by PAUL COLLITS – NOTHING quite gets the blood pressure up than a full-throated discussion on the Israel-Gaza question. In these post 7/10 times, the blood pressure has gone through the ceiling.
Only this month, a Jewish passenger on a Jetstar flight had the temerity to take a photo of a Jetstar staff member sporting a pro-Palestinian badge. Then he complained, vigorously, it seems.
Then he was threatened with exclusion from the flight. The passenger that is. Not the staff member.
This story has been repeated hundreds of times in Australia and around the world.
The American businessman Robert Kraft, who owns the New England Patriots and runs The Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS), dedicated to fighting anti-semitism, will ensure that the one hundred million or so viewers watching the Superbowl next month get the message.
According to FCAS research, 183 million posts on social media were related to anti-semitism and Jewish culture in 2023 – a 330 per cent increase from the prior year. The organisation said Google searches for “kill jews” increased by 1800 per cent in the past three months.
Jews have long been excoriated, pilloried and killed. Often just for being Jews. Since the time of the Babylonians, at least.
Christians, not always being very Christian, indulged in pogroms aplenty, over the years.
Post Muhammad’s intervention, things kicked up a notch. Shakespeare had Shylock. Hitler, well … he had a real and, he hoped, final solution. While it didn’t quite work out, he gave genocide his best shot.
It seems to me that those who preface their inevitable attacks on the Jews with the opening statement “of course, I strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself” are much like those accommodation places who declare they are “pet friendly”.
One dog only, under 15 kilos, on a leash outside at all times, bond for cleaning, stay off the furniture and certain breeds only. Also, don’t leave them alone inside – take them with you!
Israel-friendly has its limits, too. The new anti-Israel crowd is actually a new version of a very old team.
Between Lord Balfour and the United Nations, the powers-that-be hoped to find the Jews a homeland. As “solutions” go, it has proven to be anything but.
Today, the Middle Eastern “troubles” have gifted a gazillion online pundits a new cause for, at best, analysis, but, far more typically, ideologically inspired, historically ignorant opinion. At its worst, it is a new form of holocaust denial.
This 21st century coalition has brought together a strange new Team Anti-Israel, united in its anti-Zionism:
- The Islamists, terrorists and terrorist enablers (like Iran);
- The “intellectual” Left;
- The conspiracy theorists who see Jewish world domination a-coming;
- The “realists” who generally allow for national self-interest but who have, seemingly, hit the wall with Israel;
- The languid teenagers who heard there was a new activism-opportunity, and, naturally, joined up;
- The social media rabble rousers;
- The colonial-settler studies and genocide studies academics embedded in all of our taxpayer funded universities;
- The United Nations, whose “education programs” – or was that pogroms? – who teach Palestinian children slogans like “school students call to murder Jews”, “strike and burn Tel Aviv”, “blow up the Zionist’s head,” “The Zionist is Allah’s enemy!” Even Penny Wong is nervous;
- The peaceniks, who never saw a war they didn’t oppose;
- Related to the peaceniks, there are those who fear an escalation of the current Middle Eastern impasse into something either regional – or global – and who tend (for whatever reason) to blame Israel for this risk;
- The Chinese Communist Party and associated anti-Israel surrogates.
To these groups we should add the common or garden variety anti-semites, who still abound.
It is quite the team. It has shown itself on the streets of Western cities in our day. From Sadiq Khan’s London to Daniel Andrews’ Melbourne, and everywhere in between. Its online presence is fierce and uncompromising.
With all of these groups lined up against the Jews, no wonder they get a bad press.
Team Anti-Israel has displayed some core characteristics, tendencies and attitudes:
- Far more should be expected of Israel in its behaviour than of its many enemies;
- It is okay to attack Israel and Israelis verbally and in print in ways that would be considered unacceptable by 21st century man when applied to any other group;
- Much opposition to Israel is ahistorical and non-analytical;
- There is embedded moral equivalence of the kind seen during the Cold War, when America was often equated with the USSR, for example, Israel is a colonial power, terrorists are simply freedom-fighters by another name, Israel=Hamas;
- There is abundant belief in Israeli exceptionalism, but not in a good way;
- There is much denial that anti-semitism exists, and that it drives much of the opposition to Israel;
- Behaviours of other nations that are taken by many to be evil (like colonialism) are attributed to Israel;
- Pleas are made for cease-fires that will benefit only one side;
- There is a shrillness out there and a tendency to ad hominem attacks on those taken to be pro-Israel or pro-Jew – supporting Israel or hating Hamas terrorists is seen as evidence you have lost the plot or abandoned normal common sense;
- An erroneous and often utterly ignorant assumption that opponents of Hamas “haven’t done their homework”, as if Israel’s evil is simply uncontestable;
- Opponents of Israel have their hearts in it, unlike with Ukraine where many picked a side without having any real sympathy for either of them;
- There is a reflexive move to assume the worst motives on the part of Israel while refusing to accept the intention of Israel’s enemies is to kill every last;
- There is an assumption that all Israeli statements are lies and propaganda;
- There is an assumption that America’s support for Israel rest merely on powerful domestic lobbying, and not on the merits of that support;
- Ignorance is bliss.
As Australian journalist Brendan Craig notes: “There are no innocent Israelis. And here we are. In the face of barbaric attacks on innocent young music-lovers, children and elderly, which one would think any reasonable, any empathetic human being would find abhorrent, there are groups, organisations, nations declaiming their support and approval of Hamas. The attacks are ‘justified’, we are asked to believe, because of years of Israeli oppression. There are no innocent Israelis.”
