Articles

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Anger Privilege

If you want to know who has privilege in a society and who doesn’t, follow the anger.

There are people in this country who can safely express their anger. And those who can’t. If you’re
angry that Trump won, your anger is socially acceptable. If you were angry that Obama won, it wasn’t.

James Hodgkinson’s rage was socially acceptable. It continued to be socially acceptable until he crossed the line into murder. And he’s not alone. There’s Micah Xavier Johnson, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Dallas, and Gavin Long, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Baton Rouge. If you’re black and angry about the police, your anger is celebrated. If you’re white and angry about the Terror travel ban, the Paris Climate treaty, ObamaCare repeal or any leftist cause, you’re on the side of the angry angels.

But if you’re white and angry that your job is going to China or that you just missed being killed in a Muslim suicide bombing, your anger is unacceptable.

If you’re an angry leftist, your party leader, Tom Perez will scream and curse into a microphone, and your aspiring presidential candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand, will curse along, to channel the anger of the base. But if you’re an angry conservative, then Trump channeling your anger is “dangerous” because you aren’t allowed to be angry.

Not all anger is created equal. Some anger is privileged rage.

Good anger gets you a gig as a CNN commentator. Bad anger gets you hounded out of your job. Good anger isn’t described as anger at all. Instead it’s linguistically whitewashed as “passionate” or “courageous”. Bad anger however is “worrying” or “dangerous”. Angry left-wing protesters “call out”, angry right-wing protesters “threaten”. Good anger is left-wing. Bad anger is right-wing.

Socially acceptable displays of anger, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter riots to the anti-Trump marches to the furious campus protests, are invariably left-wing.

Left-wing anger over the elections of Bush and Trump was sanctified. Right-wing outrage over Obama’s victory was demonized. Now that left-wing anger led a Bernie Sanders volunteer to open fire at a Republican charity baseball practice outing. And the media reluctantly concedes that maybe both sides should moderate their rhetoric. Before listing examples that lean to the right like “Lock her up”.

Why were chants of “Lock her up” immoderate, but not Bush era cries of “Jail to the chief”? Why were Tea Party rallies “ominous” but the latest We Hate Trump march is “courageous”? Why is killing Trump on stage the hottest thing to hit Shakespeare while a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask was hounded by everyone from the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri to the NAACP?

Not all anger is created equal. Anger, like everything else, is ideologically coded. Left-wing anger is good because its ideological foundations are good. Right-wing anger is bad because its ideology is bad.

It’s not the level of anger, its intensity or its threatening nature that makes it good or bad.

And that is why the left so easily slips into violence. All its ideological ends are good. Therefore its means, from mass starvation to gulags to riots and tyranny, must be good. If I slash your tires because of your Obama bumper sticker”, I’m a monster. But if you key my car because of my Trump bumper sticker, you’re fighting racism and fascism. Your tactics might be in error, but your viewpoint isn’t.

There are no universal standards of behavior. Civility, like everything else, is ideologically limited.

Intersectionality frowns on expecting civil behavior from “oppressed” protesters. Asking that shrieking campus crybully not to scream threats in your face is “tone policing”. An African-American millionaire’s child at Yale is fighting for her “existence”, unlike the Pennsylvania coal miner, the Baltimore police officer and the Christian florist whose existences really are threatened.

Tone policing is how the anger of privileged leftists is protected while the frustration of their victims is suppressed. The existence of tone policing as a specific term to protect displays of left-wing anger shows the collapse of civility into anger privilege. Civility has been replaced by a political entitlement to anger.

The left prides itself on an unearned moral superiority (“When they go low, we go high”) reinforced by its own echo chamber even as it has become incapable of controlling its angry outbursts. The national tantrum after Trump’s victory has all but shut down the government, turned every media outlet into a non-stop feed of conspiracy theories and set off protests that quickly escalated into street violence.

But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a symptom of a problem with the left that existed before he was born. The left is an angry movement. It is animated by an outraged self-righteousness whose moral superiority doubles as dehumanization. And its machinery of culture glamorizes its anger. The media dresses up the seething rage so that the left never has to look at its inner Hodgkinson in the mirror.

The left is as angry as ever. Campus riots and assassinations of Republican politicians are nothing new. What is changing is that its opponents are beginning to match its anger. The left still clings to the same anger it had when it was a theoretical movement with plans, but little impact on the country. The outrage at the left is no longer ideological. There are millions of people whose health care was destroyed by ObamaCare, whose First Amendment rights were taken away, whose land was seized, whose children were turned against them and whose livelihoods were destroyed.

The angry left has gained a great deal of power. It has used that power to wreck lives. It is feverishly plotting to deprive nearly 63 million Americans of their vote by using its entrenched power in the government, the media and the non-profit sector. And it is too blinded by its own anger over the results of the election to realize the anger over its wholesale abuses of power and privileged tantrums.

But monopolies on anger only work in totalitarian states. In a free society, both sides are expected to control their anger and find terms on which to debate and settle issues. The left rejects civility and refuses to control its anger. The only settlement it will accept is absolute power. If an election doesn’t go its way, it will overturn the results. If someone offends it, he must be punished. Or there will be anger.

The angry left demands that everyone recognize the absolute righteousness of its anger as the basis for its power. This anger privilege, like tone policing, is often cast in terms of oppressed groups. But its anger isn’t in defiance of oppression, but in pursuit of oppression.

Anger privilege is used to silence opposition, to enforce illegal policies and to seize power. But the left’s monopolies on anger are cultural, not political. The entertainment industry and the media can enforce anger privilege norms through public shaming, but their smears can’t stop the consequences of the collapse of civility in public life. There are no monopolies on emotion.

When anger becomes the basis for political power, then it won’t stop with Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders. That’s what the left found out in the last election. Its phony pearl clutching was a reaction to the consequences of its destruction of civility. Its reaction to that show of anger by conservatives and independents was to escalate the conflict. Instead of being the opposition, the left became the “resistance”. Trump was simultaneously Hitler and a traitor. Republicans were evil beasts.

James Hodgkinson absorbed all this. The left fed his anger. And eventually he snapped.

Anger has to go somewhere.

The left likes to think that its anger is good anger because it’s angry over the plight of illegal aliens, Muslim terrorists, transgender bathrooms, the lack of abortion in South Carolina, the minimum wage at Taco Bell, budget cuts, tax cuts, police arrests, drone strikes and all the other ways in which reality differs from its utopia. But all that anger isn’t the road to a better world, but to hate and violence.

Millions of leftists, just like Hodgkinson, are told every day that Republicans are responsible for everything wrong with their lives, the country and the planet. Despite everything they do, all the petitions they sign, the marches they attend, the donations, the angry letters, the social media rants, Republicans continue to exist and even be elected to public office. Where does that anger go?

Either we have a political system based on existing laws and norms of civility. Or we have one based on coups and populist leftist anger. And there are already a whole bunch of those south of the border.

Leftist anger is a privileged bubble of entitlement that bursts every other election. Its choice is to try to understand the rest of the country or to intimidate, censor, oppress and eventually kill them.

James Hodgkinson took the latter course. His personal leftist revolution ended, as all leftist revolutions do, in blood and violence. The left can check its anger privilege and examine its entitlement.

Or his violence will be our future.

Monday, June 19, 2017

No Allah Please, We're British

"In the name of Allah, the merciful," Omar Mateen told the police. "Praise be to Allah, and prayers as well as peace upon the prophet of Allah. I let you know, I'm in Orlando and I did the shootings."

Allah is missing from the hundreds of media stories about the Pulse attack which all mention homophobia. But Omar never spoke of gay people during his talks with police. He called himself an “Islamic soldier” and described the attack as revenge for the death of Abu Waheed; a senior ISIS leader.

The media accounts ignore the actual Islamic motive of the attack and they substitute an imaginary one. Reducing the Pulse attack to homophobia because the target was a gay bar is as misleading as treating 9/11 as an attack on the financial services industry. The victims were targeted because of what they weren’t, not because of what they were. They were murdered because they were non-Muslims.

The Washington Post managed to do an extensive article on the Pulse attack without ever mentioning Omar’s name or Islam. The Orlando Sentinel headlined its coverage as, “Pulse gunman's motive: Plenty of theories, but few answers”. The Daily News also wants to know, “What was Mateen’s full motive?”

A year later, it’s still unclear what the motive that the terrorist stated at length might actually be. After an initial attempt at censorship, the full transcripts of Omar Mateen’s conversations were released.

And they changed absolutely nothing. Instead the media doubled down on the whitewashing.

The most extensive connection between the Pulse attack and Islam comes from a USA Today network local paper which claims that the Islamic terrorist attack created “a culture of fear of Muslims” who “fear for their lives”.

Muslims never exist as perpetrators. Only as victims.

Another USA Today local paper has a feature story about a Muslim who spent more time going to Omar’s mosque which, besides Omar, had already been linked to another Islamic terrorist.

It’s not just the Pulse attack in America. The situation is even worse in the UK.

When a nursery worker was attacked in the UK by Muslim women shouting, “Allah will get you”, slashed with a knife, kicked and punched, the BBC carefully trimmed out the Allah part.

No Allah please, we’re British.

