The writer, a former professor of law in Los Angeles, practices law in Jerusalem, is one of the founders of Hashkem, http://www.hashkem.globaltensystems.com/.
A friend of mine, who had been a prominent rabbi in South Africa before he emigrated to Israel, once went on a speaking tour in America. His subject was Israel but Jews in America besieged him with questions about the Apartheid regime in South Africa, then in its death throes. He was bemused. Of all the cruelty and injustice in the world, why should apartheid specifically have so riveted the passions of Jews?
And what does it have to do with the passion of Jews today to end “The Occupation” and with a Jewish judge, Richard Goldstone, heading an international commission of enquiry, which was really an inquisition from the beginning, conceived and commissioned to find Israel guilty?
To review the Goldstone matter, Richard Goldstone is a retired South African judge, and, for many years, a supporter of the State of Israel.
In 2008, following eight years during which Hamas fired more than eight thousand rockets into Israeli towns, principally Sderot, specifically targeting civilians, Israel launched a limited military incursion into the Gaza strip to hamper Hamas’ capability to do that and to deter the practice. In the course of the operation, Israeli forces encountered and documented Hamas firing rockets from schools and apartment buildings and even next to a UN installation, storing war materiel in mosques and apartment buildings and using ambulances to transport combatants and munitions. Hamas also maintained a command center underneath a hospital (which Israeli forces did not attack).
The Arabs accused Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity and the world threw an absolute hissy fit. Accusations against Israel are automatically believed, no matter how many times the accuser has lied to the world, no matter how many times it has been subsequently proven that they are lies, no matter how guilty the accuser is of the very crimes in question. Among the crimes the Arabs accused Israel of was “wanton and deliberate targeting of civilians.” Of course, that’s what the “Palestinians” did to Israelis and continue to do, but the crime is laid at Israel’s door.
The United Nations Human Rights Council decided to send a commission with the mandate,
… to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression, and calls upon Israel not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully cooperate with the mission. UN Resolution S-9/1
The resolution assumes a priori, Israeli guilt of aggression and violations of human rights. It also erroneously states that the Gaza Strip is occupied, when in fact, Israel vacated the Gaza Strip more than three years earlier and Hamas seized full control.
Judge Goldstone accepted the assignment, notwithstanding the inherent prejudice in the very creation of the mission and notwithstanding the fact that the members of the mission themselves had prejudged the question. He himself also followed methods and procedures that could only taint testimony given and degrade any real fact-finding potential of the mission. This is all detailed by Alan Dershowitz. (The case against the Goldstone Report: A study in evidentiary bias, http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/3593975)
What explains the Goldstone Syndrome? Why would a Jew decide to serve the enemies of the Jews, the very people whose most cherished goal is to destroy the State of Israel and massacre all the Jews in the world. This is not hyperbole. They say it themselves on their websites and in their media, their public meetings and in their mosques. The Hamas Charter itself (in Article Seven) says that Jews are the cause of all the world’s problems and that the Judgment Day can come only by killing all the Jews.
I have two theories which interlock. First, I believe it is a function of a specifically Jewish sickness called Ma Yomru Hagoyim – freely translated, What will the World Think of Us — a uniquely virulent form of the well-known psycho-sociological phenomenon called “Self-Hatred.” In brief, the natural result of being universally reviled is to internalize the reaction that it is one’s own fault, that if one (or, in this case, we Jews) behaved more acceptably to those who revile us, we would no longer be hated; or even more simply stated, Jews are the cause of anti-Semitism.
There is hardly a Jew alive who has not been told by bigots “You aren’t like the other Jews” meaning “You’re OK”… unlike the Other Jews; unlike Those Jews. The notion is implanted that “if all Jews were like me, there would not be anti-Semitism,” that the world hates us because we are different, because we believe we are special and “chosen”, because we believe we are superior and above the rules of civilization and entitled to rule over others, etc. Therefore, the cure to anti-Semitism is for Jews to accept universal “enlightenment” and universality and to demolish particularisms, starting with our own, and be worldly, flexible and liberal.
