The Chicken or the Egg?
Many articles have been written attempting to explain the malevolence the Left feels towards Israel. And the further left you go, this malevolence slowly turns into outright hatred. The common explanation is then offered, although obviously with some variations, that Israel represents the ideals of the Right (free-market democracy, standing up for their own), while the Palestinians are practically stereotypical candidates to be objects of the Left's fawning ("victims", poorer than the Israelis, etc.). It follows from this explanation that the Left's and Europe's anti-Semitism result from Israel's behavior and it's being reflected by them on all world Jewry. There obviously is an element of racism and classical anti-Semitism involved here - blaming one Jew for another's behavior, assuming worldwide Jewry is just one big unified cartel, and so on. But anti-Semitism is not the root, rather an effect.
I feel, however, that the cause of the Left's animosity towards Israel is not Israel's behavior, behavior that identifies it with the Right. For one thing, I don't think that most of Israel's behavior can be classified as "Right". To take one example, Israel is basically a socialist country.
My take on the situation is that the Left hates Israel because the stereotype of a Jew
conflicts with Leftist values. And since many of those venomously opposing Israel are, consciously or not, anti-Semitic, they view Israel as the collective embodiment of the stereotypical Jew. The stereotypical Jew is a money-grubbing capitalist. He is part of a global cabal, which seeks to dominate the world and is extremely nationalistic and jingoistic. Nationalism-jingoism and capitalism are the two main enemies of the "social justice" crusader. Based on this view, the Left's anti-Israelism results directly from anti-Semitism.
There are a number of reasons that have led me to reject the first view and adopt the second. For starters, Israel's behavior is hardly compatible with the way it is depicted by the extreme Left. Their depiction is much more in line with the way a classic anti-Semite would imagine a Jewish State would behave.
Secondly, the behavior and views of the anti-Israel left. Within the Western world there are both people holding pro-Israeli views and people holding pro-Palestinian views. But upon closer examination, there are actually three groups of opinion regarding the Israeli-Palestinian situation. There are those who are interested in Israel's success only. They are less interested in the Palestinian's fate for a number of reasons; either because they believe Israel has an historical right to the entire land (evangelists, for instance), or because they believe the Palestinians have forfeited their right to decent people's sympathies by virtue of their despicable behavior regarding the conflict with Israel. These people are obviously not indifferent to the Palestinian's plight, they hope for them to be able to lead peaceful, successful, normal lives, but don't envision that happening in a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The second group would like to see an equitable agreement as the end to this conflict. The Israelis should have their state alongside a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and the two people will then live side by side as peaceful neighbors. The third group believes that the Palestinians have a right to all of Israel (well, they would call it Palestine). The Jews may stay there, and they may even allow for a representative government including both Jews and Arabs. However, everyone knows that this would be a disaster for the Jews for two reasons. One, the Arabs would quickly become the majority, and would in all likelihood turn the country into an Arab-run dictatorship that would not be a friendly place for Jews to live, to say the least. Two, "extremist" groups, like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, upon the dismantling of the IDF, would kill lots of Jews.
For some reason, those holding the middle view, that of two states, are grouped as pro-Israel. In fact, the majority of those termed pro-Israel belong to this middle group. Only an insignificant minority wishes to see the Palestinians disenfranchised. On the other hand, nearly the entire
pro-Palestinian group would like to see the Jews of Israel wiped off the map. The fact that one who wants to see the Palestinians achieve statehood, albeit alongside a Jewish state is considered to be pro-Israel, while only one who wishes the demise of Israel can be considered pro-Palestinian leads me to believe that the anti-Israel Left's problem isn't with the "occupation", it's with the Jews having their own state. And why would that bother them - because they're anti-Semites first, anti-Israel second, and they therefore believe that a Jewish state would necessarily behave like the anti-Semitic caricature of a Jew, who represents the antithesis of what they believe.
The extreme Left's anti-Semitism is also apparent with regards to another issue - the myth of the all-powerful rich Jewish lobby. There were recently two congressional races in which blacks holding extremely anti-Israeli views were defeated by other blacks. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), a well-known bastion of extreme-Left viewpoints, held meetings this past week in which this issue was discussed. Since many Jewish groups contributed to help unseat the two Congress-people, the CBC blamed the Jews for unseating black members of Congress, and therefore of being racists. They also promised retribution. They conveniently ignored three facts: (i) Lobbyists, however powerful they may be, can't vote. The people of the two districts voted, the "Jewish Lobbyists" just helped to better inform them regarding who they were voting for. (ii) It is abundantly clear that the Jewish groups were not against these candidates because they were black, rather they were against them because they were vehemently anti-Israel. That they happen to also be black is purely coincidental. (iii) That the two candidates who won are also black.
Since the CBC, a card carrying member of the far Left, is blaming a powerful rich Jewish Lobby (basically a thinly veiled version of the Elders of Zion) of intentionally causing black candidates to lose Congressional election because they're black, when that is clearly not the case, is simply racism.
Some may think this view, of rampant anti-Semitism among the far Left, is paranoid. I disagree, and I feel that I have succeeded in briefly presenting some persuasive arguments in favor of this view. Whether paranoid or not, however, this view is definitely very pessimistic. It means that Israel is irredeemably bad as far as the Left (and Europe) is concerned, and irredeemably bad things must be destroyed. Because they are irredeemable, they are inherently and intrinsically bad, and have no value. This would also explain why so many "peaceniks" on the Left have advocated and endorsed some very un-peacenik measures taken and to be taken against Israel.
In any event, Israel is left with no choice other than to continue to thrive - and success, for the most part, breeds admiration.
yoshi78 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Posted also at BIUblog