Political Judgments, Not Abstract “Hate,” Cause Terrorism

June 16 2016

R. R. Reno responds to the familiar platitudes offered by American politicians in the wake of the murderous attack in Orlando:

Radical Islam’s political judgment—that America is the world’s preeminent source of moral and spiritual corruption—was articulated once by Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who was executed in 1966. . . . [H]aving reached this conclusion, [Qutb argued], any responsible person—especially any Muslim seeing himself privileged to have an empowering faith in the one God—should logically fight against America’s global preeminence. Indeed, insofar as such a person cares for those of us living in the United States, he should wish to liberate us from our perverse culture.

The violence [such a person] will commit is properly called terrorism. . . . It is fundamentally different from incidents in which the perpetrator is deranged by some strong emotion—“hate”—as were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. We don’t call the Columbine massacre “terrorism.” . . . So why do our leaders, when speaking of the Orlando shooting, have recourse to “hate”?

Because our leaders cannot imagine a rational anti-Americanism. This is due in part to the narrowing effect of multiculturalism. Paradoxically, instead of broadening our capacity to entertain ways of thinking not our own, multiculturalism has made us parochial. We compliment ourselves endlessly for our tolerance, inclusiveness, and diversity. Since we are so tolerant of others, we assume, there is no reason others shouldn’t tolerate us. Since we are never offended, we must be inoffensive.

When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say that history is on our side, this is what they mean: there is no valid argument against our ascendancy or our way of thinking. Our multicultural leaders are incapable of seeing the world through the eyes of a conservative Muslim, or of any religiously conservative person.

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More about: anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Multiculturalism, Muslim Brotherhood, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism

Jerusalem’s Economic Crisis, Its Arabs, and Its Future

Oct. 18 2018

The population of Israel’s capital city is 38-percent Arab, making Arab eastern Jerusalem the largest Arab community in the country. Connected to this fact is Jerusalem’s 46-percent poverty rate—the highest of any Israeli municipality. The city’s economic condition stems in part from its large ultra-Orthodox population, but there is also rampant poverty among its Arab residents, whose legal status is different from that of both Arab Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Haviv Rettig Gur explains:

Jerusalem’s Arab inhabitants are not Israeli citizens—in part because Palestinian society views acceptance of Israeli citizenship, [available to any Arab Jerusalemite who desires it], as acceptance of Israeli claims of sovereignty over the city, and in part because Israel is not eager to accept them, even as it formally views itself as having annexed the area. Nevertheless, they have a form of permanent residency that, unlike West Bank Palestinians, allows them unimpeded access to the rest of Israel. . . .

There are good reasons for this poverty among eastern Jerusalem’s Arabs, rooted in the political trap that has ensnared the Arab half of the city and with it the rest of the city as well. Right-wing Israeli political leaders have avoided investing in Arab eastern Jerusalem, fearing that such investments would increase the flow of Palestinians into the city. Left-wing leaders have done the same on the grounds that the Arab half would be given away in a future peace deal.

Meanwhile, eastern Jerusalem’s complicated situation, suspended between the Israeli and Palestinian worlds, means residents cannot take full advantage of their access to the Israeli economy. For example, while most Arab women elsewhere in Israel learn usable Hebrew in school, most Arab schools in eastern Jerusalem teach from the Palestinian curriculum, which does not offer students the Hebrew they will need to find work in the western half of the city. . . .

It is not unreasonable to argue that Jerusalem cannot really be divided, not for political reasons but for economic ones. If Jerusalem remains a solely Israeli capital, it will have to integrate better its disparate parts and massively develop its weaker communities if it hopes ever to become solvent and prosperous. Arabs must be able to find more and better work in Jewish Jerusalem—and in Arab Jerusalem, too. Conversely, if the city is divided into two capitals, that of a Jewish state and that of a Palestinian one, that won’t change the underlying economic reality that its prosperity, its capacity to accommodate tourism and develop efficient infrastructure, and its ability to ensure access for all religions to their many holy sites, will still require a unified urban space.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Arabs, Israeli economy, Jerusalem