William A. Levinson
Lashon Ha-ra is Not Evil; It's a Weapon.
The enemy's success in demonizing Israel as an "apartheid state" and "perpetrator of war crimes" is the direct result of Israel's reluctance to use psychological warfare, including the kind that demonizes the enemy. Only recently have I seen Israeli propaganda that depicts, and accurately, Hamas using civilians as human shields. This is a good start, but it is clearly not adequate. The root cause of the problem may be the traditional Jewish view of lashon-hara, or speaking ill of others, as an absolute evil.
Judaism is intensely aware of the power of speech and of the harm that can be done through speech.
That was before the invention of the printing press, let alone radio, television, and the Internet made it possible to wage psychological warfare on a massive scale! The reference adds the story of a man who, after he had slandered his local rabbi, realized that he had wronged him, and asked what he needed to do to earn forgiveness. The rabbi told him to open a pillow, disperse the feathers to the wind, and then recover all the feathers. It would be just as difficult, the rabbi explained, to undo the damage that the slanderer's words had caused. Now, can anybody say, "Go viral on the Internet?"
The story's obvious lesson is that ill-chosen words, even without the intention of malice, can cause enormous and irreparable harm to innocent people. The International Jew is another outstanding example. It is still in circulation on white supremacist hate sites, so lashon hara is obviously the gift that just keeps on giving. It can also be likened to a biological weapon that propagates itself, and the Internet allows it to propagate across the world within hours of release.
Now let's look at what I just said: lashon hara is a weapon, and a weapon is inherently neither good nor evil. You kill somebody's body by shooting him, and you kill somebody's reputation by directing lashon hara against him. If you kill an innocent person's body, you are a murderer and, if you destroy an innocent person's reputation, you are a slanderer. If you kill somebody who is trying to kill or rape an innocent person, your act is not merely permissible (justifiable homicide) but a required duty if you are a soldier or a police officer. If you slander an innocent rabbi or publish something like The International Jew, you have performed or facilitated an evil deed. If you destroy the reputation of an organization that uses its international standing to give moral, and possibly material, support to terrorists, you have taken out the trash. As stated by Duke Richard in King Henry VI,
Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still:
Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.
It is the duty of a prince, or indeed anybody who takes responsibility for the safety and security of his or her society, to kill the reputation and international standing of the United Nations, along with those of other persons and organizations that support terrorism. The obvious goal of the former is to persuade the United States Congress to cut funding for the UN, which is also seeking to impose purported "international standards" on the United States.
Weaponized Lashon Hara Must be Truthful
The reference on lashon hara says that the truth can be even more damaging than a falsehood, because the object of the accusation cannot defend himself from the truth. That also is a basic PsyWar principle and, even more importantly, the complete truth is never libel or slander. Although "propaganda" is often equated to "lying," the best propaganda is truthful, or at least based on truth. The instant the Propaganda Man, the person or group you wish to persuade, catches you lying to him, you lose his trust, and rightly so. As an example, Hamas tried to pass off the murdered Fogel family off as victims of Israeli aggression. The terrorists were so stupid that they forgot to photoshop the mezuzah out of the picture of the dead civilians. Not only did they expose themselves as liars, they reminded the world that their kind had butchered civilians.
Target Individuals Carefully but Effectively
Care must be taken when discussing individuals such as Canadian Law Professor William Schabas, an active enemy of Israel. It's automatically libel or slander to falsely accuse somebody of a crime, or being incompetent in his profession. For example, if you call a medical doctor a quack, or accuse a lawyer of being an ambulance chaser, you had better be able to prove it. On the other hand, if a lawyer publicly expresses a willingness to suppress evidence, lie, solicit perjury, or "do whatever it takes to get results," you are probably on safe ground if you conclude that he should not be practicing law, or at least that no judge or jury should trust him.
Schabas is on record as saying, "With a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering we can get them [Israel] before the courts." I think it would be fair to say that Schabas' willingness to "twist things," which implies dishonesty--and, if he did not mean dishonesty, he should have chosen his words better--reflects on his fitness to investigate Israel, or anybody else, for war crimes. His blood libel (and we should use that phrase as often as possible to describe his actions) that Israel has committed war crimes shows, meanwhile, that he (1) does not understand the Geneva Convention or (2) understands it, but chooses willfully to disregard it. The first option reflects on his competence, and the second on his character, ethics, and integrity.
