Tag Archives: liberalism

Explaining the fallacy of anti-Israel Liberalism

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I finally have come to some understanding as to how the Palestinian cause has become part of the Liberal narrative.  As someone who considers himself a Social Liberal and Zionist, I’ve tried hard to figure out how Liberals have apparently become so opposed to Israel’s conduct and seem to think aligning themselves with the Palestinians makes them more caring and benevolent individuals.

The fact is that the Palestinians are an oppressed people.  Their leadership has received countless billions of dollars over the years to improve the lives of the people and rather than doing so they’ve created an angry, hopeless population that believes Israel is responsible for everything wrong in their world.  They’ve kept the money from the people, and whatever money they haven’t kept for themselves has largely been used on funding terrorist activity against the Jewish state.  The anger they’ve helped cultivate has created countless soldiers of hate, more than willing to kill and even die for their cause.

One of the popular arguments, particularly among Jews, is that criticizing Israel does not make you anti-Zionist, and certainly as a Jew not anti-Semitic. That statement by itself is of course true, but that doesn’t mean that every anti-Israel statement is true, and it certainly doesn’t mean there is something meritorious in attacking Israel’s policies.  Truth and honesty must always be a prerequisite to any opinion, and to sit in judgment over Israel’s actions today without looking at how we got here is not only dangerous ignorance, it’s succumbing to anti-Zionist propaganda.

I’ll come right out and say it.  Israel’s government makes mistakes. It sometimes takes incorrect actions that hurt more people than anyone would like to see hurt, however, two critical points need to be recognized if we are to judge Israel for its actions.  First of all, we need to look at how we got here.  History didn’t just begin. Israel’s actions against Palestinians didn’t come out of nowhere.  The wall wasn’t put up because of an irrational prejudice or bigoted doctrine.  Israel’s government doesn’t promote destruction or mass killings in any of its statements.  What it does on occasion, is react.  I once worked for someone who taught me that it is always better to respond than it is to react since reacting connotes taking action without considering the consequences.  There are times we can make a valid argument that Israel reacts rather than responds, but if we are to be fair we need to take an honest look at what Israel is reacting to.  Terrorists activities targeting the innocent on a regular basis takes its toll on a population.  It’s designed to.  Terrorists count on that.  For anyone to criticize Israel’s actions without recognizing decades, not years, but decades of terror is a prejudice in itself.

The second thing that needs to be considered is the severity of the response or reaction.  Considering Israel’s strength,  bulldozing the homes of terrorists that kill Israeli citizens on its streets is relatively light.  Bombing locations where active terrorists are hiding is a justified action. I’m as unhappy as anyone that Israel finds itself put in the situations that is it, but consider this.  When Israel takes out a terrorist, its enemies target civilians.  When terrorists attack Israeli civilians, Israel targets terrorists.  It’s a tragic cycle, but there is no moral equivalency here, and to try to create one where one doesn’t exist is either complete ignorance or even worse, blatant anti-Semitism.

Do I wish the situation was different? Of course I do.  Do I think Israel is perfect?  I do not.  However, taking sides against the Jewish people because in Israel they’ve gone from being the oppressed to being the strong, doesn’t make someone Liberal, it either makes someone the product of indoctrination or a disingenuous bigot.  When a person hears a lie often enough it starts to sound true.  Although caring for the oppressed is a valiant mission, there is nothing Liberal about siding with the party that wants to wipe out a people and claims it is in the name of protecting the oppressed, when all it is really about is the acquisition of wealth and power.  Promoting peace is the most just cause there is, but there is nothing Liberal about siding with those who don’t really want it, even if they claim to represent the oppressed.

Is it OK to criticize Israel? Of course it is. But if someone is honest and gives equal time to all those committing any questionable acts they would find themselves speaking about Israel’s activities against the Palestinians a lot less than they do today. When you no longer look at Israel’s behavior in an anti-Zionist vacuum you realize that there is nothing liberal about disregarding the incredible restraint, and yes even tolerance that Israel has shown over the years.  And seeing how tolerance is supposed to be the true definition of liberalism, maybe then those who call themselves Liberals would be on the right side.  And remember this.  As Conservatives are on the right side of the political spectrum, and Liberals do not think as Conservatives do, they need to remain cognizant of the fact that the opposite of right in this case is left, not wrong, and to be anti-Israel for its actions is not left, it’s wrong.

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Liberalism Starts at Home

targetisLiberalism, especially in this day and age is to some extent charitable.  This coming from a long time self-proclaimed Liberal.  However, when it comes to the situation in the world today and in particular to the targeting of Israel and the Jewish people, I am admittedly and proudly what would be considered a hawk as opposed to a dove.  This is because when it comes to liberalism, I believe that just like charity, it starts at home.