In the London attack, three Muslims shouted, “This is for Allah” and “This is for Islam”. Meanwhile a man hiding from the attackers was lectured, “It’s not Muslims”. In North London, a man shouting, “Allah, Allah. I’m going to kill you all” in a Jewish neighborhood was blamed on mental illness.

Commander Mak Chishty, who heads outreach for the London Metropolitan Police, read a statement from Muslim community groups claiming that terrorism "masquerades as Islam.”

And it’s been carrying on this brilliant masquerade ever since the days of its murderous founder.

Allah is that unique deity whose designs are every bit as mysterious as having a knife shoved in your chest. Allah’s followers take great pains to communicate the link between the knife and Allah in extremely obvious ways such as shouting, “This is for Allah” and “Allah will get you” while stabbing you.

And they still continue to be tragically misunderstood.

Omar Mateen declared that he had killed 49 people in “the name of Allah”. But the search for his real motive is still ongoing a year later. HRC, the country’s biggest gay rights lobby, featured “Ramadan reflections”. A sensible Ramadan reflection might have noted the link between Ramadan and Islamic terror. The Islamic State had urged Ramadan attacks calling it, “the month of conquest and jihad.” Instead HRC celebrated Ramadan; the reason for the season that massacred the patrons of a gay bar.

It even ran a post suggesting that “Each of Us Is A Door to Allah”.

Omar Mateen opened a door to Allah and to the Pulse nightclub on June 11, 2016. The door to Allah in Orlando stayed open for three hours. It closed only when a SWAT team took him down.

Doors to Allah keep opening up all over the world. And bodies fall through them. When you hear shouts of “Allahu Akbar” followed by screams of pain, you know that a door to Allah just opened near you.

On 9/11, several doors to Allah opened. The passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 forced their particular door to Allah shut with their bodies. The last sounds on the plane’s flight recorder are, “Allahu Akbar”. In Fort Hood, Nidal Hasan opened a door to Allah and shouting, “Allahu Akbar” began his killing spree. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev opened his door to Allah on his computer. His password was "Allahu Akbar 1".

Allahu Akbar is a little too obscure for most non-Muslims. So to clarify things, Muslim attackers have begun to yell things like “This is for Allah” and “This is for Islam” assuming that can’t be misinterpreted.

But of course it can be and will be.

HRC links the Pulse attack to transgender bathrooms and gun control. It signed on to a statement which links the attack to claims that a “backlash against the American Muslim community led to hate speech and violence, shootings, and mosque vandalism that claimed even more victims”. And so a year later the only suspects in the Pulse attack are abstractions like “gun violence”, “mass shootings” and “bigotry”. No amounts of confessions and definitive statements are ever enough.

Muslim terrorists continue to be very clear about their motives. Our authorities continue to be hopelessly obscure about theirs. Allah is mistranslated as god. Or it’s left out entirely. And tired of being misunderstood, Islamic terrorists will seek some further way to clarify what they are doing and why.

It’s hard to see how they can get any more obvious than “This is for Islam”, but no doubt we’ll find out.

Meanwhile from London to Orlando, there will be the usual tired narrative of vigils against a vague “hate” and for an even vaguer “love”. We will be told to celebrate the diversity of the victims while ignoring the uniformity of the killers. There will be renewed calls for bans on guns and knives. And then perhaps cars. A mythical Muslim backlash will be bemoaned and Muslims will be inducted in as victims.

And then another attack will follow. And another one. And another one after that.

All these attacks will have a common Allah denominator. From Orlando to London, these Islamic terrorist attacks are being carried out for Allah. They are being committed as part of a religious mission.

When the Times Square bomber was being sentenced, Judge Miriam Goldman-Cedarbaum lectured him, “I do hope that you will spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people.”

The Muslim terrorist’s reply was straightforward. “This is but one life,” he said. “If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah, fighting this cause, defending our lands, making the word of Allah supreme over any religion or system.”

These words didn’t come from a YouTube video. They were a paraphrase of the Koran.

Muslim terrorists don’t have to think about whether the Koran wants them to kill a lot of people. They just have to read it. They know what Allah and the Koran want of them. Our leaders choose not to know.

There’s no Allah in London or Orlando. Just mysterious deaths whose motives remain a mystery.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Defending Israel and Fighting Anti-Semitism - My Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture



I was honored and privileged to be asked by Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret to undertake the Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture in memory of his son Ariel, who passed away at an early age.

Robert and Karen are incredible people who have managed to transmute their loss into a search for meaning. And it was a great responsibility to be part of that and to follow speakers like David Horowitz and Larry Elder who have delivered the lecture in the past. It was also a pleasure to meet up with fellow bloggers from Bookworm Room and Rob from Joshuapundit, as well as having colleague Mark Tapson and Kyle Kyllan, producer of The Enemies Within. And thank you also to those who came from as far away as Marin County and Orange County. I was happy to meet everyone and privileged to be able to participate in this event.


The following is the text of my remarks. You can see the video above. My speech begin after opening remarks by Robert, Karen and a friend of Ariel's who shared some beautiful memories of him with us.





Year after year has passed and once again we are gathered here to remember an incredible young man. I have participated in these memorials remotely by watching them from afar. It’s an honor and also a great responsibility to stand here and to speak to you.

This day is a tribute to the impact that Ariel Avrech had on his community and that his parents continue to have on all of us.

Sooner or later we all pass on. The day will come when we all have a tombstone in some quiet place. When we are only a memory. We live on in two ways.

We continue on in the spiritual realm in the presence of G-d. And we live on here in the memory of our friends and our loved ones. And in the positive impact that we make through them.

The conversations you have with your children will echo in the conversations they have with theirs. The wisdom you learned from your parents is a faint echo of men and women whose names have been forgotten, but who were your ancestors thousands of years ago stretching back all the way to Sinai.

One day, hundreds of years from now, a descendant you will never meet, will pass on an echo of yours into a distant generation. And a part of you will live on in his words and the impact that they make.

As Jews, we know that we are a people of the book. But before much of the Oral Torah, the Torah she’Baal peh was set down, it was passed on through word of mouth.

We are a people perpetually in conversation with each other. Thank you for coming to join us in this conversation. There are many kinds of conversations. And there’s a saying.

Small minds talk about people. Great minds speak about ideas. It is a tribute to Ariel and to his parents, Robert and Karen, that their conversation is about ideas. And that Ariel’s conversations, the words that echo, are of ideas.

“Look in the Thesaurus under greatness — you get importance magnitude fame, size, immensity. Such are the values of our culture.” That was a quote that Ariel carried around with him.

We know how different his values were. And those values live on through the way that we remember him.

Ariel is no longer with us. But he is changing the world. And he is changing all of us. In his honor and memory, I want to speak about a world that he never saw. But which, through us, he is having an impact on.

Our world of today.

When Ariel passed away, the world was on the verge of the major challenges we face today.

Since then things have gotten much worse.>

Anti-Semitism has hit unprecedented levels. Defending Israel is harder than ever. But why is that?

It's 2017. Gay marriage is legal. Everything is more multicultural than ever. Everyone is tolerant of everything. Except the things they're intolerant of.

If Anti-Semitism were just a garden variety bigotry, then things should be better.

And if Israel is being attacked because of the so-called Occupation, then its situation should be much better than it was since 1967. Look how many peace deals Israel has made and how much territory it's given away.

Israel should be much more popular now. It should be much easier to be pro-Israel now than it was after the Six Day War.

So why doesn't it work that way? Why instead does it seem as if the more tolerant society gets, the more intolerant of Jews it becomes? Why are Jews fleeing some of the most multicultural cities in Europe? Why is Berkeley a safe space for everyone except Jews?

Why is the anti-Israel movement much stronger after all of Israel's efforts to make peace than it was when Israel refused to negotiate with the PLO?

Why is everything backward for the Jews?>

When we try to do the things we’re supposed to do, when we work for a more tolerant society, when we try to appease our enemies, things get worse instead of better.

What we’re doing isn’t working.

The fact that it’s 2017 and I’m giving a speech about how to fight anti-Semitism and defend Israel shows it isn’t working.

The strategies we learned have failed. And we need to talk about why they failed.

And, taking a page from George from Seinfeld, I’m going to suggest that what we should be doing is the opposite of what we think we should be doing.

And for the same reason.>

Instead of doing all the things that we think will make people like us, we should be true to ourselves. And then we might actually be liked. And more importantly, we’ll deserve to be liked.

I’m not going to devote this speech to going on about how terrible those who hate us are. If you’re sitting in this room, you already know that. I’m not here to talk about the enemies of the Jews. I’m here to talk about the Jews.

We’re a minority. That means we’re other directed. We’re insecure. We’re neurotic. We’re self-conscious. We care what everyone on the outside thinks of us.

And when we talk about anti-Semitism or Israel, we focus on them. Not us.

Why do they hate us? Why don’t they like us? Why is the world so unfair to us?

Those are good philosophical questions. But we can’t change the world. We can only change ourselves.

Anti-Semitism has existed since there were Jews.

The Jewish people come into being at the beginning of the Book of Exodus. Shemos.

Two verses, after they come into being, Pharaoh comes on stage and announces to the Egyptians, We have a Jewish problem. We’ve got to wipe them out.

Anti-Semitism comes into being 19 words after the Jewish people do.

