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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

How's That Workin' For Ya?

You know, Jews have a reputation for being very smart people.
And they are very smart people.

Per capita, men and women of Jewish heritage have won more Nobel prizes than all other groups put together. Their culture prizes study, honors learned persons, and is in all ways a culture that is intellectual and refined.

They understand the world and how to advance in it.

And that is why the Jews will never be able to solve the problem Israel poses.

The problem is summed up very nicely in this exchange:

“What about the Palestinians here?” I said. “You say Jews should be able to live in Judea, but most people who live here are Arabs.”

“There have a right to live here, as well,” she said. “I think they can gain a lot more from living in peace with us than they can by waging war against us. I hope that one day they understand that because we’re not going anywhere. I want to live in a world where Arabs don’t want to kill me, not because they love Jews but because it doesn’t advance their own interests. I want to live in a world where they think about what’s good for them rather than what’s bad for me.”
Did you see it?
If you did, you're doing well.
The reporter in the conversation missed it entirely.

It's the dog that doesn't bark - it's the perspective which an intellectual, a cultured, a successful person would never express because it never occurs to them to hold it.

What if "Arabs" - and notice, the woman even said "Arabs", although that's clearly NOT what she meant - are confident that the death of the Jews is good for them?

Now, why would they think that?

Well, let's go back to her little faux pas: the "Arabs."
That's an absurdity.
This woman isn't afraid of "Arabs" nor are "Arabs" trying to kill her.

People from Indonesia want her just as dead.
So do people from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and, for that matter, America.

What do all these people have in common?
Hint: it isn't their "Arab-ness".

Christian Arabs, Hindu Arabs, Buddhist Arabs, Jewish Arabs, atheist Arabs, none of these people want to kill Jews.

So what is the common denominator?
Dare we say it?
Yes, we dare.

It is the Muslims who want the Jews dead and Israel destroyed.

Not all Arabs are Muslim.
Not all Muslims are Arab.

It is the Muslim point of view that is deadly to her, not the Arab point of view.
From the Muslim point of view, Muslims gain eternal salvation by killing Jews and wiping Israel off the face of the map.

But cultured, refined, successful, intellectuals (read "atheists") never even conceive the possibility that there are people in their conversation who really, really DO hold a different worldview than they do. They think that, ultimately, everyone really thinks like them, and all that has to happen is you joggle them around until they admit it.

All right-thinking people think like them, and wrong-thinking people are only prevented from thinking like them by unhappy circumstance.

They can prove it.
They can point to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Freud and Darwin, genetics studies, computer simulations, game theory, psychology, sociology, smooth histories written by buttery scholars who prove without question that mankind has always been driven essentially by economics or biology or a bit of rancid butter they had for lunch.

Everyone knows that real politicians, serious politicians, the kind of rulers who fisticuff their way into power, these people don't buy into any of this God stuff, this religious clap-trap, this airy-fairy salvation nonsense.

And this failure to understand the importance of salvation in the Muslim mindset resides precisely in the fact that even Orthodox Jews, even religious Jews, even really serious Jews, don't really spend a lot of time thinking about the afterlife.

As Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz points out, Jewish scholars agree on two things: (1) that Sodom and Gomorrha was wiped out due to lack of hospitality towards each other and (2) all the Jews in Sodom and Gomorrha attained heaven, where they dwell with the rest of the Chosen People. If the Jews don't worry about salvation, why would anyone else?

They literally can't conceive what the problem might be. We're nice to you, if you'll just be nice to us, everything will work out fine.

"I want to live in a world where Arabs don’t want to kill me, not because they love Jews but because it doesn’t advance their own interests. I want to live in a world where they think about what’s good for them rather than what’s bad for me.”
Honey, you should be happy.

That's exactly what you've lived since 1948.
That's exactly where you live right now.

How's that workin' for ya'?


Jordanes551 said...

Although it's important to remember the preeminent role of Islam in the Israeli-Arab conflict, it's not true that only the Muslim Arabs in the Holy Land are opposed to the Jewish state. The Christian Arabs also were and are opposed to the foundation of the modern state of Israel, though they're less likely to express their opposition through violence and murder. There is also a strong cultural current of secular Arab nationalism at work here, which should not be disregarded just as the religious element must not be disregarded. (And yes, "Arab" nationalism, not Muslim -- while the Islamised and non-Islamised Arab-speaking peoples of the Middle East include Syrians, Phoenicians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Philistines, etc., they long ago lost their ancestral ethnic identities and now identify themselves as "Arabs," and have done so for centuries.)

scotju said...

