The underlying narrative of just about every liberal attack on Israel has been this. Defending yourself only makes us hate you more. This cynical sleight of hand is of course an old trick used by bigots to inhibit their targets from daring to fight back. And liberals have made it their weapon of choice when going after Jews and Israel.
Playing this game allows liberals to express antisemitic ideas and beliefs while blaming Israel and the Jews for making them feel that way. A liberal bigot will explain that he is a reasonable person, but that Israel and those Jews who defend it are causing him to hate them. Speaking the truth about the situation only inspires more vitriol, as the bigot warns his target that defending Israel is itself hateful, and will cause him to hate even more. The target is then left with the choice of joining with the "Good Jews" who agree with the bigot, or becoming one of the "Bad Jews" who believes that his people have rights. As one of the "Good Jews", the target is then expected to join in the Jewbaiting. And as one of the "Bad Jews", he or she is now expected to shoulder responsibility for the liberal's bigotry. Catch 22. Either way the liberal bigot wins.
The use of such a tactic displays not only liberal hypocrisy on bigotry, but demonstrates their ability to exploit the social insecurities of a minority to prevent them from exercising their political and civil rights. No wonder then that so many liberal Jews who do support Israel's right to exist are complaining that they are tried of being expected to constantly defend Israel. Because that is exactly what the left wants to accomplish.
The same tactic has been quite effectively used against Israel. Each time Israel defends itself against Islamic terrorists, it is warned that defending itself will only inspire more hatred. And so it scales down its self-defense. It abandons defensible borders. It gives over land to terrorists. It reduces itself to naval patrol and a defensive wall. And yet each time, the same hateful shriek follows in its wake. "Don't you know that defending yourself only makes us hate you more."
When an Israeli comedy website produced a parody of the hysterical attacks on Israel, titled, "We Con the World", the liberal bigots rushed to warn us that we were only causing them to hate us more. Both the Huffington Post and Andrew Sullivan featured the video, and condemned Jews for daring to make a production mocking the lies being directed at Israel. An AlterNet blogger triumphantly announced that the video was just making people hate Israel even more. Which of course is as always the point. Because liberals have to justify their bigotry, by using the refusal of their target to just lie down and take it, as their justification. And so the balance swings right back to, "Defending yourself only makes us hate you more."
Like most bullies, the liberal bigot is self-righteously angry at the thought of his victim daring to offer any kind of defense. The combination of ideology and bigotry work to reinforce a sense of rightness in playing the old game of "Beat the Jew". Being liberals, they do make a point of trotting out Jews to do at least some of the beating. This makes it look less like bigotry, and more like infighting. Of course this isn't exactly an original gimmick. The man who presided over the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Spain in the 15th century was himself Jewish. In the early days of the USSR, the Communist Party employed the Yevsektsiya (the Jewish Section) to shut down synagogues, terrorized Jews and helped the NKVD murder Rabbis and Zionists. And even Pharaoh had his Jewish taskmasters and the Nazis their Kapos. As liberals themselves are so fond of pointing out when challenging the feminist bona fides of a Sarah Palin or the legitimacy of black conservatives, it is not genetics or biology, but the willingness to fight for the interests of a group that gives one claim to be a legitimate representative of that group. There is no conceivable argument for the likes of M.J. Rosenberg or Glenn Greenwald meeting such a test. Not now. Not ever.
As I have written in the past, liberal anti-Zionism is actually poorly camouflaged anti-Semitism. It is based on the denial of Jewish national rights, which itself has roots in a Voltairesque disdain for the Bible and the Jews by association with it. The socialist approach has been that Jews ought to dissolve into the mass of humanity and cease to exist. Israel was based on a rejection of that approach. And that alone has won it an incredible amount of enmity. A continuing Jewish identity represents an implicit rejection of the secular messianism that has defined left wing movements since the French Revolution. The destruction of the Jews continues to be associated with the destruction of the old order. But where liberals once believed that removing the ghettos and legal barriers to civic participation would do the job for them, Israel has come to represent an obstacle to their agenda.
Once you criminalize your target for defending himself. Passively or actively. In words or deeds. You have deprived him of all human rights. Except the right to stand there and be murdered. Or collaborate with those who would murder his people. Those are the only choices that the left intends for Jews and Israelis to have. Everything they do is intended for that purpose alone. Their message is, "Defending Yourself Only Makes Us Hate You More." Those words are intimidating to those Jews who are afraid to take a stand, who would rather be on good terms with their liberal friends than be right. But when one is part of the Jewish people that has braved the chains of Pharaohs, the chariots of Assyria and the death camps of Nazism and Communism-- the hate of spiteful liberal pundits holds no terrors at all. It is not our duty to be lovable to men at the cost of our lives, our national rights and our freedom. We have been hated before. We will be hated again. That hatred is not our burden, but the burden of those who hate. We have been demonized, boycotted, persecuted, tortured and murdered before. We are still here. And we are not going anywhere.