Last week, Ben Shapiro engaged an audience at Cambridge University. In his short presentation that opened into an extended question and answer session, he defined and argued against the moral code which Hamas and its enablers use to justify its orgiastic spree of murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping in all of its sadistic horror.
The revelation of the Nazi plunder, enslavement, gassing, and incineration of the Jews of Europe forced Jew hate underground. Only as response to an evil as monstrous as this could the immense destruction of world war be ennobled. All rationalizations were stripped away and antisemitism was revealed as the ghastly cancer of the soul it has always been. Antisemitism lost its ability to masquerade and to so gain acceptability anywhere in the public sphere. (READ MORE from Shmuel Klatzkin: Obama: Avatar of the New Anti-Semitism)
It has taken the long and tireless work of Marxist intellectuals to make it again respectable. The intellectual grounds for the new and savage ethic that compels the New Sadism, were established largely by Michel Foucault, Franz Fanon, Jean Paul Sartre, and Jacques Derrida. Their teachings, distilled and concentrated, reduce every standard of decency and value to one simple question: in any relationship, who has more power? The one with less power, they taught, is justified in any action against the powerful.
Hamas and their groupies promote strife so assiduously because in their utter weakness, they have nothing else to offer.
So far, reasonable. But their teachings are not meant to inform us continuously and to apply to people whenever they hold power of any sort over others. That is a moral and legal doctrine long established — force majeur, there is no guilt when one is powerless to act. What these Marxists did was rather to establish a permanent class of people who are the powerless even when they have power. Whereas traditional ethics teach to the degree one attains power, just so does one become responsible. No, say the Marxists. Those who have been powerless are utterly and permanently unconstrained in the use of the power that comes to them.
The class of people permanently deemed less powerful may inflict anything upon someone not in their group, no matter how grisly, perverse, torturous, or bloody.
And we see in the events of October how far the new Nazis will go and how far their enablers are willing to go in support. Clearly, the more shocking and ghastly, the better. We witness the evidence of orgiastic violence that is often explicitly sexual (as in the rape and necrophilia of these Hamas tribunes of justice), aimed at demolishing every and any kind of civilizational restraint. The coup de grace to civilization is the Marxist alliance with the most perverse expression of Islam, so that it all is done in the name of God, thus annihilating ethics at their source — a new Gotterdammerung, consciously aping and striving to exceed Hitler’s.
In the face of the claims of these demonizers of the moral traditions of Western civilization, Shapiro declared: “Powerlessness alone does not confer moral decency.” He implored his audience therefore not to be ashamed of the West’s values, superior in every way to the Nazi eros of sadism, the full-blooded celebration of death, and the wet delight in the infliction of maximal physical and psychological degradation and pain.
Surely our shared biblical tradition speaks of the moral cause of championing the poor and the powerless. Hebrew Scripture again and again calls us to be mindful of “the stranger, the orphan, and the widow,” teaching that they are the subject of God’s special concern and warning us therefore to treat them properly.
These three groups of people stand for all who are comparatively powerless. They serve as a paradigm, not a limit.
The stranger Scripture speaks of has been understood in the millennia-old tradition of Jewish law as someone not born of the people of Israel who leaves his family and nation to become a naturalized citizen. He or she does not have the usual network of family and friends so crucial in meeting life’s challenges and is vulnerable to rejection and ridicule that is a sad human proclivity. The powerlessness of orphans and of a widow needs little explanation.
The Jewish law tradition outlines the special responsibilities that society has for people such as these, the ones who have little power or protection. One of many examples of such obligations is that to make sure everyone is able to celebrate the holidays. Here is the law as it appears in the code of Jewish law composed by the celebrated jurist, physician, and philosopher, Rabbi Moses Maimonides:
When a person eats and drinks [in celebration of a holiday], he is obligated to feed converts, orphans, widows, and others who are destitute and poor. In contrast, a person who locks the gates of his courtyard and eats and drinks with his children and his wife, without feeding the poor and the embittered, is [not indulging in] rejoicing associated with a mitzvah, but rather the rejoicing of his gut.
