Friday, April 26, 2024

A Dark Turn Down a Familiar Street.

There has been a major shift in the culture. In the past, whenever the Palestinian/Israeli conflict flared up, anti-Israeli sentiment in America was limited to the frothing fringe of the Left, with both the political Right, and the mainstream political Left standing in the support of the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, and both sides recognizing the cynical, self destructive tactics of Israel's extremist enemies which stalemate the situation (Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

But Gen Z goes into the evaluation of this long enduring conflict with a completely different mentality. That's because it has been significantly shaped by a radical cultural ideology, to which virtue comes from victimhood and suffering rather than from right conduct. People are entirely a product of their social circumstances (as Critical Theory Propagandist tell us) and the conduct of the oppressed is simply an expression of their desperation and suffering at the hands of powerful systems. Those systems are themselves the only truly “unethical” force that is in play, and they must be reformed in order to reform the individual. (no self reflection required)

In the summer of 2020, I watched nightly online live streams of senseless violence (including against the livelihood of civilians) that was justified by the cause: the alleviation of alleged suffering and oppression at the hands of law enforcement - by burning down mattress stores and burger joints. 

The Palestinian /Israeli conflict plays into this Oppressor/Oppressed (stronger/weaker) narrative where there is no “morality” there is only “justice” (which means “equity”). It leads to a justification of a “By Any Means Necessary” ideology , just as long as the means is not sufficient enough to turn the stronger party into the weaker party. Israel is the powerful, more militarily dominant liberal democratic nation so it must be wrong in this clash between itself and a poorer, chaotic struggling society. The advocate of traditional Western morality however judges each party whether small or great according to the morality of its intentional actions. According to that calculus Israel is, for the most part, a free nation attempting to defend its citizens, Hamas and the PLJ are obscenely immoral terrorist organizations that intentionally target the innocent, and the Palestinian people, victims of their own making now caught in the middle.

The unfortunate thing is that we now see this debate spilling over in the form of ugly leftist anti-semitic language and behavior toward normal American citizens who happen to be Jewish. And of course the rhetoric of classical anti-Semitism uses the exact same language of the oppressor/oppressed, "the Jews run the world, they own and control everything and we are their hapless victims." This was of course the rhetoric of the Nazis.

And as with the other paradigms of oppressor v.s. oppressed,  it doesn't actually matter if it's accurate or not.

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