In world history, Jews have never had it better than they have for the last two decades. The rise of Israel as a strong international power made it possible for Jews to feel safer all over the planet; the fall of the Soviet Union freed millions of Jews to leave that communist cesspool; an era of tolerance and goodwill toward Jews seemed to pervade the United States and guilt over the Holocaust seemed to forestall much of the rising anti-Semitism in Europe.
All of that is now coming to a crashing halt, thanks to the international left.
In the last two weeks, Palestinian Arabs have embarked on a well-calibrated stabbing spree throughout Israel. That stabbing spree follows hard on Palestinian Authority dictator Mahmoud Abbas explaining to the United Nations that the Palestinians no longer felt bound by the Oslo Accords, and the UN raising the flag of the Palestinian Authority. That same week, Politico reported that President Obama rejected pleas from members of his own party to oppose Palestinian statehood as part of any Iran nuclear deal.
Meanwhile, the Iranians have found their patsy in Barack Obama, and they’re loving it. They’ve rejected any more negotiations with the West, even as they test long-range ballistic missiles and funnel troops into Russian-run Syria. With Russia’s blessing, Hezbollah terrorists pour into Syria as well, putting Israel on the defensive on its northern border.
The sudden turn against Israel globally is unsurprising. It’s the result of the rise of the most powerful philosophical force of the recent past: Western self-loathing.
Western self-loathing springs from the general philosophy that successful people and nations must have gained their success via exploitation of downtrodden peoples. America, in this view, is successful because it victimized slaves and Native Americans; European nations were successful because of imperialism and colonialism. Israel, by extension, is successful because it must have stolen its land from Palestinian Arabs at the behest of the West and then utilized the Palestinian Arabs for some yet-to-be-specified financial gain.
All of this is nonsense. America is successful because it embraced the dual notions of capitalism and Judeo-Christian moral values, both of which value the individual above the collective. Individualism, constrained by non-governmental societal bonds, breeds success. Collectivism breeds misery.
America is successful in spite of its mistreatment of blacks and Chinese and Hispanics and women. After all, nations throughout history have exploited people of all sorts, but have not seen grand success therefrom. America has become more successful, not less successful, by overthrowing exploitation. The same holds true of the European nations, who would have been better off not to exploit those they conquered, instead treating them as trading partners. Lenin’s critique of capitalism simply holds no water: imperialism is not the final stage of capitalism, it is an obstacle to its growth, as well as an outgrowth of non-capitalistic economic systems. That is why Vladimir Putin and ISIS and the Chinese government all seek aggressive territorial expansion and exploitation of subject peoples: their philosophies have failed, and now they must use force to maintain their growth and power.
But the falsehood of leftist Western self-loathing does not stop leftists from believing it, and holding a particular animus for Israel because of it. Take, for example, President Obama’s spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright. Wright spoke over the weekend at the Million Man March on the National Mall, which could more properly be described as the Barely-One-Thousand-Man-March. There, protesters cheered, “Down, Down USA!” and Wright espoused his theology of Jesus:
Jesus was a Palestinian — the Palestinian people had the Europeans come and take their country….The youth in Ferguson and the youth in Palestine have united together to remind us that the dots need to be connected…As we sit here, there is an apartheid wall being built twice the size of Berlin Wall in height, keeping Palestinians off of illegally occupied territories, where the Europeans have claimed that land as their own.
This is nonsense on stilts – Jesus was a Jew, “Palestinians” originally referred to Jews, Arab Muslims only arrived in the Holy Land six centuries after Jesus’ crucifixion, and modern Palestinian Arabs are not even descendants of those original “Palestinians” — but it’s obviously had an impact on President Obama’s thinking. The linkage between Palestinian “exploited” and black “exploited” finds its direct parallel in President Obama’s own writing in Dreams From My Father:
I know, I have seen, the desperation and disorder of the powerless: how it twists the lives of children on the streets of Jakarta or Nairobi … how easily they slip into violence and despair. I know that the response of the powerful to this disorder — alternating as it does between a dull complacency and, when the disorder spills out of its proscribed confines, a stead unthinking application of force, of … more sophisticated military hardware — is inadequate to the task.
All suffering springs from inequality, and all inequality springs from exploitation. And so Israel must pay the price: the supposed exploiter must be cut down to size, even if it means Palestinian Arabs stabbing Jewish children in the head. In this view, Israeli self-defense can at best be construed as part of a cycle of violence. Self-defense simply does not exist in a world in which you are, by your nature, defined as the exploiter.
Western self-loathing now dominates not just America but Europe, where Westerners welcome unscreened Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East in the name of equality, even as the rates of Jew-targeting attacks rise dramatically.
Such self-loathing has even crept its way into Israel, where the post-Zionist movement now professes guilt for the foundation of the Jewish State. Because it is easy to “other” the Jews, Western leftists feel no qualms about siding with Arab murderers – they can easily brush off Jewish children stabbed while riding their bicycles, because those children were obviously the beneficiaries of Western colonialism. Jews should seek no sympathy from Western leftists.
After all, those same leftists now condemn Dr. Ben Carson for stating the obvious: Jews could have used some guns against the Nazis. When it comes to today’s Nazis, the Western self-loathing left would prefer the Jews be disarmed again.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.