Wednesday, July 20, 2005


WHEN Bassus was dead in Judea, Flavius Silva succeeded him as procurator there; who, when he saw that all the rest of the country was subdued in this war, and that there was but one only strong hold that was still in rebellion, he got all his army together that lay in different places, and made an expedition against it.

This fortress was called Masada. It was one Eleazar, a potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii, that had seized upon it. He was a descendant from that Judas who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly related, not to submit to the taxation when Cyrenius was sent into Judea to make one; for then it was that the Sicarii got together against those that were willing to submit to the Romans, and treated them in all respects as if they had been their enemies, both by plundering them of what they had, by driving away their cattle, and by setting fire to their houses; for they said that they differed not at all from foreigners, by betraying, in so cowardly a manner, that freedom which Jews thought worthy to be contended for to the utmost, and by owning that they preferred slavery under the Romans before such a contention.

I mentioned Masada in my previous post about Israel, "Israelis have guts", and I realized, theres probably a hell of a lot of folks who don't know what I'm talking about.
“Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice...We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom.”

-- Elazar ben Yair, Patriarch of Masada

Here is an excerpt from about Masada:

By the middle of the first century CE, Masada was held by a small group of Jewish fighting men and their families. When, in 70 CE, after four years of full-scale Jewish revolt against Rome, the Roman General Titus conquered and sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, a number of warriors evaded capture and joined the group at Masada. Together they numbered less than 1000 souls.

For two years their control of Masada remained unchallenged. Then, in 72 CE, the Roman governor Flavius Silva moved up the 15,000-man Tenth Legion, which camped at the foot of the mountain stronghold and besieged the defending force entrenched on its summit. The Romans built a wall around Masada, as well as a massive ramp of boulders and earth. We are told by the historian Josephus Flavius - who based his story on the testimony of two survivors - how the defenders watched these preparations for the onslaught.

When the defenders' leader, Eleazar ben Ya'ir, realized that the end was near, he bade his followers to remain true to the cause for which they had fought so long and so valiantly. "Let us rather die", he cried, "than be enslaved by our enemy. Let us leave this world in freedom". Nine hundred and sixty men, women and children died by their own hands. The men embraced their wives and children and put them to the sword. Next, lots were cast, and ten men were chosen to take the lives of their comrades. Finally, the last surviving warrior set fire to the palace and fell upon his own blade. The defenders had left untouched abundant supplies of food and water, so that the Romans might know that they had preferred death to enslavement.

Let us rather die than be enslaved by our enemy. This is the spirit that motivates the israelies today, to resist islamist terror.

This was the spirit that inspired the warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943:

Support from outside the Ghetto was limited, but Polish units from Armia Krajowa (AK) and Gwardia Ludowa sporadically attacked German sentry units near the ghetto walls and attempted to smuggle weapons and ammunition inside. One Polish unit from AK, namely KB under the command of Henryk Iwański, even fought inside the Ghetto together with ŻZW. The AK tried twice to blow up the Ghetto Wall, but without much success.

The final battle started on the eve of Passover, April 19, 1943. Jewish partisans shot and threw grenades at German and allied patrols from alleyways, sewers, house windows, and even burning buildings. The Nazis responded by shelling the houses block by block and rounding up or killing any Jew they could capture. Significant resistance ended on April 23, and the uprising ended on May 16. Nevertheless, sporadic shooting could be heard in the area of the Ghetto throughout the summer of 1943.

So tell me, why are American jews so different? Why are they not defiant? Why are they not denouncing terror? Why are they not arming themselves? Why are they against the war...?

Or at least, most politically active or vocal American jewish groups are very much against the war. In fact most jewish groups in America are flamingly lefty, and organized Jewish politics were once very strongly associated with communism in America.

Near and dear to my own heart, most organized Jewish groups (except JPFO who I support wholeheartedely, and have donated to) are explicitly anti gun; yet there is little support for this theologically.

Beresheis 4:23, Ramban: “The sword is not the cause of murder, and there is no sin upon him who made it.”
A weapon, is neutral; It can be used for good or for evil. Calling guns evil or bad is non-sensical, fbecause gun can be used in self-defense. The Torah makes very clear that self defense is a fundamental right.
The Torah (Exodus 22.2) says that a householder may kill a burglar to save his own life.

Gemara Sanhedrin (72A) says: “He who rises to kill you, you must kill first.”
Actually, most of the orthodox and/or conservative jews I know outside of New York strongly support private gun ownership, generally because they remember, every day, what happens to an unarmed populace. That said however, there arent a heck of a lot of jews outside New York, the Northeast, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and California.

So how did Judaism go from Masada and Warsaw, to "Jewish Students for Palestinian freedom"?

This is a topic that has been debated among Jews of various political persuasions for a loooong time (at least a few hundred years at this point).

The modern American Jewish tendency towards irrational liberalism has far too many causes to talk about in less than a thick book, but let’s start with the history of jews since the second temple, the politics of Europe from the middle ages to today, and a good solid dose of self hatred in the grandest tradition of minority groups everywhere.

A good friend of mine is a Rabbi, a former gun owner and hunter, and a libertarian. He’s originally from Pennsylvania but is now living in London, married to a nice jewish girl from a good family.

He’s also one of the smartest, and most decent people I’ve ever met, but the only evil he is able to percieve is that of anti-semitism, which he seems to see in… well almost everything that isn’t 100% supportive of israel.

This atitude seems to be almost unique to American Judaism, London jews being the major exception (they tend to be even more liberal than American Jews).