Let this sink in. Calls for justice for Palestinians mean, automatically and without exception, support terrorism and violence.
There is no middle ground in a fight where one side wants to obliterate the other, and will not brook anything less. Certainly not negotiation.
Just so long as everyone understands this.
Not all of the positions and tendencies stated above are shared by all of Israel’s opponents and critics, but many are. And even pro-Israelis can and should concede that, for example, there is a great risk of escalation from the current war.
The trick, whose path to execution is far from clear, is to get Palestinians to give Hamas the shove and to accept that Israel is a permanent thing.
One issue is the attempted shift in the public square from “having a position” to embedding the preferred position in all the key cultural institutions.
Quadrant outlines one example: “Most sinister of all is the pro-Palestine open letter from 700 Victorian school teachers and staff, as reported in The Australian newspaper (Dec 18, 2023). The letter says that it is within teachers’ ‘professional and ethical duty to model an anti-violence position’. They are pressuring federal and State education ministers to advise principals that Palestinian advocacy is in line with the public sector code of conduct. (It isn’t). They claim this is required to ‘protect children’s and young people’s wellbeing’ in regards to Palestine.
Tony Thomas at Quadrant Online, concludes: “Never in our history have thousands of Australians – many of them smart enough to know better – thrown in their lot with a death cult.”
If this how teachers think and what they believe to be true, then there shouldn’t be the remotest surprise that our youngsters now probably believe there are fairies at the bottom of the garden.
Thomas calls one of the Pro-Hamas rants by staff at the Parkville Asylum (aka the University of Melbourne) a “diatribe”, and those behind it “feral academics”.
They are, indeed, feral. There is less evidence they are academics, let alone scholars. They are not engaged in research. Rather, patently obvious advocacy.
They speak of being “on the right side of history”. Of course they do. But their sense of both “right” and of “history” beggars belief. They are unhinged from reality.
Every last piece of this would have been anticipated by Hamas pre-7/10. It would have been workshopped to within an inch of its life, down there in the tunnels under Gaza. Right under their hospitals.
Then there are the actors, always the first in the rush to find the end of the virtue-signalling queue.
“We’re here, unified in ‘Australia’, a colonised country built on the genocide and dispossession of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation from colonialism, apartheid & ethnic cleansing…”
To wonder aloud from which solar system these people come is merely to state the obvious. They simply don’t know what they don’t know.
They are yet further proof, were it needed, that being tethered to an ideology will allow you to say the most stupid things.
Another issue is ignorance of military strategy. This is, after all a war. Just like 1967 and 1973.
On each occasion, Israel was attacked, just like 2023, and as they have been on hundreds of occasions during times of “peace” in between the “wars”.
In 1967 it was Egypt, and in 1973 it was Egypt and Syria. The doyen of military history and strategy, Victor Davis Hanson, laments the absence of military understanding in relation to the current war.
He asks: “When has war even been ‘proportional’?
“Proportionality in war is a synonym for lethal stalemate, if not defeat.”
So much for Team Anti-Israel and its various foundational beliefs and principles.
Why is all this anti-Israel activism and virtue-signalling occurring now, so suddenly and with such vigour? It is almost as if it was part of the plan, in the same way that CEPI (the Bill Gates funded Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) in late 2019 anticipated almost every last thing the COVID State and its acolytes did after the minor virus arrived a few months later.
A hell of a lot of Islamist “Manchurian candidates” have suddenly appeared, post 7/10, shrieking and yelling “globalise the intifada”.
A call to violence from those who are currently calling for a cease fire. It means, kill Jews everywhere, not just in Israel. Many didn’t even bother waiting for the inevitable, forceful Israeli counter-attack.
Clearly, there is still anti-semitism, but this is as old as the hills – since Noah was a boy, you might think – and, in any case, doesn’t explain every opponent of Israel, much as the supporters of Israel might think it does.
No, it is more complex than pure anti-semitism. If one thinks of the groups identified above, much of the current tendency is almost self-explanatory.
It would be helpful if those who simply take the pro-Palestinian position, “from the river to the sea” – itself unapologetically genocidal – as justified on its face, recognised their own biases when they are reflexively accusing their opponents of being blindsided by Israeli propaganda and ignorant of history.
A little fact-checking wouldn’t go astray. But, in these low information days, I am not that hopeful.
What if Hamas is not a patriotic undertaking?
The supporters of Palestine need to ask the question and think seriously about their answer. They demand as much of their pro-Israeli opponents.
That truth is the first casualty of war is a cliché but there is a good reason for that. (The statement is often attributed to a US senator named Hiram Johnson, back in the early 1900s.)
That propaganda is used in all wars by all combatants is a truism. That includes Israel. And Hamas as well.
Suffice it to say that believing a terrorist organisation as a matter of course while questioning a democracy, with all of its shortcomings but having at least some constraints on bad behaviour, just as quickly, is bound to end badly.
I recall vividly being in Paris at the time of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, when a bunch of Parisian cartoonists were gunned down by Muslim terrorists for depicting The Prophet.
Almost spontaneously, signs proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie Hebdo”, appeared all over Paris.
This time around, the signs of the times proudly proclaim, “Je Suis Hamas”. This seems to me to indicate a highly warped view of the world.
It suggests that, perhaps, you aren’t allowed to strike back against the perpetrators with proportionate force, or perhaps any force, but rather should confine yourself to joining weepy, candle-lit sit-ins, just like the Parisians.PC