Israel’s war separates the decent left from the indecent left
I believe the Left has been wrong on virtually every great moral issue in the last 30 years.
During that period, it was wrong on the Cold War — it devoted far more energy to fighting anti-communism than to fighting communism.
It was wrong for attacking Israel for its destruction of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor.
It was wrong on welfare.
It was wrong in its demanding less morally and intellectually from black Americans than from all other Americans.
It was wrong in advocating bilingual education for children of immigrants.
It was wrong in generally holding American society rather than violent criminals responsible for violent crime.
It was wrong in imposing its view on abortion on America through the courts rather than through the democratic process.
It was wrong in teaching a generation of men and women that men and women differ because of socialization not because of innate sex differences.
It was wrong in reducing sex to a purely biological and health issue for a generation of young Americans.
It was wrong in identifying “flag waving” with fascism.
It was wrong in supporting the teachers’ unions rather than students and educational reform.
It was wrong in allying itself with trial lawyers and blocking tort reform.
It was wrong in blocking the military from recruiting on campuses and teaching a generation of young Americans that “war is not the answer” when war is at times the one moral answer.
It was wrong in arguing that America is not based on Judeo-Christian values, but on secular ones like Western Europe.
It was wrong in advancing multiculturalism, which is an extreme form of moral relativism that holds all cultures morally identical and which is a doctrine designed to undermine American national identity.
In just about every instance, one could say that the Left was foolish, the Left was naive, the Left was wrong, even that the Left was dangerous. But in all of those cases, one could imagine a decent person holding any or even all of these positions.
But we now have a bright line that divides the decent — albeit usually wrong — Left from the indecent Left.
The Left’s anti-Israel positions until now were based, at least in theory, on its opposition to Israeli occupation of Arab land and its belief in the “cycle of violence” between Israel and its enemies. However, this time there is no occupied land involved and the violence is not a cycle with its implied lack of a beginning. There is a clear aggressor — a terror organization devoted to Islamicizing the Middle East and annihilating Israel — and no occupation.
That is why the Israeli Left is almost universally in favor of Israel’s war against Hezbollah. Amos Oz, probably Israel’s best-known novelist and leading spokesman of its Left, a lifetime critic of Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, wrote in the Los Angeles Times:
“Many times in the past, the Israeli peace movement has criticized Israeli military operations. Not this time. . . . This time, Israel is not invading Lebanon. It is defending itself from daily harassment and bombardment of dozens of our towns and villages. . . . There can be no moral equation between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah is targeting Israeli civilians wherever they are, while Israel is targeting mostly Hezbollah.”
Likewise, another longtime liberal critic of Israel, historian and Boston Globe columnist James Carroll, wrote last week:
“As one who rejects war, I regret Israel’s heavy bombing of Lebanon last week, as I deplored Israeli attacks in population centers and on infrastructure in Gaza. . . . Yet, given the rejectionism of both Hamas and Hezbollah . . . is the path of negotiations actually open to Israel? . . . There is no moral equivalence between enemies here. . . . It seems urgent [to] reaffirm foundational support for Israel. . . . The fury of anti-Israel rage among Arabs and Muslims is accounted for only partially by the present conflict. It resuscitates . . . the long European habit of scapegoating Jews. . . . No one should think that embedded contempt for Jews — anti-Semitism — is not part of the current crisis.”
Amos Oz and James Carroll are men of the Left who have been tested and passed the most clarifying moral litmus test of our time — Israel’s fight for existence against the primitives, fanatics and sadists in Hezbollah and Hamas and elsewhere in the Arab/Muslim world who wish to destroy it. Anyone on the Left who cannot see this is either bad, a useful idiot for Islamic terrorists, anti-Semitic or all three. There is no other explanation for morally condemning Israel’s war on Hezbollah.
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