by Howard Rotberg
Thane Rosenbaum, writing in Jewish Journal, on June 7, 2021, makes an important point:
“The apparent unwillingness, or cowardice, of many American Jews to identify with the existential dilemma of Israelis—and its spillover effect on Jews walking on American or European streets—is appalling. The cautionary, parallel tale of the cosmopolitan Jews of 1930s Berlin and Vienna, now long since murdered, is lost on everyone.
“The right to exist, which Israel’s enemies always denied, now carries over to the Jewish people at large. Denying the existence of Israel—the lone nation in the world where such an opinion is shared—always had the ring of the Final Solution, localized on the Jewish state. Today, all Jews are stand-ins for that state.
“Antisemitism is not just some idea, an ancient prejudice casually invoked. Wiping Israel from the map, soon may no longer be enough.”
And this takes us to the contemporary confusion about the concept of racism. Criticizing one race or ethnic group or religion may be offensive but is not the very dangerous racism, unless it is paired with genocide. Resisting special privileges for Blacks or LGBTQ folks is not the dangerous racism. The dangerous racism only starts when the hostility combines with Cancel Culture to create exterminationist or genocidal racism.
This is not to say that offensive words are not a problem – except when they are intended to lead to extermination. If one group wants to see another dead, we pass into historic genocidal racism.
Among the elites of America and Canada and much of the West, the allegation of racism seems to be made a hundred times a day for words and deeds that discriminate, empower, oppress or even maintain a status quo where one group has advantages over another. We are hectored daily about “white privilege”.
Merriam-Webster dictionary has three definitions of racism:
1. a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race;
2. the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another; and
3. a political or social system founded on racism and designed to execute (i.e. implement) its principles.
I am writing this one day after a seemingly mentally ill non-political and non-extremist white Christian factory worker, with no criminal record or history of racism, drove his vehicle in London, Canada into a Muslim family walking on a sidewalk killing four. Canadians who pride themselves on tolerance and multiculturalism rose as one to denounce this sick act. But does this incident, without proof that it is part of some group’s genocidal intent toward Muslims, constitute an act intended to kill all or enslave a significant part of the followers of Islam? We think not.
But Canadian Muslim leaders are calling on the Canadian government to do something. What can be done except to give Muslims special privileges? I leave it to the reader to adjudge whether that is the whole point.
We are told that the government should do something about an oppressive Islamophobia. A phobia is an irrational fear. In a world where radical Muslims are fighting a Jihad against Christians, Jews, Hindus and others to conquer and impose a world-wide Caliphate and Sharia Law, perhaps it is rational to worry about illiberal and violent forces within our society, including suitability of immigrants to accept our liberal values.
I have written a book about radical Islam – Islamism – and how we in the West have submitted to it, rather than insisting that Muslim immigrants reject Islamism with its Jihad, conversion by the sword, Sharia Law, world-wide Caliphate and honor killings.
The Ideological Path to Submission ... and what we can do about it (Mantua Books).
Are we even allowed to talk about this? Does criticism constitute hate? Does this hate pose a threat of physical violence and genocide? I don’t know about any groups that advocate killing all Muslims and hope that I never do. But I would appreciate supporters of women’s rights, gay rights, children’s rights, and rights of Christians and Jews, to stand for freedom.
In Israel, the Jews must live with neighbours who call for genocide against them. That is part of the constitution of Hamas and it is implicit in the Palestinian Authority’s call for a “free Palestine” from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea.
Launching rockets aimed at israeli civilians is a form of genocide and is a war crime.
We see in the West a form of leftist and Islamist authoritarianism where cancel culture is used to censor any opinions not accepted by leftists or Islamists. To extremists, how long before cancel culture is used to cancel people and not just words?
At the public vigil following the death of the Muslim family in London, one speaker in his concluding remarks made a comment that is beyond offensive: "Whatever is happening in Jerusalem and Gaza is related to what is happening in London, Ontario".
Is there any doubt that this aims to bring to Canada the same genocidal goals of Hamas – that is, to kill the Jews who Islamists feel should not have sovereignty in any part of Historic Jewish territory and such other Jews in the West who place our essential freedoms ahead of Islamist culture wars. Jews have now been attacked in the streets of Toronto, New York and Los Angelos by gangs of Islamists. We have seen too much Islamist terrorism around the world. We have seen terrorism within Islam, between Shiites and Sunis, and we have seen too much terrorism as Islamists seek a world-wide Caliphate governed by Sharia Law and don’t hesitate to follow Jihadist doctrines which they find in the Qur’an and the Hadith.
As Muslims immigrate in large numbers to the West it is natural to be concerned about their allegations of Islamphobia, when they are over-stated. Political and cultural differences do not make us Islamophobic. Our concerns are rational.
In the case of Israel, many commentators miss the essential point of the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. The goal of the Jews is to have sovereignty in the historical Jewish state that protects the Jews from centuries of genocidal antisemitism. History clearly shows that the actual boundaries are less important to them than knowing that their security in a sovereign state will be assured. That goal is called Zionism. The goal of the Palestinians is to stop the Jews from having sovereignty in any part of the historical land of Israel.
The Israelis agreed to give up all of Gaza in 2005; the Arabs there immediately elected the terrorist government of Hamas which has been attacking civilian Jews. They feel humiliated by their failure to end the Jewish state. They know that they can rely on Western leftists and Islamists to maintain the delegitimization, demonization and double standards with respect to Israel . This obsession in the West shows that anti-israelism is in fact a form of antisemitism.
The Palestinian Arabs refused offers by Israeli prime ministers Ohlmert and Barak for a Palestinian state next to Israel. They want one instead of Israel. It is also why we Jews take seriously the Iranian promise to get nuclear weapons and use them against the Jews, in nine years when their obligations end under the JCPOA agreement. You are either for a second Holocaust against the Jews or opposed to it.
Howard Rotberg is a Canadian author and publisher. His books include the novel The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and its Author, Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed, and The Ideological Path to Submission ... and what we can do about it.