Articles

Monday, July 07, 2014

Israel's Moloch Syndrome

When religion goes, other religions take its place. They mimic the forms and formalities of it without the substance. They are faiths without any gods, but ourselves, and without any devils, but ourselves.

Confronted with the religious terror of Islam, the post-religious faiths of the free world act out a
godless religious drama in which they take turns playing all the old religious roles without the religion. The most pernicious of these is the martyr to the morally superior high ground of humanism.

Faced with sectarian violence, they retreat into a universalism that no one else shares. "We feel your pain," they cry. "Our children are just like your children." If that feeling were reciprocated, it might mean something. But it isn't. Instead it's another act of pointless humanistic martyrdom.

A morally superior society doesn't clamber onto some universalist moral high ground. It isn't infinite restraint in war that makes one society superior to the other. That's a recipe for the eventual extinction of everything that society has to offer, to itself and to the world.

The elements that make one society superior to another are to be found in its culture, its arts and its sciences, in its religious inspirations, its engineering feats, its medical research, its poems and songs, its roots to the past and its vision to the future. A morally superior society protects these things by protecting them against invaders and enemies.

Charity begins at home. So does morality.

A society that is too moral to protect itself is immoral because it is incapable of protecting the sources of its morality.

A moral society does not put its people in harm's way rather than protect them. If it does so, in the name of some warped sense of ethics toward the enemy, it is not a moral society.

It is an immoral society.

Moral societies make it possible for their people to be moral by taking on the burden of protecting them. A society that abandons this burden and demands that its people be moral by accepting suffering, whether it comes from crime or terrorism, is a society that gives its people a choice between becoming monsters or martyrs.

This is not the behavior of a moral society, but a self-destructive society that glories in the empty martyrdom of the moral high ground.

A government that will not protect the people and will not let the people protect themselves is not moral, it is destructive. It demands that the people embrace martyrdom in the name of a self-nullifying set of ethics that will ultimately result in the martyrdom of their extinction or their transformation into monsters who are forced to reject all human norms in order to survive. 

A moral society does not embrace martyrdom for any purpose other than the perpetuation of itself.

The traditional Jewish martyr who died for the sanctification of the Name of G-d was choosing physical death for the perpetuation of a religious idea that was also a national identity. He was choosing a form of death that would keep his religious and national identity alive, over a living death that would enable him personally to live, while wiping out his people.

The new Jewish martyr dies for an irreligious humanistic martyrdom. He perishes to prove the moral high ground of his people. It is a martyrdom with no point and no future. It echoes Gandhi's call that the Jews voluntarily go to the gas chambers without resisting in order to make an ethical point.

Gandhi's bit of genocidal madness has now become mainstream in Jewish circles.

One of the Satmar rabbis was met with furious anger when he called the murders of three Israeli teenagers a divine punishment. But where was the anger when Rabin called murdered Israelis, "Korbanot Shalom" or "Sacrifices of Peace".

If the Satmar Rebbe is at least clear on who is doing the killing and why, what is the theology of the sacrifices of peace? Why do Israelis continue to be murdered in the name of some abstract idea of peace that never comes? What diplomatic deity are they being sacrificed to? What is this strange theology that has come into the house of religion and sanctifies the needless death of children?

The Satmar Rebbe knows why Jewish children must die. Hamas theocrats know why Jewish children must be killed. But Israel's leadership is in thrall to a humanistic Moloch that demands that they die to prove our moral superiority to the world. Only by allowing our children to be brought up on the altar of liberalism as burnt offerings to the dead god of universal ethics, will we be redeemed.

The redemption has yet to come. Countless sacrifices of peace have been made and not only peace, but the recognition that Israel was always the ethical partner in the fight with Islamic terrorists, is further away than ever. But its leading thinkers and thinking leaders remain convinced that this is only because not enough martyrs have been offered up to the moral high ground.

