Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Anti-Semitism Panic

The least you can say is that it’s ironic. It also shows people who are impervious to reality. It also shows the kind cowardice that leads people fight the last war, while ignoring the current conflict.

David Bernstein comments on the great anti-Semitism panic of 2017 in the Washington Post:

The irony of all this is that if you talk privately to those who work in the Jewish organization world, many will confide that the greatest threat to the security of the American Jewish community is “changing demographics,” which is a euphemism for a growing population of Arab migrants to the United States. Anti-Semitism is rife in the Arab world, with over 80 percent of the public holding strongly anti-Semitic views in many countries. The issue of whether and to what extent the United States should expand refugee admissions is a complex one, and a potential rise in (potentially violent) anti-Semitism, at least in the short term until refugees and their families assimilate, is hardly the only factor to be considered. But it’s surely a paradox that the groups and individuals who express the most public fear of potential anti-Semitism emanating from the Trump administration express little if any concern about the potential problems of admitting an untold number of refugees and immigrants from countries where extreme anti-Semitic sentiments are mundane.


Ares Olympus said...

The answer seems simple enough.

Refugees ought to be willing to make personal statements against violence and ethnic hatreds. And if they can't do that, throw them back into the lion's den until they see why this is a good idea.

sestamibi said...

Yeah, right. What are you smoking, Ares? Sure they can make such statements, just like they swear an oath of allegiance to the US and the Constitution when they become citizens. Then they'll pick up an assault rifle and blow away dozens at a nightclub. Oh wait, Omar Mateen was born HERE.

Look up the term "taqqiya", then stop being so naïve.

Ares Olympus said...

Sestamibi said... Look up the term "taqqiya", then stop being so naïve.
Taqiya is an Islamic term referring to precautionary dissimulation or denial of religious belief and practice in the face of persecution.

It seems sensible to me. We'd not be asking people to deny their religion. We'd be asking them to swear a statement against violence. But I suppose there's still the complex problem of supporting violence, like wanting to send money "back home" to relatives, knowing some of that money may be used by terroristic groups.

But overall it is no different than asking members of any group to publicly condemn the violence by members of their group. We might believe such condemnation is insincere, but it is still important.

There does seem to be an ethical dilemma that every group can publicly condemn violence, while individuals within that group with mental issues can use violence to try to further the agenda of that group. For example, a mentally ill person can yell "baby parts" while shooting up an abortion clinic. We could call this "terrorism" or "lone wolves" acting on their own fantasies. But if you produce faked videos about abortion and call it murder, and someone else decides to take the law into their own hands and murder the murders, it seems reasonable that the produce of the video could be prosecuted as instigating the mentally ill's persons action.

If we just tried to identify mental illness, and quarantine people with aggressive words, that opens a new level of potential injustice. So the alternative seems to be that every crazy person with a gun deserves the right to murder as many people as he can before he's stopped, and that's what justice looks like.

And if such behavior only exists in less than 1% the population, perhaps we can handle the losses. Maybe someone can prove this occurs more frequently for people who have grown up in civil wars and under dictatorial governments, and maybe there 10% of the population is capable of murderous rage, and maybe those numbers are unacceptable, and the 90% we can't identify need to be punished and kept in harms way, rather than risk their unknown future behavior.

I agree fear of strangers is the lowest level of culture, and when people are afraid, then then don't want to take any risks in helping anyone, because it is too dangerous.

But if we can take some risks, an antiviolence oath seems a good start, and we can apply it to the second or third generation immigrants as well, if they seem more likely than the first generation to act badly.