Barry Werner – Part 4 The Far Left’s Obsession with Israel Is Harmful to the Middle East
Part 4 – The Left’s contribution to the agony of the Middle East
The consequences of the Left’s ideological agenda
The Left’s misunderstanding of the Arab/Israeli conflict contributes greatly to the agony of the Middle East. The Left should work with the pragmatic Arab leaders of the Arab world to convince its citizens to accept Israel as a regional partner instead of supporting radical Islamists and Arab nationalists intent on isolating Israel. The Left is blinded by its insistence that Israel is the problem. It can’t seem to comprehend that Israel is potentially a powerfully constructive partner in the region’s attempt to grapple with changing climate, water shortages, poor economic base, and Islamist fundamentalism.
Instead, following its ideological agenda, the Left projects its distorted self-image of Western evil onto the Jews of Israel, distracts the world’s attention from the actual racist and religious fanatic motivations of the radical Arabs, and supports the false claim that the Arab/Israeli conflict is really all about Israel’s colonialist expansion, displacement of Arabs, and building of illegal settlements on Arab land. (I believe the settlements are legal and that the West’s interpretation of international law that declares them illegal is a distortion of the relevant international agreements and a reflection of the West’s geopolitical agenda, but that is a subject for a different essay). The Left implies by its silence that the aim of the radical Arabs to gain their freedom from Israeli military occupation justifies the means by which they mobilize their people to achieve that aim, namely racism and religious fanaticism directed against the Jews in the form of terrorism.
The Left denies the two most important and fundamental realities of the Arab/Israeli conflict. The first fundamental reality is that the Jews of Israel are afraid, and have good reason to be afraid, that a Palestinian state on the West Bank would become an enemy state like Gaza. The second fundamental reality is that the PA/PLO adamantly refuses to accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, which means that it refuses to renounce the goal for which it was originally founded, to destroy the Jewish state because they believe God intended the Middle East to be ruled exclusively by Muslims and Arabs.
The Left is trying to force Israel to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank without Israel’s security demands being met. If the Palestinian state turns out to be the enemy the Israelis feared and Israel is forced to attack the new state in self-defense, the Palestinian state would have the power of a sovereign state to import weapons to defend itself regardless of any commitments it might have made to demilitarize. Israel will have allowed the enemy state an extremely significant strategic geographical advantage and it will have the international public opinion advantage of using its citizens as human shields. Any promises that foreign troops could keep the peace has been shown by history to be worthless. The risk of establishing a sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank without first establishing a sufficient security arrangement, as the Left demands, is a risk the world should not take, and Israel has the responsibility to resist it.
But, according to the Left, Israel’s desire to protect itself does not justify its refusal to free the Palestinians from military occupation. For the Left, Israel’s claim of security needs is only an excuse for a land grab.
However, the truth is that unless and until the Arab leadership in the West Bank convinces the Jews of Israel that a sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank would not become an enemy seeking to destroy Israel, the military occupation of the West Bank must continue, the settlements issue will remain unresolved and Arab anger will only deepen. According to international law, the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank is not only legal, but is required. Israel is legally responsible for maintaining civil order in the West Bank because it occupied the land while defending itself against invasion by Transjordan in 1967. (Israel shares responsibility for maintaining civil order with the PA according to the Oslo Agreements.) Military occupations end when a peace treaty is signed.
More details about the refusal of the Palestinian leadership on the West Bank to recognize Israel as a Jewish state can be found in the article “Palestinians: We Will Not Accept a Jewish Israel” by Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, April 15, 2016, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/7849/palestinians-accept-jewish-israel
The Left, which used to oppose fascism and religious fanaticism, now supports the tyranny of the PLO over the Arabs of the West Bank and the tyranny and religious oppression of Hamas over the Arabs of Gaza. More details can be found in the many articles published by Bassam Tawil in Gatestone Institute, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/author/Bassam+Tawil
The Left accuses Israel of mistreating Arabs but has little to say about Arab attacks on Israelis. There was no outrage when Hamas fired thousands of rockets from Gaza on Israeli civilians for years before Israel struck back in self-defense. More details about the murderous antisemitism the PLO and Hamas teach their people can be found in the many articles published by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). For example http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=17775
The Left continues to accuse Israel of human rights abuses even after such accusations are proven false. The Left can’t seem to imagine that Israel would fight the Arabs without committing human rights abuses. More details can be found in the many articles published by Richard Kemp. For example, see Gatestone Institute, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/author/Richard+Kemp
The Left makes no objection to the radical Arab claim that the Jews have no historical claim to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the site of the Jewish People’s two temples, and that only Muslims may pray there. For more information about the historicity of the Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount, consult the Hebrew and Christian bibles, and any scientifically accurate book on biblical history.
