A person’s emotions and unrevealed thoughts, though they might be suspected, can seldom be proved.
And however aggressive thoughts and emotions may be, they are not in themselves criminal. They may be “sinful” to a Christian, but a crime and a sin are not the same thing. A crime is a deed done; a sin of thought is at worst only a potential crime. Sin is defined by faith, not reason, and faith does not – cannot – subject its dogma to the rigorous examination practiced in secular courts of law.
When a crime is committed, its perpetrator should be punished regardless of what emotions or thoughts motivated him. (Self-defense is an exception as the desire to live and not be harmed is assumed to be universal.)
Some crimes, it’s true, having no obvious or discoverable motive (such as gain), can plausibly be attributed to hate, jealousy, fear, or revenge. And a perpetrator might say that he was driven by the force of an emotion. But still, traditionally it is what he actually did that brings him before the judgment of society and its law.
Yet codes of law do exist that allow strong emotion to be taken into account – as a mitigating not an aggravating circumstance. In France, for instance, the crime passionel – a crime committed out of strong feeling such as, and usually, jealous love – is allowed special consideration for lighter punishment or none. It may be charming to find a place for sentiment in law, for love, or compassion, or “empathy”; but to esteem passion more highly than personal responsibility is to undermine the dependability of the law. The law must be dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed or it is not just.
Must be? Increasingly, the political Left – the side of the emotions – favors the idea of treating a defendant leniently if he is “underprivileged”, harshly if he is “privileged”. Obama and his Supreme Court pick Sonia Sotomayor have expressed a preference for “empathetic” judgment – finding according to the personal feelings of the judge. If judges always or often did that, it would be the end of the rule of law. If people permit them to do it, they’re demolishing the house that shelters them.
Some seem to think a judge is right to find for someone with whose opinions he agrees, and against someone whose opinions he dislikes, regardless of the merits of their cases. A British judge, for example, let off vandals who had been proved guilty, because they said they were doing it against the state of Israel which they deemed oppressive, and in sympathy with Palestinians whom they deemed victims of Israeli oppression. Because the judge shared their opinions of Israel and the Palestinians, he acquitted them. If all judges made their judgments on such grounds of personal preference, it would clearly be the end of justice and the rule of law.
Most if not all “hate crime” is attributed to “racism”. As “racism” is an attitude of mind that taints the individual, it is a sin rather than a crime. If it prompts a crime, it is the crime that is wrong, not the attitude of mind or depth of feeling behind it.
But almost everywhere in the Western world, the attitude and feeling are now regarded as more important, more to be condemned, than the actual crime. Since the rise to power of the New Left in politics, education, and the mass media, “racism” tops almost every other offense.
And yet … It appears that in practice the gravity of the “racist’ offense depends on which “race” is carrying out the attack on which other “race”. Some – like the vandals in Britain – are given a pass on the grounds that they are the more unfortunate. (An extension of the crime passionel idea.)
What is “racism”?
“Racism” has come to mean dislike of a race, a nation, or a religious group. It is not applied – though it applies logically – to a group defined by occupation; say lawyers, or bankers, or the executives of corporations, all of whom are subjected to hate as an entire class.
The FBI has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” But that motivation remains guesswork, dependant on opinion and prejudice, which makes its even application impossible.
If a rule against racism were to be applied evenly, the defendants in the British case would not have been acquitted – and the judge would have been seen as committing a hate crime himself.
But to apply such a rule evenly would be to return to dependably impersonal, objective, impartial, neutral, even-handed justice.
That such real justice looks outdated, signifies that the Left has won.
We have said that judgment needs to be of the crime itself, regardless of its motive.
But are there some crimes for which the only discoverable or imaginable motive is “hate”?
Certainly there are.
And is the hatred motivating the perpetrators of such crimes sometimes a hatred of the race, or nation, or religion of their victims?
Certainly it is.
The worst hate crime in this century – worst in numbers, method, and effect – was what has come to be called simply “9/11” – the bombing of the World trade Center twin towers in New York on September 9, 2001. It was obviously motivated by religious hatred.
We argue that the motive does not excuse the crime. The motive does not make a crime less or more criminal.
But the Left holds that the motive of hate, however it is detected, does make a crime worse.
