UN Conference on Racism
Israel and the Global Hate Warby John Loeffler Steel on Steel
Hate brings together a diverse group of people: an imprisoned pastor in Sweden, the Boy Scouts, people who violate their country's hate speech laws, gays and anti-gays, not to mention a whole herd of shouting, virulently angry, but of course, "tolerant" people at the third UN Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, last month. Hating hate has become big business for the world's governments and many non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
With freedom of thought and speech on the table, last month's fiasco in Durban, South Africa, clearly demonstrated why the worldwide war on hate is not only failing but is causing a substantial increase of hatred. Besides, it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.The Ideology of Hatred
Israel came into the cross-hairs of a global gang up during the conference, which ostensibly was geared towards reducing hatred and racism. At one of the "prepcom" planning sessions in Geneva, Switzerland, a month prior to the September UN Conference, NGO representatives approved a preliminary declaration for consideration that Israel is "an apartheid, racist, and fascist state"; an ironic concept considering that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where its citizens - both Jewish and Arab-can freely elect their leaders.
The fact that Israel was singled out demonstrates how ideologically and politically motivated hate wars are: consider the fact that dictatorial, genocidal, slavery-tolerating countries such as the Sudan, China, and Zimbabwe were also in attendance at the conference but caught no fire.
The proposed anti-Israeli document called for a plan of action to dismantle the "racist, apartheid state" of Israel, and implement the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, including a "protection force" for Palestinians and the dismantling of "Jewish Israeli colonies" (meaning the West Bank). It also called on the UN to reiterate Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism and invoked a policy of "complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state, as was done in the case of South Africa...sanctions, embargoes, the full cessation of all diplomatic, economic, social, and military ties between all states and Israel."1
During the conference itself, anti-Semitic booklets appeared everywhere - including the classic "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which is even banned in South Africa. One leaflet featured a picture of Hitler with the caption, "If I had won, there would be no Israel and no Palestinian bloodshed." Others depicted Jews with fangs, crooked noses and bleeding hands reminiscent of propaganda from Nazi Germany. Jewish attendees were harassed and Israel's attempts to defend itself were met with shout-downs.
PLO chief Yasser Arafat's speech accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" by driving Palestinians from their homes and of using "uranium weapons" against the Palestinians.2 He forgot to point out the fact that the Palestinian Arabic- language media have been pouring out a decades-long stream of hateful invective against Israel, threatening death to Jews and Israel, all during the so-called peace process in the 1990s.
Theoretically, a conference on racism would bring together representatives to discuss ways of ending hatred and discrimination around the world. But the Arab/Islamic bloc's ability to marshal a formidable anti-Zionist clique supporting an anti-Israeli resolution turned the event into a circus.
One could argue that what happened at the conference was a fluke, but the reality is that the conference highlighted the key problem with all wars on hate and discrimination, both international and domestic: hate is a matter of definition.Peddling Hate
In various countries, the war against hatred focuses on so-called "hate crimes." The for-public-consumption rationale for defining certain crimes as hate crimes is to protect minorities such as homosexuals from violence and death. There is steady pressure on lawmaking bodies to implement legislation providing for extra punishment when hate is involved in a crime. However well-intentioned this may be, hate crimes are really another example of evil riding on the back of a white horse; a proposed "solution" to a problem that will ultimately be more evil than the original problem. Bottom line: the "war against hate" does not reduce hate; rather it increases hate-and freedom of thought, speech and religion is the first casualty in this war.The Hate Crime Industry
Hate crimes in various countries tend to progress along a common path. A key determinant to the speed with which a country progresses down this road is inversely proportional to the degree of sanctity its citizens place on freedom of speech.
1) First, already-existing laws against violence, such as homicide and assault, have extra penalties added to them as "riders" when hate is involved. For example, if a white man kills a black man, that is a homicide. If he uses the "N" word while doing it, that's a hate crime. If he kills a black man during a convenience store robbery, that is not a hate crime unless he yells the "N" word while doing it and, shazaam, once again it's a hate crime. But if there is no other crime involved and he yells the "N" word during a dispute, that is not a hate crime-so far. (Apologies to our Australian, New Zealand, and UK readers. I'm sure you have your own array of racial epithets.)
2) As media discussion of hate crimes continues and the occurrence of unfortunate incidents invariably mounts, the next step is a blurring of the hate crime concept in the public mind. Slowly but surely, hate crimes evolve from a criminal motive to a point where hate becomes a crime in itself.
