What drives the Jews?

By Ted Belman

Historical Investigative Research (Francisco Gil-White) has just added a part five to a series on The Problem of Jewish Self-Defense

Part 5 – How Jewish piety sabotages Jewish self-defense

A well rounded social scientific explanation for why so many innocent Jews have been murdered throughout history, and continue to be murdered today, requires an understanding of the forces that cause non-Jews to kill, naturally, but also an understanding of those forces within the Jewish community that make their self-defense less effective than it could be.

This series is concerned with the second set of questions. In Part 1, 2, 3, and 4 of this series I examine the ways in which a good many Jewish leaders sabotage Jewish self-defense. In this installment and the next I will address certain disadvantages of ordinary Jews themselves when it comes to dealing with anti-Jewish terrorist attacks.

Given that there are many significant differences between religious and secular Jews, it has seemed useful to me to examine them separately, so in this piece I will consider certain negative consequences of Jewish religious piety to an effective Jewish self-defense. In the next piece I will consider how certain ideologies common among secular Jews also have negative consequences to the same. It must be kept in mind, however, that some of what I say here is applicable to secular Jews and vice-versa, to different degrees. After all, the center of gravity of Jewish culture is the Jewish religion, and therefore it affects many Jews who profess no allegiance or interest in the Torah. Conversely, though secular Jews are more easily influenced by the ideologies of the Gentile world, religious Jews are surrounded by this world too, and especially through their exposure to secular Jews, and therefore they are not entirely immune to some of the forces that affect secular Jews more strongly.

What a fascinating introduction. I can’t wait to read the rest.

While the socio-economic status of Jews suggests they should vote conservative, they don’t. Overwhelmingly they vote for liberal causes. Why? Is this a function of their religion or their experience as the disenfrancised?

January 28, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. Gary

    I have not read fully the Gil White contribution but I noted your first point:

    “Those of us in the Diaspora must be very careful when we criticize those in the Israel for their strategies and desire to make war or peace, sometimes at great cost or even when it threatens their survival, because they are the people who are the front line fighters and they surely have a much better understanding of the situation than anyone sitting pretty in the West; and they have much more at stake.”

    Can I make a number of points here:

    1. We are not sitting pretty in the west. There is a coming together of all of these issues as the Cartoon farce showed us and indeed ever since the fatwa on Rushdie.

    2. The problems of leadership exiost in the Diaspora and ion Israel both. Also danger is not to one or the other, it is to both.

    3. The issue of leadership is not just an Israeli or a Jewish problem. Take a look at Sinn Fein and the IRA becoming the new police force of Northern Ireland!

    Having said all of thatI now find a great problem with the method of Gil White.

    What his writing tends to do is to separate out this Jewish experience from the experience of the revolutionary socialist movement. So he does not even refer to the influence of Stalinism in the Israeli body politic. The life and struggles of Leon Trotsky, especially the political positions taken up by Trotsky on the Jewish and “Israel to be” situation are completely ignored by him.

    With that gone what is left?

    I think we are left with the bourgeois positions or method anyhow of Paul Eidelfeld which I have just noted above.

    I do not think that Gil White is really motivated by a revolutionary strategy and tactics. He is a very very good researcher, but is part of the bourgeois acadenmic establishment and to an extent, despite his personal sacrifices, practice.

    Israel is facing counter revolution of the worst kind possible and needs revolutionary leadership.

  2. I agree that all people have the right to discuss these matters regarding Israel and politics in general…that is a healthy way to gain understanding, express concerns and sort out fact from fiction. I think that the delicate balance that the IDF has been maintaining over the decades between security and all-out-war has been handled very well despite the inevitable mistakes and hard choices that sometimes don’t go Israel’s way. I think that a harder line is necessary but then I am not putting my life on the line. When we compare Israel’s methods and careful approach with US (non)-tactics in Iraq and resulting chaos, then we see just how effective Israel’s methods and intelligence has been against an enemy every bit as lethal as the terrorists who now inhabit Iraq. One day someone is going to flush the toilet and send the terrorists down the sewer along with their sick ideology. I can’t wait!

  3. Gary, the Israelis have been trying to appease the Arabs for quite a long time, and it’s been simply disastrous. More land giveaways –> more dead Jews, more power for the murderers, more pressure to keep making the same stupid mistakes. While Israelis should have a better understanding of their situation than others, it’s an unfortunate and obvious truth that not all of them do, notably those in power (e.g. Olmert, Livni, Peretz).

    Friends don’t let friends get themselves killed.

  4. Making generalizations is not a good practice but, at the risk of making broad conclusions and inferences, most Jewish people respect the individuals who comprise their enemies and, when self-defense is unavoidable and a last resort, Jewish people tend to defend themselves with humanity and a compassion for life; whereas, most Muslims disrespect the individuals and the groups making up their long list of enemies. This is because the Koran has defined their religion as the ultimate (and its sees others as the infidels) – Islam is to be forced onto others with violence and against their wills. For Muslims, there is a religious reason to kill others and so no guilt is associated with the act of conquering by the sword and so slaughtering humans, in their minds, is approved by a higher authority.

    Remember that the huge discrepancy between the populations of Jews/Israelis vs. every other group is a major demographical fact that always favors those who want to destroy Jewish people. There is a great imperative (a positive in my mind) to fit in with other people and cultures and that entails adopting the conventions of the wider community. Jews are not out to proselytize and convert and that is what I really respect about Judaism. Common sense dictates to Jews a cautious approach because precious human and military resources are finite and must only be directed with care and an eye to the most important objectives. To go after every target that should be dealt with is impossible and so Israelis have to prioritize and be faster, smarter and better than the human avalanche of the Islamic armies poised to kill them.

    Those of us in the Diaspora must be very careful when we criticize those in the Israel for their strategies and desire to make war or peace, sometimes at great cost or even when it threatens their survival, because they are the people who are the front line fighters and they surely have a much better understanding of the situation than anyone sitting pretty in the West; and they have much more at stake.

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