If history is any guide, anti-Semitism isn’t going anywhere. In different countries and times it can get better or worse. But we are never going to wake up one morning in a world without anti-Semitism.

We have two options. The same options every minority group has. We can try to make the world like us. Or we can learn to like ourselves. The greatest anti-Semitic threat we face today is Jewish participation and collaboration in anti-Semitic movements. It’s Jewish insecurity, self-hatred and psychological trauma.

Yes, Iran wants to nuke us. But who campaigned in support of Iran’s nukes. Who provided aid to every effort to stop Israel from bombing Iran’s nuclear program?

Scratch the BDS movement and you find Jews eager to be out front

But most Jews don’t knowingly collaborate with genocidal anti-Semitism. Instead they spend so much time being afraid of what the anti-Semites might think of them that they never resist them.

They worry about how to be liked. They’re insecure. They want to be nice.

Being nice is nice. Except when you’re too nice to defend yourself. When you’re so nice that you give up everything, including your self-respect, just so your enemies will like you.

And then, to add insult to injury, they hate you even more.

Let’s talk about a coat. That’s right a coat. The story of the coat comes from the Gemara, the Talmud.

It’s one of the most basic parts of Jewish legal scholarship.

When I stood in Ariel’s room, I was awed by the number of seforim, of Jewish scholarly books, that he studied. And Ariel would surely have been familiar with the famous Mishna in Baba Metzia. It’s the story of two men and a coat.

Shnaim Ochizin be’Tallit. Two men are fighting over who owns a coat.

A coat??? What does a Talmudic coat, some moldy old garment that was being argued about, have to do with our modern problems today?

It’s part of that eternal conversation I mentioned. We become immortal through our conversations. Even an argument about a coat from thousands of years ago shapes our lives today.

What’s the argument about a coat?

One man says it’s my coat. The other says, no it’s my coat. They come to court still playing tug of war with the coat. And a Jewish court in a Solomonic decision, says they have to split it. But if one man says, the whole coat is mine. But the other man is willing to compromise. He says, we can split the coat. I’m only going to ask for half the coat.

You would think he’s being reasonable. He should be rewarded for it. But… no.

The one who claims the whole coat gets 3/4s of the coat. The man who claimed only a half gets half of what he claimed. One quarter.

We are brought up to value compromise so that seems wrong to us. Being reasonable should be rewarded. But let’s look back at the original Solomonic decision. Two women come to King Shlomo with a baby. Both claim the child. He declares that the child will be cut in half and half will be given to each woman.

The true mother turns out to be the woman who won’t compromise and cut her child in half. Because when you truly value something, you won’t compromise on it. Compromise can be good in some areas. But when there are compelling issues at stake, it shows a lack of conviction.

Two peoples walk into the court of international opinion. One says that the entire land of Israel, which is really Palestine, is mine. The other says that while the Jewish people do have a great historic attachment to the land, this was where our kings once ruled, where our temple once stood, from which we were exiled and desperately sought to return to for thousands of years, et cetera, yadda yadda, but we’ll be nice guys and take half the baby, the land and the coat.

Is it really that hard to see why we’re losing the argument? Why a terrorist organization that only came to its current position that it has the right to Yehuda and Shomron after the Six Day War, which can’t point to a single historic Palestinian state, king or dog catcher, has its demand widely accepted, while we, whose claim is recorded in the holy books of most of the world, can’t seem to convince anyone of it.

We can’t convince anyone, because we haven’t convinced ourselves.

On the wall of Ariel’s room, I saw a map of Eretz Yisrael. Many of us have maps like that. But how many of us have the conviction that goes with it.

The other side has made it abundantly clear that they won’t compromise. From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free. You can hear that chant at terrorist rallies and at University of California campuses. We announce as often as we can that we are eager to compromise. Take half the coat. Take 51% of the coat. Take our baby. See we’re the nice guys.

And then we wonder why everyone blames us for the lack of peace. Don’t they see that we’re willing to cut the baby in half?

But are we really nice guys? Why are we really compromising?

The other side believes that we’re compromising because we know we’re in the wrong. We’re that guy coming into court clinging to a coat who doesn’t dare lay claim to the entire coat, but who at least tries to get some of it. We’re more willing to make peace because we’re wrong. The other side is unwilling to make peace because it knows it’s right.

That’s not the truth. But if you want to understand why we’re losing the argument, it’s a good place to start.

A compromise is still a negotiation. To negotiate successfully, you have to do it from a position of total conviction. And we lack conviction. Why do we lack conviction? Because we are afraid that they won’t like us. Who won’t like us? Everyone. We’re a minority. We’re outsiders. And we desperately want to be liked. We have always wanted to be liked.

There are two types of nice guys. There are those who are genuinely nice. And those who are insecure. Who want you to like them because they don’t like themselves.

That is who we are as a people. We lack conviction because we don’t value ourselves. We can give religion to the world, win impossible battles, invent, create, paint and transform history.

And we still go around needing everyone to like us.

We need to be liked so badly that we’ll argue against our own interests. That we’ll cut our own baby in half just to show we’re good people. There is a good reason for that inferiority complex. Jewish history is a history of persecution. Our calendar is covered in cemeteries, burning towns, destroyed cities and the daily grind of being told that we’re bad people by the majority.

And we’ve been told it so often that we believe it.

How many of you know the Yiddish phrase, Shande fur di goyim. Let’s go back to the first time in history that it appears. Long before Yiddish, German and the European galut. Let’s go all the way back to ancient Egypt.

G-d sends Moshe to free the Jews. They have a talk with Pharaoh. He reacts badly. The Jewish overseers come to him and plead with him. He throws another tantrum. And then the overseers see Moshe and Aaron. And they blame them. What do they say to the Prophet of G-d and the future High Priest of the Jewish people?

Heibastem et Reheinu. Literally, you made us smell bad to Pharaoh. Before, while Pharaoh was murdering Jewish babies, he enjoyed our fragrant sandalwood and vanilla aroma. Now he kicked us out of there as if we hadn’t taken a shower in a week.

Look what you’ve done to our image with Pharaoh. Now he doesn’t like us anymore.

Now let’s get into our time machine and go forward. Not too far ahead. Just to the next parsha.

Why did our first conquest of Israel fail?

Moshe sends in the Meraglim, the spies, to Caanan in the upcoming parsha. They’re good leader. But when they come back, they’re angry and hateful toward Moshe and G-d.

What transforms them? We hear it in their climactic argument. Against entering Israel VeNihye Beineinu KeHagovim, when we looked at the Caananites, we saw ourselves as nothing more than insects. Little insects. VeKein Haayinu Beeineichem.

And that’s how we appeared to them.

The spies came back seeing the Jews from the perspective of those who despised them. And they adopted that perspective. They were filled with anger and hatred for the Jews.

Sound familiar. It’s a capsule history of Jewish anti-Semitism that continues today. Now let’s go forward in our Tanach time machine.

Before his passing, Ariel was studying Tanach. There are some who study Gemara but neglect Tanach. And some who study Tanach but neglect Gemara. Ariel studied both. And both are important because they tell us who we are.

And now we’re going back to one of the most pivotal and forgotten moments in Jewish history.

Ancient Israel just got its first real king. But Shaul doesn’t have much of a kingdom.

The Philistines are running the country. And they have spear control. They have tight spear ownership regulations in place. No Jews except Shaul and Yonatan and some of those around them have managed to get their hands on a spear because the Phlistim don’t allow the Jews to have any blacksmiths. If you want to sharpen your kitchen knife, you have to go to a Philistine blacksmith.

The Phlishti commissioner who really runs the land sits on Har HaElohim, on the Mountain of G-d. When the prophets go to the Mountain of G-d, they have to be aware that above them sits the idol worshiping representative of the enemy.

And many of the Jews are in league with the occupation. Some work in the lands of the Philistines. Others might even carry weapons for them the way that Jews did for Antiochus and for the Roman invaders. And the Tanach uses a specific name for them. They’re Ivrim. Hebrews. They’re not Am Yisrael because they’re not really part of the Jewish people. They’re just different. They carry the old name that reflects the Ever HaNahar, they’re members of a people different from the rest of the world. But they’re not proud of that. They’re ashamed of it.

And Jonathan, King Shaul’s son, he goes up and he kills the Philistine commissioner squatting like a toad on the mountain of G-d. And Shaul blows the Shofar, he blows the horn, and he sends a message to the Ivrim, to the Jews who have gone so far off the derech that they are in the camp of the enemy. And the wording used is, Ivrim Yishmau, let the Hebrews here.

And now that Prince Yonatan struck the first blow for Jewish independence and the Shofar is blown, what do the Ivrim do? What is their first reaction. A shande fur di goyim.

VeGam Nivash Yisrael Ba’Pelishtim. The Hebrews were saying the same thing as the Jewish overseers. This Jonathan guy made us seem disgusting to the enemy whose respect we want so badly. What will they think of us now?

And now. We’re still doing the same thing. How often do we respond, internally or externally, with, “What will they think of us now?”

If we don’t compromise, we’ll seem disgusting to them. Warmongers. Oppressors. Occupiers. We point to a Jewish scapegoat. If it wasn’t for him or her. If it wasn’t for the settlements. If it wasn’t for the time that Israel took out a terrorist and killed his son. If it wasn’t for the existence of Israel… they would like us. But now… hevashthem reheinu. What will Pharaoh think? What will the Phlishtim think? What will the world think?

