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Assaf Wohl. 'Take culture differences into account'
Photo: Shai Vaknin
Leftists back chauvinism
Op-ed: Leftist demonstrators endorse Arab society that shuns their own lofty ideals

A leftist protest was being held in Sheikh Jarrah, and as it turned out I was invited too. A friend of a friend even sent a Facebook invitation. Among the many exclamation marks, I couldn’t help but notice a very certain demand presented to participants – or more accurately, female participants: “When choosing your attire for the protest, please take cultural differences into account.” Amazing, isn’t it?

 

As one who spent most of his years among the religious sector, I’ve been equipped with top-notch detectors aimed at spotting authoritative chauvinism dressed up as “modesty.” These detectors are mostly focused on close attention to the term “cultural differences.”

 

I will translate this term to simple language for those who have trouble doing it themselves. Protest organizers asked female participants to cover themselves up, as is customary in chauvinistic societies. The society on whose behalf they fight oppresses women and is hierarchical and violent. It’s a society that views women as an object that belongs to men, and sees honor killings of women as a technological zenith.

 

As noted, since women are objects that belong to men, they are faced with constraints. The dress code is one of them, and it is being referred to as “cultural differences.”

 

Members of the liberal leftist camp do not even imagine that something is wrong here. They do not see the great dissonance between their desire to put their lives on the line to fight Jews from moving into Sheikh Jarrah, coupled with their silence in the face of the murder of women and persecution of homosexuals. The opposite is true – they happen to easily go with the flow in respect to the “modesty” rules and the oppression.

 

The abovementioned example is not only limited to the well-renowned leftist hypocrisy. The members of various religions, cults, and ideologies sometimes firmly act against their own ideals. And so, the enlightened and equality-loving Left validates Arab society’s chauvinistic patriarchy towards women. This is precisely how some haredim violate the “do not do unto others” decree when they order thousands of their followers to publicly humiliate Sephardic girls.

 

In search of purpose 

So why is this happening? Because such “ideologists” do not have a worthy purpose. And living without purpose can be very difficult – just ask Viktor Frankl. The ideals which these ideologies boast of cannot fill the human void that seeks meaning. The values of humanism and democracy for some leftists or the Torah for some haredim cannot provide purpose, despite the bombastic pretensions. So they invent something.

 

At the end of the day, all these groups come together for some fascinating study sessions with riot police. These police forces, which as we know make up the academic elite of the humanities, are required to provide a purpose for the life of the abovementioned miserable souls; to make the unbearable lightness of being go away with their bats; to provide therapy via tear gas; to grant meaningful blows to the lives of these listless protestors.

 

The examples we see suggest that the values of these ideological fighters are not the real motives for enlisting them to the cause. As noted, neither Judaism nor Western humanistic values create a worthy purpose for them. It’s a fact. These people are motivated by personal psychological needs that may stem from existential purposelessness. Hence, they turn to the creation of fake friction and pseudo-just wars.

 

And so, we see humanism being abandoned in favor of endorsing a theocratic, dictatorial culture. Similarly, the Torah was abandoned for the sake of some dry bones. Yet these conscientious students must recall one thing while being beaten up by riot police: When you complain about violence on the part of the uniformed thugs, “please take cultural differences into account.”

 

 


First published: 07.14.10, 12:50
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