Examples abound of the way seemingly noble ideals are perverted to promote bias, libel and hatred.
The Quakers come to mind. In 1917, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was founded on the Quaker principles of peace and justice and members of all faiths were invited to join its humanitarian efforts. In 1947 along with its companion British Friends Service Council, the AFSC won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of Quaker efforts to heal rifts and oppose war for 300 years. In 1947 the Quakers richly deserved that prize for they had been helping Jews throughout the Hitler years and in the war’s aftermath, survivors of the concentration camps.
But in recent decades, the Quakers, and most especially the AFSC, have strayed far from their original mandate. The AFSC was the pioneer in the onslaught on Israel and in promoting the terrorist PLO. As far back as 1979 AFSI published a monograph by David Kirk (who had become a Quaker and married a birthright Quaker) with a wonderful title that summed up what had transpired: “The Friendly Perversion, Quakers as Reconcilers: Good People and Dirty Work.”
Nothing has changed since as the AFSC has woven ever more tightly an alliance with hard-left Western agitators on a myriad of issues. As recently as March 2017 in Middle East Forum Asaf Romirowsky wrote: “The Quakers have cultivated their image as peaceful and supremely benign. Few suspect, much less know, that one of their central missions is promoting the BDS movement that opposes Israel’s existence.”
Environmentalism is another example of the effort to repair the world gone awry. Who could fault the desire to protect flora and fauna, mountains, and lakes and rivers from pollution or endangered species from extinction? But the carbon crazed anti-development, anti-industry and anti-capitalist fanatics have taken over, promulgating junk science to promote their agenda. With their crusades against insecticides which had eradicated malaria and their opposition to genetically modified food production, they have caused indescribable damage in Africa. In America, they have insisted on regulations which stall or cancel infrastructure creation and repairs, increase costs astronomically and kill jobs, all in the name of “healing the planet.”
The welcoming of massive numbers of Muslims to the United States is another example of a counterproductive effort to repair the world. Again, who could fault a desire to help refugees living in war torn areas where Arabs are killing, maiming and dislocating other Arabs? Instead of providing local shelters and safe zones or demanding that other Arab nations provide succor, “progressives” demand they be brought here. These “repairers of the world” refuse to learn from the plight of Western Europe where Germany, France and Sweden are overrun with Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate and among whom are too many criminals and terrorists. Jews are especially prominent among those demanding unfettered immigration, promoting the false perverse argument that the situation of these immigrants is no different from that of Jews trapped in genocidal Europe during World War 11. It merits noting that Jewish refugees harbored no intention of imposing their religion and values on their host and have contributed to American science, industry, labor unions, and culture in outsize numbers.
Jews invoke the concept of “tikkun olam”, which literally means repairing the world, as the basis of a supposed specifically Jewish religious requirement for their forays into left-wing politics, including their attacks on Israel. But as the late Steven Plaut wrote in “On the ‘Tikkun Olam’ Fetish” (reprinted in the Feb. 2017 Outpost) there is no such thing as a Jewish commandment of tikkun olam. The term is nowhere in the Bible. Tikkun olam is used occasionally in the Talmud as a technical term for resolution of certain judicial problems before rabbinic courts. In Jewish prayer tikkun olam appears in only one place, the Aleinu prayer, where it refers to the quest to eliminate pagan superstition. It is a theological concept, not a social, political or economic one. It is all the more outrageous then to see the term invoked endlessly by seditious anti-Zionist groups such as J Street and as the basis for Jewish support for the Boycott, Defame and Slander (BDS) movement.
Presented as a noble ideal, “repairing the world” has become a curse.