The world would love us if we hadn’t shot first in the Six Day War. It would love us if we had compromised harder before declaring independence. It would realize that the lack of peace isn’t our fault if it wasn’t for all those settlements that are making our odor disgusting in the eyes of the world.

That is not negotiating from a position of strength, but weakness. Moral weakness. We lack conviction. And so we give up the strongest position on every argument in our own defense.

The Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, wrote, and let me quote, “The time for apologies is over.

“...We think that our continual readiness to subject ourselves without a murmur to searches, to turn out our pockets, will finally convince humanity that we are honorable people. We are constantly saying, “Look at us! We are such gentlemen! We have nothing to hide!’”

“But that is an outright error. Real gentlemen will never allow anyone to search their apartments, their pockets, or their souls for any reason whatsoever.”

That means not allowing anyone to dig through the pockets of your coat. Or your soul.

Moral authority, real moral authority, doesn’t come from accepting the moral authority of your enemies, but from rejecting it.

That is why we are losing the argument. The enemy rejects our moral authority. We accept theirs. And when you accept the moral authority of your enemies, when you accept the premise of their arguments but argue about the details and interpretation, it’s over.

The Two State Solution accepts the moral authority of the enemy. We thought that it would make our claim to the land stronger. Instead it destroyed it. It didn’t neutralize anti-Israel sentiment. Instead hatred of Israel is bigger and more widespread than ever in countries that were once friendly to Israel.

Why? Because we admitted we were wrong. Every argument we’ve made since then suffers from that same fatal flaw. Jews are smart. We’re reasoned people. We think that we can prove anything. But the most important things in life can’t be proven. They’re a matter of inner conviction.

The reason that we believe in G-d is a matter of conviction. It can’t be proven in a court of law. The love of parents for their children isn’t logical. The love that leads us here to this lecture, of parents keeping their son’s memory alive year after year, can’t be studied under a

microscope. The deepest and greatest parts of ourselves are not subject to scrutiny.

They express who we are as individuals and as a people. Nations and peoples don’t exist because they have a valid argument. No one comes to Norway and asks the Norwegians if they have a good reason for existing. No one walks up to a parent and demands that they present a good reason for loving their child.

Our best arguments for Israel and against anti-Semitism can’t be put down on a page. We’ve tried to do it and we failed. Our best arguments are who we are.

When we try to be reasonable, when we compromise our convictions, then we stop being certain of who we are. We begin to think that maybe we should be someone else.

Maybe our enemies have a point.

You express conviction by refusing to argue some things. You don’t get into a discussion about cutting your baby in half.

It’s always unacceptable.

When we talk about a two state solution, we show a lack of conviction. If Israel was really our baby, we wouldn’t be talking about cutting her in half.

It may seem paradoxical, but the best argument we can make for ourselves is living by the conviction that we are right. Anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel, is inversely proportional to our confidence in ourselves.

There’s a reason that bullies pick on some kids. It’s not the fault of a child that he becomes a target. But there’s something about him that draws the bully. Two things.

1. He’s better than the bully in some way. He’s smarter. He’s more talented. He has qualities that the bully lacks and despises.

2. He lacks the strength and self-confidence to fight back. Sound familiar?

There’s anti-Semitism in a nutshell. We can’t and don’t want to do anything about our good qualities. Minimizing them doesn’t work. Just as it doesn’t work in the schoolyard.

Abandoning our religion didn’t work. Endless philanthropy didn’t do it. Insisting we’re no better than anyone else to anyone who will listen has achieved exactly zero.

But on the second matter, we found the strength to once again fight back.

After thousands of years, we went to the gym and we discovered muscles we never knew we had. But we still don’t have the inner strength of self-confidence.

Having armies isn’t enough. You can be strong and be bullied.

When we’re strong, the bullies turn from physical bullying to moral bullying. They tell us that we’re bad for defending ourselves. And then, when we’ve been morally bullied into not fighting back, they punch us in the face.

Moral bullying uses our need for acceptance against us. It says that if you’re really such nice people, you’ll prove it by not fighting back when the terrorists kill you.

You’ll prove it by giving up your country and committing suicide.

You can be the strongest country in the world and still be morally bullied. America experiences it all the time.

You need inner strength. You need the conviction that you are right. And then when you are nice, it’s because you choose to be. Not because you’re afraid not to be.

Jews have a long history of exile. That taught us to be non-threatening. To give in. And sometimes that’s a necessary survival mechanism. But there’s a price to pay for that.

A price in honor, in dignity and in credibility. After a while the survival mechanism becomes your identity.

And then instead of being the people of the book, we become the people who are willing to see the other side more clearly than we see our own side.

Our conviction becomes that the other guy has a better point than we do. That he has a better claim to the baby, the coat or the country than we do.

Being a victim of abuse risks developing a perverse empathetic link to the abuser. That’s what the survival strategy means. You try to keep yourself safe by becoming sensitive to what the guy who might attack you is thinking. You try to get inside his head.

Because you don’t want to set him off.

And the risk of that kind of thinking is that you begin to identify with him. That’s Stockholm Syndrome.

This is where so many Jews are. We identify with the guy punching us in the face.

It’s a survival strategy that we learned in exile, in Galut. Because you have to know where the next pogrom or the Holocaust might be coming from. But if you do that long enough, you start to think that maybe the people killing us are right and find ways to part ways with the Jews.



That’s our message to the wicked son at the Seder who separates from us. Ihlu haya shom lo haya nigaal. It’s the message of Mordechai to Esther. Revach ve’hatzala yaamod la’yehudim mimakom aher. And as we’ve seen it goes back all the way to Egyptian slavery. We sometimes call identifying with the guy punching us in the face. Rachmanut. Mercy. It’s more accurately, Rachmanut shel Tipshim. The mercy of fools.

We all know the elementary principle, Kol HaMerachem AlHachzorim, he who has mercy on the cruel will eventually be cruel to those whom he ought to have mercy on. The principle is derived from Shaul, who had mercy on the leader of Amalek, yet went on to slaughter an entire city of Kohanim. Why are the two necessarily intertwined? Isn’t it possible to be nice to everyone? Or is there something in that desire to be nice to evil that reveals how we identify with evil?

Is mercy toward evil itself a seed of evil growing in our own hearts? Was Shaul’s mercy toward Amalek a foreshadowing of the atrocities he would commit against Jews?

Are those Jews who empathize with Islamic terrorists actually growing in cruelty toward other Jews?

Let’s get in our Tanach time machine one more time.

King Ahav and his worse half, Izevel or Jezebel, are ruling in the Kingdom of Israel. You probably know both of them from another story.

But that’s not the story we’re going to talk about now. Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, decided to throw his weight around. So he sent a message to Ahav. Your gold and silver belong to me. Your wives and even your favorite sons are mine.

And Ahav said, “Sure boss, whatever you say.”

So Ben Hadad, like a good bill collector, followed up. And he told Ahav, I’m going to send some of my people around tomorrow and they’re going to look through all your stuff. And everything that is precious to you, they’re going to take away.

And Ahav said, “Uh-oh, he really means it.”

So Ahav talked it over with his advisers. And they said, “Don’t do it.” And Ahav sends word back to Ben-Hadad, “Can’t we be reasonable about this.”



And Ben Hadad offers a 300 moment. He threatens Ahav. The dust of the Shomron won’t be enough to cover all my armies.

Ahav takes his shot at a comeback. And it’s weak. Just like him, “The guy putting on his armor shouldn’t brag like the guy who’s taking it off.”

Ben Haddad doesn’t even bother answering back. Instead he invades.

Ahav is afraid. He’s a coward. When he finally dies later and the dogs lick his blood at the end of that story you probably know, it’s because he tried to disguise himself in the next war against Aram and exposes the King of Yehuda, Yehosophat, to the arrows of Aram. He’s afraid of Ben Hadad. He wouldn’t protect his wives or sons against him. But a prophet shows up and tells Ahav, it’s going to be okay.

Ben Hadad and his kings get drunk in their tents. While they’re getting drunk, 7,000 Israelis attack this huge army, over a hundred thousand men, and smash it to pieces.

Ben Hadad runs away. But his advisers have a great plan.

“Don’t worry,” they tell the Aramean king. “We only lost because the G-d of the Jews is the G-d of the mountains. But next time we’re going to fight them in the valley.”

Also we’re going to get rid of the whole drunk kings command structure. We’ll have a professional army. And we’re going to invade and win.

And Ben Hadad goes for it. Round 2.

The Israelis are vastly outnumbered. The Arameans are everywhere. And G-d sends another message to Ahav through the prophet. “Thus says the Lord, because the Arameans said that G-d is a G-d of the mountains and not of the valleys, I'm going to give this entire horde into your hand. And you will know that I am G-d."

The men of Israel don’t just win. 7,000 Jews kill 100,000 enemy soldiers in one day.

Ben Hadad escapes with 27,000 men. He still outnumbers the Jews 4 to 1. And then a wall falls on all his men. He has no army left.

This is a bad situation. The Aramean king hides in his room. And his advisers, who got him into this mess, come up with their first good idea.