Following this reasoning, the obstacle to peaceful relations with the non-Jewish world is Those Jews, the ones who refuse to assimilate. So the “good Jews”, the enlightened Jews, the universalist Jews have to prove that not all Jews are like “Those Jews”. The classic paradigm is the sheiner Yidden, in the language of an earlier generation, who believed that the Jews who learned Talmud and kept the Commandments caused anti-Semitism. Their solution was to petition government to outlaw learning of Talmud and otherwise suppress the practice of Orthodox Judaism.
The sheiner Yidden feel the need for Jews to be in the forefront of the struggle for abstract “justice” (as defined from time to time by the world at large), and champion all the causes currently popular among the nations of the world. Jews have to do so, even if the cause is inimical to Jewish interest, for that proves our sincerity and dedication to principle. In fact, if the cause is perfectly suicidal to Jewish interests, it presents a positive opportunity to prove our commitment to principle.
The issue, therefore, was never whether apartheid or “The Occupation” is the worst thing happening at any historical moment. Rather, it is merely that this is the cause which seems dearest to the world at the time, and therefore, is the cause which best enables us to endear ourselves to the hearts of the world by being in the vanguard. If we are the first and the best of what they think is good, how can they hate us? It is enough to command the massive allegiance of Jews that it is a popular cause for the world at large, especially for those who hate us the most.
How does a cause become endeared to the world? The “conscience of the world”, whether that conscience is embodied in world organizations, such as the United Nations, non-governmental organizations or the international press corps, fully subscribes to the most powerful driving “principle” in international relations today; namely, Third World Can Do No Wrong.
The corollary is that Democratic West can do right only by full support of Third World causes, however one-sided or suicidal. The West too suffers from self-hatred, being so reviled for so long by their ex-colonies for their history of exploitation and so, it has abdicated moral leadership to the Third World and serves Third World goals dutifully.
Since the Third World is dominated by the countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, it is the richest and the most populous of the Islamic countries who determine what causes are most important. Since the Islamic countries despise Jews and cannot reconcile themselves to the loss of Islamic sovereignty, and certainly not to the lowly Jews, “The Occupation” is a source of acute embarrassment to the sheiner Yidden which has to be ended at all cost and the State of Israel even abolished or the world will not accept us.
Here two historic dynamics merge. The West is the exemplar of skill in “imagery”; presentation of urges as ideals, of consumerism as “progress”, of technology as spiritual enlightenment, of bigotry as principle. (Remember “Manifest Destiny” and “White Man’s Burden”? Remember the sacred principles of “States’ Rights” and “Neighborhood Schools”?) It is no accident that public relations is a Western invention.
The second historical dynamic is that the West has always used the Jew as the scapegoat to cleanse its own conscience by projecting its sins onto the Jew and then punishing the Jew. Thus, Europe can expiate the sin of Nazism by turning the Israelis into Nazis in their own minds and then “fighting Nazism” by attacking Israel. So important is it to them to do this that there is no distinction which cannot be obliterated in the process, even to the point of blind nihilism.
After evacuating Gaza and absorbing some 8,000 rockets from Hamas, specifically targeting civilians, Israel finally undertook a limited, pinpoint operation to inhibit the hostile activity and the world went into a rage, as mentioned. The world screamed “Genocide!” Seriously. The Israeli “occupation” has been called “fascistic,” “genocidal,” and even “worse than the Nazis.”
In fact, the population of Gaza has quadrupled under the “fascistic, genocidal, worse-than-the-Nazis, apartheid” Israeli “occupation.” Standard of living and life expectancy have increased similarly. At the same time, the rate of infant mortality has declined sharply. If the Jews had suffered such a fate in Europe, the word “genocide” would not have entered the vocabulary of the world. (Should we compare the rate of Jewish infant mortality in the Holocaust?)
But the European “peace camp” intones solemnly that “The real Holocaust is in Gaza.” That is so ludicrous that it should have the world rolling on the floor holding their sides in derisive laughter. But no, people take it seriously and entertain it as a valid opinion.
Fuel, food and medicine have been allowed into Gaza, even during Operation Cast Lead and even though they have been routinely commandeered by Hamas to its terrorists. Nevertheless, Gaza is compared to the Warsaw Ghetto, where Jews were confined and systematically undernourished, stressed and humiliated and denied medical attention and publicly executed for smuggling food and medicine.