This is most probably because America is just about the only place where Jews don’t have the fact that most of the world hates them graphically demonstrated on a daily basis... Unless you live in berkley that is.

Another of my good friends is a VERY conservative taditionalist jew from Switzerland. Her considered experience is that Switzerland is a very polite, very orderly country where Jews, who are a small but significant percentage of the population, are very politely and quietly detested.

And France? The best demonstration of the state of affairs in France has to be this: Hoax or not, the reports last year of a woman being assaulted on the Paris metro for being Jewish, while 20 people watched and did nothing, didn’t particularly shock anyone who’s been paying attention.

So we know why Jews AREN’T so liberal in other places, why ARE they so solidly liberal here?

Well how about the fact that perhaps 1/2 of all Jews in America live and/or grew up in the northeast (as did I, as a catholic) which is about as solidly liberal as is possible in a country divided so evenly down the left/right line.

Then there’s the fact that Jews in America tend to be better educated (yes it’s a sterotype, but demographic statistics say it’s also true), and the “good” colleges and universities in America have been institutions of liberal indoctrination since the ‘60’s

The folks that have dominated significant jewish thinking both religiously and politically in America since the ‘60’s have either been ultra liberal, or ultra conservative, and those on the ultraconservative side have only had one issue, Israel.

Oh and and coincidentally they’ve been, quite frankly, such total whackjobs that they made the ultraliberals look good in comparison.

Take all of these things together, and they have some pretty wide reaching implications.

It’s only been very recently that what people now call “neo-cons” (who have been writing the same stuff in policy journals since the late 60’s) have gotten any attention, or presented any real alternative to the lunatics on both sides. Here’s hoping we get a heck of a lot more of that.

But really lets go into it a little deeper here.

Above I said that Jews as a demographic are better educated. According to intelligence researchers, when looking at certain subgroups of Jews, they are also as a demographic slightly more intelligent

From the results of IQ tests (The Bell Curve - Liberals hate it), Ashkenazi Jews are about 15 IQ points ahead of the standard White Anglo Saxon types (about 1 Standard Deviation). The Sephardic Jews, on the other hand show no real difference from the average.

The best theory I’ve ever seen to explain this is the one was that it was self selection, or rather natural selection in visible action.

For thousands of years the Ashkenazim were in a cultural mode where intellectual performance was by far the most important indicator of success (some might say they still are, and the rest of us are getting there). Quite simply, smart and creative people got married and had kids far more than those of “average” (or below) intellect.

The Ashkenazi were also among the more restrictive in their relationships, not only marrying other jews, but generally only marrying other Ashkenazim, which re-inforced this trend (this is even more strongly evidenced in Hassidim).

But this introduced an isolating element. We forget, but in many places the Jews created their OWN ghettoes, to keep others out (okay it's more complicated than that)...

The Ashkenazi wrapped their culture and intellectual achievment around them like a cloak to keep out the hate of the world. They tried to pretend that they were anything more than loathed and barely tolerated anywhere they werent killed outright, as did most jews in western europe.

The Sephardim were even more self isolating, but they achieved a certain level of prominence in middle ages europe. It was this prominence that caused them to be cast out, and persecuted as the first victims of the spanish inquisiton; and they have never recovered.

The Jews been doing this at least since the 5th century with the adoption of christianity as the official state religion of Rome (and on a more limited scale as far back as 400-600 bc). It’s never worked for them for very long.

Funny, this is the same behavior that certain unpopular kids in high school exhibit. It doesn't work for them either.

Oh and It’s also the same basic philosophy that pacifists have been spouting for a few hundred years. Nope, doesnt work for them either.

It seems to be a basic psychological impluse in those that have a high level of threat against them, and little power to respond to it, “maybe if I act enough like them, or if they don’t notice me, they won’t hurt me” .

Okay back onto the "why Jews are liberal in America" a litt more specificially, we need to take a look at the political and social history of political parties in America.

It’s way too long a discussion (and I’ve done too much typing already), but the reason the Jews first came into the democratic party, is the same reason that the Irish (who were and are generally socially incompatible with the core party values); the democratic machine.

Machine politics absolutely dominated the Democratic party from the 1840’s until at least the 1960’s. During this period, unpopular ethnic groups (other than blacks in the south) were actively recruited by gross pandering, patronage, and lots of promises.

They were then encouraged to pit their interests against those of other groups in the party, and of course the other parties, competing for resources in what was presumed to be a zero sum political game.

All of this this reinforced the machine mentality, and the small group factionalization that prevails in the democratic party even today.

Now, lets add into the mix the fact that the largest single religious demographic in the socialist and communist parties in America were Jews... something I will NEVER understand. Remember, there used to be a lot of socialist Jews in eastern europe, but over the past 120 years most of them were killed, imprisoned, or went to Israel (or America)... to my mind a very graphic illustration of why you shouldnt trust the government to keep you safe.

Starting in the 1930’s and then accelerating greatly in the ‘50s-’60s (after HUAC), the democratic party absorbed most of the socialists and communists left in America. This influence is definitely still a major force in the party today.

So now we have a lot of jews here in America who advocate compelete disarmament. They advocate giving in to the culture of victimhood, or in allowing the state to protect them

A comment on Kim Du Toits site from about a year ago had this quote “They say, ‘Never forget!’ but they’ve forgotten what they were supposed to remember.”

For me.. well I wonder how one says "Molon Labe BITCH!" in hebrew...

But to be serious, if I had to chose between Masada and Majanek, I can only hope I would have the courage of Elazar ben Yair:

“We have preferred death before slavery”