Jewish self-rightousness IMO is the main cause of the lack of insight that has shot them in the foot over the years. They thank God in their prayers that they were not born a women or a Gentile. If you can't see beyond your own nose, how are you going to understand the positive and negative feelings of other religions or ethnic groups?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, Jordanes, even some orthodox Jews oppose the creation of the nation-state of Israel.

I wasn't discussing opposition to Israel - I was talking about opposition to Jews' existence. These are somewhat related, but not identical.

As for Arab nationalism at work, I distinctly remember my old Middle East prof back in 1990 refusing to say that this was the case in regards to the Palestinians.

I specifically asked him whether we were watching a nation come into being.

He merely smiled and responded, "Nation-state is a big concept. It's not at all clear what is happening there." When the class pressed him on this, he refused to say anything further.

It's 20 years later, I've learned a lot more, and I understand his reticence on the subject a lot better.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Oh, BTW, Iran's leadership seems to agree with me:

Aide to Iran's Supremo: "The slogans that Gamal Abdel Nasser chanted during his rule and his allies in Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and elsewhere were all Arabic slogans. However, now we are witnessing Islamic rather than Arabic ideals growing."

Jordanes551 said...

Well, Jordanes, even some orthodox Jews oppose the creation of the nation-state of Israel.

True, but irrelevant. The Haredim do not engage in violence against their fellow Jews.

I wasn't discussing opposition to Israel - I was talking about opposition to Jews' existence. These are somewhat related, but not identical.

But Eve Harow, whom you quoted, was talking about opposition to Israel, not opposition to Jews' existence. That is why I observed that just as it is impossible to understand the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Holy Land without consideration of Islam, so too it is impossible to understand that conflict without consideration of the past century and a half of Arab (not Muslim Arab, but Arab) history, particularly the influence of Arab nationalism prior to, during, and since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Though that influence is now vastly overshadowed by the influence of religion, it certainly was a factor in the past.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, I don't think it's clear that Eve was talking about just Israel.

Many Israelis identify the survival of the nation with the survival of the Jewish people, although that identification does not logically follow.

Thus, I think her remarks were about Jews in general, not about Israelis in particular.

scotju said...

"The Haredim do not engahe in violence against other Jews". Huh!? What planet are you living on Jordanes? The Haredim are violent toward other Jews who do not measure up to their standard of Judaism. One only has to google "haredin violence against other Jews" or go to failed to see that there's a pattern of violence against non-haredin Jews by the Haredin.

Kevin said...


I really don't see why a Jew praying "thank God I am not a Gentile" is so terrible.

Jews believe they are God's chosen people. We Christians are always thankful that, through God's grace, we are set apart from the "world." And we thank god for that everyday. If so, we are equally hubristic.

As far as Israel, they've already said they are willin g to have a Palestinian state. They may hate that, but they realize it is going to happen.

Yet you can't have that until the PA repudiates the "right of return" (i.e. the descendants of people who left the land voluntarily 70 years ago so Muslims could engage in anti-semitic bloodlust, yet failed, be allowed to kick everyone out of the current living conditions) and renounces violence. Since the PA has now openly aligned with Hamas, that can't happen. Just like in exchange for that, Israel realizes that they will have to give up land they gained after the various wars.

As the old saying about the Palestinians go "they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity." It is a sad state of affairs, but it is what it is.

scotju said...

Kevin, you said, "I really don't see why a Jew praying "thank God I'm not a Gentile" is so terrible." Uh, Kev, have you read Luke 18:9-14 lately? Pay close attention to verses 9 & 14 as you read it. Still think "thanking God I'm not a Gentile" is a good thing?

Daniel said...

For many years (20 or so) I was one of the many who looked at the situation in the Holy Land from only one point of view, the Jewish one. All my thinking was orientated toward that mindset and any facts that were revealed to me which contradicted my preset view would be either dismissed out of hand or tortuously twisted in my mind through a process of mental gymnastics. I will always be grateful to a Lebanese monk (a semite) who LIVED the situation in the Middle East and tried to explain it to me in pure Catholic terms...and the scales fell from my eyes at last. He was the one who showed me that the side I always thought to be the true one, the side expressed by the author of this article we are discussing, is false.

I must also thank Jordanes for trying to point out a more careful view of the situation there, one not tinged with the misconceptions and anti-Arab propaganda put out by those ever-present gnomes of Washington and TelAviv. He brings out points one should ponder.

