Bigotry, Bigots, Hatred, Racism - The Peace FAQ

Bigotry, Bigots
Frequently Asked Questions:
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Is bigotry the same as ignorance? Who is to blame for bigotry? Where does bigotry come from? Is bigotry the same as hatred? What role does bigotry play in the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Is bigotry the same as ignorance?
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Bigotry can be nourished by knowledge of the facts (in combination with certain irrational psychobiological factors, including low selfesteem and obsessive edenism), as well as blissful ignorance. Hitler was more knowlegeable about Jews than the vast majority of Jews then or now; the ignorant hick from Tennessee who thinks Jews have horns and blacks make good slaves believes what he does because he has been taught so by his friends and relatives, or may have even read such in books (which never lie). The latter may or may not be characterized by festering hatred, but is troublesome nonetheless. The difference between the two is that the former may be helped only by intensive counseling in combination with medicinal or perhaps even surgical intervention. The latter group is not necessarily psychologically dependant on those views and may be influenced by education (yes, like this site... :).

Who is to blame for bigotry? Where does bigotry come from?
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The issue of culpability (blame) is tricky; ultimately, if we are influenced by some combination of nature and nurture, both of which are forces out of our control*, then where lies personal choice? In order to avoid such philosophical discussions for the sake of pragmatism we must pursue the issue of culpability as a constructive environmental (nurture) influence on human behaviour, and not simply a judgement. Therefore, the ignorant but rational bigot is still a bigot (one hopes that the label will be a motivating factor), just as

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Bigotry, Bigots, Hatred, Racism - The Peace FAQ

the drunk driver is still a murderer. Threfore, we at Yahoodi choose not to spare feelings when we hear ignorant arguments that, if put into policy, would perhaps lead to genocide. A bigot is a bigot. But fear not, there is salvation through rational pursuit of the facts. The irrational bigot is another matter entirely, although there is certainly a range of beliefs. The causes for such bigotry are complicated, but there are a few related and relevant concepts that we discuss on this site: The Stockholm Syndrome, Galut or Dhimmi Mentality, Universalism, and Ethical Relativism. These attitudes are irrational, psychologically addictive, and usually have origins in trauma. Except for the Stockholm Syndrome (and only when it's origins are obvious), no attempt is generally made at treatment, even if such symptoms are recognized, because they are seen as "personal choice" or at least within the range of normal human psychology. But to ignore the existential threats posed by such psychology is to aid it's logical outcome.

Is bigotry the same as hatred?
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Bigotry targets groups that are not generally based on "choice" (let's call them "biogroups"). Such biogroups include ethnic groups (the term replacing the innacurate and obsolete term "race"), the two genders, sexual orientation (the current scientific research suggests this is biologically determined), and disability. Bigotry is NOT the hatred of ideas, including the hatred of individuals that support certain ideas, especially when those ideas are the basis (or rationalization) of actual bigotry. Non-bigoted hatred is targeted at philosophies like Marxism and Capitalism. Care must be taken to differentiate between ideas, and the biogroups that in large part support those ideas. Hatred of civil, gay or women's rights, laws to protect children and the disabled, or safe-havens promoted by Zionism, the Armenian and Kurdish national movements, are often simply masquerades for the hatred of the biogroups for whom such ideas are intended as protection from centuries or even millenia of persecution (of which such masquerades are only the most recent manifestation).

What role does bigotry play in the Arab-Israeli conflict?
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Al Da'wa (The Mission), a prominent Islamic publication, identifies the status of Israel with the status of the individual Jew. Here, Israel is merely the Jew in macrocosm:

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Bigotry, Bigots, Hatred, Racism - The Peace FAQ

"The race is corrupt at the root, full of duplicity, and the Muslims have everything to lose in seeking to deal with them; they must be exterminated." Following are some recent statements by senior PAofficials, all of which are flagrantly anti-Jewishand several of which incorporate sordid anti-Jewishstereotypes: "Five Zionist Jews are running the policy of the United States in the Middle East: Madeleine Albright, William Cohen, Dennis Ross, Miller and Martin Indyk. It is not possible that the American nation, which consists of 250 million people, can not find anyone other than five Zionist Jews to conduct the peace process with the Palestinians." - PAJustice Minister Freih Abu Middein, Yediot Ahronot, April 13, 1997 "We are fighting and struggling with an enemy who is Shylock. We must know that he is Shylock." - Othman Abu Gharbiya, PAChairman Arafat's Adviser on National Political Guidance, in a radio interview, Voice of Palestine, March 15, 1997 "The Jewish lobby is working very hard to jeopardize the process." - PAChairman Yasser Arafat, in an interview, Beirut Daily Star, March 25, 1997, Agence France Presse, March 26, 1997 "Israeli authorities...infected by injection 300 Palestinian children with the HIV virus during the years of the intifada." - Palestinianrepresentative Nabil Ramlawiat a session of the United NationsCommission on Human Rightsin Geneva, Jerusalem Post, March 17 1997. The theme of Palestine as the grave of Israel and of the Jews in general is a persistent motif in Arab orientations toward Israel. Here the following claim, made by Dr. Yahya al-Rakhawi in Al-Akhbar, the organ of Egypt's Liberal Party, on July 19, 1982, is typical:

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Bigotry, Bigots, Hatred, Racism - The Peace FAQ

"When the State of Israel was established and...was recognized by many, in both East and West, one of the reasons for this recognition was the desire of the people in the East and West to get rid of as many as possible of the representatives of that human error known as the Jews. Behind this motive was another, secret purpose: to concentrate them in one place, so that it would be easier to strike at the right moment." - Louis Rene Beres Professor of International Law Department of Political Science Purdue University
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The Peel Commission Report stated in 1937 [Q: When was Israel established? A: 1948] that the conflict between the Arabs' and the Jews' aspirations is "irrepressible" and "irreconcilable" and that it is "difficult to be an Arab patriot and not to hate the Jews." The hatred never subsides. It is developed and nurtured every hour, every day through all possible means. It is encouraged in kindergartens, schools and universities where the Arab children and youngsters learn that the Jews are their enemies. It is preached in mosques where the "Zionist entity" is presented as an eternal threat to the Moslem world. It is flourishing in refugee camps where the Jews are known as "the usurpers and barbarians that have expelled the 'poor' Palestinian Arabs from their homes." It is pouring like venom from newspaper pages in every Arab country. New blood libels are created and the old ones are revived. The Arab world has an enemy--Israel. Anything bad that is happening is blamed on Israel. This is why, after the decision of the German government to reconsider its ties with Iran, due to killings in Germany of members of the Iranian opposition, a demonstration several hundred thousand people strong was staged in Iran under a slogan, "Death to Israel!"

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