Perhaps if Tel Aviv is nuked and the flames of a new Holocaust rise into the sky, the world will finally realize that Israelis did their best to be nice to their enemies. And if not, there are always millions more to be offered up on the universalist pyre to the man-made god of our own morality.

There is a perverse sadism and masochism in this faithless faith whose disciples scourge themselves like the pagan priests of old. No sooner do the Israeli police announce a few arrests than all the enlightened thinkers rush to call for harsher and stricter measures, even the death penalty, a thing that isn't even levied on Muslim terrorists. Having pathetically tethered their identities to the conviction of their own moral superiority, always a shaky thing in human affairs, they will kill their own brothers to protect this cheap delusion of their own national martyrdom.

Having created our own faith in our own moral superiority, we must be willing to die and kill each other in its name. These are not sacrifices of peace. They are the martyrdom of a moral superiority that can only be proven through victimization and our own mass murder. They are a perverse deviation from both our religion as Jews and from Zionism as a political movement.

For Israel and the Jewish people to survive, this masochistic creed has to die. Instead of sacrificing our children to Tikkun Olam, universalist ethics and a conviction in our own moral superiority, let us sacrifice these things on the altar so that our children may live. Let us pile them up on the altars of our hearts and burn them up. Let us take the ideas and the books, and most of all, the false sense of superiority that we are better because of our martyrdom, and watch them go up in smoke.

Only when these things perish, will we be able to be Jews or Zionists. As long as they live within us, what we believe and what we worship is the Stockholm Syndrome that says we must allow ourselves to be abused and killed to prove to ourselves that we are good people and thereby disprove the results of that abuse on our psyche. The more we are abused, the more certain we become that we deserve it and the more we welcome that abuse, to disprove that we deserve it.

It is a vicious cycle in which we allow ourselves to be murdered to disprove that we deserve to be killed, in which we hate ourselves to prove that we do not deserve to be hated.

Instead of proving our morality through our self-hatred, let us prove it by instead protecting our worth. Our enemies are willing to die because they have nothing to offer but murder. It is natural for them to choose death because they are worthless in every sense of the word.

Let us choose life.

This twisted attitude is not unique to Israel and Jews. It has engulfed the entire West. Against the Islamic cult of death, we have constructed our own cult of death. The dysfunctional relationship is that of the abuser to the abused. They know that they are morally superior because they kill us. We know that we are morally superior because we accept their abuse and allow ourselves to be killed.

This is the great spiritual sickness that is bringing entire civilizations down into the grave. It is a sickness born out of self-hatred and an abiding sense of worthlessness. The abuser and the abused both have a deep conviction that they are worthless. The abuser hides it through abuse. The abused accepts it and transcends it through abuse.

If we do not learn to take pride in our civilizations, if we do not learn to love our accomplishments, then we will die. If we continue to eat away at ourselves, to act as if our moral and ethics are inferior to those of our enemies, then they will destroy us and then destroy themselves and the darkness will fall.

Let us choose life, light and love. Let us learn to love ourselves and hate our enemies, not out of some reflex or petty jingoism, but because we have come to value what they seek to take from us. Let us drive out the self-hatred. Let us take apart our own cult of death and replace it with a religion of life.

Only when we destroy our own cult of death, will be able to defeat the cult of death of our enemies.

"I have yet before you life and death, the blessing and the curse," G-d tells Israel. "Therefore choose life that you may live, you and your children."

If we do not choose life, then we cannot live.

27 comments:

mindRider said...

