The underlying narrative of just about every liberal
attack on Israel has been this. Defending yourself only makes us hate
you more. This cynical sleight of hand is of course an old trick used by
bigots to inhibit their targets from daring to fight back. And liberals
have made it their weapon of choice when going after Jews and Israel.
The tactic works by criminalizing any attempt at a defense by the target, and making the defense itself part of the indictment. The goal is to impose a Catch 22 framework on Jews with the only way out being to agree and participate in the indictment of Israel. The defense itself is then incorporated into the bigot's narrative.
A hundred years ago, Jews would be charged with being "Pushy" and any defense against pushiness would itself be construed as pushy. Thus attempting to defend yourself would itself be an indictment proving the case already made against you. Similarly Israel is charged with defending itself too strongly. Anytime Israel defends itself in any way, it is automatically then proven guilty of defending itself. Liberal bigotry against Israel is not simply a charge immune to any defense, it is a charge which incorporates any defense as proof of the truth of the original accusation. Self-defense itself becomes the crime.
Playing this game allows liberals to express anti-semitic ideas and beliefs while blaming Israel and the Jews for making them feel that way. A liberal bigot will explain that he is a reasonable person, but that Israel and those Jews who defend it are causing him to hate them. Speaking the truth about the situation only inspires more vitriol, as the bigot warns his target that defending Israel is itself hateful, and will cause him to hate even more. The target is then left with the choice of joining with the "Good Jews" who agree with the bigot, or becoming one of the "Bad Jews" who believes that his people have rights. As one of the "Good Jews", the target is then expected to join in the Jew-baiting. And as one of the "Bad Jews", he or she is now expected to shoulder responsibility for the liberal's bigotry. Catch 22. Either way the liberal bigot wins.
The use of such a tactic displays not only liberal hypocrisy on bigotry, but demonstrates their ability to exploit the social insecurities of a minority to prevent them from exercising their political and civil rights. No wonder then that so many liberal Jews who do support Israel's right to exist are complaining that they are tried of being expected to constantly defend Israel. Because that is exactly what the left wants to accomplish.
The same tactic has been quite effectively used against Israel. Each time Israel defends itself against Islamic terrorists, it is warned that defending itself will only inspire more hatred. And so it scales down its self-defense. It abandons defensible borders. It gives over land to terrorists. It reduces itself to naval patrol and a defensive wall. And yet each time, the same hateful shriek follows in its wake. "Don't you know that defending yourself only makes us hate you more."
When an Israeli comedy website produced a parody of the hysterical attacks on Israel, titled, "We Con the World", the liberal bigots rushed to warn us that we were only causing them to hate us more. Both the Huffington Post and Andrew Sullivan featured the video, and condemned Jews for daring to make a production mocking the lies being directed at Israel. An AlterNet blogger triumphantly announced that the video was just making people hate Israel even more. Which of course is as always the point. Because liberals have to justify their bigotry, by using the refusal of their target to just lie down and take it, as their justification. And so the balance swings right back to, "Defending yourself only makes us hate you more."
When Israeli sent out soldiers with paintball guns against terrorists with knives, the liberal bigots were outraged that the soldiers eventually defended themselves. When video after video was released telling the truth, the liberal bigots were outraged because Israel was providing fact based evidence that demonstrated just what kind of ugliness they had gotten into bed with. Each phase inevitably drove the liberal bigots to become more outraged at Israel's gall for actually defending itself, instead of apologizing and agreeing to turn Gaza into a Hamas state with a convenient Iranian port perfect for shipping missiles or any other weapons to their genocidal terrorist allies.
Like most bullies, the liberal bigot is self-righteously angry at the thought of his victim daring to offer any kind of defense. The combination of ideology and bigotry work to reinforce a sense of rightness in playing the old game of "Beat the Jew". Being liberals, they do make a point of trotting out Jews to do at least some of the beating. This makes it look less like bigotry, and more like infighting.
Of course this isn't exactly an original gimmick. The man who presided over the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Spain in the 15th century was himself Jewish. In the early days of the USSR, the Communist Party employed the Yevsektsiya (the Jewish Section) to shut down synagogues, terrorized Jews and helped the NKVD murder Rabbis and Zionists. And even Pharaoh had his Jewish taskmasters and the Nazis their Kapos.
As liberals themselves are so fond of pointing out when challenging the feminist bona fides of a Sarah Palin or the legitimacy of black conservatives, it is not genetics or biology, but the willingness to fight for the interests of a group that gives one claim to be a legitimate representative of that group. There is no conceivable argument for the likes of M.J. Rosenberg or Glenn Greenwald meeting such a test. Not now. Not ever.
As I have written in the past, liberal anti-Zionism is actually poorly camouflaged anti-Semitism. It is based on the denial of Jewish national rights, which itself has roots in a Voltairesque disdain for the Bible and the Jews by association with it. The socialist approach has been that Jews ought to dissolve into the mass of humanity and cease to exist.
Israel was based on a rejection of that approach. And that alone has won it an incredible amount of enmity. A continuing Jewish identity represents an implicit rejection of the secular messianism that has defined left wing movements since the French Revolution. The destruction of the Jews continues to be associated with the destruction of the old order. But where liberals once believed that removing the ghettos and legal barriers to civic participation would do the job for them, Israel has come to represent an obstacle to their agenda.
While the Muslims wield the battering ram, their liberal advocates demand that Israel raise the gates to let them in. When the terrorists open fire, the left demands that Israel not shoot back. When Jews are murdered, the left shrugs. It has nothing to say about dead Jews. Only about the inconvenience of still having living ones around and cluttering up the place. While they are not prepared to make active war against Israel. they instead work to characterize any self-defense by Israel as illegitimate. Whatever Israel does, it is indicted for excessively defending itself. An excessive defense in their eyes being any defense at all.