The last 10 days have surprised me.
I thought I was cynical about the way humans are capable of believing things that are contradicted by what they see with their own eyes, but apparently I was naive.
I realized that the phenomenon of ideologues only hearing the voices of their own side was much more extensive than I’d thought.
I saw that the amount of ignorance, stupidity and viciousness in the world, especially the supposedly better-educated part of it, was far, far greater than than I had imagined in my worst nightmares.
I saw that a form of atavistic hatred that I had thought was dying out in ‘civilized’ society was alive and breathing heavily.
I saw some ‘critics of Israeli policy’ drop their masks, because it has now become acceptable to admit that the real problem, in the words of Charles Krauthammer, is “Those Troublesome Jews“.
When Helen Thomas dropped hers (OK, maybe it had been slipping for some time), she was greeted with some official condemnation and massive grass-roots support. Rabbi David Nesenoff, who taped her telling Israeli Jews to “go home, to Poland and Germany,” has received over 25,000 hate mails, some of which can be seen on his website.
There’s a Security Council “Presidential Statement,” a vicious Human Rights Council resolution, demonstrations and rallies against Israel all over the world — even in Fresno, California — a surge of antisemitic incidents in France and other places, threats from Turkey, Iran and Syria, and suggestions from Barack Obama that Israel’s policies are ‘unsustainable’ and must change in the direction of concessions to Hamas.
What precipitated the explosion was that a group of violent Turkish Islamists, in an operation probably planned and certainly supported by the Erdoğan regime, mobbed and beat Israeli soldiers in an attempt to take hostages, resulting in the serious injury of several soldiers and the death of 9 of the Turks.
Hardly a legitimate reason for the worldwide explosion of anti-Israel hatred, or the diplomatic pressure being applied to Israel by friends and enemies alike.
Compare Israel’s actions in enforcing a blockade against the remarkably vile Hamas with the behavior of the Iranian regime last year, when the Ahmadinejad-Khamenei regime stole the election and then beat, murdered, arrested, tortured and raped dissidents who pointed this out.
World reaction then, and especially the response from the Obama administration, was tepid. Many similar comparisons can be made.
Several members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have introduced a resolution condemning Israel and calling for the president to work toward “ending the siege” of Hamas-ruled Gaza. San Francisco, the gay capital of the world, is being asked to support Hamas — I know they would not put it this way, but that’s what it is about — which advocates the death penalty for homosexuality. Indeed, gay Palestinians do their best to escape both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, to Israel, one of the few places that a gay Arab can live in peace.
My wife would explain this by saying “there must be something in the water,” but if so, it’s in the water all around the world.
Here’s how one observer explains it:
…in the last two decades especially, the Left has made anti-Semitism respectable in intellectual circles. The fascistic nature of various Palestinian liberation groups was forgotten, as the “occupied” Palestinians grafted their cause onto that of American blacks, Mexican-Americans, and Asian-Americans. Slurring post-Holocaust Jews was still infra dig, but damning the nation-state of Israel as imperialistic and oppressive was considered principled. No one ever cared to ask: Why Israel and not other, far more egregious examples? In other words, one could now focus inordinately on the Jews by emphasizing that one’s criticism was predicated on cosmic issues of human rights and justice. And by defaming Israel the nation, one could vent one’s dislike of Jews without being stuck with the traditional boorish label of anti-Semite.
So an anti-Semitic bigot like Helen Thomas could navigate perfectly well among the top echelons of Washington society spouting off her hatred of Israel, since her animus was supposedly against Israeli policies rather than those who made them. Only an inadvertent remark finally caught up with her to reveal that what she felt was not anger growing out of a territorial dispute, but furor about the nature of an entire people who should be deported to the sites of the Holocaust. — Victor Davis Hanson, “Helen Thomas, Turkey, and the Liberation of Israel”