And when we shed the moral high ground and shed the "purity of arms" for our defense and shed the gaging legal rope of the rules of engagement and shed the cry for "cease fire" always imposed before the enemy can be fully vanquished so the countless bodies of our enemies shall lay strewn around their faces gruesomely distorted in death. With the focus of the entire Media & political world turning away from every evil conceivable to condemn Israel. The international biased gang of photo-vultures's feeding frenzy focussed on the destruction and on the collaterally damaged of dead children their toys carefully positioned to create the right color spot in the ashes. All hypocritical nations howling to condemn the Jews and ready to boycott all of Israel and drag any official who even sets a foot on foreign soil to the IHC accused of warcrimes, how do we react? By saying this was our only option to stay alive?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

"With the focus of the entire Media & political world turning away from every evil conceivable to condemn Israel. The international biased gang of photo-vultures's feeding frenzy focussed on the destruction and on the collaterally damaged of dead children their toys carefully positioned to create the right color spot in the ashes.

It's happening already. The rest of the feared events, the boycotts and trials, will also happen if we continue as we are.

Anonymous said...

"Gandhi's call that the Jews voluntarily go to the gas chambers without resisting in order to make an ethical point'

Please provide actual quote and book reference.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Orwell discussed it in his essay, you can find variations of the same idea around

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/JewsGandhi.html

you can also find it discussed here

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-gandhi-nobody-knows/

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

"Take the question of the Jews on which I have
written. No Jew need feel helpless, if he takes to the non-
violent way. A friend, has written me a letter objecting
that in that article I have assumed that the Jews have been
violent. It is true that the Jews have not been actively
violent in their own persons. But they called down upon the
Germans the curses of mankind, and they wanted Ame-
rica and England to fight Germany on their behalf. If I
hit my adversary, that is of course violence, but to be
truly non-violent I must love him and pray for him even
when he hits me. The Jews have not been actively non-
violent, or in spite of the misdeeds of the dictators they
would say, 'We shall suffer at their hand; they knew no
better. But we shall suffer not in the manner in which they
want us to suffer. If even one Jew acted thus, he would
save his self-respect and leave an example which, if it
became infectious, would have the whole of Jewry and leave
a rich heritage to mankind besides."

Mo said...

mindReader asks: "By saying this was our only option to stay alive?"

By saying we'll defend our rights whether or not each and every other single individual on Earth says we shouldn't.

I hear strong horses are more beloved anyway if that's your goal.

I. B. said...

I subscribe this great article. I feel sorry for the young Arab lad as I feel for any other kid. But they see our sorrow as weakness.

Cheers from Portugal's blog «Amigo de Israel» (Friend of israel).

Israel Bloom

Anonymous said...

the idea in this conflict is to win...and to survive....when I read the condemnations over the Arab's killing something was nagging me...you made it surface...while the killing was gruesome the outpouring of condemnations seemed somewhat phoney in its attempt to show the world Israel's humaneness...the coverage of those Israeli children that were murdered left out the effect it had on the other Israeli yeshiva children...the bonds that develop, the feeling that their path in life, focusing on G-d, had been defiled and somehow the dead were at fault because the Arabs were protesting Israel's greatness through the killings...and through their kidnappings and deaths that yeshiva children could die were were just like any other secular children or Arab religious children...not so...this revenge murder of a gay Arab is telling you this...the study of Torah gives you strength...and conviction...and courage...the murder of the Arab was done in outrage and in truth these murdered children are not equal...and to say they are is an outrage...one side teaches death and murder, the other teaches Tikum Olam..repair the world...harsh words you say? How dare that I should step outside the lines of political correctness! Call me what you want...use the current words used to stifle dissent to shame me...phobic this and phobic that... YET I REFUSE TO TAKE THE PATH OF THE SUPPOSED HIGH MORAL GROUND CURRENTLY USED BY ISRAEL TO SEEK WORLD APPLAUSE.... what is at the bottom of all this mayhem the Arabs cannot come to grips they aren't the chosen ones even though they've squatted on the G-d appointed land of the Jews and ripped off the Jewish religion and called it their own...What is happening today is long held grievances similar to hand mistress Hagar mocking Sarah and being dismissed...Ishmael mocking Issac during the joyous celebration and feast and being sent away almost empty handed...

Anonymous said...

