I am writing on Wednesday, after the passage of UNSC resolution 2334 and John Kerry’s speech laying out his parameters for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And after that, there will or will not be another Security Council resolution, in which the so-called “international community” will continue on its path to making Israel indefensible and ultimately seeing her disappear.
Today I’m going to take a longer view and ask a more fundamental question than “how are they going to try to stick it to us tomorrow?” Today I want to know “what’s in it for them in sticking it to us?”
This is interesting, because the obvious answer seems to be “nothing.” Look at this objectively: Israel is a tiny country which actually contributes a lot to civilization in science, technology, medicine and more. The Palestinians (PLO and Hamas varieties) basically have one interest, and that is destroying Israel and taking over their tiny piece of land. Their major contribution to civilization seems to be the popularization of airline hijacking and suicide bombing. Israel tried several times to give away large chunks of its country – which it is fully entitled to keep – in order to end the conflict, but the Palestinians have refused every time. Lucky for us.
Most of the nations, if asked, would say that it has to do with the human rights of the Palestinians. This is interesting too, because the Palestinians seem to think they have a right to kill anyone Jewish they come across. Israel argues persuasively that it really has to take security measures that affect the Palestinians, because otherwise they would exercise their “right” to murder us. How do we know? Experience: the withdrawal from Gaza and the various prisoner releases. Give them a chance, and they try to kill us. It happens every time.
It’s even more interesting that for all the people deprived of their human rights around the world – often much more severely than the Palestinians, who have more rights than Arabs living in Arab countries – the international community expends far more money and energy on the Palestinians than on anyone else.
So let’s try to figure this out. Who would benefit if the Palestinians got their wish and we disappeared? Possibly only the Palestinians themselves and Iran, which wants to become the regional hegemon and sees us as an obstacle. But how does that explain the anti-Israel activity in almost all the European countries, especially the most “progressive” ones like the Scandinavian countries, France, Germany, Britain and others? How does it explain that other pole of the Axis of anti-Israelness, the White House? And how does it explain the particular passion with which they have taken sides?
Interests are insufficient to explain this. We need to look at psychology.
The Palestinians got their start from the Soviet KGB as a weapon against American influence in the Middle East. The Soviet psychological warfare experts melded third-world anti-imperialism with traditional Jew-hatred to create the meme of an oppressed “Palestinian people” whose human rights were being denied them by vicious European Jewish colonists. This powerful but totally false story, convincingly told, found its way into leftist dogma. It was eagerly lapped up by the affluenza-sufferers of the New Left, many of them Jewish, who were looking for a connection to the “Wretched of the Earth,” in the words of Frantz Fanon.
People are fond of saying that they are critical of Israeli policy but they don’t hate Jews. But passionate anti-Zionism is never pure. A natural question to ask is, “if Israel is so evil, what makes it so?” And the obvious answer is “because the Jews are evil.” Anti-Zionism and Jew-hatred go together. One gives rise to the other. The Palestinians’ made-up history only works if you believe Israeli Jews capable of deliberate ethnic cleansing and murder; if you believe that they are like Nazis. And if Jews are like Nazis, then their state is a Nazi state.
When the New Lefties of 1960s Europe grew up, many of them became Social Democrats. While they may have grown away from anarchism and created its opposite in the European Union, they kept their ideas about Israel and the Palestinians. It was a satisfying relief for Europeans, embarrassed by their fathers’ crimes during the Holocaust, to “realize” that the Jews themselves were actually Nazis.
In America, the New Left virtually conquered academia, where terrorists like Bill Ayres and Bernardine Dohrn became respected members of the academic community. Big grants to universities from Saudi Arabia and other oil states ensured that there would be “Middle East Studies” departments to promote the correct line on Israel.
The Left in America was very fertile ground for Jew hatred. It was politically incorrect to say that you hated Jews, but you could say anything you wanted about Israel. And what about the “Israel Lobby?” And little by little, like in the Occupy movement, it became OK to suggest that maybe Jews had too much influence in the media, Hollywood and banking.
The black community in America was infected with anti-Jewish attitudes as well, probably originally traceable to the Nation of Islam, later amplified by conflicts with Jewish landlords, teachers and shop-owners, and fertilized by the influence of the radical Left on the Black Power movement.
Barack Obama’s ideas about Israel and the Palestinians probably developed from multiple sources: his early Muslim background; the influence of friends like Ayres and Dohrn, anti-Israel blogger Ali Abunimah, Columbia professor and PLO operative Rashid Khalidi, and academics like Edward Said; and the anti-Jewish climate in the black community. Obama chose advisors that shared his point of view, like Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes and Rob Malley.
The Muslim world quite naturally cleaved to the side of the Palestinians, because, after all, most Palestinians are Muslims. But there was also a sinister cross-pollination from ancient European Jew-hatred that was introduced by Hitler’s associate Haj Amin al-Husseini, as well as the numerous Nazi war criminals that found asylum in places like Egypt and Syria after the war. Egypt has virtually no Jews left, and yet a common insult there is to call someone a Jew. When Mubarak was deposed, cartoons and posters showed him with a star of David on his forehead.
It is now possible to understand the automatic majority votes against Israel in the UN, or, more to the point, the obsessive focus of the UN on Israel, and why real atrocities that occur elsewhere in the world are comparatively barely noticed. We can see why the terrorism committed on a regular basis by Palestinians against Jews for at least a hundred years receives only lip service, while Jewish building in Jerusalem makes Obama “furious.” We can understand why the outcome of the vote for Security Council resolution 2334 was greeted with “sustained applause.” We can see why the European nations and the EU spend millions of Euros every year supporting subversive anti-state NGOs in Israel, and why the human rights of Palestinians are more important to them than those of anyone else. And we can see why Barack Obama has consistently worked against Israel over his entire term, winding up with a still-unfolding diplomatic strike.
Even though national interest is cited – Kerry even argued in his speech that American interests were served by destabilizing Israel! – the real motivation for these policies is deep, irrational, and unfortunately, very familiar.