Note that the panel before which Schabas is appearing includes Cynthia McKinney, who accused the U.S. Government of complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This does not help his credibility, especially in the United States. 9/11 denial is the same thing as Holocaust denial.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) is calling for an investigation into whether President Bush and other government officials had advance notice of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 but did nothing to prevent them.She added that "persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war."
In a recent interview with a Berkeley, Calif., radio station, McKinney said: "We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11th. . . . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th? Who else knew,and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? . . . What do they have to hide?"
Schabas also mentioned the International Criminal Court, whose own credibility is now at stake because it is on record as knowing about proven war crimes by Hamas and even the United Nations. If the ICC does nothing about those, but tries to prosecute Israel, it will expose itself as being dishonest, incompetent, and possibly corrupted by terrorist money.
Navi Pillay is, meanwhile, another problem I would have targeted, but she is no longer a problem. Her blood libel that Israel has committed war crimes, and her disregard of Hamas' proven war crimes, reflects similarly on her fitness to practice international law. Now she faces a new controversy over her character, ethics, and integrity.
Sri Lanka has accused United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay of "personal bias" over an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed during the country's 26-year civil war.
The bottom line is, however, that the pro-Israel community needs to apply consequences to individuals as well as organizations that engage in blood libels of Israel. The only limitations on the methods used is that they must be truthful. If one of these individuals makes a public statement like those described above, we are free to use it against him as her as long as we don't take words out of context. Far greater latitude can be used against an organization like the United Nations.
"I do not bite my thumb at you, Sir, but I do bite my thumb."
As stated above, one had better not accuse an identifiable individual of a crime such as corruption unless one can prove it. An accusation directed at a sufficiently large group is, however, not libel or slander because it does not touch an identifiable person sufficiently to constitute defamation. This puts on the table a particularly devastating PsyWar weapon against which the enemy cannot possibly defend himself.
...defamatory statements about a group or class of people generally are not actionable by individual members of that group or class. There are two exceptions to this general rule that exist when:
- the group or class is so small that the statements are reasonably understood to refer to the individual in question; or
- the circumstances make it reasonable to conclude that the statement refers particularly to the individual in question.
Shakespeare explained it somewhat better in Romeo and Juliet:
ABRAHAM: "Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?"
SAMPSON: "I do bite my thumb, sir."
ABRAHAM: "Do you bite your thumb at US, sir?
SAMPSON: [Aside to GREGORY] "Is the law of our side, if I say ay?"
GREGORY "No." [A direct insult to the other man would be a criminal breach of the peace.]
SAMPSON "No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir."
That last line made it clear that Sampson was indeed biting his thumb at Abraham, but the verbal denial kept him on the right side of the law. It also allowed Abraham to withdraw from the impending fight, if he chose to do so, without loss of face because the insult had not been directed at him officially. As another example, suppose that a gentleman of the 18th or early 19th century says to a very large group, "A man here lies, cheats, and steals, and his wife sleeps with any man who wants her!" If he said that to a specific individual, that man would probably strike his face (requiring a duel) on the spot. The context of the remark to a large group would, however, make it difficult for anybody to challenge him, because that individual would self-identify as the object of the insult!
Now let's apply this to the United Nations. Again, our arguments are based on proven and inarguable facts, from which we are free to form reasonable conclusions.
(1) The United Nations knows that Israel follows international law by firing only at terrorists and their equipment.
(2) The United Nations knows that Hamas violates international law by firing at civilians, using its own civilians as human shields, using ambulances, schools, and other protected vehicles and positions to move or shelter combatants and munitions, and even murders its own civilians by using them as slave labor to build tunnels.
(3) The United Nations nonetheless directs resolution after resolution against Israel, while ignoring Hamas' proven war crimes. The UN also takes little or no official notice of crimes against humanity by Iran (e.g. hanging gay people, stoning women to death), ISIS, Boko Haram, and also the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.
