General Antisemitism

Jewish Malware (Why certain Jews are unable to defend themselves in the face of clear and present danger)

This is cross-posted by Dr. Charles Jacobs, and originally appeared in the Boston Jewish Advocate.

Reports surfaced last week that stuxnet, the computer virus mysteriously implanted in the computers running Iran’s nuclear sites, is still wreaking havoc, despite claims by Teheran that it has been contained.  No one knows for sure how much damage is being done, or if it can be stopped, or who is the culprit that infected Iran’s mass-death program — but Israel is a prime suspect. When it was found that the name of a key file in the computer worm’s code is easily a cognate for Queen Esther, many imagined that the Jewish genius who delivered the poison pill to the Persian plotters did it while poetically recapitulating the Purim story — in malware.  Compared to that feat, the wiki-leaks gambit is child’s play, simple pilferage.

But even if this is true, and Jewish technological genius can thwart or mitigate a looming disaster – just as her military genius has done in the past – we cannot afford a truly needed rest, because the sobering reality is that Jewish technological and military prowess has proved inadequate, necessary but not sufficient, to safeguarding Israel. For her long-term security, what matters is how the Jewish state is viewed and valued in the world, especially in the Jewish community, and the skill set required for this fight — what we now called “the information war” – seems congenitally absent from the Jewish collective.  Far from being geniuses, when it comes to rhetorical combat with Israel’s defamers, or creating a culture of discourse that is honest and fair, world Jewry seems, tragically, imbecilic. Compared to almost every nation on earth, but particularly compared to her adversaries and accusers, Israel is a stellar state. Yet she is branded and  portrayed in the media, on campuses, and in increasing swaths of civil society in the West, as among the cruelest of nations. How can this be?

I think the dynamic is something akin to the virus that flummoxes Iran’s computers. Jews may be susceptible to a particular type of rhetorical virus — so devastating that once implanted it prevents them from acting in their own self-defense and turns otherwise eloquent people into stuttering blockheads. The worm is simple, and ancient. It’s called “accusation.” Accuse the Jews. Accuse them unfairly and with such disproportionate frequency that anyone who wishes to can see there’s an agenda at work that has little to do with the actual charges raised. Accuse the Jews and they instinctively, like moths fly to candles, do the stupidest: they start believing they can cleverly explain themselves, and convince their accusers of their innocence and goodness. Powerful stuff, this cognitive malware.

I bring this up because the Jewish Week’s editor, Julie Wiener just reported that the major Israel Advocacy organizations have done a major re-think and are now calling for a “more open, critical approach to teaching about Jewish state.” “Even centrist players,” Weiner wrote, “like Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the David Project and people in the Jewish federation system are calling for more open, critical discussions about Israel.” Why? Because much of our youth feels that Israel Advocacy as it is now taught, makes them “check their liberalism at Zionism’s door.”

And so, rather than lose the kids who have fantasy notions about international politics, Jewish educators now think (I’m hoping Weiner got it wrong) students shouldn’t  be advocates for Israel, but referees or judges in the Middle East contest. Their lessons will no longer be: “Israel is imperfect but fundamentally right, and the obstacle to peace is nothing more and nothing less than the Arab/Islamic refusal to abide Jewish sovereignty.” Instead it will be “on the one hand the Israelis say `x,’ and on the other hand, the Palestinians say `y’.” “Can’t we all get along?!”

So the net result is that the radical leftist professors and the growing Muslim student population are permitted to be advocates and propagandists for the Arabs while Jewish students rise above the fray to contemplate the conflict.  The vast student  body will still only receive a mostly one sided version which will demonize Israel and so the next generation of American leadership will be less likely to empathize with the Jewish State — like the man in the White House.

But what’s really happened in the discourse is that authentic Jewish liberalism has been anesthetized, paralyzed – not by Zionism, but by anti-Zionism. By the “accuse the Jews” worm, inserted into the discourse, that paralyses the Jewish instinct to fight the good fight. Infected, Jewish students forget the ideals and the history of valiant battling for a universal standard of human conduct, of fighting for precisely those victims abandoned by the “civilized world.”

Instead of explaining to our students the dynamic of “accusation” that has been used to hobble Jews from time immemorial, we teach them to sit in the dock. Instead of exploring with them just how Israel is under a massive ideological assault which masquerades as legitimate criticism, we teach them to keep the focus of discourse Jewish conduct, Israeli behavior, which is exactly what our adversaries want. Instead of turning our fingers back on the tyrannical Arab/Muslim world whose criticism of Israel defines chutzpah, we answer their charges. Instead of exposing the hypocritical Western liberal elites — the “human rights” establishment, the media, and the professoriate – who have abandoned for reasons of political correctness whole classes of people in the worst of circumstances: women, gays, apostates, Christians, democrats in the Islamic realm – we accept playing the the role of defendant. In other words, instead of making the subject of this entire discussion the actual world tyrannies and the execrable Western hypocrites who aim to destroy us, we are bitten by the “accusation” virus, and we simply lose our minds.

