Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I Knew People Felt This Way ...

... but I never thought I'd hear it so explicitly put. Overheard in a conversation between two lefties in our on-campus Starbucks:

"Israel used to be a nation of poor oppressed people, but now it is sending out assassination squads, firing missiles, [...] and now it is evil"

It's one thing to criticize Israel's actions as wrong, inherently self-destructive, etc. or even to criticize the very foundations of Zionism, but to express sympathy for an oppressed people only when we're oppressed and then when we fight back we become "evil"? I certainly would agree that some of Israel's actions have been wrong-headed and in fact evil. But the mentality that "oppressed people are good so long as they don't fight back but when they do, they are evil" is truly remarkable.

And "anti-Zionist" lefties wonder why even those of us who are leftish and critical of Israel find them to be anti-Semitic assholes? And lefties wonder why some find them patronizing? It's exactly this attitude.

In general, there is an issue with lefties -- they are all about (quite rightly, IMHO) the importance of narrative. But then they somehow act (without realizing the degree to which they act from a position of privilege in doing so) as if they are the arbiters of who has a legitimate narrative? E.g. the Zionist narrative is illegitimate because "we all know Zionism is just a cover for colonialism"? Who decides? Isn't that rejection of narratives and identity the very thing that lefties (quite rightly, IMHO) get upset at righties for?

Why do lefties get to decide who gets to be in the elect of the "oppressed"? Isn't this just as much "Puritanism" as what the right does in denying even the narratives of the oppressed?

Anyway (especially as we think of all things Persian with Purim coming up), isn't it too small of a leap for comfort from "your Zionist narrative is to be rejected" and even "your narrative as Jews is to be rejected" (because we are no longer oppressed -- that somehow makes us less human? WTF?) to straight out Holocaust denial?

Of course, one could argue that by using the Holocaust as justification for Israel, the Zionist invite the politicization and the subsequent denial of the Holocaust -- but still ... at what point does it cease being acceptable to deny Jewish narratives? According to some of the left, Jewish narratives are always deniable, short of denying the big-H ...

I guess this counts as a Shabbos Zachor post?


OTOH, perhaps we should stop giving lefties ammunition to discredit us? Do we really need to chop down olive trees? Do we really need to have so-called defensive actions that do little to actually increase Israel's security but increase anger at Israel even more leading to more terrorists being recruited? Israel has a right and duty to defend herself ... but defense does not equal "striking back to show 'them' we can". Why should Israel adopt the security ideology of Tom Friedman (considering how successful our Iraq adventure has been, e.g.).?

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