Sunday, August 29, 2010

Those Aren't Self-Hating Jews--They're Oiks!

In addressing the question of why in the US the liberal elite takes the side of the proponents of the Ground Zero mosque while hurling epithets at those who oppose it, James Taranto pinpoints the problem as being not Islamophobia, but Oikophobia:
The British philosopher Roger Scruton has coined a term to describe this attitude: oikophobia. Xenophobia is fear of the alien; oikophobia is fear of the familiar: "the disposition, in any conflict, to side with 'them' against 'us', and the felt need to denigrate the customs, culture and institutions that are identifiably 'ours.' "
What a perfect description of the pro-mosque left.

Scruton was writing in 2004, and his focus was on Britain and Europe, not America. But his warning about the danger of oikophobes--whom he amusingly dubs "oiks"--is very pertinent on this side of the Atlantic today, and it illuminates how what are sometimes dismissed as mere matters of "culture" tie in with economic and social policy:
The oik repudiates national loyalties and defines his goals and ideals against the nation, promoting transnational institutions over national governments, accepting and endorsing laws that are imposed on us from on high by the EU or the UN, though without troubling to consider Terence's question, and defining his political vision in terms of universal values that have been purified of all reference to the particular attachments of a real historical community.

The oik is, in his own eyes, a defender of enlightened universalism against local chauvinism. And it is the rise of the oik that has led to the growing crisis of legitimacy in the nation states of Europe. For we are seeing a massive expansion of the legislative burden on the people of Europe, and a relentless assault on the only loyalties that would enable them voluntarily to bear it. The explosive effect of this has already been felt in Holland and France. It will be felt soon everywhere, and the result may not be what the oiks expect.[emphasis added]
Doesn't this sound like it also applies to those Israelis, both in the media and in NGOs, who have repudiated every option Israel has taken in order to defend itself against the rockets fired out of Gaza by terrorists of Hamas. Instead they suddenly become experts in international law claiming that any step taken to defend Israel's sovereignty or guarantee its security is illegal.

Going one step further, one can include those Jews who distinguish between Judaism and Jewish ethnicity--claiming to see in their version of Judaism values that directly contradict the policies of Israel. They recognize the ideas of Judaism as opposed to the nationalism of Israel. To that extent, such Jews are similar to Americans as opposed to Europeans:
There is one important difference between the American oik and his European counterpart. American patriotism is not a blood-and-soil nationalism but an allegiance to a country based in an idea of enlightened universalism. Thus our oiks masquerade as--and may even believe themselves to be--superpatriots, more loyal to American principles than the vast majority of Americans, whom they denounce as "un-American" for feeling an attachment to their actual country as opposed to a collection of abstractions.[emphasis added]
Similarly, there are Jews who are selective in their preference for loyalty to Jewish ideas and concepts of justice and defense of the downtrodden in lieu of any attachment to the Jewish state.

Taranto concludes:
But why should we assume that Americans who don't even understand their own culture have any inkling about foreign ones?
I suppose the same would go for those Jews and Israelis whose attacks on Israel have no inkling either.

Not even an oik-ling.

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