Postmodernism has taught us that we live in an age of irony…where an undiscriminating skepticism brushes matters such as morality and political ethics aside as so much anachronistic detritus.” (Humanity, an emotional history. Stuart Walton)
My children attended a school that had a significant Muslim population. My children’s friends were of many faiths and ethnically diverse backgrounds. So I was concerned that there were times they felt under threat because of what they were not, as opposed to what they were. The good Muslims would tell my children and their friends that they would protect them (from the bad Muslims).
Of course I was outraged. We live in the UK and at least in theory, we are all equal, which means we are also educated towards equality. This means we should all receive equal treatment from the moment of our birth and throughout our lives. I do not mean that we should all receive a private education, private healthcare and a free luxury car but there are certain inalienable rights which are consistent across all sections of society. Those rights should only be constrained when our actions prevent others from enjoying those same equal rights.
But I could rant and rave as much as I wanted to about how no one is equal if they feel the need for protection, and it makes no difference whatsoever to the end result, which is that their generation, growing up in an environment of selective tolerance, has little if any faith in the established order, in authority, in government. This is perhaps the greatest crime for which our politicians should be condemned.
So physical bullying and threats occurred and were ignored. Teachers’ mouthed hollow phrases like “zero tolerance” while looking away. It is easier to act against cyber bullying than it is, to impose a sanction on the right kind of bigot.
If truth is subjective, it follows that it is also subject to partisan policies. Therefore, the application of justice can be conditioned on circumstance and is consequently often, no more than an act of self-congratulatory illusion.
Resenting anything is a passive emotional response. Hate is not a passive emotion. It cannot surprise us that the activist hates any feeling of powerlessness and strikes out against whatever is responsible for that feeling even when the emotion is the product of a manufactured, systemic prejudice.
There has always existed a selective freedom of speech which allowed for discrimination to be applied. This is one of the human species most unattractive character traits. We are a herd that cleaves to the collective as if our lives depended on it. In past eras it did. But in the late 20th and early 21st century our education system was supposed to have delivered a population able to think and act for itself and not as an unthinking mass in the thrall of the latest singer, actor, sportsman (or woman), aristocrat or orator. But this is the era of celebrity and perhaps because so much is asked of us and the choices are so diverse we are unwilling to commit to a position that is outside of a consensus that has been decided for us and with little credible discussion.
It follows on from the previous paragraph that demagogues have played an essential role in human history. They have manipulated emotions, prejudices and passions and rarely if ever for altruistic reasons. Power, domination and exclusion of anything or anyone that is contrary to ones own position is a primitive response to any challenge. But it is also a very effective means of establishing dominance and control. That elemental behavior is the reason that Israel is having such a hard time internationally. People who are committed to a cause will usually, aggressively push that cause. Jews are neither used to reacting to aggression by returning it nor are they accustomed to behaving badly in response, but it is often the only way to react to aggression because it is the normal way that we establish reasonable rules of conduct. Only an enemy that respects its opponent behaves with care.
But here’s the thing. In British universities, where Jews and their supporters are frequently assaulted under the assumption that they are “Zionists” (and if they are not, oh well!) the most senior court in the land, the High Court of Justice ruled that a perception of fear or a perception of intimidation was not a legally admissible behavior that could be used to define prejudice against the entire Jewish student community. If members of the radical Left or Islamic faith experienced an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, a way would have been found to criminalize the perpetrators and rid the universities of the perpetrators influence. It does say much about inequality within the British ‘justice’ system.
Selective equality infuses much of British and Western society today. One more example will suffice to demonstrate the art of that selective equality and the parallel incitement that accompanies it. Within the last few days it was revealed that Britain’s main teachers union, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) had cooperated with an educational charity for children (‘Edukid’) to produce an anti-Semitic educational resource which was to be rolled out across the country and whose purpose it was to profile Palestinian suffering. Apart from its omission of any historical context, the reason I refer to this document as anti-Semitic is that it does not refer to Israelis as Israelis but as Jews. Of course Muslims — Arabs — are referred to as Palestinian. So Britain’s main teachers union adopts a Nazi tactic of propagating a prejudiced narrative against Israel which leads all British children taught by the NUT to erase any differentiation between Israeli’s and Jews anywhere else in the world.
This resource was to be rolled out to all children, from three years of age.
This is only possible if the process is racist from its inception. As obscene was NUT’s pernicious defense that it works with the Holocaust Educational Trust to produce materials for schools. So learning about dead Jews is OK (as long as some Muslim teachers do not have to present the material to their classes).
Maliciously, the NUT provides an illegitimately analogous equivalence between the Shoah and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.
A conspiracy by a national British trade union (the NUT) and a British educational charity (Edukid) to role out an Arab (Palestinian) libel against Judaism and the Jewish state should result in both organizations losing their charitable status and both being heavily fined. Extinction is what both organizations deserve. Individual initiators of this antisemitic conspiracy should be given a life time ban from receiving public funding. In fact the only likely consequence will be enhanced credibility amongst fascisms proudest supporters.
Of greater evil, the Israel-Arab conflict has its roots in Muslim attempts to deny its minorities, self-determination. Fundamentalist Islam believes that any area once conquered or achieving Muslim majority becomes part of a holy Arab (Muslim) endowment which must never be relinquished to the infidel. It explains the intransigence of Iran and it explains the outpourings of HAMAS. It is a war that is religiously dictated by Islamic injunction which will see Islam’s glorious fighters joyfully murder, down to the last baby, every Jew in the Holy land; another injunction from what we are so often told is the “Religion of Peace.”
The difference between the Hard Left, many sharing the Islamic faith and the extreme right is that the latter admit their prejudice while neither the Hard Left nor Islam have ever had to come to terms with the hatred and the bigotry that is the original sin of their birth and which crucially, continues to drive so many of them.
This is the war being increasingly fought throughout the Western world against Israel and against its supporters. If there is any question of why so many Jews feel that conditions today are increasingly similar to what they were in 1923 (when Hitler and his ilk began their ascent to power) we have the NUT and Edukit to inadvertently remind us.