Any crime done out of hate is worse because of the hatred?
Well, no – comes the reply – not any crime. To conclude that would be logical, reasonable, Rightist.
In the case of 9/11, the argument goes, the hate was justified, because the crime and the hatred were in retaliation for prior crimes of hate committed by “the United States”, and/or “capitalists” involved with trade whose headquarters actual and/or symbolic were the World Trade Center, and/or President George W. Bush, and/or the Right in general.
In fact, many Leftists – or “social justice warriors”, SJWs – go so far as to argue that nothing done by the Left against any of those villains, even if done in a spirit of hate, can be classed as a hate crime, because it is always justified revenge. So the Left and its allies cannot commit a hate crime. For instance, a blow against a Muslim because he’s a Muslim is a hate crime, yes; but a blow by a Muslim against a non-Muslim because he’s a non-Muslim, is not a hate crime. Because Muslims are oppressed, strikes by Muslims are never morally wrong. The same argument applies if the striker is Black, or identified with any group they define as “oppressed”. The chief oppressors are always the United States, capitalists, white men, Israel, conservatives and Republicans.
All “oppressed” perpetrators of avenging attacks are justified by their victimhood. They cannot be accused of hate crimes. They are the eternal victims of hate crime.
And who are the “oppressed”? They are who the SJW’s say they are.
What can explain the zeal with which Obama has empowered Iran, against all reason, against all opposition and difficulty – including the truculent and obstreperous behavior of Iran itself?
Obama ardently wants Iran to be a power in the world. Why?
Bret Stephens’s report yesterday at the Wall Street Journal on the progress of Iran towards nuclear arms under Obama’s patronage only deepens the mystery of the motive.
What diplomats call the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—known to the rest of us as the Disastrous Iran Deal—was agreed in Vienna a year ago this week. Now comes a status update, courtesy of our friends at the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, or BfV.
In its fascinating 2015 annual report, published late last month … there’s this:
The illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities [by Iran] in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.
The report also notes …
… a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.
The BfV report arrived days before Germany arrested a Pakistani national, identified as Syed Mustufa H., accused of spying for Iran. It also corroborates another German intelligence report, this one from the intelligence service of North Rhine-Westphalia, that Iran’s nuclear procurement efforts have increased dramatically in recent years, from 48 known attempts in 2010 to 141 in 2015. Seven other German states have reported similar Iranian procurement efforts.
This violates Iran’s explicit commitment to go through an official “procurement channel” to purchase nuclear- and missile-related materials.
There is such a channel open to Iran?
All this was enough to prompt Angela Merkel to warn the Bundestag last week that Iran “continued to develop its rocket program in conflict with relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council”. Don’t expect German sanctions, but at least the chancellor is living in the reality zone.
As for the Obama administration, not so much. For the past year it has developed a narrative — spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes — that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to U.S. dollars, Boeing jets, U.S. purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant.
“We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support for terrorism, and for its ballistic-missile program, and we will continue to enforce those sanctions vigorously,” Mr. Obama said in January. Whatever.
The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade.
The administration has also pushed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces anti-money-laundering standards, to ease pressure on Iran, which FATF did last month by suspending some restrictions for the next year.
And then there’s the Boeing deal to sell $17.6 billion worth of jets to Iran, which congressional Republicans led by Illinois’s Pete Roskam are trying to stop. Iran uses its civilian fleet to ferry weapons and fighters to its terrorist clients in Syria and Lebanon.
“The administration is trying to lock in the Iran deal and prevent a future president from doing anything, including pushing back on Iran’s malign behavior,” says the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, who knows more about Iran sanctions than anyone in Washington. “Instead of curbing Iran’s worst behavior, the administration effectively facilitates it.”
One last detail: In June, the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency had discovered “traces of man-made uranium” at Iran’s military facility at Parchin. The agency reported this finding in a footnote to a report in December, but the administration made no comment then and now dismisses it as old news. The IAEA is no longer allowed to inspect Parchin, or any other military installation, under the deal.
So let’s recap. Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised “snapback” sanctions in the event of such violations, but the U.S. is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about “normalizing” relations with a rogue regime. But he wants it in the WTO.
