Romanticizing Intolerance

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Many of you who are known to support Israel likely received the same link through a well-meaning friend’s email, pointing to a YouTube that you had to see to believe. Finally, someone with the guts to speak the truth without being fettered by the PC police.

The link pointed to a fiery oration by an Austrian MK, Ewald Stadler, reacting to a complaint by the Turkish ambassador to Austria. Said ambassador upbraided the Austrians for failing to properly integrate the Turks of Austria.

Mr. Stadler, his rapid, staccato phrases delivered without pause, and accompanied by dramatic gestures, literally told the ambassador where to go. He asked the Austrian government to declare him persona non grata, and for the chief diplomatic to high-tail it back to Istanbul on the Orient Express.

With much sarcasm, he contrasted the complaint of the ambassador with the behavior of Turks in their own country. He pointed, for example, to the murder in June of a Turkish Archbishop by a 26 year-old Muslim who stabbed him eight times in the heart; when the cleric, still clinging to life ran outside for help, the assailant cut off his head, all the while yelling “Alahu Akbar.”

Turks in Austria, claimed, Mr. Stadler to much applause, apparently from members of the opposition, are not treated the way archbishops are in Turkey.

He blamed Turkey for exporting their illiterates, who then became the wards of Austria, which was then berated for not integrating them efficiently enough – especially since their own leaders reject such integration and see it as an offense against their culture. Did Austria really need the kind of people who will bury alive a 16 year old girl for an alleged honor crime?

He criticizes those – meaning the ruling government coalition – who “romanticize tolerance,” and puts them on notice (again to much applause) that not all Austrians approve of such nonsense.

So is Mr. Stadler the latest hero to be embraced by lovers of Israel?

Not so likely. Not if he is still associated with the folks to whom he used to be tied: the Society of St Pius X (SSPX). SSPX represents Traditionalist Catholics – the ones who are loyal to the Old Time Religion, before the Vatican started messing with the traditional liturgy (the Latin Mass) and popular theology (i.e. the innovations of Vatican II and Nostra Aetate, Rome’s incredibly important peace treaty with the Jews). SSPX, you might recall, was very much in the news when the Pope moved to bring four renegade SSPX bishops back into the fold, only to discover that one of them was an unrepentant Holocaust denier.

For many years, SSPX hosted some of the most virulent anti-Semitism imaginable on their website. Public scrutiny apparently got them to move this material to a different site, accessible only by link. Last I tried, even the link was no longer working. The material has been saved, however, and researchers should have little trouble finding it. We can make do in the interim with the assessment of a Jesuit magazine (itself extremely hostile to Israel, in a manner that has been noted by friendly Catholics):

“The Mystery of the Jews,” is still on their official American website, as of this morning (Saturday).

It includes these comments, which read less like a contemporary theological reflection on the Jewish faith and more like passages Mein Kampf. For the record, the article was written in 1997:

“It is public knowledge that the Jewish sector, relatively small compared to the Gentile sector which devotes itself to the creation of wealth, controls especially the financial power that is exercised through banks.”

“Then these Jews, in the name of their Law, their Torah, and to serve the material interests of their nation and race, demanded the blood of Him who had been promised them as their blessing. They stirred up the Gentiles against Jesus. Using them to carry out their plans, they crucified the One who was to be raised up as a “sign of contradiction”.
“Judaism is inimical to all nations in general, and in a special manner to Christian nations.”

“Catholics are not to enter into commercial, social, nor political relations which are bound hypocritically to seek the ruin of Christendom. Jews must not live together with Christians because this is what their own Jewish laws ordain and also because their errors and material superiority have virulent consequences among other peoples.”

The bottom line is that if you find anyone or any group unusually outspoken in their condemnation of another group – even a group you really don’t like – think twice before warming up to them. Hate begets hate. Those prejudiced against one group of people rarely stop there. Bigots and haters are the most consistent practitioners of the “equal opportunity” ethic. They are free to hate everyone different from them. Even when their intolerance is not directed at everyone else, Jews usually manage to achieve pride of place on their hierarchy of the detested.

In the end, we are better served by supporting tolerance than intolerance.

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14 Responses

  1. Raymond says:

    Miriam, my point was not that India has the ideal set up, in their display of complete tolerance. In fact, my point may have been the exact opposite, that while their policy of tolerance has worked for every other group of people, it has completely backfired in the case of the islamofascists, who have zero interest in assimilating into whatever greater society they happen to be living in, as their goal is to assume control of any and all of their host countries. I am not sure it is fair, though, to blame India for this, any more than it is right to blame any victim of terrible crimes.

  2. Miriam says:

    In other words, they are willing to live with the contradictions that, say, one religion has with another, for the sake of tolerance….

    So you’re saying since India has gone to such great lengths to set itself up as a peaceful and tolerant culture, they have endangered themselves. Something like “being so lenient, they lean over and die before standing up for themselves” maybe? (My first attempt at a variation on the open-minded-brains-falling-out idea – Rabbi Adlerstein did you make that one up?) [YA – Naw! I’m too open-minded to write something like that!]

    I think that’s where our tradition of chessed within gevurah and gevurah within chessed comes in – compassion and kindness are intertwined with might. Peace, tolerance, all these Western “ideals” are really only tools.

  3. dovid landesman says:

    R. Yitzchak

    In general, RAL’s writings consistently reveal a “metikut” and “metinut” that should be a required lesson in mussar in all yeshivot. His review of R. Feldman’s book in Jewish Action was an object lesson in how one can firmly disagree with someone without an iota of disrespect. Unlike Dr. Bill, however, I would not attribute this ability to his doctorate but rather to the fact that he is an outsanding talmid chacham and ba’al middot.

