Tobias Goldman

D-day, eighty years later


The Moral clarity of WW2 and the Cold War

The eighty-year anniversary of D-day is a moving and important remember of the time when totalitarian ideologies were making a real push for world domination, which almost proved to be successful. It took an enormous, concerted effort from the free democracies of the world to launch Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious invasion in the history of mankind, with over 150 000 troops involved, mainly coming in by sea and by air. The successful landing on Normandy initiated the liberation of France and the liberation of Europe from Nazi and Fascist tyranny 11 months later.

There seemed to be a sense of moral clarity regarding good and evil during this time, who the bad guys and the good guys were. And this resulted in a sense of purpose in democracies, free as occupied. There was a willingness to sacrifice one’s life and to pitch in for the common good, a far cry from today’s individualistic and fractured society where patriotism is considered  “populist”. Many thousands of young men lost their lives during D-day, and it was even anticipated that 80% of the soldiers would lose their lives prior to the invasion. Still people from the USA went overseas to fight a war in a different continent, without being occupied themselves. They did so for the sake of “an idea”, not for the sake of their clan or for physical conquest. They did it for the sake of liberty and democracy and the world’s safety and independence. The Americans also did something un-known in history up until then-they went home afterwards. Up until that point in history if you took possession of a country, you stayed there and made that territory yours. This was the ancient operating principle known as “might gives right”, something the Nazis and Fascists embodied, both ideologically and physically through their actions during the war.  But the Americans believed in “right gives might”. The Marshal Plan and what ensued in the post-war world order could be seen as an era where the US acted according to “enlightened interest”, they made sure that their security needs and their economic interests were met all the while protecting the economic and political freedom of Europe and many other parts of the world against the tyranny of another totalitarian ideology-Communism.

In those cases where democracy was not upheld and shady groups and regimes were supported by the West and the US it was “authoritarianism over totalitarianism”, i.e. a non-democratic regime or group could be supported if it didn’t fall in line with the greater evil of totalitarian communism.

All in all, during the calamity of the Second World War and even in the ensuing Cold War there seems to have been moral clarity of taking a stand for liberty and democracy against its opposite.

Lack of moral clarity in the post-Cold war era

Also in this era there seems to be a grand coalition of countries united in preventing another dictator from occupying a sovereign nation, and I am referring to the (once-again) US-led coalition of democracies supporting Ukraine against the Russian invasion of its territory and the attempt to take over that country.

Israel is always the exception

But of course, Israel is the exception, and it always is, due to a principle I mentioned in an earlier article that we are a people apart, not reckoned among the nations.

This was succinctly expressed by the Spokesperson for the Israeli government, David Mencer.

He mentioned that just as the Allies of 80 years ago were fighting for their freedom, so Israel too is fighting for its freedom against Hamas. Israel is also liberating Gaza from Hamas.

And just like the Allies were fighting an ideology which brainwashed people into behaving like monsters, so Israel too is fighting a war like that today. This time it’s Islamism, not Nazism and Fascism.

Just like the Allies were fighting a dictatorship hell-bent on world domination so Israel too is fighting an evil dictatorship in the form of Iran. This country is waging a bloody war against the democracy of Israel through its various murderous proxies-Hamas, Hizballah and the Houthi terrorists. And Iran is involved in spreading terrorism all over the world, even in far-flung Sweden.

During these times the world is commemorating its resolve to fight for freedom and democracy eighty years ago. Most of the world’s democracies are committed to not having this scenario repeated in Europe in the case of Ukraine and Russia.

But sadly enough this moral clarity of democracy versus dictatorship, liberty versus tyranny and racism versus tolerance is lost when it comes to Israel’s fight against a modern-day version of this phenomenon.

But here it’s important to remember the last parallel that David Mencer drew between the Allies’ fight against Nazi-Germany and Israel’s fight against Hamas. Mencer said that just as the Allies were successful in the war against Nazism so too Israel will be victorious in its war against the Islamist evil of Hamas.

About the Author
Tobias Goldman is a deep thinker with a passion for all things Jewish and a huge interest in the world. He wears his heart on his sleeve but his mind is always at work. After long journeys in Israel and the UK he is back in Sweden, but his heart and mind wander freely. Communicates through the written and spoken word as well as song.
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