Hinei no Shamanu, we heard, Ki Malchei Beit Yisrael ki Malchei Chesed Hem, that the kings of Israel are merciful, they're nice people. Let's beg for mercy.

And Ben Hadad's advisers carry a message to Ahav. Let me live. Don't kill me.

And how does Ahav respond to the tyrant who wanted to take his wives and his children. "He's my brother."

And Ahav brings Ben Hadad into his chariot. And they make a peace deal. Ben Hadad leaves. The prophet finds Ahav and says to him, You idiot.”

G-d wanted Ben Hadad dead. You spared his life. And now Aram is going to kill you and instead of Aram being defeated, Israel will be defeated.

Okay.

We think of this kind of thing as medieval. We all know that Ahav did the right thing. He extended a hand in friendship to a defeated enemy. He made a peace deal.

Ahav knows it too. But G-d seems to disagree.

And Ahav is unhappy. And this is where the story that we know about him begins.

What does Ahav do to cheer up when he’s down in the dumps? He plants a herb garden. That’s kind of strange, but let’s not be judgmental. But the herb garden he wants to plant is in the vineyard of a guy named Navoth. Navoth won’t sell the vineyard. Ahav and his worse half, Yezevel, have Navoth killed.

And Eliyahu HaNavi comes to Ahav with a message. Where the dogs licked the blood of Navoth, they’re going to lick your blood.

In the next war, an Aramean archer kills Ahav and the dogs end up licking his blood.

And Melachim Alef, Kings 1 ends.

But how are the two incidents, the war with Aram and the vineyard of Navoth, related?

Is G-d punishing Ahav for not killing Ben Hadad or for killing Navoth?

The answer is both.

When Ben Hadad’s advisers said that the kings of Israel were merciful, what did they really mean?

Omri, Ahav’s dad, got the job of king by attacking Zimri who set the palace on fire and died. Zimri got the job by wiping out the entire family of Baasha. Baasha got the throne by killing the previous king.

You get the idea.

How did Ben Hadad’s advisers look at this succession of murders and think the kings of Israel sure are a merciful bunch?

Did they really mean that Ahav and the rest of the gang were nice guys?

Ben Hadad’s advisers meant that they were weak. Ahav let Ben Hadad push him around. And the advisers were betting that Ahav was still weak even when the Aramean king had no armies left.

Why was Ahav weak?

His dad Omri despised Israel. He brought in the Phoenicians and married his son off to Yezevel. He drove out Judaism and replaced it with the worship of Baal.

But he still had a problem. He was the King of Israel. And Israel was inferior in his eyes.

That was why Ahav was so insecure, why he couldn’t stand up to Ben Hadad. He wanted to be like Ben Hadad. He wanted Ben Hadad to like him. And when G-d beats Ben Hadad for him, when Ben Hadad begs him for mercy, Ahav raises him up to “Brother”.

Does Ben Hadad call Ahav brother? No. Ben Hadad despises him.

Like Pharaoh’s overseers, Ahav desperately wants Ben Hadad to like him. He senses that foul odors of Jewishness on himself and rejects the G-d who brought him victory.

Is Ahav merciful? Shortly afterward he kills a Jewish man over an herb garden. But he calls the monster who demanded his wives and children as trophies, Brother.

Ahav is evil, but also pathetic. He’s despicable in the unique way of Jewish anti-Semites who aspire to be loved by those who hate them. Who call enemies brothers and murder their true brothers.

It wasn’t Ben Hadad who was the real problem. It was Ahav who wanted to be Ben Hadad. It’s the Ben Hadads sitting inside our own heads.

It’s how flattered we feel when an enemy seems to be willing to give us the time of day. And how we resent those Jews who proudly stand up for themselves. Who aren’t nice to the enemy.

What we want isn’t really peace. It’s what Ahav wanted. Acceptance.

Think about Kastner praising Kurt Becher. Or the Jews who met with Arafat and now meet with Abbas.

The tragedy of Jewish history is not that we are hated. It is that we have absorbed that hatred. That we have learned to hate ourselves. We don’t love our enemies because we are virtuous. We do it because we despise ourselves. The foul odor is not in the nose of Pharaoh of the Philistines, is it in our own noses.

Anti-Semitism, here or in Israel, isn’t going anywhere. It’s up to us how we respond to it. When we are insecure, it gets worse. When we are on the defensive, we will be bullied. The more excuses we make, the worse the attacks will become.

It’s wonderful that Israelis are incredibly inventive. But the Hasbara that emphasizes it is the same old defense that Jews have always put on against anti-Semitism.

Look how many Nobel prizes we have and how many diseases we cured.

But that doesn’t dissuade those who hate us. It’s one of the reasons why they hate us.

The more we keep dishing out reasons not to hate us, the more we’ll be hated. If we really want anti-Semitism to end, we have to stop worrying about it.

I know that’s paradoxical and a little insulting. Caring about persecuted Jews is important. But being sensitive to hatred is self-defeating. It invites us to fall into Stockholm Syndrome. To start trying to see ourselves as our enemies see us and to change so we are less offensive. And then to find Jewish scapegoats for anti-Semitism whom we will accuse Heivasthem et Reiheinu. You make us look bad.

The answer to self-consciousness is to stop worrying what everyone thinks of you. And to live as your best self.

That is what we must do as a people. Not because it will make us liked. But because we can. We should never stop fighting for our rights, individually, religiously or nationally. But we should never do it from a defensive position. And we could never surrender an inch of moral authority to those who hate us no matter what we did or did not do.

We must never apologize for our existence.

The best forms of resistance to hatred of Jews and Israel are pride, dignity and success.

It is not the politicians and presidents who will determine our worth. No president will move the embassy to Jerusalem, not Obama or Trump, until we decide that it is our eternal capital, in deeds, not just in lip service. Their policies will not change until we change ours.

No president will save us from ourselves. Terrorism against Israel will not end until we stop tolerating it. Anti-Semitism will not go away with a clever new gimmick. This 30 second video will not stop support for BDS from growing on college campuses.

We make great efforts to get others to believe in our worth. No one will believe in us, in our right to be free and to live, until we believe in ourselves.

The State of Israel was reborn because we worked for it. And we believed that we could do it because we had a right to it. That right hasn’t gone anywhere. Only our conviction in it has faltered.

President Trump’s visit to Israel was surrounded by drama over whether the administration would recognize that the Kotel, the Western Wall, was in Israel. We parsed every administration utterance. Yes they admitted, the Wall was in Jerusalem, but did they mean that it was in Jerusalem, Israel.

There was widespread disappointment when this administration, like almost every previous administration, promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. And then didn’t do it.

But that’s the way it’s always going to be. No one is going to recognize Yerushalayim as our capital until we do it 100 percent. Until we make it clear that no part of our holy city is on the table.

If we lack conviction, why would we expect any other country to have more conviction than we do?

We keep waiting for a new Pharaoh to come around who will know Yosef, a new administration that will finally recognize the truth and be pro-Israel and save us.

And then we’re disappointed when the new Pharaoh, no matter what he promised during the campaign, still doesn’t know Yosef. And we go on playing the same game.

What’s the current strategy?

We show how nice we are by cooperating in the peace process. We impose freezes, we make concessions and then surely Trump will see that Abbas and the PLO are the ones who don’t want peace.

This strategy has been tried for decades with different presidents. It has never worked. Why do we think it’s going to work now? When we are more willing to make concessions than the terrorists, we don’t prove that we’re the good ones.

Instead we show that we’re the easiest to pressure, that diplomats can get the most results by shaking us down, and that we are the most willing to compromise because we’re wrong.

We are never going to prove that we deserve the whole coat by being willing to take half. And we are not going to win the respect of President Trump by making more concessions.

The strategies we’re following have been discredited over and over again.

We aren’t following these strategies because they work. But because we want to be liked. Because we’re afraid to be hated.

We’re still waiting for someone else to believe in us when we don’t believe in ourselves.

We’re waiting for President Trump to give us permission to have our capital in Yerushalayim. We’re waiting for someone else to take care of Iran. To recognize that we have a right to our own country. That we have a right to exist. But that’s not how it works.

Even when a temporary recognition happens, it’s quickly withdrawn.

The Balfour Declaration was followed by the White Paper. Partition in the UN was followed by a long string of condemnations and Zionism is Racism.

The Jewish reliance on the British for a homeland ended with an invasion of Jerusalem by Muslim troops under British officers. Israel’s golden age of alliance with France ended with Cherbourg.

Israel doesn’t exist because the British or Truman handed it to us. It doesn’t exist because of Czech arms, the United Nations or anyone else. Those were factors that occasionally aligned in our favor and occasionally against us. Israel exists because Jews worked for it, prayed for it, wished for it, lived for it, fought for it and died for it.

The patron theory of the existence of Israel holds us back.

Other peoples invent independent founding myths. We invent dependent founding myths. We have Israel because Eddie Jacobson was Truman’s friend.

The reality is that Truman did as little as possible for Israel. And his reasons for doing so had nothing to do with Eddie and everything to do with the Jewish vote in an election that he was worried about.

But we like the story about Eddie and Harry. Even though Harry Truman was an anti-Semitic bigot who never allowed a Jew into his house.

