"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Shministim שמיניסטים

Last week was 'Israeli Apartheid Week' - a global round of hand-wringing, generally upon university campuses, about Israel and its propensity for unashamed self defence.

The vast majority of the protests and events took place in North America, (although there was this programme of lectures in London) and concentrated on spreading the usual propaganda about 'occupation', 'racism' and 'apartheid', false comparisons to South Africa, lies about war crimes.

There were some ugly incidents, such as the one at the University of Toronto where the following happened [hat tip: Vlad Tepes Blog]:

'Tonight at the U of T [Israeli Apartheid Week] event, two Jewish students were assaulted by the Palestinian “Security” team for being “disruptive” (asking a legitimate question “does Israel have a right to exist”) The Palestinian “security” smacked a student in the head and grabbed him by his neck, while another “security” officer told a second Jewish student to “Shut the F**ck up or he’ll saw his head off”…All of this was done in a crowded lecture room with over 100 witnesses!!'

It was also reported that after the above incident was brought to the attention of police, nothing was done, which sadly does not surprise me.

Anyway, to coincide with this event the RMT London Transport Region & Finsbury Park RMT and Workers Liberty organised a lecture tour of the United Kingdom by Tamar Katz.

She is one of the 'Shministim', Israeli teenagers jailed for refusing to serve in the IDF (2 years of national service is mandatory in Israel for women, 3 for men). Here is the reason she gives:

“I refuse to enlist in the Israeli military on conscientious grounds. I am not willing to become part of an occupying army, that has been an invader of foreign lands for decades, which perpetuates a racist regime of robbery in these lands, tyrannizes civilians and makes life difficult for millions under a false pretext of security.”

“I oppose the anti-Palestinian policy of attrition and the oppression, not because I prefer the Palestinian society to the Israeli one, but out of an understanding that this policy has led us down a dead-end road politically and to immorality, forced especially on soldiers stationed in the Occupied Territories. I am not willing to become on of those holding the gun pointed indiscriminately at Palestinian civilians, and I do not believe that such actions could bring any change except ever more antagonism and violence in our region.”

Personally, I vehemently disagree with all she says and all she stands for. However, in some ways I think it is a testament to Israel as a free society that such people exist within it, however misguided they are. I wonder what would happen to a group of Palestinian school pupils who vocally supported Israel and denounced violent attacks upon it?

There are more like her, though, profiled here by 'Jewish Voice for Peace'.

Two things primarily concern me about this; firstly the way that their cases are becoming a cause celebre for the radical left and even Islamists here in Britain (if you click on the links for the groups which organised this tour, that should speak for itself).

Secondly, just how frighteningly misguided these young people and their shills here in the West are.

Here is a blog post on Katz's tour by a supporter of the Green Party. It calls her a 'war resistor' and opens with the line:

"Just seen this...great, great, the Shministim are one of the great hopes in the Middle East!"

Are they? Hope for what, exactly?

In a conflict between two parties, peace cannot come from one side alone unless it is absolutely and mercilessly crushed.

However well intentioned these people are, peace cannot come simply from Israeli conscripts laying down their arms.

Unless of course, Israel disappearing is your vision of peace. But it's not mine. A vibrant, free, Western society will not be willingly snuffed out - we all realise the kind of violence it would take to conquer Israel and make her submit.

This young woman and her ilk are idealists. They see that war and violence are inherently wrong, and think the world would be different somehow if the strong laid down their arms and let the weak do as they please.

I see that as chaos, anarchy, and it would create an evil far more profound than the current Israeli military presence in parts of Israel's borderlands. Tearing down the existing order always does.

The campaign calls this woman a hero, and pretends her cause is moral. It isn't moral, and the word hero should never be used in such a glib fashion.

