Posted tagged ‘Progressives’

The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness?

November 17, 2017

The new antisemitism? Or extreme political correctness? | Anne’s Opinions, 16th November 2017

Linda Sarsour is an extreme leftist, “progressive” American activist with a nasty history of supporting terror and antisemitism cloaked as anti-Zionism. The latest saga in which she has become involved is her invitation by New York’s New School to speak at a panel on …. you guessed it… antisemitism – along with that other admirer of Israel, Jewish Voice for Peace (which is hardly Jewish, nor promotes peace).

The New School, a Manhattan- based university, is sponsoring the event in cooperation with the Jewish Voice for Peace and Jacobin Magazine, both of which promote causes of the radical Left.

Sarsour is Muslim activist and unrelenting critic of Israel who supports a boycott against the Jewish state. Among numerous other controversial statements, she tweeted in 2012, “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.”

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of JVP, is also scheduled to speak at the event, which will be moderated by Amy Goodman, host of the radio program Democracy Now.

The mind boggles. Jason Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, tweeted:

Israellycool explained the Tweet for non-Yanks:

It’s just a shame he used a US-specific reference and spelled ‘Oscar Mayer’ (the American meat and cold cut production company, owned by Kraft Heinz) as ‘Oscar Meyer’

Israellycool describes these anti-Israel “activists” thus:

Because the speakers include Linda Sarsour, who denies beingantisemitic, but boy does she hatethose who support a Jewish homeland.

And Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice For Peace (JVP), who sure love their murderers of Jews.

 

Linda Sarsour is also not the great feminist that she promotes herself as being, as the Tower notes:

In a critique of Linda Sarsour, Julie Lenarz, a senior fellow at The Israel Project, observed this past June in The Tower, “Linda Sarsour is not a feminist. She supports a culture that is forcing millions of women into religious slavery. She is a false apostle selling her regressive views to a blinded liberal audience.”

As for Rebecca Vilkomerson, you can read some of her anti-Israel activity and comments here, and below is a clip of her speaking at J Street, promoting BDS:

The New School did not seem to see the enormity of the problem, and assured the Jerusalem Post wide-eyed and disingenuously of their good intentions:

The New School responded in writing to The Jerusalem Post, saying the institution “is founded on principles of tolerance, social justice, and free intellectual exchange. These values remain central to our mission today, and we believe that engaging in debate on a range of issues and ideas is critical to our role as an academic institution”.

A representative who spoke on behalf of the school added: “We understand that there are different views on this issue.

For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these different views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League”.

The ADL declined the invitation.

Liel Leibowitz in The Tablet magazine launched a blistering attack on the New School for twisted thinking that led to their invitations:

Founded in 1919 by progressive New York intellectuals, The New School rose to prominence two decades later, when it took in a small band of Jewish intellectuals fleeing the Nazis. Eminences like Hannah Arednt, Leo Strauss, and Erich Fromm all benefited from the institution’s commitment to taking in the victims of the world’s most ancient and persistent hatred and giving them a place to pursue their ideas in peace.

How things change: Later this month, the university will co-sponsor a panel on anti-Semitism that will feature, among others, Linda Sarsour, who opined that “nothing is creepier than Zionism,” praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and believes one cannot support the right of Jews to a homeland of their own and still be a feminist. Alongside Sarsour will be Rebecca Vilkomerson, who heads the odious Jewish Voice for Peace. The group, as an ADL report aptly put it, “uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and to provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.” Among JVP’s recent achievements are the enthusiastic support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian terrorist convicted of a bombing attack on a Jerusalem supermarket that left two young students dead and who was recently deported from the United States after lying about the incident on her immigration forms. The group is also a frequent supporter, despite its allegations to the contrary, of Alison Weir, an activist robustly promoting modern-day blood libels against Jews.

It goes without saying, sadly, that the event—which is co-sponsored by prominent progressive institutions like the radical magazine Jacobin—features not a single actual scholar of anti-Semitism, nor one voice that doesn’t belong comfortably in the deep left.

The New School, scrambling to respond to the widely broadcast negative reactions it received, offered to organize a second panel “to discuss these issues”:

We understand that there are differing views on the issue of anti-Semitism. For that reason, the Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Program has invited representatives of the magazine Tablet to organize an event to present some of these differing views on this important topic; the program has also invited to participate Jonathan Greenblatt, National Director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

to which Liel Leibowitz at The Tablet angrily responded:

The aforementioned invitation arrived several moments later, to myself and other editors at Tablet, strongly suggesting that it had more to do with stanching the bleeding of a public relations problem that seriously resolving a brutal moral error. Even more insulting and infuriating is the fact that the invitation suggests that the New School sees this as a matter of balancing out two equally legitimate sides, each with its own point of view.

There ought never to be a debate between those who fan the flames of hatred and those who suffer its consequences. The New School of all institutions ought to know this, and it’s a shame that this once revered institution now peddles in the bluntest form of moral relativism rather than speak out against bigotry of all stripes.

My question remains: can the organizers at the New School really be so ignorant and obtuse as to think there is no problem with the panel of speakers at the antisemitism debate? Do they honestly think having another panel to discuss these “controversial issues” will balance out the problem?

Either they are so open-minded their brains fell out. Or they are outright antisemites. I still have not made up my mind.

United We Fall

January 18, 2017

United We Fall, American ThinkerDavid Solway, January 18, 2017

(How does one “unify” oil and water? An emulsion is possible but needs to be agitated constantly. The time, effort and funds wasted doing that would have to be diverted from achievable conservative objectives. — DM)

Striving to unite eternal incompatibles is a disaster in the making, and the president-elect must take this fact into consideration. Politics may be the art of compromise, but it also the art of determined action and resolute principle. For the incoming administration, this is the time for the head to predominate, the time for determination and scruple. You cannot make peace with those who hate the country, whose values are diametrically opposed to yours, or whose agenda “pivots” toward cultural and political disintegration.

Trump should put the party subversives in their place and, using every constitutional measure at his disposal, render the left in all its manifestations irrelevant and seek to neutralize its poison. And he must do so decisively if his presidency is to succeed. For counterfeit unity goeth before a fall.

**********************************

Donald Trump has gone on record as wishing to unite the nation. In fact, he has declared it one of his urgent priorities in numerous post-election comments.  I hope this is mere presidential rhetoric, for America has long passed the point when unity would be possible. The nation is now hopelessly divided and will remain so. Unless Trump recognizes this unpalatable reality, much of his decision-making and hard work will go for nought.

The left, which includes the majority of national institutions — the legacy media, the academy, television, Hollywood, the social media providers, the judiciary, online and print groups, government departments, the Democratic Party and much of the Republican Party, the political class as a whole and the army of liberal voters — will never be pacified. The left will never cease in its efforts to scheme against a Trump — or any conservative-leaning — administration.

Trump must take seriously Newt Gingrich’s warning against the temptation to “give in” to the left when opposition starts to mount from every quarter — the Greens, government employees, the teachers’ unions, indeed the entire progressivist Category 5 hurricane of demands and vilification. Not only should Trump resist that temptation, he must not waste his time and energy seeking to heal what cannot be repaired, but needs to engage in a kind of domestic cold war, using every legislative means in his purview to contain a dangerous and implacable internal enemy. This is realpolitik applied locally.

Robert Oscar Lopez pillories the academic left and the education industry at all levels, he writes: “Try to build bridges to them, and they punish you for it…[they take] kind gestures from conservatives as a sign that conservatives are weak.” The arts of conciliation tend to be perceived as “an invitation to shame you publicly, using anything you say against you.” He continues: “Higher education is not a swamp to be drained. It is a diabolical machine, and it is time to pull the plug.” What he says of the education consortium is true of the left across the entire cultural, social and political spectrum.