The Left employs a deceitful disinformation campaign to accuse the Zionists of crimes Israel hasn’t committed, exaggerate excesses Israelis made in self-defense, dismiss as inconsequential what should be considered intolerable aggression against Israel, and in general make Israel appear to be a pariah state. The disinformation campaign negates the very things that Israel can boast about, such as the liberal nature of its society and its army’s practice of restraint in military operations against populated areas to minimize civilian casualties when the enemy disperses itself among the population and uses civilians as human shields. (If you believe that Israel is an Apartheid state and that the Israeli army intentionally and indiscriminately kills far more civilians than is necessary, and indiscriminately destroys apartment buildings and hospitals when it attacks Gaza, then the disinformation campaign has succeeded with you, as it has with many others.)
The disinformation campaign repeats catchy phrases to make them feel like established facts. For example, it tries to attach the words “indiscriminate use of force” to the Israeli army to distract the listener from the indiscriminate murder of random civilians by Arab terrorists. The words “disproportionate force” are used to emphasize the weakness of the individual Arab fighters relative to the well armed Israeli soldiers, perhaps to make the listener think of the conflict in terms of David and Goliath. Interestingly, in the United States the police and the army use the words “overwhelming force” for the opposite effect, that overwhelming the enemy minimizes the danger to everyone involved.
The disinformation campaign empowers Israel’s enemies, promotes the hatred of Jews among Arabs and Muslims all over the world, invites antisemites in the West to spew their venom in a politically protected environment, and weakens Europe’s ability to defend itself against Islamist extremist terrorism.
The projection of Western evil onto the Jews of Israel is a socially organized form of pathological narcissism. Leftists feel shame about aspects of their own society, such as colonialism and racism, and project the faults of their society onto Israel; they make themselves feel shameless by acting intensely to cleanse Israel of the faults they should be addressing in their own society. They magically think that they are perfectly good and that the Jews are somehow so different from other people that they perform heinous crimes that far exceed what other people do; Israel’s crimes are the only crimes that matter. They are arrogant and believe that by attacking Israel and Jews they are heroically elevating themselves. They envy the imaginary power of the “Jewish Lobby” while they contemptuously minimize and disrupt the attempts of pro-Zionists to explain opposing points of view. They believe they are entitled to attack Israel and Jews in any way they wish, obeying no boundaries, including intimidating dissenters and disrupting other people’s freedom to listen to pro-Israel speakers and they get enraged when they are opposed.
Today we see self-righteous-ultra-good, but in reality phony-good, radical Leftists, many of whom are impressionable college and university students, often accompanied by anti-Zionist professors, joining radical Arabs marching in the streets shouting to destroy what they feel is the root of Western evil, Israel. Shockingly, both in ideology and street theater, this crusade against Israel is uncomfortably reminiscent of the Nazis efforts to protect the world from what they claimed was the source of evil, the Jews. Many of the anti-Zionists who are attracted to the modern day crusade against Israel find a politically protected stage on which to promote unabashedly antisemitic views. Far-Left Jewish anti-Zionist groups have even been forced to disavow some members (for example the JVP, Jewish Voice for Peace, terminated its relationship with Alison Weir when they discovered she had been expressing anti-Semitic views). Politically correctly, radical Leftists directly target the Jews of Israel and Zionists with their BDS campaign (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction). They demand that all Jews who want to be considered virtuous must join their lynch mob against Israel or risk ostracism. Jewish students on college and university campuses who want to show their support for Israel are intimidated and many feel they have to hide their Jewish identity.
The concluding part of this 5-part essay will delve deeper into the origins of Leftist values