Is Mr. Obama rationalizing a failed agreement or did he mean to mislead the American public? Either way, truth is catching up with the Iran deal.
Plainly Obama has misled the American public. What is the truth?
Is it illogical, or too far-fetched, to ascribe the same desire to the American commander-in-chief who is helping Iran become powerful enough to achieve its aim?
In this video, published on May 28, 2016, Colonel Richard Kemp – former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and an expert on Middle East conflicts – discusses what the Palestinian leadership really wants.
Tiffany Gabay comments at Truth Revolt:
Film maker Ami Horowitz is perhaps best known for his college expose-videos. You might recall the one he did back in 2014 when he waved an ISIS flag at the UC Berkeley campus and students witnessing the scene were either unfazed or openly expressed support for the terror-outfit.
His latest video is just as disturbing.
Horowitz visited the campus at Portland State University where he posed as a member of Hamas raising funds to “wipe Israel off the map”.
Usually I refrain from posting these types of gotcha-videos as they can be edited to make anyone simply “look bad”. But given the egregious nature of the content here, we think it worth sharing.
Horowitz asked student passersby if they would consider donating to Hamas. He openly identified Hamas as a “terrorist” organization (in case the students were too dumb to know), and told students, at least in several cases, that their donations would fund suicide bombings and attacks on schools, cafes, houses of worship and other “soft targets”. He openly told several of the students featured that Hamas’s goal is to “wipe Israel off the map”.
Is the video edited to show instances in which students may have rejected his overtures? No doubt. But there is also ample footage showing enough students who were all too happy to reach into their pockets and support the murder of innocent Israelis, including children.
At the end of the day, Horowitz said he raised “hundreds of dollars” from these pro-Hamas students.
This is no laughing matter, because this isn’t about exposing how grotesquely ignorant students are these days. This isn’t even about their misguided politics, either.
This video illustrates how the minds of an entire generation have been completely and utterly poisoned — by the media, by Hollywood, through the words of presidential candidates (read: Bernie Sanders) and most of all by their professors.
Really consider this, for a moment. There are American students who don’t even flinch when approached by a so-called Hamas member. They don’t hesitate when told that Israel should be wiped off the map. They don’t blink an eye when told that children in schools will be murdered. In fact, they are even willing to fund such an effort.
This is anti-Semitism at its most blatant. This is utter lack of humanity. Barbarism at its basest. These students barely differ from the terrorists they openly support.
This is the left’s legacy. And once again, it is a disgrace.
Bernie Sanders, whether he likes it or not, is a Jew. And as he is a man of the Left, he doesn’t like it.
The Jews – UNIQUELY – are both a nation and a religion. Yet it is not only possible but common for Jews to be one OR the other. Converts to Judaism are obviously of the religion but not of the nation. Many Jews – probably a majority of Western Jews – who are of the nation by birth, are not religious.
Perhaps it would be better to speak of the Jews being “a people” rather than a nation, as a Jew’s legal nationality might be American, or British, or French etcetera.
Bernie Sanders is of the Jewish people. And for two millennia his people were despised, humiliated, robbed, tortured, murdered individually and en masse by the Christian powers – longest and most atrociously by the Catholic Church. (Except in America.)
For a while, between the early 19th century and the mid-to-late twentieth century, many of the educated Jews of Europe and Russia put their hopes for relief from persecution in the new religion of Communism, in which (its theorists claimed) there would be neither Jew nor Gentile, neither bond nor free, neither male nor female, neither rich nor poor: for all would be one in the utopia of the Communist state.
But where Communist utopias were established in the twentieth century, Jews found they were not welcome. That should have told them that Communism would not save them. But many Jews who realized that the Lenins and Stalins of the Communist faith could not be relied on to treat them much better than had the Christians, were yet unwilling to give up the utopian Communist dream. Some Jews had realized this early on, so tried forming their own Communist party – the Bund. But as a separate group what could it achieve? A society in which there would be neither regrettably-still-sort-of -Jewish Jew nor absolutely-no-longer-Jewish Jew, neither bond Jew nor free Jew, neither male Jew nor female Jew, neither rich Jew nor poor Jew: for all would be one in the utopia of a Jewish Communist … What? Where?