It is naïve to assume that the political fissure between left and right, collectivism and individuality, Socialism and classical liberalism, fantasy and reality, can ever be bridged. In essence, this is a perennial conflict, one which the great satirist Jonathan Swift in The Battle of the Books, drawing from the classics, described as the enmity between the predatory spider, who purls illusions out of his own entrails, and the foraging bee who produces sweetness and light and convulses the spider’s self-spun “citadel.” It is a conflict between opposed epistemological frames of reference — in Swiftian terms, that of the fanatic parvenu and that of the companionable humanist. Today it is a war between progressivists and conservatives, between utopian experimentalism and traditional values. The rupture cannot be parged. One should not invest in a fruitless and destructive effort to create unity where none is possible.

Where the effort to achieve unity has real meaning is in the attempt to mend the surmountable divisions of opinion within the conservative family in order to form a strong front against the forces that would subvert the political coherence and even the survival of the nation. Unity only makes sense if it is accomplished within the often disparate group of genuine patriots who may disagree on many points, yet who are basically at one in struggling to establish the rule of law and a functioning democratic — or rather, republican — polity. But to work for the unification of oil and water is not only an egregious error but a recipe for social and political disunity.

E.M. Cadwaladr argues America now comprises “two separate peoples…where any notion of compromise…is painfully naïve and utterly futile.” Conservatism is about the “freedom from government interference,” the freedom for citizens “to do with their property as they see fit [and to] prosper or fail in accordance with [their own] choices and abilities.” Conservatives believe that “charity is an individual virtue, [the purpose of which] is to raise the unfortunate to a state of self-sufficiency.” Freedom includes the right “to make one’s own judgments about other people” (so much for political correctness). And “equality” means equality before the law.

Progressivists believe in identity politics, in big government rather than scaled-down efficient government, in the collective over the individual, in compensating the aggrieved often at the expense of the deserving, in cultural and ethnic equivalency, and in building a new global utopia. For progressivists, freedom means “freedom from want (entitlements), sexual freedom (and the right to an abortion), and…a self-defined and flexible identity (including being addressed by whatever pronoun suits you.)” Equality before the law is an antiquated concept. Equality means equality of outcome, regardless of input.

In sum, “Nationalist conservatives cannot tolerate the destruction of their national identity. Globalist progressives cannot tolerate the very idea of nation states…They are not different merely in having differing views about the size and scope of government,” Cadwaladr concludes, they are “different in kind.” It is a divide that has never been healed throughout the course of recorded history and that cannot be healed under any conceivable American administration. Obama widened and exacerbated the divide; Trump cannot repair it, but if he is wise, he may be able to prevent a relentless internal enemy from using the divide to create a Marxist dystopia.

Cadwaladr uses the term “conservative” in a broad preferential sense, which is perfectly legitimate as such, but as we will see, a critical distinction has to be made.  In the current political climate, what I’ve called the “internal enemy” is twofold. Apart from the rhapsodic left that haunts the nation with its malignant dream, a true reformer must confront the schismatic dissension of his nominal allies, in this case the Republican aristocracy that works to undermine the restorative project. This too is a swamp that must be drained (or a diabolical machine whose plug must be pulled). False conservatives are no less and perhaps even more insidious than an avowed and definable antagonist. Major figures in the Republican Party — John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham, Mitt Romney et al. — and in the mainstream conservative movement — George Will, Bill Kristol, Kevin Williamson, Glenn Beck, David Frum et al. — have effectively acted in concert with the acknowledged foe, espousing many of its programs and laboring to discredit their own presidential candidate.

Such people have come to be known by the New Right as “cuckservatives,” an epithet circulating on the Internet and given prominence in John Red Eagle and Vox Day’s Cuckservative: How “Conservatives” Betrayed America. Cuckservatives, according to the two Native American authors, are like cuckolded husbands who “raise the children of another man instead of one’s own sons and daughters,” those who welcome the cuckoo bird to populate their nests. In the words of Mike Cernovich, who provided the Foreword to the book, “cuckservatives are false conservatives who are thrilled to see real Americans get screwed over by immigration!” And not only by immigration, but in almost every other respect as well: wretched education, rampant entitlements, false scandals (the patriarchy, college rape culture), anti-Constitutionalism, gender fluidity, feminism, economic strangulation, in short, an outright attack on what was once known as the American way of life.

In his own recent book MAGA MINDSET, Cernovich claims, with considerable evidence, that a cuckservitive is one who “will never have the back of his nominal friends and allies,” who wants “to be part of the establishment,” and who “cares more about attacking Donald Trump than putting any effort into understanding why Trump has grown a huge audience.” He uses the term, he goes on to say, “to describe prominent writers and talking heads on the political Right who are more concerned with being liked by SJWs than standing up for their actual allies.” There can be little common understanding between a conservative and a cuckservative. Conservative unity means marginalizing such collaborators who secretly fly the enemy’s flag. The conservative media and punditry are, for the most part, more interested in virtue-signaling to the left, in showing how reasonable and pro-“social justice” they are, than in defending conservative principles or supporting genuine conservatives who have come under attack.

The presumably noble endeavor to achieve unity with perpetual dissidents and adversaries — that is, between two contending frames of reference, whether in the nation or in the Party — is demonstrably counter-productive. Beware of unity with those who are wedded to sowing discord and for whom the invitation to make common cause is a weapon to create disunity in the body politic. We should not attempt to cultivate unity where unity cannot exist. We need, rather, to be unsparingly realistic.

Striving to unite eternal incompatibles is a disaster in the making, and the president-elect must take this fact into consideration. Politics may be the art of compromise, but it also the art of determined action and resolute principle. For the incoming administration, this is the time for the head to predominate, the time for determination and scruple. You cannot make peace with those who hate the country, whose values are diametrically opposed to yours, or whose agenda “pivots” toward cultural and political disintegration.

Trump should put the party subversives in their place and, using every constitutional measure at his disposal, render the left in all its manifestations irrelevant and seek to neutralize its poison. And he must do so decisively if his presidency is to succeed. For counterfeit unity goeth before a fall.

I’m Fighting the Left’s Culture War One Bagel at a Time

December 4, 2016

I’m Fighting the Left’s Culture War One Bagel at a Time, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, December 4, 2016

Their movements are never about what they say they are. They are about gaining power for themselves and destroying any who stand in their way. Those who refuse to comply with their ever-changing and ever more ridiculously unreal versions of nature and humanity must be the objects of never-ending warfare.

*********************

At first I dismissed the Democrats’ subsidized street riots and vandalism, moronic election recount demands, and perfervid attacks on Trump and his supporters in the press as a demonstration of their juvenile, narcissistic refusal to accept defeat. Then I read the brilliant essay by Angelo Codevilla

It’s a bit long and I know your Sundays are busy but if you can’t read it all at once, I’ll summarize what I think are the most significant points in the hope that if the topic is of interest you’ll read it all. He traces the notion of political correctness from the 1930 Communist movement through Antonio Gramsci’s “cultural hegemony” configuration to the modern Democratic Party and finds in them a familiar strain:

[A]ll progressives, Communists included, claim to be about creating new human realities, they are perpetually at war against nature’s laws and limits. But since reality does not yield, progressives end up pretending that they themselves embody those new realities. Hence, any progressive movement’s nominal goal eventually ends up being subordinated to the urgent, all-important question of the movement’s own power. Because that power is insecure as long as others are able to question the truth of what the progressives say about themselves and the world, progressive movements end up struggling not so much to create the promised new realities as to force people to speak and act as if these were real: as if what is correct politically — i.e., what thoughts serve the party’s interest — were correct factually.

