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

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Israel at War—One Month

Throughout the 17-year history of the OnCenter Blog, I have published 2,967 posts on a broad range of subjects, most political or geopolitical in nature, but many others about a wide variety of subjects, from AI to zero-emission vehicles. At the risk of immodesty, history has proved me to be correct in my observations a lot more than I've been wrong.

But never have I posted at least one article a day for 31 straight days—until the Islamist atrocities on October 7th were visited on a tiny democracy of just 7 million people situated in a sea of 456 million Arab Muslims, the vast majority of whom don't want the tiny democracy to exist. The atrocities were horrendous, but the aftermath that occurred in the West, although completely predictable on Day 1, was in many ways even worse.

Here's what I've learned as I wrote and researched each of my 31 "Israel at War" posts:

  1. If there are two words to characterize the events that have occurred during the past month, they are "atrocities" and "hypocrisies." 
  2. Atrocities. The Hamas atrocities are self-evident and irrefutable, except for those rabid Muslim activists and delusional leftists who view them as an appropriate response to "oppression." 
  3. Hypocrisies. The hypocrisy has been breathtaking—so deep, so broad, and so astonishing that it boggles even the most cynical observer. 
    • Leftists who drape themselves in virtue signalling have taken the side of barbarians; 
    • the supposed past champions of women have countenanced the rape, murder and mutilation of dozens of young, Jewish women; 
    • Those who condemned a blame-the-victim culture are now enthusiastically blaming the victim of atrocities; 
    • Those on the left who were offended by even the smallest "micro-aggression" are now perfectly willing to participate in actual aggression leveled at a tiny minority group; 
    • Those 'crybullies' who readily supported cancel culture are now whining because their anti-Semitic compatriots are suffering from the cancellation rules they themselves put into place; 
    • Those Democrat politicians who tell use repeatedly that they are the moral betters of their opponents, refuse to censure their colleagues' blatant anti-Semitic lies and pro-Hamas rhetoric. 
    • I could go on and on, but you get the point.
  4. The atrocities committed by Hamas and the cynical, dishonest and often hysterical justification of those atrocities by people who purport to believe in social justice have become a tipping point for Israel, for the Left, and for moderate progressives and Democrats who suffer from shock over the actions of their supposed allies in ideology. 
    • For Israel, the tipping point is simple: entreaties to stand down, to believe in empty promises made by Western elites, or to allow Hamas to use its own population as human shields are no more. 
    • For the Left, the tipping point came with the need to justify the unjustifiable. This has  caused cognitive dissonance reduction—a doubling down on their support for an unsupportable Islamist death cult. In the hysteria that ensued, the Left dropped its mask and began saying the quiet part out loud. They now, often proudly, identify as overt anti-Semites.
    • For moderate progressives and Democrats, the tipping point came when they realized that the brethren on the Left and hard-Left embraced or at least attempted to justify atrocities, and even more compelling, embraced anti-Semitism with a level of hysterical emotion that reminded them of Nazis.
  5. Hamas, the elected representative of a significant percentage of palestinians, is driven by a hatred of Jews that is so deep, it is not only willing to commit atrocities, but videoed itself doing so. The palestinian street in Gaza rejoiced, and saw these atrocities as a "victory." So please, spare me the canard that a majority of palestinians hate Hamas.
  6. The palestinians have used their supposed victimhood as leverage to raise billions in Western "humanitarian aid," much of it stolen by Hamas to build military infrastructure, acquire weapons, build tunnels, and wage war against the hated Jews.
  7. The palestinians launched over 5,000 rockets directly at Israeli population centers, not at military targets. There was no call for a cessation of these rocket attacks by the U.N. or any other Western NGO or body. There was no outrage expressed by the left-wing community of social justice warriors (SJWs).
  8. The Western world gasps each time (this is NOT the first) that the palestinians have murdered, raped and kidnapped, but their condemnation of the palestinians is muted and short-lived. It morphs quickly into calls for Israel to stand down, to avoid civilian casualities as it responds to palestinian atrocities. Cease fires are demanded and the palestinians rearm.
  9. The U.N. has sanctioned the tiny state of Israel more times than it has sanctioned all other Muslim countries (who abuse their own citizens human rights) combined. It condemned the Israeli response to the Hamas atrocities without condemning the atrocities themselves. The U.N. is corrupt, amoral, biased, and ineffective.
  10. Iran is the Islamist puppet master in the Middle East and provides about $100 million per year in military aid to Hamas.
  11. Every ceasefire over the past 80 years has been broken by the palestinians or their Arab partners, either because they directly attacked Israel or they we poised to do so.
