A commenter went on a tirade against me in response to my post on Charlie Hebdo. Some of his points are good enough to respond to. Towards the end though it gets hyperbolic, calling me “appalling” and “lacking basic human decency”.
For those who want to see the whole thing, I have pasted it here and respond point by point.
First off, let me say that in written communication where two people don’t see or know each other, things tend to get very emotional and exaggerated. So I try to subtract the hysteria and try to get to the meat of things, because I know that in person he wouldn’t accuse me of “lacking basic human decency”. I really try to avoid this, but when I do get into a heated Facebook comment war with somebody, I just discount the vitriol and don’t hold it against him. People have called me – people I know, not people I only know through Facebook – all kinds of horrible things specifically for my views on the purpose of Holocaust awareness and laws against Holocaust denial. I would still have lunch with these people and stay friends with them.
As you can probably guess if you read this blog, I don’t believe it is a gentile’s responsibility to remember the Holocaust, and I don’t care about Holocaust denial.
But anyway, this kind of hyperbolic language in comments is nothing new. It happened in the Gemara and among the Rishonim and Acharonim all the time. Nasty, horrible comments that we now wrap in a book of Rabbinical humor. What first comes to mind off the top of my head is the boxing line between Chazal “רחמנא ליצלן מהאי דעתה” and the reprisal “רחמנא ליצלן מדעתה דידך!” Or the fact that the Yerushalmi Chazal referred to Hillel HaZaken as “The Babylonian” just as Haredim refer to Rav Soloveitchik as JB. Or the fact that the ראב”ד said of the Rambam that people “better than him” believed that God was a physical being. Or that the Rambam called Rashi (not by name) a moron for believing that it was a good thing that Hizkiyahu buried ספר הרפואות. Or if you want to see some really hysterical language, check out שד”ל on pretty much anyone who disagrees with him.
So anyway, I’ll just take the hyperbolic tone as a continuation of the Jewish tradition of tearing the other side apart through comments. Fine.
As for responding to the comment, first of all, here it is, and I will respond part by part:
You are being obtuse and, though I realise that this is a coping strategy, this is important enough that I shall elaborate.
1) To begin we must detail exactly how outrageous the entire premise of your post, namely the comparison between Charlie Hebdo and Der Sturmer, really is:
(i) Charlie Hebdo is a left wing magazine that takes a pro-immigration editorial line and has specifically called for the banning of the National Front.
(ii) Anti Islam/Mohammed cartoons represent a tiny fraction of Charlie Hebdo’s output.
(iii) Charlie Hebdo has been as rude, or ruder, about many other religions and ideologies, including, to re-iterate, the French far right.
(iv) Muslims in Europe are not a persecuted minority, but a persecuting minority, responsible for an disproportionate amount of both violent and petty crime, gang violence, political violence, pimping, sexual assault and rape.
(v) Muslims in Europe are not a persecuted minority, but the beneficiaries of an ongoing ‘awareness lowering’ campaign by political elites. For example Muslims who commit crimes are almost invariably referred to as “Asian”, even when they are from Eritrea. They also maintain a very effective ‘frontlash’ designed to stigmatise any indigenous Europeans who object to the latest Muslim outrage as leading a non-existent Islamophobic backlash (your own post is a typical example). In addition, they disproportionately benefit from European welfare states.
I agree with all of this, except that Muslims are not persecuted. They are persecuted and they are also persecuting. There is a Muslim problem in Europe. Therefore, what? He doesn’t say. Should Europe expel them all? He can’t say that, just like the MSM in Europe has to call Muslims “Asians” even if they’re Eritrean. How about kill them all? Certainly can’t say that, and wouldn’t support that. Neither would I. Pay them to leave, like the Feiglin plan? Maybe he would support that. We’ll have to ask him. He’s invited to post here directly and I’ll publish it. I would support that, too. Europe pays Muslims to leave voluntarily and go back to…I don’t know…wherever. No problem with that at all.
But there’s also a black problem in America. And there’s a Haredi problem in Israel. Are all these problems absolutely identical? No. Haredim in Israel are not Muslims, and blacks in America are not either. They are all different manifestations of the same problem- welfare, drug laws, forced public schooling, minimum wage laws, gun laws, some of which apply more to some problems and not others. What they all have in common is a festering group of people with similar lifestyles or religious laws whose society is degrading because of government intrusion. Welfare is common to them all. Gun laws mostly to South Side Chicago blacks. Drug laws to blacks and Muslims. The draft to Haredim. Minimum wage to all of them. Get rid of all those things and Muslims will be less violent, Haredim lass insular and defensive, and blacks won’t kill each other as much.