Communist states furnish only the most prominent examples of such attempted groupthink. Progressive parties everywhere have sought to monopolize educational and cultural institutions in order to force those under their thumbs to sing their tunes or to shut up. But having brought about the opposite of the prosperity, health, wisdom, or happiness that their ideology advertised, they have been unable to force folks to ignore the gap between political correctness and reality.

He argues that this effort is bound to fail and progressives everywhere have had the same reaction “to this failure by becoming their own reason for being.” Their movements are never about what they say they are. They are about gaining power for themselves and destroying any who stand in their way. Those who refuse to comply with their ever-changing and ever more ridiculously unreal versions of nature and humanity must be the objects of never-ending warfare.

Unlike the Machiavellian Gramscian model of attaining power through cultural hegemony and coopting the institutions which might oppose them, the American left has chosen to go even further and pick “fights with the common sense of people it cannot wholly control.”  American schools of education taught a version of America in which this country “was born tainted by Western original sins — racism, sexism, greed and genocide against natives and the environment all wrapped in religious obscurantism and on the basis of hypocritical promises of freedom and equality.” These teachers created “a uniform class” which “now presides over nearly all federal and state, government bureaucracies, over the media, the educational establishment, and major corporations.”

Why does the American Left demand ever-new P.C. obeisances? In 2012 no one would have thought that defining marriage between one man and one woman, as enshrined in U.S. law, would brand those who do so as motivated by a culpable psychopathology called “homophobia,” subject to fines and near-outlaw status. Not until 2015-16 did it occur to anyone that requiring persons with male personal plumbing to use public bathrooms reserved for men was a sign of the same pathology. Why had not these become part of the P.C. demands previously? Why is there no canon of P.C. that, once filled, would require no further additions?

Because the point of P.C. is not and has never been merely about any of the items that it imposes, but about the imposition itself. Much less is it about creating a definable common culture or achieving some definable good. On the retail level, it is about the American’s ruling class’s felt need to squeeze the last drops of voter participation out of the Democratic Party’s habitual constituencies. On the wholesale level, it is a war on civilization waged to indulge identity politics.

Hurting dissenters has become, he argues, “an addictive pleasure” because they really have no priorities beyond aggrandizing their own power.

The end result of this insult to voters was the election of Trump and the rejection, almost entirely, of the Democratic Party.

As if to underscore that the flailing left hasn’t got the message and insists it has the right to silence those who hold different opinions we have three examples this week: Kellogg’s attack on Breitbart, BuzzFeed’s attack on the Gaineses and the boycott of Goldberg’s Bagels in Baltimore. They are all on a different scale of course, but all reflect the common leftist conceit that they are the fonts of all that is good and true and the rest of us must comply with whatever is this day’s fashions — from “global warming” to men in girls’ bathrooms, to ignoring Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal body parts.

Kellogg’s

To most of us, Kellogg’s Cereal is breakfast fare (cereal, Pop-Tarts). What is less well-known is that its non-profit arm, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, funds and supports a dogs’ breakfast of unsavory leftwing operations — from Soros’ Open Society to the odious foundation money-laundering outfit, the Tides Center.

This week, it flounced its skirts and announced it was pulling its advertising from the highly effective Breitbart site: “We regularly work with our media-buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that are not aligned with our values as a company,” said Kris Charles, a spokeswoman for Kellogg’s. “We recently reviewed the list of sites where our ads can be placed and decided to discontinue advertising on Breitbart.com. We are working to remove our ads from that site.”

Breitbart regularly having challenged the orthodoxy of the mainstream media and the uniparty, every good leftist — and I count Kellogg’s management in that category — must do all it can to demonize it, despite the unrealistic and untrue charges against the site and Steve Bannon who was its former executive chair and now is chief strategist for president-elect Trump. (In the same manner, at a Harvard Symposium this week, the losing Clinton advisors attacked the Trump campaign for “racist dog whistles” to win the election. I suppose that’s easier than conceding they ran a dreadful campaign for a candidate who called those who opposed her “deplorables” and offered no policy reasons — only her sex and time [poorly] served in elective office. They ought to read Codevilla for a clue.)

Chip and Joanna Gaines

Democratic candidates pay election-year homage to religious beliefs (Clinton, for example, talked about her “Methodist beliefs” forming her views). They are coopting religious organizations, inter alia, Mussolini-style by means of lavishly funding the “faith-based” NGOs which are paid per head to place unskilled, unvetted Moslem refugees on the U.S. welfare rolls in exchange for which they lobby for more such immigration. At the same it is no secret that the ruling elites make every effort to undermine Judeo-Christian beliefs and attack believers.

This week’s designated target is HGTV’s “Fixer Upper couple Chip and Joanna Gaines”. In a particularly odious witch-hunting move, BuzzFeed posted that they attended a church whose pastor believes the Bible — that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman.

Why anyone, other than the author of this piece, cares was a mystery to even the Washington Post, but if so, it’s because the Post’s writers haven’t been paying attention to the earlier successful anti-religious PC campaigns forcing wedding cake bakers and florists to serve at gay weddings or nuns to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees.

Ace of Spades Headquarters could not resist a response:

HGTV has a remodeling show “Fixer Upper” featuring Chip & Joanna Gaines. I’ve seen it a few times. They appear to be nice couple and seem to do a good job. No religious overtones that I’ve seen.

One problem, the Gaines belong to a church where SSM is not accepted. The Gaines’ have kept their mouths shut but are under pressure to state their beliefs.

So Christians who stay true to their beliefs are fair game? Right? Well, if Christians are to be held accountable for their beliefs. What about Muslims?

So if the Gaines’ church and pastor can lead to their suspension and/or termination. (Stay tuned) What about a Muslim congressman?

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) hasn’t come out publicly for the exclusion of SSM. But it appears that his Imam has.

“It’s not within our paradigm, really, to change the word of God,” said Imam Makram El-Amin, leader of Masjid Al-Nur in Minneapolis. “Our religion is clear about this matter. It’s not a lifestyle that we accept as being part of the natural way of things for human beings. When it comes to that, that’s my position, and that’s Islam’s position. And this incident as tragic and terrible as it is that does not change that,” he said.

Until Congressman Ellison comes forth and denounces his Imam, his mosque and anti-homosexuality Keith Ellison is not in a position to run the DNC. Hell, he shouldn’t even be a congressman. We won’t even get into his Anti-Semitism and his ties to the Nation of Islam.

If we can’t have a Christian couple star in a 30 minute cable show about home fixer uppers, certainly we can’t have an anti-homosexual bigot run the DNC.

But when it comes to the hypocrites left we know which religion is acceptable, don’t we?

Goldberg’s Bagels

Goldberg’s Bagels is a small kosher bakery in Baltimore,

When a customer attacked pro-Trump supporters outside his store, claiming Trump was a rapist and racist, the shop owner tried to quell the disturbance by asking the woman to leave. She further insulted Trump and then his supporters. This prompted Mr. Drebin, the shop owner, to express his own support for Trump, after which his Facebook page was filled with insults suggesting Drebin approved of “anti-Semitism, misogyny, xenophobia and alt-right leanings.” The entire PC shtick.

His business dropped by 15%.

Keep this stuff up and someday there won’t be a Democratic Party. In the meantime, I note that Goldberg’s Bagels has a website, and you can order by mail. They’re very delicious, (So is Chik-fil-A, by the way.)

Let the left play the P.C. card all they want, I will fight to trump them every time.