  12. Israel is a modern Democracy with a vibrant economy that contributes not only to its internal growth but to the world economy. Its people has turned an arid wasteland that their ancestors have inhabited for millennia into a world-class country. This has occurred within the Arab Crescent, a region of more than 5 million square miles, occupied by 456 million Arab Muslims.
  13. Israel's success is viewed by a majority of Arab Muslims as an insult to Islam. It accentuates the failure of Arab countries to do the same as it has done, and that is unacceptable.
  14. The left redefines language and uses it as a weapon. 
    • They accuse the Jews of "colonialism" even though the Jews are indigenous to the region. It would be like suggesting that Native Americans were the colonial occupier of the United States. 
    • They charge the Jews with "genocide," even as the people they support, Hamas and their palestinian supports not only endorse the extermination of Jews, but have it written into their charter.
    • They suggest that Jews are "occupiers," but of what? There never was a palestinian state, or for that matter a palestinian people, until the constructs were created in the 1960s as a way to justify the elimination of the U.N. sanctioned Jewish state, created decades earlier.
    • They call cities inhabited by palestinians "refugee camps" in an effort to garner sympathy and to assert victimhood.
    • If you think about it, the left weaponizes terms in a way that has them imply the exact opposite of what their actual definition is. For example, the Left accuses Israel of "genocide" when, if fact, it is the Islamists (Hamas) they support who not only advocate genocide but incorporate it as part of their charter.
  15. The global left has adopted the palestinian cause because it fits well with their deeply flawed and amoral Marxist view of the "oppressed" and the "oppressor."  The palestinians are characterized as a "victim" (the oppressed) even though they are members of an ethnic group that is 65 times larger than the supposed "oppressor's" population. The vast majority of global media have a distinct leftist mindset and bias. They report this dishonest meme without fail.
  16. Any group that views itself or is viewed as a "victim" and/or "refugees" for almost 80 years is nothing of the kind. It demonstrates that it cannot change its fate, that it is unable to improve its lot or its future. It is corrupt or is led by corrupt people and has become parasitic.
  17. Western leftists have adopted their support of palestinians as a signal of their virtue. Until October 7th, they masked their hatred of Israel and Jews (who have succeeded in many ways that are abhorrent to leftists) by projecting the genocidal intent of Hamas and its supporters onto the Jews.
  18. Immediately after the Hamas atrocities of October 7th, Muslim activists, leftist of all kinds, and their supporters in the media became hysterical in their condemnation, not of the Hamas barbarism, but of Israel, who they blamed for precipitating the atrocities.
  19. Hamas are cowards, hiding behind women and children who they use as human shields. They revel in the asymmetric nature of this strategy, condemning Israel when it attacks them, inadvertently causing civilian casualties among the human shields. The Israelis tell palestinian civilians to leave the war zone—a walk of just over six miles—but Hamas tries to stop them from doing so. It needs its human shields in order to survive.
  20. Hamas is masterful at propaganda, but only because it has the enthusiastic assistance of a leftist propaganda media that is more than willing to believe its lies, broadcasting them to the Western world without verification or skepticism but with lots of melodrama.
  21. Hamas launders its grossly exaggerated civilian death toll numbers through friendly social justice charities with a distinct anti-Israel bias. Whether it's Doctors without Borders or Save the Children, those organizations could not possibly verify any death toll independently or accurately. The charities rely on "statistics" provided by the Palestininan Health Ministry (controlled by Hamas) or they use reports by wire services like the AP or Reuters (both pro-Palestinian) who get their numbers from the same Palestinian Health Ministry and then re-report them under their names. The result: propaganda media in the West use the names of recognizable charities as the source of the numbers (they are not), thereby giving Hamas' lies more weight.
  22. Why is it that there isn't more outrage among SJWs concerning the use of women and children as human shields for Hamas?
  23. Why is it that there isn't more outrage among SJWs concerning the kidnapping of over 30 children by Hamas, and then their continual use as bargaining chips? Even ISIS did not kidnap children.
  24. Why has Hamas allowed so many children (who its propaganda claims have died) to remain in a war zone? Why have they not forced families with children to leave?
  25. Muslims have convinced Western politicians that islamophobia is rampant, even though data indicate it is not. In actuality, accusations of Islamophobia are used as a weapon to blunt criticism of Islamists and their grotesque and often barbaric actions.
  26. College campuses erupted in anti-Semitic behavior immediately after Hamas committed its atrocities and BEFORE Israel mounted any response to them. Students who became outraged when someone suffered a "micro-agresssion," felt comfortable slurring and physically threatening Jewish students.
  27. The primary driver and organizer of campus anti-Israel "protests" that have devolved into blatant anti-Semitism is a group called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).  Funding for SJP is opaque, but one funding source is American Muslims for Palestine (AMP, a group with troubling and repeated ties to Middle East Islamist terror groups, including Hamas.