Because we like to think that we got Israel because a president liked us. On some level, we would rather be Eddie than King David.

The fact of the matter is that Truman gave us nothing except a throwaway vote, no de facto recognition, and an arms embargo to a country he expected to see destroyed by the Arab invaders.

It was the young men and women who held out in small numbers in small villages, it was the Holocaust survivors fresh from the DP camps with a rifle and a tattoo on their hands, who made Israel possible. It was G-d who gave us the land and gave us the ability to fight for it, as he did to Moshe and even Ahav.

Israel doesn’t exist because anyone liked us. It exists because enough Jews realized that the Communists, the French who wanted Dreyfus’ head, the British, the Arabs and so many others would never like us.

Israel’s independence represents the end of that need to be dependent, to be a minority dependent on the goodwill of the majority. Some thought that creating Israel would end anti-Semitism.

It didn’t.

But, more importantly, it did not end Jewish insecurity.

Israel is unfairly treated by the world in the same way that the Jews are treated unfairly. Anti-Zionism is a symptom of anti-Semitism. But the great thing about anti-Zionism is that Jews get to play. They get to participate in anti-Zionism since it seems to be only a national critique. And self-hating Jews can pretend that it’s not about them. It’s about Israel. If we all turn around and go back to Egypt or Europe, Pharaoh will like us again.

Israel is treated unfairly by the world. But it sets itself up for it because it cares about what the world thinks. Israel was strongest in its Um Shmoom days when it dismissed the UN. When it didn’t allow itself to become dependent on any single country. When it acted first and apologized later.

99 percent of the world does not care about being liked.

The French do not sit around worrying what the world thinks of them. Neither do the Belgians, the Nigerians or the Easter Islanders.

The more we demand recognition, of Jerusalem, of Israel, of our right to exist… the less likely we are to receive it.

The more concerned we are about anti-Semitism, the more of it there will be.

Searching for approval won’t win us friends, only invite critics, enemies and foes. Only conviction in our cause and living our best lives will. Im tirtzu, ein zo agada. If you desire it, if you have the conviction, it is no dream.

That is the life that Ariel lived. It was a short life, but also a glorious one. He confronted challenges as if they weren’t there. He followed his dreams.

That is also the story of the Jewish people at our best. At our best, our talents are astounding. Ariel had the belief that he could anything. That is what we often lack.

We lose faith in G-d. And then we lose faith in ourselves. We become contemptible in our own eyes. And then in the eyes of our oppressors. And then G-d redeems us out of our exile.

But the exile isn’t just around us. It’s inside us.

When we lose the certainty of our divine origins, we become exiled from the first and founding source of our greatness. Oppression destroys our confidence and our identity.

Our eternal identity is built on faith. We carry it with us wherever we go. It is our conversation of millennia. By taking part in it Ariel, became immortal. He lives on in the Jewish people. When we take part in it, we also become immortal.

Physical exile alone cannot kill us. Gas chambers and bombs cannot destroy us. Only when we forget who we are, that we are the sons and daughters of kings, do we lose our part in the conversation and die.

My speech is ending, but the Jewish conversation must endure. The faith that we pass down in words, must be lived in deeds. Resistance to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks begins with the conviction that we pass down to our children, as Robert and Karen passed down to Ariel. It ends with the pride that we take in our G-d, our people and our country.

Ariel had always wanted to visit Israel, but he never had the opportunity. Late in his life, there was a plane ticket, but he could no longer fly.

We can fly. Part of paying tribute to someone who has passed on is living their dreams. Ariel’s dream is part of that great mass of Jewish dreams that began with Avraham’s dream. It is a dream of a people in a holy land forever close to G-d, to our past, our present and our future. It is easy to lose sight of that dream. That is what happens so often to us in exile,

But our best defense is still not in our arguments, in the Hasbara that we try to assiduously teach, but in passing down the passion and conviction of that dream to our children.

Anti-Semitism in the world at large may never end. But let Jewish self-hatred end among the Jews. As much as we like to argue, we cannot argue ourselves into existence. But we can dream tomorrow into existence by living in the past, present and future, in this world and the world to come, in the secular world and in the Torah world, in exile and in Israel.

And when we straddle both worlds, our world and the world of G-d, we are immortal. Not only in the face of death, but in the face of evil as were the Chassidim who sang and danced into the gas chambers, and in our worries about what Pharaoh and the New York Times think of us. We are lifted above hatred and self-hatred.

We become the immortal Jewish nation we were meant to be.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Moderates and Radicals in Islam and the Left

The core strategic problem we face is two conflicts with two ideologies that operate subversively until they are in power. That is, instead of stating their agenda openly, Islam and the left operate as false fronts maintaining a friendly moderate image while pursuing a far more radical agenda.

The distinction between moderates and radicals is at the heart of the debate about Islamic terrorism. Much as it used to be at the heart of the debate about Communism and its fellow travelers. Everyone will concede that there are indeed radicals, if only ISIS and Stalin. What they will deny is the extent of the complicity and, more significantly, the fact that the radicals were pursuing the same ends as the moderates, an Islamic Caliphate or a Communist dictatorship, only more rapidly and ruthlessly.

The thing that must be understood is that moderates do not disavow radicals. Rather they bridge the gap between the radicals and the larger society, justifying their ends, and eventually their means, while pretending to disavow them. Radicals reject any dialogue. Moderates emphasize dialogue.

Moderates will verbally reject the means with which an end is pursued. Accordingly they will reject terrorism. They may even claim to reject the ends, such as an ideological dictatorship, but they will, in good fellowship, ask you to accept their premise which inevitably leads to the acceptance of both the ends and the means.

For example, moderates on the left and in Islam will ask you to accept that terrorism is caused by American foreign policy. Once you have accepted this premise, then you have partially justified terrorism and paved the way for accepting an "Arab Spring" that eliminates the consequences of American foreign policy by properly Arabizing and Islamizing the governments of the region.

Likewise, if you accept the premise that Israel's presence in its '67 territories is driving terrorism, then you have signed on to everything from BDS to the destruction of the Jewish State.

If you concede that crime and violence are driven by class and racial inequities, then you accept that the only way to end this "class war" is massive taxation and wealth redistribution through government intervention that addresses the root cause.

That is not the way it seems to most people. And that is why the "moderate" strategy works so well.

Once you have accepted the moderate definition of the root cause, you will inevitably be forced to accept the radical remedy. This is true across a spectrum of lower level policies. For example, accept that homosexuality is genetic and gay rights become the inevitable and inescapable outcome. That is how the root cause defines the outcome. And this is how moderates achieve radical goals.

Moderates convince you to accept their premise of the root cause. Then they argue for sensitivity to the radicals whose motives have suddenly become understandable. Finally they argue for a settlement in which a compromise is reached that will allow the radicals to achieve a moderate version of their ends.

The Muslim Brotherhood takeovers of the Arab Spring are an example of a compromise to avert Islamic terror aimed at creating a Caliphate. The ultimate outcome is the same, but the moderates dress it up as a kinder and gentler alternative.

And this is the core strategic problem that we face.

The radicals are not any kind of serious physical threat. We could destroy ISIS easily if we chose to unleash our full force against them. The same is true for every single Islamic terror group in the world. And, for that matter, their state sponsors too.

The real threat is always the subversion of the moderates. The challenge then becomes the need to expose the false facade of the moderates. This leads to a push-pull struggle. The moderates cry that they are being unfairly victimized by hateful people. There are shouts of red-baiting and McCarthyism, profiling and bigotry. Their critics are paranoid and unhinged. The moderates even assert that there is something ugly and "Un-American" about asking them to account for their agenda.

And this is really the core argument made by the two allied subversive ideologies. It is "ugly" to expose their views, to quote them, to bring them to the surface. It is intolerant. It's not the way that respectable people should behave. And the moderates, who pose as respectable people precisely to play on the weakness of the middle class for being respectable, understand that this is the ultimate weapon.

Respectable people do not accuse the friendly Imam on the block of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or promoting Jihadist texts. They do not accuse the cheerful teacher in the school whom everyone likes of pushing anti-American views on her students. That is not respectable behavior.

And moderates, who pretend to be respectable, excel at pushing the respectable shame button.

It doesn't matter if it's true. It's ugly to discuss it. That is respectability simplified. It's much better to talk about how much we have in common, to speak about how we can unite and make the world a better place. And the moderates have plenty of ideas in that regard. All of them involve accepting their premise of what the world's problems are and how they can be improved by a series of proposals that would culminate with mass tyranny and murder.

There are actual moderates of course.

The majority of those on the left aren't harboring secret plans to build gulags. They would find the idea horrifying. Likewise many Muslims in Western countries don't support Islamic terrorism.

They are moderates, but only in the sense that they have not yet signed on to radical ideas. Not in the sense that they would fight and oppose them to their very last breath. They are mostly moderates out of a lack of conviction rather than a surplus of it.

Subversive organizations operate through incremental radicalization. The average American liberal of twenty years ago would not have supported half of what he vocally advocates for today. Even Obama and Hillary were against gay marriage when they ran for office. In a few years they moved from opposing a policy to threatening to prosecute those opposed to it. That is how the left works.