 

The Progressive Disintegration

November 23, 2016

The Progressive Disintegration, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, November 23, 2016

loosers

A month ago, progressives were having a conniption fit over Trump’s refusal to accept the outcome of the election. So of course, now that Trump has won, they are rioting, vandalizing, staging “cry-ins,” ditching class, group-hugging, tweeting threats, calling names, seeking counseling, and doing everything in their power to make sure that their party declines even further. If this behavior continues, and if––a big “if” –– Trump governs the way he promised, we may be witnessing the start of the progressive disintegration.

Start with the melting snowflake millennials, all those “cocksure women and hensure men,” as D.H. Lawrence once described feminists of both sexes. These layabouts have become used to throwing tantrums whenever they don’t like something or they feel “unsafe.” Most of them are spoiled brats, the pampered detritus of the middle class. But don’t forget the Alinskyite activists who manipulate these juveniles and bus them in on George Soros’ dime. These two-bit Leninists are adept at using “useful idiots” in order to further their aim of destroying America’s political and social order. They’re skilled at manipulating empty slogans like “income inequality,” “fair share,” “social justice,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” and all the other bumper-sticker bromides in order to consolidate and increase their power and influence.

If the delicate millennial Eloi were really interested in reforming their team instead of indulging phony moral exhibitionism, they would start with the Democrat party. No true leftist would have sat still for the nomination of a candidate so obviously part of the fat-cat ruling class as Hillary Clinton. (And no, he wouldn’t be happy with Bernie Sanders either, a bumbling blowhard who thinks imitating Sweden’s “social democracy” ––which means an overregulated capitalism leavened with over-generous social welfare benefits––is somehow an epochal revolutionary change.) It was electoral malfeasance to choose a geriatric insider and establishment plutocrat with no charisma and a long record of abusing her privilege and power. So, kiddies, go protest against the DNC and Barack Obama. They’re the reason the Republican party is the strongest it’s been since 1928.

Next, look at yourselves. As Piers Morgan––no conservative he––said recently, “The tragic truth is that America’s millennials are a bunch of phone-addicted, selfie-obsessed, hashtagging, snapchatting, kale-munching, twerking, lazy, whining, ill-informed, politically correct, cossetted narcissists who find absolutely everything mortally offensive and believe there are 165 ways to sexually identify.” It follows that your politics are merely symbolic, expressions of your inflated self-regard, privileged life-style, and arrogant pretensions to sophistication and intelligence. Unsurprisingly, as Morgan points out, according to the National Institutes of Health, 40% of you think you should be promoted every two years despite performance, 77% of you can’t name a senator from your home state, and 80% of you think you’ll be richer than your parents, even as you pile up student debt earning junk “studies” degrees utterly useless for employment in the real world.

In contrast to symbolic politics, real politics is grubby hard work: knocking on doors, registering voters, and not just preaching to the choir, but converting new voters. Follow Obama’s advice to Republicans three years ago: “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election” (HT Cal Thomas). By the way, you won’t win many elections by demonizing nearly half of voters as ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and cisgendered “irredeemable deplorables.”

More important, you need to vote. Only half of your 24-million-strong cohort voted in this election. You also need to understand that not everybody between the ages of 18-29 thinks exactly like you. Thirty-seven percent of millennials voted for Donald Trump. Instead of crying and vandalizing and screaming question-begging epithets, you should figure out how to talk to your fellow millennials and make persuasive, fact-based arguments based on coherent principles. But of course, if you could do that, you wouldn’t be progressives.

Then there are the Dems. They long ago embraced a balkanizing identity politics based mainly on demonizing those white voters who pulled the lever for Trump. They pander incessantly to race hucksters and rich women and sleek “Hispanics,” most of whom never cut grapes or even speak Spanish. They embrace counter-factual nonsense like “white privilege,” when they of all people should know that the color of privilege in America is the currency shade of green. They and their wholly owned subsidiaries, the mainstream media and the educational industry, enforce a preposterous political correctness that is intellectually lazy and morally bankrupt. They trade in group-identities often based on stereotypes and generalizations that old-school Jim Crow segregationists relied on. The blatant hypocrisy of a political correctness that never protects Christians, poor whites, or conservatives finally angered enough voters to set aside their distaste for Trump and put him in office.

Yet despite that rebuke, after the election the Democrat elite indulged the same old nonsense. The tried to play the “sexist” card to explain Hillary’s defeat, posited a preposterous “whitelash” of racists, tarred the careerist James Comey as a Republican mole, whined about the Electoral College while trying to suborn Electors, conjured up sinister Klansmen and alt-right storm-troopers, insulted 49 million Americans as haters, and prophesized an imminent fascist coup engineered by Trump’s goose-stepping Goebbels, Steve Bannon. Rather than come up with new ideas, they’re doubling-down on the stale paradigm that demography guarantees them a permanent coalition comprising various identity-groups united by the promise of more set-asides and wealth redistribution, and bicoastal plutocrats who compensate for their privilege by catering to the minority masses they make sure never enter their gated compounds except to make the beds and mow the lawn. They don’t consider that Trump’s victory could make that plan obsolete if he follows through on his promise to tighten up on immigration.

Finally, instead of rethinking their exploded economic myths and abandoning a divisive identity politics, many Dems want to keep steaming full speed ahead toward the next electoral iceberg. Look at the two candidates touted as replacements for the tarnished DNC interim chair Donna Brazile. Howard “Screaming” Dean, erstwhile presidential candidate and governor of a state with fewer people than Fresno County, is a tax-and-spend, “fair share,” regulation-happy, identity politics tribune and radical egalitarian redistributionist of the kind whose policies have given us sluggish growth, job-killing regulations, and astronomical debt. The other choice is Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a zealous Muslim convert by way of the ultra-racist Nation of Islam. He is tainted with anti-Semitism, apologetics for Iran and terrorists like Hamas, virulent hatred of Israel, wacky 9-11 conspiracy theories, and the usual progressive blame-America-first foreign policy and magical-thinking economics. No surprise that he has been endorsed by the Jacobin Cherokee Elizabeth Warren, and ex-Senator Harry Reid, Obama’s legislative Luca Brasi.

The few sane Democrats counseling a change of course are unlikely to halt the self-destruction of so many failed progressive gods. Only Trump can prevent that “consummation devoutly to be wished” by failing to keep his campaign promises.

Stop Talking Like Progressives

June 23, 2016

Stop Talking Like Progressives, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, June 23, 2016

(Even better, stop being progressives. — DM)

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Every drop in the polls or bit of blunt talk from Donald Trump ignites another explosion of Trump Derangement Syndrome from Republican pundits and politicians. And every time such Republicans open their mouths, they strengthen the perception that they are an out of touch elite having more in common with the Democrats with whom they share the same university credentials and tony zip codes. So they confirm the very suspicions that have driven much of Trump’s support.

It doesn’t help that too many Republicans use the same loaded language and share the same assumptions of the progressives. For example, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens wrote a whole column on the historical parallels with the 1930s, linking Trump to Italian fascism. In the Washington Post, the Brookings Institute’s Robert Kagan explained “this is how fascism comes to America.” More recently, NRO’s Jay Nordlinger meditated on whether the “F-word” applies to Trump, and concluded, “I’m not sure.”

The remoteness of the chance that America could move that far right leaves the topic of Trump’s fascistic tendencies a mere device for tarring Trump with the fascist brush. Everyone knows that “fascist” is the left’s favorite insult, and its use depends on massive ignorance of historical fascism, the differences between authoritarian and fascist regimes, and the distinctions between Italian fascism and German Nazism. But it’s an effective smear, at once tainting the target with the excesses of Nazism, but containing little content other than the speaker’s ideological dislike of whatever he is branding “fascist.” It should be a tenet of conservativism to respect the integrity of language and history, and not to indulge the linguistic dishonesty that defines progressive propaganda.

