Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Failure of Reason: Why Facts in Context Don't Work

"But unlike us Pakistanis, who have now started to engage critically with some of the foundational myths of our country, even progressive Israelis do not seem to have made that breakthrough. The foundational Zionist narrative is sacrosanct, except for some ultra-religious Jews for whom the existence of the State of Israel is an abomination."

Amazing how the author misses his own blindness.  The "foundational Zionist narrative" isn't sacrosanct but fact-based.  What IS "sacrosanct" is the PAKISTANI narrative of Israel's foundation and conduct.  Whenever I get into this, rubbishing all criticism by revealing and backing up facts, the response by thoughtful Pakistanis isn't agreement.  They defend being anti-Israel by invoking the right of people "everywhere" (specifically Pakistanis and Palestinian Arabs, but they mean to implicate Jews as well) to lie to themselves and their kids to sustain personal and collective pride.

Jews - even the most secular ones, I think - don't have this issue.  I've never met a Jew of any denomination who felt trapped by a lie told by a parent.  It's a very large and sustained cultural difference.  Religious Jews recognize it in their textbook of Oral Law, the Talmud, which tells the story that before selecting Israel G-d offered the Torah to several other nations which had various reasons for rejecting it or gave G-d insufficient guarantees that they would obey the Torah.  The Jews, on the other hand, not only accepted the Torah but promised G-d that their children would guarantee the parents' adherence to the Torah's principles, whereupon G-d immediately bestowed the Torah to the Jews. Thus, Jewish children often question their parents' every custom and practice, whether it be religious or not.

So when all is stripped away it's a matter of UNJUSTIFIABLE pride Israel and Jews must be hated and attacked.  Thus one needs invoke no religious grounds to justify the Jews having their own country: it's unreasonable to expect they will be able, in a conflict with a non-Jew, to expect justice from any country that sustains antisemitism as a political convenience.

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