|Kevin MacDonald Archive|
May 11, 2009
The Hate Crimes Prevention Bill: Why Do Jewish Organizations Support It?
The “Hate Crimes Prevention Bill” will be in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. It recently passed the House, causing the Anti-Defamation League to rejoice. The ADL called the law "an essential and necessary step forward in the national effort to counter hate crimes" and urged passage by the Senate.
It also congratulated itself on taking a leadership role in promoting this legislation for the last 10 years. Other Jewish organizations have also been at the forefront of promoting “hate crime” legislation in the US and throughout the West.
Needless to say, here are very sound reasons to oppose this legislation. “Hate Crime” laws are superfluous, since crimes such as murder or assault are crimes whatever the motivation. Moreover, as Paul Craig Roberts recently pointed out there is a pronounced tendency for American legislation to metastasize into regulations far different and much more sweeping than the enactors envisaged (or admitted). This alone is reason enough to oppose any legislative advance into the areas of motivation or opinion. It is inevitable that “Hate Crimes” will quickly come to include political speech, specifically on immigration.
Why are Jewish organizations so committed to this drive to abolish free speech? Sadly, such an attitude is entirely within the Jewish tradition. Jewish groups have a long history of powerful controls over group members, ranging from regulations on economic behavior and charity toward other Jews, to regulating behavior likely to give rise to anti-Semitism or likely to damage other interests of the group.
One aspect of this is that there was little history of free speech within traditional Jewish societies. Historically, Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky point out, rabbis and other elite members of the Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities had extraordinary power over other Jews— literally the power of life and death. And they were highly intolerant. Jews accused of heretical religious views were beaten or murdered. Their books were burned or buried in cemeteries. When a heretic died, his body was beaten by a special burial committee, placed in a cart filled with dung, and deposited outside the Jewish cemetery.
This repressive tradition continues. Notwithstanding the image of freely tolerating dissent within the Jewish community (“Two Jews, three opinions”), John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt have shown that on important issues like Israel, Jewish dissenters are marginalized and there is strong pressure to limit disagreement. Jews can criticize Israel but only out of public view. Mearsheimer and Walt note that pro-Israel activism is dominated by “hard-line Zionists, Orthodox, and neoconservative circles”. As has happened so often in Jewish history, the most committed Jews have determined the direction of the Jewish community, with the result that the leadership of pro-Israel organizations tends to be more radical than the rest of the American Jewish community
Already, elsewhere in the English-speaking world, the “Hate Crime” strategy has been used to repress views unwelcome to Jewish organizations.
In Canada, for example, as the Jewish journalist Ezra Levant has described, Jewish organizations and activists have been a major source of support for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, an organization whose role is to enforce “hate speech” totalitarianism.
Levant describes the Simon Wiesenthal Center as “one of the most vicious interveners in Canadian Human Rights Commission censorship trials.”
Bernie Farber, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress, claimed recently that “our anti-hate laws are probably the most underused.” Levant comments:
“That sounds like Ian Fine, senior counsel for the CHRC, who declared that ‘there can't be enough laws against hate.’ … Farber … wants more censorship, more government intervention into thoughts and ideas — and the emotion called ‘hate’.”
A good example of this intolerance for speech they don’t like is the response of Canada’s organized Jewish community to recent demonstrations against Israel. The Canadian Jewish Congress complained that protests against Israel’s incursion into Gaza contained images that were "uncivil, un-Canadian, that demonize Jews and Israelis," and is asking the police to investigate the matter for referral to the CHRC.
Nevertheless, despite the strong support of the organized Jewish community for thought crime legislation, the CJC’s Farber has the effrontery to claim “we are firm supporters and believers in the need to be able to demonstrate passionately in free and democratic societies”.
Perhaps he is excluding Canada from the ranks of “free and democratic” societies. In that he would be quite right.
