We won’t say much about Gerald Kaplan, just another hyperventilating leftist academic, other than to say read his article about our sanctioning of Iran, then read John Baird’s response and Jonathan Kay’s short piece about the response. All worth the time.
But what is worth discussing briefly is the progressive left’s obsession with demonizing Israel, and Jews in general lately, when it seems to be the exact opposite of what they should be doing; Israel is a social democracy, an inclusionary society where Arabs can go to school and run for the Knesset, a society where there are gay rights parades, and women can dress as they please. They even have legalized abortion, so there you go femi-nazis (even if it is at a much lower rate compared to any European country).
Melanie Philips in her book, World Turned Upside Down, goes on at some length about the propaganda war against Israel and what she calls the Red-Green-Black-Islamist axis. But while she has several very good explanations for this phenomenon, she attributes a little much of it to the influence academics have with each other, and the ability of some radical academics to steer sentiment against Israel.
Occam’s Razor is a principle we like – the simplest explanation is sometimes the most effective one. And in this case, the explanation could be as simple as the left’s pathological Saviour Complex and the reflexive instinct or need to see victims and/or underdogs around every corner, and the left’s compulsion to save or help them.
It really could be that simple. Let’s look at some examples;
Palestinians – victims of a US/Israel hegemony, victims of a US proxy state (Israel), victims of a United Nations decision to wrongly strip them of their land in 1949, and more broadly victims of a grand Zionist plot to destroy Islam, starting with the Palestinians;
Occupy – the 99% are victims of the 1%, corporate greed, bankers and CEO fat cats raping our economy;
Global Warming – the world’s climate is being victimized by Big Oil and stubborn governments who refuse to see the damage being done by our dependence on carbon emitting energy sources;
Unions members – victims of greedy capitalists who want tax cuts, cheap labour and unsafe workplaces
And we could go on. Take for example Hillbilly Heaven, which we wrote about last week. The lefties who complained about the restaurant’s signing only saw the victims – those poor Muslim, Korean or foreign language residents of Hamilton who might be offended by these signs.
But why this obsession with seeing victims everywhere?
It may be as simple as intellectual, emotional and moral laziness. That’s because it is much harder to see people (or peoples) as the authors in large part of their own situations. That requires one to question their idealism, their virtuous worldview that all behaviors, lifestyles, and cultures are equal. It is hard to admit to oneself that maybe, as an example, poor people are poor because they don’t know how to set an alarm for themselves and get out of bed in the morning to hold a job.
So, in a way we pity Gerald Kaplan, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, the organizers of Israeli Apartheid weeks on campuses and all the others. Because they’re troubled – they “see’ what the truth is, but their minds and spirits are too lazy to let them admit the truth even to themselves.