For One Democratic State
in the whole of Palestine (Israel)


FOR One Man, One Vote



The Haman Syndrome or Why do Jews answer a question with a question?

By Israel Shamir


(A talk given in Paris on October 5, 2006 at the presentation of Notre-Dame des Douleurs, the French translation of Shamir’s book Our Lady of Sorrow).


Should one try to be fair and just? Ulysses, Homer’s wanderer, said definitely yes, for the Gods hate injustice. Not, if you want to get laid, as Michel Houellebecq so vividly shows in his novel on the defeated revolution of 1968, Elementary Particles. It appears that once people tried to be fair, and if they weren’t, they felt rather ashamed of themselves; and that now they have given up on fairness. Perhaps the Gods of Ulysses who hated injustice have changed their minds? Or rather, did mankind change its Gods?


The beginning of the great change can be traced ultimately to humanism, that is, to Europe’s severance of man’s ties to the Divine in its rush for individual freedom and happiness. But even without direct reference to God, fairness continued to be based on religious feeling. Thus, in the century of Reason and Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant stated that the instinct for fairness is a moral law within us, corresponding to the starry sky above us, another veiled reference to God. Behave in such a way that your deeds may be emulated by others and serve as a universal rule, quoth Kant’s Categorical Imperative, or in other words, “Act according to that maxim you would like to be a universal law”.


Despite its secular appearance, the Kantian attitude is based on a hidden and very Christian presumption of the equality of men (also shared by Muslims, Confucians, Buddhists). But if we were to accept a presumption of Judaic law, we’d come to a very different conclusion. According to Judaic law, some men are inherently more equal than others, and no one universal law can cover both the higher and the lower species. There is one law for the Chosen Minority and another law for the Native and Unwashed Majority, and a third law yet for their interaction (This view is shared by Hindu Brahmans, but they did not influence us). The Judaic ethic became the rule in the countries where the natives were defeated or subjugated most profoundly, that is in the United States and Israel. Since 1968, this double-standard ethic has made deep inroads into our Kantian world to the point of subverting all political discourse in respect to justice and fairness.


A law is just if it is stipulated in general terms, and applied to specifics: Do not murder. In Kantian (or Christian) ethics, this prohibition must fit all to be fair. But in traditional Judaic ethics, “do not murder” means only “you must not kill Jews”. Killing other, (lesser) beings, does not even qualify as “murder”. In full agreement with this understanding, last month the US deported an 80-year old German woman who was a former concentration camp guard, but never demanded the extradition of the Israeli killers of American sailors. Israel jails Arabs for life who murder Jews. But a Jew who murdered fifty Arabs was fined one cent.


If you approve of the general rule: Do not possess nuclear weapons, then, in a Kantian world, this prohibition must refer to all states - or at least to all states that did not possess such weapons by the time the NPT treaty was concluded. But from a Judaic perspective, a US official was right in proclaiming that “we won’t live with a nuclear North Korea or Iran”, though they live quite happily with a nuclear Israel.


The Jews learned much from a stupid mistake made by their enemy, Haman, a character in the biblical Book of Esther. Prime Minister Haman was asked: “What shall be done to the man whom the King delights to honour?” The dummy answered: “He should be given the greatest honours”. Of course, Haman thought that the King Ahasuerus was referring to himself when he asked Haman the question. It quickly became clear that Haman made a mistake: the King had in mind his bitter enemy Mordecai; and Haman was forced to pay obeisance to the Jew.


This story has been repeated and discussed by Jews for millennia, and these fruitful discussions have taught them: before answering any general question, you must find out where you stand in the equation. In other words, do not be Kantian, be Jewish. If Haman were a Jew (and he was not) he would answer the royal question with a question: “Is this person a Jew?” and only after knowing that would he feel comfortable to proceed. Thus, modest home-grown psychologists that we are, we shall add a new illness to the long list of mental pathologies: the Haman Syndrome, a mental sickness acquired from learning the error of Haman, which leads to the inability of applying Kant’s categorical imperative.


Suffering from the Haman Syndrome, Jews use a catch-all phrase: “How can you compare?” in order to defeat the Kantian universal approach. If a Jew complains that Palestinians kill Jewish civilians, try to answer with “You kill their women and children”. You will get an indignant: “How can you compare!” - maybe accompanied by a list of differences: they kill by body-strapped explosives, we kill by guided missiles, etc, and the most important but rarely voiced: we kill goyim, but they kill Jews!