Charity such as this is a biblical mandate; it is not optional. The powerlessness of these people creates a responsibility for those who have the power to help.
But it does not free anyone of moral accountability. There is no free pass. As we gain power, however small, we become responsible to a similar degree.
What if someone is truly “unable to breathe”? In Deuteronomy, God commands that saving lives is a supreme responsibility — Choose life. If there is a life-threatening illness or danger, almost every law is superseded. Even though the Sabbath laws are given tremendous importance, all agree that if a person needs emergency medical care, those laws are set aside in order to heal the one who is endangered. (READ MORE: A Religious Poet Slays Murderous Religion)
The same applies to someone who is threatened with starvation. Such a person need not worry about property laws, but may just grab the food he or she may need to live another day.
Yet at the same time, the law instructs that when one’s situation improves, as one gains power, one must pay back the one whose food he stole. The ethic of respecting ownership and the command of not stealing remains in place in its moral force. No one is given a permanent pass on morality and law.
Powerlessness is not a value and it does not create a moral license. It does create an increased responsibility in those who are powerful to help.
The goal of that responsibility is set out as well by Maimonides in his laws governing charity.
The highest level of charity, exceeding all others, is a person who supports his fellow who has fallen into poverty [by] giving him a present or a loan, entering into partnership with him, or finding him work so that his hand will be fortified so that he will not have to beg.
The needs of those who lack power are spiritual as well as material. Human dignity is a crucial concern. Emergencies must be tended to, and they often require slipping below the normal level of what brings dignity — taking our place as a responsible member of our community, at one with it and finding deep personal meaning in living up to the responsibilities that define a good life.
The Hamas mentality is that they are free to throw away even the most elemental responsibilities humans have towards our fellows. Their intellectual enablers offer them ready excuses to debase and destroy the most elementary restraints. They have created a culture that turns Biblical values on their head, and like Hitler, call this salvation. This is the same kind of reactionary inversion that empowered the street violence, the concentration camps, the degradation, and then the extermination of those people most directly identifiable with the culture of the Bible that has been the great foundation of Western moral thought.
This mentality is present in the halls of Congress and on our streets, and is trying to achieve permanent dominance in our universities and schools.
We oppose them by opposing their clear error and glaring contradiction. Power is not in itself evil. The woke themselves seek power. They don’t see it morally compromising when they have it. It is clear, then, at the least, that they do not act on principle. They merely use any argument for the purposes of unlimited power for themselves. They are the true partners of Hitler, Stalin, and every other totalitarian.
The good in our civilization is built on the very first chapter of Genesis, the very beginning of the Bible. There we have a model of power that is entirely good. God’s creation of the universe and of humanity was an act of pure generosity, as there was no world before to deserve anything. Power and goodness are entirely at one, completely integrated, in God’s action.
And that very chapter of Genesis tells us that we humans are created in that the image of God, capable and therefore accountable for using power always justly, and only for the good, that we have it in our constitution that we too may employ a power that is just and good. And since we have that power, we are responsible to employ it. It is the measure of our worth and of our humanity, our dignity. (READ MORE: This Evil Will Not Stop With the Jews)
It is the pathway of life. It rejects the worship of eroticized violence and death that so entrances the moral zombies of Gaza and their wanna-be groupies around the world, so smug in their imagined righteousness.
Churchill put the idea in simple terms, not dependent on any Biblical allusion. In the aftermath of the civilizational disaster of World War I, which was the fertile ground from which Communism, Fascism, and Nazism grew, he wrote:
The finest combination in the world is power and mercy. The worst is weakness and strife.
Hamas and their groupies promote strife so assiduously because in their utter weakness, they have nothing else to offer. Their embrace of death makes them a plague to civilization as a whole and to anyone who values it in particular. To the degree that we have the power, we are responsible for cleansing the world of this abomination, destroying all its projects, and expunging its stain from our culture.