How the Zionist left prolongs the Arab-Israel conflict

The Zionist-Left is responsible, at least in part, for prolonging the long Arab war against the Jews of the Middle East. It is also responsible, at least in part, for encouraging the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) and for encouraging rising European hostility toward the Jewish state, if not toward Jews, more generally.

This is, of course, not their intention and many would scoff at the very notion without giving it any actual consideration. Nonetheless, the Zionist-Left, through refusing to see past the Oslo Delusion, through giving credence to hysterical, toxic, and largely false Arab claims of Jewish wrong-doing, and through demonizing Jews who choose to live within the Jewish heartland of Judaea and Samaria, have provided cover and encouragement to the enemies of the State of Israel, and thus the enemies of the Jewish people.

The Oslo Delusion:

The Zionist-Left, just like Jewish people as a whole, desperately want peace. Given the fact that the Jews of the Middle East are a tiny minority surrounded by a much, much larger hostile Arab-Muslim majority, the conclusion of the Arab-Israel conflict is of greater Jewish concern than the concern of Israel’s enemies. It is because the Jewish Left is desirous of a peaceful conclusion of hostilities that they cannot bring themselves to accept not only the failure of the Oslo Accords but, more importantly, the implications of that failure.

To quote myself from an earlier piece:

The Oslo Delusion is the mistaken belief that if only Israel would jump through certain hoops then there would be peace between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. At the center of the Oslo Delusion is the notion that the Jews of the Middle East have oppressed the Arabs in their tiny part of the world and if only Jews would be nicer then Hamas would have no reason to shoot rockets at them and dictator Abbas might stop encouraging genocidal hatred toward Jews on Palestinian Authority television.

Maintaining this delusion is at the heart of how and why the Zionist-Left prolongs the Arab-Israel conflict.

By demonstrating to the Arabs that large portions of the overall Jewish population throughout the world are willing to grovel at their feet, while offering them half of the Jewish capital of Jerusalem and almost the entirety of the ancient Jewish heartland it does not placate the Arab majority, but encourages it to demand more and to pour on additional pressures. This is because no one respects weakness and the position of the Zionist-Left, viz-a-viz the conflict, is the very image of weakness.

Ironically, it is the Arabs, who allegedly come from a position of weakness, who speak in terms of confidence and strength. For example, just recently the Palestinian-Arab ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, told a Lebanese newspaper:

“Even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [then-Palestinian] state are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.” He added that the new state would “absolutely not” issue Palestinian passports to refugees, lest they be understood to be citizens of Palestine. “When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game.”

This is confirmation from a high-level Palestinian-Arab official that the Arabs have no intention of ending the conflict until they achieve all-out victory. That is what someone coming from a position of strength within a conflict talks like. It is talk of victory. The Jews, however, never speak of victory. We speak of compromise and negotiations and the desire for peace, but that is not what the Arabs speak of.

By framing the Israeli-Jewish position in terms of desperation and weakness, the Jewish-Left encourages further aggression toward the State of Israel and further violence against its Jewish citizenry.

Arab Claims of Jewish Guilt:

While the weakness of the Jewish-Left encourages aggression from the hostile Arab-Muslim majority in that part of the world, it is only one way in which the Jewish-Left encourages that aggression. The second way is through affirming Jewish guilt and thus bolstering the “Palestinian narrative” of total victim-hood.

This is what I have called the Palestinian colonization of the Jewish mind.

The Palestinian-Arabs constantly cry to the world that the Jews are devils and much of the world, including many Jews, started to buy this nonsense many years ago. The Palestinian-Arabs, and their western anti-Zionist allies, tell the international community that Israel is a racist, imperialist, colonialist, apartheid, militarist, racist regime. They claim that they are victims of a military occupation and it is because of that military occupation that they have every right to kill as many Jews as they can possibly get their hands on, even as their leadership claims that “Palestinians” are, hysterically enough, the descendants of Jesus who they bill as the first “Palestinian shaheed.”

The Zionist-Left agrees with the first part of that equation, but not the second part.

That is, they agree that the “Palestinians” are living under a brutal military occupation, but do not agree that this gives them license to kill – nor, of course, do they agree that Jesus was a Palestinian, but that goes without saying. The problem, of course, is if the local “indigenous” Arabs are living under military occupation, then why shouldn’t they resist that occupation by any means necessary, including violence? So long as Jewish leftists continue to speak of the Occupation – particularly with the Big O – then they affirm the rights of those allegedly occupied to fight against their own people.

