<< ARI Watch

For Thee but Not for Me

Even Mr. Brook doesn’t believe what he says about open borders, not as a principle applicable to all countries. He has not one but two positions on immigration, one for us and another for him. One for the United States (the UK and Europe) and another for Israel:

Open borders for America.  Closed borders for Israel.

Not all students of the Ayn Rand Institute are stupid.  In 2009 there was a mass exodus of young people from ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center.  Simultaneously half the college Objectivist clubs closed down. Today only the more naive and gullible, or Israel-worshipping, students get roped in. Mr. Brook’s double vision about immigration makes the more intelligent and informed students worry about  Non-Contradiction,  Either-Or,  and  A is A.

They voice their worry, and that makes Mr. Brook feel put upon. He broached the subject – the subject of his being put upon – during his BlogTalkRadio show of 25 June 2016. That episode was devoted to Britain’s successful referendum, two days previous, to leave the European Union. At one point, after promoting open borders and denouncing what he called nationalism, Mr. Brook said, and self-righteously:

“Now look ... any time I mention immigration, any time I mention nationalism, people bring up Israel.  I don’t have time to cover the Israel example.  Israel is an exception.  You heard it here.  Israel is an exception. ... And, uh, why is Israel an exception? Why ... Israel in the world we live in today has to be an exception, and Britain does not – we will get to on a future show, but not now.”
His listeners are still waiting.

Oh he has made a pretense of answering the question. He does what crafty politicians do when you ask them a question they cannot answer:  answer a different question, pretend they answered your question, and hope you don’t notice the switch.

Here is the real question:

Mr. Brook, you maintain that more or less everyone on earth has a right to migrate into the United States.  At the same time, you approve of Israel’s immigration policy, which – we point out – is a Jews only policy; with extraordinarily rare exceptions the citizens of Israel exclude any would be immigrant who is not Jewish. Please explain why what applies to you doesn’t apply to us. How can you support a Jewish Israel and at the same time oppose a white America?
We would remind Mr. Brook that Israel’s immigration policy is not merely “exclude people from countries Israel is at war with.”  For example, Israel is not at war with South Sudan but any Sudanese refugee who gets to the Israeli border is captured and either goes back or goes to jail and then goes back. [1]

Toward the end of the  “shame on you”  BlogTalkRadio episode of 16 July 2016 [2]  Mr. Brook pretends to answer our question:

“There’s a bunch of people out there that are calling me a hypocrite ... because Israel doesn’t allow open immigration. It’s built a wall, and Mexicans are invading America so — I mean, that’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. Israel is defending itself against a constant military threat [from] people who want to wipe it out. They want to use weapons to kill every Jew in Israel. They say this, they announce it publicly, they do it whenever they have an opportunity. It’s [Israel has] fought multiple wars against armies that have invaded it from these borders, against at least six different Arab-Muslim countries.”
Hold it right there. The countries at war with Israel are irrelevant to the question of Mr. Brook’s consistency. We asked about all immigration, in particular from the countries Israel is not at war with. Are we to pretend none exist?

Mr. Brook continues and says — or have we changed some of the words ?
“South Sudan is not at war with Israel. The Sudanese are not coming over the border in order to wipe Israel out, they’re coming over the border to get a job. They’re coming over the border to make their lives better lives. They’re coming over the border because they’re trying to live for themselves better. They’re trying to make themselves better. How can we be against them? I mean it drives me nuts.”
... Hey, I saw you change some of the words!

Well, Froggy, that’s not what Mr. Brook said  exactly.  I swapped in  “Israel”  for  “the United States”  and  “Sudanese”  for  “Mexicans”  (Chinese would have done as well, or Pakistanis or whatever).  Otherwise it is exact.  I’m sure the above is what Mr. Brook  meant  to say.  Doubtless he was tired and misspoke.