Other Jews, who could think better, decided to work to regain the ancient Jewish homeland in the Eastern Mediterranean region of the Ottoman Empire, and establish an actual state on real territory. They were the Zionists. In 1948 they achieved their state, their safe haven at last, on real territory that had been part of their ancient homeland.
Those Jews who, despite being unwanted, remained faithful to the Communism imposed on Russia and Eastern Europe, stuck to their abjuration of their Jewishness, the peoplehood as well as the religion. So did – and do – most of the Communists of Jewish descent everywhere in the free world.
As Communists often object to being called Communists since the Leninist-Stalinist utopias of Russia and Eastern Europe collapsed in poverty and criminality, we will call them Leftists for the rest of this article. Bernie Sanders is a Leftist.
Meanwhile, the Jews’ ancient persecutor, the Catholic Church, has selected a leader, Pope Francis, who is also a Leftist. He has found it possible to join the new religion without leaving his old one. He owes this achievement to his fellow Latin American priests, who spun the antithetical dogmas of secular Communism and Triune-God-worshiping Catholicism together in such a whirl of words that they came out of the Synthesizer as one substance, inseparable. And the stuff, the thing, was named “Liberation Theology”.
It is Leftism. The Pope is a Leftist, like Bernie Sanders.
For Leftists, their Leftism trumps all. No appeal to loyalty, history, precedent, reason, logic, decency, or common sense can move them. They want there to be neither black man nor white man, neither civilized nor savage, neither citizen nor illegal alien, neither CEO nor minimum-wage-earner, neither one sex nor any of the others, but all to be one in the global Communist mystic egalitarian low-carbon-emission utopia ruled by themselves.
To acknowledge and strengthen their brotherhood in the Kingdom of Means-Justifying-Ends, Bernie Sanders and Pope Francis shook hands on April 16, 2016.
A world war is being fought, by one side only: Islam.
The other side, the civilized West and its outposts and allies, is letting the invaders into its territory and suffering the enemy’s attacks from within, over and over again.
The West has far greater military and technological strength than Islam. Yet it is choosing not to fight back. Or, where it now and then does, it chooses not to win.
There is surely no precedent for such an irrational, suicidal choice in all recorded history.
Sohrab Ahmari reports in the Wall Street Journal:
Islamic State jihadists staged a triple-bombing in the Belgian capital — two at the Brussels airport and a third at a metro station downtown — that killed [more than] 30 people … It was the latest reminder that Islamic terrorism is now a permanent and ubiquitous hazard to life in every city, on every continent.
In coming days European authorities will level reproaches about the missed warning signs, security lapses and the larger failure to integrate Belgian Muslims. Commissions will be formed. Sympathetic memes will proliferate on social media. Je suis Belge.
This routine has become numbingly familiar. And these habitual responses, while understandable, defer a reckoning with a larger truth: Not a single day now goes by without an Islamist suicide bombing, rocket attack, shooting spree, kidnapping or stabbing somewhere in the world.
Consider the past 10 days [up to March 22, 2016, when the bombings in Belgium were carried out].
On Sunday, March 13, jihadists sprayed gunfire on sunbathers in Grand Bassam, a resort town in the Ivory Coast popular with Westerners and wealthy Ivorians. The attack, which was claimed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, killed 16 people, including Burkinabe, Cameroonian, French, German, Ivorian and Malian citizens.
On Monday, March 14, two Palestinians fired on Israelis waiting at a bus stop in Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, wounding one soldier before Israeli forces killed both. A third Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into an Israeli army vehicle in the area and was shot dead. Israel has suffered a wave of Arab knife-and-car attacks for six months, known as the stabbing intifada.
On Tuesday, March 15, al Qaeda’s Somali franchise, al-Shabaab, kidnapped three Red Crescent aid workers in the country’s southwest, according to local media. The abductions followed al-Shabaab’s seizure of a village in central Somalia, amid a broader Islamist resurgence in the Horn of Africa. The aid workers were freed a day later after local villagers pleaded for their release.
On Wednesday, March 16, a pair of female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a mosque in Nigeria, killing 24. No group has claimed credit, but the bombing took place in Nigeria’s Borno state, the birthplace of Boko Haram, an Islamic State affiliate that is Africa’s most savage terror outfit.
