". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Historical Ignorance Animates Hatred of Israel

October 10, 2023

Gun violence, kids in cages, sexual assault, religious extremism — Hamas’s historic terror strike on innocent Israeli civilians hits all the left-wing triggers. But where is the left-wing outrage? Anti-Israel protestors even displayed the Nazi swastika in New York City’s Times Square, demonstrating the historical amnesia and philosophical inconsistency of anti-Israel hatred.

In street protests across America, the fringe Left seemed to side with the terrorists over the victims. Only a day after Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel, before Israel had mounted any retaliatory response, pro-Palestine protestors had taken to the streets in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and Philadelphia. In a joint statement, Palestine Solidarity Groups at Harvard — they have multiple! — blamed the victims, holding Israel “entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.” On Tuesday afternoon, Black Lives Matter Chicago tweeted an image that read, “I stand with Palestine,” with the silhouette of a Palestinian paratrooper — a reference to the method many Hamas fighters used to cross the border into Israel.

At the New York City protest, organized by Democratic Socialists, the crowd chanted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The chant implies the destruction of the world’s only Jewish nation. God had promised the nation of Israel, “Your territory shall be from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea” (Deuteronomy 11:24, emphasis added). The anti-Israel protestors want to drive Israelis out of the same geographic area. The pro-Palestinian crowd taunted Jewish counter-protestors with images of dead Israelis.

Left-wing Substack writer Hamilton Nolan took the occasion to recommend that journalists should stop using the word “terrorism” because it is “so obviously dripping with seething fanatical nationalistic blood lust.” “Rather than attempting to accurately describe something,” he said, the word “terrorism” “defines its subject from the outset as a villain.” But accurate description and identifying the villain don’t have to conflict; when gangs of armed men murder, rape, and kidnap innocent civilians, as Hamas has done, they are the villains.

Nolan complained that the word “terrorism” “connotes violence that is illegitimate, in contrast to the legitimate violence delivered by the state.” He is right that terrorism connotes this, since it can be defined as “non-state actors using force to achieve political ends,” but he is wrong that this is problematic; governments “bear the sword” (Romans 13:4), while private individuals or organizations do not.

Even members of Congress have joined the anti-Israel dogpile. U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) issued a statement that morally equated “the Palestinian and Israeli lives lost” before going on to slam Israel — but not Hamas. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) condemned Hamas’s attack on Saturday, but in the same paragraph she called for “an immediate ceasefire and de-escalation” before Israel had any opportunity to defend itself.

America is not the only Western nation in which anti-Israel sentiment — some might even say anti-Semitism — runs high — some might even say “far too high.” A pro-Palestinian crowd surrounded Israel’s London embassy on Monday chanting, “Allah hu Akbar,” “Israel is a terrorist state,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Similar mass demonstrations occurred in Madrid, Spain, Duisburg, Germany, and Toronto, Canada.

Speaking of Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) ordered reporters covering the conflict between Hamas and Israel to avoid describing “anyone” as “terrorists” because “the notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized,” according to leaked emails. Did they read Nolan’s Substack or something? Of course, while appearing to strike a neutral pose, the CBC really just took a political stance to help sanitize terrorism. In other Canadian news, social media accounts associated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and its Ontario President Fred Hahn celebrated the violence.

Worst of all, a mob on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia chanted, “Gas the Jews.” Instead of restraining the obvious allusion to violence, Australian police arrested a Jewish man with an Israeli flag for breaching the peace as he fled from a threatening group of pro-Palestinian protestors, according to Breitbart.

“Gas the Jews?” The Holocaust comparisons could not be any more explicit. Nor the swastika flashed in Times Square. There is a worldwide movement that wants to exterminate the Jewish people, and they are increasingly open about their intentions. What is happening in the world?

Footage from protests shows that, in many cases, the protestors are largely of Arabic descent, even in Western nations, expressing Arab solidarity, which was a widely influential movement begun over 50 years ago. Many of the people waving Palestinian flags may even be Palestinian Arabs.

