On Settlements and Stupidity:
The Progressive-Left Betrayal of Jews and Human Rights in the Age of Obama
The Progressive-Left Betrayal of Jews and Human Rights in the Age of Obama
On Settlements and Stupidity: General Outline
Chapter One Synopsis and Thesis Statement
Chapter Two Synopsis - Erasing and Confiscating Jewish History
Chapter Three Synopsis - The Palestinian Colonization of the Progressive Jewish Mind
The western Left, as a political movement, claims to believe in universal human rights. It believes that people the world over, in every society, deserve to be treated in a decent and respectful manner consistent with contemporary western ideals of human justice as derived from the political Enlightenment prior to the American and French Revolutions. Progressives also claim to believe in the ideal of multiculturalism. As alleged anti-racists they refuse to condemn social practices or ideologies of "indigenous" peoples - by which they mean anyone who is neither white, nor Jewish - because to do so represents a white imperialist racist imposition onto the natural autonomy of other peoples.
This has led in recent decades to a generally unacknowledged tension between the competing ideals of universal human rights and multiculturalism. The fundamental problem is that these are inherently contradictory notions. If one believes in universal human rights then by necessity one must be opposed to, say, the stoning of women in Pakistan for violations of al-Sharia. If a political movement fails to stand up for such an abomination than it cannot be said to stand for universal human rights. The reason that the progressive-left fails to strongly stand against such practices in that part of the world is because in the ideological contest between universal human rights and the multicultural ideal, the multicultural ideal won the day.
It is thus considered "racist" to criticize non-white or non-Jewish peoples' cultural practices, including stonings, honor killings, female genital mutilization, and calls for genocide.
In this way the western Left has thrown the very concept of universal human rights into the toilet thereby paving the way for the western Left betrayal of women, Gay people, Jewish people, and the Christian minority in the Middle East, as well as its own essential values.
After all, if the western Left does not stand for universal human rights then what can it possibly stand for?
The Betrayal of Women
There was a time when western feminism stood up for women in the Middle East, but those days are long gone. In the 1990s the feminist Left took the lead in opposing the Taliban in Afghanistan and the mistreatment of their women according to fundamentalist Islamic principles. Since then, however, as the tension between universal human rights and the multicultural ideal has played itself out in the west, progressive-left feminism has decided that the burka might represent a form of liberation and that the Muslim Middle East treats their women in a manner that should not be objected to. To the extent that there are feminists who are speaking up against Islamic misogyny, with the exception of pioneers like Phyllis Chesler, they are merely whispers in the wind.
The Betrayal of Gays
The only place throughout the entire Middle East where it is socially acceptable to be Gay is Israel. The Muslim Middle East is probably the most homophobic place on the planet and Iranians hang Gay people from cranes for the crime of being Gay. Nonetheless Queers Against Apartheid support the Arab aggressors over the Jewish defenders in that part of the world and do so out of concerns for "social justice." Thankfully, Queers Against Apartheid, and other like-minded organizations, represent only a tiny proportion of western Gay people, but that doesn't change the fact that the western Left, as a whole, has failed to speak up in defense of a persecuted Gay minority in that part of the world. For the same reason that they fail to speak up for women in the Middle East, so progressives fail to speak up for Gay people in the Middle East. To do so would be in violation of the multicultural ideal and thereby considered racist.
The Betrayal of Jews
Because the Jews of the Middle East are considered imperialists, if not interlopers, on historically Jewish land the western progressive-left tends to view the tiny Jewish minority as the aggressors against the innocent "indigenous" Arab population. In order to do this they must contract the conflict in both time and geographical space so that the tiny Jewish minority that is under siege by the great Arab majority is seen in the West as a hostile majority population persecuting a small native population. Instead of understanding the conflict as it is, i.e., as a religiously-based conflict by the Arab-Muslim majority against the tiny Jewish minority, they portray it as a conflict between Jewish aggressors and largely innocent "Palestinians." Likewise, instead of understanding the conflict in the full dimensions of its historical context they contract it in order to make it seem that Jewish hostility toward Arabs in the middle of the twentieth-century is the primary cause. This is false. Religious hostility towards Jews since the time of Muhammad is the primary cause and will remain the driving force for Islamic hatred toward Jews, and toward Israel, until such a time as Islam reforms itself.
The Betrayal of Christians
The rise of political Islam throughout the Middle East has meant a ramping up of Christian persecution throughout that part of the world. The Christians under Arab-Muslim dominance today are being chased out of the Middle East, just as the Jews were chased out in the middle of the twentieth-century, thereby creating Fortress Israel. Since the fall of Muhammad Morsi in Egypt, the Copts have been under very intense persecution. Dozens of churches, perhaps as many as one hundred, have been set aflame in Egypt and the Coptic Christians are blamed for the well-deserved failure of the Muslim Brotherhood. Christians throughout the country have been tortured and killed. Much the same is true in Syria where the Christian population finds itself caught in-between a civil war between Shia and Sunni, secularist dictators and theocratic monarchists. It is a very sad thing to witness the Christian west failing to stand up for Christians throughout the Muslim Middle East. The sense of abandonment by Middle Eastern Christians must be profound.
What we are witnessing today is the erosion of contemporary western liberalism.
Western liberalism, as it emerged from World War II, became a political movement heavily invested in what we might call "rights liberalism." If pre-World War II western liberalism was primarily about economic justice, post-war liberalism was primarily about human rights and civil liberties. Liberals championed the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Rights Movement, the GLBT Movement, Brown Power, and so forth. It championed the Anti-War Movement, Environmentalism, and issues of social justice across the board.
The movement always claimed to believe that such rights were universal, but we are now seeing that it does not have the will to actually stand up for what it claims to believe in. Western feminism gave up its last breath in Afghanistan and the larger progressive movement is choking on the sands of its own internal contradictions as it studiously ignores human rights violations throughout the world, particularly in the Muslim Middle East and Africa.