In 2008 Stuart A. Green was a lieutenant in the United States Navy. In pursuit of a Master's Degree at the Joint Military Intelligence College he wrote a very interesting thesis entitled, simply, Cognitive Warfare (pdf) that professor Richard Landes has highlighted over at his blog, Augean Stables.
Within that thesis Green argues that the west is currently confronted by a form of aggression that is largely propagandistic and, thus, cognitive. Whether or not this is true for the west, in general, it is certainly true for the Jewish State of Israel and, thus, the Jewish people.
The Arabs failed to slaughter the Jews directly after the Holocaust in the invasion of '48. They have, after successive failures at genocide in the conventional wars that followed, relied upon the propaganda effort against Israel to convince the rest of the world that the Jewish State is a moral pariah and that the local Arabs represent a distinct, persecuted, indigenous ethnicity in need of protection from the wrathful and pernicious Jewish "Goliath."
The hope is to erode Israel's legitimacy not just with outside hostile forces such as the European Union and the Obama administration, but among Jews, themselves. They do so by preying upon, and exploiting, Jewish moral sensibilities. They seek to make us think of Jewish means of self-defense against the vast, hostile, Arab-Muslim majority as both racist and fundamentally immoral. In this way they seek to tell the world that the very inventors of contemporary western morality are the foremost examples of contemporary national immorality.
The current enemies of the Jews use various methods to defame and demoralize us, as, of course, did their predecessors, the Nazis. Before there could be a genocide there needed to be a widespread defamation justifying that genocide among "good" people. Even the Europeans of the early-middle part of the twentieth century were too civilized to accept the wholesale slaughter of the Jewish people without good reason... so the Nazis gave them good reason.
They simply made things up.
The German people were told that the Jews are a nefarious bunch who want nothing so much as to ruin everything around them as they acquire wealth for themselves at the expense of their neighbors. The German people read in Der Stürmer that the Jews were responsible for the German failure in World War I. It was a "stab in the back." German Jews, at the time, represented a grand total of one percent of the German population, yet that one percent was held responsible for the perceived failure of German society, as a whole, and thereby paid the ultimate price for that failure.
The Nazis, however, also needed the assistance of the rest of Europe if they were to succeed in wiping out the entirety of European Jewry. They needed to take existent anti-Jewish themes and broadcast them and expand them, as a matter of cognitive warfare, in order to gain a greater level of compliance for the genocide within the rest of European society. I do not know how much encouragement the rest of Europe actually needed, but they certainly complied with alacrity. France, of course, forked over its Jews upon the initiation of the Vichy government. England was gracious enough, mainly as a concession to the Nazi-Allied Arabs, to issue the famous White Paper of 1939 that kept the Jews from escaping persecution to the Land of Israel.
Cognitive warfare, it should be noted, relies not just upon lies and deception, as we see with Pallywood. It also relies on the necessity of convincing the propagandist that his lies are the truth. Furthermore, the best kinds of propagandists are those that come from the enemy population and who come to believe that one's own people are just as nefarious and awful as the enemy tells him they are.
This is what is commonly referred to as Stockholm Syndrome, but what Harvard professor of clinical psychiatry, Kenneth Levin, refers to, in the Jewish example, as The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege.
If you are Mahmoud Abbas or, say, Hezbollah warlord Hasan Nasrallah, what in this world could be better than an American Jew that despises Israel because he considers his own people immoral and, thereby, implicitly deserving of violence? If you represent Hamas or Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda, this is just the gift that keeps on giving. There is nothing so joyous to an Arab-Muslim enemy of the Jewish people than a Jewish enemy to the Jewish people who decries alleged Jewish immorality in the face of actual Arab aggression.
This is why Jewish anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, such as, for example, David Harris-Gershon, have significant value to the enemies of the Jewish people. What someone like Harris-Gershon does is teach Jewish children that the Jews are essentially evil and, in that way, helps to turn Jews against their own means of self-defense.
He, and those like him, do so by persistently and perpetually defaming the Jews of the Middle East before any audience to be found - and taking money to do so, in fact - while claiming it as a self-righteous moral imperative.
One method that he uses, however, is taken directly from the PLO playbook.
In the Long Arab War Against the Jews in the Middle East one method that is used, from the Arab propaganda side, is to simply accuse the Jewish minority of the type of aggression that the Arab majority uses against us. For example, if the Jordanian Waqf destroys Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount then they accuse Israel of seeking to destroy the foundation of the Temple Mount through archaeological digs.
If the Jews have the Holocaust then the local Arabs have al-Nakba.
If the local Arabs are the "new Jews" then the Jews are, needless to say, the "new Nazis."
If Jesus was a Jew, then he was actually a Muslim, the first "Palestinian shaheed."
