Totally tolerating the Taliban: Naive tolerism in the face of Islamism

Toleration of evil is not a Jewish value. And we can look back to the 1967 War, to see how ideological tolerism led to a key mistake by a top Israeli General. Op-ed.

Howard Rotberg ,

"Lest they pray"; police escort Jews on Temple Mount
"Lest they pray"; police escort Jews on Temple Mount
Flash 90

A number of excellent pro-Israel writers have addressed the issue of the lessons for Israel with respect to President Biden’s bizarre handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan of American troops and citizens and Afghan interpreters.

Some argue that America can no longer be trusted by its allies. Others conclude that America is weak and in decline. Can Israel rely on an administration headed by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and filled with anti-Israel policy makers?

The Americans had, during the Trump years, stymied the Taliban and reinforced the Afghan army enough to prevent the worst Taliban conduct. Trump’s withdrawal plan was based on the fulfillment of certain conditions by the Taliban and hence was fundamentally different from Biden’s complete surrender with its gift of billions of dollars to make the Taliban the best armed terrorist group in the world, ready, willing and able to spread their dastardly deeds, along with the now allied other terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.


When...Jewish immigrants looked to the future they didn’t see it as theirs alone to redo according to different beliefs and customs; instead they could not wait to embrace American values and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights.

To understand Afghan culture and the anti-woman practices that are not confined to the Taliban, one should read An American Bride in Kabul (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013), by the great American Jewish scholar, Phyllis Chesler.

Americans, especially those who have served in their armed forces were shocked that Biden ordered troops to leave by an arbitrary deadline without completing the removal of citizens and contractors. And this happened during a time when Biden has opened wide the southern border of the U.S. allowing access, and free transit all over America, and welfare payments, to Mexican gang members and other less than desirable unvetted immigrants.

Giving the Islamist Taliban terrorists $83 billion of up-to-date military equipment including planes and tanks and missiles and relying on them to help get out Americans, and opening up the southern border and welcoming in unvetted gang members and those with COVID seems to make no sense.

We might wonder that whoever is controlling Biden has an agenda to destroy the United States and assist China in the takeover. The universities, the BLM riots (with almost no criminal charges), the primary school educators pushing Critical Race Theory and pro-Islamism, Democratic Party politicians including Jewish Democratic Party politicians are all complicit in this very radical endeavour. Biden and his son have immoral if not illegal financial dealings with China.

We Jews are often our worst enemies. Historically from the Hellenized Jews in the era of the Macabees, to the Bundists in pre-Shoah Europe who advocated socialism in place rather than Zionist emigration to Israel, right up to the present time of JStreet, Jewish Voices for Peace and Shalom Achshav, Jews have assimilated to foreign values in their attempts to embrace evil or at least tolerate it. In fact, the Israeli Left’s almost masochistic rejection of Israeli/Jewish values, has led to what Mordechai Nisan has aptly termed in his brilliant book of the same name, The Crack-up of the Israeli Left (Mantua Books, 2019).

To illustrate this, I want to discuss two examples of Jews, American or Israeli, adopting foreign values despite how dangerous has been the result. I classify the excessive use of tolerance, as opposed to Justice, as constituting the ideology of Tolerism (Tolerism: The ideology Revealed, (Mantua Books, 2014). If we tolerate those who reject our values, and they take power, they might end all tolerance, which is called the Popper Paradox after the great philosopher Karl Popper. Toleration of evil is not a Jewish value. And so we can look back to the 1967 War, to see how ideological tolerism led to a key mistake by a top Israeli General.

From: Moshe Dayan: Story of My Life, page 388, on the 1967 re-taking of the Old City of Jerusalem:

“I was convinced that precisely because control was now in our hands it was up to us to show broad tolerance, so rare an attitude among the regimes of the preceding decades and centuries. We should certainly respect the Temple Mount as an historic site of our ancient past, but we should not disturb the Arabs who were using it for what it was now-a place of Moslem worship.”

Moshe Dayan, the famous Israeli General who headed up the re-capture of Old Jerusalem after it had been occupied (and often desecrated) by Jordan, from 1948 to 1967, made a fateful decision not to offend the very Muslims who had desecrated Jewish cemetaries and synagogues in the Old City.

Prior to Israel’s capture of the Old City in the defensive war of 1967, Jordan controlled the Temple Mount and it controlled what the Imam was allowed to say in his sermon.

It is interesting that since 1967, while each Friday Muslim religious leaders indulge in rabble-rousing sermons that would incite some of their followers, Israel has never taken appropriate action.

In fact, Jews are not allowed to visit the Temple Mount except under strict guidelines, which, amongst other rules, forbid praying, even silent praying where lips are moving with no sounds coming out.

This Jewish presence is deemed “offensive” to the holiness of the Muslim Mosque built on top of the Jewish Temple; however, Arab children play soccer there, and that is not deemed offensive.

