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The selective rage of the Left

Neo-Nazi assaults get the righteous backlash they deserve; not so for attacks spurred by hatred of Israel
Pro-Palestinian protesters 'swarmed' an 'island of Israel supporters' at the conclusion of an anti-Israel rally outside of Boston's Israel consulate, July 11, 2014. (photo credit: Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)
Pro-Palestinian protesters 'swarmed' an 'island of Israel supporters' at the conclusion of an anti-Israel rally outside of Boston's Israel consulate, July 11, 2014. (photo credit: Elan Kawesch/The Times of Israel)

One of my best friends from university — now an ex-friend — is from Charlottesville. When I read about the neo-Nazi rally there I had a look at her timeline and saw that she was attending the counterprotest. I also noticed that she is friends with one of our former professors, who has written extensively in support of suicide bombers who attack Israel. Here are a few phrases from one of his recent articles:

‘Israel’s penchant for serial atrocities’
‘Israeli abominations’
‘the rogue State’
‘the politically powerful Israel lobby’
‘the self-promotional and political-marketing zeal of Elie Wiesel, the world’s leading holocaust entrepreneur’
‘Israeli propaganda’
‘The holocaust is made into political plastic carrying an unlimited line of exculpatory credit.’
‘Israel-serving dogma’
‘the holocaust permits open season on Palestinians’

This is what my American ‘friends’ are reading and sharing.

Another former friend is now following the far-right anti-Semite David Icke. This friend once added me to an online ‘multifaith’ group in which members commented on anti-Semitic murders by Islamist extremists, but only so that they could indulge in emotional outpourings of sympathy and concern over a potential backlash against Muslims. There was never a word of dismay for the actual dead Jews; just fears that, as a consequence of an Islamist extremist having brutally murdered some Jews, someone somewhere might say something rude to a woman in a hijab. They were all talking about the virtues of sitting next to hijabis on buses and protecting them in public places, but no one once suggested trying to protect visibly Jewish Jews.

Another friend — who has never once shared my posts about the rise of left-wing anti-Semitism — wrote of her abhorrence for the neo-Nazis. Her friends all pitched in and agreed that anti-Semitism is disgraceful and abhorrent, so I pointed out that there are regular marches in London in which extremists call for the annihilation of the Jews. There are counter protests, but we are a tiny band of mostly elderly Jews, and we receive no support from any Leftist organisations. A friend of this friend said that he was appalled, and would join me in the counter protest. I thanked him and shared information about the annual Hezbollah march, in which hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Hezbollah supporters wave terrorist flags and call for the end of Israel and the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Jews. He fell silent.

Jewish Lives Matter, but only if we are threatened by the right people.

There is a rising tide of very vocal leftists who are incensed by the rise of anti-Semitism, but only if it is of the goose-stepping, swastika-wielding variety. None of these people spoke of their rage following the shootings of Jews at the Hyper Cacher, or Copenhagen, or Toulouse, or the Jewish Museum in Brussels. Then, it was all tea lights and ‘love trumps hate.’ And yet, it’s not like these people are incapable of feeling rage and hatred. Their vitriol is evident at Israel Apartheid Week events on campuses, where anti-Semites scream ‘intifada, intifada’ and declare that murdering civilians is justifiable, so long as they’re Jewish. These virtuous people are also ready to declare that they hate bankers, Tories, people who voted for Brexit or Trump, and anyone else who doesn’t agree with their views. Their ‘refusal to hate’ seems only to apply to certain groups. Jews are calling this ‘selective outrage.’

There is a strange phenomenon in Europe, in which every time we have an Islamist terror attack, people respond with candles and flowers and the assertion that they ‘refuse to hate.’ It happens after every suicide bombing, and every time Jihadists drive a vehicle into a crowd of pedestrians. It seems to me a death wish; a passive assertion that terrorism is ‘sad’, rather than an abomination. Can we not agree that terrorists who wish to kill us are worthy of strong, un-hippylike feelings like rage and anger?

Leftist ‘sadness’ is particularly evident each time another Imam stands up in a mosque and states that Muslims have a duty to kill every last Jew in the world. I have a friend in California, and when this happened recently at the mosque in her town, she expected the local Muslim community to condemn the attack. She expected locals to rally, and she expected her friends to express shock and dismay. Instead, a number of people responded by declaring their pacifism. They ‘refused to hate.’

When an Imam calls for the murder of Jews, I don’t want to hear excuses. When Jews are murdered, I don’t want to hear that gentiles are feeling a touch of melancholy but ‘refuse to hate.’ I’m sure this makes them feel warm and virtuous, but most Jews do not feel happy or grateful when gentiles respond to threats to kill us with assurances that they don’t feel any rancour towards our would-be assassins. Their supine indifference does not strike us as a ‘refusal to hate.’ It strikes us as a refusal to come to our aid.

About the Author
Rivka Bond is a retired Archaeology Professor living in the UK. She has lived in England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, America and The Netherlands, and has worked on excavations in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Greece, Ireland and the UK.
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