Neo-Nazi vs. Islamic Terror

Which do the Jews have more to fear from: Neo-Nazis or Muslim terrorists? PTT has consistently argued that it is the latter. Given the recent events, you might think we’d be eating our words. Here’s the thing though. You have to distinguish organized terror from lone wolves. The latter are much more easily stopped by armed citizens and regular guards; the Pittsburgh shooter was apparently of this variety, though the press could be doing a better job of investigating. For organized terror you need large intelligence agencies. Now here’s the key question: Is the FBI more effective against organized Muslim terror or against neo-Nazis? That question is mostly rhetorical, and here are a few more. Is there even such a thing as organized white supremacist terrorism in the US these days? Do white supremacists have a “security agency” that receives tens of millions of public dollars? Do the white supremacists have an FBI liaison? Do they hold sensitivity training for FBI agents? Would an FBI agent be risking any bad press or career repercussions for bringing in a bunch of white supremacists — or even killing some in the process? Do white supremacists get foreign state sponsorship for their terrorist activities?

The threat of Islamic terror is far more difficult to eradicate than the neo-Nazi threat.


The curious incuriosity about the shooter

RS McCain is quite right to point out that the press’s unwillingness to ask the usual questions (who is this guy, where did he come from, what made him tick) is best explained by their desire to blame it all on Trump. Indeed, the bodies had barely been laid to rest, and already I was being bombarded by messages of “Sure, it’s a tragedy and all, but let’s not forget that It’s All Trump’s Fault (and make sure to vote correctly on Nov. 6)”. This gives new meaning to the jaded “have you no decency” line. McCain’s post also has some interesting (and deplorably under-reported) information about HIAS working hard to import more Congolese, Afghanis, Syrians into the US. This is a double whammy on the Jews: it makes American patriots rightly angry, but it also helps bring in people who are not known, on the whole, to be particularly Jew-friendly. Sad!

Zman to Jews: Police your own

Michelle Goldberg’s “We Can Replace Them” NYT column is squarely in the cringe-worthy Brett Stephens/Bye, Goy category. Sailer makes the apt observation that giving away the game does not make for a successful conspiracy. Zman is not far off with his claim that “the greatest threat to Jews in America is other Jews”. Amusingly, both Jews in group A and B are likely to agree with this statement, identifying the Jews in the other group as the major threat!

As a group A Jew, I agree with Zman that people like Michelle Goldberg (and Brett Stephens and far too many others to list) are causing Klal Yisrael very real harm. Let us spell out precisely what that harm is: agitating, taunting the gentiles about what they perceive (not entirely unjustifiably) to be an existential threat is both supremely ungrateful (in the US) and phenomenally stupid — and yes, ultimately very dangerous.

Unfortunately, Zman’s suggestion that “Jews […] hunt down and silence members of their own tribe who are bad for Jews” is quite useless. Back when the Jews lived in small, insular communities, the leadership could exert pressure via the threat of shunning — a known powerful tool for extracting compliance and conformity. These days, secular left-wing group B Jews — the least “Jewish” of them all — are certainly not going to fear any ostracism from group A Jews. So unless Zman is literally suggesting perpetrating physical violence, there’s very little group A Jews can do about the Michelle Goldbergs. And when push comes to shove, we’ll end up defending the group B Jews who helped get us into this mess as well.

More batshit “rabbis”

When gentiles do it, it’s galling — but when Jews do it, it’s tragic:

It’s what I imagined I would read when I opened “A prayer for Squirrel Hill— And for American Jewry” from Franklin Foer, whom I know somewhat and have always respected. Instead, I read this: “Any strategy for enhancing the security of American Jewry should involve shunning Trump’s Jewish enablers. Their money should be refused, their presence in synagogues not welcome.”


As Shabbat ended in Los Angeles, a city where in 1999 there was a terror attack against a Jewish Community Center, I saw this from another reporter whose work I have always esteemed very highly, Julia Ioffe: “And a word to my fellow American Jews: This President makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live was worth it.”

David Wolpe is too kind on Foer and Ioffe. A better judgment would be to dismiss their pronouncements on all things Jews as irrelevant and instead remember that #NotAllJews. Foer looks like a run-of-the-mill lefty pinko. Ioffe is a confused, vapid dingbat. They are not worthy of getting angry about. Bring back the batshit “rabbis”!

It’s galling

beyond belief to see non-Jews try to appropriate a Jewish tragedy to score cheap political points. These people don’t care when Jews are being killed in Israel, because these are Jews who dare to defend themselves. It’s only when defenseless Jews are being slaughtered by murderers of the right designation (white! nationalist!!) — that’s when they get noticed… only long enough to score a demented anti-Trump point.
When rabid never-Trumper JPod is the voice of reason, you really have to worry.

Tyler Cowen has caught on

to something we (and this guy) have been saying for a while: Modern American Left does not present a coherent intellectual position, but rather is a shaky coalition of competing tribal interests. Cowen observes that the “the American left has been hacked”, and seeing as he’s using “hacking” synonymously with ourtrolling” — he’s late to the party.

Here’s the part I find curious — and, ultimately, incorrect:

To be clear, lest you think I focus too much on the failures of the left: I now wonder if, in the internet era, every political movement is hackable. Political involvement requires a certain kind of ideological motivation, and ideologies are imperfectly rational. So a smart hacker can redirect the attention of groups in other, less productive directions. Just put some inflammatory words or video on the internet and you can induce the left to talk more about identity politics.

Has the right-wing been hacked? I suspect so. The president himself is part of the hack, and the core motivation is the desire to “own the libs,” a phrase I didn’t hear much five years ago.

Hacking or trolling is essentially weaponized agree-and-amplify: insist on taking a ridiculous position to its self-destructive conclusion. It’s Alinksy’s Rule #4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” It’s the Cloward-Piven strategy of forcing the welfare state to go broke. Recently we’ve seen it used against the Left with hilariously effective results, such as by neutralizing gender balance concerns by pointing out that anyone could be a woman, or derailing a trans driver’s license bill by insisting that all 73 genders be included.

So, per Cowen, “Has the right-wing been hacked”? With Trump as the hacking tool? Trump is a symptom of something all right, but we don’t think it’s a hack. If anything, lately he’s been empowering otherwise feckless Republicans to man up.

Cowen’s darker suggestion that “every political movement is hackable” may actually be true. Look at the American Republic: while it started out solidly guarded against various hacks, soon enough, calls for equality diluted voting rights to universal suffrage — and any Greek philosopher worth his salt could have told you where that will lead. More specifically, I’m curious about the hackability of modern American Right’s (such as it is) positions. We’ve identified a definite weak spot in the past, and would be happy to hear reader suggestions for others.