On Thursday, March 17, the stabbing intifada claimed a fresh victim when a pair of Palestinian terrorists jumped and wounded an Israeli soldier with a knife in Ariel, in the West Bank. Israeli security forces killed both assailants.
On Friday, March 18, suspected al Qaeda fighters fired rockets at the Salah gas facility in Algeria. No one was injured, but BP and Norwegian oil giant Statoil, which operate the facility, withdrew some staff and suspended operations.
On Saturday, March 19, a bomb went off in a tony shopping district of Istanbul, killing three Israelis (two of whom were U.S. citizens) and one Iranian, and wounding 39 others. This was the fifth mass-casualty terrorist bombing in Turkey in as many months, most of them claimed by or attributed to Islamic State. The same day, a mortar assault on a checkpoint in El-Arish, Egypt, killed 15 policemen. A Sinai-based Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility.
On Sunday, March 20, al-Shabaab overran a Somali military base just 28 miles from the capital, Mogadishu, killing at least one person and seizing several vehicles. Also on Sunday, the Istanbul governorate canceled a hotly anticipated soccer match after receiving “serious intelligence” regarding a planned terror attack.
On Monday, March 21, Islamist fighters likely affiliated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb targeted a hotel in the capital of Mali, Bamako, that houses a European Union military-assistance mission. EU personnel were unharmed, and one attacker was killed by hotel security.
Brussels was the first major terrorist incident in the West since November’s jihadist killing spree in Paris and December’s in San Bernardino, Calif.
You could create a calendar like this one that stretches back for weeks and months, and the above doesn’t even include the civil wars and humanitarian calamities in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.
The Syrian vortex is especially perilous. It has been drawing the barely stable nations that surround Syria into its spin and spewing out battle-hardened jihadists along with millions of legitimate refugees. The biggest refugee crisis since World War II was bound to pose serious security threats to Europe.
Meanwhile, the longer Islamic State and al Qaeda thrive in Syria and Iraq, the stronger their adherents and affiliates elsewhere will become.
(In fact, there have been even more such attacks in that period. See The Religion of Peace for a more comprehensive list. And see their tally of lethal Muslim attacks world-wide since 9/11 in our margin.)
Here’s a picture of the train bombed by Muslim holy warriors in Brussels yesterday (the dead bodies cut off by the publishers, not by us).
And here’s the scene after one of the Muslim holy warriors’ bombs exploded at Belgium’s international airport.
Today, in Belgium, at least 31 people were killed and over a hundred injured by Muslim jihadis. There were two attacks on Zaventem airport at 07:00 GMT, in which 11 people were killed and 81 injured. A third attack, in which 20 people were killed, was carried out an hour later in Brussels on the Maelbeek metro station, near the European Parliament.
Muslims had threatened that there would be attacks when Salah Abdeslam, the plotter of the jihadi attacks in Paris last November, was found in Brussels and taken into custody four days ago.
The attacks will no doubt be put down as usual by stupid politicians to Muslims who have embraced a “brand” or “interpretation” of Islam, commonly called “Islamism”, which they say is not anything like the “real” Islam. But in fact there is not a sliver of difference between Islam and “Islamism”, only between active jihadis and non-active jihadis. Jihad – “holy war” – is commanded by Islam and all Muslims are obliged to pursue it, either actively themselves or in support of others who who pursue it actively.
Islam itself is an intolerable totalitarian ideology. It must be treated with the contempt and loathing accorded by most people to Nazism, Stalinism, Maoism. There is no good Islam.
On Fox News “good” Muslims – absurdly chosen advisers to this or that US administration – are saying that in Brussels it is a problem of non-assimilation of the Muslim immigrants; of the young Muslim men who are killing people with nail-filled bombs because they are unemployed.
Is there anyone left who will swallow that story?
We quote below, in part, from our post, It’s not terrorism, it’s war, November 12 2014, in which we argue that terrorism is the method the jihadis are using, but their aim is to conquer, subjugate and kill. And that is what Western governments, which have insisted, and continue to insist, on importing millions of Muslims from the Third World, refuse to accept.
Jihad means Holy War. Jihad must be recognized as a war waged everywhere.
