peace", have many times called for the bloody "liberation of Palestine", celebrating terror, and blessing and glorifying the murderers. Nevertheless, nobody prosecutes their ongoing crimes against humanity, the very same for which Streicher was executed by the Allies. On the contrary, it is Israelis who are being demonized by the "world community" when they try to defend themselves - even when the defense is as passive as a fence separating the murderers from their desired prey. The same world community -  a generation back - not only cared nothing about the Jews murdered wholesale, but participated in that murder - by commission or omission. There are still old murderers that survive - but the slaughter of Jews has had no break. It seems nothing can invoke the world's outrage when Jews are slaughtered - not pregnant Tali Hatuel and her four lttle daughters killed point-blank by head shots. Not two-month old Shalhevet Pass, killed by an Arab sniper's shot in the head. Not the Fogel family, with three children aged from three months to 11 years and both parents, butchered by Arabs in their beds. No number of Jewish deaths can overcome the world's serenity - until this calm is broken into a million of screaming media pieces when the Jews attempt to hold the murderers at arm's length of checkpoints, delaying their reaching their final destinations. Unfortunately, those among whom the murderers live are also slowed down when they want to cross to the territory of Israel they hate so much but keep coming to.

The Fogel family slaughter was not viewed as worth mentioning by the leading news agencies like BBC. The priority was too low. Iran's promise to exterminate Israel is not viewed as a violation of the UN charter incompatible with membership. It's considered innocuous rhetoric, unworthy mention in negotiations. Jews building a house on their ancestral land that nobody but them can legitimately claim are called "settlers", like the British who came to colonize America. In fact, in contrast to those British, whom nobody has since been expecting to leave, the Jewish "settlers", the Natives of the land, are expected to give up their houses and orchards they grew on that land the first time in millennia - give it all up to the descendants of Arab conquerors whose names indicate their origins from Egypt, Syria or other places subjugated by those invaders.  The Jews are not to get anything in return, except, perhaps, for another fake promise of "peace", that is of the end of terror murders that otherwise are viewed as legitimate by the world. "Palestine" is redefined from the Roman name invented to replace Judea into the name of a future Arab state, with Arabs automatically attaining a new avatar - from the land they stole from Jews and Christians to the name they usurped. The whole world supports creation of the 23rd Arab state, despite  terror Arabs conduct under the pretense of desperately needing that state, all offers for which they have rejected. One wonders how many states would support the single Jewish state in 1948 if the Jews, for the sake of their national idea, blew themselves up in a British market and shot British children.   

No human treatment norm has been viewed by the Christian and Muslim world as fully applicable to the Jews - by the Christians who only recently have started changing their perception of the Jews as devil's inhuman kindred, and by the Muslims who do not consider even their own women human. Unless this changes, until civilized humanity rectifies and consistently applies its terms and definitions, our species' definition as human is false. We have a long way to go before "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Leviticus 19:18), as the Torah commands to humans.