Prior to 1948 (and this may startle some readers used to a Spielbergian view of the world) Arabs, Catholics, Muslims, Copts, Jews, etc. - semites all - lived in relative peace with each other in the Holy Land. I'll let that sink in for a moment.

But the stench of evil was already beginning to waft its way to Palestine. The great "zionist" dream of Herzl - condemned by Pope St Pius X - to ethnically cleanse the Holy Land of non-Jews and create a state dedicated to the total exclusion of Jesus Christ, was beginning to slowly become a reality. Fast forward to 1948. By acts of sheer, obscene terrorism, and with the connivance of the US and Britain, Herzl's dream became a reality and from that date people whose direct ancestors had lived in the Holy Land for fifty centuries and more were ruthlessly killed and expelled, a process that continues to this day. And you wonder why the Arabs - Muslim AND Christian - are mad at the Jews?

It was not the Arabs nor even the short-fused Muslims who started throwing the bombs, and if you don't know that then you have an awful lot of catchup reading to do on the origins of that terrible conflict. The peoples of that region were being terrorized, killed and bulldozed out of their homes by zionists against every norm of international law and every norm of simple decency. And a people who are powerless, who have no nuclear arsenal, no army, no nothing can only retaliate in the way they know how. Am I happy that they have used violence to counteract the violence directed toward them? No, of course not. But you can understand their frustration, surely.

Look deeper into this, my dear friends. You owe it to yourselves, and to the innocent on both sides.

Kevin said...

I never said it is a "good thing."

I simply said we Catholics, in a roundabout way, end up saying the same thing, we are glad we are set apart, made holy by the blood of the lamb, etc.

Since that is exactly what Jews mean when they pray that prayer. That they are set apart, that they are God's chosen people in their religion.

Next you are going to say that a religion which holds it alone has the answers, and unless you are joined to her, you run the serious risk of hell (unless there are mitigating degrees of ignorance), that's a bunch of self-righteous jerks isn't it?

As far as "relative peace", you do remember that for the most part, the entire region was kept peaceful by a genocidial empire in the Ottomans right?

It isn't a matter of looking at it from a "Jewish" side, or a "Palestinian" side. As long as you have groups committed to ethnic cleansing of their foes, you can't have peace.

Whatever Israel's past, they've put themselves out that they are willing to live side by side with the Palestinians and the Arab World. The "Arab World" has given no such assurances, and the policies of those like Hamas are to destroy the state.

Put yourself in Israeli shoes. How does one negotiate with the likes of Hamas?

scotju said...

Kevin, the Zionist Jews were ideological terrorists. They had an insane dream of establishing a Jewish nation in a hornets nest called the Middle East. They claimed they wanted a refuge for persecuted Jews, but they put them in the most dangerous place in the world, the Muslim Middle East. Sort of like giving a cat "safety" from the streets by puting it in a dog pound. No matter, the ideology of Zionism demanded the ancient land back, no matter how many innocent people from the Christian/Muslim/Jewish sides had to die. Because of the fanaticism and hatred on both sides, the Middle East has been in constant turmoil ever since 1948. It will only cease when a revitalized Christian Europe invades the Holy Land and neuturalizes the Muslims and Zionists once and for all.
Kevin, the Catholic Church does have all the basic answers about life down pat. It alone, with a revitalized Christian Europe, can bring relative stability to the Middle East.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Scotju is right about the near insanity of early Israel.

“[Ben-Gurion stated] ‘If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second — because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.’ In the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, Ben-Gurion commented that ‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger.’” Israeli historian, Tom Segev, “The Seventh Million.”

Zionism was originally started by a bunch of atheistic socialists (pardon the redundancy), and the early state of Israel was definitely bent on kicking Arabs out of town.

This was well BEFORE WWII.

Now, I have great admiration for what Israel has become and the hardships they have gone through, but there's no two ways around it - Israel was founded by nutcases and people we would consider sociopaths or terrorists today. Menachem Begin, for instance, spent his early years blowing up British soldiers, and had a serious price on his head from Great Britain as a result.

Kevin said...

Which is why I said "whatever their past."

In other words, the Israelies have grown up. They realize that they have to sacrifice some of their desires for security and to avoid a greater conflict which is not in their interests. Welcome to the beginning of statecraft.

As far as the idea that everything will be okay once a revitalized Christian Europe invades the Middle East, I'm sorry, I prefer to live in reality.

Putting that much faith in temporal princes is something I am loathe to do.

I am not Spartacus said...