It is reasonable to conclude from this evidence that some UN officials and employees (we are certainly not going to name anybody in particular without proof) are taking bribes from terrorists. There is simply no other rational explanation for the behavior in question, and the UN's proven history of corruption supports this conclusion. This should be our response to almost every move the UN makes; "Some of you are in the pockets of terrorist organizations. How much are they paying you to serve two masters? Did I accuse you, Sir?" That last one is for the instant a specific UN delegate or official expresses outrage. "I did not mention you by name, Sir, so why have you taken offense?"
The bottom line is that they will have to stand there and take it because there is nothing they can do about it. We can hit them as often as we want, and as hard as we want, and they can't hit back as long as we make the accusation general enough. We need to create a widespread image of the UN as a corrupt bribe-taking organization with no moral authority whatsoever, and one that is the root cause of the world's problems.
Jokes are Feathers that Fly to the Four Winds
Let's go back to the rabbi's depiction of lashon hara as feathers that, once unleashed, cannot be brought back. Colonel Paul Linebarger's Psychological Warfare adds that bundles of leaflets that don't disperse make little impression on the enemy unless they land on his head, which is not their desired impression. What we want is something that will not only disperse, but self-propagate. Jokes are an excellent form of that kind of propaganda. There is, in fact, a joke about Catholic priests who sexually abuse children. It is particularly damaging to the Catholic Church and, even though it is an outstanding example, I won't repeat it (propagate it) because it wrongly smears the entire organization with the deeds of a few rogue members.
Some jokes are funny, but others are murderously effective propaganda. This video claims that the ubiquitous "Polack joke" originated as Nazi propaganda whose purpose was to dehumanize Poles as subhumans who were fit only for slave labor. The story about Polish cavalry charging Nazi tanks with lances and sabers originated from a battle the Nazis had lost! At the Battle of Krojanty, Polish cavalry took some German infantry by surprise, and charged and dispersed them. The Poles were not, however, able to retrieve their own dead, and the Nazis later posed some tanks (which had taken no part in the battle) with them. Polish jokes nonetheless persisted until ethnic jokes ceased to be socially acceptable in the United States. Now, if Nazis could denigrate Poles and Jews with blatant falsehoods, it is easy to imagine what we can do to the United Nations with the truth.
These UN "jokes" should be circulated as widely as possible. The Internet makes good jokes propagate like a nuclear chain reaction, but even better with each recipient sending them to his friends and sharing them on social media. The first three appeal to the Western world's universal revulsion for child molesters.
(1) Q: What does the United Nations call a child molester? A: A Peacekeeper.
(2) Q: What do you call a man in a blue helmet with candy and toys? A: A kiddie diddler.
(3) Q: What do you call a man in a blue helmet with a camera? A: A child pornographer.
(4) Q: What do Hamas terrorists call UN schools and hospitals? A: Ammunition depots.
(5) The United Nations: Where "Never Again" is a Slogan. [This one relates to the UN's inaction on Islamist genocide, largely of Christians, in the Sudan, Iraq, and Syria.]
(6) Q: What does the UN call a mass grave? A: A safe area. (Or, "What do you call a UN-designated safe area? A mass grave.")
(7) The United Nations: 160 cannibals and 17 civilized people taking a majority vote on what's for dinner. [Syria, one of the most repressive nations on earth, was elected to the U.N. Security Council in October 2001 by 160 nations out of 177. ]
(8) UN = United Nithings. [Nithing, a Scandinavian word, is the most inherently offensive word on earth. It means a depraved and subhuman enemy of all humanity. The only problem is that the slogan's recipient has to look up the definition of nithing.]
(9) What is the United Nation's policy on genocide? A: Prosecute it vigorously unless the perpetrators bribe the right UN officials.
(10) Q: What does the UN call a state sponsor of terrorism? A: A security council member!
Remember that the purpose of these jokes is not to be funny. It is to present truthful information in compact packages that will spread through E-mail and social media, until the United Nations' credibility is the equivalent of a heap of smoldering rubble. We encourage our readers to copy, paste, and distribute as widely as possible.