I’m being sarcastic.  Mr. Brook would not approve of my substitutions, LOL. [2]

Many people are intimidated by the seemingly authentic self-righteousness of the man. In the unmodified original he says that comparing the U.S. to Israel is so ridiculous it drives him nuts. In other words, when Israelis object to being swamped by the Third World they are reasonable (and of course they are), when Americans object they are contemptible. Mr. Brook can mock those who call him a hypocrite but it doesn’t change the fact that he is one.

Acting  self-righteous  doesn’t make him right it makes him disgusting.

Mr. Brook continues to excuse his position on Israel versus America, saying that the U.S. accepting immigrants from Mexico (a stand-in for any country) is not the same as Israel accepting them:

“It’s not the same thing. We do not [that is, the U.S. does not] face an existential threat from Mexicans coming across the border. Now I know some people say we do because they come here and they vote Democratic and the Democrats are going to wipe out this country. I don’t believe that because I think the reason Mexicans vote for Democrats is because  ... Republicans alienate them by being so against them and so anti-immigration. Hispanics would vote Republican, I believe, if the Republicans had a different platform and appealed to them in a significant way.”
The Republicans are to out-pander the Democrats?  Are immigrants who so easily vote to trash America the sort of people we want here?

He gets one thing right:  Third World immigrants want more Third World immigrants and vote for the politician who delivers. He is wrong if he believes Third Worlders are closet conservatives or libertarians. Set aside political candidates and parties for a moment. When Third Worlders are polled about issues, most – way most – opt socialist. If Mr. Brook does not know this then he is willfully ignorant. [3]

A caller to the BlogTalkRadio show of 11 February 2017 (“Who is Killing Western Civilisation?”) brought up the subject again.

Stuart:  “I want to ask you about Israel. ... [mentions a few podcasters] just want a white homeland that keeps out non-whites, and then they say, [mocking] well that’s just like Israel. They say, [mocking] well Israel is ... an ethnostate and they make it very difficult for gentiles to immigrate to there. ...”

Yaron Brook:  “[Dismissive and weary] Yeah, I mean [over-talking] Stuart I’m gonna punt on the question not because I don’t want to answer it, because I do, but because it requires a lengthy explanation of why Israel indeed is a unique country and why it’s different than any other country on the planet, that I know of, and why it is ethnocentric in a significant way and why we could somehow justify that. At least in the world we live in today. But that would require a whole thing. So I’m still gonna do a show on Israel and cover that point, but I just don’t want to do it right now, uh, all right?”
The docile Stuart changes the subject.

Returning to the BlogTalkRadio show of 25 June 2016, after more of the same Mr. Brook concludes:

“If you believe in freedom you have to say the battle is a battle of ideas. We’ve got to wage that battle of ideas.”

Mr. Brook portrays himself as motivated by ethical concerns that apply to everyone, but as is clear from his moralizing about Israel such concerns mean nothing to him. The above is just another stitch in the fabric of his dishonesty.

A frequent theme of ARI Watch is that when it comes to immigration the so-called Ayn Rand Institute is better viewed as just another Jewish advocacy organization, like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. [4]  Prof. Kevin MacDonald analyzes Mr. Brook’s technique in his article  “Is Immigration Really a ‘Jewish Value?’  [5]  He points out that Jewish groups unanimously support amnesty / immigration surges, that their support has a long history, and that they portray themselves as motivated purely by universal ethical principles but apply these “principles” selectively to promote Jewish interests.

Prof. MacDonald begins his article by quoting various Jewish intellectuals advocating open borders for the U.S., summarizes their position, and compares it to Israel’s.

... from the mainstream Jewish perspective, swamping the historic American nation with peoples from all over the world is nothing less than a moral imperative.
Given that these sentiments are so central to the mainstream Jewish community in the US, you would expect that Jews in Israel would welcome immigrants from Africa and elsewhere with open arms.

But of course you would be wrong. African immigrants are mistreated, rounded up, and deported.

