The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Israel at War—A Comment

This morning, Peggy Noonan wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. In typical Noonan style, she makes some good points, but fails to offer realistic alternatives when she gently criticizes Israel's impending incursion into Gaza.

Here's a comment I posted under Noonan's op-ed. Thought I'd share. 

Ms. Noonan writes: "Israel was attacked on Oct. 7 because its enemies thought it was weak—divided and distracted, with unwise leadership." There is some truth in that, but there is a greater truth.

Israel was attacked because hatred within the Islamist world is cultivated by its leaders, in its madrassas, and on the 'Arab street.' When that hatred grows to a boil, the opportunists, like Iran, use terror groups like Hamas as their cat's paw, give the go ahead, and barbaric atrocities result.

The atrocities can be explained by the Islamist hatred, but there's a different hatred that we've discovered in our own country. Cultivated by the extreme left and shrouded in social justice camouflage, it's a hatred of the success of a tiny Jewish state; it's a hatred of the truth of that state's origins, its success, and its future. It's a hatred that is exposed on college campuses, in demonstrations on the streets of major U.S. cities, and among a mainstream media that is both complicit in its spread and actively sympathetic to its aims.

That's a hatred that is as difficult to defeat, and it's right next door to each of us. Far too many on the Left have said the quiet stuff out loud. They can no longer hide behind the mask of "social justice" when they actively draw equivalence between barbaric atrocities and a justified reaction to those atrocities. We now know that those who wallow in virtue signaling have no virtue at all.

Another commenter correctly replied that Israel's enemies include some of the extreme Right. He is, of course correct. But because the Right is correctly shunned by the main stream media and social media, its hatred of Israel is deamplified and does not spread widely in the general population. That is NOT true of the extreme Left, simply because many within the media are sympatico with the pro-palestinian pseudo-virtue signalling that is ubiquitous among many on the Left. 


Commenting on the hatred "right next door to each of us," Jenny Holland writes:

Unfortunately, I was not surprised when, just days after the Islamist terrorists of Hamas murdered over 1,000 Jews, Harvard students published a letter in which they announced: ‘[We] hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’ Like a wife-pummelling husband who blames his actions on the woman for talking back, the supposedly best and brightest of American young people apparently think those Jews had it coming. After all, they also believe, without evidence, that Israel is a ’fascist’ and ‘genocidal’ state.

Israel Derangement Syndrome is a condition that is found across the best colleges in America. At Cornell, history professor Russell Rickford called the Hamas attacks ‘energising’ and ‘exhilarating’. He told a rally that ‘Hamas has shifted the balance of power’ – because apparently that’s what killing babies achieves. Ironically, for someone openly espousing such extreme thuggery, he looks like he could get taken down in a fight by a drunk teenage girl on any British high street. The glib celebration of violence by the kind of people who probably have never experienced a whiff of it in real life is demoralising in the extreme.

At Stanford, a lecturer is reported to have asked Jewish and Israeli students to identify themselves to their class. Apparently, he then told them to collect their belongings and ‘stand in a corner’. ‘This is what Israel does to the Palestinians’, the Stanford employee is alleged to have said, according to the Forward.

There have also been multiple reports of people on American college campuses tearing down photos of missing Israelis who are feared to have been kidnapped and held hostage by Hamas in Gaza following the 7 October attack.

To those of us who have been paying attention to social trends among elite youth over the past 10 years, none of this comes as a shock. Middle- and upper-class American youth – seemingly en masse – have transformed from a fun-loving, diverse and optimistic bunch into a seething monolith that is obsessed with utterly toxic notions of privilege, skin colour and ‘decolonisation’.

That they have become Hamas apologists makes a grim kind of sense. After all, these people live in a bubble of poisonous ideology and are fed racial self-loathing from kindergarten. To many self-styled radicals, any non-white person wielding an assault rifle must be doing something righteous. Any act of terror is an unmissable opportunity to show off one’s edginess on social media.

As much as they think otherwise, these self-described "social justice warriors" are without virtue and lack the moral compass necessary to understand good and evil. 


Commenting indirectly on the hatred "right next door to each of us," Ruy Teixiera writes:

What is wrong with these people?

In my opinion, the rot goes very deep. This is not a one-off. Over the last number of years, huge swathes of the American left have become infected with an ideology that judges actions or arguments not by their content but rather by the identity of those involved in said actions or arguments. Those identities in turn are defined by an intersectional web of oppressed and oppressors, of the powerful and powerless, of the dominant and marginalized. With this approach, one judges an action not by whether it’s effective or an argument by whether it’s true but rather by whether the people involved in the action or argument are in the oppressed/powerless/marginalized bucket or not. If they are, the actions or arguments should be supported; if not, they should be opposed.

This approach was always a terrible idea, in obvious contradiction to logic and common sense. But it has led much of the left and large sectors of the Democratic Party to take positions that have little purchase in social or political reality and are offensive to the basic values most people hold. The failure to unequivocally condemn the Hamas massacre as a crime against humanity is just the latest example of this intellectual and moral malignancy.

Teixeira's assertion that social justice warriors "take positions that have little purchase in social or political reality" is akin to my assertion (made in many posts) that SJWs are fantasy thinkers. They create a fantasy, firmly believe it, reject any information that might refute their fantasy, and will not abandon it, even when it collides with reality and is proven to be demonstrably wrong.