On Jewish Self-Criticism

When Leftists call for moral self-criticism, they mean they want to criticize and condemn <i>you</i>. They never think that they themselves ought to be the focus of criticism, because they can never err. The Pope may be seen by Catholics as infallible, but only in matters of theology; Leftists are infallible in everything.

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Prof. Steven Plaut,

Prof. S. Plaut
Prof. S. Plaut
The Orr Commission was the latest manifestation of the doctrine holding that peace is possible through Jewish self-flagellation. This doctrine rarely requires actual evidence of Jewish sinfulness. It requires no more than blind faith.

Among the worst features of the Orr Commission Report is its silly finding that Israeli Arabs took to the streets in pogroms against Jews in the fall of 2000 because Israeli Arabs are the victims of discrimination. Gosh, how did the learned commission members know that? Did they do some state-of-the-art econometric analysis? Review the empirical evidence on Jewish-Arab socioeconomic disparities? Learn some statistics? Of course not. Their "finding" was based on the "Stands to Reason" (STR) Axiom, which is nearly always wrong about everything when it comes to the Middle East.

The evidence behind this remarkable finding is nothing more than STR. Not a single one of the Commission members has any background at all in social science, and none of them heard the tiniest piece of social science research on the question of socioeconomic disparities at commission hearings before drawing this fashionable conclusion. After all, why else would the Arabs attack their Jewish fellow citizens? Must be they are victims. Stands to Reason. The French and Pakistanis must be victims of the Jews as well. Why else would they be so anti-Semitic? Stands to Reason. STR.

Why else indeed?

The pseudo-scientific pseudo-finding of the Commission will now no doubt be bandied about all over the globe. Here we have the spectacle of an official commission of inquiry chaired by a Supreme Court Justice concluding that Israel is a racist and discriminatory country. This "finding" is just the latest manifestation of the Islamofascist Socioeconomic Big Lie - the myth that when Arabs engage in mass murder and terrorism and violence, it must be because they have legitimate grievances and have been victims of injustice. You know, like al-Qaida. Stands to Reason, no? Why else would they get so desperate?

Moreover, the Orr STR "finding" starts with the axiom holding that poverty and being underprivileged cause Arab violence. Just like the assumption that if the Islamic Nazis hate the United States, America must examine itself to see what sins and crimes it did to anger them.

The media never get tired of the myth. Never mind that bin Laden and his cronies are among the Saudi filthy rich, not homeless, impoverished street people. Never mind that the evidence is overwhelming that the richer a Palestinian is, the more violent and fanatic he/she is likely to be. Palestinian suicide bombers are invariably college students and professionals. There has never been an undernourished suicide bomber.

The most fanatical Islamofascists are the graduate students at Western universities. Palestinian fanaticism and violence grew consistently after 1967, even as Palestinian consumption, health, and schooling standards rocketed upwards.

The Islamofascist Socioeconomic Big Lie is first cousin to the claim that if Arabs engage in terror, it must be because their cause is so just. They must have suffered from such injustices to make them so desperate, right? Stands to Reason. After all, why else would they blow up buses of children? It must be that they have no other option.

Now, just imagine how just the cause of the Germans must have been in the 1940s for them to engage in so much violence. Heck, imagine how desperate and oppressed they must have been.

There is not the slightest shred of real evidence that Israeli Arabs are victims of discrimination. Yes, they earn less on average and are less educated than Israeli Jews. But if that proves discrimination, then the United States is a horrid racist country that discriminates against people who are neither Asians nor Jews. Jews are better educated and, on average, earn more than non-Jews in every country on earth with a Jewish population, including those with rigid anti-Jewish discrimination and quotas. And yes, sometimes Arab municipalities get under-allotted in budgets, but that is because the only Knesset representatives they elect are pro-terror fascists, who can never be included in any government coalition. In essence, the Arabs are voting away their own ability to log-roll and watch out for themselves fiscally.

The learned commissioners never heard about any of this. They decreed the Arabs of Israel are victims of discrimination based on STR.

The main forms of institutional discrimination in Israel these days are all anti-Jewish discrimination. Only Jews get conscripted. Colleges and civil service agencies all discriminate against Jews. Jews are the only ones prosecuted for incitement.

The Orr Commission was just the latest round in the assault by Israel's political elite against the ability of the country to defend itself. Next time gangs of Israeli Arabs hold a pogrom, guess how many police will call in sick that day lest they be indicted and investigated by some future Orr Commission.

Speaking of self-criticism, a rather amusing minor fuss has been going on in the Israeli media (especially in Haaretz) concerning the nature of the ultra-Orthodox Haredim. It began when Yoram Kaniuk, an Israeli writer, wrote that he really admires the way the Haredim reacted to the bus bombing in Jerusalem, by their insisting that they - the Haredim themselves - must respond to the horror by re-examining their own lives and ethics and behavior, by pledging themselves to a more ethical life. Kaniuk implied that other Israelis would be well-advised to follow their lead. Self-introspection, self-reevaluation, constant self-evaluation are indeed fundamental ideas in Judaism.

Kaniuk was then attacked by the usual mindless Leftist sheep for suggesting that there could be anything positive about religious people. But some Far Leftists chimed in and endorsed Kaniuk. Gideon Levy, a Haaretz columnist who wants to see Israel dismantled and replaced by a Third World Palestinian bi-national state (the Rwanda Solution), insists that Kaniuk is on to something, and that the proper way to respond to Palestinian atrocities is through Israeli self-abasement and self-flagellation. Levy writes a Haaretz column in which each week he bemoans some troubled Palestinian family's plight, such as that of a father blowing his arm off while preparing an explosives belt, yet has never quite found the time to devote any space to the families of any of those 1,300 Oslo-murdered Israelis. Other Lefties then chimed in with sentiments similar to Levy's, insisting that Israelis other than themselves should repent for their horrid, evil, oppressive, racist nature as their response to terror.

Anyways, I thought this was an amusing illustration of what the Left means when it calls for self-examination and self-reevaluation. When Leftists call for moral self-criticism, they mean they want to criticize and condemn you. They never think that they themselves ought to be the focus of criticism, because they can never err. The Pope may be seen by Catholics as infallible, but only in matters of theology; Leftists are infallible in everything.

Not a single leftist responded to the Kaniuk piece by saying, yes, let us leftists follow the example of those Orthodox Haredim and examine what we leftists did wrong over the past decade to cause terrorism to proliferate. Not a single columnist pointed out that we leftists were wrong about absolutely everything we said and thought relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict over the past decade. We leftists converted the West Bank and Gaza into rocket launch-pads and terrorist bases. We assured everyone that the PLO only sought a mini-state next to Israel and not Israel's destruction. We imported the Tunisian terrorists and armed and bankrolled them. We assured the country that the PLO was interested in peace.

Not a single leftist columnist demanded that leftists repent for the 1,300 Israelis murdered by the Left's policies. The only repentance they will consider is one where all the rest of Israel must be flagellated and abased and delegitimized and abused. The only people who must never be criticized by them are the enemies of their country, who must be endorsed at all times, right or wrong. The Left's mantra should be: ?Israel? Hate it or Leave It!?