This is the second way in which the Jewish-Left encourages bloodshed toward the Jewish people. It is not their intention, but it is certainly their effect.

It should also be noted that by framing the conflict within what is essentially the “Palestinian narrative” they also wipe out thirteen centuries of Jewish history as second and third-class non-citizens under Arab-Muslim imperial rule in the Middle East. Furthermore, by speaking of “Occupation” they inevitably frame the conflict as one between a powerful and brutal majority population, the Jews, versus a weak and pathetic minority population, the “Palestinians.” So, if you were a European who was basically ignorant of the conflict, not to mention a mujaheddin ready to kill for the cause, why would you not believe that the “Palestinians” are the innocent party while the Jews are the aggressors?

The Zionist-Left, which represents the majority of diaspora Jews, is telling the world that the Jews of the Middle East are essentially the aggressors and that the “Palestinians” are essentially the victims. The problem is that from an historical perspective it is entirely false and from a contemporary perspective it eliminates the vast majority of forces arrayed against Israel. From an historical perspective it fails to place Jewish efforts at self-defense, which is what the “Palestinians” call the “occupation,” within many long centuries of Jewish abuse under the brutal system of dhimmitude.

If the Zionist-Left wishes to deflate the conflict then they need to stop speaking of it in terms that prolongs the conflict and gives Israel’s enemies every reason to stay on the attack.

The Demonization of Fellow Jews:

The lede in a recent Y-Net article by Elior Levy reads as follows:

As Israel announces plans to build 1,400 new settlement housing units, Palestinians petition US to halt move, ‘save the peace process’

It has been obvious for years, now, ever since Obama demanded “total settlement freeze” as the price that Israel must pay for the privilege of speaking with the “Palestinian” dictator and his cronies, that they would use the fact that Jews build housing for themselves in Judaea as an excuse to avoid negotiations and a conclusion of hostilities. This was a little gift given to the “Palestinians” by Barack Obama upon the opening of his first term. Never mind that the long history of non-Jews telling Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live is entirely anti-Semitic. It also affirmed to the “Palestinians” that their tactic of avoiding negotiations, and blaming that avoidance on the Israelis, is one that will receive backing from both the US and the EU.

If Barack Obama had affirmed the idea that Jews building housing for themselves on what he calls the “West Bank” is insufficient reason not to negotiate then the local Arabs would have much less traction on this issue. Instead Obama negated the idea, thus giving Abbas all the excuse that he needs to end negotiations and blame Israel. This will lead to a further embrace of BDS by the EU and universities around the world and it will lead to an increase in violence against Jews, particularly in Israel. It may even lead, as John Kerry threatened, to a Third Arab Race War (intifada) against the Jews in the Middle East.

One question to ask yourself, however, is just how is it that Barack Obama embraced the racist notion that Jews should not be allowed to live on, and thus build on, the traditional heartland of the Jewish people? Did he just conjure that notion out of his own head? I do not think so. The reason that Obama could embrace this racist notion, and thus serve it up on a platter to dictator Abbas, is because his Zionist-Left friends and advisers falsely confirmed that the settlements represented an impediment to peace.

They do not.

Unless one believes that any future state of Palestine must be Judenrein then there is no reason why Jews should not be allowed to live and build there. But the point is that Obama would not likely have embraced this racist notion if it was not presented to him as a reasonable demand upon Israel by so much of the American Jewish Left. People like, for example, Alan Dershowitz, who says that he publicly opposed the settlements since 1973, primed the pump. Dershowitz, and many Jews of his generation, can be forgiven for opposing Jewish township construction in Judaea and Samaria when the Oslo Peace Accords were still in full-swing, prior to the Second Race War against the Jewish people. But after that race war it should have been clear to everyone that the local Arabs are not prepared to live in peace with the local Jews and therefore opposition to Jews building housing for themselves on Jewish land is simply unconscionable.

By refusing to truly acknowledge the failure of Oslo, and thus through maintaining the Oslo Delusion, the Zionist-Left helps prolong the conflict, encourages BDS and violence toward Jews. It is long past time that they started to finally rethink old assumptions and until they do so they will continue to contribute to the ongoing war against the Jewish people in the Middle East.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at
Related Topics
Related Posts