It seems that a lot of people view the recent explosion of antisemitic activity on the campuses of elite universities and western cities as a sort of anomaly. After all, haven’t Jews been a reliable partner in many causes dear to the left. For instance, what about climate change, civil rights, abortion rights, affirmative action, feminism, Black Lives Matter and labor unions to name a few. Apparently, it hasn’t occurred to a lot of people on the left that progressive support for Hamas—and that is what it is—stems from progressive ideology. It is not anomalous at all.
If you draw a Venn diagram of the causes listed above and include support for Hamas as a factor you will likely see broad overlap. The question is: why?
Permit a broad generalization. Progressives look at the world through the lens of “intersectionality” which is a creed—and it is a creed—that categorizes people according whether they belong to group defined as “oppressors” or “oppressed”. Note that the definitions are not only completely arbitrary, they are subject to redefinition at will, and, most importantly, the individual counts for nothing. Only the group and its arbitrary definition as oppressed or oppressor matters.
Accordingly, intersectionality is merely an update of the classic Marxist class struggle. Call it Marx V2.0. You can also throw in Marx’s cousins, the fascist ideologues who made racial purity the dominant criteria for group membership. Again it is an abstraction, the group, that matters, not an actual person.
With respect to the Israeli-Hamas war both the racial purity of fascists and Marxian intersectionality are in the mix. Hamas (and its principal backer Iran) has made it clear over and over again that its seeks to exterminate not only the State of Israel, but Jews wherever they live. So that rips away the phony distinction between Zionism and Jewishness. Palestinians are deemed oppressed and Jews (not “just” Israelis) are the oppressors. Further, the philosophy animating Hamas is necessarily totalitarian and based on religious and racial purity. Israel, by contrast, is pluralist. So Hamas and its backers have declared war on Western Liberalism.
Once the totalitarian roots of Hamas are clear it is obvious why their allies are a rogues gallery that includes Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, and Turkey (a NATO member state!). It also becomes clear that the U.S. has several challenges it must face head on if the West is to defend its civilization.
First, and most immediately, the U.S. must once again be the arsenal of democracy as it was during WW2. That will also require changing public finances to (1) emphasize defense and (2) cut lots of largely ineffectual social spending.
Second the U.S. must face the reality that Hamas, Hezbollah etc are merely Iranian proxies. Iran must be dealt with and deterred. Iran’s mullahs will not be bought off. Russia and China will be paying close attention. As will Taiwan.
If the U.S. acts with sufficient dispatch to deter Iran, the U.S. may be able to avoid being drawn into a shooting war. The alternative to acting firmly and decisively, however belatedly, is to accept and affirm the ascendance of totalitarian rivals while abandoning Western Liberalism.
Third, the rot of progressivism that has taken root throughout the education establishment must be addressed. That is much easier said than done; freedom of speech must be preserved. Saved actually. We cannot be in the business of destroying villages to save them, Lyndon Johnson style. One way to begin is to aggressively foster education choice by supporting vouchers, charter schools, home schooling and parochial schools. The idea is that the money flows through to the student, not a government monopoly school.
Further, there is no reason for colleges and universities to fund DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) departments with taxpayer money. These operations clearly seek the opposite of what they claim to seek, instead imposing a rigid orthodoxy on students and professors alike. And at the very least their activities are constitutionally suspect.
Additionally, civil rights laws should be enforced as written. It should be the government’s responsibility to see to it that public universities guarantee equal opportunity, not equal results.
This is only the very beginning of what America must do if it is to preserve and protect Western Civilization and liberty. Thus far the only politician who seems to understand both the stakes and the need to articulate a vision for dealing with the challenge is Nikki Haley. Let us hope she succeeds. None of the rest of them has come close to demonstrating the leadership or vision that America clearly needs.