Even if European governments found a way to stop and punish jihadi violence in their own countries, the war would go on. At present they are all acting ineffectively. Instead of joyfully letting all Muslim citizens who want to go and fight with IS/ISIS/ISIL go, and refuse them re-entry, and deprive them of their citizenship (as Geert Wilders so rightly recommends), they try to persuade them not to go, and if they return they give them “therapy”, as if Islam were nothing but a nervous breakdown in a few gullible individuals.
It is foolish and dangerous to go on calling every Muslim “holy” warrior a terrorist. It is even more foolish and self-deceiving to call IS/ISIS/ISIL a “terrorist organization”. ISIS is one of the armies of Islam.
Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It is fighting a war against the non-Muslim world.
At the same time there are battles within Islam. Sunni versus Shia is a perpetual conflict. IS/ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – is Sunni. When Shia Iran becomes a nuclear power – which will be quite soon with Obama’s help – there will be a second Islamic force against the rest of the world, competing with the Islamic State for the victor’s crown.
Of course the Iranian force with its nuclear weapons will be a thousand times stronger than the Islamic State.
Even if the Islamic State were to be defeated by American or Western forces, the war would not stop.
The war will continue on the streets of Western cities in Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, Belgium – and America.
The EU “High Representative for Foreign Affairs”, Federica Mogherini – a life-long Communist, and one of the European leaders who acquiesced in Obama’s “deal” with Iran – brought herself to tears while publicly addressing the Muslim terror attacks in Brussels. She was visiting Jordan at the time.
Like almost all European political leaders, she has been ardently in favor of bringing millions of Muslims into Europe.
She has been consistently unsympathetic – positively antagonistic – to the people of Israel, who have been under terrorist attack by Muslims for decades.
Europe reaps what Europe sowed.
An unnamed commentator shows a video of a Palestinian woman failing to detonate a bomb that was meant to kill her and some Israelis. At an Israeli hospital where she was given (probably free) treatment, she announces with a friendly smile that she will try again. So that she can go to paradise as a martyr.
After the First World War, most intellectuals were Socialists of one shade or another, the spectrum ranging from pale pink Fabianism (the equal-sharing classless society must gently evolve) to blood-red Marxism-Leninism (the inevitable victory of the proletariat must be achieved by violent revolution).
As a great many Jews were intellectuals, there were a great many Jewish Socialists. Quite a lot of them lived in the lower-rent parts of New York. They were the children and grandchildren of immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe. Because America was an open society where it was possible for free enterprise to be rewarded with prosperity, many did well enough to afford a college education for their sons. Yet they (not all of them, but the ones we’re concerned with here, who were probably the majority) did not approve of the open free-enterprise society which gave them the opportunities they had seized successfully. Not at all. They and their sons had an ideal, and they clung to it: an equal-sharing classless Socialist society – like, if not necessarily exactly like, the Russians had under Stalin.
Strange “cognitive dissonance”? Yes. But that’s how it was.
Bernie Sanders is one of those sons. To read about his family, his early life, his education, his political opinions is to read about thousands like him.
Now that he is a candidate for the presidency of the United States, he expresses opinions that belong to the pink end of the spectrum; but those he has expressed in the past would place him at the blood-red end – and he has never repudiated them.
Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page that when Bernie Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, between 1981 and 1989, …
[He] enumerated detailed — and radical — foreign-policy positions and explained his brand of socialism.
[He believed that] “the basic truth of politics is primarily class struggle”; that “democracy means public ownership of the major means of production”. …
Politics is primarily class struggle is classic Marx. Government control of the means of production, think Communism. … Bernie Sanders is still touting the support of Marxist economists. …
Sanders was a big fan of the Sandinistas … [He] marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power.
It’s quite easy to believe, actually, when one wonders what elected American official would knowingly join a group of largely unelected officials of various “fraternal” Soviet dictatorships while, just a few feet away, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega bellows into a microphone that the United States is governed by a criminal band of terrorists.
And Sanders vocally defended the Marxist murderers.
The lesson Sanders saw in Nicaragua could have been plagiarized from an editorial in Barricada, the oafish Sandinista propaganda organ.
“Is [the Sandinistas’] crime that they have built new health clinics, schools, and distributed land to the peasants? Is their crime that they have given equal rights to women? Or that they are moving forward to wipe out illiteracy? No, their crime in Mr. Reagan’s eyes and the eyes of the corporations and billionaires that determine American foreign policy is that they have refused to be a puppet and banana republic to American corporate interests.”