In Australia, Jewish organizations have also been leading the push to criminalize thought. Andrew Fraser, a former professor of public law at Macquarie University in Sydney, was brought before the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission because he had written a letter published in a newspaper suggesting that “once black African colonies in Australia grow in size and in confidence, one can reasonably expect a number of social problems and rising levels of crime and violence.” In his comments before the Commission, Fraser noted that the charges against him by an African had actually been instigated by “several organized Jewish groups that boast openly of the campaign they have organized against me,” citing articles in Jewish newspapers. Fraser wrote that Jewish individuals and organizations had acted “to further their shared ethnic interest in the growth of a multi-racial society in Australia.”
In a wonderful passage, Fraser states that he has no objection against African and Jewish groups pursuing their interests in making Australia into a multi-racial society—
“But they must understand that, as Australia becomes a multi-racial society, it is inevitable that Anglo-Australians, having observed the self-interested activities of other racial, ethnic and religious groups, are bound to become more conscious of their own distinctive racial identity. Many white Australians already feel that they are losing their ancestral homeland to a massive influx of Third World migrants hostile or indifferent to the ethnic interests of the host society. … The simple fact is that a multi-racial immigration policy is not obviously and necessarily in the best interests of white Australians.”
Exactly. But the problem is that there is an imposing array of national and international organizations that are both promoting non-White immigration into formerly European countries, and attempting to criminalize any dissent from that policy.
Already we see intellectual justifications (see also here and here) from legal scholars aimed at making American law more in line with European and Canadian laws limiting freedom of speech on multicultural issues. (Importing foreign law into American courts is a particular cause of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, one of the Supreme Court’s two Jewish Justices).
Two reasons explain the tremendous push by Jewish organizations for “Hate” laws. The first is, obviously, Israel. Zionists in America have succeeded in turning the U.S. into a client state of Israel and in commandeering huge quantities of American resources in its defense. This is an astonishing achievement, far removed from any obvious interests of the majority population in the U.S. As the task gets more difficult, the temptation to repress grows.
William I. Robinson, a Jewish sociology professor at the University of California–Santa Barbara, is good recent example. Robinson sent an email to his students juxtaposing what he termed "parallel images of Nazis and Israelis" — Jews victimized during the Holocaust and Palestinians attacked by Israel during the recent Gaza invasion. The response was swift. The ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned Robinson’s email. The ADL’s Abraham Foxman announced that "You can criticize Israel; you can criticize the war in Gaza. But to compare what the Israelis are doing in defense of their citizens to what the Nazis did to the Jews is clearly anti-Semitism".
In other words, the ADL believes in free speech—up to the point where it think it conflicts with its version of Jewish interests. And after that point, it is perfectly willing to do whatever it takes to shut up people like Robinson. (Hmm, sounds familiar; see also here.)
The second reason Jewish organizations want enhanced repression powers: immigration. The organized Jewish community has long been the single most effective pressure group in favor of massive non-White immigration into the United States. The ADL and other Jewish organizations are currently presenting a united front on the issue of so-called “comprehensive immigration reform”, which would legalize millions of illegal immigrants and set off another massive round of chain migration to the US from Mexico and other countries. Organizations with high levels of Jewish funding such as the ACLU and have been in the forefront of expanding the “rights” of legal and illegal immigrants and refugees and making the enforcement of immigration laws difficult. The Southern Poverty Law Center (or $PLC in VDARE.com terminology) seems to have completey shifted its focus from, well, southern poverty and the Ku Klux Klan to attacking critics of immigration, no matter how law-abiding and respectable.
From my Darwinian perspective, this is quite clearly a program of conquest and displacement of European peoples by non-European peoples. Since I am of European descent this strikes me as rather obviously against my interests.
Most of the time since the catastrophic 1965 Immigration Act passed—producing, once again, consequences quite different from what the enactors claimed to envision—a bipartisan consensus kept what was happening out of public debate.
But the Bush/Kennedy Amnesty/Immigration Acceleration attempts of 2006 and 2007 were unexpectedly defeated—only and exclusively because of grassroots opposition. This political instability can be expected to increase as the consequences of immigration become increasingly undeniable. Accordingly, elite intolerance of dissent on the immigration issue is perceptibly rising.
