Ayn Rand Institute's Elan Journo Again Evades the Central Issue

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Submitted by Grant Jones on Tue, 2018-07-17 06:38

Elan Journo is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) and its resident foreign policy "expert." Last month Journo had a book published, What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. I haven't read it yet. Honestly, it will probably be some time before I bother. I've read many books on this topic. Despite Journo's claims, I don't anticipate encountering anything new in his book. Last year, I reviewed Journo's edited work Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism. I also reviewed Peter Schwartz's The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest that was published by ARI in 2004. I've read several times Journo's edited anthology Winning the Unwinnable War: America's Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism (2009). Therefore, I'm quite familiar with ARI's position on this issue.

Journo published an article, "Tackling Top 5 Objections to 'What Justice Demands,'" today on ARI's new in house blog. This blog, "New Ideal," is a good idea in that it provides a format for ARI's "experts" to write relatively lengthy pieces on different subjects. It's a definite improvement over "Official Objectivism" long oral tradition. The five objections listed are, First: "Isn't it wiser to walk away?" For America, the obvious answer is "yes." Second: "Isn't it a deadlocked, unsolvable conflict?" No kidding. Third: "Why distinguish Palestinians from the Palestinian movement." Because, it helps evade the conflict's larger context. Fourth: "What about stolen "Arab" land?" Already answered many times for anyone open to reason. Fifth: "How can an atheist back a religious state?" Meaning Israel. That's easy. What's interesting is the atheist's refusal to apply the same standards to other states.

For real Americans, the first point is clearly the most important. The basic question is what national security issues require extensive American involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict and/or the Middle East? The answer is that there are no compelling strategic reasons for the massive amount of blood and treasure the USA has dumped in that benighted region.

Journo answers this objection by pointing out that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a part of Islam's global jihad.

"By contrast, a common denominator among Israel’s adversaries across decades is that in their political vision and actual practice, they’re hostile to human freedom and progress. They are dictatorships, monarchies, and theocracies. They are variations on one distinct theme: religious subjugation of the individual ... Standing behind Hamas and kindred groups is a leader of the jihadist movement, the Islamic totalitarian regime in Iran."

True, in part. Note the weasel phrase "Islamic totalitarian" as if jihad and sharia were not integral to Islam from its founding in Medina. As if, the jihadists were not following the example set by their "perfect man" Mohammad. Also note the singling out of Iran. As if any majority Moslem country isn't involved in the jihad to the extent their conditions allow.

"The Islamists rail against American foreign policy, including U.S. support for Israel. But neither an American departure from the region, nor even the cessation of Washington’s backing of Israel, would pacify the Islamists ...
In another essay at New Ideal and in my book, I have argued that their basic objection is that we’re unbelievers, everything we do is an affront, and, in the end, it is they who should dominate, in the name of religious totalitarianism ...
Turning our back to this reality cannot advance American interests, precisely because the conflict is far more than a quarrel between two tribes."

Nor, can one advance American interests by evading the fundamental identity of Islam. The way to advance American interests is obvious if that is one's primary* concern. However, if one's primary concern is Israel's security, then you rationalize America's suicidal "engagement" in the region.

Japan, Poland and Hungary are filled with "unbelievers" whose existence is an "affront" to the "Islamists." Incidentally, no Moslem or jihadist ever refers to themselves as an "Islamist." It's yet another weasel word designed to evade reality. Unlike the United States or Germany or France or Canada, etc., the Japanese, Polish or Hungarian people aren't subject to incessant jihad attacks that require the creation of a garrison state. The reason for this difference is yet another obvious fact that Journo shamelessly evades. Many countries have imported the jihad. Other countries, not ruled by traitors, have declined to share in the joys of dieversity, jihad and creeping sharia. In other words, Journo's recommendation to Americans is to ignore the real causes of both the global and domestic jihad and continue meddling in the region to their own detriment. As I wrote six months ago on another ARI exercise in evasion,

"I think the elephant being ignored in this discussion couldn't be more obvious. The real question is why should civilized Europeans and Americans suffer the likes of [jihadist] Anjem Choudary in their midst? Although an "anchor baby" born in England, the only rational way to deal with the Choudarys is to strip them of their British citizenship and ship them back to Pakistan. In Pakistan the jihadists can exercise their "right" to foment hatred for all infidels. The all too obvious response to the question is "they have to go back if they attempt in any way, shape or form to undermine our liberty and way of life." And, "needless to say, the further immigration of Moslems must be immediately halted.""

Nobody employed by ARI can honestly address this issue because doing so requires questioning their no-borders (for America) dogma. The best policy for American security is one of containment for the dar al-Islam. We don't even need their oil anymore, in part, thanks to President Trump.

Point Two: The jihad has been unsolvable for 1400 years. The jihad is patient. It took nearly three hundred years for the Moslems to wipe out the various Crusader States in the Middle Ages. There is no rational reason to believe that the imperative of jihad has been attenuated since then.

Point Three: According to Journo, relevant, important and justified generalization is "collectivism":

If we think of people in collectivized terms, we distance ourselves from the facts of the matter and cloud our thinking. Such a perspective elevates unchosen group membership while depreciating, if not erasing, the real, consequential differences among individuals stemming from their chosen outlook on the world, and their other individual choices. One danger of adopting a collectivized perspective is that it can lead you to assume that everyone within that group somehow thinks alike, and thus fail to evaluate them as individuals.

Since it's not possible to choose the culture one's born into, it doesn't matter. Culture is now a "collectivist" concept. That the Palestinians have "collectively" created a culture of death doesn't matter because there are exceptions. Brigitte Gabriel's response to such drivel remains a classic.

Point Four: Anyone still nattering on about "stolen Arab land" is either ignorant or dishonest, and not worth the time to argue against.

Point Five: How does an atheist, or any secular minded person, defend the Jewish State? That's an easy one. Of course, Israel is the only decent, free country in the region. This fact doesn't change Israel's fundamental identity as a ethno-religious state. Happily, the religion in question is this-worldly, tolerant and values reason. It is the state of Israel's avowed policy that it will remain the Jewish state. In part, Israel's very selective immigration policy is designed to ensure such an outcome. I have no problem with Israel's immigration policy. Bully for them.

The contradiction here is ARI's and Journo's hypocrisy and double-standards when it comes to mass immigration into Europe or the United States. According to them, there is a basic human right to migrate into these Western countries. An illiterate El Salvadorian has the absolute "right" to enter the US in order to better their condition. However, a Christian African from Sudan has no such "right" to enter Israel. If Journo really doesn't like Israel being defined as an ethno-religious state, then mass immigration would quickly cure that shortcoming. Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and peaceful Moslems filling-up Israel would solve this "problem" for Journo. Jews would be just another group in the multi-cultural mosaic. And, Israel's economy would grow even faster and the country would become even more prosperous according to ARI's claims on the benefits of mass immigration. Somehow, I doubt that such a policy for Israel will ever be advocated by ARI or Journo.

Instead, Israel has adopted the sane policy of border walls in order to retain its cultural identity.

Since Journo gets it either completely or partly wrong on his every selected point, I doubt this book will be of much value compared to many already written on this issue.

* Journo was born in Jerusalem. He was raised and educated in England. He is an Israeli citizen. Wikipedia didn't state if he ever bothered to get British or American citizenship. Given these facts, asking where his primary loyalties lay is justified.

Originally posted here with links: https://militaryreviews.blogsp...