The Woke Assault on History

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

Those were the immortal lines Charles Dickens contrived for the opening paragraph of his masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities. I and many others find ourselves religiously going back to those lines, contemplating, pondering, and taking consolation from the historicity of human insensibility flowing like an endless stream throughout the history of human civilization. Sometimes, it dribbles unexpectedly, and sometimes, it seethingly rampages like an apocalyptic flood. One could confidently assert, today, we are past dribbling. This May, and in a perfectly Dickensian way, the high gods of wokeness graced us with the presence of three neo-historian ghosts to lead us through the past, the present, and the future. Just like the Christmas Carol fable, the three benevolent spirits will lead us, callous Scrooges, to the gracious enlightenment of true history.

The Ghost of Wokeness Past

“… it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways.”

This was the outrageous statement made by the anti-Israel D Rep., Rashida Talib, earlier this month. One can’t even begin to imagine the amount of impudence required to casually state such a historical forgery, especially, being a US elected official. Don’t worry! I’m not going to waste your time talking about the meetings between Mufti and Hitler, and how the Palestinians aligned themselves with Nazis, or their constant lethal attacks on Jewish towns. However, I want to talk about the bold insolence such a lie needs. What is even more alarming is the amount of confidence and safety of the rep. Must have felt to make such an assault on history and sensibility. One doesn’t need to speculate, the representative from Michigan, or dare I say Ramallah, didn’t target sensible people with such a blatant lie, but instead she was targeting her own woke social justice oriented crowd who don’t seem to perceive reality but within the narrow, myopic, insular, and unimaginative prism of the victimhood narrative.

The Ghost of Wokeness Present

Talib wasn’t the first, nor will she be the last, to take a shot at history. Just a day after Talib’s outrageous statement, San Francisco State University Arab and Muslim Ethnicities Professor Rabab Abdulhadi called Zionists white supremacists. The same audacity Talib needed for her revisionist statements, was also necessary to declare Zionism, a movement which literally started to free Jews from European and Muslim supremacy, to be a form of white supremacy. One needs to be a mental acrobat to reach such an outlandish claim. It is a remarkable success of the insensible and the insane. This same professor came under fire in June 2014 after being accused using SFSU public funds to finance in trip which included meeting with Hamas affiliates and inviting American students to join her. This systematic engagement in anti-Israel and pro-Hamas is hardly benign but has malicious intent written all over it.

The Ghost of Wokeness Yet to Come

However, May isn’t even over yet and just like a helpless prey, running in confusion amid a gang of hyenas, history keeps getting bitten into. Responding to activist and writer Hen Mazzig, Marc Lamont Hill, the disgraced former CNN employee and the woke professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University, contributed in this monumental effort to rewrite the history of Israel and the Jewish people. He is essentially saying Mizrahi Jewish identity is a fabrication of colonial white Israel devised to detach Mizrahi Jews from their original Palestinian identity. I have to admit, I did not see this one coming, and I’m ashamed of the failure of my imagination to foresee such a fantastic stretch of history to such preposterous proportions. One needs to be a special breed imbecile to believe such a bizarre proposition, but even more special to write it. Hill, who was fired by woke-friendly CNN for his severe anti-Israel comments, seems to know no boundaries to falsehood and mendacity. Rewriting not just the history of Israel, but the entirety of Jewish history, in such appalling falsity, goes beyond just being anti-Zionist, it is anti-Jewish. I’m not going to detail the abundance of false propositions in his shocking woke statement. Hen Mazzig does that better than anyone. I will leave it at all world’s Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel, and any suggestion otherwise is no less than an undermining of some of the most enduring historical records and evidence in the world.

I don’t believe Marc Hill has the same interests of someone like Rep. Talib; however, I believe he internalized deep anti-Israeli bias inside his woke intersectional frame of reference. This ghost of wokeness yet to come called to free Palestine from the river to the sea not out of antisemitism, in my opinion, but out of sheer ignorance, stupidity, and disregard to Jewish lives. All of this is about Israel and the constant attempts to destroy it since its establishment. The clever maneuver of the pro-terrorist professor to label Israel a white supremacist country is a co-opting of young ill-informed American youth into blindly aiding hatred and terror. This deliberate, constant targeting and the will to lie and mislead the public to demonize and vilify the only Jewish country in the world is evidence of heinous hatred. The recent rise of zealous bigotry and bias against Israel and the intensifying of the misinformation campaign are hair-raising signs of the failure of educational institutions.

Wokeness is now the new Trojan horse for anti-Israel bias. Dubbing Israel a privileged European white supremacist is a well calculated and well-crafted lie. The new-found American leftist obsession with the identity of victim-hood and the oppression folk-sciences, is now serving as the spearhead of anti-Israel bigotry and anti-semitism in the west. The clear alliance between anti-Israel activists and social justice warriors is a result of clever branding by the new wave of American Islamists. Demonizing Zionism started with feminism and now moving into all other spaces of intersectionality.

This brutal and relenting assault on history in our media, our political institutions, academia, and public spaces should alarm every person with the decent sensibility to realize this perilous path our culture is being forced to take. Revisioning reality to fit it to the political beliefs of a few is an Orwellian cautionary tale from what some have in mind for us. It is not just for Israel, but for our duty towards truthfulness and common sense. This visible proliferation of “alternative history” is a crime against the past, current, and coming generations. We owe it to each other to insist on the truth and to reject any attempts to revision the entirety of Western and Middle Eastern history in favor of a political ideology no matter what it may be.

About the Author
Hussein Aboubakr was born in 1989 to an Arab Muslim family in Cairo, Egypt. Hussein studied Jewish and Middle Eastern history and Hebrew literature at the Faculty of Arts and Oriental Studies Department at Cairo University. Persecuted by state police for his research at the Israeli Academic Center of Cairo, Hussein participated in the Egyptian revolution until he was forced to depart Egypt as a political refugee. He now lives in the United States. He is a member of JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa an organization based in San Francisco.
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