Sunday, October 03, 2004

More about Israel, and the Left

I wrote recently and approvingly about Israel's Gaza offensive. Now, according to an AP story, Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has pledged to escalate a broad Israeli offensive in northern Gaza, saying troops will remain until Palestinian rocket attacks are halted. Sharon's resolve is sure to invoke more wrath and scorn from the left, which reflexively hates Israel.

Why does the left hate Israel? Richard Baehr of The American Thinker spells it out:
1. It is an easy way to express one’s hatred for America.
2. Israel is viewed as an outpost of colonialism, and an active practitioner of it.
3. Israel is a western nation, and hence can be judged by the left. Israel is not protected by cultural relativism, as the Arabs are.
4. Leftist Christian churches can escape any lingering guilt about the Holocaust, by turning Israel into a villain. Some leftist churches hate Israel because they think this will help protect their members in the holy land -- in other words they feel threatened.
5. Ferocious Muslim hatred of Israel and the Jews reinforces the natural cowardice of many on the left who go along with the Muslims to stay out of their line of fire.
6. Jewish leftists are prominent in the anti-Israel movement. This opens the floodgates for everybody else.
7. Israel is attacked because the secular left is appalled by the influence of religious settlers and their biblical connections to the land of Israel, and by the support for Israel by evangelical Christians, and Christian Zionists.
I think there's a lot of merit in what Baehr says. I'm especially persuaded by the first three points, and the rest seem more than plausible.

Here's my take: Israel owes its existence and strength, in large part, to the United States, which is Israel's longtime benefactor. Israel and the United States are natural -- if tacit -- allies in the war on terror. The left hates America because America isn't what the left wants it to be. In fact, the left's hatred for America is so strong and deep that it's fair to say that the left regards America as its main enemy. Israel -- a staunch friend of the left's main enemy -- is therefore the left's enemy, as well.