Sure, they can be a bit of a nuisance — a bunch of fire-breathing demagogues ranting and raving and frothing at the mouth. They seem to be everywhere: on many a street corner brandishing signs and chanting slogans; at colleges and universities spouting the same old pseudo-righteous nonsense; all over cyberspace befouling comment threads with their well-worn diatribes.
I mean Jew baiters and Israel haters, of course. Oops, pardon me: the correct nomenclature these days is “anti-Zionists.”
And boy, aren’t they tenacious. No sooner does any article, however innocuous, about Jews or Israel appear anywhere on the Net, including this site, than hordes of self-anointed “anti-Zionists” begin infesting the comments thread.
There they come, erupting out of the blue just as reliably as cold sores during a bad flu, to denounce Jews as evil manipulators and their beleaguered little state as an insufferable “affront to civilization” (in the words of a former British Defense Secretary) by virtue of being a “racist” and “neocolonialist” “apartheid regime” (in the words of legions of commentators).
Like roaches with the lights off, they appear unprompted and unsolicited. They’re also preternaturally resilient. They organize themselves into BDS campaigns, picket Israeli-owned establishments, shout down pro-Israeli speakers at college events (if they allow the event to go ahead in the first place), and generally seek to make life a lot harder for those loathed “Zionists” anywhere they might be.
So you can be forgiven for feeling miffed at their antics. You may even — heaven forbid — get a bit hot under the collar when faced with such righteous posturing and shameless shenanigans.
It’s not their fault, you see. Going by all available evidence, “anti-Zionists” just can’t help themselves. If anything, they deserve our sympathy. Here’s why:
1) They have Tourette’s syndrome.
That should be obvious. At the mere thought or mention of the words “Israel,” “Jewish State,” “Jews” or “Zionism,” BDS groupies, anti-Israeli academic hotshots and spiteful keyboard warriors alike will instantly begin suffering from clearly overpowering verbal tics. Out pours their choice set of reflexive invectives: Racist apartheid regime! Colonialist ethnic cleansers! Zionist criminals! Nazis! Blood suckers! Child killers!
Poor babies. Imagine any time someone mentioned, say, Turkey, you could not stop yourself from getting red in the face and sputtering uncontrollably: “Kurd killers!” “Armenian genociders!” “Cyprus colonizers!” “Constantinople usurpers!” “Zionist conspiracy purveyors!” “Prospective European Union infiltrators!”
That’d be a sad turn of events in your life, would it not?
2) They’re obsessive-compulsive.
OCD is no laughing matter. It’s a neurotic condition in which sufferers fixate obsessively on a concern that provokes intense anxiety and distress in them. They’re reduced to spending most of their time on obsessing over their pet peeve, however ill-conceived it may be.
So spare a thought for Israel haters, will you.
True, their loathsome harangues and passive-aggressive moral preening can be wearying after a while, but we should remind ourselves that they have little else besides hating Israel to occupy their thoughts and fill out their days. Robbing them of the one thing that gives their life meaning would be like taking a poor child’s favorite toy from her: too cruel to even contemplate.
So let them hate if it makes them happy. It clearly has a therapeutic effect on their mental wellbeing and Jews are doing them a mitzvah by serving as their bête noire for that purpose. We need to be charitable.
3) They’re very fragile.
Contradict a committed Israel basher and cue the inevitable temper tantrum. Their delicate egos can’t handle uncalled-for aggression in the form of sound counterarguments. That’s just, like, completely unacceptable, man!
That’s why, when faced with reasoning that contradicts their thesis that Israel is the Third Reich and apartheid-era South Africa rolled into one, they’ll throw hissy fits and start hurling insults left and right at their hapless interlocutor.
And even in those insults they’re hopelessly predictable. They’ll huff and puff and dismiss their critics as “paid hasbara trolls,” “Zionist stooges,” “genocidal Arab haters,” and “rightwing extremists” — most likely, all of the above all at once, just to be on the safe side.
It’s childish behavior, yes, recalling the days of primary school brawls when little Jimmy, that rascal with a lisp, called you a “brunth-filthing thsief,” by which he meant you allegedly filched his brunch. Like spoiled brats, anti-Zionists need constant boosts to their self-esteem, which they gain from bashing the “Zionist entity” relentlessly while patting themselves on the back for being valiant truth tellers in the face of a massive global Zionist conspiracy to silence them.
Let them. They deserve a break from being sad losers the rest of the time.
4) They’re powerless.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jews are secretly running the world. They have been for millennia, apparently.
If, like me, you’re just a regular schmo feeling left out of that grand global conspiracy, take heart. No less an authority on Middle Eastern affairs than Roger Waters, the erstwhile frontman of the seminal British rock band Pink Floyd and now an outspoken leading light of the international BDS movement, has confirmed our pivotal role behind world events.
Mr. Waters explained helpfully in an interview: “The Jewish Lobby is extraordinarily powerful [in the US] and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock ’n’ roll as they say. I promise you, naming no names, I’ve spoken to people who are terrified that if they stand shoulder to shoulder with me they are going to get f—ed. They have said to me ‘Aren’t you worried for your life?’”
People like Mr. Waters are fearless heroes, you see. In their own eyes, at any rate. So why would we want to be party poopers by bursting their balloons? That’d be mean, man. Don’t be a Zionist Grinch that steals their thunder.
5) They’re daydreaming.
No one who seriously thinks that, for instance, “Israel is the worst human rights violator in the world,” as many a self-styled anti-Zionist is liable to proclaim ad nauseam, knows anything about Israel, human rights or the world.
Never mind the globe at large as a baseline for comparison. Despite its flaws, Israel is, it so happens, much less of a human rights abuser than any one of its neighbors, which include such bastions of openness, tolerance and brotherly love as Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
Yet, in fits of high-minded pique, our spiteful friends have long divorced themselves from reality so can’t be bothered about trivial matters like facts and logic. They live in a fantasy world where singling out Israel alone and all the time for opprobrium is the sign of a fine “progressive” mind with the moral fiber of a St Francis of Assisi.
In that blissful la-la land, Hamas is a merry band of righteous humanitarians and freedom fighters despite their regrettable track record of, you know, killing Jews anywhere they can find them.
In that world, up is down, down is up, north is south, east is west, and Jews enjoying sovereignty in their ancestral homeland is the greatest crime against humanity that has ever been and will ever be.
Living there must be like being on a constant acid trip. Loads of fun.
We would not want them to come back down to earth and face the harsh light of reality, like those proverbial deer blinking in the headlights, would we now?
They might never recover from the experience.