Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Fantasy of the Big, Tough Powerful Jew – Crime Heights Division

An interesting article in Haaretz (of all places) about the Jewish vigilantes in Crown Heights.

Prof. Samuel Heilman, a sociologist from Queens College in New York who specializes in Hasidic communities, says it is possible to understand why the Hasidim perceive themselves as being under constant threat. According to him, "The Jewish community in Crown Heights is tiny. Even in some of the streets where they live they are a minority, and that's why they feel unprotected when they compare themselves to other Hasidic communities in Williamsburg or Flatbush or Boro Park."

. . .

At the corner of Kingston and Lefferts, Gadi Hershkop, the 31-year-old driver of a girls' school bus and the coordinator of the Shomrim, forecasts a hot summer. "When the weather gets warm, the problems begin. It's like that every year but now it's worse. Crime is on the rise and it's getting tense here with these shvartze animals. It's like a war zone out here."

Both the Shomrim and the Shmira [a rival self defense group] have histories of applying excessive force to suspects. In August 2005, after members of Shmira beat up a burglar, a rumor spread in Crown Heights that Jews had killed a black man and the neighborhood was on the verge of explosion. But the police recognized the violent potential in the situation and called in black activist Richard Green, who calmed things down.

Green, who runs a black youth center in the neighborhood, has said the Jewish organizations should be more "mature." He mentioned his initiative to allow anyone in the neighborhood who so desires to join the Jewish organizations. According to him, "If you had a strong civilian watch, I'm quite sure you would find members of the black community that would be interested to be a part of it."

The Jews are not enthusiastic about the idea. Isaac Zellermaier thinks the initiative does not even merit consideration. "This is a Jewish organization," he said. According to Spielman, the initiative to establish a joint patrol is an absurd idea: "Can Golani [an elite Israeli army infantry division] and Fatah [a branch of the PLO] patrol together?" For Shlomi Klein, the red-headed member of Shomrim, who kept an ever watchful eye on his community's territory, the question isn't if Jews and blacks can get along. For him, being part of a powerful group which consists of Jews - and Jews alone - is part of a larger issue. "I originally joined Shomrim because I felt people need to take a stance," he says. "My grandfather was a [Holocaust] survivor, and I feel that in our little world every man's action makes a difference. I'm here because I just don't want the Holocaust to ever happen again."”

I wasn’t aware that the Chasidim are such a minority in the seat of world Chabad. Of course, while they have legitimate reasons to fear crime, the racism and assumption that all blacks are anti-Semitic criminals is despicable. And their calling blacks “animals” is beneath contempt. No wonder their Shomrim organization (or its rival the Shmira) doesn’t want to have joint patrols with their non-Jewish neighbors. Doing so would disturb their convenient (if inaccurate) system for color-coding threats. And the continuing bad feelings will continue to fester until the next riot erupts. And when that happens, the Shomrim be about as effective at protecting Jews as fighting a fire by spitting on it.

Alas, these tough talking guys are just another example of the fantasy of the Big, Tough Jew (BTJ). The fantasy was fist mongered by the Zionists, who thought that if the Jews could become a “nation like all the others” people would respect them, or at least leave them alone. In attempting to implement that program, the Zionists got into self defense, and, on the basis of a few successes at strongly defending themselves, the myth of the Big Tough Jew emerged. It was reinforced by the realization of 20th century Jews in western lands (i.e., US, UK, Canada, etc.) that military service for a Jew could be an honorable, not a degrading, experience. (To get a real flavor of the BTJ myth, one should read some of the fiction of Leon Uris.) In a nutshell, the basics of BTJ belief is that if you push the goyim around, they’ll respect you and leave you alone.

The flaws in this ideology are obvious. The entire world contains about 15 million Jews and about 6 billion goyim. So even if the market penetration of BTJ is 100%, the Jews are rather outnumbered. Each BTJ would have to fight off 400 angry goyim. Yes, the BTJs can be big and tough, but not that tough. There’s also the inability of the BTJ to recognize the difference between respect for strong self-defense and hatred for being a bully.

So, sorry, BTJs, God created the world in the way that He did, and that includes the fact that Jews are forever doomed to live by their wits, and muscle is only of secondary value. The Holocaust happened because the gentiles hated the Jews, not because there weren’t enough BTJs in 1920’s Germany. Far better to make friends with goyim, even black ones, than to try to fight them all off. Which means those shomrim in Crown Heights should stop thinking that a Jewish minority can enforce order alone in their neighborhood, and start making friends with your non-Jewish neighbors, even if they’re schvartzes, because they hate the punks as much as you do.

No comments: