Sunday, October 28, 2012

Anti-Semitism and the Radical Left

Nine day from now a large majority of American Jews will march to the polling booths and vote for Barack Obama.

Blind to Obama’s record on Israel, blind to his close association with notable Israel-haters, blind to his sympathy for Islamists, , blind to his serial attempts to humiliate the Prime Minister of Israel, American Jews will still vote for Barack  Obama.

Chalk it up to naivete, if you like, but American Jews feel a visceral loyalty to the Democratic Party.

Idealistic to a fault, they believe they must support the position dictated by their ideals, even if it aligns them with people who despise them.

It has something to do with sacrificing oneself for a higher ideal.

At a time when Republicans are far more likely to be unflinching supporters of Israel, American Jews have not noticed. They seem still to be fighting the last war.

Unadulterated by reality their minds still see Republicans as right wing. Since Nazis are right wing, a vote for Republicans is a vote for near-Nazis.

More than a few American Jews still believe that Republicans hate Jews.

They see the Democratic Party as the party of love and tolerance. They see the Republican Party as the party of hate and intolerance.

Blind to reality, American progressives, including their many Jewish adherents, have not noticed that the European radical left, their ideological vanguard, has been infused with anti-Semitism.

This morning, to my surprise, the New York Times ran an important opinion piece by Colin Shindler about the anti-Semitism of the European radical left.

In Shindler’s words:

Today, a sizable section of the European left has been reluctant to take a clear stand when anti-Zionism spills over into anti-Semitism. Beginning in the 1990s, many on the European left began to view the growing Muslim minorities in their countries as a new proletariat and the Palestinian cause as a recruiting mechanism. The issue of Palestine was particularly seductive for the children of immigrants, marooned between identities.

The radical left opposes Israel because it sees Israel as an occupying power, a colonialist regime oppressing the Palestinian neo-proletariat.

We are not talking about a far-left fringe group. Former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone was happy to display his anti-Semitism.

Shindler writes:

Ken Livingstone, a former newspaper editor and mayor of London, has a long history of insensitive remarks about Jews — from publishing a cartoon in 1982 of Menachem Begin, then Israel’s prime minister, in Gestapo uniform atop a pile of Palestinian skulls to likening a known Jewish reporter to “a concentration camp guard” 20 years later. Today, he contributes to Press TV, the English-language outlet for the Iranian government.

Famed Berkeley professor Judith Butler also showed where her “progressive” sympathies lay:

Similarly, I think: Yes, understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements. It doesn’t stop those of us who are interested in non-violent politics from raising the question of whether there are other options besides violence.

You have to wonder how ignorant you have to be to consider Hamas and Hezbollah as progressive social movements.

Now if you want to remain a progressive in good standing does this mean that you need to embrace Hamas and Hezbollah?

Butler was roundly criticized for these remarks. She responded by citing the line where she rejected violence as a means to the end she seeks—presumably the creation of a greater Palestine that will be free of Jews.

After all, that is the goal of Hamas and Hezbollah. And it is Butler’s goal. She wants to achieve it by running divestment campaigns, by excluding Israelis from international forums and by slandering the Jewish state as colonialist and imperialist.

Being a good progressive means aligning your sympathies against Israel and against what it represents.

This might feel like a bit of a stretch but many of Barack Obama’s closest friends and associates have identified themselves as supporters of the Palestinian cause.

Weren’t Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi associated with the international movement to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza?

Why have American Jews shown so little concern for the company that Barack Obama kept?

As a card-carrying leftist Butler suffers from what Shindler calls Israelophobia:

Such Israelophobia, enunciated by sections of the European left, dovetailed neatly with the rise of Islamism among Palestinians and throughout the Arab world….

The New Left’s profound opposition to American power, and the convergence of reactionary Islamists and unquestioning leftists was reflected in the million-strong London protest against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was organized by the Muslim Association of Britain, the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party and the Stalinist Communist Party of Britain. When some Muslims voiced apprehension about participating in the protest with non-Muslims, the M.A.B. leadership decreed that it was religiously permissible if halal food was provided and men and women were given separate areas.

But, why are leftists willing to lie down with the reactionary forces of Hamas and Hezbollah?

Are they simply too stupid to understand that these groups favor a Sharia law that persecutes and oppresses women and homosexuals, that murders heretics, apostates, mini-skirted teenage girls and Jews?

In Shindler’s words:

But the question remains: why do today’s European socialists identify with Islamists whose worldview is light-years removed from their own?

Shindler offers one explanation, guilt:

Given the deep remorse for the misdeeds of colonialism, it was easier for the New Left of the 1960s to identify with the emerging Palestinian national movement than with the already established social democratic Israel.

A second explanation is fear. Radical leftists are so terrified of the rise of Islam, especially for what it has in store for people like them, that it has chosen appeasement.

A third possible explanation has it that the progressive and radical left is progressive in name only.

As a radical political movement it does not believe in liberal democracy; it believes in the dictatorship of the proletariat.. that is, the intelligentsia.

It hates capitalism and free enterprise and wishes to grant government the power to redistribute income in the name of social justice.

These might be mere shadows of radical leftist positions, but one ought to be aware of the fact that Barack Obama’s policies owe far too much to the radical international left.

Today, one must be aware of the fact that the radical left despises Israel and fully supports the Palestinian cause. 

1 comment:

David Foster said...

wSee my related post The Phobia(s) That May Destroy America: