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Monday, July 24, 2006

Israel's 9/11 moment?

After reading this article, I can't help but think that the Hizbollah attacks against Israel is doing to the Israeli Left what 9/11 did to the American Left - make them look like fools.

In every other terror attack the Israeli Left (which is as wacky as anything the Americans or Europeans can come up with) would always find some reason to justify the attack - and almost always it was the magic word "occupation," the mantra that could be repeated over and over without any thought, the reason to end all reasons. The poor Palestinian Arabs who had to live under such brutal conditions lost their very free will - they had no choice but to enter ice cream shops and pizza parlors and blow themselves up!

The argument is idiotic but that's not the point - it was an accepted fact among the Left and it neatly justified any level of depravity the Palestinian Arabs could come up with. I often thought that if they would turn their own children into human Molotov Cocktails, tossing them at Israeli civilians, the Left would still write articles about how the "occupation" is so horrendous that they had no choice.

The Right would point out that radical Islam aims to take over the world, that it is not occupation that rankles Arabs as much as the very existence of Israel, that ordinary Arabs fared far better under the "occupation" than they ever did under Arab rule - and would be dismissed as crackpots, lacking in nuance.

In the wake of 9/11 there was born a new generation of "9/11 Republicans" - people who are still liberal on topics such as abortion and women's rights and other social issues, but who became hawkish when it came down to defending the lives of Americans. They realized that no American policy brought about 9/11, but the responsibility belongs wholly to the jihadists. They realized that in the end, people are responsible for their own actions and some people really are evil and malicious.

Now, the Left at large can be divided into two parts - those who actually think and those who embrace the movement out of ulterior motives, usually self-hate. A large percentage of the Left's thinkers broke ranks with the airhead, Vanity Fair-reading, Hollywood worshipping, vacuous twits who blame America for every perceived evil in the world and congratulate themselves on having the guts to criticize America in a free society.

It very well may be that Hizbollah's attacks on Israel, without the fig leaf of "occupation" as a motive, is doing the very same to Israel's Left. Here Israel played by the liberal playbook to the letter - withdrawing from Lebanon, behind UN-drawn lines. By the rules of the game written by the Left themselves, that should have been that - Hizbollah would become a gardening club and Lebanon will be able to build a strong state. The Left was convinced that Hizbollah had no more motive to attack Israel, and the Hizbollah charter that calls for Israel to be destroyed is just so much exaggerated rhetoric that the cute Arabs like to engage in, a cute cultural habit like bargaining at the souk.

The current terror war shows that such thinking was not just naive, but it was deadly. And as a result, Israel may see the same kind of schism that the US sees - a fringe, unrepentant Left who gets more and more loony and deluded, and a new center-right that just woke up and will be re-examining the wisdom of surrendering land when the vacumms created are invariably filled with the most foul, immoral terrorists that exist.