In 1911, Jabotinsky had it perfectly right. “Every accusation causes among us such a commotion that people unwittingly think, ‘why are they so afraid of everything?’ Apparently their conscience is not clear.’ Exactly because we are ready at every minute to stand at attention, there develops among the people an inescapable view about us, as of some specific thievish tribe. We think that our constant readiness to undergo a search without hesitation and to turn out our pockets, will eventually convince mankind of our nobility; look what gentlemen we are–we do not have anything to hide! This is a terrible mistake.” You’d think all the smart Jews would’ve figured that out. By now.

28 replies »

  1. Jabotinski’s comment was and continues to be bang on target. Israel perpetually in the dock – and the no longer liberal or sane Guardian as one of its perpetual accusers/judge and jury.

  2. Because much of our youth feels that Israel Advocacy as it is now taught, makes them “check their liberalism at Zionism’s door.”

    The statement implies “our youth” believes more strongly in the religion of liberalism than in Judaism or Zionism.

    But that begs yet another question – why should liberalism be immune from criticism? Via its unending romance with tyranny and terror, the left has blood on its hands. (See Jamie Glazov’s book on that topic.)

  3. Their lessons will no longer be: “Israel is imperfect but fundamentally right, and the obstacle to peace is nothing more and nothing less than the Arab/Islamic refusal to abide Jewish sovereignty.”

    And rightfully so.

    The whole Arab world subscribed to the Saudi peace initiative, whereby Israel would be recognized by the Arab league and full diplomatic ties would be established.

    Granted, the proposal wasn’t perfect. But Israel didn’t even deign to respond to it, or to offer a counterproposal.

    So any argument based on Arab rejectionism is a lie, and the public will recognize it as such. That’s why a different approach is being tried, Mr. Jacobs.

  4. I don’t think the Auschwitz borders have much appeal to any friend of Israel, let alone to those who would have to live within them for what could be a very short time.

  5. Hasbara Buster, ” granted the proposal wasn’t perfect ” – you’re busting our chops no? In what way does this proposal differ from what the “Palestinians want ? Complete withdrawal from all territory captured in 1967 including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and basically what would turn out to be the right of return flooding Israel with millions of Arab “refugees”. In return for normalizing relations with the entire Arab region. Would that include Hamas ?
    And Iran? Well excuse Israel for not responding to such a great offer !
    The Arabs could have had more than that in 1948. Instead they tried to destroy the Jewish state at it’s rebirth and have kept trying ever since. The Saudi “proposal” is just a change of tactic with the same aim.
    Only the Jew hating public will see any argument based on Arab rejectionism as a lie because that’s what the Arabs have been doing since the birth of Zionism- rejecting the right of the Jew to his national home in Israel.

  6. Well, in 2000 Israel offered a deal whereby the Palestinians would have to deliver peace immediately, but Israel would take some 15 years to withdraw from the West Bank. This wasn’t perfect, from a Palestinian viewpoint. When you point out this, Zionists usually retort “but Arafat didn’t come up with a counterproposal!”.

    Well, neither did Israel when the Saudis offered a peace proposal that also wasn’t perfect.

  7. Not perfect from the “Palestinian” point of view but if “peace” was the object not bad from anyone’s point of view. There would have been peace for ten years now, and in another five Israel would leave Judea and Samaria.
    Not bad at all considering what has happened in the past to those on the losing side of a war. Arafat not only did not come up with a counter proposal, he launched an intifada!! I didn’t hear about the Israeli invasion of Saudi Arabia as their answer to the Saudi proposal. Did you ?

  8. Well, I didn’t hear about Saudi Arabia using Israelis as young as 11 as human shields, or shooting blindfolded Israeli prisoners in the foot, or about Saudi settlers burning the sheep of Israeli shepherds alive, or brutally clubbing elderly Israelis. But maybe you’ll be able to illuminate me.

  9. Zio

    Not perfect from the “Palestinian” point of view but if “peace” was the object not bad from anyone’s point of view. There would have been peace for ten years now, and in another five Israel would leave Judea and Samaria.

    Exactly. The Saudi Peace contains the seeds for the eventual destruction of the Jewish Democratic Zionist state and the land returned to domination by the followers of the prophet. To get the attention of a majority of sane Israelis it must remove any reference to ROR which is the main objection and recognize the demographic change of concentrations of Jewish population on the WEST BANK.

