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In that sense, we’re all racists

Posted By Obadiah Shoher On February 5, 2013 @ 9:05 am In racism | 1 Comment

It seems very intuitive: if something is right, do it; if someone needs help, help him. Not so. What seems right to some people is very unreasonable to others; the Americans wanted to democratize Iraq, but the Iraqi Shia only wanted to kill all the Sunni. American blacks and Israeli Arabs obviously needed help to become equal members of developed societies, but welfare and affirmative action produced a class of hostile spongers. Diffidence underlies liberalism. We should not impose good on others, and it is very doubtful whether we should do good even when asked. That, of course, relates to complex societal issues rather than helping an old lady to cross the street.

Judaism wisely prescribes non-doing, Do not do unto your neighbor what is hateful to yourself. The policy of not harming others cannot go wrong. Judaism also qualifies the rule, applies it only to neighbors. People cannot avoid harming others: for example, trade unions keep their members’ salaries high by passing costs onto consumers.

Israelis need not care about the national aspirations of the Palestinians. Arab rights are a mere curiosity, just like the rights of conflicting groups in the Ivory Coast war. Rights, whether Jewish or Arab, are irrelevant. Germany had a good claim to Alsace-Lorraine and to German-settled parts of Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The Jews should not unreasonably or unnecessarily harm the Arabs, and the transfer passes that test. A fifty-mile relocation to Jordan, where the Palestinians form the majority, is no great hassle. Israeli Arabs will lose the welfare provisions, but Jews should not be helping them in the first place.

Is that racism on the part of the Jews? Not in the normal sense of the word, which implies hateful action. Jews merely recognize that people are different. To ask which is better, apples or oranges, is silly: they are different. That does not preclude people from preferring either apples or oranges. Distinctions do not call for discrimination, but tastes can legitimately differ. Some dislike apples, others dislike Arabs. Honestly, all people prefer to live with culturally similar neighbors, rather than with odd and hostile aliens who are unpredictable, and thus cannot be trusted.

Israeli leftists proclaim that Arabs are equal citizens of the Jewish state, but protest the return of the 1948 refugees. Except for a handful of masochists who really want the Jewish state to go down into the melting pot of Jewish-Arab democracy, leftists are no less ‘racist’ than the right. Leftists only put their ideology of ethnic-blind-democracy-and-international-solidarity above their feelings and common sense. The right wing is somewhat less hypocritical.


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