Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Howard Rotberg on the cult of "proportionality" in the use of violence

Howard has an excellent post up, one of the smartest rebuttals of the inherently antisemitic idea that the economically and militarily accomplished, free-thinking, modern (and yet nationalist, self-ruling) "chosen people" are just too successful and must be hobbled in their nation's defense (after more than sixty years of failed Arab attacks). The idea that Israel must only use "proportional" and duly-sanctioned violence (sanctioned by some post-national, neo-feudal mandarin class of "international" academic "experts" and "lawyers") that the Jews' original vision of a covenantal nation, their great contribution to human liberty, must give way to some Gnostic dream of overcoming all that nation stuff in some post-national Utopia, amounts to little more than Judeophobic resentment.

Howard writes:
...I experienced hatred from recent Arab immigrants shouting out that I had no right to give a lecture at Chapters (despite my invitation by Chapters) and when the audience asked them to allow me to speak, one shouted out with hatred, "he is a fucking Jew".

The Tolerists with their moral equivalency (typified by the Judge who equated the rights of a lecturer with the rights of thugs to break up the lecture) hold that in any dispute the truth must be in the middle, and that all violence equates with all other violence.

Accordingly in Gaza, Hamas indoctrinates its young in Hate, and lobs rockets at Israeli civilians, and enlists women and children as human shields, and it knows that any disaster it brings upon its own people will be viewed by Westerners as at least 50% the fault of the Jews.

And, if Hamas is fortunate enough to lose the war it started and cause the death of hundreds of its own fighters (and the civilians who encourage them and are used as human shields) then it can rely on the puerile doctrine of "Proportionality" to rob a liberal democracy of victory against Islamofascist thugs.

The idea that a democracy, when faced with fascist attacks on civilians, must be limited to a "proportionate" response is so stupid that it would not bear commentary, if it was not so frequently used, especially by Europeans. You see, the Americans when they and the Brits and the Canadians and others defeated Nazi Germany were not handicapped by criticisms of "proportionality". Not even when they droppped atomic bombs. That is because our forefathers were smarter than we are, and understood that in the face of such Evil as the Nazi and Japanese regimes, a disproportionate response, leading to quick and total victory and defeat of Evil, is needed to stop future deaths caused by the Evil regimes. The nuclear bombs were morally justified because the number of people that would have been killed by Japan in the time that it would take to defeat Japan by conventional weapons would surely have exceeded the number killed by the Atomic bombs. A justifiable decision was made that the Japanese who supported the Evil would bear a disproportionate burden rather than the people who would be continued to be slaughtered by the Japanese.

Likewise with Hitler. Those who criticize the Allies for carpet bombing Dresden lack a moral compass.

In fact, "proportionality", being a concept most attractive to Europeans (who have never quite gotten over their anti-Semitism and their realization that Europe produced the most evil people of the 20th century) now delight in accusing the Jews of "disproportionate" responses. That is because the idea of "proportionality" is in fact a standard so bizarre in the realm of war, that it discloses that its proponents have something else in mind than justice or morality.

In fact, the critics of "disproportionate" response are classic anti-Semites. Who can blame them for thinking they can get away with this approach, when the best American Jewish director, Steven Spielberg, used proportionality as an immoral standard - when viewing Israeli actions after the moral travesty at the Munich Olympics (including the preposterous responses to the murders by both the Germans and the IOC, as I have written previously).

As I have previously written, the great William Shakespeare understood the foundations of anti-Semitism, and wrote his brilliant The Merchant of Venice, which unfortunately is not properly understood even today. Shakespeare shows that the vile Shylock is driven to his disproportionate response of insisting on the contractual pound of flesh, because he is facing a society which has completely marginalized him, and then he cannot receive a fair trial, as the Judge in the trial allows an adverse party to pretend to be the Judge; Shylock is trapped by the anti-Semitism of his time.