President Reagan had deplored an atrocity committed by the Sandinistas: forcing Indians into a church and setting fire to it. He had also objected to their driving the Jews out of the country. The Sandinistas’ henchmen attacked a synagogue with firebombs while shouting “Death to the Jews”, “Jewish Pigs” and “What Hitler started we will finish”. And …
The president of the synagogue that the Sandinistas had attacked was forced to sweep the streets, a scene reminiscent of Nazi behavior in occupied Europe, before being forced to leave the country with [nothing but] the clothes on his back.
The synagogue was seized and transformed into a Sandinista youth center decorated with Anti-Zionist posters.
The Jewish community of Nicaragua fled to Miami and Costa Rica.
But that is …
Nothing Bernie Sanders cares about. …
All of which re-raises a question often asked: Why do a majority of American Jews go on voting for the Democratic Party when it has become openly anti-Israel and is sliding ever nearer to the blood-red end of the Socialist spectrum?
Answer: Because their Leftism is their religion.
The great ex-Communist authority on Communism, Sidney Hook, writes interestingly on this question:*
The political fortunes of the Communist Party in the United States began to decline precipitously as the war continued. It took another nose dive after the Soviet Union invaded Finland … Meanwhile the the details of the close collaboration between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were beginning to percolate to the West. Even radical circles critical of the Kremlin’s duplicity were stunned by the news that Stalin handed over to the Gestapo scores of German-Jewish Communists. …
The comparatively large following the Communists had among the Jews gradually dried up, but a sizable segment remained [who were] professionals, especially teachers. One who found this phenomenon puzzling was John Dewey. I remember him once asking me to explain how after the Nazi-Stalin Pact so many Jews could still be numbered among the Communist faithful. I explained it in part as an expression of their idealism. Most of them did not identify themselves as Jews. They were citizens of the world – the ideal Communist world of the future. To them what was happening to the Jews as a consequence of policies adopted by the Kremlin for raison d’état was part of the cost of historical progress.
There were other reasons why so many Jewish Communists remained faithful to the Communist Party line despite Stalin’s willingness to placate and appease the author of Mein Kampf. The political life of the Communist faithful was their whole life. It defined not only their intellectual allegiance but a network of social, emotional, and personal relationships that constituted a vibrant community. To break with the Party was tantamount to a self-imposed exile from its sustaining warmth into a cold, hostile world, in which they could hardly be integrated.
For many of the older generation of Jewish Communists, there was perhaps a deeper reason. Most of them had been reared in the orthodox Jewish religious faith, in which the whole of life from rising to retiring at night is organized around its central dogmas. These determine a complex pattern of prayers and ritual pervaded by a spirit of piety and unquestioning acceptance of the Divine Presence. Emancipation from this mode of life meant at first a gradual and then ultimately a total rupture, culminating in a conversion to the atheism of Marxism and a total rejection of Judaism as a parochial and confining creed. Yet psychologically those who still remained faithful to some of the ideals of prophetic Judaism were drawn to a movement that, despite its militant secularism, provided a mode of life every whit as integrated and sustaining as the religion they had abandoned. They could feel themselves once more, even if persecuted, a chosen people not of God but of history, a vanguard, liberated from the exclusionist and chauvinist prejudices of their forefathers, preaching a salvation open to all mankind.These Jews were naturally reluctant to break their ties with the Communist movement, hoping against hope that the Kremlin would mend its imperial, totalitarian, and racist ways. When at last they were compelled to disavow the Soviet Union, they were for a long time bereft, psychologically akin to to those who after a crisis of belief surrender their religion. At the time of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, despite the shock, many of the faithful could not yet make the excruciating wrench with their past.
Sidney Hook may be right. Those may be the (emotional) “reasons” why Jews cling to the Left even as Jews are ever more abused by their fellow Leftists. Because it’s their religion. Because, as their religion, it’s their whole life. Because it would be painful to break with it.
But we are talking about intellectuals. People who are supposed to be devoted to Reason. How would it really hurt them to switch their votes to the side where every candidate has emphatically declared his and her support for Israel?