  28. CRadical leftist college professors and administrators have adopted 'woke' ideology over the past decade, but only when the rules associated with it are acceptable to the leftists who promote it. Their condemnation of the anti-Semitism on their campuses has been tepid at best.
    • The elevation of DEI programs at universities is a contributing cause of anti-Semitism; most DEI program exclude Jews as members of a minority and further demonize them as "white supremacists"
    •  University administrators now claim that anti-Semitic hate speech is protected by "free speech on campus." That's rich. What would those same administrators do if:
      •  20 student organizations on campus held a demonstration that said: "On May 25th, 2020 that ‘George Floyd had it coming,’" or 
      •  a trans student attempted to walk by an anti-LGBTQIA demonstration on campus and was subject to both verbal and physical (spitting) abuse, or 
      •  a white supremacist protest had students shouting,  'Tulsa! Tulsa! Tulsa! From the Atlantic to the Pacific, America should be free of Black people.'"
    • Analogous incidents have happened to Jewish students over the past month with no meaningful condemnation from college leadership. (h/t: Bill Ackerman)
  29. Social media and tech are (in the main) adjuncts to the propaganda media. Social media de-amply opinions and news that make the palestinians look like ... well ... the Jew-haters that many of them are. Search engines (e.g., Google) make it hard to find content that has a pro-Israel anti-Hamas/palestinian feel by demoting it to back pages of results.
  30. Considering TicToc alone, there were 450 million anti-Israel impressions delivered to the 18- to 25-year olds who make up the majority of its users and only 15 million impressions that were pro-Israel. TicToc is controlled by the CCP.
  31. After a barbaric terror attack, the West demands that Israel: (1) provide humanitarian assistance to the people who live with terrorists who vow to exterminate Jews, (2) initiate a "humanitarian pause" in fighting so that the terrorists can regroup and rearm and kill more Israelis. No other country would be asked to do this. For example, does Joe Biden ask Ukraine to use some of the $100+ billion dollars we provided in military aid to provide humanitarian assistance to Russian towns that have suffered the effects of the Ukraine-Russia war?
  32. The leftists who are pro-palestinian/Hamas demand a unilateral "cease fire" that would allow Hamas to re-arm. They make this demand without demanding that Hamas release the children it kidnapped and is using as Human shields. 
  33. Hamas earns between "$300-400 million a year from taxation, extortion, racketeering, customs fees and other domestic means" — triple or more what it collects from Iran. It also steals and/or taxes all humanitarian aid provided by the West—funding in the billions of dollars. Hamas is demonstratively evil; it's also demonstratively criminal and corrupt. 
  34. Hezballah is another Iranian puppet and proxy. At the cessation of the last Lebanon war, the U.N occupied southern Lebanon and promised Israel that it would prohibit the presence of additional rockets in Lebanon. Lebanon now has an estimated 100,000 rockets pointed at Israel. Again, promises made by the West in order to have Israel stand down when it confronts its Arab enemies have NOT been kept. Any new promises cannot and should not be trusted.
  35. War is ugly and brutal—innocent people die, the devastation is profound, and human resolve is tested. If Hamas actually cared about the people who currently live in Gaza (they do NOT), they would have let them heed Israel's warning and leave or even better, they would have thought long and hard before committing atrocities that brought this war on. EVERY death that has occurred and will occur in on Hamas. That simple reality negates all the claims, all the demands, and all the whining coming out of the Left.
  36. To quote Konstantin Kisen: "For years now, many of us have been warned that the barbarians are at the gates. We were wrong. They're inside ... We are in the fight of our lives, and if courage means anything, it means doing the right thing and being willing to take the punishment if you have to." The right thing is: grinding Hamas into dust, then relocating all of Gaza residents elsewhere in the Arab Crescent in tranches of 100K people, and repatriating Gaza back into Israel. Gaza and its many hate-filled residents will no longer be an existential threat to Israel.

And finally, this comment from Roger Kimball, who tries to find a glimmer of a silver lining that might come out of this sickening situation. He writes:

Whatever else it accomplished, the murderous attacks perpetrated by Hamas tore the mask off the “poor, suffering Palestinians” and revealed the entire operation as the bloodthirsty, anti-civilizational impulse we have long known it to be. For that, at least, we must be grateful for this excruciating moment of clarity.

"Israel at War" will continue until Hamas is ground to dust. I will continue posting on this war against the barbarians at the gate as needs dictate. 

I have never been witness to events that more clearly delimit the battle between good and evil. One form of EVIL is represented by Hamas, and a different EVIL is exhibited by its supporters among the worldwide population of Muslims and the many leftist anti-Semites who attempt to justify inhuman atrocities.

I can only hope that good prevails and that EVIL in all its forms is crushed.