Dayan’s wish to show “broad tolerance” and his description of the holiest site in Judaism as a “historic site of our ancient past” is indicative of the broad themes of Tolerism. Non-Muslims must evidence a special tolerance for Muslim intolerance and that extends to changing the facts where necessary to placate Muslim revisionist history – in this case the idea that there is some equivalence between Muslim claims to a supposed ‘third holiest site” (not even mentioned in the Qur’an) and Jewish claims to the absolutely most holy site in Judaism, downplayed by Dayan to a “historic site of our ancient past”.

The Israeli flag flew over the Temple Mount for a total of 12 hours before Dayan ordered it taken down and he then gave administration of the area to the Waqf, the Islamic religious trust that controlled and managed the Temple Mount

If Israel, which is the first front of the Islamist war against the liberal West, evidences Tolerism, then that is a very bad sign indeed.

And what did Israel receive in return for its misguided tolerance of the Muslim claims to Judaism’s holiest site? Palestinian Media Watch reports the sad truth:

"Every year, the PA commemorates the burning of the pulpit of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. And every year the PA repeats the libel that Jews set the fire.


"In fact it was a man named Michael Rohan – an Australian Christian with a mental health disorder – who lit the fire in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969.


"But such facts don't matter to the PA. Every year, the PA uses the occasion to demonize Israel and Jews by claiming Rohan was a Jew, and to add fuel to its own “fire” that the PA always keeps on the back burner: The libel that Israel/the Jews are continuously trying to “destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and build the alleged Temple in its place.”

And in my reading about the American surrender and tolerance of Taliban actions, I came across the following in an August 31st article in the Times of Israel by Gabe Friedman:

"Delta Airlines pilot Alexander Kahn (presumedly Jewish) flew hundreds of Afghan refugees from Germany to Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC, as part of a US government partnership with commercial airlines to fly Afghan refugees to America.


"This mission had special meaning for Kahn for he sees some parallels between the present and the days when his own father was a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the US.

"Kahn was quoted as saying: 'I’m the son of an immigrant in the United States. My father was a Holocaust survivor. He was liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp by Patton’s Third Army and came to the United States not much differently than the people that are coming to the United States now,' Kahn told John Berman on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.

“'He was coming with the clothes on his back, no family, no English skills, and had to start life over again. Luckily he was starting life over in the land of opportunity,' he said.

"When asked how he felt on board, Kahn said that he was able to 'put myself in their position.'

So, this gentleman, who seems like a good man and who is proud of what his father achieved after such a hard start in life, seems to have a fuzzy view about immigration; he thinks that the Jewish immigrants after the Shoah were very similar to the Afghan Muslim immigrants, many of who subscribe to fundamentalist Islamism.

What does he mean when he says that the post-war Jews who came to the United States were not much different than the Afghan immigrants?

That sounds a lot like cultural relativism to me. It sounds like the naive multiculturalism that holds sway in the Democratic Party in the U.S. and in such European nations as France, Britain, and Sweden, which are now faced with the consequences of their submission to Islamists.

Kahn talks about his physician father: “My father made it into the United States, learned English, put himself through school, became a doctor, and years later actually was back in West Germany as a physician for the US army… at the tail end of the Cold War,” he said.

Kahn and the flight’s attendants are to be praised for using their own money to buy the refugees items such as diapers, books, candy and other supplies, “because we knew these evacuees were coming with no opportunity to prepare,” he said.

Kahn said that he wanted to show the refugees that “we are a land of legal immigrants and this is what built the United States. We’re a generous country because we’re a generous people, and the future is theirs,” Kahn said. The idea that the future is theirs has some ugly connotations of which Kahn is probably unaware.

When one looks at the ease of entry into the U.S. at its southern border, and what shall probably end up being an entry for Afghans who are something less than proponents of liberal democracy and women’s and gay rights, pilot Kahn may be wrong to call America under Biden a land of legal immigrants. And we may find that Americans will not stay a “generous country” if they perceive that Islamist values are not just tolerated but promoted in schools and the general culture.

Poor Mr. Kahn, I believe, would have no way of understanding that the words “the future is theirs” carry a very different meaning to those raised with fundamentalist Islam and its Qur’an. Many Muslims and nearly all radical Islamists believe that in the future, there will be a world wide Caliphate governed according to Sharia law. They see many historical churches in Europe being replaced by mosques. They see public schools favoring Islam and the Palestinian cause.

When his father’s generation of Jewish immigrants looked to the future they didn’t see it as theirs alone to redo according to different beliefs and customs; instead they could not wait to embrace American values and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights. To the Afghan refugees, the America waiting to greet them is one that has embraced cultural and moral relativism, multiculturalism and cancel culture. Many Muslims embrace the thinking that the future is Islam’s, based on terrorism, demographics and the type of submission that i discuss in my 2017 book, The Ideological Path to Submission... and what we can do about it (Mantua Books).

Joe Biden’s toleration of the Taliban is leading many others to an excessive tolerance, an ideological tolerism, of people, many of whom are evil. If Biden is, as we suspect, ethically challenged, America will stand for moral equivalency and political correctness, instead of liberal freedoms. We must not forget that he Torah mandates that we are to pursue Justice and Righteousness, not tolerance.

Howard Rotberg has written four books on ideologies and political culture, including the novel about Israel during the Second Intifada, entitled The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and its Author.



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