But who cares what the Jews think? What is important is that the US and its allies have adopted their outlook. When the Jews elected as Prime Minister Menachem Begin, an old terrorist and the man who bombed the King David Hotel and killed 90 men, women and children, the West accepted Begin as Israel’s democratic choice. But when the Palestinians democratically elected a majority government led by Hamas, (with its own terrorist links), the Jews subjected Palestine to a blockade, incarcerated Hamas MPs and seized Palestinian monies – all with full support of the West. When Jews starve and kill Palestinians in Gaza, it’s business-as-usual. But when the Iranian President called to dismantle the Jewish supremacy regime, he was summoned to a Western court as a potential genocidaire.


Here’s another example of the general vs. the specific. If you want to obtain the release of your POWs, go and snatch some of your enemy’s soldiers or civilians in order to be in a better position to bargain for them. Right or wrong? Well, if you are the Jewish state, and you snatch a Lebanese citizen - let us call him Mustafa Dirani - in order to save your POW Ron Arad, you are “caring for your soldier”. But if you are Lebanese and snatch a Jewish soldier to secure the release of your POWs, it is an outright provocation and a naked act of aggression (according to the Jewish enlightened left of Amos Oz).


One has to be a devoted Hamanian to understand why the US’s nuking of Hiroshima was a legitimate act of warfare, while Pearl Harbor was an atrocity; why Stalin’s GULAG was an atrocity but Guantanamo is legitimate, why bombing Haifa is a war crime, but shelling Gaza is not, why the deportation of Jewish civilians by Germans was genocide, but the deportation of German civilians by the Poles was not.


Is a naval blockade an act of war? That’s a good question. If it is the Egyptian blockade of Israeli shipping to Eilat, it’s an act of war and it should be met by all-out war, as it was in 1967. But if it is an Israeli blockade of Lebanon, or Gaza, it’s only a measure of permissible self-defence.


If you deny a massacre, it is surely upsetting to the kin of massacred. May it be done? After the Israeli air force bombed and killed dozens of Lebanese children at Qana in Lebanon, the Jewish media published hundreds of items denying it. They said that the pictures were either staged or Photoshop-altered, that the photo of a dead child, or a truckload of dead bodies were brought in from elsewhere. But when the British historian David Irving applied this same critique to the photographs of Auschwitz , he was called négationniste (Holocaust Denier - Fr.) and sentenced to three years of jail. Udo Walendy served time in jail for doubting authenticity of Jewish photos, but the Jews who doubt Lebanese photos or outright deny the massacres of Deir Yassin and Qana are very much at large.


Now, the Jews are not the only people in need of exception. Indeed, their peculiar ethics became the ethics of the new, thoroughly godless post-1968 ruling class. Their history and traditions became the banner of men with the Haman syndrome. The Jews became the pet of the preferred minorities waging merciless wars upon the majorities all over the world. In order to confuse the rest, they would unite in one breath the exclusive minority of stockbrokers with underprivileged minority of black immigrants against the vast majority of ordinary people. Their obsession with minorities, be it lesbian single mothers or HIV-positive illegal immigrants, has a reason: in this way they seize the moral high ground for their own minority rule. This is also the reason why so many members of the majority are annoyed with unprivileged minorities, be it Blacks or Gays: they correctly (if subconsciously) feel that the people who promote minority causes do not really give a damn about the ordinary majority.


In countries where hard-core Judaic ethics rule - the US and Israel - the majority is brought to a new low. The native majority of Jewish-ruled Palestine is disenfranchised, dispossessed and its working places were outsourced to imported guest-workers. The majority of nominally Jewish workers are forced to part-time jobs or to “self-employment” in order to save on social benefits. In the US, “American employers are waging a successful war against wages”, writes Paul Krugman in the IHT. “After-tax corporate profits have more than doubled, because workers' productivity is up, but their wages aren't. Wal-Mart workers' children were either on Medicaid or lacked health insurance, and still they want to pay their workers even less by denying them permanent employment”.


Donald Luskin, an admirer of Israel and Ayn Rand, attacked Krugman for his “antisemitism” (he did not denounce Mahathir) and wrote: “The measure of a man is what he worries about. President Bush is a big man who worries about big things like protecting America from global terrorism. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman — Bush’s most vicious media opponent and America’s looniest liberal pundit — is a little man who worries about little things, whether retail workers are being paid too little by Wal-Mart.” We are also little men who worry about little things for we know that the big things like war on terrorism are done in order to pay us less.  


Those who suffer from the Haman Syndrome are aware that people won’t take their oppression in their stride. That is why their economic down-pressure is accompanied by terror against majorities. In Israel it was always legal to torture and imprison without trial. Now the US has its Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, bringing it to the Israeli level. A wise Palestinian professor at Columbia University, Rashid Khalidi correctly said that the Mearsheimer/Walt paper overestimated the influence of the Jewish Lobby on foreign policy but also underestimated its influence on domestic policy such as The Patriot Act. This is exactly a point that we have been making all along: the Jewish Lobby’s primary goal is not Palestine, but your freedom.


