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

Friday, October 13, 2023

Israel at War—New Rules for Activists

Today, Friday the 13th, 2023 has been declared a Day of Global Jihad by the leadership of the current superstars in the Islamist world—Hamas. With that as a backdrop, let's talk about the people who will participate.

This has been a dark week in which genocidal Islamists (a.k.a. Hamas, among many groups) have committed atrocities so repugnant they can legitimately be called the Nazis of the 21st century. It’s also been a week in which radical Muslims by the millions cheered them on from places as diverse as Tehran, London, Paris, Sydney, LA, and NYC. Finally, it’s been a week in which useful idiots on the left have rushed to offer support for the Hamas and their hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of Palestinian supporters. 

The useful idiots (mostly college age young people) express common cause with terrorists who have committed atrocities against Jews and celebrate those atrocities as victories. They are members of  the same progressive crowd that is deeply offended when improper pronouns are used, readily condemns anyone who uses the phrase “master bedroom,” and becomes apoplectic when a person suggests that ‘all lives matter’ after leftist mayors in blue cities paint BLM on a public street in 30 foot high letters.

Nellie Bowles eviserates these useful idiots in today's The Free Press. A few excepts are in order:

After Hamas paragliders landed in a music festival in southern Israel and slaughtered hundreds of unarmed Jewish youth, the leaders of Black Lives Matter Chicago and various leftist groups knew just what to do. They turned the image of the paratrooper against the sky—captured on video by those Jewish youth in a panic before their slaughter—into a chic black and white logo. That paraglider was the left’s big 2023 brand reveal! Thank you, BLM, for coming out with it ...

At the Sydney Opera House, the chant that throngs of pro-Hamas protestors chose was equally ambiguous: “Gas the Jews. Gas the Jews.” In Manchester: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” In New York: “October 7, our resistance stormed illegal settlements and paraglided across colonial borders.” Strangely, they didn’t keep the narration going to explain to all my assembled baristas and associated freedom fighters, er, what happened after that. 

It was clear from the very start that the Hamas operation targeted civilians. But as Hasan Piker, a major socialist influencer, put it: “There’s no perfect retaliation to apartheid.” And true, we cannot demand perfection. That would be unreasonable. But maybe not targeting unarmed women and children—oh, that’s also unreasonable? Got it ...

As my lesbian hero, Berkeley professor Judith Butler, famously put it: “Understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important.” Yes, okay, they would kill me and Judy, parade our bodies through the streets, but that’s not the point. We are united.

Now let's talk about how to deal with the despicable useful idiots on the Left described by Bowles in her piece. The hard left has developed many "New Rules" that have now become weapons to be used against those of us who oppose their ideology and their policies. Among them are New Rules that govern what can be done to "cancel" anyone who commits a "micro-aggression" that makes a leftist feel "unsafe." The new rules urge private companies to terminate an individual who publicly does not conform to the Left's prevailing narrative, demonize that individual, and work to ruin their reputation and their life. 

It's ugly stuff, but those are the Left's New Rules.

Activists (Useful idiots) demonstrating their historical ignorance and moral vacuity

Enter, Rayna Workman, president New York University’s Law Student Bar Association, who posted a message accusing Israel of “state-sanctioned violence” and saying it bore “full responsibility” for the barbaric and highly coordinated terror attacks that killed more than 1,200 Israelis. [Source: NY Post]

Workman has every right to her despicable opinion, and I oppose any move to censor its publication.

But as a member of the radical Left, I'm sure Workman would agree that the Left's New Rules must apply.

To their credit the NYU Law school administration has condemned her statement and the New York University’s Law Student Bar Association has moved to remove her as president. That's all good, but ... the New Rules demand more.

Workman had been offered a position at a Chicago law firm, Winston & Strawn. But upon reading her missive, the firm stated:

“These comments are profoundly in conflict with Winston & Strawn’s values as a firm. Accordingly, the Firm has rescinded the law student’s offer of employment."

It's wonderful to see a firm supporter of the New Rules have to live with the consequences they bring. Heartwarming, actually.

And that's not all. Corporate CEOs are asking for the names of all of the signatories to a pro-palestinian, anti-Israel communique published by 30 student organizations at Harvard. Here's a description of their screed with commentary:

The university’s “Palestine Solidarity Groups,” a collection of some 30 student groups, issued a statement exculpating the terrorists for their acts of murder, rape, kidnapping and mayhem. “We, the undersigned student organizations,” it began, “hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” The signatories—groups such as the Harvard Islamic Society and Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine—made clear that they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with this “resistance,” fashionable doublespeak for those feverishly working to wipe Jews off the face of the earth. Harvard isn’t alone: Some 50 student organizations at the University of California, Berkeley declared their “unwavering support for the resistance in Gaza.”

