There has to be an active fight for social cohesion, impossible as that may seem, or America is doomed. Israel has managed to do it. Op-ed.
By Howard Rotberg, INN
I have spent time in both those countries, but that outsider identity sometimes gives me a perspective that is difficult for those living inside. As a Zionist, moderately religious, politically and culturally conservative intellectual, I am not fully at home in a Canada whose Prime Minister advocates “inclusive diversity” as the new Canadian ethos. For me, this cultural relativism and its welcome of immigrants who reject our very western values, endangers my family, many of whom are identifiably Jewish.
Canadian mainstream media, universities and the main political parties exercise their power to minimize the voice of conservative and pro-Torah writers. And so, most of my essays are carried in the U.S. – Frontpage Magazine, Jewish Voice of New York, New English Review, and in Israel with Israel National News and Israpundit.
As I have written in my most recent book on political culture and ideologies, The Ideological Path to Submission… and what we can do about it (Mantua Books), Western nations need to learn from Israel how to overcome the cultural effects of domestic and international terrorism. That terrorism in the West comes mainly from the Islamists and the Leftists, the Black Power advocates, and the Globalists, and the fear and self-doubt, even self-hatred, operate to disarm us individually and as a culture. This only facilitates more terrorism, even in the streets of America by anarchists, communists and the amorphous Antifa.
The Left hates Israel and a considerable number of American Jews participate in the moral morass of the Palestinian wish for a Second Holocaust (see my novel, The Second Catastrophe: A Novel about a Book and its Author). The success of the Palestinian achievement of power in global institutions but also in Europe, and increasingly in America’s Democratic Party, is a template for all morally challenged.
The failure of the West to learn the lessons that Israel has made manifest, endanger us all. The entire raison d’etre of the Democrats in Washington seems to have been the false two year investigation of a non-existent collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, and then a pathetic attempt to impeach him based on facts that are not supportive of impeachment even if they were true. Jewish politicians like Adam Schiff, Gerald Nadler, Richard Blumenthal, lead the pack of liars as if the Jewish gift to the world is not Justice but rather Lying.
Jews who don’t see the present and future importance and power of antisemites like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Octavio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, often raise children who consort with Amelakites and have never even read the warnings about remembering the evil of Amalek in 598 Deut. 25:17 , 599 Deut. 25:19, and 600 Deut. 25:19
For those of us whose eyes are open to what is going on around us, how do we cope individually and as a Jewish people living in Israel, America, or in my case, Canada?
One response of course is to do the obvious: speak out in the U.S. against the Black Lives Matter support of BDS, and with respect to Israel, rebut the notions of our enemies that we are somehow “annexing” land which has been the heartland of the homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years, or that Israel treats anyone with “Apartheid” or acts otherwise than with the morality accepted by us in our Covenant with the Almighty.
But it should be clear that the obvious cannot pierce the hateful souls of our enemies. Our enemies are expert at lying, and have outflanked us in their achievement of Power. The new book by possible Biden choice for Vice-President, Stacy Abrams, is called Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (my emphasis).
The real purpose of the rioting and protests in America over the last few weeks is achieving power through intimidation and fear, as opposed to helping poor Blacks. That is why over half of the protesters are white, and the worst crime affecting Blacks in the U.S. is not from Whites but from fellow Blacks. And that is why the achievement of a black (so-called) President or black success in sports, the academy, entertainment and business is less important than achieving economic, political, and cultural Marxism. Masochistic whites are now kneeling down to Blacks who have been kneeing in front of the American flag and anthem.
We should all learn from israel how to deal with domestic and international terrorism though the development of social resilience.
Submission as a response to domestic terrorism such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and international terrorism by Islamism is not an inevitable response. To understand this, and to see how societies can be so ordered to make submission less likely, it is useful to review the literature on how Israelis have dealt with the huge amount of terrorism directed against their civilians. The Israelis have also had to deal with European countries that are appeasing Islamism criticizing and counselling Israel to create an Islamist terror state in its heartland after the experiment in giving up Gaza turned out so poorly.
Professor Dov Waxman of the City University of New York in a 2011 essay entitled “Living with terror, not Living in Terror: The Impact of Chronic Terrorism on Israeli Society” in Perspectives on Terrorism (at http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/about), reviewed the literature and brought together psychological, sociological, economic and political factors into a most enlightening study.
Terrorism of all kinds, says Waxman, seeks to alter the social and political dynamics of the societies it targets and through indiscriminate attacks, attempts to change the political agenda of the targeted population. “One of the key objectives of terrorism, then, is to demoralize the targeted society—to induce a widespread sense of helplessness and hopelessness and feeling of despair among members of the society. If the targeted society does not become demoralized, terrorism fails in this respect.
“By this criterion, Palestinian terrorism during the second Intifada was ineffective because it did not succeed in demoralizing the Israeli-Jewish public. While Israelis were certainly fearful of terrorist attacks, they did become despondent and dispirited. Rather, Israelis demonstrated resolve and steadfastness in the face of relentless terrorism. Indeed, any visitor to Israel during the second Intifada could not help but be struck by the seemingly nonchalant manner with which Israelis lived with the constant threat of terrorism. Instead of panic and public hysteria, there was stoicism and fortitude. Israelis did not allow the threat of terrorism to dominate their lives. Although they experienced high levels of stress and fear, they went on with their lives.”
