Victor Davis Hanson: Why Does The Left Seemingly Hate Israel?
It’s not just that they fear that “The Squad,” Black Lives Matter, the shock troops of Antifa, and woke institutions such as academia and the media are now unapologetically anti-Israel.
They are also terrified that anti-Israelism is becoming synonymous with rank anti-Semitism.
And soon, the Democratic Party will end up as disdained as the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
The new core of the Democrats, as emblemized by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, has in the past questioned the patriotism of American Jews who support Israel, and occasionally has had to apologize for puerile anti-Semitic rants.
The left in general believes we should judge harshly even the distant past without exemptions. Why then, in venomous, knee-jerk fashion, does it fixate on a nation born from the Holocaust while favoring Israel’s enemies, who were on the side of the Nazis in World War II?
It wasn’t just that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, was a Nazi sympathizer. Egypt, for example, welcomed ex-Nazis for their hatred of Jews and their military expertise, including infamous death camp doctor Aribert Ferdinand Heim and Waffen-SS henchman Otto Skorzeny. The Hamas charter still reads like it is cribbed from Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”
The left claims it champions consensual government and believes the United States must use its soft-power clout to isolate autocracies. But the Palestinian Authority and Hamas refuse to hold free and regularly scheduled elections. If an Israeli strongman ever suspended free elections and ruled through brutality, U.S. aid would be severed within days.
If history and democratic values can’t fully explain the apparent hatred of Israel on the left, perhaps human rights violations do. But here, too, there is another example of radical asymmetry. Arab citizens of Israel enjoy far greater constitutional protections than do Arabs living under either the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.
Is the left bothered by the allies of Hamas? After all, most are autocracies such as Iran and North Korea.
We return, then, to other reasons for the woke contempt directed toward Israel.
In part, the Western left always despises the unapologetically successful—as if they are inevitably beneficiaries of unfair privilege. Underdog Israel was not so hated from 1947 to 1967. Then, it was poorer, more socialist, and in danger of being extinguished by its many neighboring enemies.
But after the victories in the 1967 and 1973 wars, the Israeli military proved unconquerable in the region, no matter how large the numbers, wealth, and armaments of its many enemies.
For the left, Israel’s current strength, confidence, and success mean it cannot be seen as a victim, but only as a victimizer. As its Iron Dome missile defenses knock down the flurry of Hamas rockets, and as its planes take out the military installations that launched those rockets, the left bizarrely believes Israel wins too easily and acts “disproportionately.”
The left also has a strange idea of current “imperialism” and “colonialism.” The general rule is that Westerners cannot settle in numbers in the non-West. But the reversal is certainly not true. Millions of Middle Easterners are welcomed into Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, and the United States. Yet, Jews have been in what is now Israel since nearly the dawn of civilization. And their 1947 borders only grew after they were attacked and threatened with extinction.
The left claims that its anti-Israelism has had nothing to do with anti-Semitism. But it is almost impossible now to make that distinction, when woke criticism obsesses over democratic Israel and ignores far greater oppressors and oppressed elsewhere.
Why are there no demonstrations in major Western cities damning the Chinese government for putting 1 million Muslim Uyghurs in camps? Why are the world’s millions of former refugees—the Volga Germans, the East Prussians, the Cypriot Greeks—long forgotten, and yet the Palestinians alone are deified for being perpetually displaced?
Our formal NATO ally, Turkey, received little global pushback for its treatment of the Kurds, or its frequent intolerance of religious minorities. Why does Israel alone always earn such venom?
Hating democratic Israel while it’s under attack is not just a reflection of the new woke and ethically bankrupt left. It is also a symptom of a deeper pathology in the West, one of moral equivalence, amoral relativism, and self-loathing.
[ZH: Victor Davis Hanson’s perspective is noteworthy given the fact that today saw Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduce a resolution opposing the U.S. sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to the Israeli government, the Washington Post reports.]
“At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate,” Sanders told the Post in a statement.
“I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to take a hard look at whether the sale of these weapons is actually helping do that, or whether it is simply fueling conflict.”
Last week, before this bill, controversial lawyer Alan Dershowitz called Senator Bernie Sanders an “anti-Semite” and a “self-hating Jew” following an op-ed in the NYTimes titled, “The U.S. Must Stop Being an Apologist for the Netanyahu Government.”
“But look what the internet allows us,” Dershowitz continued. “…you get the social media, supporting Hamas, The New York Times supporting Hamas, and it sends a very powerful message: do it again, kill children…kill civilians…commit war crimes, you’ll prevail on this because of the anti-Semitism…you can be a Jew and an anti-Semite. Biden has made some statements positively I commend them for that. But Bernie Sanders—who’s Jewish—is a self-hating Jew, a self-hating Jew who is willing to see Israel be defeated militarily by a terrorist group because he’s on the hard left.”
[ZH: Which brings up one question we have seen raised numerous times in comments here and elsewhere online is various derivatives of “why do American jews democrat?”]
The best – and least politically incorrect – explanation we have seen came from a Twitter thread by John Hayward:
American Jews who vote Democrat should look at Dems rooting for Hamas and understand: this is all Critical Race Theory for them. It’s the brain rot that has utterly consumed their collective hive-mind. Oppressed brown people vs. evil rich white oppressors.
Jews are evil rich white oppressors to the left-wing hive mind – and yes, that includes American Jews who currently vote for them. They will grudgingly give you a limited parole from Critical Race Theory as long as they need your money and votes, and you pay tribute to CRT.
It should be more clear than ever, after the events in Israel and Gaza, that Jews are White Oppressors to the CRT hive mind. You’ll NEVER be People of Color. You’ll never sit atop the intersectional totem pole. You’re like Woke CEOs, receiving indulgences because you pay tribute.
The cost of that tribute will increase until you can’t pay it any more, the same way left-wing Israelis ought to have learned the “peace” they bought with concessions and giveaways was like a bubble mortgage. Now they have rockets flying at them from the land they gave away.
It will be the same way in America, as prosperity collapses and desperate left-wing groups scrabble for money and power. One day Jews will refuse to pay the tribute demanded by the Left, and you’ll snap back into the Evil White Oppressor slot reserved for you by CRT.
It already happens in Democrat cities during times of “civil unrest.” Soon all times will be times of civil unrest, and all American Jews will find themselves playing the Knockout Game with Critical Race Theorists. They’re telling you something by rooting for Hamas. Listen.
[ZH: Sadly the hate from the Middle East has already spread to both coasts of the US]
Authorities are investigating whether an attack on diners that occurred outside a Beverly Grove restaurant late Tuesday night was a Jewish hate crime.
And jews on New York City’s Upper East Side were also attacked…
Jews being attacked on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Can’t say I didn’t see this coming 😞 @jews_of_ny pic.twitter.com/s3mqaqR7Fj
— Michal Divon מיכל דיבון ميخال ديفون (@michaldivon) May 19, 2021
Palestinians throw some type of explosive device at Jews in Manhattan Diamond District. pic.twitter.com/icQW53lx71
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 21, 2021
[ZH: Former NYTimes writer Bari Weiss attempts to explain the anti-semitism of newly progressive leftists]
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As Victor Davis Hanson concludes, hating Israel has become the surrogate Western way of hating oneself.
Thu, 05/20/2021 – 23:20