The CEOs were not amused. Seems that they want to be sure that none of those pro-palestinian activists are offered positions in their companies when they graduate.

I suspect that every one of those student activists were 100% behind the New Rules when they were used against their opponents, so they certainly won't mind the application of the New Rules now.

Damn ... those New Rules can sting, can't they?

And finally, some activists are professors. A while back, Zareena Grawal, a professor at Yale, was one of a number of faculty who got two other professors fired for defending the right of free speech as part of academic freedom at the University. The New Rules she helped establish were that micro-aggressions suggesting that free speech is fundamental to academic freedom is no longer to be tolerated. The New Rule: it's a crime that demands termination.

Now, Professor Grawal is facing calls for her own termination after the self-described "radical Muslim" expressed unequivocal support for Hamas and the Palestinians. I'm certain she understands that this may have made some people uncomfortable or "unsafe" and that the only solution under the leftists' New Rules is termination of her position.

Heh. All of these leftist fools wanted New Rules. They got them. And now, they have to live with them. Payback is a bitch.

In conclusion ... Kurt Schlichter, who has also written at length about the Left's New Rules and warned that they will come back to haunt the activists who promote them, has a wonderfully creative characterization of the events described in this post. He calls the cancellation and potential ruination of these Hamas apologists—"Karmic Symmetry." Perfect!


The useful idiots who express anti-Israel sentiment and celebrate their "solidarity" with palestinians use the term "decolonization" as their touchstone—a counter-historic fiction that has become all the rage in leftist history, sociology, and social justice curricula at many large universities.

Let me be precise. In 3,000 years of recorded history, there has never been a "palestinian" country, kingdom, dynasty or monarchy. Never. In modern times before 1948, was there ever was a "palestinian" president or ruler, never a parliament or ruling council. Never. It's a fiction, created by Yassar Arifat and promoted by useful idiots on the Left. Bottom line, you can't "colonize" what never was. For more details on the history of the region, see Update-5.

Glen Reynolds nails it when he writes:

“Every time you hear ‘decolonize,’ ‘diversity,’ or ‘systemic whatever,’ know that what they are saying is that they support revolutionary violence. That is literally what they mean.”

The activists' positions over the past 6 days indicate that they enthusiastically support an anti-Israel agenda that crosses over into blatant anti-Semitism. They use terms like "genocide" while celebrating the deeds of Islamists who actually want to commit genocide. They are so ignorant and/or morally deficient that they hold up posters that read "from the river to the sea" — Islamist code for extermination of the Jews.

I have no empathy for these activists. At the same time, I have no problem endorsing a soft form of revenge. Let's continue to apply their New Rules against them—over and over again, until they understand that FAFO doesn't apply only to Hamas, but in a gentler form, it applies to them as well.


This X (Twitter) exchange is worth noting. When even Jake Tapper of CNN begins to notice the Left's anti-Semitic positions, it's time for a long look in the mirror. Activists on the hard-left have dropped their masks, and what we see in their faces is really, really ugly.

I have contended for at least a decade that the most dangerous anti-Semitism comes not from hard-right neo-nazis (who are obviously and publicly anti-Semitic), but from the left (who cloak their anti-Semitism in a haze of virtue signaling).


Bari Weiss has more to say on the utter hypocrisy and moral cowardice of many American universities—places where micro-aggressions have resulted in the termination of those who committed them, yet actual atrocities are justified and sometimes celebrated by some faculty and students. Here's an excerpt, but please read the whole thing.

Since the Hamas attack on Israel, in which terrorists carried out an orgy of violence that included the decapitation of babies and the burning alive of families, this is a sampling of what universities had to offer:

  • The president of Cornell University described her statement as a “Response to World Events,” lamenting it is “impossible” to respond to all of the world’s tragedies. 

  • The president of Northwestern University said: “Northwestern does not intend to make an institutional statement.” This, about the largest single-day slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust. 

  • Stanford’s interim president Richard Saller wrote with Provost Jenny Martinez that, while they condemn terrorism “as a moral matter,” that they “believe it is important that the university, as an institution, generally refrain from taking institutional positions on complex political or global matters that extend beyond our immediate purview, which is the operations of the university itself.”

  • Sian Leah Beilock, Dartmouth’s president, has yet to explicitly condemn Hamas. Same with Columbia president Minouche Shafik.

The campus administrators—so quick to offer statements on climate change and the war in Ukraine and Roe v. Wade—offered silence or equivocation this week in the face of mass murder. Meanwhile, student groups at some of the most elite college campuses in the country were positively gleeful.

  • Over 30 student groups at Harvard said of the 1,200 Israelis who have been slaughtered that “The apartheid regime is the only one to blame.”