  10. Yeah, those Saudis have a slick line in busting don’t they? Start with a grain of truth (eg there are sheep in the Middle East) A lie here or there, an exaggeration here or there. Throw it all into the pot, mix it with a generous pinch of malice and presto changeo you have the hasbara buster.


    Don’t take on the Hasbara Buster, don’t feed him, let him hang out dry. He only comments here, hoping to generate clicks for his drek of a blog. Don’t do him the favour.

    He poses also as

    Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf, detailed info available in Yaacov Lozowick’s profile


    Albert José Miraya

    He has tried the shtick he tries here at Yaacov’s and Elder of Ziyon also, don’t fall for it.

  12. Hasbara Buster, the ones claiming with a straight face that Israel was responsible for the collapse of talks in 2000 are those viscerally hostile to Israel regardless of what it does. Folks like you will never cease on insisting that Israel is some sort of ogre in the region. But, for those who may take your words seriously, its funny how President Clinton and his lead negotiator Dennis Ross unequivocally put the blame squarely on Arafat. Indeed, anyone familiar with the negotiations shares that belief. Also, here’s the map reflecting what the Palestinians say they were offered, and what they were really offered.,r:6,s:0

  13. What Hasbara Buster means is that:
    1. He denounces any attempt to sign a peace treaty where the Palestinians actually agree to end the conflict.
    2. An impartial mediator is one who totally agrees with every Palestinian demand; someone who tries to encourage compromise is by definition impartial.

    This is not so extreme. I recall Chirac’s Middle East tour after the1st Gulf War. His first stop was in Syria where the joint communique stated that France “agreed 100%” with Syria’s position regarding the Golan. He then proceeded to Jerusalem where he offered to mediate between Israel and Syria. No doubt he seriously believed that he was “impartial”.

  14. HB, the fact that a Palestinian leader can’t agree that, upon a final status agreement, there will be NO further claims, and that the conflict will then be OVER, is what makes so many in Israel skeptical that there will be peace anytime soon. What motivation is there to withdraw from more land if the result will be a continuation of the conflict?

  15. If that individual does not change or modify his offensive moniker, he should not be allowed to post on CIFWatch at all.

  16. Sergio

    You shoudn’t be insulted by the moniker, the fellow couldn’t bust an egg with a brick. But he’s absolutely successful showing the real face of an “anti-Zionist” liar as Silke demonstrated here. He has been banned from other blogs and seeks for a place to vent his envy of the success of Israel and his hate of the Jews. CifWatch must let him post, just warn the other readers not to give him clicks on his blogs – not to open his links.

  17. My dear friend Peter,

    He can post here as much he wants, no one is stopping him, but he mustn’t be allowed to get away with insulting the host like that. His nickname is an affront clearly chosen with malice aforethought.

    Like the good Jewish proverb says: he who puts up with insult invites injury.

    Zero tolerance for insolent riffraff. That’s all.

  18. HB
    Funnily enough neither did I. But I did hear about the horrific lynching of two Israeli reservists in Ramallah by “Palestinians” and lynchings of “Palestinians” by “Palestinians” in Hebron for example. And Hamas terrorists throwing their fellow Fatah terrorists off rooftops to their death in Gaza. Nice peaceful guys you’re sticking up for.
    While we’re on the subject of peace doesn’t it strike anyone else as odd that “peace” only seems to be important to the Israeli side ? The assumption is that it is so important that they have to give ” land for peace”. As far as I can see the Pals don’t have to give anything for peace, because they won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state, they won’t give up on the right of return, or east Jerusalem as the capital of a “Palestinian” state in the whole of Judea and Samaria.( Jew free to boot! ) So we must assume that “peace” is just not so important to the “Palestinians”. If I was a “Palestinian” living in such dire straights (!!) I would be happy to give peace for peace and negotiate ( not demand ) anything I could from Israel.
    But I’m crazy right?
    Silke thanks for the warning. I won’t click.

  19. “Well, neither did Israel when the Saudis offered a peace proposal that also wasn’t perfect.”Hasbara buster you know so much less than you think. You can’t disguise your ignorance with your scattergun accusation method.

    The then President of Israel responded to the Saudi proposal saying he would meet them anywhere anytime to discuss. THEY didn’t respond.

  20. The Arab League proposal was an official document set forth in writing. The Israeli answer was merely nonbinding statements to the media. As I said, there’s no official Israeli document in response to the Arab peace initiative.

    The words of Moshe Katsav (then-Israeli president, but better known as a serial rapist) did not translate into an actual invitation for the Saudi king to come to Israel, or into a written commitment to go to Riyadh to discuss the issue.

  21. hamass booster, speaking of the saudis, you must have been shocked to learn that the saudis also see the islamofascist regime of iran as a threat – to themselves.