Then there’s the flap over Trump’s remarks about the judge who is hearing the suit over Trump University. House Speaker Paul Ryan, currently the lodestar of anti-Trump Republicans, called Trump’s charges that the judge might be biased toward him “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Sure it is, if your “textbook” is the Progressive Lexicon of Orwellian Smears.

Ryan elevated his dudgeon because Trump correctly said the judge is a Mexican. The Trumpophobes all cried “Gotcha” and smugly pointed out that the judge was born in Indiana. But they are as ignorant as Ryan is about how the children of immigrants self-identity. I have lived all my life amidst people descended from immigrants from a dozen different countries, and they all call themselves “Mexican” or “Portuguese” or “Italian” or “Armenian” when asked about their origins. Nobody thinks they mean they are citizens of those countries or were necessarily born there.  Someone who calls himself “Scots-Irish” isn’t claiming dual citizenship in Scotland and Ireland. This episode reminded us once again that the “comprehensive immigration reform” Republicans who dream of flipping the Hispanic vote know very little about the daily reality of immigration in America whether legal or illegal––confirming the beliefs of Trump supporters that the Republicans can’t be trusted on immigration policy.

As bad as that was, though, calling Trump’s comment “racist” is just validating the progressives’ distortion of that word to serve their political and ideological interests. It’s as stupid as calling Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration “racist,” as though Islam is a race instead of a religion. There’s only one valid definition of “racism”: the belief that every member of a “race” isby nature immutably inferior to members of another race. Or, to use the Darwinian jargon of the progressives’ intellectual ancestors in the twenties and thirties, people “unfit” for survival. Since then the left has turned the word into an all-purpose smear used against anyone who disagrees with their politicized, self-serving analysis of race relations in America or any topic involving the Third World. Now anything and everything is “racist,” even simple statements of fact, such as black males commit nearly half of the murders in the U.S. For Ryan to use the word this way validates this corruption of language, and to Trump supporters it is just another example of how the Republican “establishment” is too ideologically cozy with the Democrats.

Or consider Paul Ryan’s recently announced resurrection of his 2014 anti-poverty plan. More significant than the proposals, which recycle the usual “work not welfare” generalities, is something Ryan said three months ago. He apologized for distinguishing between “makers and takers,” and admitted that he was “callous” and “oversimplified and castigated [low-income] people with a broad brush.” Ryan may have made such comments out of political calculation, an attempt to distance himself from Mitt Romney’s “47%” comment that many believed contributed to his and Ryan’s defeat in 2014. If so, it didn’t work. The progressive commentariat and Democrats alike have blasted the plan as a “new spin on a bad deal,” as Democrat House minority whip Steny Hoyer put it. Ryan doesn’t seem to get that the Dems are like Auric Goldfinger: they don’t expect Republicans to talk, they expect them to die.

But whatever his intention, the apology is a textbook example of the Republican “preemptive cringe,” the ceding to the left of too many of their questionable assumptions, and adopting the same maudlin rhetoric and groveling. Ryan’s proposals on “poverty” illustrate this bad habit.

First, Ryan should acknowledge that the “poor” are a statistical artifact, comprising all those people whose incomes fall below about $24,000 for a family of four. Ignored is the value of non-cash subsidies and benefits: food stamps, school meals, Section 8 housing subsidies, welfare, Medicaid, Obamacare subsidies, and Social Security Disability payments, just a few of the 80 means-tested programs funded by redistributing wealth through federal taxes, and by massive debt and deficits. Nor does the government’s data take into account the off-the-books economy, which in the U.S. amounts to nearly 10% of GDP, a low estimate. I’ve know many people over the years who were statistically poor and received benefits. Most of them worked at tax-free cash jobs like childcare, and some were engaged in illegal activities like dealing drugs.

That’s why Ryan’s “work not welfare” paradigm is so weak. People may be “poor,” but they’re not stupid. If they can work part-time in the cash economy and still receive numerous government benefits, why should they work and earn less? That’s partly why the workforce participation rate is at 62%, a 40-year low. We have 11 million illegal aliens, in part because citizens don’t want or need to work crappy jobs when they can work in the informal economy and still receive government benefits. And that also explains why the statistical poor consume nearly twice their cash income, and enjoy a level of material existence that would be considered opulent in the Third World. We are the first civilization in history to turn obesity into a disease of poverty.

Anyone who wants to talk about poverty, then, has to start with how we define the poor, and address what constitutes a reasonable level of material existence. But that never happens, because the progressives need “poverty” as one of those Alinskyite “good crises” that progressives must “never let go to waste.” They use the word as a rhetorical cudgel, evoking the pathos of Dickensian London to coerce people into giving even more money to government anti-poverty programs that have squandered $20 trillion since 1965 without budging the percentage of people deemed poor. A genuine conservative would start with defining words precisely, looking at the reality of people’s lives, and sorting out social injustice from bad personal decisions.

Finally, and most disturbing, is Ryan’s endorsing the progressive assumption that the federal government has the responsibility to deal with problems best addressed by the states, municipalities, and civil society. He seems to have forgotten Reagan’s quip, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  Even worse is that Ryan seems to think that a properly designed government program can create morals, ethics, character, and virtues like hard work. This has been a central conceit of the progressives for over a century, and it is flat wrong. As even Ryan acknowledges, increased government involvement in people’s lives weakens character and virtue by creating perverse incentives that reward not being virtuous. But the solution is not to adjust another government program, but to get the government out of the way and eliminate the “moral hazard” of exempting people from personal responsibility.

Harping on Trump and tweaking government programs are distractions. Ryan and all Republicans must talk more about the biggest problem we face domestically–– a centralized, bloated federal government devouring more and more of the country’s wealth, hocking our children’s future, and eroding our freedom, all in order to create legions of electorally reliable Democrat functionaries and clients. Yet too many Republicans and conservatives have accepted the unconstitutional premise of progressivism––that the federal government should “solve problems.” Trump has skillfully created the perception that Republicans are on the same page as Democrats, and that he represents an alternative to this “rigged” duopoly.

Republicans and conservative critics of Trump need to stop talking like progressives and start confronting the people with the disastrous fiscal trajectory of the federal Leviathan. A good start is to restore the integrity of our language.

The Progressive Lust for Power

May 18, 2016

The Progressive Lust for Power, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, May 18, 2016

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Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been talking a lot about “fairness” and “equality” during their primary campaigns. Like most progressives, they pass themselves off as the champions of the ordinary people who are suffering beneath the boot of rapacious capitalists and the plutocratic “one percent.” Give us power, they say, and we will create “social justice” for all the victims of “white privilege” and capitalist greed, not to mention redistributing even more money from the selfish “rich” in order to finance such utopian goals.

Promiscuously displaying their hearts bleeding for the oppressed has long been the progressive camouflage that hides their real motive: the lust for power. Whether they want power to advance their failed ideology (Sanders), or to gratify their ambition for status and wealth (Hillary), in the end it doesn’t matter. History has repeatedly proven that the libido dominandi,the ancient lust for dominating others that lies behind the progressives’ political ambitions, in the end always leads to tyranny and misery.

When progressivism began in the late 19th century, progressives at least were honest about their aim to expand their power over the ignorant, selfish masses. A striking––and prophetic–– example can be found in Woodrow Wilson’s 1890 essay “Leaders of Men.” Wilson rejected the limited executive of the Constitution for a more activist president who has the “insight” to know “the motives which move other men in the mass”:

Besides, it is not a sympathy ­[with people] that serves, but a sympathy whose power is to command, to command by knowing its instrument . . . The competent leader of men cares little for the interior niceties of other people’s characters: he cares much-everything for the external uses to which they may be put. His will seeks the lines of least resistance; but the whole question with him is a question of the application of force.There are men to be moved: how shall he move them?

