One of the truly dumb ideas of recent times is the notion that rape, a horrific crime of sexual violence, has absolutely nothing to do with sex. This viewpoint is completely unsupported by any scientific evidence, and in fact is completely contradicted by all available knowledge. It is an ideology, meaning a belief that is impervious to logic or facts, and has been promoted by feminists, unfortunately to the detriment of women. This rape-has-nothing-to-do-with-sex notion is thoroughly demolished by biologist Randy Thornhill and anthropologist Craig T. Palmer A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion, published in 2000, a book I thoroughly recommend for its clear insights into the evolutionary basis of human psychology.

A problem that many people have with a scientific examination of the causes of rape is they falsely equate an attempt to understand why rape happens as being tantamount to promoting its acceptance, a means of forgiving it as an inevitable part of human nature. This is comparable to vilifying cancer researchers as being opposed to efforts to cure the disease. Palmer and Thornhill point out the obvious - rape is a terrible crime which causes significant trauma to its victims – and express the hope that a better understanding of why rape occurs will help society eventually eliminate it. In particular, in regard to the lunatic feminist position they argue against, to promote a “cause” of rape which is so grossly wrong as to border on willful stupidity serves to only make it more difficult for the scourge of rape to be eliminated.

I’ll leave it to the authors to make their case convincingly, but let me give a small example. Dating is commonly understood by its participants to have the potential to lead romance, i.e. sex. Also, in general across all known cultures and societies, men are less choosy about who they have sex with than women, as evidenced by a greater interest in sex with prostitutes, to have more sexual partners and to seek sex earlier in relationships than women.  The term “date rape” is commonly understood: the man is the criminal and the woman is the victim. A man and a woman are alone together, at a secluded location, perhaps outdoors, in a car, or maybe an apartment. The man is ready for sex, and the woman isn’t.  At some point, persuasion switches to physical coercion, and rape, a crime of sexual violence, occurs.

The man who commits date rape, thwarted in his romantic efforts, according to feminist theory, somehow loses interest in sex, but nonetheless becomes sexually aroused, attains an erection and commits forcible intercourse as an act of violence. In this case, for rape to have nothing to do with sex, then sex has nothing to do with sex, a complete absurdity.  

Ideologies are blind to reason, which is what causes them to be so potentially dangerous. Another terrible ideological scourge of humanity is anti-Semitism. Hatred of Jews has taken many forms throughout history. A few thousand years ago, Jews were a nation-state, and their neighbors hated them because everyone hated everyone else back in the good old days. Until relatively recently, “history” meant the history of warfare. Put your finger down on any spot on the map, especially in Europe or the Middle East, and its likely that a dozen or more wars were fought there. 

Since the development of Christianity, for much of its history Christian Europe blamed all Jews collectively, whether living, dead or as yet unborn, for killing Jesus. Imagine a people of such devilry as to have the power to commit deicide: to kill God, literally. Being a good Christian seven or eight hundred years ago carried an obligation to oppress Jews, as a preamble to an even greater punishment which presumably lay in wait as an angry God wrought vengeance upon his son’s murderers. To understand religiously inspired anti-Semitism more thoroughly, consider the vitriol of Martin Luther, he of the ninety-five theses, and one of the great anti-Semites of history, who in a work entitled The Jews & Their Lies urged Christians to “set fire to their synagogues”. Is it merely coincidence that Nazism took root in the country where Lutheranism was founded?

Christian-inspired Jew hatred never disappeared – witness the  the Edgardo Mortara affair of the 1850s, when soldiers acting under direction of the Church  kidnapped a Jewish child because he had been secretly baptized by a Catholic nurse. This act, according to the Pope, made the boy a Catholic, and a Catholic child being raised by the murderers of Jesus constituted an affront the Church could simply not abide.

Anti-Semitism took on a new veneer with Hitler, in the form of a pseudoscientific racist ideology. Meanwhile, under Stalin, Jews were oppressed for being bourgeois opponents of the Communist Revolution. As you can see, anti-Semitism works backwards: first you hate Jews, then you come up with the reason.

There is of course another form of anti-Semitism making headlines these days, that of Islamic fundamentalism, as witnessed by the recent terrorist attack in Paris at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher, a Parisian kosher grocery store.

Terrorist attacks against Jewish targets are unfortunately all too common. The horrendous Mumbai terror assault in November 2008, with 164 innocents killed and 308 wounded, drew its source from the conflict between India and Pakistan, yet the murderers still managed to find time to find the local Chabad House and slaughter its founding rabbi, Gavriel Hertzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka Holtzberg and four other hostages.

The Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher murders were fueled by Islamic fundamentalism, an ideology which seeks first and foremost the destruction of Israel.

Many otherwise intelligent observers, when they think about the conflict in the Middle East are like the ideologically-blindered feminists who insist sex has nothing to do with sex. Acts of violence against Jews and a stated desire to wipe Israel off the map are somehow not what they seem. Seeking to harm Jews for the simple crime of existing is not anti-Semitism, but is transformed into an expression of a political viewpoint. Murderers are still killing Jews because they are Jews, but not because they are anti-Semitic. The argument is crazy, yet somehow otherwise sane people believe it.

Consider Hamas, whose charter imagines Jews engaged in a conspiracy with Freemasons and Rotary Clubs (Rotary Clubs!) and quite explicitly states “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims.” This document reads like the ravings of a deranged lunatic, yet amazingly well-intended Westerners choose to simply overlook the vitriol.

What the world just witnessed in Paris is classic anti-Semitism, hatred of Jews whose very existence is an affront. The headlines will fade, but if history is any precursor they unfortunately will likely be replaced by new, fresh tragedies.

None of the above obviates the fact the Palestinians have a legitimate grievance. The Arab world rejected the UN Partition Plan in 1947; otherwise a Palestinian state would be celebrating its independence today. Seven invading Arab armies failed to destroy Israel in 1948. In 1964, when there were no “occupied territories” the Palestinian Liberation Organization came into existence. The land they sought to “liberate”: Tel Aviv and the rest of a country seven miles wide at its narrowest point. Hamas seeks an equal goal.

Palestinians have at various times been the stooges of despotic regimes and tyrants: The Soviet Union, Hafez Assad, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini. Peace has never been an option under serious consideration.

Imagine the potential ending the conflict if Hamas and other Islamic fundamentalists could somehow renounce their anti-Semitism. They cling to an ideology that contains the ugliest elements of Jew hatred, a hatred so base and vile that Hitler would have approved. Unfortunately, for all of us, Jews, Palestinians, Westerners, the Palestinian leaders have undermined their own people’s interests. Jew-hatred is Jew-hatred. Murder is murder.

Even a Rotary Club member could have told you that.



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