  • A joint statement from Columbia University’s Palestine Solidarity groups wrote “we remind Columbia students that the Palestinian struggle for freedom is rooted in international law, under which occupied peoples have the right to resist the occupation of their land.”

  • Northwestern University’s Middle Eastern and North African Student Association “grieves for the martyrs and the civilians lost in this time.”

  • A student group at California State University in Long Beach advertised its “Day of Resistance: Protest for Palestine” event on Tuesday with a poster that showed a crowd waving the Palestinian flag and a Hamas paraglider—a symbol of mass murder—in the top corner. 

  • At Stanford, hand-painted signs appeared on buildings declaring: “The Israeli occupation is NOTHING BUT AN ILLUSION OF DUST.” (In The Stanford Review, Free Press intern Julia Steinberg wrote that, on Instagram, “my classmates posted infographics declaring that, ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’ ”)

  • Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Virginia declared on Sunday that “The events that took place yesterday are a step towards a free Palestine.”

The satirical news site The Babylon Bee pretty much hit the nail on the head in a single headline: “Harvard Student Leaves Lecture On Microaggressions To Attend ‘Kill The Jews’ Rally.”

I think it's fair to state that not a single person or group mentioned in Weiss' article is right-wing—they are leftistsall of them. See Update-2


Within hours of the first reports of Hamas' atrocities, I predicted the types of "protests" that are described in this post and its updates. I wrote:

It's difficult to express the disgust I feel when I listen to the verbal sewage that emanates from groups like New York City’s Democratic Socialists of America or IfNotNow. Words like ignorant and sanctimonious, dishonest and repugnant come to mind, but they just don't seem to be sufficient. They are, like their kindred spirits in Hamas and among the Islamists who control Iran's funding of that terror group, not simply ideological, or stupid, or overcome with an fanatic's fervor. No, they are evil ... full stop.

It's as if the hysteria that the Left exhibited during the pandemic (e.g., closing schools or arresting people who go to the park) has now returned, but this time the more extreme leftists have further amplified mindless hysteria into a vicious form of anti-Semitism, cloaked as a pseudo-virtuous defense of "innocent palestinian civilians."

Because many extreme leftists do not think clearly or critically, they may actually believe their own hysterical comments, but their fantasy collides with this reality: 

In their telling of this story, a psychopathic Hamas is allowed to rain terror on a civilian population as a form of "resistance." They are allowed to murder innocents, rape and kill young women, behead babies, and kidnap/torture grandmothers by the hundreds or thousands. But retribution is verboten because the Left generally rejects the notion of consequences for bad actors, and they do so in this instance.

When the population that is attacked responds, they are condemned for their response, no matter what it is, because they are "occupiers" and "colonizers," even though they have lived in the so-called occupied lands for millennia. 

This characterization is promoted by leftists who seem to be caught up in yet another of many forms of hysteria that infects their brains and controls their insane pronouncements and actions. It combines moral preening with eliminationist rhetoric. It is a brain virus that cannot easily be cured.


In UPDATE-1, I argue that "Palestine" and "the palestinians" are essentially a fiction, giving Islamists and their useful idiot supporters a way to promote and accept a continual Islamic war against Israel. To further bolster my argument, I'll use Jenn Griffin (tweeting in X) who provides us with a summary history of the region that the Left claims (ignorantly, but that's their stock in trade) has been "colonized:"

Let’s be clear: 
  • Before Israel, there was a British mandate, not a Palestinian state. 
  • Before the British Mandate, there was the Ottoman Empire, not a Palestinian state. 
  • Before the Ottoman Empire, there was the Islamic state of the Mamluks of Egypt, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Islamic state of the Mamluks of Egypt, there was the Ayubid Empire, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Ayubid Empire, there was the Frankish and Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Kingdom of Jerusalem, there was the Umayyad and Fatimid empires, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Umayyad and Fatimid empires, there was the Byzantine empire, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Byzantine Empire, there were the Sassanids, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Sassanid Empire, there was the Byzantine Empire, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Byzantine Empire, there was the Roman Empire, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Roman Empire, there was the Hasmonean state, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Hasmonean state, there was the Seleucid, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Seleucid empire, there was the empire of Alexander the Great, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the empire of Alexander the Great, there was the Persian empire, not a Palestinian state. 
  • Before the Persian Empire, there was the Babylonian Empire, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the Babylonian Empire, there were the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, not a Palestinian state. 
  • Before the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, there was the Kingdom of Israel, not a Palestinian state.
  • Before the kingdom of Israel, there was the theocracy of the twelve tribes of Israel, not a Palestinian state. 
  • Before the theocracy of the twelve tribes of Israel, there was an agglomeration of independent Canaanite city-kingdoms, not a Palestinian state. 
Actually, in this piece of land there has been everything, EXCEPT A PALESTINIAN STATE!

[emphasis mine]
Roger Pressman