Jewish World Review June 26, 2002 / 16 Tamuz, 5762
The question is rarely asked. It is simply taken for granted that the left -- Europe, the Western news media, the universities, the liberal churches, the arts world -- supports the Palestinians and the larger Arab/Muslim worlds in their war against Israel. But the question does need to be asked. For it is completely inconsistent with the left's professed values to side with Israel's enemies. Just about every value the left claims to uphold Israel upholds and its enemies do not.
The left speaks about its passion for democracy ("power to the people"). Yet it is Israel that is a fully functioning democracy, as opposed to all of its Arab and Muslim enemies. Yasser Arafat is precisely the self-aggrandizing, corrupt dictator-type that the left claims to hold in contempt.
The left claims to have particular concern for women's rights. Yet it is Israel that has as highly developed a feminist movement as that of any Western country. It is Israel that conscripted women into its armed forces before almost any Western country. At the same time, the state of women's rights among Israel's Muslim enemies is perhaps the lowest in the world.
The left's greatest current preoccupation is with gay rights. Yet it is Israel that has annual gay pride days, while Egypt and other Arab and Muslim countries arrest homosexuals.
It is Israel that has an independent and highly liberal judiciary. It is Israel that has a leftist press. It is Israel that has been governed more by leftist, even socialist, parties than by rightist ones. Israel's enemies have none of this.
So, why isn't the left out there leading pro-Israel demonstrations?
The answer is as important as it is contemptible.
In general, the left does not care about women, independent judiciaries, minorities, democracy, gays or almost anything else for which it marches. That is why the left opposed America's war in Afghanistan, which liberated women from being treated like animals.
Nearly all the causes the left speaks for are noble-sounding covers for its real agenda -- the overthrowing of Western, especially Judeo-Christian and capitalist, values. Remember the chant at Stanford, "Hey, hey, ho ho, Western civ has got to go"? That is what animates the left.
In psychoanalytic terms, it is antagonism to one's father and his values. In a commencement speech he gave this year, the former president of Dartmouth College, James O. Freedman, a man of the left, said that the purpose of a college education is "to question your father's values." Those of us not on the left believe that the purpose of a college education is to discover what is true and what is good.
America embodies all that the left dislikes. It is the most religious of the industrialized democracies (proudly and uniquely Judeo-Christian). It is also the most capitalist. And, what drives the left especially crazy is that with all this religion and capitalism, America is the most powerful force on earth -- economically, militarily and culturally.
Israel is Little America. It, too, is religious (though a secular state like the United States, it is proudly Jewish). It, too, celebrates capitalism. There are no demonstrations in Israel against McDonald's. On the contrary, even before McDonald's opened there, Hebrew replicas like "McDavid's" were established.
And Israel, like America, celebrates its national identity, not the "world" identity that the left affirms. The left loathes nationalism unless it is anti-Western, like Palestinian or Cuban. America does not jump to attention when world treaties are signed and Israel is the U.N.'s pariah, rendering America and Israel the left's "axis of evil," far more reviled than Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
The question, "Why does the left support the Palestinians?" is an extremely important one. At this time in history nothing so illustrates the left's nihilism as does its support of the Palestinians against Israel.
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06/19/02: The commencement address I would give