And so, the Europeans and the university students and the journalists who criticize Israel for disproportionate response ignore how Israel is trapped by hostile and hateful Arabs all around it, now armed by Iran, and now mostly making clear what has been true all along - that no two-state solution is acceptable and the Arabs want to drive all the Jews into the Sea, and end the Jewish state, and do who knows what to the Jewish civilians.

Now I return to the situation in Canada.

I have written about the blatant anti-Semitism of the anti-Israel rallies, the spitting, the shouts that more "ovens" are needed for the Jews and Israelis, the trotting out of a few token Jews willing to criticize Israel, the intimidation and the violence, which, since my problem in 2003, has ony gotten worse.

I have written how the Canadian Jewish organizations were still worrying about Nazi skinheads and stopping Ernst Zundel by organizing Human Rights Commissions, at the same time as Canada was allowing tens of thousands of terrorist-supporting, anti-Semitic Arab immigrants into the country, without so much as a small attempt at screening out those who had cultural values inimicable to the freedom and safety of Jews who have contributed to Canadian society for generations.

In the guise of cultural relativism and Tolerism, not even an elementary attempt has been made to stop the immigration of people who hate, who are violent, who seek to impose their religion on others, who abuse women and children, and who wish to form a dual society and Justice system where Sharia Law if their present and our future.

Go ahead, call me a "racist", but I care more for Muslims than their own leaders do. I suggest you look at the backlash caused by Mohammed Elmasry's bizarre statements and then ask the Muslims that I have dealt with in my years of law practice, how much respect I have given them and how much help.

It is not racist to insist that the Muslims we accept to Canada have a chance to live just as we have always done - in peace, dignity, courtesy between ethnic groups and religions, and with a chance for our children to particpate fully in our civic culture and have the protections of our Justice system.

As I end my blogging, I am prepared to state unequivocably that our leaders are making a fatal mistake that will cost our children dearly - we are importing hate. It is not racist to state the obvious - let Muslims immigrate, but only those who are in fact moderate, who in fact are prepared to stand up and support a Jew's rights to live in peace in Canada, and not just scream about Islamaphobia, every time someone objects to some extremist action or words.
Read the whole thing...


Dag said...

How do we have a rational debate with Irrationalist? When reason itself is condemnable to the Irrationalist, then where is the common ground one uses to establish a common debate?

What hope does Howard Rotberg have in discussing with a man who spits on him? Who can reason with a group who murder their own children by design?

truepeers said...

Who is talking about rational debate with child murderers?

But if you don't just want to, or can't, wipe every antisemite from the face of the earth, you have to begin by unilaterally imposing a (rational/irrational) response, be it a wall, an attack, a lawsuit, etc., in hopes of re-establishing some basic understanding of what is most fundamentally human: reciprocity. Ultimately, people are never entirely rational or irrational, and it's needlessly Platonic to talk as if they were.

Reciprocity only ever begins with a recogniton of a common deferral before a sacred necessity, without which we cannot survive. In other words, a dawning consciousness of what is human and hence more or less rational begins in an event that can be remembered religiously but not reduced to some rationally pre-figured social contract for it did not emerge through any such rational contract. It is rational to have faith in various forms of the sacred which are not themselves "rational" though they may not be irrational.

truepeers said...

In other words, if your plan is to conquer and educate the child murderers, that's not a plan: once you have conquered them, then what? How to begin a new kind of reciprocity with them? Doesn't that last question necessarily assume some degree of "reason" on their part?

This is the problem George Bush learned about after a few weeks in Iraq. You can't expect them just to love you after going through military defeat, in part because they won't seriously be able to fight a modern army and won't ever know the kind of defeat the Japanese suffered in WWII. Even then, it did matter how MacArthur behaved and led once he occupied Japan. Ultimately, you do have to "reason" with people, once you are in touch with what they will recognize as a sacred necessity. We will only know if they are totally suicidal once we try to find out, not in theory but through shared events.