The definition I found of Liberalism that best helps me illustrate my point is the following one.

Liberalism: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.

I am comfortable with that definition and support it fully.  What I don’t support is putting the civil liberties of others before the civil liberties of the Jewish people, especially when in doing so I believe it is being done at the expense of the Jewish people.  When I see people showing greater concern for the plight of the people of Gaza than they do for the people of Ashdod it angers me.  As someone who has called himself Liberal I make the following demand of those who call themselves Liberal as well.  If you are going to be so concerned about human rights apply that same concern to the ongoing disregards for the human rights of the Jewish people.  Don’t read a news report about the tragedy of 4 Palestinian children being killed, because their leadership insists on war, as your rallying cry for what is right and wrong. On August 9, 2001 a suicide bomber exploded a bomb in a Sbarro Pizza in Jerusalem. 5 of the dead were from one family.  The couple, Dutch Jewish immigrants, and there 3 children ages 14, 4 and 2.  This was no accident.  This was an achieved goal by the same type of people who put these 4 Palestinian children in the position to die in this current conflict.  If you want to fight for human rights, God Bless you.  Just don’t leave out the Jewish people.

Human rights and civil liberties are not about what is the flavor of the day, it is about genuinely and sincerely recognizing which people are suffering unjustly and without bias identifying the source of that suffering.  Those who speak of a human rights crisis in Gaza conveniently ignore the fact that Israel would have no need to control Gaza if it were not run by terrorists living large off of funds meant to help their very own people.  You want to care about the difficulties they live in, I can respect that.  Just don’t pin it on the Jews because you are too ignorant or too frightened to put the blame where it belongs.

Take heed.  These enemies want the same for us that Hitler and the Nazis did, and the Nazis did not spare the ignorant and frightened.   They either used them to further their goal or they killed them first.  You want to be Liberal, be one that loves your own at least you love others.  If your fight today is with a fellow Jew because they are angered that Jews continue to be attacked and killed as we have been for thousands of years, then you have lost perspective.  Or worse, you have a misguided and dangerous perspective.

The fact that I do not cry over the death of 4 Palestinian children does not mean I am happy it happened.  The fact that I use the murder of 3 Jewish boys doing nothing other than going home from school as a rallying cry that enough is enough, doesn’t mean I support the killing of innocent Palestinians.  And the fact that I assign blame to the Arab world for fueling a war I know Israelis and Jews throughout the world do not want, does not make me racist.  It also does not mean I am any less Liberal.  It just means I recognize the truth.  If we are to say “Never Again” we can’t in turn hide and pretend when it is starting to happen again.  If we do that we are facilitating our own tragic destiny.  Something I am not prepared to do.

 


A Liberal with Zero Tolerance

img65649I am a self-proclaimed Liberal.  I believe in being tolerant.  However, like everything else in life, tolerance has a breaking point as well.  Today mine was broken.  With the murder of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, I no longer believe a peaceful solution is possible with our Palestinian enemies.  Yes, I said enemies.  I did not say partners, I did not say neighbors, I did not say counterparts.  Just as the Germany that existed between 1933 and 1945 were enemies of not only the Jewish people but the entire civilized world, so too the Arabs in and around Israel have developed into the same opponents of decency not seen since Nazi Germany.

I am by nature, a pacifist.  I am no “tough guy”, nor do I ever proclaim to be. However, tolerance and liberalism needs to be saved for human beings who you have differences with, not with animals set on the destruction of anything decent.  With that said I wholeheartedly support the harshest of actions.  I also will no longer, and urge every human being who believes in what is right to do the same, support any government’s policies that stand in the way of Israel doing what needs to be done.

And now I will make a statement totally removing myself from my Liberal positions.  All of you out there, be you anti-Semites who like seeing Jews suffer, residents of civilized nations who thinks it is only the problem of Israel and the Jewish people, or Liberal Americans, Jew and non-Jew alike, listen very carefully.  They’re coming for you as well.  Like the Nazi sympathizers who thought they were exempt, anyone who supports this cause or does not fight against it will only be useful for as long as they are needed to push their agenda.  Once they do, if they can reach you, me, all of us, they will kill us as well.

To President Obama I say this.  At best you are exhibiting a similarity to Neville Chamberlain, at worst you’ve picked the wrong side.  Either way  you’ve got it wrong.  You want a legacy Mr. President?  Try using your powers as leader of the Free World to keep it free.  If nothing else please stay out of Israel’s way.

Sadly I now feel that the slogan “Bring back out Boys” needs to be changed to “Avenge our Boys”.