The Arab Spring may throw off the yoke of dictators, but unless they also dispose of the foolish beliefs that these dictators used to hold on to power for decades their societies will continue to decline.

At Jeffrey Golberg writes Praise Arab Spring, Except for Anti-Semitism 11/28/11.


A BBC journalist named Thomas Dinham recently wrote of his own encounter with anti-Semitism in Cairo. Dinham, who is neither Israeli nor Jewish, told of one potentially dangerous confrontation: “Someone pushed me from behind with such force that I nearly fell over. Turning around, I found myself surrounded by five men, one of whom tried to punch me in the face. I stopped the attack by pointing out how shameful it was for a Muslim to assault a guest in his country, especially during Ramadan.” He went on, “I was appalled by the apology offered by one of my assailants. ‘Sorry,’ he said contritely, offering his hand, ‘we thought you were a Jew.’”

The Arab Spring should liberate people not only from oppressive rulers, but also from self-destructive and delusional patterns of belief. Anti-Semitism, the “socialism of fools,” not only threatens the Israel-Egypt peace treaty and dehumanizes Jews. It also undermines rationality. It prevents its adherents from seeing the world as it is — and it will only be an impediment to actual change in the Arab world.

Walter Russell added his comments on Goldberg’s piece at his blog at The American Interest in a post called The Anti-Semitic Spring:

As I’ve observed before in this space, countries where vicious anti-Semitism is rife are almost always backward and poor.  This isn’t, as anti-Semites believe, because the Elders of Zion are plotting to keep Uz-beki-beki-beki-stan poor.  It is because the inability to see the world clearly and discern cause and effect relations in complex social settings is linked to many other failures in economic and political life.  Anti-Semitism isn’t just the socialism of fools; it is the sociology of the befuddled.  The anti-Semite fails to grasp how the world works, and that failure condemns him to endless frustration.  Naturally, this is the fault of the Jews.

In a similar vein Ruth Wisse writes at The Weekly Standard The Suicidal Passion

..early benefits of organizing politics against the Jews are inevitably outweighed by the ruin that overtakes its practitioners. Why inevitably? Because anti-Semitism attributes real problems to a phony cause. Putting off problems tends to compound them, and aggression fomented against a convenient target cannot be permanently controlled or contained. Strategies of blame may temporarily help justify repression, quell rebellion, camouflage corruption, channel dissatisfaction, and redirect aggression, but societies that resort to them collapse under the weight of their negativity. Palestinians—once considered the ablest Arabs, and perhaps sacrificed by their fellow Arabs for that reason—are now in strong competition with Germans of the last century in the sweepstakes of self-destruction.

HKO Comment:
It is not the dictators themselves that have held back these countries. It is a culture of blame and hatred that has been inculcated by the imams from their pulpit. Our foreign policy has focused on the political leaders when the real power was emanating from the mosques.

tips to Bob Cain