In sum, the comparison with Der Sturmer is utterly ludicrous for all the above reasons. To make it so soon after 12 people were gunned down in broad daylight with AK 47s in what used to be a first world capital, is moral idiocy of the first order. I should also note that you seem barely unable to acknowledge the murder of four Jews shortly afterwards.
The people killed at Charlie Hebdo were innocents, and the killers murderers. Those who killed my Jewish brothers in France have the din of בועל ארמית קנאים פוגעים בו in my opinion. They should all die for their crimes as soon as possible. I’m יוצא now.
2) The next stage is to ask what could lead you to such detestable and foolish pronouncements. This is not difficult. In certain intellectual circles, it has become an article of faith to deny that Islamic fundamentalism is a major global problem, and to argue that, to the extent that it is, it is the fault of western, (mostly U.S.) foreign policy. The reason why people maintain this position is because (i) they oppose interventionist US foreign policy (ii) they are lazy. Whilst there are plenty of cogent arguments to be made against neo-conservatism that take due account of the questions it is designed to answer, these people cannot be bothered. and so simply deny there is any problem with Islamic fundamentalism, or Islam, at all.
Islamic fundamentalism is a major global problem. But which problem is more major? US foreign policy, or Islamic fundamentalism? You can’t beat the math. US foreign policy causes so many more deaths than Islamic fundamentalism that to compare the two is “detestable and foolish” in commenter’s words. US foreign policy has killed millions. Islamic fundamentalism tens of thousands. The only difference is that one is organized by a state and systemetized, surrounded by effective propaganda to make people think that the murder of millions is necessary for their security and “freedom”, and the other is perpetrated by a disorganized mob, both equally murderous, both equally evil.
Maybe he wants to say that US foreign policy is not motivated by religious hatred? I say it is. Christian religious evil. George Bush invaded Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands because of Jesus. Grenada, the Philippines, Panama, Lybia, Mexico, Vietnam, God knows what other countries I’m missing and there are certainly a bunch, all invaded by Christians who think they are “exceptional”. “American Exceptionalism” it’s called. It’s an offshoot of Christian religious doctrine, the same bullshit that led to the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Conquistadores, the slaughter of countless Indians, and now this same Christianity is leading us into yet another cold war with Russia after almost destroying the entire damn planet in nuclear Armageddon in 1962.
We have a serious Christian Fundamentalism problem on this planet. Can the commenter deny that? If he does, he is buying into a very thin veil of “freedom” and “security” propaganda that has no bounds as to what it can justify. Am I to take the Western Side of this battle just because Christians are wise enough to clothe their murder in a few catchphrases? So the US can kill millions as long as it says it’s for “protecting freedom”?
Muslims are different. They kill you and say they hate you, instead of killing you and saying they love you, like the Christians do. Who cares what they say. They both kill you.
The problem is that Islamic fundamentalists continually embarrass their apologists by performing spectacularly indefensible acts, like bursting into a school in Pakistan and shooting a hundred kids, trapping an entire ethnic group up a mountain so they can kill them in broad daylight, or massacring the staff of an obscure liberal magazine because they published some poxy cartoons.
I’m not an apologist for Islamic fundamentalists. They are evil. My suggestion is, stop oppressing Muslims and Muslim countries, and less people will become Islamic fundamentalists. Islamic fundamentalists will burst into a school and kill hundreds of kids in the name of Allah. Christian fundamentalists will bomb the school from the air in a B52 and call it “collateral damage” in the name of “defending freedom”. Either way, the kids are dead. How many children has America killed defending freedom through collateral damage? Just because they say “oops” and “We really love you, sorry,” I’m supposed to turn a blind eye? They’ve killed much more than Muslims have killed defending Allah.
The apologists therefore have to continually one up each other by coming up with ever more outlandish arguments, riding roughshod over whatever principles they started out with. Apparently oblivious to the fact they are making total fools of themselves, and breezily unconcerned with the moral sewer they are wading through, they plumb the depths patting each other on the back for the latest *incite*, of which your post represents a sort of nadir, at least as far as I know.
What is outlandish about what I’m saying? How is it foolish? Is it factually incorrect? I’m the one pointing out that everyone is killing everyone and just justifying it differently, and suggesting that, in order to calm the world down a bit, the Christians should stop killing Muslims, and their governments stop oppressing them through the laws I mentioned above. Is that what puts me in a moral sewer?
There’s a big fight going on. The Christians versus the Muslims. The Christians kill and say I love you. The Muslims kill and say I hate you. The Christians kill children in an organized way with excuses. The Muslims kill in a disorganized guerrilla way. Right now, the Christians are more powerful, so I suggest to the more powerful side to stop inciting the less powerful side. Both sides are equally evil.
