No my friend, you are not right-wing on Israel

I often hear people say “I am left-wing on most issues, but I am right-wing on Israel” to indicate that they oppose the hateful and uninformed anti-Israel rhetoric that is too often repeated by people who define themselves as left-wing.

No, no, no, no, no, no!

By saying that, you are saying that failing to be hateful towards Israel is right-wing. How on earth is that? Is it right-wing to not be racist or to not be homophobic?

How can it be right-wing to be fair towards the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, the only LGBT-friendly country in the Middle East, the only country in the Middle East that aims for gender equality, and the only country in the Middle East that respects human rights?

How can it be right-wing to recognize the Jews’ right to self-determination?

Being fair towards Israel is neither right-wing nor left-wing, but it is morally correct, just as it is morally correct to support peace, democracy, human rights, prosperity, and self-determination in every part of the Middle East.

So just say, “I am left-wing on most issues, and I am a moral person, which is why I refuse to demonize Israel”.

And if someone questions your left-wing credentials, ask them how they can reconcile being left-wing or even being human with hating Israel. How can they wake up in the morning and look at themselves in the mirror knowing that they are haters? How can they live with themselves twenty four hours of every day knowing that they deny self-determination to one people but not to others?

So whether you are a social democrat, a conservative, or a centrist, if you are fair towards Israel then be loud and be proud about who you are. You deserve it.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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