It’s important to realize the scope of this effort to prohibit speech that conflicts with the multicultural utopia envisioned by the left. Exhibit A in the Big Picture of Hate Crime legislation is the recent Durban Review Conference in Geneva — the follow-up to the World Conference Against Racism of 2001.
The Outcome Document put out as the consensus sentiment of the conference is a real eye-opener. It is a compendium of the dogmas of the intellectual left which, if implemented, would result in massive transfers of wealth from Western countries to undeveloped countries and massive population transfers from undeveloped countries to Western countries. And it calls for international legal power to punish speech and actions that deviate from these policy goals.
For example, Paragraph 13 provides this masterpiece of Orwellian doublethink: it “reaffirms … that all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination as well as all acts of violence or incitement to such acts shall be declared offence punishable by law … and that these prohibitions are consistent with freedom of opinion and expression.” [My emphasis]
On the face of it, this seems to state that a race scientist like J. Phillipe Rushton or Richard Lynn could be sent to prison for claiming on the basis of scientific data that there are distinct races and that they differ in intelligence and other traits linked with economic development. But even so, the OD claims, the proposed laws will not infringe these scholars’ right to say whatever they want.
Perhaps the idea is that while Rushton and Lynn are in prison, they will be free to discuss these ideas with their cellmates.
Without mentioning Western societies in particular, the OD clearly articulates a moral and legal duty of Western societies to be overrun anyone who wants to live in them.
There should have been a mass protest by people of European descent at Geneva. But, ironically, the only protestors were Jewish activists.
However, these activists were concerned not because the program of the OD, if implemented, would sound the death knell of every traditionally European country in the world. Rather, they were protesting because the OD reiterated its support for the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action of 2001. This contained paragraphs referring to Israel as a foreign occupying power over the Palestinians and calling for an independent Palestinian state. Each of these proposals is anathema to serious Zionists.
There was a massive paradox in Jews protesting the Geneva Conference—given that Jewish organizations in Western societies have been strong supporters of the policies advocated by the rest of the document. Essentially, Jewish organizations are seeking to carve out for Israel an ethnonationalist exception to the leftist zeitgeist that dominates the OD. Israel has a discriminatory immigration policy based on tracing descent to a Jewish mother, and it has a variety of policies that discriminate against Arabs within Israel (e.g., Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs cannot become Israeli citizens). It has created an apartheid society in the West Bank occupied territories, and it has treated African migrants and refugees very poorly, doing its utmost to discourage them from coming and making their lives as miserable as possible after they arrive. All of these are in clear violation of the OD.
In short, Israel is behaving as if it is a nation with a certain ethnic core and is arranging its affairs in order to keep its ethnic identity. But in the US, the organized Jewish community has been the most effective force in favor of massive non-White immigration.
Arguably, the federal hate crime law now before the Senate does not explicitly penalize speech in the absence of a crime. But not only do these social engineering measures have a very strong tendency to mutate under the influence of the courts and the bureaucrats—it is also quite clear that some of the supporters of “hate laws” are eager to expand them to speech even in the absence of any other crime. Thus the “Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act” was just introduced in the House. It would make it a federal felony to cause “substantial emotional distress” through “Severe, Repeated, and Hostile” speech.
Such a law could easily be applied to politicians or judges, and is obviously unconstitutional under current interpretations. But one can easily imagine that Obama appointees would have no problem altering this in the interests of the “empathy” for “people's hopes and struggles” that he has said he will require of them. Of course, Obama’s criterion of “empathy” as a legal standard is about as far removed as one can imagine from the rule of law based on founding documents (especially the First Amendment) and legal tradition. But he did say, after all, that he was the candidate of “change”.
The ADL is on the verge of getting its Federal Hate Crimes bill signed into law. It is only a matter of time before it makes an all out assault on the First Amendment.
And now the Obama Administration, and the entire intellectual left, will be wholly on board with the Jewish organizations’ long-held agenda.