How are they similar? Did the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rain rockets down on German cities and send suicide bombers to blow up German restaurants? Did they wage relentless war on Germany for generations, asserting their right to destroy Germany and turn the Baltic red with German blood? Unlike the Arabs of Gaza, the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto were completely innocent of any offense against Germany or anyone else and completely harmless.
Hamas, like all the other Arab terrorist organizations, fires from civilian locations, stores munitions in mosques and schools, uses ambulances to transport combatants and munitions, hides among civilians and otherwise uses Arab civilians as human shields. Those practices are war crimes, defined as “perfidy” by the Geneva Conventions. Civilian casualties that result when the enemy returns fire are the responsibility of the party guilty of perfidy. That is international law and also good morals.
None of that applies, however, when the enemy is Israel. In that case, responsibility for the civilian casualties is on the party whose munitions caused them, no matter what. The terrorists gain immunity from return fire by committing the war crime of using civilians as human shields.
The fact is that no one in the world is as careful of enemy civilian casualties as is Israel, which even exposes its own soldiers to mortal danger to spare enemy civilians, but that is not enough. Any casualties to anyone who can be presented as a civilian are deemed to be Israel’s fault and constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, even if they are human shields, even if, in fact, they are terrorists in civilian clothing, which is another war crime.
None of those militating against Israel over the fate of the “Palestinian” civilians, however, really cares at all about them. The proof is the total lack of interest in any massacres of Palestinian civilians by anyone not associated with Israel; not the Fatah people rounded up and thrown off roofs or otherwise massacred by Hamas; not the tens of thousands killed by King Hussein of Jordan back in 1970, when he put down a PLO uprising against his rule.
Nor do the parties screaming “genocide” really care at all about genocide. The proof is the lack of interest elicited by any of the real genocides taking place in the world, even as they scream about a totally fanciful Israeli “genocide” against the “Palestinians.” Sudan is committing, not one genocide but two; one against the people of Darfur and another, of longer duration, against the black Africans of the South of Sudan and the Conscience of the World could hardly care less. Who did anything for the Tutsis when they were being massacred by the hundreds of thousands? Who did anything about the Chinese genocide against the Tibetans or the Indonesian genocide in East Timor? Third World can do no wrong, even when the victim is another Third World people.
No one presents any of this as anti-Semitism, of course. What we are given to believe is that it is only Zionism that is reviled, certainly not Jews or Judaism. Of course, that is demonstrably nonsense. Why is Jewish nationalism, alone among the world’s nationalisms, illegitimate and “racist”? And why is anti-Zionism always accompanied by threats and intimidation against Jews? Why do defensive measures taken by everyone in the world become “disproportionate” and criminal when undertaken by Zionists?
If anti-Zionist is not anti-Jewish, then why are slogans like “Jews to the gas” heard at demonstrations all over Europe, North and South America and the Muslim world and it seems to be perfectly acceptable? And why is violence against Jews very generally not treated as a hate crime?
And once again, a powerful nation has decided that the world would be better off without Jews and the world seems willing to go along with the decision. Iran has declared “wiping Israel off the map” as part of its agenda and its proxies, Hezballah and Hamas, have openly declared their intention to kill every Jew in the world. And yet, the world regards them as “legitimate resistance” and is moving on all fronts to empower them as sovereigns over territory and engage them as part of the international community. No one even objects that nuking Israel would kill approximately eight million Arabs, including their precious “Palestinians.” No one objects to the intended double genocide, not even the “Palestinians.”
Forcing Israel into indefensible borders and tying its hands defensively is presented, still to this day, as part of a “peace process” as though the proponents really believe that Israeli surrender of territory and other strategically important concessions will actually result in peace with the Arabs. In fact, not many people are that stupid. Every Israeli concession has produced more war and death, not less. Anyone who advocates for the “peace process” is willfully trying to bring about the demise of Israel and the slaughter of the Jews.
There is now an American administration and a tame, well funded, ostensibly Jewish organization which insist that they are pro-Israel because they seek to force Israel into concessions “for peace” and isn’t peace in Israel’s interest? They know what the Road Map really is. They know the Road ends at Auschwitz Revisited.