So I suggest that Muslims stop killing people, but I am culturally Western rather than Islamic, so I try to convince “my side” so to speak, also because it is more powerful and therefore has more power to stop the fight.
3) Now we come to the last bit, the specific flabbergasting tomfoolery of you. Central to Islamist apologetic is, of course, pointing out all the things that Islamists have alleged good cause to be so very angry about. Now, the main thing Muslims the world over complain about (even more than the Iraq war) is West Bank settlers and people invading their precious Al Aqsa. This is why, with the exception of you and your nameless co-thinkers, all apologists for Islam make a point of demonising West Bank settlers and people who want to go up on the Temple Mount. A quick google search of “Libertarian” websites on the matter makes for grim reading indeed.
Yeah, that sucks. But libertarians yelling at Jewish settlers breaks the NAP not. If anti settler libertarians were consistent in believing in Lockean homesteading theory, they would leave us alone. My “settlement” is not built on Arab land. It was built on vacant land. There is no Arab land besides what is homesteaded by an Arab person. There is no Jewish land besides what is homesteaded by a Jewish person.
But, in truth, they are on much better ground here than with Charlie Hebdo. Jewish settlers really are trying to settle land that is and has been for centuries majority Arab, and arguably violating international law, whereas the French cartoonists were just doing what, depending on how you look at it, has been legal in France, their own country, for two centuries (mocking religion) or forever (mocking Mohammed). Palestinians really are suffering unlike French Muslims who have no real grievances against a country that took them in and gave them a far greater standard of living than they could ever have forged for themselves. Thousands of Palestinians have died as a consequence of dispute ownership of Yesha, no-one has died because French people drew cartoons (unless we count all the people Muslims have killed over it).
You call yourself a Misesian Jew, but here you betray yourself by quoting “international law” and calling unhomesteaded land “Arab land”. You call me obtuse but say that French Muslims are not suffering and have no grievance against a country that “took them in”. I guess blacks have “no real grievance” against America because they have a higher standard of living in America than they would have had in Africa. Right? No real grievance? What about minimum wage laws, gun laws, drug laws, forced public schooling that keeps them in poverty and unable to work? None of that is grievance worthy? Both for the blacks and the Muslims? You’re lucky you come from a people (the Jews) talented enough to rise above all the government meant to push you down, but blacks and Muslims are not as resourceful or lucky.
And here’s you, a Jewish settler who goes up on the temple mount, and therefore the chief object of loathing, both for a billion Muslims and their millions of Leftist and Libertarians supporters, brazenly dumping over the memory of French cartoonists in the most wildly hyperbolous manner possible in a pathetic (and, trust me, futile) attempt to suck up to the freak show internet cult which is the Ron Paul fanboy movement.
I am the Chief Object of Loathing. Because I am the pivot of all of this. I am the top of the pyramid. The Apex. Me and my types are only a bare handful on the planet. I know where I sit. The Libertarian Anarchist Ron Paul Jewish Settler Temple Mount Invader. It all revolves around me and a few others, because I represent what every single side of this murderous conflict hates. Including you.
And yet I sympathize with every single side as well. The libertarians, the Christians, the Muslims, the Blacks, the Haredim. All of them. Strange, huh? This means that I, or someone like me with leadership potential (the closest is Feiglin) am the hope for humanity presently, because only I or someone like me can mediate the conflict. And I’m knocking at Har Habayit to boot, the center of it all.
And on top of all of that, call me a Messianist, but I don’t even believe in the right of the Moshiach to be king! I don’t even say את צמח דוד in my Shmoneh Esrei! I have stated publicly that if the Moshiach is declared and he starts instituting halacha laws, that I will break them!
More than that you imagine that implementation of the Feiglin plan will somehow mollify world Islamic opinion and make Israel less despised by Muslims and American Libertarians, a prospect so patently opposite to reality that one has to suspect you are already in the first stages of meltdown.
Well, I do believe that. Once Feiglin leads the Jewish people, these problems will start solving themselves through the Or LaGoyim model. It will take an economic catastrophe and reset that is in the process of happening.
It’s not too late for you to turn your brain back on, nor repent the appalling forays into the moral gutter you are making. It’s possible to maintain a belief in Misesian economics and Libertarian political theory without signing on to every extravagant and nonsensical canard you come across at LewRockwell.com. All you need is a level head and some basic human decency.
I challenge the commenter to give me his Final Solution to the Muslim Problem. What is it? My solution is to stop killing Muslims and repressing them through government laws. I suggest Muslims stop killing Christians or their Western cultural descendants regardless of whether they are religious or not, but I’m not culturally Muslim, and of the two sides, I believe the West has a better chance at stopping the killing first, despite the fact that they do much more of it.
Rafi, from the moral gutter, signing off.