In the progressive view, fellow citizens are an abstract, collective “mass,” “instruments” that must be “moved,” manipulated, and used to reach the ideological goals of the technocratic elite, who knows far better than the people how they should live, what they should believe, and what aims they should strive for. Any resistance must be met by “the application of force.” Wilson means here primarily psychological or social force, but as we have seen after a century of expanding federal power, progressive policies enshrined in federal law are in the end backed by the coercive power of the police to punish non-compliance and enforce compliance.

From this perspective, Barack Obama is not an anomaly or some new political phenomenon birthed in the sixties. He is the predictable result of progressive assumptions over a century old. Thus he shares Wilson’s view of a “leader of men” as someone who knows what’s best for the people, and is willing to use unconstitutional “force” to achieve his aims. Think of the IRS hounding conservative political organizations, or the EPA violating private property rights, or the DOJ usurping the sovereignty of the states, or Obama’s various executive diktats that compromise individual rights, legislated laws, and the power of the states. All of these actions have applied “force” to “move” men in a particular ideological direction.

Also like Wilson, Obama has no “sympathy” with Congress, or the states, or the people who want, for example, the border secured, illegal aliens caught and punished, and felons deported. To progressives, the people holding those beliefs are all just bigots, or backwards, or evil obstructions of “social justice,” and so need to be “commanded” whatever their “interior niceties.” As such, they must be “moved” to accept Obama’s ideological preference: a vague internationalism and cultural relativism that compromise our distinct national character defined by a shared language and culture. If Congress or the states will not comply with Obama’s wishes by passing the laws he wants, then the “line of least resistance” will be Executive Orders, “Dear Colleague” letters, and instructions to federal agencies to “move” people to his point of view whether they like it or not.

Obviously, this philosophy of presidential leadership undermines the Constitution and its limited executive and separation of powers. More importantly, it forgets the primary purpose of the Constitution, which is not to “solve problems” or create utopias. Individuals, families, towns, counties, and states solve problems, not the distant, unaccountable Washington technocrats imposing cookie-cutter regulations and laws on America’s vast variety of needs, beliefs, and interests. Rather, the great goal of the Founding was to protect freedom by limiting the ability of any faction from concentrating power in government and using it to diminish the freedom of others. Such a faction is a tyrant, and as the Declaration of Independence details, it was the serial injustices of George III, whose “direct object [was] the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” that sparked the American Revolution.

More broadly, the progressives’ modus operandi has followed that of tyrants throughout history. The most dangerous enemies of the tyrant are all the associations and communities of people that lie beyond the power of the state, what Edmund Burke called the “little platoons,” and Alexis de Tocqueville recognized as one of the exceptional characteristic of the United States. Families, churches, PTAs, private schools and universities, clubs, think tanks, political parties, sports teams, businesses, charities––any venue in which people voluntarily gather together, interact with one another, and pursue their shared interests and aims, stands as a check on the power of the government. They create a social space in which people exercise their freedom without permission or oversight from government officials, and where their customs, traditions, and habits function as an alternative authority to the power of the state.

We call this civil society, and since ancient Greece, tyrants have known that it is their greatest enemy. Hence totalitarian regimes target these alternative authorities and try to destroy or delegitimize them. Progressives have similarly extended their reach into civil society, replacing private organizations with the bureaus, offices, and agencies of the government. Civil society is minimized, and society more and more comprises the mass of people overseen and regulated by a centralized technocratic power. This suits the tyrant, who knows the masses are easier to control when fragmented into private individual lives, either by violence, as in the past and in parts of the world today, or by redistributing wealth and taking over the management their lives, as our government does.

The latter method, what Tocqueville called “soft despotism,” is now our political reality, as Hillary’s and Bernie’s soothing promises of even more free stuff and more nanny-state tutelage show. More and more of our lives have been colonized by the federal government, which now controls and instructs us on everything from our diets and religious beliefs, to how to raise our children and understand sex identity. And if we disagree, government agencies will enforce their will, backed by the coercive power of the state. As a result, a government designed to check power and defend our freedom has now become one of concentrated power that diminishes our freedom.

If you think I exaggerate, consider what will happen if Hillary ends up nominating two or three Supreme Court justices. She has publicly condemned the Citizens United and Heller decisions, the former of which defended the First Amendment, the latter the Second. A court with a progressive majority could end up reversing these confirmations of our Constitutional rights to exercise free speech and bear arms. We could then end up with hate-speech restrictions like those used in Canada and the E.U. to censor speech offensive to privileged groups, or confiscations of our weapons of the sort Obama has openly suggested.

If that should happen, we will have come closer to the point of no return, and reap the consequences Tocqueville warned about:

It is indeed difficult to conceive how men who have entirely given up the habit of self-government should succeed in making a proper choice of those by whom they are to be governed; and no one will ever believe that a liberal, wise, and energetic government can spring from the suffrages of a subservient people.

The Self-Contradictory Liberals

April 23, 2016

The Self-Contradictory Liberals, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, April 23, 2016

♦ Many liberals — not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, white people and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, often in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism.

♦ These liberals repeatedly contradict their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

♦ It would appear that, whatever Israelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish.

♦ Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought and even gave their lives.

♦ Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is no secret that politicians on both the “right” and “left” lie, dissemble, equivocate, misrepresent, misinform, falsify, whitewash and cover up. Not even the noble and honest Cicero was immune to fudging and shifting sides. It is the nature of politics. For much of the time we put up with it until it grows so far-fetched, we can no longer shut our eyes and let ourselves be lulled into further acquiescence. We all put up with this, do our best to spot the lies, or rely on investigative journalists to dig beneath the surface of what governments claim or their opponents hide.

But something strange has been happening to people calling themselves liberals. (Note: The term “liberal” differs enormously between the U.S. and the UK. Americans use it to describe anyone from the Democratic Party through to those even farther to the left. But the British use it for people from the political centre towards the right, and it has no connotations of far left extremism. It is used here in the American sense.) The far left — the Marxists, Trotskyites etc. — the campus extremists, even the new leadership of Britain’s Labour Party have started to contradicting their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women.

All sides of the political spectrum share many ideals in their original form: advocacy of human rights, equal justice under the law; the rights of racial and religious minorities, homosexuals, workers, women. They also share an opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, fascism, and religious fundamentalism. These are ideals in any democratic nation — views demonstrated by modern legislation across a host of democratic parliaments.

But many liberals appear to distort all this. They take extreme positions, guided by three linked but often confused issues: political correctness, cultural relativism and moral relativism. There seems to be a deep-seated belief, not only that all cultures possess and practice different values (the original premise of neutral cultural relativism in anthropology); or that, God forbid!, Western values are better than non-Western ones. Many liberals appear, instead, to think, that non-Western values are better or certainly no worse, than Western ones.

The idea that Western states, heirs to imperialism and still practitioners of indirect colonialism, have imposed their values on the rest of the world, makes the values of the “victim” — the “oppressed” and the “occupied” — superior to those of the West. But it is precisely Western values and laws that have been responsible for the very concept of human rights, for efforts to free former colonies, to bring aid to Third World countries, to grant rights to minorities, to introduce high-quality education, to advocate for women’s rights, and more.

No other former imperialists, not least those of the many Muslim empires throughout history, have acted in this way towards the subjects of their former colonies. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed liberals have responded to this commitment to human rights by charging the West with some form of original sin requiring Europeans and Americans to carry a heavy weight of guilt (as documented so well by the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner in books such as The Tyranny of Guilt).

