Barry Werner

Barry Werner – Part 2 – The Far Left’s Obsession with Israel Is Harmful to the Middle East

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Barry Werner – Part 2 – The Far Left’s Obsession with Israel Is Harmful to the Middle East

The values of the political Left wing are not what we thought they were.

The positions the political Left wing takes on events in the Middle East

The political Left wing is ideologically driven. But when we look at the positions it takes, expecting to find the Left upholding the values we cherish, we find its priorities are not what we expect them to be. Here are some examples.

The political Left focuses much more attention on Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians then it does on the conflicts in neighboring Syria and Yemen where millions of people are suffering death, destruction and displacement. If the Left’s concern in the Middle East is about human suffering and the defense of liberal values then certainly the conflicts in Syria and Yemen should be far more important, but it’s not. So, concern for human suffering and the defense of liberal values is not a very high priority for the Left.

The political Left focuses attention on Israel’s settlements in the West Bank but ignores Iran pouring advanced weapons into Hezbollah with the intention of destroying Israel and all the Jews in it (Iran uses Hezbollah as its proxy on Israel’s northern border and Hamas and Islamic Jihad as proxies on Israel’s southern border). Not much attention is paid to the fact that unless a sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank is securely demilitarized it would join that deadly coalition against Israel. No attention is paid to the fact that Iran is developing and testing long-range missiles to be used against Israel. If the Left’s concern is about genocide then the threat to destroy the Jews of Israel, should be important, but it’s not. So, opposition to genocide, specifically the threat to annihilate the Jews of Israel, is not a very high priority for the Left.

The political Left focuses attention on Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, accusing Israel of undermining the “national rights” of the Palestinians (whether or not the Arabs of Palestine form a distinct nation is debatable), but ignores Iran pouring advanced weapons into Hezbollah with the intention of destroying Israel and all the Jews in it (Iran uses Hezbollah as its proxy on Israel’s northern border and Hamas and Islamic Jihad as proxies on Israel’s southern border). Not much attention is paid to the fact that unless a sovereign Palestinian state on the West Bank is securely demilitarized it would join that deadly coalition against Israel. No attention is paid to the fact that Iran is developing and testing long-range missiles to be used against Israel. If the Left’s concern is about protecting national rights and opposing genocide then the threat to destroy Israel and all the Jews in it, should be important, but it’s not. So, protecting national rights and opposition to genocide, specifically the threat to annihilate the Jews of Israel, is not a very high priority for the Left

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The political Left thinks that Palestinian suffering due to Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank is so much more important than Israel defending itself that Israel should stop the occupation without getting the security guarantees it needs. If Palestinian lives matter, Jewish lives should matter too, but it doesn’t seem to. So, Israel’s security is not a very high priority for the Left.

The Left gets angry when Jews kill Arabs in self-defense or rage, but not when Arab terrorists kill Jews. There is no empathic understanding that terrorists not only kill people, they permanently maim more people then they kill, they traumatize more people than they physically hurt, and their actions call for aggressive defense and revenge from the targeted society. Since Israelis know that Arabs can be terrorists but can’t be certain which Arabs will be terrorists, terrorism tends to polarize Israeli society. If the death of Arabs matters, the death of Jews should matter too, but it doesn’t seem to. So, opposition to terrorism is not a very high priority for the Left.

The political Left accuses Israel of racially oppressing Arabs, but it contributes to antisemitism. If racism and religious prejudice matters, antisemitism should matter too, but it doesn’t. So, opposition to racism and religious prejudice, specifically antisemitism, is not a very high priority for the Left.

Israel’s radical Arab enemies, those who want to destroy Israel because of religious fanaticism, are not judged or held to any standard of behavior; the Left shows no concern for the horrendous human rights violations Arabs perpetrate on other Arabs. The Left only shows concern for the suffering Arabs endure during and after they loose military engagements with Israel. But even though the Left supports the radical Arabs against Israel, the Left takes little interest in the Arab world in general. So, the welfare of the Palestinians is not a very high priority for the Left.

The Left-wing claim that Zionism is Israel’s original sin

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The Left believes that Zionism was a colonial imposition on the Arabs of Palestine and calls Zionism Israel’s original sin. Presumably, if the Left could turn the clock back to the latter half of the 1800’s and the first half of the 1900’s when Zionism was starting, they would have opposed it. Let’s review what that means.

The land we now call Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jewish People, had by the early 19’Th century become a sparsely populated, practically barren wasteland. In the mid 1800’s and early 1900’s, during the Ottoman Empire, European immigrants, especially the Jewish immigrants, drained the swamps, irrigated the desert, and developed the economic base that supported further Jewish immigration and attracted Arabs to immigrate from around the Ottoman Empire. The Arabs were not displaced; the population of Jews and Arabs grew together. Contrary to the claims made by anti-Zionists, the Ottoman authorities, or later the British Mandate authorities, would not have permitted the Jews to dominate or displace the Arabs. The Jews brought the benefits of European modernity to the region. The only threat the Jews posed to the Arabs was the perceived threat to their traditional culture and social supremacy. So, bringing the benefits of European modernity to the Middle East is not a very high priority for the Left.

The leaders of the early Zionists in Palestine were mainly Socialists and expected to live alongside the Arabs in a shared bi-national community. It wasn’t until the Arab riots in the 1920’s, when the Arab leadership showed they would kill to enforce their exclusive ownership of the land that the Jews fully realized the Arabs would not accept such an arrangement and prepared to defend themselves. So, developing a multicultural community in the Middle East is not a very high priority for the Left.

Around the turn of the 19’Th century, the Zionists were trying to create a refuge for the Jews of Europe who were desperately trying to escape the pogroms of Eastern Europe and, in the 1930’s, desperately trying to escape the Holocaust. The Zionist program became dramatically urgent in 1939 when the British Mandate authorities acceding to Arab demands practically stopped Jewish immigration to Palestine, condemning many European Jews to death in the Holocaust. So, saving the Jews of Europe from death in the Holocaust is not a very high priority for the Left.

Arab leaders inside and outside Palestine allied themselves with Nazi Germany whereas the Jews of Palestine allied with the British and many joined the British army. The Arab leadership inside and outside Palestine supported Nazi antisemitism and boasted they too were going to slaughter the Jews. So, opposing the spread of Nazism to the Middle East is not a very high priority for the Left.

After the UN voted to partition Palestine, the neighboring Arab states invaded intending to distribute the land among themselves, not to establish a Palestinian state. So, the establishment of a Palestinian state is not a very high priority for the Left.

Part 3 of this 5-part essay discusses what the Left is concerned about.

 

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