Obama and Hillary always had a consistent position. The leadership of the left had one. It was the ordinary rank and file liberal who might have been in the dark until the whistle was blown and the herd stampeded toward the next policy abyss. A year ago those same liberals might have felt uncomfortable with the notion of men using the ladies room. Today they would fight a civil war for it.

The process operates the same way across a spectrum of policies. The left keeps its more moderate followers in the dark about its real goals. Then once the stampede begins, the moderates who derive their sense that they are good people from following the ideas of the left, quickly fall in line.

The same is true of Islam. Plenty of Muslims would not be happy with an immediate transition to ISIS. But plenty are willing to back the more incremental attempts to build a Caliphate through political Islam in Turkey or through the Muslim Brotherhood. Their moderation, like that of many Germans in WW2, consists of an unwillingness to know what dirty deeds are being done.

The moderates bridge this gap both for their rank and file, and for the outsiders who have to be fooled into accepting their premise in order to accept their ends. Their greatest weapon is respectability. When cornered, they insist that they are just nice people who want to make the world a better place. And their critics are bigots, nasty people, who don't want everyone to get along and spread disunity.

And doesn't everyone just want to get along? Isn't that nicer and better? Isn't it a good thing that there are passionate young people who want to make the world a better place?

The chief ally of the moderates is this sort of middle class respectability. The moderates paint their critics as radicals who have no solutions. When in fact they themselves are radicals with a final solution. And yet combating this sort of happy talk remains our greatest challenge.

Yet it is also a passing challenge.

Middle class respectability is a function of a sense of security. When that sense of security begins to implode as a society experiences chaos, the middle class stops clinging to respectability.

And then the real conflict begins.

We may well be approaching that phase. Economic decline and Islamic terror are leading to a radical break with respectability. We are entering a radical age in which the moderates take off their masks and radicals of various stripes gain great influence and openly recruit for their cause.

This will be a shattering experience for many. It will be a very ugly one in many ways. And yet the only way to avert it would be to expose the false moderates who are driving this process for what they are. And this is exactly what those who have the most to lose from a radical rise refuse to do.

None of this is a new phenomenon. History is repeating itself.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Climate Confederacy

After President Trump rejected the Paris Climate treaty, which had never been ratified by the Senate, the European Union announced that it would work with a climate confederacy of secessionist states. Scotland and Norway’s environmental ministers have mentioned a focus on individual American states. And the secessionist governments of California, New York and Washington have announced that they will unilaterally and illegally enter into a foreign treaty rejected by the President of the United States.

The Constitution is very clear about this. “No state shall enter into any treaty.” Governor Cuomo of New York has been equally clear. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington's irresponsible actions.”

Cuomo's statement conveniently comes in French, Chinese and Russian translations.

“It is a little bold to talk about the China-California partnership as though we were a separate nation, but we are a separate nation,” Governor Brown of California announced.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, the radical leftist described California as “a real nation-state”.

Brown was taking a swing through China to reassure the Communist dictatorship of California’s loyalty to an illegal treaty at the same time as EU boss Juncker was bashing America and kissing up to Premier Li Keqiang at the EU-China summit. It’s one thing when the EU and China form a united front against America. It’s quite another when California and China form a united front against America.

The Climate Alliance of California, New York, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Virginia and Rhode Island looks a lot like the Confederacy’s Montgomery Convention. Both serve as meeting points for a secessionist alliance of states to air their grievances against the Federal government over an issue in which they are out of step with the nation.

"We’re a powerful state government. We have nine other states that agree with us," Brown boasted.

Two more and Jim Jones' old pal could have his own confederacy.

All the bragging and boasting about how much wealth and power the secessionist states of the climate confederacy represent sounds very familiar. But that wealth and power is based around small enclaves, the Bay Area and a few dozen blocks in Manhattan, which wield disproportionate influence.

Like the slaveowner class, leftist elites are letting the arrogance of their wealth lead them into treason. And as they look out from their mansions and skyscrapers, they should remember that the majority of working class people in California and New York will be far less enthusiastic about fighting a war to protect their dirty investments in solar energy plants and carbon credits funded by taxes seized from many of those same people in these left-wing slave states.

The declared intention of the Climate Alliance, in words appearing on the New York State government website, is to treasonously “convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement”.

States cannot and are not allowed to unilaterally choose to “uphold” a treaty rejected by the President. Their leaders are certainly not allowed to travel to enemy nations to inform foreign powers of their treasonous designs and to solicit their aid against the policies of the United States government.

This is all the more treasonous at a time when the United States is on a collision course with the People’s Republic of China over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and trade agreements.

“It’s important for the world to know that America is not Washington," Brown declared. "Yes, we’re part of the union, but we’re also a sovereign state that can promote the necessary policies that are required for survival.”

Governors don’t normally feel the need to declare that their state is still part of the union. But they also don’t announce that they’re a separate nation and then set off to cut separate deals with enemy powers. No state should be issuing, “Yes, we’re part of the union, but” disclaimers before going to China.

The disclaimer is the first step to leaving the union.

Governor Brown's trip to China isn't funded by California taxpayers. That might be a relief to that overburdened tribe except that it's partially being paid for by the Energy Foundation. Behind that generic name for a pass through organization are a number of left-wing foundations who have been paying for American politicians to travel to the People’s Republic of China.

Donors to the energy foundation include Ecocrat billionaire Tom Steyer who has pumped millions into EF. Steyer’s finances are entangled with China and even with members of the Chinese government.

Steyer has accused President Trump of treason for rejecting the unconstitutional Paris Climate Treaty. But who are the real traitors here?

Other major EF donors include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bloomberg and George Soros.

There is something deeply troubling about a governor’s treasonous trip being funded by private interests with business ties to a foreign power. If Democrats were really serious about rooting out influence by foreign powers, they would be taking a very close look at Brown’s backers.

But the greater outrage is that the governors of secessionist states are using a manufactured crisis to conduct “diplomacy” with foreign governments in defiance of the policies of the United States.

Washington’s Jay Inslee was recently talking Global Warming in a meeting with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. “We’re both very strongly engaged on issues of climate change, on issues of openness to trade, on leadership on refugees as well,” Trudeau declared.

“We share an incredible commitment to defeating climate change,” Inslee flattered him. “And it is a great pleasure we have a national leader on the North American continent who is committed to that.”

And he didn’t mean the President of the United States.

Inslee’s fondness for the illegal Paris Climate treaty is unsurprising as his own efforts on Global Warming similarly depended on unilateral moves that lacked legislative support. But that is a problem for Washington’s Constitution. His participation in a secessionist pact is a problem for our Constitution.

And the problem isn’t limited to the Climate Alliance.

California and many of the other entities declaring that they will enforce an illegal treaty are also sanctuary states and cities. They are choosing not to follow Federal law while implementing foreign treaties that they have no right to unilaterally participate in.

This is a treasonous situation that is more troubling in some ways than the original Civil War because it involves states making open alliance with enemy powers such as China and welcoming them in. State governments are undermining the united front of the national government in the face of the enemy.

"California will resist this misguided and insane course of action," Governor Brown ranted. The logic of “resistance” has inevitably turned into treason.

A civil war is underway. In the last election the territorial majority of Americans rejected the rule of a minority of wealthy and powerful urban enclaves. Outside of their bicoastal bases, the political power of the Democrat faction has been shattered. And so it has retreated into subversion and secessionism.

“China is moving forward in a very serious way, and so is California,” Brown declared. “And we're going in the opposite direction of Donald Trump.”

While Democrats have spent the better part of the previous week waving their arms in the air over a back channel with Russia, one of their faction’s leading governors is openly allying with China against the President of the United States. And the treasonous Democrat media is cheering this betrayal.

Brown and his colleagues are in blatant violation of the Logan Act. Their actions are in violation of the United States Constitution. And all this is another dark step on the road to another civil war.

If the climate confederacy is not held accountable for its treason, the crisis will only grow.

Friday, June 09, 2017

The Plot Against Democracy

Here’s the good news.

It’s 2017 and Republicans control the White House, the Senate, the House and more statewide offices than you can shake a big bundle of fake news papers at. And, potentially soon, a Supreme Court that takes its guidelines from the Constitution not Das Kapital and the National Social Justice Party.

Here’s the bad news, Republicans are still Republicans.

The media throws some chum in the water and sits back and watches the bloody fun as Republicans go after Republicans for the entertainment of their enemies. Scandals are manufactured and then strategically aimed to divide and conquer Republicans. But the real target is the conservative agenda.

At the heart of the controversy over all these manufactured fake news scandals are two vital questions.

1. Was the last presidential election legitimate?

2. Should anyone to the right of the left be able to govern?

The left has answered “No” to both questions. The first question was answered in the negative because the second answer was “Never”.

Republicans have varied reactions to Trump. Leftists have only one reaction to anyone to the right of them. It’s the same reaction you get if you send an ISIS member into Temple Beth Shalom. If President Kasich were in the White House, you would be reading in the Washington Post how he singlehandedly brought back the Klan, causes Bursitis and is secretly doing the bidding of the Brazilians.

It’s a swamp of innuendo based on anonymous sources, investigations fed by illegal eavesdropping, scandals in which the outrage comes before the evidence whose purpose is to overturn an election. These aren’t investigations. They’re a coup by the losing side that refuses to admit it lost a presidential election. The coup isn’t just aimed at President Trump or any single member of his administration.

