Secrets of the Leftist Essay

Leftist essays share a basic structure.

I have noticed that when the Arab-Jewish conflict in Israel is described by writers on the left of the political spectrum, three elements are nearly always present:

1. Something about “the rights of the Palestinian People”, multiple times;

2. Repeated use of the phrase ‘both sides’.

3. Systematic excoriation and vilification of any Jew living in Judea or Samaria.


The Palestinian People, Blah Blah Blah

In nearly every article about Israel prepared by leftist commentators, Arabs are quoted as mentioning the concept of the rights of the Palestinian People repeatedly. For example:

Q: “Why were you throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli cars near Beit-El?”

A: “To give expression to the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian People.”


A really talented Arab polemicist will be sure to use this key phrase 15 or more times over the course of an interview.


It’s Always “Both Sides”

Additionally, nearly every leftist essay on the subject will make repeated use of the phrase “both sides”. Examples:

Both sides view the conflict as intractable.”
“A way must be found to meet the legitimate demands of BOTH sides.”

What is the true meaning of the term “both sides”? Why, it is the very same tactics mentioned above. What do you get when you take an artificially-created, newborn national entity and compare it with an ancient ethnic, religious and cultural group possessing a colorful historical narrative and land claims that are known by all three major monotheistic faiths? You end up elevating the mock people to a status of legitimacy similar to that of the real nation.

The PLO, and its descendant organization the Palestinian Authority, have made sure to use this tactic in every possible situation. This slow, Chinese-water-drip method for convincing the world of the justice of their cause has borne fruit: today, nearly everyone in America and Europe understands the Middle East conflict to be a struggle between two, clearly-defined parties that are more or less equal in size, legitimacy of claims to the land, and moral right.


The Jew That Everyone Loves to Hate

3. The third quality of nearly all politically left articles about Israel: one way or another, usually in multiple ways, the concept of the Jewish settler is defamed, besmirched, and otherwise turned into a portrait of violent, hateful, brutal, beasts incapable of even basic human compassion.

Usually, however, articles take care not to compare settlers directly with Arab terrorists, who are accustomed (at least once) to blowing themselves up in crowded public gatherings of innocent men, women and children. The reason is that Arab terrorists are somehow considered justified in their actions, due to the endless oppression they suffer at the hands of the Jews.


The Purpose of This Three-Part Phenomenon

What is all this for? The answer is simple: it serves as a fundamental effort to create a national entity out of the various immigrant Arab peoples who came from all over the Middle East to Israel, once economic opportunity here became widespread. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) began this campaign in the early 1960’s. Prior to that time, the only people who called themselves Palestinians were Jews who made their home in the then empty Land of Israel.

Of course, the terrorists have every incentive to use this ploy, since it has proved wildly successful. Once the PLO created a term to delineate the Arabs of the Land of Israel as a separate national entity, the concept stuck. All of a sudden there was another Arab nation in the Middle East: the Palestinians.


A Lost Cause?

On the surface, given the overwhelming numerical superiority of Arabs over Jews in the Middle East,  it appears that Jewish settlement of the land of our ancestors – any portion of it – is a lost cause.

Nevertheless, this is not the case. The Nation of Israel has been compared to an egg: the more it is boiled, the harder and more resilient it becomes. Our heritage, along with original, authentic Islamic and Christian tradition, points unequivocally to a future of a strong Jewish nation dwelling safely in the land given to our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The present-day struggles of the Jewish People in our Land have one purpose – to strengthen us and prepare us for a whole new era of Renaissance for our people in our land.

As Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism put it:

If we will it, it is not a fable”.

About the Author
Yisrael Rosenberg is a former New Englander who made aliyah 30 years ago. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.