One of the greatest examples of the excessive focus on the West is universal condemnation of the transatlantic slave trade, supposedly divorced from the Muslim/Arab slave trades, which continues without protest from these liberals in some places to this day. This, even though the Islamic trade was larger and longer-lasting than the Western one. Mauritania today holds anti-slavery protestors in prison, despite slavery there having been outlawed since 1981.

It is not hard to see why so many liberals– not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, whites and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, toleration, diversity, and multiculturalism.

If this sounds a little abstract, here are some examples to show this confusion at its worst.

As a telling example of hypocritical behaviour, for many years now, a range of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) organizations have campaigned against the state of Israel. They have marched, carrying rainbow banners, alongside far-left extremists and far-right Muslims, shouting abuse against Israel and calling for an end to the “occupation” of the West Bank.

The annual National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change, is an event held by the US National LGBTQ Task Force, based in Washington D.C., one of the most important bodies in the struggle for gay rights. The 2016 Creating Change conference was held in the Hilton Chicago between 20 and 24 of January.

Writing about this event, leading human rights and pro-LGBT activist and lawyer Melanie Nathan declared that, “This week will go down in history as one of the saddest and most destructive, ever, in the lives of LGBTQ Jews. We became the target of antisemitism disguised as protesting alleged ‘Israeli oppression.’ Anyone who truly understands the history, the context and milieu will clearly access the bottom line and that came in the form of the chant that served to helm the onslaught by LGBTQ protesters at the Creating Change 2016 Conference, who yelled: ‘Palestine will be free from the river to the sea’.” As is well known, the river is the Jordan and the sea is the Mediterranean, meaning that Israel will be replaced by a large Palestinian state from which Jews will have been ethnically cleansed.

A pro-Israel LGBT organization, A Wider Bridge, had planned to host an all-inclusive Shabbat reception on Friday 22nd, with the aim of introducing delegates to visiting Israeli LGBT guests. On the 18th, however, conference organizers caved in to anti-Israel demands and banned the reception. Many people strongly objected to this divisive move; on the following day the banning decision was reversed. Clearly, trouble lay ahead, and, true to form, an enormous band of Anti-Israel demonstrators from the LGBT community disrupted the reception, chanting the rhyming slogan above while carrying printed and home-made posters saying “Zionism sucks,” “No Pride in Apartheid”.

That Palestinians sometimes beat and kill gay men is irrelevant to their way of thinking, as is the moral inconvenience that homosexuality is illegal in all Muslim states, and punished there by imprisonment, execution, or mob violence. These facts are of no apparent interest to those determined to slander Israel at all costs.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East — and most of Africa and Asia — where gay rights are guaranteed by law, where Gay Pride parades are held, and where gay tourism is encouraged. Yet, surprisingly, LGBT groups in the West never march or demonstrate to condemn countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others where gay men are hanged from cranes, beheaded, stoned or thrown from high buildings.

LGBT attacks on Israel and the distortion of gay rights as “pinkwashing” — claiming that the state of Israel uses its freedoms for all its gay inhabitants in order to whitewash its supposedly evil persecution of the Palestinian people — represent something psychologically troubling. Israel should be a major source of pride and admiration for LGBT people. Yet the very idea of rights for the LGBT community is simply cast aside in favour of deeply distasteful, profoundly misguided, and frequently anti-Semitic agitation that calls for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state. Liberal politics, post-colonialism, and a staggering inverted moral relativism work together to cancel out all the good that Israel does and all the safety it offers to all its citizens.

The charge of “pinkwashing” carries an even broader message. It would appear that, whateverIsraelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish — whether it be the remarkable international aid it provides in disaster-stricken regions or even the work of Israeli volunteers rescuing and feeding refugees in the enemy state of Syria, the 17 field hospitals and surgical centres Israel runs to help Syrians, its many advances in life-saving medical treatment, or the protection it affords to many persecuted minority religious communities from Christians to Baha’is. This blanket condemnation of Israel also carries another message: that whatever crimes other nations commit — from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Sudan, or whatever acts of terror Muslim groups or Palestinians carry out — these may be passed over in silence or even supported. And they are. There is even another clear message: that even the most positive side of the people we hate is really just a cover for sinister conspiracies. This view falls in line with the conspiracy theories familiar from Tsarist Russia, the Third Reich, Soviet Russia, the Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq. Those are never healthy models to follow, above all for those who think of themselves as moral or enlightened.

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Palestinians, members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, member states of the UN, and hundreds of other anti-Israel and anti-Zionist campaigners, supposed intellectuals, and politicians repeatedly argue that Israel is an illegal colonial entity, and that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal under international law. In fact, Israel’s presence in the West Bank is perfectly legal.[1]

If there are allegations that Israel has taken land by force and claimed sovereignty contrary to international law, it has not. All Israel’s wars have so far been defensive. Either Israel was attacked first or has responded to a legitimate casus belli (legal cause for war) such as the closure by Egypt of the Strait of Tiran in 1967). There are allegations that Israel carries out “ethnic cleansing;” it does not — and much more.[2]

But when Israel’s supporters point out that its opponents are referring to lies that have no relevance to Israel — and when these supporters list UN resolutions (notably resolutions 181, 242, and 338), League of Nations rulings establishing the Palestine Mandate, and a host of other documents designed to enforce international law — Israel’s opponents shout and declare all these legal instruments to be invalid — for no apparent legal reason, but presumably that they demonstrate the falsity of their own claims. In other words, they show themselves to be not in the least respectful of international law. International law seems respected by them only if it can be distorted to be used as a weapon against Israel.

On the face of it, liberals often claim to share values that the rest of us hold, too. They declare themselves to be anti-racist, they call for rights for women, for sexually anomalous people, for the restoration of rights for people living in former colonies, for the rights of formerly oppressed people to self-determination, and much else that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But they seem never satisfied by the straightforward promotion of these rights through democratic processes. They appear to prefer angry demonstrations, occasional rioting, and even sometimes terrorism.[3] Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought.

Take racism: Liberals rightly work against discriminating against people of colour. But when it comes to the Jewish people, history’s most abused and persecuted ethnic and religious community, the pretence of being anti-racist is dropped and hardline liberals explode into racist fury, adopting all the techniques of far-right anti-Semites. In Europe, large numbers of liberal activists have joined forces with ultra-conservative Muslims to march through the streets of Britain, the Netherlands and elsewhere chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas,” or listening as their terror-supporting Muslim allies sing “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud: Jaysh Muhammad sa ya-ud” (which loosely translates as “Remember the Battle of Khaybar, O you Jews: the army of Muhammad is coming back.” Khaybar refers to the 629 A.D. assault led by Muhammad against the last Jewish tribe in Arabia.

697July 2014: Demonstrators in The Hague, Netherlands chant “Death to the Jews”, while flying the black flag of jihad. (Image source: Twitter/@SamRaalte)

Were these left-wing demonstrators to chant and march and threaten to exterminate any other race, they would be known for the racist thugs they really are. But Jews are apparently fair game. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

This clear anti-Semitism by the liberal-Islamist alliance is given another ironic twist that seeks to cover its racism by placing the argument on what appears to be a purely political footing. Although the UN Charter and other mainstream instruments call for the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, as in Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, India, Pakistan and elsewhere liberal support for self-determination is betrayed by an almost total refusal to recognize the rights of one ethnic (and ultimately indigenous) people: the Jews. Of the post-imperialist states, one alone is singled out for opprobrium: Israel. Rhetoric about Israelis being imperialists, colonizers or fascists, leads one to think that Israel’s enemies know nothing about the vast Ottoman empire that was the last legitimate regime to control the territories from which Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the disputed territories all spring. The “Palestine will be free” marchers evidently know nothing much about history. Israelis — just like citizens in their neighbouring states — are a people freed from the tyranny of the Muslim Ottomans and awarded a new destiny precisely because Europe’s imperial powers, the League of Nations, and the United Nations, relinquished their right to rule in favour of Jewish sovereignty.

