Sunday, August 10, 2014

  • Sunday, August 10, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon


grimLast week I discussed how the blood-libel has adapted to the current political moment and is growing within progressive-left discourse around the Arab-Israel conflict.

The function of the blood-libel is to create hatred toward Jews for political reasons.  Just as the Nazis used hatred toward Jews as a uniting rallying-cry in the early-middle part of the twentieth-century, so vast numbers of Arabs surrounding the Jews of Israel do so today.

Thus when "liberals" or leftists screech to the heavens that Zionists or Israelis are intentionally murdering innocent cherubs in their beds, what they are really saying is that the Jews are evil and need to be dealt with as an evil force.

{And, needless to say, there is only one thing to be done with evil and we all know what that is.}

Another aspect of western-left discourse around the Arab-Israel conflict is the use of the Holocaust as a political club against Jews.  When leftists or Democrats claim that Israel is committing a "genocide" in Gaza they are intentionally evoking the Holocaust in order to suggest that the Jewish people are "the new Nazis."

Were this not the case we would hear cries of "genocide" ring out across the land over the Syrian civil war, but we do not.  Let us compare the two conflicts in terms of death toll, interest among progressives toward each catastrophe, and the use of the term "genocide" as a descriptor of these conflicts.

Death Toll

Death toll in Syria as of August 1, 2014 :  approximately 150,000.

Death toll in Gaza as of August 1, 2014 :  approximately 1,500.

A mere one hundred to one differential.

This means that the Syrian civil war has, in just over the last few years, created three times the number of dead than in the entire Arab-Israel conflict since 1950, both Arabs and Jews combined.

Relative Interest Among Democratic Daily Kos Participants

Everything else being equal, one would, therefore, expect to find one-hundred times more interest among progressives who claim to care about social justice and universal human rights.

One would, of course, be entirely wrong.

I have been revisiting Daily Kos because it offers a glimpse into the mindset of the progressive-left and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party in the United States.  These are people who claim to hold the moral high ground in American politics, so let us take a gander at how they have responded to the two conflicts.

From the first of this year until August 1 Daily Kos published 385 "diaries" concerned, at least in part, with the Arab-Israel conflict.

From the first of this year until August 1 Daily Kos published 143 "diaries" concerned, at least in part, with the Syrian civil war.

This means that among "Kossacks" there was 2.7 times more interest in the Arab-Israel conflict than in the Syrian civil war despite the fact that the Syrian civil war is one-hundred times more devastating than anything that Israel is doing in Gaza.

This means - in a crude, but nonetheless ethically significant calculus - that "Kossacks" demonstrate 270 times more interest for every Gazan life than they do for every Syrian life.

That is a rather large disparity, don't you think?  If it had worked out to, say, 3 or 4 times more interest in Gazan lives than Syrian lives it might have made some sense, given the media play that the Arab-Israel conflict generates.

But 270 to 1?

That seems rather... disproportionate.

One begins to wonder if the progressives really care about social justice and universal human rights.  If they did honestly have such gentle yearnings one would think that the much larger, much more devastating conflict, would capture more of their attention than the much smaller conflict next door, but it does not and this very definitely tells us a thing or two about the priorities of the progressive-left.

The "Genocide" Slander

As for "genocide" there is one taking place in Syria, but there is not one taking place in Gaza.  If by "genocide" we mean a significant decrease in a particular population due to war and malice then Syria qualifies, but Gaza does not.  The Armenian genocide was a genocide.  The Holocaust of the Jews and the Sinti and Roma (Gypsy) were genocides.  Syria, with its 150,000 dead, is a genocide.  But, I'm sorry, while the Gaza operation is terrible for the Gazans and has resulted in around 1,500 deaths as of August 1, it does not come close to any meaningful definition of genocide.

Let us therefore take a look at claims of genocide on Daily Kos between the two conflicts.  Given the fact that Syria does represent an actual genocide and Gaza does not, one would hope that this would be reflected in the sentiments among progressives.  Once again, sadly, one's hopes would be dashed.

An examination of the 143 "diaries" with the tag "Syria" reveals no mention of the word "genocide."  I combed through many of the more widely commented pieces and found no reference to "genocide" whatsoever.

I, of course, did not read every single comment under those 143 "diaries," but I did keyword search and found nothing.

By contrast, there were thirty comments accusing Israel of genocide in just one day alone, the day of August 1.

Here is a sampling:
grimYou don't get to "own" land based on some vague religious claim

(historically it definitely aint), and then ethnically cleanse that land from its current inhabitants.

That's genocidal Nazi Blut und Boden talk.

Enzo Valenzetti on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:16:47 PM PDT
Vague religious claim?  I don't think that our friend, Enzo, here has much of a clue to the history of Zionism.  In any case, you can plainly see the hatred in his Nazi analogy.
"compassionate genocide" (13+ / 0-)

by Pilsner on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 01:06:34 PM PDT
I like this one by Pilsner very much because not only is it pithy, but it combines the "genocide" slander with mockery of Jewish attempts to spare civilian lives in a mere two words.

This shows a definite talent in writing.

He is no friend to the Jewish people, but the man potentially can write.
genocide is popular (0+ / 0-)

Calls for genocide are common in Israel:

by BradMajors on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:03:55 PM PDT
What do you guys think of Brad Majors?  If this is what he thinks of Israel, just what does he feel about Jews?
Israelis have slaughtered more than 100 times... (17+ / 0-)

...the number of innocent people in order to enforce their illegitimate territorial claims.

That makes them more than 100 times more murderous than Hamas...

If you support the murder of children sleeping next to their mothers in a UN shelter, there is no need to continue. Go support Israel if you want, just admit to yourself you are backing genocide.

by expatjourno on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 01:18:50 PM PDT
According to expatjourno, Israelis are 100 times more murderous than is Hamas.

Of course, he does not actually mean Israelis.  He means specifically Jewish Israelis.

So, what this particular Democrat is saying to other Democrats is that the Jews of the Middle East are one-hundred times more vile than is Hamas.

This comment received seventeen uprates, which means that this opinion is shared among others on Daily Kos.

The above is just a small sampling of the thirty comments that I either copied or noted on just one day at the beginning of this month.

In my years of observing the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party I can tell you that any measures of Jewish self-defense via the State of Israel are always condemned as a form of irrational aggression by the loudest voices in the Democratic Party and progressive-left circles.

I do not know that Jews need to go running to the political right, but I certainly think that American Jews need to get out of the Democratic Party and need to seriously reconsider our support for the progressive-left.

In your consideration of that proposition, I give you ExpatGirl:
Sorry. Threats to level a prison camp (2+ / 0-)

with 1.8 million trapped people crosses the Rubicon for me.

Although, truth be told, that line was crossed for me well before today.

Genocide is genocide. The word 'holocaust' predates the Shoah and WWII. Israel have no right to own it. Particularly if 'owning' it is a means to justify acting like a monster.

If Israel wants to be a nationalistic mass murderer, it needs to accept being compared to historical nationalistic mass murderers. Regardless of whether its citizens were once victims.

Time marches on. The oppressed are now oppressors. The persecuted are now the persecutors.

by ExpatGirl on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 12:15:38 PM PDT
Marching On


Time does, indeed, march on and it is now time for the Jewish people to march the hell out of the Democratic Party and the progressive-left.

My dear old mom, were she still with us, would have said something like, "Good riddance to bad rubbish."

I could not agree with myself more.



Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.




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