I wrote the above and it truly pains me to not side with Israel in their condemnations of the killing...Israel is to me spot free...can do no wrong in their struggles and even when they appear wrong, as the chosen ones, they will be vindicated...

Anonymous said...

Fully agree with every word here Daniel, excellent article.

One cannot embrace cowardice and the moral high ground. With Islam it's either you or them. That applies to all non-believers but more so with Israel and the Jewish people.

I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees a coward. I think it was Plato who said: "To be conquered by the self is the most shameful and vile." He's right we have to stop hating ourselves and transfer it to the enemy.

Islam deserves nothing less.

Proud Brit.

Alex in Montana said...

Candlelight Vigils

Every time I see one these I see self indulgence and lack of action.

Do you or did you ever see candlelight vigils by the enemies of Israel and Jews: Nazi Germany, Khomeini's Iran, Hamas Gaza. No, when one theirs is killed they scream for blood. They don't light candles. I don't mean that Israel should scream for blood but lighting a candle is surrender.

My own take is that by the Netanyahu government doing nothing after the boys were found murdered, the only revenge at that point could be taken not by the state but by an individual(s) acting without permission of the state, hence the murder of the Muslim teenager.

If Gaza is attacked it will be more about the rockets than the boys.

LFMayor said...

Don't fret. A Josiah for our age will come.

Kol Bo Gary said...

Daniel, I don't know that you'll ever be able to outdo this piece. Thank you so much for giving word to such truths. Let us hope that this time "for once and for all" will have true meaning, and that Israel will do what has to be done, the US, the UN, and the rest, be damned.

RAM said...

Often this Moloch is Western Elite Opinion. Some want to placate this Moloch out of shared political convictions and others want to placate it out of fear that outside economic and military support will otherwise vanish. It could vanish anyhow, given who now governs the major outside nations! Time for us all to get straight with HaShem, our true Support.

Anonymous said...

Your excellent standard is maintained.
While Hama shows no fear of Israel, its continued rocket/missile attacks will continue
While Israel ponders how to react to the war crimes and destroys more infrastructure and people unable to move, this is how Hamas and all Arabs rejoice
Israel is paralysed to act for fear of condemnation by her "friends" in the west
How stupid and delusional of her leaders.
Israel needs to take strong action each time.
Why did Israel warn Gaza before the IDF struck?
How pathetic and what encouragement to the Arabs
When will Israel learn
Your own people come first, not the UN, EU, USA, Russia etc.

Kevin Bjornson said...

Daniel--you are using the terms "universalism" and "humanism" in a manner inconsistent with both the root words and standard usage.

The root word "universe" simply means, all that exists. Or at least, all that exists within a specific time/space cycle of a "Big Bang" and "Big Implosion".

Logically extrapolating from this root word, we may say that "Universalism" means that certain principles apply everywhere, every time, and to every person.
A humanistic universalism would mean, natural laws govern the universe.

Religious universalism means, all religions are equally correct and apply universally. Gandhi was a religious universalist so he is not a example of humanistic universalism.

"humanism" simply means, the philosophy that favors human virtues; i.e. the idea that good is defined by the best aspects of human nature, and is not something imposed from a supernatural force (whether applied universally or particularly).
"Humanism" does not mean as you state, the idea that Jewish children must become martyrs.

"universalism" in political terms, means that murder is murder, no matter where, when or by whom the murder is committed. A Jewish universalist views the commandment against murder to apply universally, while a Jewish particularist might excuse the recent "price tag" murder of an Arab boy (in retaliation for the murder of three Jewish boys). While an Islamist particularist would say, initiation of force against Jews is not bad because the rules of justice are determined by the particular circumstances (such as the religion of the murderer and the murdered) and not universal rules.

Natural law does not become invalid justice because of rejection by a particular culture, but rather, punishes cultures that reject the laws that govern us all, while tending to reward cultures that are in accord with universal principles of humanity.
What unites all humans is our rational animality. What unites all anti-humanists is rejection of human nature and reality, the ultimate source of principles of justice.