Nevertheless, the effect on Jews, sensitized by self-hatred, is to stimulate the urge to out-do the world, to be better at their game than they. Once the direction the wind is blowing is clear, the urge is perfectly reflexive: to run to get there first, wherever it may be, in the expectation of being smothered in camaraderie. When the camaraderie is withheld, and they still experience self-consciousness at their own Jewishness, they naturally locate the cause as the “Other” Jews who did not run with them, and thus denied them the approval of the Jew-haters, which they so crave.
A great many Jews accept and internalize the hatred of the nations. They feel the need to justify our existence to a world which hates us, not for what we do, but simply for the fact of our existence. They do not see the futility of trying to justify the Jews’ existence by championing a cause which the West needs to pursue to expiate its own guilt, which historically requires The Jew as scapegoat, a cause which the Islamic nations pursue in order to do away with the anathema of a state of the despised Jews in the Middle East.
Subtly, the enemy becomes the “Other” Jews rather than the bigots who hate us and the remedy is to make common cause with the bigots against the “Other” Jews.
So the demand “Peace Now” has been directed toward the government of Israel alone, never toward the Arab parties, as if it were so clear that the Arabs sincerely want nothing but peace and the Israelis can have true peace any time they want it just by abandoning their aggressive ways; as if it were so clear that the Arab leaders who stood poised in 1967 to “drive the Jews into the sea” and “turn the Mediterranean red with Jewish blood” really want true peace if only Israel will put its neck on the block again by retreating to the 1949 Armistice lines, with a 9 mile waist at its population center, facing uphill toward the Arab armies.
Their hatred of the Other Jews has become ever more extreme. Expulsions of Jews from their homes and communities have been carried out by the Israeli government with exceptional violence and brutality. It was obviously planned, with malice aforethought, that resettlement and rehabilitation of those communities would be delayed indefinitely, simply to destroy the lives of Those Other Jews and render them powerless. In a word, they were pogroms.
In Israel and all over the world, there are Jews in the forefront of the efforts to delegitimate the State of Israel as a “fascist” and “apartheid” state and return the Jews there to minority status, to be ruled over by the tender mercies of the “Palestinians,” who make no secret of their intentions to slaughter Jews and reduce any survivors to dhimmi status. No one calls it “apartheid” or “racist.” University professors in Israel and all over the world call for the isolation of Israel, boycott of Israeli products and of the very universities whose faculties they sit on. The idea of a Jewish State is an embarrassment to them. They have taken every opportunity to proclaim that Israel is not a Jewish state, but rather, a state of all its citizens which happens to have a Jewish majority, for the time being.
In this environment, Jews have a choice.
They can go along with the tenor of the times and stand, as Richard Goldstone has done, shoulder to shoulder with the world’s elite, which has grown more openly and viciously anti-Semitic year by year. Obviously, acceptance and promotion in the world of the elite goes to those who serve the established Jew-hating order without reservation, just as it once depended on serving the Church in its persecution of Jews or the Communists in theirs. The price demanded for entrée into the community of the “enlightened” Jew-haters is total support of the enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. Their hostility to everything associated with Israel must be as vociferous as that of any of the bigots. They must become, in effect, “unJews.” In doing so, of course, they lend legitimacy to their benefactors’ bigotry. The first and the best, remember?
They will be amply rewarded. They will be praised and honored for their service to the forces of Jew-hatred who pose as defenders of human rights and the rights of beleaguered civilians. The organizations of the sheiner Yidden will receive copious financing from European governments and foundations that have for many years financed Arab terror organizations (in the name of “resistance,” of course). Richard Goldstone has opposed apartheid in its season and now devotes the full weight of his record and his prestige to the service of the world elite’s next great cause: the delegitimation of Israel and its eventual destruction. For service of such value, he could even become Secretary General of the United Nations.
Or a Jew can stand for truth against the Powers That Be, the “Conscience of the World” as embodied in august sounding titles, like United Nations Human Rights Council, which is dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference whose members in fact include some of the most egregious violators of human rights in the world. That is irrelevant to the world’s twisted morality, however. Third World Can Do No Wrong, after all, even when the victim is another Third World people. Will it be different if the victim is The Jew?
Apartheid is now a thing of the past and the new business on the world’s agenda is not the real evils in the world but rather, delegitimation and destruction of Israel. And the sound we hear is the stampede of the sheiner Yidden, running to get there first.