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Why Judaism Proves a Threat to Parochialists and Cosmopolitans Alike

Aug. 31 2017

One of the puzzles of anti-Semitism is that it has managed, in its various forms, to attract believing Christians, believing Muslims, secular racists, devotees of the far left and far right, and—in its most modern form, hatred of the Jewish state—progressives who claim to stand for tolerance. Moshe Koppel suggests an answer:

In a word, the Jews are messiah-killers. But not that messiah.

Think about the vibe the world gets from [the traditional Jewish attitude]—and from Israel. It goes something like this: we Jews have our ways. We eat differently, dress differently, pray differently. We’re a tribe with our own hierarchies and we look out for each other. In short, we have our own moral system, including restraints and loyalties. We hold you in contempt for murdering us or, in the best case, remaining indifferent to our murder, but we’re prepared to live and let live. We won’t treat you like family, but we’ll be fair if you’ll be fair. And we’ll live this way for a good long time until our messiah comes.

[Judaism thus rests on the claim that] we can live according to our own distinct moral rules and nevertheless be fair with you.

Almost nobody wants to hear that claim. Not those Christians who wish to bring salvation now through universal acceptance of Jesus. Not Muslims who wish to bring salvation now through the restoration of the caliphate. Not racists who wish to bring salvation now by eliminating inferior races. Not enlightened philosophers who wish to bring salvation now through the triumph of reason over religion. Not post-nationalists who wish to bring salvation now through world government. Not [late-20th-century leftists] who wish to bring salvation now through freedom from the persistent demands of their former communities. Not [today’s leftists] who wish to bring salvation now through liberation from the responsibility of growing up and maintaining civilization.

They all despise [the Jews] for stubbornly standing in the way of salvation. They all share an interest in denying the very possibility of reconciling particularist traditions and loyalties with fairness to others.

Read more at Judaism without Apologies

More about: Anti-Semitism, Judaism, Religion & Holidays, Universalism

Hamas’s Dangerous Escalation in Gaza

June 22 2018

As Hamas has stepped up its attacks on communities near the Gaza Strip—using incendiary devices attached to kites and balloons—Israel has begun to retaliate more forcefully. In response, the terrorist group has begun firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Yoav Limor comments:

What made Wednesday’s rocket salvo different is that ‎unlike previous flare-ups on the border [since 2014], this time it ‎was Hamas operatives who fired at Israel, as opposed ‎to Islamic Jihad or the ‎rogue terrorist group in the coastal enclave. ‎Still, Hamas made sure the attack followed most of ‎the familiar “rules”—only [firing] at night and only at the ‎ communities in the vicinity of Gaza, and apparently while also ‎trying to minimize any casualties, to avoid further ‎escalation. ‎. . .

The first reason [for the shift in tactics] is Israel’s own change of policy ‎with regard to kite terrorism. It took Israel far ‎too long to define the incessant waves of incendiary ‎kites sent over the border as actionable acts of ‎terror, but once it did, the IDF began ‎systematically countering them, including firing ‎warning shots at terrorist kite cells and targeting ‎Hamas assets in Gaza in retaliation.‎

The second reason is Hamas’s own frustration and ‎distress in Gaza. Since the border-riot campaign was ‎launched on March 30, some 150 of its operatives ‎have been killed and the Israeli military has ‎carried out over 100 strikes on Hamas positions in ‎the coastal enclave, all while Hamas has nothing to ‎show for it. ‎In this situation, Hamas is searching for [some sort of victory] by declaring that “bombings will be ‎met with bombings,” as Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum ‎said Wednesday, in order to portray itself as defending Gaza from ‎Israel.‎ . . .

Hamas is banking on Israel opting against a military ‎campaign in Gaza at this time so as not to split its ‎focus from the [developments in Syria], but it is sorely ‎mistaken if it thinks Israel will simply contain ‎kite terrorism or shy away from action given the new ‎equation it has presented. ‎At some point, Israel’s patience will expire.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security