Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Defending Yourself Only Makes Us Hate You More

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.

The tactic works by criminalizing any attempt at a defense by the target, and making the defense itself part of the indictment. The goal is to impose a Catch 22 framework on Jews with the only way out being to agree and participate in the indictment of Israel. The defense itself is then incorporated into the bigot's narrative. A 100 years ago, Jews would be charged with being "Pushy" and any defense against pushiness would itself be construed as pushy. Thus attempting to defend yourself would itself be an indictment proving the case already made against you. Similarly Israel is charged with defending itself too strongly. Anytime Israel defends itself in any way, it is automatically then proven guilty of defending itself. Liberal bigotry against Israel is not simply a charge immune to any defense, it is a charge which incorporates any defense as proof of the truth of the original accusation. Self-defense itself becomes the crime.

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."

When Israeli sent out soldiers with paintball guns against terrorists with knives, the liberal bigots were outraged that the soldiers eventually defended themselves. When video after video was released telling the truth, the liberal bigots were outraged because Israel was providing fact based evidence that demonstrated just what kind of ugliness they had gotten into bed with. Each phase inevitably drove the liberal bigots to become more outraged at Israel's gall for actually defending itself, instead of apologizing and agreeing to turn Gaza into a Hamas state with a convenient Iranian port perfect for shipping missiles or any other weapons to their genocidal terrorist allies.

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. 

While the Muslims wield the battering ram, their liberal advocates demand that Israel raise the gates to let them in. When the terrorists open fire, the left demands that Israel not shoot back. When Jews are murdered, the left shrugs. It has nothing to say about dead Jews. Only about the inconvenience of still having living ones around and cluttering up the place. While they are not prepared to make active war against Israel. They instead work to characterize any self-defense by Israel as illegitimate. Whatever Israel does it is indicted for excessively defending itself. An excessive defense in their eyes being any defense at all.

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.


Lemon said...

Dehumanizing Jews is what the world has done since day one.
Fortunately it will not go on much longer.

Anonymous said...


You are so right in your reasoning.
My personal remedy to that hateful crowd is the thought of my beloved blue and white flag,adorning schools, villages,cities,armored tanks and fighter planes !

Trumpeldor from eurabia

Janice said...

Having referred to Jews positively in blog posts,I have discovered that guilt by association is another tactic used by haters, I'm also a Zionist apparantly.

TLOS said...

"Once you criminalize your target for defending himself. Passively or actively. In words or deeds. You have deprived him of all human rights. "

I think this sums it up very well. I was discussing a few days ago why "human rights organizations" never advocate for the human rights of Jews. The only reasonable conclusion is that they don't think of Jews as human.

Marc Louis said...

Thank you, very good explination putting l lot of what we see in good context.

S said...

I disagree with just one thing. I wouldn't speak of any particular "liberal" bigotry against Israel. It's true that today, the left tends to be more anti-Israel than the right. Yesterday the right was more anti-Israel, and tomorrow, who knows? Conservatism isn't inherently less anti-Israel than liberalism, whatever the circumstances of the moment happen to be.

BeeSting said...

Thank you, Daniel, for making sense out of the insane reactions of this world towards beloved Israel's right to defend herself. It is also my understanding that very soon this world will wake up to big surprise..!

This article, of all your writings, is the most thought-provoking of all.

BeeSting said...

Thank you, Daniel, for this tremendous article to help me understand reasons for this insane world's attitude towards Israel's right to defend herself. :)

Keli Ata said...

Yes, thank you for writing this, and in a way people can truly grasp what is going on.

Here is my response and a question that really can't be answered.

I remember you writing once that anti=Semitism essential can be traced to a hatred of Hashem.

My question: On the website The Shoah Dream Project many people report having dreams about the Shoah--even those who do not have histories of having relatives in the Shoah, yet many, even young chilren have had dream (nightmares) about it. Some are gentiles and too young to have any knowledge of it, yet have a longing to be close to Jews and Israel.

In rare cases this has been true and people have written of horrific dreams in which they've been SS soldiers without knowledge of the Shoah.

Could it be something deep in their souls that makes them more prone to hate Jews? I'm not talking about people raised to hate Jews but something about their essence.

I've been told that people who convert have a Jewish soul. I just wonder if those who who harbor hatred towards Israel and Jews have more of a struggle between their evil inclination than others.

Not a question really, just a thought and observation.

Why this happens to

Anonymous said...

True, true and true again. You put reality in words very succintly. I think the more assimilated the Jews become the antisemitism is going to rise to unprecedented levels. These are the ways of Hashem to remind us where we stand. It happened in Spain, it happened in Europe and now it's all over the western world.

Edgar Davidson said...

As usual a great article, but my concern is that the irrational anti-Israel media coverage of the flotilla incident is not restricted to the usual suspects from the liberal left. Most worrying of all has been the coverage in the Sun newspaper in the UK - by far and away the most read newspaper. Until recently the Sun was the only British newspaper that could be relied on to be sympathetic to Israel's cause.

I have summarised the Sun's anti-Israel bias in an article and complaint to the Pess Complaints Commission - note especially the blood libel from 'comedian' Frankie Boyle:

Edgar Davidson

Yael said...

Kol hakavod. Thank you for unravelling exactly how it works. We all feel it, but it helps to understand the exact dynamics.

Am Yisrael Chai!

Anonymous said...