It’s aimed at America, at democracy and at any policy to the right of free entitlements and no freedoms.

If you believe in free speech, the right to keep what you earn, freedom of conscience, free elections, a free press, rule of the people by the people, Plymouth Rock, a little piece of paper out of Independence Hall, emancipation, reason, art, literature, history and civil rights, the coup is aimed at you.

The three things that Republicans don’t get, in order of descending importance, are that the left hates anyone to the right, that it wants absolute power and that it will do anything to destroy its enemies.

Yes, the left really hates you. It doesn’t care that you’re socially liberal and fiscally conservative or the other way around. It doesn’t care if you agree with it on 99.9% of the issues. It will still hang you from a lamppost in Portland or Berkeley because of that 0.1%. If you doubt that, look at how many Communists survived Stalin and Mao. Or how Joe Lieberman went from the vice presidential nominee to a right-wing extremist because he believed that terrorism was a bad thing or how Joe Manchin is an honorary Republican because he does controversial things like vote to approve a president’s cabinet nominees.

There’s no room in the Democrat Party for democrats. There sure as hell isn’t any for Republicans.

The left is obsessed with political purity. It wants absolute power. There is no room in there for compromise. Either you are with them or you are the enemy. And fair game for anything.

There are two things at stake here. A conservative political agenda and free elections. Any complicity with the coup undermines both. If the results of a presidential election can be retroactively annulled by powerful political interests in the establishment and the media, we lose free elections. People stop voting. Many of those people will be conservatives, independents or otherwise to the right of the left.

No conservative agenda will ever be passed without conservative solidarity. Until the left gets the message that it will never overturn the results of this last election, it will keep trying. Conservatives can squash this fascist fantasy only by making it clear that there will never be an impeachment and that they will respond to investigations the way that Rep. Elijah Cummings did to the investigation of Benghazi.

The leftist faction lecturing Republicans about decency, national security and the rule of laws punches political opponents in the face, creates back channels to Islamic terrorists in Iran, smuggles billions to fund their terror, and sends the IRS after political opponents. Is their moral authority worth anything?

Republicans can follow the rules and eat their own. And then maybe when they’ve hung each other to show what noble souls they are, the media will recognize their goodness. It’s never worked before. But there’s always a last time. Just ask the last man through the gulag gates.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Europe's Rising Islamic Insurgency

2,000 cases.

That was the most overlooked revelation to come from the testimony of the former FBI director. While the media parsed every Comey hiccup to bolster its election conspiracy theories, it ignored that number.

Comey stated that there were around 2,000 terrorism investigations. 1,000 of those came from “home grown violent extremism” with no evidence of contact with foreign terrorists. Another 1,000 had "some contact with foreign terrorists". 300 from that 2,000 had come to America as refugees.

Two-thirds of the refugee terrorists were from Iraq. The other third were mainly from the six countries named in President Trump’s travel pause which left-wing activist judges have unconstitutionally halted.

Two years ago, Comey listed around 900 investigations. Even assuming that some of the 1,000 “home grown extremists” aren’t Muslim terrorists, that’s a staggering and shocking rise in case numbers.

Back then, he had said that the FBI was having trouble with the sheer volume of investigations in every state. "If that becomes the new normal," he had said, "that would be hard to keep up."

The new normal is only getting worse.

Those 2,000 investigations represent active cases. When an investigation does not pan out, it’s over. The FBI investigated Omar Mateen before he carried out the Pulse massacre where the second-generation refugee murdered 49 people, according to his own words, “in the name of Allah, the merciful.”

A preliminary investigation has to be wrapped up in six months. A year at the most. Mateen’s investigation was wrapped up in the spring of ’14. His name went off the terror watchlist.

Two years later he struck.

Those 2,000 cases are the tip of a very large iceberg. Below those 2,000 cases are the larger numbers of potential terrorists who, like Mateen, had the book closed on their investigations.

In the UK, there are 3,000 potential terrorists being investigated, but 20,000 others had been “subjects of interest” in the past. We don’t know how large that second number is in the United States. But it’s probably not too far off the British one. In which case we also have over 20,000 potential terrorists.

Nor do we know how large the third number of potential terrorists who never appeared on the radar is.

Against these numbers, MI5, which handles counterterrorism in the UK, has 4,000 staffers. Only a small fraction of these would be employed in counterterrorism in MI5’s G Branch. London’s Counter Terrorism Command has a staff of 1,500. The Greater Manchester Police’s counter-terrorism unit had a team of 20. These numbers are obviously inadequate. But what number could possibly be enough?

The British military can put 10,000 soldiers on city streets after a terrorist attack. After Manchester, 5,000 soldiers were deployed. SAS special forces are reportedly being permanently positioned in London. The military was deployed for the first time in a century when Tony Blair sent tanks to secure Heathrow Airport after an Islamic terror threat. Now military deployment is becoming the new normal.

France deployed 10,000 soldiers to patrol cities after the Paris attacks. Operation Sentinelle is still underway two years later. Soldiers patrolling Paris are awarded a medal for Protection of the Territory. Half of the French soldiers deployed in a military role are patrolling the streets of Paris and other cities.

Belgium and Italy also deployed troops in Brussels and Rome in 2015.

The forces being deployed include such storied names as the French 35th Infantry Regiment, one of the country’s oldest regiments with a history dating back to the 17th century, the Irish Guards at Whitehall and the legendary Chasseurs Ardennais in Belgium. This is not counterterrorism. It’s a war.

In 2015, the year of many of these military deployments, 211 terror plots occurred in EU countries. These attacks killed 151 people and wounded another 360. 1,077 terrorism arrests were made.

Those numbers are closer to Iraq than anything in the West. And they are only growing worse.

Obama tried to dismiss Islamic terrorism as a criminal problem. But when soldiers are being deployed in major cities, it’s not crime. It’s an insurgency. The Islamic insurgency from Iraq was exported to America by Iraqi refugees as the FBI’s own numbers show. Islamic insurgencies from Pakistan, Libya and Algeria have been exported to Europe in the same way. Islamic immigration has brought its insurgency here.

These insurgencies form around Muslim population centers. Manchester’s Muslim population nearly doubled in a decade. Toward the end of that decade, a Muslim plot to bomb a shopping mall in Manchester on the Easter Bank Holiday was broken up. That plot failed. Another one succeeded.

These insurgencies are not a police problem. They are a military threat.

A Muslim terrorist network in London, Paris or New York is as much of a military issue as one in Baghdad or Beirut. The infrastructure of investigations and trials we have set up to fight these networks is utterly unsuited to the nature of the problem of Islamic terrorism and overwhelmed by its growing scope.

The question is do we want to turn our cities into Baghdad with thousands of soldiers patrolling our streets? Rising Muslim domestic insurgencies will leave even the most liberal leaders with no choice but to resort to wartime measures. Even in America this has meant the TSA, the NSA and a host of other restrictions and violations. Yet these are inescapable unless the root cause of the insurgency is tackled.

If things go on as they are, the military occupation of our cities becomes permanent.

The great cities of the West crumble into a maze of insurgency and counterinsurgency operations with thousands of soldiers on the street securing safe green zones and venturing for raids into no go zones. Those soldiers stop just patrolling and occasionally responding to attacks. Instead they will be employed in manning checkpoints and deterring groups of armed insurgents from carrying out major attacks.

200 terror plots will become 2,000 terror plots. 151 dead will become 1,500 dead and then 15,000 dead. And then every Western country that opened its doors to “refugees” will become Iraq.

Comey estimated that 250 persons from this country had traveled to Syria to fight in its terrorist war. The British estimate is between 850 and 2,000, the French estimate between 500 and 900, the German estimate at 750 and the Belgian estimate around 500 and the total EU estimate tops out at 4,200.

If they survive and return, thousands of trained enemy insurgents will be living in Europe. And they will be facing thousands of soldiers in the streets of major cities who have been deployed to fight them.

The first major wave of terror this century was fueled by Islamic terrorists who had fought in Afghanistan. The newest wave of terror will have insurgents trained in Iraq and Syria.

Supporters of refugee admissions and open borders are ushering in a military occupation and a civil war. There is no escaping these numbers or evading the facts on the ground that they represent.

But unlike Iraq or Syria, the Islamic insurgency is not an indigenous problem. The Islamic terrorist is not indigenous to America or Europe. He is a recent guest. He has been here for decades, not centuries. We can’t fix the tribal conflicts in Syria or Iraq, but we can interdict them through immigration reform.

Every effort to oppose President Trump’s travel pause is a vote for soldiers in the streets and car bombs every morning. It can only end with the wars that the left hated in Iraq and Afghanistan being fought in the cities where its activists, protesters and supporters live behind barbed wire and checkpoints.

Islamic terrorism is a war. The only way to stop that war is to stop migration from terror states today.

This article first appeared at Front Page Magazine as part of Daniel Greenfield's work as a Shillman Journalism Fellow. He then discussed its implications in light of the latest terror attacks in the UK and President Trump's call for a travel ban on FOX Business.





(Daniel Greenfield will be speaking on Defending Israel and Fighting Anti-Semitism in Los Angeles at the Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture on Sun, Jun 11 at 10 AM at the Auditorium, 1619 South Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035)