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Politics as Usual

It’s the Jews

What gets extremists angry

 “Google, Google you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”

—Pro-Palestinian Google employees protesting their own company

“Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide.”

—Pro-Palestinian protesters outside Goldie, a Philadelphia Jewish restaurant

In the three months since the early October attack on Israel by Hamas, our already deeply divided country was divided even more deeply. The Bay Area was no exception. Right-wing antisemitism that has been tracked for years doesn’t surprise us, but many liberals were shocked to find that their friends further to their left were not only not supporting Israel but were actively urging its destruction.

In October, The Guardian reported that a New York rally, “endorsed by members of the Democratic Socialists of America and promoted by the group’s New York chapter, attracted a crowd of more than 1,000. Some chanted ‘resistance is justified when people are occupied’ and there were reports of a Nazi emblem being shown and Israeli flags burned and trodden on.”

Writing in Time, Charlotte Alter noted, “The national chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine called it ‘a historic win for the Palestinian resistance.’ A coalition of 34 Harvard student organizations issued a statement saying they ‘hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.’ . . . A Twitter account apparently belonging to Black Lives Matter Chicago posted an image of a paraglider with a Palestinian flag on X, appearing to celebrate the Hamas terrorists who descended to slaughter hundreds of Israelis at a music festival.”

Whereas people we’ll call “normal” and “good” would be horrified by that and would also be horrified by innocent civilians in Gaza being killed and displaced, the ideology at work on the far left only reserves its horror for one side, and it ignores the horrors created by the other. What makes otherwise good people cheer on the wholesale murder of innocent civilians? What makes otherwise smart people get duped by an ideology that says innocent civilians aren’t innocent? 

It’s all tied up in buzzwords such as occupation, colonization, and oppression. And once someone is labeled an occupier, colonizer, or oppressor — as Israel has been — watch out; they feel it deserves whatever it gets. This is a difference not of opinion but of morality.

Protests and marches have occurred in many cities around the world, some pro-Israeli, many pro-Palestinian. It’s perfectly understandable why people with Israeli or Palestinian connections would take part in these marches, but what about all of those people who have neither, yet are vociferously accusing Israel of genocide for its fierce response, which has led to the deaths of thousands of Palestinian civilians? A reason might well lie in the record of what they deem to be horrifying enough to get them into the streets — and what doesn’t. Hmm, what could that common denominator be? 

A MORAL TEST

That ideology of colonizer versus the oppressed is a big lure to many, but it is very selectively applied.

Two years ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, has spoken openly about his intentions to destroy Ukraine as a separate culture, people, and state. During the war, Russian forces have removed Ukrainian children to Russian lands and have inflicted terrible destruction across Ukraine. If you check the United Nations’ definition of genocide, you’ll see Russia’s invasion and subsequent actions clearly qualify, including “killing members of the group,” “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group,” and other actions “with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” 

Can you name 50 cities where the DSA held big protests accusing Russia of genocide? How about 10 cities? One?

No. It’s kind of hard not to notice that there’s a big Jewish factor in the Israeli situation. But that would be rude to point out, wouldn’t it?

Or let’s look at the Yemeni civil war, which has been raging since 2014. This war, largely a fight between groups supported by either Saudi Arabia or Iran, has claimed more than 375,000 lives, according to the U.N., and displaced four million people. Save the Children reports that 85,000 Yemeni children have died from starvation.

Again, the test. Can you name 50 cities where the DSA, BLM, or other elements of the far left held big protests accusing Saudia Arabia or Iran of genocide and demanding they stop the war? One city?

Oh, it’s about the Jews all right.

Have these groups protested the incarceration of an estimated 1 million Muslims in internment camps in China? Not that I’ve seen. 

Because, the Jews.

Were you delayed in getting to work by anti-Modi protesters staging a sit-down on the Bay Bridge in support of oppressed Muslims in India? If you were, please send me a link to the online news report, because I totally missed that protest. But 80 pro-Palestinian protestors faced charges for closing down the Bay Bridge for hours last month.

You kind of have to conclude it’s because of the Jews.

Or Myanmar’s attacks on its Rohingya population? Did San Francisco public school students stage a walkout because of it? No.

It’s the Jews.

EXTREMISM BEGETS EXTREMISM

It’s possible to want the best for Israelis and Palestinians, to want them to live in peace and prosperity. For the extremists on both sides to lose power. Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right government are widely expected to be kicked into the dustbin of history at the next election, because they are hated more by their own Israeli public than they are by teaching assistants at U.C. Berkeley. But Hamas will never be voted out of office, and it isn’t going to be removed by wishful thinking.

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