He quotes several Israeli sources justifying the deportation. Then he considers the contrast between what Jewish groups advocate for Israel and what they advocate for the West, and asks why the difference.

Rather than a universalist ethic, traditional Jewish ethics made strong distinctions in the morality of actions depending on whether Jews or non-Jews were involved.
Given the ingroup morality of traditional Jewish society, whence this self-image of American Jews that they are following a universalist ethic that commands them to admit tens of millions of non-whites into countries established and (precariously now) dominated politically and culturally by whites?

After citing evidence and history he concludes that the self-image is a tactic to fool the unwary.

... overtly nationalist ethics are alive and well in Israel, as it rids itself of African migrants ..., while in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Western Diaspora the organized Jewish community and most Jewish intellectuals pose as enlightened universalists. ...

This tactic is effective because Europeans are peculiarly susceptible to appeals to morality — the flip side of the tendency for Whites to be absolutely horrified when labeled a “racist” or “White supremacist” because they oppose immigration or for other contraventions of Political Correctness.

A basic strategy of progressive intellectuals in the Diaspora has been to frame the dispossession of Europeans as a moral imperative because they are quite aware that such rhetoric is the coin of the realm in the West ...
But these activists exempt Israel from a similar moral obligation to efface its ethnic basis as a Jewish state.

But when we get beyond the smokescreen of such hypocritical moral posturing, we should be aware of the real ethnic interests involved:  Diaspora Jewish groups in the West see themselves as benefiting from displacement-level immigration because it lessens the power of the White majority. ... [6]

Indeed, the image that homogeneous, racially conscious White societies are fundamentally morally depraved has become the central cultural theme throughout the West ...

Disoriented by this constant drumbeat, Western peoples have been defenseless against their own disempowerment. They can only begin to defend their legitimate interests when they challenge the hypocrisy, and historical inaccuracy, of Jewish immigration enthusiast claims to a unique, and imperative, moral vision.

Yaron Brook’s self-righteousness is part of the swindle.

In a Twitter exchange of 13 October 2016  @Objectivist_Def (#FreeJulian)  gave  @yaronbrook (Yaron Brook)  a hard time about his inconsistent stands on immigration. [7]

From  @Objectivist_Def
Would you support Israel accepting more (non-muslim, non-jewish) immigrants from third world countries that are looking for a job?
So let’s say Mexicans, Chinese, Brazilians etc.

From  @yaronbrook
Israel, for reasons I have stated elsewhere, is a special case. ...

From  @Objectivist_Def
I understand it is a special case (it is threatened by countries that surround it). That’s why I asked about non-muslims.

From  @yaronbrook
It was Europeans that nearly wiped out [the] jews – even jews that had assimilated and denied their jewdaism.

Set aside whether nearly or somewhat. Not all Europeans were responsible then, and none of them are responsible today. Apparently in Mr. Brook’s imagination every non-Jew on earth is forever out to kill him.

From  @Objectivist_Def
I honestly think there should be a real clear and longer article about this on the Ayn Rand Institute website or something.

To understand Mr. Brook’s reply keep in mind two facts.  (1) Between the time Mr. Brook became director of ARI in 2000 and March 2014 ARI published at least fifty articles praising Israel. Practically all these articles disappeared from their website in 2014 and they began a new crop. Their website’s search on “israel” now lists 123 articles.  (2) Over the years ARI people have written at least a dozen pro open borders (that is, U.S. borders) articles. ARI’s undergraduate newspaper/magazine The Undercurrent has published at least eight pro open borders (U.S. borders) articles. Now here is Mr. Brook’s less than forthright reply to @Objectivist_Def:

From  @yaronbrook
We have almost nothing on immigration on [the] website. Why should Israel gain such importance.

ARI people love to talk about “context” but when the context is immigration they pretend not to understand.

From  @Objectivist_Def
English is not my native language [judging from some of his other tweets, Dutch] so explaining myself will take me some tweets.