Those “reasons” look more like excuses. And at this point in history, they are unacceptable.
It is a simple matter for anyone who can think to see the way the wind blows, how the land lies … and change his mind.
Bernie Sanders is a relic of a bygone age. How nice it will be when everyone can see that so is the far-left Democratic Party, and the entire ideology of Socialism, in all its shades of red.
*Out of Step by Sidney Hook, Harper and Row, New York, 1987, pp.306-307.
(Hat-tip for the Hook quotation to Robert Kantor)
Afterword: We have written that Communism is Secular Christianity (see under Pages in our margin). Now we declare it to be the The other Jewish religion. We deny that there is any contradiction between the two statements. Communism is secular Christianity, and it is the other Jewish religion. Only neither Christians nor Jews (as far as we know) are generally aware that it is both those things.
Between 1938 and 1945, most of the countries of Europe, under Germany’s lead, scattered or killed their assimilated, highly contributing, law-abiding Jewish citizens. Now these countries, finding themselves short of population and not breeding much themselves (Germany has the lowest fertility rate of them all), feel guilty about it. Not guilty enough to do their utmost to support Israel, the refuge of the remnant of European Jews perpetually under attack by the vast Arab world about them and the vaster Islamic world. No. But guilty enough to want to prove that they are not “racists”. They do this – at the same time remedying their problem of under-population – by inviting millions of the denizens of Arab and other Islamic lands into their countries, to become an unassimilable, welfare-dependent, violent threat to their very existence as nations.
That is to say, their political leaders are doing it. Most citizens don’t want it. But are not allowed to say so.
To prove their virtue, European leaders are becoming ever more tyrannical.
Douglas Murray, who has the gift of clear sight, writes at Gatestone:
It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.
Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.
At the time, perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exchange was that the German Chancellor – at the very moment that her country was going through one of the most significant events in its post-war history – should have been spending any time worrying about how to stop public dislike of her policies being vented on social media. But now it appears that the discussion yielded consequential results.
Last month, Facebook launched what it called an “Initiative for civil courage online,” the aim of which, it claims, is to remove “hate speech” from Facebook – specifically by removing comments that “promote xenophobia”. Facebook is working with a unit of the publisher Bertelsmann, which aims to identify and then erase “racist” posts from the site. The work is intended particularly to focus on Facebook users in Germany. At the launch of the new initiative, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, explained that, “Hate speech has no place in our society — not even on the internet.” She went to say that, “Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.” Of course, Facebook can do what it likes on its own website. What is troubling is what this organization of effort and muddled thinking reveals about what is going on in Europe.
The mass movement of millions of people – from across Africa, the Middle East and further afield – into Europe has happened in record time and is a huge event in its history. …
As well as being fearful of the security implications of allowing in millions of people whose identities, beliefs and intentions are unknown [and to the extent that their belief and intentions are known, are abominable – ed] and – in such large numbers – unknowable, many Europeans are deeply concerned that this movement heralds an irreversible alteration in the fabric of their society. Many Europeans do not want to become a melting pot for the Middle East and Africa, but want to retain something of their own identities and traditions. Apparently, it is not just a minority who feel concern about this. Poll after poll shows a significant majority of the public in each and every European country opposed to immigration at anything like the current rate. …
And it just so happens to turn out that, lo and behold, this idea of “racist” speech appears to include anything critical of the EU’s current catastrophic immigration policy.
By deciding that “xenophobic” comment in reaction to the crisis is also “racist”, Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people (who, it must be stressed, are opposed to Chancellor Merkel’s policies) into “racist” views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as “racist”.
This is a policy that will do its part in pushing Europe into a disastrous future.
Because even if some of the speech Facebook is so scared of is in some way “xenophobic”, there are deep questions as to why such speech should be banned. In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations, and only violence is left.
Weimar Germany – to give just one example – was replete with hate-speech laws intended to limit speech the state did not like. These laws did nothing whatsoever to limit the rise of extremism; it only made martyrs out of those it pursued, and persuaded an even larger number of people that the time for talking was over.
The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week, reports from the Netherlands told of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on Twitter and other social media.
In this toxic mix, Facebook has now – knowingly or unknowingly – played its part. The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true “initiative for civil courage” would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.
Violent insurrection coming soon?