WomanHonorThyself said...

You are a malach Daniel and I pray Hashem takes your words to heart as you are a bastion of sanity and courage in an Orwellian nightmare of self hating Jews and IzlamoNazism.

Anonymous said...

The political gnostic cults that Eric Voegelin predicted would ascend to power has come into being. Their error is in believing the current orders are a cosmic fact, not temporal arrangements of men. This is not a mere theoretical fallacy or mood, but counter principles to the principles of existence. These counter principles, such as the denial of cause and effect in historical reality result in nothing but propaganda for moral insanity.

So any action that would have been a call to war in the past are now met by those in the dream world with denunciations, calls for world peace. Another feature is the prohibition on questions, taboos on investigation of cause and effect as an immoral enterprise.

Anonymous said...

Your essay mirrors your inner world that includes the Torah. My only criticism is your shortening of the Biblical story where the Jews stand on the two mountains and are told that 'good' and 'life' are similar and therefore they should choose life. It was there that the rough equivalence of 'life' and 'good'.became axiomatic for Judaism. No one else takes that equivalence as seriously as do the Jews. That is why martyrdom as a concept is foreign to Judaism and where it exists, is severely delimited.

We as Jews should re-enact that event in each generation.

Anonymous said...

LFMajor,
And in the meantime the Jews will continue to be sacrificial animals for the human predators to feast on. Israel seems to have difficulty recognizing that when they go to clean up the predators' nests or rats' nests you don't leave any predators or rats behind. The female of the species is as vicious as the male and sometimes even more so and they young grow up to be big predators or big rats.
By the way, why do you keep waiting for others to save and rescue you instead of taking the responsibility of taking care of yourself.

Johnny said...

What has to be dealt with for proper understanding is the level of hypocrisy that is normal to human nature. Once a moral coded is applied to somebody else, the holder of the code no longer has to endure the burden of the code. When this happens, not infrequently, the sense of moral purpose soars to the heights. Regrettably the notion of virtue itself often becomes an extreme notion of some otherwise laudable goal, and the thing becomes not virtue, but a commitment to personal moral elitism arrived at by promoting notions of virtue that are often damaging if actually followed.

As this applies to Israel in particular, the difference between those who live in Israel and those who live elsewhere is that the residents of the country are the ones who will die or be displaced if the country is overrun. They are also much more likely to be damaged by the random violence of their enemies. Naturally then, the citizens of Israel have a sense of virtue that is more constrained and practical than those who live elsewhere.

careyrowland said...

This is a very helpful perspective on what it means to be Jewish in a hostile world. This Christian is reminded of Joshua and Caleb while reading it. Thanks, Mr. Knish, for sharing your unique viewpoint.

Anonymous said...

Israel is a beacon of light in a part of the world that is otherwise a black hole. However, sometimes She acts like a low self esteem wife who refuses to leave her abusive husband.
Most people are aware that Israel could take action that would have serious effects on much of that black hole.
Media opinion in the West be damned, they should thank Israel in the end, but they prefer to wait until their own ox is getting gored. By then, it may be too late.

sophie

Anonymous said...

"The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook" .

Peter J said...

Beautifully said, philosophically profound, and politically acute...

Anonymous said...

I'm an agnostic so am not moved by religious claims. If Jews and Christians think Jews are the chosen people, it's a matter of indifference to me. I can't see why A should be upset that B is "chosen." I've not see anything in what I've read about Muslims in the last nine years that suggests they are torqued over Jews being the CP.

It's simpler. The Koran commands Muslims to humiliate, enslave, or kill infidels. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article, Daniel:)

"The traditional Jewish martyr who died for the sanctification of the Name of G-d was choosing physical death for the perpetuation of a religious idea that was also a national identity."

I instantly thought of Rabbi Akiva.

Keliata

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