But many non-Arabs have celebrated, or at least tacitly endorsed, the unprovoked atrocities perpetrated against Israeli civilians, a phenomenon which requires another explanation. “Not since the Holocaust have so many Jews been killed on one day,” said Israeli President Isaac Herzog. But it seems that many Westerners have forgotten how terrible Nazism actually was and how its anti-human ideology plunged the world into the deadliest war on record.

More precisely, many Westerners seem never to have learned how terrible the Holocaust was. The Holocaust occurred 80 years ago; those who liberated the Nazi concentration camps have either died or are too old and infirm even to serve in the U.S. Senate. Neither today’s politicians nor its street activists have any personal knowledge of those horrific events. If Westerners are ignorant about the Holocaust, that is a tragedy on its own because it means our educational institutions have ceased to commemorate the six million Jews (and millions of other people) who died under the military dictatorship of the four-legged spider.

Although tragic, the neglect of mid-20th century history is not entirely surprising. Due to their light skin color and distinct religion, the Jewish people are an inconvenient victim group for today’s skin-color-obsessed identity cult. And too much exploration of the Nazi’s thuggish street tactics, totalitarian ideology, and freedom-crushing politics would allow students to draw uncomfortable comparisons to the modern Left. For today’s woke — that is, neo-Marxist — educational establishment, teaching students about the Nazis is only expedient to the extent it enables them to tie their right-wing political opponents to white supremacy — and, to be fair, there is a fringe element on the Right that sympathizes with white supremacy and Nazism. This purpose is best served by a cursory glance at the Nazis, just enough to render a judgment and place them on the right side of the political spectrum, and then move on. The box is checked, but the Holocaust’s memory is degraded. Such poor education is likely not universal, but it is corrosive, and its effects seem to become more pronounced the more “educated” a person becomes.

This counter-historical perspective was on full display in recent protests. In Cambridge, Massachusetts — home to Harvard University — left-wing activists faced off with pro-Israel demonstrators, calling them “animals” and “Nazis” at the same time. Yes, they called Jews or Jewish sympathizers “Nazis.” That’s like calling Abraham Lincoln a secessionist. They didn’t seem to appreciate the irony of calling them “animals,” either — something a real Nazi would do. At the D.C. pro-Hamas rally, one speaker quoted communist dictator Mao Zedong as a “great revolutionary,” despite the fact that his policies killed tens of millions more people than the Nazis.

This anti-historical hatred of Israel runs deep in the university, as demonstrated by the neo-Marxist jargon term “colonialism” — implying that certain people groups are “colonialists,” therefore oppressors, therefore a proper object of derision. Columbia University research fellow Walaa Alqaisiya wrote Sunday, “Time to understand that decolonization is NOT a metaphor. Decolonization means resistance of the oppressed[,] and that includes armed struggle to LITERALLY get our lands and lives back!” That’s a nice-sounding way to endorse bands of armed marauders killing and kidnapping civilians. “What did y’all think decolonization meant? Vibes? Papers? Essays? Losers,” wrote Teen Vogue Writer Najma Sharif on Saturday. “‘Not like this,’ then like what?” As of Monday, Sharif’s post has been liked 100,000 times and reposted 23,000 times.

But National Review’s Rich Lowry pointed out that “the ‘colonial’ smear can’t survive contact with the slightest critical scrutiny.” Jews have had a religious and ethnic connection to the Levantine coastlands since Abraham, approximately 3,500 years ago. There was their kingdom, their temple, their heritage — not to mention their divinely apportioned possession. There, Jews fled in the 1940s, when their own nations sought to expel them and no other nations were willing to take them in. “Indeed, the colonialism charge raises the question of how an indigenous people can be colonizers,” said Lowry.

The land belongs to the people of Israel. Their enemies want to exterminate them. A particularly brutal rogue state tried to wipe them out 80 years ago, but civilized Western nations spent millions of lives defeating the barbaric cult of Nazism. A lifetime later, people in those same, supposedly civilized nations are explicitly invoking Nazi language and symbolism to cheer on a group of terrorists committing unspeakable crimes against civilians. That’s a good reminder to remember history, or be doomed to repeat it.

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.