Peter Beinart is a well-known Jewish liberal journalist. Someone claiming to be him left a comment on my blog yesterday complaining that I’d left him out of my article discussing the various Jews who, in the wake of the Bowers synagogue shooting, have admitted the “conspiracy theory” that Jews promote immigration is actually true. The comment linked to this article on the Jewish Daily Forward.
It’s in much the same vein as the other articles I referenced, but with two interesting twists.
The first is Beinart’s admission that Jewish support for refugees isn’t actually about moral idealism at all; it’s about Jewish self-interest in breaking down the ethnic integrity of the majority goyim population.
For Jews, the lesson of yesterday’s massacre is very simple and very old: Protecting the strangers among us is not charity. It is self-defense. Every time Jews defend the right of American Muslims to follow sharia, we protect our right to follow halacha. Every time Jews reject politicians who demonize Latinos we make it less likely that those politicians will demonize us. “Hate them, not us” is a losing strategy because once empowered, bigots widen their targets. For people who define America as a white Christian nation, Jews will never be white enough.
Robert Bowers accused Jews of “bringing” Muslims and refugees to the United States. To him and all the other white nationalists Trump has emboldened, our answer should be: Damn right. We will demand a humane policy for people seeking refuge in the United States and defend those immigrants — no matter their race or faith — who are already here.
Will do so not only because we were once strangers but because we know that, at some level, like Lot, we always will be. Rather than seeking a separate peace with Trumpism, we will look for allies among the despised and abused. And in that way, we will defend not only Jewish ethics, but Jewish lives.
The second twist is Beinart’s inclusion of Biblical references to support his case.
Much Jewish sophistry intended for internal consumption contains lame Biblical references like these designed to lend the demands, which are fundamentally driven by Jewish ethnic self-interest, an air of moral plausibility and divine sanction. As with almost all Jewish sophistry, it falls apart on closer examination.
The three Biblical anecdotes Beinart cites to explain why Jews should be nice to immigrants are the episodes in which Abraham and his nephew Lot welcome strangers into their homes and one in which Abraham resides temporarily in Egypt. Here are the relevant portions of his article.
The worst anti-Semitic attack in American history occurred while Jews around the world were reading the Torah portion that tells the story of Lot, an immigrant.
Lot moves to Sodom, and prospers there. The Midrash says he becomes a judge. His daughters intermarry with the locals. Then one day, while sitting at the gates of the city, the assimilating immigrant sees two strangers approach. He asks them to “spend the night and bathe your feet”— the Midrash says he learned to welcome strangers from his uncle Abraham, the first Jew. Lot “prepares them a feast.”
But in Sodom, the natives hate strangers. “Where are the men who came to you tonight?” they demand. “Bring them out to us.” Lot tries to protect his guests. “I beg you friends,” he implores, “do not commit such a wrong.” For the men of Sodom, however, this just underscores Lot’s foreignness. He hasn’t really assimilated; he isn’t one of them. He’s a threat. “The fellow came here an immigrant and already acts the ruler,” they declare. “Now we will deal worse with you than with them.”
…As Parsha Vayera suggests, welcoming the stranger is among the most fundamental Jewish imperatives. Lot “baked unleavened” bread for the strangers who came to Sodom. The parallel to the exodus from Egypt is clear. Lot and Abraham welcomed strangers; Pharaoh oppressed them. And 36 times in the Torah Jews are reminded to be like Abraham and Lot: To remember the heart of the stranger because were strangers in the land of Egypt.
In Abraham’s case, the guests tell Abraham that his wife, Sarah, shall bear him a child, even though she is old.
In Lot’s case, the guests shepherd Lot and his family out of the city, Sodom, so they can escape its impending destruction.
According to Beinart, this proves that good things happen to Jews when they are nice to strangers.
Now let’s proceed to a critical examination of these claims.
First, Abraham had left his place of origin, Ur, and entered someone else’s country, Canaan, which, as their names suggests, belonged to the Canaanites.
Abraham and the Lord (the projected image of the Jewish tribal ego) planned to dispossess the Canaanites of their land.
And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
“The Canaanite was then in the land”. This phrase, or variants of it, appear several times in the Biblical text. They, of course, imply that the Canaanites are no longer in their land at the time the Bible was written, because they have been dispossessed and destroyed by the Jews.
When Canaan experienced a famine, Abram and his wife “sojourned” in Egypt. Abraham told his wife, Sarai, to pretend she was his sister so he could pimp her out as a marriage prospect to the local Egyptian notables. (Genesis 12)
And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
Both Sarai and Abram (their names became Sarah and Abraham later) were well treated by the Pharaoh.
And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
The Pharaoh, however, found that his land was soon tormented by plagues. When he inquired into the reasons for this, he learned that Sarai was Abram’s wife, not his sister, and the “Lord” was punishing him for this. Even then, after discovering that the proto-Jew Abram had grossly and basely deceived him, the Pharaoh doesn’t harm him but permits him to go peaceably on his way, even allowing him to retain the riches he had acquired.
And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.
Let’s come now to the anecdotes in Genesis 18 & 19 where Abraham and Lot are nice to “strangers” and arrange for them to be given food and shelter.
Abraham knew that the guests were not normal guests, but were somehow mystical emissaries of God. He surely doesn’t deserve much moral credit, then, for choosing to be nice to them.
And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My LORD, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
It’s not clear from the Biblical text whether Lot also knew his guests were mystical emissaries of God although there is a hint that he did. In any case, when he welcomes them into his house, the people of the town crowd round about, asking to have a look at them. Lot refuses to let them and, bizarrely, offers his daughters up to be gang-raped in order to protect the immigrants.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
The townspeople decline this offer and insist on having a look at the “guests”. Their suspicion is entirely justified because the guests are there to destroy the city and, in fact, do destroy it the following day. The Jews welcomed in and sheltered the “immigrants” (angels) who ultimately destroyed the city, killing all of its inhabitants except the Jews.
And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
All three of the Biblical anecdotes referenced by Beinart have the following elements in common:
- Jews enter a land that isn’t theirs.
- In contrast to what Beinart implies, they are initially welcomed and well-treated by the locals.
- In the course of time, the behaviour of the Jews arouses suspicion and anger.
- Jews then bring ruin upon the original inhabitants of the land they have entered. To the Canaanites they bring death and dispossession. To the Egyptians, they bring plague. To the inhabitants of Sodom (Sodomites!), they bring complete annihilation.
In every case, the local people who were nice to the Jews and accepted them as immigrants or refugees are ultimately harmed or destroyed by them and their vicious God.
Beinart thinks this proves that Jews should be nice to immigrants. I think it proves Gentiles should be suspicious of Jews.
One of the key memes that Jews have tried to impress upon the Goyim mind is that those who are kind to Jews prosper; those who are unkind, suffer.
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
A critical reading of their own “sacred” texts, however, leads to exactly the opposite conclusion: the Jews bring ruin on the peoples they come to live among; the Goyim (the People of the Land) are dispossessed and destroyed by the Jewish presence. And being nice to the Jews doesn’t save them.