And if 95 percent of the Jewish population of the Middle East was wiped out between the time of the Muslim conquests and when Samuel Clemens showed up in the nineteenth century, wondering where everyone was, what of it?
We apparently deserve whatever beating we get.
In Palestine Betrayed, written by Efraim Karsh, the founding director of the Department of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies, King's College London, we read the following:
At the time of the Muslim occupation of Palestine in the seventh century, the country's Jewish population ranged in the hundreds of thousands at the very least; by the 1880s, Palestine's Jewish community had been reduced to about 24,000, or some 5 percent of the total population.(Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, Yale University Press, 2010, pg. 8.)
Now, it could have been typhoons that wiped away the Jewish population in Israel between the time of the Muslim conquest and the nineteenth century or it could have been something else.
But Jews sometimes make Arabs go through checkpoints in Israel, so clearly we deserve whatever violence comes our way or the way of our children.
You get the point.
Anything worthwhile that is Jewish is made to seem Arab-Muslim and any vile act against the Jews perpetrated by Arabs is turned into a vile Jewish act against the Arab majority.
And this - finally and at long last - brings me to Harris-Gershon's latest piece entitled, I Wept for Lost Israeli Teens, and Now Weep for Lost Palestinian Teen Kidnapped by Israeli Settlers.
There is a face that you can trust!
I have to say, it cannot be easy being David Harris-Gershon.
I wept, too - as I am sure did many of you - but I did not weep for all people, at all times, everywhere.
I did not weep for the general condition of humanity on the day of learning of those deaths.
I did not weep for all the other people who died or who were killed on that day.
I certainly did not weep for the Arab majority persecutors of the tiny Jewish minority in that part of the world. Just as I have never wept for the innocent Germans killed during World War II, so I have not wept for the innocent Arabs who go along with genocidal Jew Hatred and then end up paying a price for their own prejudices.
Nor, unlike the saintly Harris-Gershon, would I weep for the children of the terrorist who injured my wife, and killed two others, in the 2002 Hebrew University cafeteria bombing.
I wept for Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach and their family and their friends.
I wept for the fact that the Jewish people in the Middle East are a tiny minority under siege by a much larger hostile majority population and the fact that there are Jews out there, like Harris-Gershon, who equate Jewish minority measures of self-defense with Arab majority hostility towards the truncated and diminished Jewish population after thirteen centuries of persecution under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule and a century of war upon them.
How does a Jew, who teaches Jewish children in an American Jewish day school, as does Harris-Gershon, assure that the siege against his fellow Jews in the Middle East is justified to a non-Jewish audience?
One way, of course, is to simply follow Yassir Arafat's lead by accusing the Jews of Arab wrong-doing.
It is the creation of a moral equivalency between the victims and the victimizers, as we historically began to see after the Soviet Union turned against Israel and starting advising the Arabs to place the idea of Jewish genocide within the context of "Palestinian liberation."
And thus, even as we are still mourning the loss of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, the Jewish enemies of the Jewish people point out that Arabs die, too, and that they have recently found a dead Arab.
Furthermore, not only do Arabs die, but just as Arabs kill Jews, so Jews kill Arabs.
Everything is equal and thus the primary implication of the writings of those like Harris-Gershon is that the Jewish dead and their families, and the Jewish people, in general, are deserving of no sympathy. In the minds of people like Harris-Gershon, because Jews have killed Arabs then Arabs have every right to kill Jews or, at the very least, we should not honestly condemn Arab majoritarian violence against the Jewish minority because... somehow... that would be unfair.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to condemn the murder and suspected kidnapping of a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem Wednesday, just as Abbas himself had done for the three young Israelis who went missing in June but were discovered murdered in a West Bank valley on Monday.And thus we get anti-Semitic anti-Zionists, like Harris-Gershon, endeavoring to undermine western sympathies for the besieged Jewish minority by suggesting that anything that is done to us is well deserved.
We cannot even mourn our murdered dead because we are immediately accused of guilt for the deaths of others. Thus the families of the victims are kicked in the head twice. The first time is by the anti-Jewish Arab racists who did the killing. The second time is by anti-Semitic anti-Zionist Jews, in sympathy with anti-Jewish Arab racists.
The purpose of this tactic is to minimize the sympathies of the vast majority of non-Jews toward Jewish persecution.
In every generation we are told why it is that we deserve a good beating, resulting in the death of Jewish youngsters. We are now told by vicious, hypocritical, western leftists, that in previous generations this was an immoral atrocity, but in this generation we are guilty and we are told this by Jewish anti-Semitic anti-Zionists such as David Harris-Gershon and his publisher at Tikkun Magazine, Michael Lerner.
Perhaps when Harris-Gershon is done telling the world just why it is that the Jews deserve a good beating, he will have failed to instigate that good beating.
As history proves over and over again, I would not count on it, however.
Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.