The real question is not why and even how they seek to demonize us. The question is why does it work. Why does the State of Israel respond by apologizing, withdrawing and surrendering when any self-respecting nation would respond with defiance, increased violence and credible, deadly threats.

The answer is twofold. First, the people who run the State of Israel do not themselves believe that Israel has any legitimacy or right to exist. Secondly, by strengthening Hamas and its ilk, they weaken the enemy they perceive as the most threatening of all -- the dati leumi. They see this sector as the #1 threat to their power and privilege. And they will do ANYTHING to destroy it.

As long as the Jews keep threatening the Israelis, the Israelis will continue to attack the Jews, directly and by proxy, even if such attacks ultimately cause their own extermination. The Jews can only stop threatening the Israelis by creating an independent Jewish State.

You claim that there is no realistic plan for creating such a state. You are wrong. The plan is self-evident and extremely simple:

(A) armed resistance against the foreign occupier

leads to

(B) brutal oppression on the part of the occupier

leads to

(C) resentment and increased resistance

leads to

(D) massacres and atrocities committed by the occupier

leads to

(E) a mass movement for national liberation

leads to

(F) outright guerrilla warfare

leads to

(G) loss of hope by the occupier

leads to

(H) a peace process

leads to

(I) independence

Do you get it or do I need to draw you a Road Map?

im2sloe4u said...

An article "too true", which deserves more exposure. It should be read aloud from Jerusalem.

There were a couple bright spots this week, though: Helen getting ousted, for being unable to lie & waffle as well as Obama.
One articles' photo showed them beamingly celebrating their mutual birthday together at the WH. Ah, but now he's had to throw another friend under the bus. Crop her out of that birthday photo too!

Bright spot #2: reuters Busted for cropping MORE than one photo "at the margins", which just happened to ONLY be, say what?---> about 25% of one corner of any photo where weapons showed on the Peace Flotilla!
No agenda There.
"Marginal" items are appearing faster than pancakes usually DISappear. because it was all benign.

im2sloe4u said...

Almost never mind the little bright spots:
"the White House announced Wednesday that it was contributing an additional $400 million to Palestinians. While the largest chunk is allocated for mortgage assistance in the West Bank, several smaller projects were dedicated to rebuilding schools, agriculture facilities and sewage systems in Gaza."

How evil is this man?

Why does Gaza have to be "re-built" to begin with? Because the productive people who built & TENDED the place were kicked out, and everything subsequently trashed by the so-called palestinians.

What a waste & disgrace.

SK/DG, PLEASE write something about the Israeli's expelled from that region. Who has helped THEM? Is this issue so old that it is not important?

BTW, I email/inquired of you thru this site some time ago. I tried to do a search of your blog using the terms Gush Katif and couldn't find anything. I think the search criteria is setup so only titles work. So maybe I am missing something, somewhere.

Tracy W said...

Regarding anti-Semitism.
There are as many explanations for anti-Semitism as there are anti-Semites.

It is a mix of the darkest impulses of human beings aiming at the most righteous of all religions and at those identified with it, be they observant or not.

Human irrationality in the West can be easily illustrated these days by a fascination with vampires and wizards. They are today's heroes.

Those in Israel may not know but our bookstores are overflowing with vampire literature. This comes after the Harry Potter craze. And let's not forget how video games keep getting ever more violent and sadistic.

Che Guevara who played a leading part in a regime that ordered the killing of tens of thousands of dissidents is a revered folk hero among educated US youth.

Evil and violence are irresistible to some people. Any surprise that they are also attracted - maybe subconsciously - by the image of the tough, cruel, subversive and powerful Jihadist?

While in the Middle Ages anti-Semites used religion to justify the slaughter of Jews, now, as the West delights in questioning G-d's existence, their hatred against Israel and Jews is based on a selective and warped interpretation of "human rights".

Somewhere between the Crusaders and today's pro-Palestinian Left, we find the race-obsessed Nazis wiping out Jews in the name of their leader and their state.

Excuses to hate and kill Jews will always be found in abundance.

Why Israelis unwittingly play along with the anti-Semitic game du-jour now that they have a country of their own is a tragedy.

IF ONLY the appeasing and accommodating and apologizing Israelis cared more about their land and their future than about what the world thinks of them...

The only thing that will ever satisfy the world is the complete obliteration of Jews and Judaism.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...


people in Israel and America have limited influence over the government, and those in power are either rabid radicals or timid conservatives. This is an unfortunate pattern.

im2sloe4u said...

SK/DG, thank you for the titles of past articles on the subject I requested.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

the existing search wasn't working. I'm tinkering with a replacement now

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

okay, I have a replacement search box up which should work even better

im2sloe4u said...

How very nice!
Plus if the search works it may spare you from fielding questions of new-coming wanderers to your blog.

Zundfolge said...

A common saying among WWII era bomber crews was "You know you're above the target when you start taking more flack."

I find the more illogically your opponent reacts to your words or actions, the more they are telling you that you are effective.

So when they call you a "pushy, uppity Zionist bully" smile. You're winning.

Will48 said...

For Russian readers, here a short and sharp verse from I. Guberman, an Israeli poet, formerly from USSR:

Не тем еврей стал плох, что ест наш хлеб,
А тем, что проживая в нашем доме,
Настолько стал бездушен и свиреп,
Что стал сопротивляться при погроме!

И. Губерман.

It's not that Jew is bad 'cause eats our bread,
He's bad because while living in our home
So much became he fierce and heartless
That now he dares to resist our pogroms!

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