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

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Israel at War—Rhetorical Inversion

It's said that history doesn't repeat ... but it sure does rhyme. I have lived through at lease 4 major Arab/Islamist conflicts with Israel and at least 3 or 4 less significant ones. In each case, Israel took a hit, lost civilians and military, regrouped and them moved against people who wanted to annihilate it. In 1967, 1973, 2006, Israel had their foot on the neck of their enemies as the West—leaders, activists, and all of the left-wing media—criticized a lack of "proportionate response" and demanded that the Israelis stand down. Israel listened, and instead of breaking the neck of groups/countries that wanted its elimination, it backed off, leaving its enemies to fight another day.

There is absolutely no question in my mind that as Israel begins to dismantle Hamas, cries of "proportionality" and "humanitarian crisis" will fill the air (in fact, they already do, and Israel hasn't even begun to move against Hamas in any significant way). The question is: Will Israel learn from history or repeat it?

Pro-palestinian activists, with emphasis on leftists (both students and more than a few faculty at elite Universities in the U.S.) are among many who have finally removed their virtue masks and are saying the quiet part out loud—'it's okay if Israel ceased to exist and it's okay if Jews are annihilated to achieve that goal because ... <fill in the dishonest, counter-historical, propaganistic claim>.

As more leftists and their trained hamsters in the propaganda media begin to edge toward direct statements of 'the quiet part,' Robert Sterling (@RobertMSterling) notes that they're inverting "every rhetorical device they've used since 2020." He's lists a number of examples of their rank hypocrisy:

2020: Silence is violence.  
2023: People can’t be expected to comment on every situation. It’s okay to just keep silent, especially while events are still unfolding.
2020: If you’re nitpicking small details instead of focusing on the big picture, you’re doing so to avoid your complicity in atrocities. 
2023: 40 babies weren’t actually beheaded. 40 babies may have been killed, and some of them may have been beheaded, but that’s not the same as 40 getting beheaded. Details matter. 
2020: Universities must proactively take a stand and speak out in opposition to racism. “Academic freedom” is a false concept used to enforce oppression. 
2023: Universities need to maintain neutrality and ensure that they do not make any statements that jeopardize the principle of academic freedom, which is a paramount virtue in the realm of scholarship.
2020: You must immediately and forcefully condemn an attack, even if investigations are ongoing.
2023: You can’t expect us to release statements opposing an attack within four days, when the facts are still being discovered. Israel hasn’t even allowed UN investigators at the scenes of these “alleged massacres.”
2020: People are responsible for their words, even if they are just working-class teenagers in small towns. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. 
2023: Graduate students at the most prestigious university in the world are just kids and cannot be held accountable for statements they sign. This is cancel culture.
2020: Believe all women. 
2023: Where is the physical evidence of these “alleged rapes”? 
2020: It’s not enough to be non-racist. If you are not actively anti-racist, it means that you are, in fact, racist. 
2023: How dare you question whether I support terrorists just because I haven’t actively spoken out against Hamas freedom fighters. 
2020: We don’t get to tell people in affected communities how to deal with their pain in the aftermath of violence. 
2023: It is Israel’s responsibility to ensure that violence doesn’t escalate.
2020: Anything that disproportionately affects one group of people is oppression and must be condemned. 
2023: Settlers—a term that includes all Israeli Jews—are not civilians and are therefore all valid targets for attacks.
If these "activists" were smart enough to recognize the hypocrisy in their past and current words, they'd be embarrassed. But they're not smart -- not even a little. They are, however, despicable and dangerous.

Bill Maher brought a smile to my face when he characterized the Jews as "the Native Americans" of the region that was once and is now Israel. The Jews were there at least one thousand years before Islam existed. As I noted in an update (#5) to a recent post, the historical record is very clear—the Jews were an indigenous people and Israel was a country/kingdom that occupied the land that is now dishonestly claimed by Hamas and the palestinians. In fact, to quote the historical summary, "in this piece of land there has been everything, EXCEPT A PALESTINIAN STATE!"
"But Israel is a colonizer," chant the "activists. 
Given the history of the region, that is as idiotic a claim as any the Left has made recently, and that's saying something). In fact, given the indigenous nature of the Jewish people in the region, it would be more accurate, although a bit ridiculous, to characterize the palestinians—a named group that did not even exist until the 20th century—as a "colonizer."
"But what about oppression?" scream the activists. 
Hamas has done more to oppress the people living in Gaza in the past 17 years than Israel has done in the past 70, even as palestinians have attacked Jews repeatedly, spurned offer after offer for peace, and used concessions and time to gather weapons and other war material that are now used to commit atrocities, all the while never developing the things necessary to adequately serve their population's needs.
"But there's a humanitarian crisis," the trained hamsters intone.
That's true, but Hamas knew that would happen and still went ahead with their atrocities. Israel has done everything possible to encourage civilians to leave the war zone while Hamas has literally put up road blocks to keep people there—after all, these Islamist cowards need human shields.

On Day 3 of this conflict, I predicted that Lies would reign supreme as anti-Israel groups moved to justify the Hamas atrocities that occurred. Sadly, those lies have just begun.


Charles Lipson notes the alliance between leftist groups and Islamists (radical Muslims) and wonders how it has happened. Many of the beliefs held by leftists (and for that matter, almost all decent people on the right), have Islamists standing in stark opposition. Whether it's woman's rights, gay rights, abortion rights, religious freedom, opposition to banning of other religion's books, or opposition to extreme criminal penalties, the Left champions these causes and Islamists oppose them, often violently.

Lipson writes:

These beliefs are not marginal for either group. They are foundational, and they are profoundly opposed to each other. Still, the two groups have formed a long-standing alliance. How do they deal with these profound differences? And why are they allied?

They deal with differences very simply: They never mention them when they act jointly, primarily against Israel and its supporters across the world. [emphasis mine] They have joined together to form a more powerful coalition against shared enemies. They would destroy that partnership by raising issues where they differ.

Far better to focus on their agreement, which goes beyond hating Israel to claim Western capitalism has oppressed, degraded, and ruined the world. Since the U.S. is now the world’s greatest power, it is tagged as the main source of that malignancy, at home and abroad. As they see it, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America are poor because they have been oppressed by capitalist nations and their corporations. If they have terrible governments, they have them only because the West has installed and sustained them.

This critique is based on a shared, but muddled, ideology. The heart of that ideology is its illiberalism. Both groups are fundamentally opposed to the forbearance of individual differences, including very different views and goals, that are essential to Western constitutional democracies.
The irony (and stupidity) of the Left's alliance with Islamists is that were Israel and the Jews to be annihilated (the stated goal of Hamas and not-so-quiet desire of many Arab states and Iran), the Islamists would come after the Left and eradicate them as well. 
But leftists are either too stupid or too naive to recognize that simple reality. They believe that as shared hatred of Israel and (as their mask drops) a hatred of Jews in general is enough to maintain their warped alliance with some of the worst people on the planet. It isn't.