From  @yaronbrook
One way to think about it, is that Israel is at war with the entire anti-semitic world, and must defend itself.

Apparently Mr. Brook’s argument goes like this:  Every non-Jew on earth is anti-semitic, therefore it’s right and proper for Israel to keep out non-Jews.  His premise is absurd. The fact is the Israelis keep out non-Jews because they want Israel to be a Jewish state. And indeed, why not:  ethnic separation is what nations are for.

Hypocrisy and self-deception are hallmarks of Yaron Brook’s work at the Ayn Rand Institute.

1  Some Israeli quotes on immigration into Israel follow.  Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin (or Benjamin) Netanyahu, 18 July 2010:
The recent “flood of illegal workers infiltrating from Africa [into Israel] is a concrete threat to the Jewish and democratic character of the country.”

In the same speech Netanyahu referred to problems at the Egyptian border and they were not only about terrorism:
“We must man the region, and then it will be possible to minimize the terrorist infiltrations, as well as the smuggling of drugs and illegal workers. ... If we don’t move forward with construction of the fence, the problem will only get worse.” ... “A country’s borders can’t be penetrable ...”
That is, not if the country is Israel.  One member of Israel’s Knesset (congress) had a novel solution to the problem of African illegals. The following is from “Danny Danon: Send African migrants to Australia” (The Jerusalem Post  June 30, 2011).
“MK Danny Danon (Likud) asked Australian MP Michael Danby ... to propose, in parliament in Canberra, sending African migrants from Israel to Australia.
“ ‘The arrival of thousands of Muslim infiltrators to Israeli territory is a clear threat to the state’s Jewish identity’, Danon told The Jerusalem Post.
“ ‘The refugees’ place is not among us, and the initiative to transfer them to Australia is the right and just solution.
“ ‘On the one hand, it treats the refugees and migrants in a humane way. On the other hand, it does not threaten Israel’s future and our goal to maintain a clear and solid Jewish majority’, he explained.”

One wonders what he thinks the right and just solution for Australia would be then.  Netanyahu on 20 May 2012, at a cabinet meeting:
Israel must prevent “illegal infiltrators flooding the country ... If we don’t stop their entry, the problem that currently stands at 60,000 could grow to 600,000, and that threatens our existence as a Jewish and democratic state. ... This phenomenon is very grave and threatens the social fabric of society, our national security and our national identity.”

At the same cabinet meeting Interior minister Eli Yishai considered the idea of giving jobs to illegal Arab migrants instead of deporting them:
“Why should we provide them with jobs? I’m sick of the bleeding hearts ... Jobs would settle them here ...” He goes on to say the Arabs would have children and so “that offer will only result in hundreds of thousands more coming over here.”

See also:
“Benjamin Netanyahu plans to deport all African migrants from Israel after Eritrean groups involved in violent clashes”
Sky News  3 September 2023

ARI’s worship of Israel contrasted with their hatred of America (and the UK and Europe) makes a good object lesson in ARI sincerity.

2  Reviewed in  All We Need is Self-Confidence  on this website.

3  See footnote 14 of  Immigration Enthusiasts  on this website.

4  See footnote 16 of  Immigration Enthusiasts.  Several dozen Jewish groups signed the Hebrew Immigration Society’s open letter to President Obama and Congress demanding amnesty for illegal aliens.

5  “Is Immigration Really a ‘Jewish Value’?”
by Kevin MacDonald, Vdare Foundation  April 5, 2014

6  Some Jewish commentators say this explicitly, see footnote 29 of  Open Borders and Individual Rights  on this website.

7  In the twitter quotes I’ve corrected spelling errors [except Mr. Brook’s possible neologism “jewdaism”], expanded the abbreviation  u ==> you,  and added some missing punctuation. An immediate second tweet by the same person is shown as a new paragraph of the first tweet.