3) Once hatred is a dastardly deed on its own, the actions and speech of individuals must be monitored to make sure no one is hating. This is where things get dicey. Exactly what constitutes hate is virtually impossible to define, and the legal definitions tend to be open-ended and vague. In some cases they can be considered speech that simply offends someone or supposedly incites to hatred. In others it could be inciting to violence or use of intimidating language. In some cases, it can simply be saying something someone else doesn't like.
4) To solve the definition dilemma, hate "watchdog" groups spring up to tell us who the hate groups or individuals are.
5) Finally, hate crimes become anything that is not politically correct and fighting hate becomes an industry.Hate Crimes Kill Free Speech
As such, the thoughts and beliefs of some groups become protected, and the thoughts and beliefs of other groups opposing them becomes hatred or intolerance. Hate-crime accusations are expressed through a plethora of buzz words, such as "intolerance," "racism" and "xenophobia"-even "mental health." With penalties attached to politically incorrect speech, freedom of thought, speech and religion begin to die, because it becomes too risky for dissenters to challenge the politically correct environment and risk unemployment, fines or imprisonment.
Reasoned debate begins to die, because it is no longer necessary for the politically correct to prove their case with reason, fact and logic; rather, it is sufficient to brand their opponents "racist," "intolerant" or [your epithet here] in order to bring any discussion to a halt. Then, all that is necessary is to shout down an opponent in the manner of Hitler's Brown Shirts.
There is also a tendency to deny politically incorrect groups access to the media to defend themselves, and as these target groups become more and more marginalized in the public mind and have no forum to express their ideas or defend their views, they become more resentful and hateful of those attacking them, not less.Hate Is an Arbitrary Concept
Definitions of hate and intolerance tend to be extremely arbitrary and one-sided. Majority groups come to be the only haters, and in the "la la land" of hate wars, some have even said it is impossible for minorities to hate. Only majorities can be hate-filled oppressors.
When African-American churches are fire bombed in the U.S., the foul deed is instantly baptized a hate crime in the media. However, when a man stormed into a Ft. Worth, Texas, church and screamed anti-Christian epithets while shooting and killing people, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno said she'd have to think about whether it was a hate crime or not. The double standard is obvious.The Hate War Entangles Religion
Since wars on hate involve a judgment about the morality or immorality of certain beliefs, religious beliefs invariably come under fire by the secular, politically correct establishment. The conflict between religious groups opposing the homosexual lifestyle and pro-gay groups are demonstrative of that. The Boy Scouts in the U.S. are under fire for their refusal to allow homosexual scoutmasters, which the U.S. Supreme Court defended as a right to freedom of association. An assistant attorney general in West Virginia has been holding seminars and teaching police that anyone espousing "homophobia" could be put into a hate classification, including religious groups who have apocalyptic beliefs about the Second Coming of Christ.3
In Sweden, an evangelical pastor recently served a four-week sentence in jail for informing his congregation that God does not sanction sexual perversion, which was a violation of Sweden's anti-hate statute protecting groups from "verbal violence." In 1997, Canadian Hugh Owens placed an ad quoting Leviticus in a Saskatchewan newspaper for which he was hauled before the province's Human Rights Commission, which recommended in 1999 that he be forced to pay $200 to the complainants.
Since both politics and religion are frequently emotionally charged issues, once "hate crimes" become politically correct, how dare anyone publicly talk about them without fear of "offending" someone and incurring the wrath of the PC establishment?The Hate War Is Self-Hating
The entire concept of hating hate is a dangerous, self-defeating proposition, which is threatening one of the freedoms we cherish most: the right to freedom of conscience, belief, and speech.
Those waging the hate war maintain the cardinal virtue is to be tolerant of everyone's beliefs, since no belief can be absolutely true. But they themselves are viciously intolerant of anyone not abiding by their code of conduct. They say we should not discriminate, but they urge discrimination be used as a weapon against anyone accused of discriminating; look at the Boy Scouts.
Whenever hating hate is the name of the game, we often wind up with two groups of hate: one sanctioned and the other not. The first group is the official haters, whose beliefs are not politically correct. The second are the hate fighters, who frequently express hatred toward the first group, but it's OK; their hatred is politically correct.Friend's Don't Let Friends Hate Hate
Paul understood that hating hate simply causes more hatred. Rather, he said "bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them" (Rom 12:14). He was simply echoing Jesus, whose prescription for ending hatred was to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven..." (Mt 5:44). In essence, friends don't let friends hate hate.
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