Why does the left support the Palestinians?
6/26/2002 12:00:00 AM - Dennis Prager
Why does the left support the Palestinians against Israel?
The question is rarely asked. It is simply taken for granted
that the left -- Europe, the Western news media, the universities, the
liberal churches, the arts world -- supports the Palestinians and the larger
Arab/Muslim worlds in their war against Israel.
But the question does need to be asked. For it is completely
inconsistent with the left's professed values to side with Israel's enemies.
Just about every value the left claims to uphold Israel upholds and its
enemies do not.
The left speaks about its passion for democracy ("power to the
people"). Yet it is Israel that is a fully functioning democracy, as opposed
to all of its Arab and Muslim enemies. Yasser Arafat is precisely the
self-aggrandizing, corrupt dictator-type that the left claims to hold in
The left claims to have particular concern for women's rights.
Yet it is Israel that has as highly developed a feminist movement as that of
any Western country. It is Israel that conscripted women into its armed
forces before almost any Western country. At the same time, the state of
women's rights among Israel's Muslim enemies is perhaps the lowest in the
The left's greatest current preoccupation is with gay rights.
Yet it is Israel that has annual gay pride days, while Egypt and other Arab
and Muslim countries arrest homosexuals.
It is Israel that has an independent and highly liberal
judiciary. It is Israel that has a leftist press. It is Israel that has been
governed more by leftist, even socialist, parties than by rightist ones.
Israel's enemies have none of this.
So, why isn't the left out there leading pro-Israel
The answer is as important as it is contemptible.
In general, the left does not care about women, independent
judiciaries, minorities, democracy, gays or almost anything else for which
it marches. That is why the left opposed America's war in Afghanistan, which
liberated women from being treated like animals.
Nearly all the causes the left speaks for are noble-sounding
covers for its real agenda -- the overthrowing of Western, especially
Judeo-Christian and capitalist, values. Remember the chant at Stanford,
"Hey, hey, ho ho, Western civ has got to go"? That is what animates the
In psychoanalytic terms, it is antagonism to one's father and
his values. In a commencement speech he gave this year, the former president
of Dartmouth College, James O. Freedman, a man of the left, said that the
purpose of a college education is "to question your father's values." Those
of us not on the left believe that the purpose of a college education is to
discover what is true and what is good.
America embodies all that the left dislikes. It is the most
religious of the industrialized democracies (proudly and uniquely
Judeo-Christian). It is also the most capitalist. And, what drives the left
especially crazy is that with all this religion and capitalism, America is
the most powerful force on earth -- economically, militarily and culturally.
Israel is Little America. It, too, is religious (though a
secular state like the United States, it is proudly Jewish). It, too,
celebrates capitalism. There are no demonstrations in Israel against
McDonald's. On the contrary, even before McDonald's opened there, Hebrew
replicas like "McDavid's" were established.
And Israel, like America, celebrates its national identity, not
the "world" identity that the left affirms. The left loathes nationalism
unless it is anti-Western, like Palestinian or Cuban. America does not jump
to attention when world treaties are signed and Israel is the U.N.'s pariah,
rendering America and Israel the left's "axis of evil," far more reviled
than Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
The question, "Why does the left support the Palestinians?" is
an extremely important one. At this time in history nothing so illustrates
the left's nihilism as does its support of the Palestinians against Israel.