Yes, I know. Jihadis are supposed to be Muslim. After all, Islam created the concept. But I’m afraid that it’s somehow rubbed off on many right wing Jews. They need to see all of Islam arrayed against all of Judaism in a holy war in which we will all fight to the death. I’m not sure where that gets them other than to a species-wide dead end. But let it not be said that human attitudes and behavior ever follows a rational course especially when fueled by hate and revenge.
In all this I’m referring to the entirely depressingly hostile response in the Comment is Free thread to my post yesterday about the Mumbai attacks. I argued a number of points but the main one attempted to distinguish between a terror attack that would be motivated by anti-Semitism as opposed to anti-Israelism. Contrary to what my Jewish jihadi opponents claim, it’s not either a morally bankrupt or theoretical distinction.
The Mumbai terrorists clearly stated that their attack was in revenge for Palestinian suffering and that they saw Chabad House as an Israeli target. In the Forward, an Indian who spoke for hours with the Chabad House terrorist never indicated in his report that anti-Semitic words were spoken to him. To be clear, I am not diminishing the horror of the murder of innocent hostages, whatever their national or religious origin. That is not at all the point.
Rather, I’m try to carefully approach a complicated issue so as not to get sucked into the vortex of hate and revenge spewed by all terror attacks. That is why I completely correctly and justifiably distinguished between anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli terror. In fact, none of the media reports and none of the supposed evidence marshalled by any of my opponents have pointed to the terrorists, chilling as their acts were, being motivated by a global hatred of Jews.
Why is this important? Because when two sides of a conflict are divided over a political or territorial dispute it can be resolved. But when they are guided by global hatred of an entire religion, then such a dispute is almost impossibly intractable.
If you want to characterize the attack as anti-Semitic, you have to have some idea of how the terrorists saw the target. Imposing your own interpretation of their motives on the attack would be as if a Jew killed a Palestinian and Muslims claimed to know the killer’s mind and stated with certainty that he hated all Muslims and the attack was part of a holy war against Islam. How would they know unless the killer said so explicitly (which the Mumbai killers did not)?
My Jewish jihadi friends NEED to see the Mumbai attack as based in anti-Semitism because they either wish to, or are prepared to concede a religious holy war between Islam and Judaism in which we will all fight to the death leaving a world in which none of us shall remain standing.
I however, want to see the Israeli Arab conflict resolved so that both sides can eventually live in peace.
Now, at the peacefully negotiated conclusion of this conflict there may still remain religious haters on both sides who will not be satisfied until we fight each other in an Armageddon like cosmic battle. But by then, after the major issues are resolved, the din will subside and the jihadis on both sides will not have an audience.
So if you wish to see the Mumbai attack as one that threatens all Jews, be my guest. But you’ve only allowed yourselves to be drawn into the cycle of global Jewish-Muslim jihadi revenge. And that is a dead end literally in which the bodies of the future Gabriel and Rivka Holtzbergs korbanot will pile like kindling up to the heavens.
My Jewish God is a God of mercy, not a God of vengeance or of hatred. My God wants us all to live in peace even if that is not yet achievable. He doesn’t want a religious Hatfield & McCoys feud that continues till the end of time.
Oh and by the way, would my opponents care to try to interpret the Hebron pogromists’ rampage yesterday, in which they came a hair’s breath away from immolating a Palestinian family of 20 (see Haaretz’s eyewitness report) sheltering in their home, as an act that was not the equivalent of anti-Muslim jihadism? So let’s not have the Jewish pot calling the Muslim kettle black please. I think there is blackness in all our hearts. The question is how to wipe away the stain so we can cleanse our hearts.