I was raised to believe all of the Zionist Propaganda. That all changed when I read Robert John's, "Palestine Diary."

Steve Kellmeyer said...


As an historian, I find it very unlikely that Israel has totally shed its past in just 70 years. That's not even three generations.

Certainly the Catholic Lebanese have no particular love for Israel, and they know the area a lot better than I do.

I don't think a Christian Europe needs to invade the Middle East. I think an atheist Europe could do an equally fine job. I don't think either will happen any time soon.

The ultimate point to this piece is to demonstrate, again, that Islam is a viciously serious menace to world peace. We may not get peace after Islam is destroyed, but we certainly won't get any prior to its destruction.

Kevin said...


I'm not naive. Whether or not it has permeated all the way through is irrelevant.

We can only go off their current (over the past 6-7 years at least) positions, that they are willing to forego some of the land they currently own for peace and future security.

That's a positive development, and it shows they are someone you can at least work with at the negotiating table.

For the past 10 years or so, it has been an open question not just of "should we negotiate with the Palestinians" but "whom amongst them can we speak to?" The ones who want every Jew exterminated? Or the "moderate" ones (at least those being "moderate" in English.)

The latest Fatah-Hamas lovefest answers that question, and not in a positive way. In short, now both "sides" of the Palestinians want to exterminate every Jew they can.

A lot of this is Obama's fault, but that's for another time. (In short, he handled these negotations with both sides about as poorly as humanly possible.)

scotju said...

Kevin, you are naive. Fanatics never grow up. They can not and will not admit into their ideologies anything that would disprove their beliefs. They'll ridicule, dismiss, and kill anyone who'll make them look bad. That's why both Zionism and Islam have to be destroyed so the Middle East has a chance for peace. They believe in their false ideologies until the day they die. Read Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer". It'll help you shed your naiveness.

Kevin said...

I can only point to objective facts on the ground. Such as they have withdrawn from territory now on 3 seperate occasions in exchange for security assurances.

I'm not for "picking sides." I am for realizing the true nature of everyone in the region.

The Israeelis will play ball, but they don't want to unless they have to. So its our job to remind them that playing ball is in their best interest.

The Palestinians refused to play ball (prefering to win by bombing the stadium), then realized they had to play ball. Then Obama told them they could win without taking the field. So it's our job to return to being a neutral negotiator, make them realize the only way to win is by playing ball.

And the idea that the "Palestinian issue" will solve the tensions surrounding the Assad regime, Turkey's growing fascist state, their relations with Kurds, the historical tensions between Arabs and Persians, that is naievete.

Solving the Israeli Palestinian issue will solve..... The Israeli Palestinian issue.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


You've got to be kidding.

The Palestinians "will realize they have to play ball" about the same time that Catholics will realize they have to ordain women priests or admit that abortion is ok in the first trimester.

You are asking them to deny their faith. Muslims believe all Jews must die.

You clearly didn't understand a blessed thing I wrote above.

Kevin said...


I'm going to assume the position that the current status quo is untenable.

So what happens? Do the Israelis just wipe out the Palestinians? Even if they wanted to (and that is doubtful), they couldn't.

If there's an alternative to some form of negotiations, and taking steps towards making the Palestinian people realize the hopelessness of continuing to take this route, I'm all ears.

Outside of combining a big stick with increased pressure to negotiate, I'm not sure what to do.

Any thoughts from you?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

You assume the Jews win this one.
They don't.

The Jews are aborting and contracepting themselves out of existence. Muslim reproduction rates currently exceed the rate of Jewish reproduction by a factor of three or four.

That difference in rate is slowing as Muslims enter their own demographic transition, but it will probably hold long enough for them to get a majority of voters within Israel proper.

So, either the Muslims take out the Jews through war (the quick solution), or the Muslims take out the Jews by taking over the government (the slow solution) and chasing them out, as they have in most of the other countries in the region.

There used to be substantial Jewish populations in Iran, Iraq, Yemen, even Saudi Arabia. The Jews were chased out of all those countries when Israel was created.

The only way Israel remains a majority Jewish state, or even a majority non-Muslim state, is if they can figure out a way to make the Muslims abort and contracept at the same rate the Jews do.

That is highly unlikely.

The USA has the next largest population of Jews in the world, so we'll be the haven the Jews flee to when Islam takes over Israel and renames it Palestine.

In the long term, the Wailing Wall will be destroyed, Christians will also be run out and the churches destroyed. This wholesale takeover and destruction happened before, about the year 1000. We reversed it by calling Crusade.

I don't think that will happen this time through.