I was asked whether it is necessary to refer to Jews at all, given that not only Jews, and not all Jews, support the rule of the Minority. Indeed, the origin is not important, for everyone makes one’s choice whether to stick with the trampled-upon majority, or to aspire to be a member of a chosen minority. The true heroes of mankind were the minority members who crossed over to the side of majority. Jesus of Nazareth was born a prince of the House of David, his maternal grandfather was an important man at the Temple, while Siddhartha Gautama was brought up in a palace ready to inherit his father’s kingdom. Still these princes, Christ and Buddha, opened the way to majority. Many people of Jewish origin also made this trek. But Jewish organisations are practically always on the side of minorities, trying to make an exception for Jews even while among the chosen moneyed caste.


One of their favourite tools is persecution of those who wish to measure Jews by the same yardstick as the rest of men. Alas, I am one of those. I called for a full equality of Jew and non-Jew in Israel/Palestine, and my fellow Israeli citizens did not mind it, but the French Jews got me indicted in France for “defaming Jews”. This sounds weird. Why should the French care what an Israeli citizen says to other Israeli citizens about their Jewish ethics? Is Palestine a part of France? Does France consider its sovereignty world-embracing? Should the French feel very proud that their writ reaches as far as my Jaffa? Well, no. This is the only case where a French court would interfere. Otherwise, they would wisely desist, as they desisted when French Jews Flatto, Gaydamak etc. ran away to Israel with stolen French money. In my case, the French Republic is just doing its small bit in upholding Jewish exceptionalism.


This protection is exceptional: could the Turks of Paris go to a French court against Orhan Pamuk, the great Turkish writer, for defaming Turks (some Turks thought so), and would a French court find Pamuk guilty? Well, it is not a very likely story. The Turks won’t ask for it, and the French won’t grant it. There is only one nation above the law that can get away with it.


Is it because the French do not want to offend a religion? When the offended religion is Christianity or Islam, its adherents are supposed to just bite their lip. An offensive anti-Muslim book by Oriana Fallaci was found kosher by a French court (some Muslims, unaware of Haman, had the temerity to sue her). But when Jewish writers (such as French Emmanuel Levinas) attributed the mistreatment of Jews by Nazis to … Christianity, no court interfered. But if the offended religion is Judaism, its offenders go to jail. It’s as simple as that.


There is a good reason why laws are territorial. We all commit offences against some law in some land. When you smoke grass in the Netherlands, you know that it would be illegal under, say, French law; but you know that you are safe in the Netherlands. When you drink wine in Paris, you know that you commit an offence under the laws of Saudi Arabia, but you are not in Saudi Arabia, so you do not have to care. In the USSR, it was illegal to read Solzhenitsyn, but French publishers could print his Archipelago. But one offence is perfectly extra-territorial, and wherever you commit it, you can be punished – this is an offence against Jews.


In order to make their exceptional position clear, the Jewish organisation that sues everybody for offending Jews, the CRIF, now defends the right of a French teacher Robert Redeker to insult Islam. Redeker described Mohammed as a “ruthless and looter warlord, a Jew slaughterer and a polygamist”. This definition applies to King David as well; he had 18 wives, was a ruthless warlord and slaughtered a lot of Jews. Polygamy was an offence Muhammad shared with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, while every king who began a dynasty was a ruthless warlord to start with and slaughtered a lot of people, though not necessarily Jews. Who cares if Jews or non-Jews were slaughtered? If you ask this question, you are not subject to the Haman Syndrome.


Why should we bother and pay attention to this universal adoration of Jews? Not only for the sake of Palestine must we attend to - and end - this obsession. Our future and the future of our children is at stake. France is also a victim of minority rule, or rather of the minority’s war against the majority. When Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative candidate front-runner for French presidency next year, declared himself a “friend of America and a friend of Jews” during his trip to Washington last week, he did not mean that he loves Gefilte Fish and Hamburgers (no Frenchman is that dumb); he gave a cryptic sign that he will support the Minority against the Majority.


Instead of oscillating between the Left of Blair and the Right of Sarkozy, united in their love of rich minorities, we may seek for the lost paths leading to majority rule. The Left may continue the unfinished work of the revolution ‘68 from where it failed, betrayed and misused for the advancement of the Judaic ethics by the likes of Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Todd Gitlin and Joschka Fischer. The Right may reinvent the masculine spirituality of Chesterton, Eliot, Evola and Guenon. Together they may turn the people away from the threshold of slavery to the gates of freedom, destroy the imposed authority of the mainstream media and the universities, and undermine the plan “drawn up well away from the cries of the electorate or the laments of society’s victims by serene and lucid minds” (Le Corbusier), thus restoring the justice and fairness of Kant’s imperative, instead of the perverse exceptionalism of the Haman Syndrome.