“When one considers the huge toll in Israeli lives that Palestinian terrorism during the second Intifada took—from September 2000 until May 2004, 1030 people had been killed, and 5788 injured in more than 13,000 terrorist attacks, which means that approximately 0.1 percent of Israel’s population was injured or killed (the same percentage in the United States would equate to a staggering 295,000 people being injured or killed) the ability of Israeli society to cope with this terrorism is quite remarkable. How did Israelis cope with ongoing terrorism despite suffering enormously from it?
One coping mechanism is “(A)cclimatisation to chronic terrorism. In other words, Israeli society basically became accustomed to terrorism and adapted accordingly. The threat of chronic terrorism simply became part of normal life in Israel during the second Intifada. The only time that daily life in Israel was seriously disrupted by terrorism was during the first few months of 2002 when suicide bombings were taking place in Israeli towns and cities every few days—there were five attacks within just ten days in March 2002 killing a total of 51 Israelis. During this period of unrelenting terrorist attacks, people avoided crowded places and stopped going out to cafes and restaurants. They didn’t take buses or go shopping in malls. They stayed indoors. Palestinian terrorism was succeeding in terrorizing Israelis and disrupting their normal lives. However, this was short-lived. When the volume of terrorist attacks declined, life in Israel returned to normal.
In a paper in 2013 by Markus Keck and Patrick Sakdapolrak, they define social resilience as being comprised of three dimensions:
1.Coping capacities –the ability of social actors to cope with and overcome all kinds of adversities;
2. Adaptive capacities – – their ability to learn from past experiences and adjust themselves to future challenges in their everyday lives;
3. Transformative capacities – their ability to craft sets of institutions that foster individual welfare and sustainable societal robustness towards future crises.
We have little choice: if we react to major terrorist attacks by appeasement, by striving to be nice to all Muslims, or by adopting a cultural Stockholm Syndrome, or a guilt (see Shelby Steele, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era) which turns into masochism or depression, this will cause us to lose the war declared against us, domestically or internationally.
Waxman writes: “One factor that contributes to social resilience is social cohesion. Israeli-Jewish society is still very cohesive, notwithstanding its serious political, cultural, and social divisions. There is a strong sense of social solidarity among Israeli Jews. Although this sense of solidarity has declined over the years, it rises during times of external conflict (as mentioned earlier, this occurred during the second Intifada). Hence, war and terrorism bolster social cohesion in Israel, which helps it to cope with these violent episodes.”
“Social trust is another factor behind social resilience. In Israel’s case, the high level of trust that Israeli Jews have in the country’s army and security services boosts their social resilience…Israel’s counter-terror actions helped prevent Israeli society from becoming demoralized. Finally, Israelis Jews are very patriotic—this is most apparent in their high level of willingness to perform military service—which also contributes to their social resilience.”
What must be done in the West to promote social cohesion? Is the emphasis by virtue-signalling leftist politicians on Islamist immigration a concern for social cohesion? And is the talk about “defunding police forces” a sane response to bad actions by a few rogue policemen?
Would a compulsory military draft in America would aid in social cohesion and patriotism and enable the country’s youth to have a better sense of purpose and responsibility? One can suggest that the drafted could specialize in national security work, and those with a talent for computers, could be trained in intelligence and find skills that would later be transferable to the private sector. One can also suggest that if fewer soldiers are being bogged down in Middle Eastern Muslim-against-Muslim wars, and more were seen to be directly protecting the home front including airports, train stations, malls, concerts, etc., the attitude of Americans to their military would improve.
These are the sorts of questions that must be asked in these times, when there really is a war against the West, much of it waged internally.
I think we have to study how the West can best become inured to prolonged terrorism of this type. Right now, America, with its terrible split between pro-Trump and anti-Trump mentalities, and its lack of respect between Left and Right with its eroding middle ground, is losing social resilience.
Right now, America is on the brink of allowing attacks, violence or cultural, to demoralize it. If Israel could survive its attacks, then the U.S. by studying the concepts of social resiliance, social cohesion and patriotism, in the Israeli context, I am confident that the U.S. can also prevail. It would help the Americans to study Israel’s experience and understand that liberal democracies should learn from each other, not follow the dictates of the enemy. And if Israel can survive three elections in a row, then America should be able to survive the November election, by enhancing social resilience.
Howard Rotberg is the author of four books on ideologies and values: The Second Catastrophe: A Novel about a Book and its Author; Exploring Vancouverism: The Political Culture of Canada’s Lotus Land; Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed; and The Ideological Path to Submission… and what we can do about it. He writes periodically for Frontpage Magazine, New English Review, Israel National News. Israpundit, Jewish Voice of New York, and others. He is president of Canada’s sole conservative values publishing house, Mantua Books, www.mantuabooks.com and lives in Hamilton, Ontario Canada