Absent in Liberal School

I must have been absent on Israel day in liberal school.

I still cannot understand how the American and European left continues to blindly support the Arabs against the Israelis. I always thought we were supposed to like democracy, abhor military dictatorships, and oppose theocratic radicals. I guess that’s true as long as it doesn’t mean even potentially agreeing with our ideological opposites on anything.

I know there are those on the left that live in some world where there is never a need for war, and, as such, they are never going to support any military action. Furthermore, there are those who seem to find some congruity between left-wing folk heroes like Che Guevara and some of these radical Islamic leaders. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, both engaged in asymmetrical, guerilla warfare, but ideologically they couldn’t be further apart. Left-wing guerillas around the world are primarily concerned with land and property reform. I have yet to be informed of one who are jihadists, or who have anything to do with spreading a religion.

Indeed, lying underneath the left’s position on Israel are some of the most profound contradictions of the American left’s instincts. We are against religionists in our country, but strangely mystical about those in other people’s cultures. Somehow, we assume, they are more valid there. (Why this does not mean, for example, that Baptists are a valid expression of the culture of Alabama, I do not know.) Included in the ways meant to be instilled by these groups are severe oppression of women, the curtailment of basic civil liberties, and the overall defiance of most of the liberties we take for granted. Again—women’s lib is for Americans only, even those Americans whose culture rejects it.

The “Palestinians”—a name created by Arab propagandists to identify a diverse group of Arab nationals who never before had an independent state—deserved better than they got when they were displaced from Israel, both by Israel, but also by those who received them. They were just left in tent cities, and yet Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt were never called upon to remedy this situation—Israel was.

Israel also appears to be forbidden by the American left to respond to any attack on it. When they attack infrastructure, they are hurting civilians, even when those targets were used to support attacks on Israel. When they attack a rocket-launcher site, they are killing civilians (something surely never done by Hizb’allah ) and that’s their fault—not the fault of the guerillas placing military targets among innocents.

Indeed, Israel cannot appear to do anything right, so it seems like there is little purpose to be served by trying to comply with political pressure from the left.

Has Israel committed atrocity? Indeed, numerous times. I am unaware of an innocent state in the entire world. But lack of virginal purity is not a reason to deny a state or a people a right to defend itself, or a right to exist. Even America retains this right despite the pain it inflicts on the rest of the world.

It’s tempting to take the side of the seeming “little guy” especially when he is opposed by people supported by end-times rabid Christian militarists, but if there is one thing that keeps the left wing alive in dark times and gives it rebirth, it’s its intellectual rigor. The left consensus focuses these days on social democracy, not communism; on equal opportunity, not forced equality; separation of church and state, not forced abolition. Why can’t it come to accept the limited use of military power instead of the unachievable dream of total peace?