  4. Raymond says:

    Miriam, thank you for responding to what I said. It is nice to know that somebody actually reads the thoughts that I express.

    Concerning the islamofascists, they have demonstrated over and over again that they are not willing to integrate into ANY non-islamic society. Look at India, for example. Its still dominant religion of Hinduism, is built on tolerance. I studied that religion for some time way back when, and one of the things I was impressed by, is how they would rather be tolerant of just about any ideology, then worry about ideological consistency. In other words, they are willing to live with the contradictions that, say, one religion has with another, for the sake of tolerance. This has worked out quite well in India, with one exception: the islamofascists. In fact, more Hindus are murdered each year by the islamofascists, than are any other group. It is not enough that India handed over Pakistan to them; they want all of India. And they are in the process of taking over Europe as well. Indeed, they want to take over the whole world, even if they have to murder all non-moslems to accomplish this. I am not sure we should tolerate such evil within our confines of our civilized societies.

  5. Miriam says:

    Raymond I hear you. But maybe I can suggest an angle – and perhaps someone more articulate than I am can express it more clearly – which highlights where this Austrian takes a wrong turn with his hatred.

    The Turkish Ambassador complains about the lack of “integration” of Turkish immigrants living in Austria. The Australian MK responds with a diatribe against conditions within Turkey. His answer actually isn’t relevant.

    Criticizing another nation has its place – if only the Western nations would be half as forthright with China about human rights violations as they are with their nuances of concern against Israel. But that is nation to nation, in a different forum.

    Here the Turkish Ambassador suggests that the Austrian government has a responsibility to properly absorb Turkish immigrants. The Austrian government can then reject the suggestion perhaps because (a) it does not have the responsibility as suggested, or (b) the immigrants themselves have a responsibility they are not living up to.

    Answering (b) is where many governments seem to fall down – Israel included. Accept immigrants from another culture? Yes we do, the Western nations say. But then the Westerners neglect to turn around and demand something of the immigrants. They can’t be terrorists. They must follow this country’s laws, not superimpose Sharia law. They must actually integrate, not maintain their communities as separate – and even opposing – entities. Here’s where you can say islamofacists are not welcome in our country.

    But you can’t say islamofacists aren’t welcome anywhere – if they can actually set up a country somewhere, where they don’t bother anyone else, we have to let them. Is that a reality anywhere? Maybe not, but the civilized way is to allow them the attempt.

  6. Raymond says:

    Perhaps I am missing something here, because to me, the matter seems so simple, and that is, not all hate is the same. Most hate is bad, but some hate is both needed and justified. Hating Jews most definitely wins the prize in being the most irrational form of hatred to ever plague the Earth. At the same time, however, not hating the evils of the nazis, communists, and islamofascists, is itself a kind of evil. While I will admit that on a purely emotional level, hearing a powerful Austrian leader rail against any group brings in thoughts of a notorious Austrian leader who lived a few generations ago, the fact is that railing against the islamofascists is not really a wrong thing to do at all. On the contrary, he is speaking out against the greatest evil plaguing our Earth at this time. That does not negate the fact that when he expresses his antisemitism, then he is clearly wrong.

    My statement above may sound biased, as if I have some kind of double standard in order to favor our Jewish people. However, that is not the case at all. Anybody with any objectivity at all, can see that us Jews as a whole are no threat to the world whatsoever, that, on the contrary, we are, compared to our numbers, the most civilizing force in all of human history. The very opposite is the case when it comes to the islamofascists, whose goal is to utterly destroy civilization by murdering as many innocent people as they can. Hating Jews therefore makes zero sense, while hating islamofascists makes perfect sense.

  7. Bob Miller says:

    It’s a major problem when traitors to the Jewish people such as Neturei Karta think they are deeply involved in Torah. They have lost contact with our true Mesorah.

  8. Poshiter Yid says:

    What’s wrong with the Neturei Karta? Calling them the KKKarta is very offensive. They are kanaim, that’s all, and as deeply involved in Torah as anyone else.

    [YA – They put the lives of other Jews in danger by supporting our worst enemies. They will remain fair game on this blog.]

  9. Yaakov-Meir says:

    Mr. Stadler was, as rightly pointed, affiliated with the SSPX in the past, I am not sure he still is. In any case he was very active in those circles. Bishop Williamson, who is on trial in Germany for publicly denying the Shoah (which he has done repeatedly in his published sermons, which still can be found around on the Internet) is a known anti-Semite of the Christian persuasion and there is a strong anti-Semitic feeling among most members or friends of this Catholic organization. I also wondered whether the people who acclaimed his speech (which is basically true regarding the Turks and other Muslims in Europe, where I live)and decided to find in him a new ally haven’t done their basic research…

  10. YS says:

    BS”D

    He used to have a Ku Klux Karta rabbi on his side – his initals are MAF and Stadler attended his son’s bar mitzvah – but said rabbi has since left the KKKarta and done tshuva!

  11. Sarah says:

    I don’t know how anyone can support this person. He rants like a Nazi. Listening to him creeped me out. The German is even nastier than the translation. I might agree with the message but certainly not with the messenger.

  12. mb says:

    The English Defence League an intolerant hard right fringe group also claims a love of Israel and was supported by a Los Angeles Rabbi at a recent protest march!

  13. Bob Miller says:

    Could it be that the Turks and Austrians deserve each other? Each of these peoples has carried out genocide in the last century.

  14. Miriam says:

    Those prejudiced against one group of people rarely stop there.

    Might this work the opposite direction as well, that there is yet hope for humanist-liberals who meanwhile are all up in arms against mean Israel oppressing the helpless Palestinians….?

    [YA – I’m less certain about this one :-( ]