Today’s new anti-Semites ignore or are wholly ignorant of the long and unprecedented history of the Jewish diaspora.[4] No other people has longed for self-determination for so long or with such sustained intensity.

To leave Israel for a moment, we can find an important anomaly among liberal feminists who actively support the wearing of the Muslim veil and even choose to turn a blind eye to the misogyny of Islamic law, forced marriages, child marriages, female genital mutilation, honour killings and the stoning of women accused of adultery. This is, perhaps, the most hideous example of hypocrisy and double standards — finding fault with even the most trivial of Western attitudes to women while doing nothing to protect Muslim women simply because it supposedly is “racist” to condemn Muslims. It appears that the fear of being called racist is more important to many than a genuine concern for the human rights of a group that is clearly oppressed. A Western man calling women “chicks” may expect the full force of feminist wrath, but a Muslim man who beats his wife because the Qur’an advises him to, is exonerated because wife-beating is part of his different and purportedly inviolable culture.

Writing in Tablet magazine last year, Heather Rogers relates how she at first dismissed criticism of misogyny within Muslims communities because “Westerners have no right to tell Muslims how to live” and downplayed arguments about the rate of Islamic honour killings. It was only on later reflection, she said, that she began to pose questions such as, “Why aren’t more non-Muslim feminists speaking up about violence against women in Muslim-majority countries?” She then gives an example of how liberal feminists distort matters. “In searching the Internet,” she writes, “I begin to find the vestiges of a discussion of the subject among Leftists, which suggests some reasons why many non-Muslim feminists choose to stay silent. One controversy is to do with an essay Adele Wilde-Blavatsky wrote in 2012 for The Feminist Wire, an online women’s studies journal. Her piece says the hijab is a symbol of male oppression. A storm ensued. One response, signed by 77 academics, writers, and activists, said the essay was an assertion of Wilde-Blavatsky’s “white feminist privilege and power.” Instead of facilitating a discussion, however, The Feminist Wire editorial collective took down the comments, pulling the essay along with them.”

Rogers then cites the 2010 case when Amnesty International fired the head of its Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, who had protested the charity’s alliance with a former Taliban fighter and misogynist, Moazzem Begg, an extremist who still refuses to condemn the stoning to death of women. Sahgal’s credentials as a secular Asian woman defending the rights of Muslim women in general were and are undeniable. But Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is surprising, yet all too predictable, to find pro-peace organizations and political leaders supporting violent and intolerant opinions and groups. The simplest example is the current leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn regards war as a last resort and has been active in a number of anti-war movements, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the hyper-pacifist Stop the War Coalition, which informs his current position in parliament. He continues to oppose renewing Trident, Britain’s nuclear missile capacity. We have to assume that Corbyn is, in principle, opposed to the use of violence except in extreme circumstances. How, then, is it that he has described the brutal terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah — the latter declared on 11 March to be a terrorist state by the Arab League — both of which have an open agenda of committing genocide against Jews, as “my friends”? He explains this as “diplomatic language in the context of dialogue.” Dialogue? This answer confirms that Corbyn has read neither the Hamas Covenant nor Hezbollah’s Risala maftuha (Open Letter). How does a man of peace enter into dialogue with Hamas? Here are two sentences from its Covenant/Charter:

“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” [Author’s emphasis]

I have an Arabic copy of the Covenant in front of me: the translation is perfectly correct.

Here, from the Hizbullah Open Letter, is much the same thing:

Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.

We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev’s and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity. [Author’s emphases]

Dialogue, anyone? In his obsession with dialogue, Corbyn has gone further. In a notorious interview with Stephen Nolan on Radio Ulster last year, Corbyn was asked six times, “Are you prepared to condemn what the IRA did?” — referring to their use of terrorist violence. Each time he refused to give a straight answer. As Nolan himself put it at the beginning of the interview, quoting from a Daily Telegraph article in June: “This is a man who sympathised with violent Irish republicanism in the 80s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and at a Troops Out meeting in 1987 he stood for a moment’s silence for eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush.” He is also a man who invited Hamas and Hezbollah representatives into the UK parliament. Even The Guardian, regarded by many as anti-Israeli, has castigated Corbyn for this and his other associations with terrorists and anti-Semites.

It does not stop there. During an interview with one of Britain’s most eminent political journalists, Andrew Marr, Corbyn called for dialogue with Islamic State. A week later, in The Spectator, Toby Young wrote an article entitled, “Jeremy Corbyn and the hard left are wilfully blind to the evils of Islamist Nazis.” Of course, Corbyn himself did not volunteer to fly out to Raqqa to have a cosy chat with Islamic State’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a spirit of dialogue.

What is the reason for this staggering naïveté? You can find some of the answer by looking at again at the Hamas Covenant and Hizbullah’s Open Letter. Here are some sentences from the former:

The Islamic Resistance Movement [i.e. Hamas] found itself at a time when Islam has disappeared from life. Thus rules shook, concepts were upset, values changed and evil people took control, oppression and darkness prevailed, cowards became like tigers: homelands were usurped, people were scattered and were caused to wander all over the world, the state of justice disappeared and the state of falsehood replaced it. Nothing remained in its right place.

Here is a single statement from the latter:

As for our friends, they are all the world’s oppressed peoples.

In other words, both Hamas and Hizbullah supposedly exist to fight for the rights of the oppressed, Franz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth,” the victims of Western imperialism and colonialism, of American arrogance, of a worldwide Jewish/Zionist/Masonic conspiracy. What socialist would not reach out to condemn his own people and his own culture, would not repudiate his own history, merely to reach out to these victims? If Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic State, al-Qa’ida, the Iranian regime, and all the other promoters of violence proclaim themselves to be the champions of the downtrodden masses, are they then to be applauded, rewarded and financed?

It is not just the “hard left” that does this. The broad liberal press, newspapers — such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Haaretz — together with a broad consensus of politicians and church leaders, are always happy to tell us that when terrorist groups maim and kill innocent civilians it is not their fault, for the conditions of oppression under which they live have purportedly given them no choice other than to fight back; that the Palestinians have given up hope, that they and their children have no other choice but to shoot and stab their way to yet more years of failure, despair and security measures.

Most of us in the West have much to thank many real liberals for: the abolition of slavery, the cause of civil rights and anti-racism, recognition of the rights of homosexuals, empathy for the disabled, free education, the campaign against religious intolerance, and much more. Liberals share these achievements with many others from the “right” and centre, with Jewish and Christian ethical standards, with a growing sense of a shared humanity as set out in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But many pseudo-liberals have betrayed these same values and proven themselves unworthy of the work of their own ancestors — men and women who would never have sat side by side with terrorists, lied about Israel, fostered anti-Semitism or tolerated the abuse of women and children.[5] In all likelihood they would never have denounced the values of Western civilization, or valued the monstrous over the humane.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is an academic and journalist specializing in Islam and the Middle East.


[1] The occupation is perfectly legal in international law under UN Resolution 242 (1967), and was reaffirmed in the Oslo II Accord, Article XI. See Alan Baker, “The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories,” Jan. 2013.

[2] For a very full and wholly tendentious list of these “violations” see here.

[3] Liberal support for terrorism has recently been demonstrated by the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has famously described Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends.”

[4] For a broad discussion of this, see Kenneth Marcus, The Definition of Anti-Semitism, Oxford U.P., 2015, chapter 6

[5] For a detailed and eloquent account of how the political left lost its way through the twentieth century and the early twenty-first, see Nick Cohen, What’s Left? London, 2007.