The true heroes are the young men and women who put on their uniforms and fight; not because they love war or violence (or because I do), but because they are prepared to stand up for what they believe in against an implacable, unenlightened foe. More than that, the fact they are willing to serve and risk all is the only thing which stands between the likes of Miss Katz and death or slavery. Whatever they think of her, they allow her to exist; the reverse is not and cannot be true.

They fight for their country, their homes, their families, their own rights and their very existence as a nation and a people. They also fight for freedom - and that includes giving the Shministim and their ilk the right to their own opinions. Many are maimed or pay the ultimate price for these things - they give their lives.

That, to me, is infinitely more heroic and selfless than strutting around Europe at the invitation of a proudly Marxist political party, pretending you're superior because you were punished according to the law for your own free actions - whilst knowing the people you see as dupes or pawns are keeping your family safe as their own lie awake wondering if there will be a phone call or a midnight knock, and just how bad the news will be.

When the two concepts of heroism are confused or swapped, we are finished. But fortunately, some people still recognise the truth; this is the story of Yaakov Wolf, a 20 year old British Jew from London.

He miraculously survived having his throat torn open by a mortar blast whilst fighting in Gaza for a cause he believes in and identifies as his own - a free Israel, safe from terrorism and violence.

Miss Katz may think she wants the same, but sadly she's the dupe, being used by forces which conspire against her country and her people whilst shamelessly using her as a mouthpiece.


Derius said...

Miss Katz may want to consider the following saying:

"Those who believe that nothing is worth fighting for are pitiful creatures, and the only rights they have afforded to them are those that have been fought for, and won by, better men."

I can't remember who came up with this quote, but I suspect they had somebody like Miss Katz in mind when they said it.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Fantastic saying, very true and very telling.

My friend at Manchester University went to hear her speak, said the Q&A was the usual fawning.

I would have loved to be able to ask her how she can deride the very people who allow her to be free.

tiberge said...


An interesting post. Don't be too surprised at the number of Israelis (and other Jews in the diaspora) who are seemingly anti-Israel. Israel is one country whose survival depends on a sense of patriotism, nationalism, and religious pride more so even than the nations of Europe. Israel, though in theory open to other religions and ethnicities, cannot survive if it becomes too multi-ethnic, and if there are too many non-Israelis within its extremely limited borders. However, this is exactly what has happened. Israel has been behaving like any other post-1968 Western democracy, i.e., it has been allowing too many "others" into its land (and its Knesset) and has allowed a culture of "Israeli guilt", comparable to the "white guilt" of Americans and Europeans, to flourish. Hence, we see major Israeli newspapers such as Haaretz taking pro-Palestinian stands. And we see weak leftist governments, such as that of Olmert, stalling for time before taking definitive action against Hamas. Two years ago, when the IDF was fighting Hezbollah, Olmert stopped the war before there was a decisive victory (to the shock of many IDF soldiers), choosing instead to bow to pressures from the media, the Left and other forces inimical to Israel's survival. The result today of this weak-kneed position is not world-wide approval of Israel, but world-wide contempt for Israel. So all of this has gotten Israel nowhere. Only being true to itself, to its original mission of providing a homeland for Jews, of complete loyalty to its ancient religion, can save a country like this that must, by its very nature, be a kind of democratic theocracy. That may be a contradiction in terms, but not for Israel.

It is hoped that Netanyahu will improve things. But he is primarily known as a good businessman, not as a good warrior. However, he was the best they had.

It is "interesting" (I say that ironically) to read the French anti-Semites who berate Israel for engaging in "ethnic cleansing" and "religious intolerance", while at the same time they want to rid France of its non-French elements and its alien religions. They hate Israel when it fights for its survival, yet they exhort the French people to fight for their survival. Totally irrational.

Miss Katz is comparable to countless young idealists in America and Europe who feel guilty for the "crimes" committed by their country. This perversion of patriotic feeling into self-hatred has been prevalent in the West since the days of Jane Fonda. And it shows no signs of disappearing - this is why Islam had no trouble infiltrating the West (including Israel).