Discover more from Future of Jewish
Liberalism is becoming an absurd and unfunny joke.
The Israel-Hamas war is the most recent proliferation of ridiculous "liberal" reactions, which go against every grain of justice, rationale, intellectual honesty, and human decency.
Future of Jewish is the ultimate newsletter by and for people passionate about Judaism and Israel. Subscribe to get the best of Judaism and Israel delivered to you.
Editor’s Note: In light of the situation in Israel — where we are based — we are making Future of Jewish FREE for the coming days. If you wish to support our critical mission to responsibly defend the Jewish People and Israel during this unprecedented time in our history, you can do so via the following options:
You can also listen to this essay if you prefer:
Something has been going terribly wrong in many places that we otherwise associate with everything good and prideful about important liberal ideals.
People defending the virtue of free speech are doing so because they want to normalize hate speech, or shut down legitimate responses to it.
The very same people voice their nominal support for “free speech at all costs” in one breath, and then call for the censorship of views they despise in another. They slap the word “extremist” on every other point of view, except for theirs.
Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. People are walking on eggshells, afraid to speak honestly, even when it’s the right thing to do, because they fear some form of public backlash or even worse, “being cancelled” by their workplaces and social circles.
The notion of “peaceful protest” is disguising micro-aggressions, bullying, intimidation, fear-mongering, and gaslighting. What’s more, these protests and other related demonstrations take place against the backdrop of moral absolutism, an ethical view that some (potentially all) actions are intrinsically right or wrong, regardless of context or consequence.
Children suffer under a culture of “safetyism” where parents endeavor to protect their children from potentially harmful situations. In doing so, they prevent their children from developing the necessary skills of and related to resiliency. Experts believe this plays a factor in adult-age disputes, since young adults become acculturated to avoiding anything that may seem challenging or burdensome.
So-called Westerners have over-indexed on illusions, myths, and “perfect world” thinking — at the expense of learning about and accepting harsh realities, such as those related to war and military conflicts, socioeconomics, immigration, politics, history, other societies which promote varying political systems and values, and a plethora of other issues.
People are locked into a perpetual game with their political and socioeconomic opponents, characterized by mutual provocation and reciprocal outrage. No one listens. No one contemplates. No one updates their beliefs with new, factual information. If “my way or the highway” was ever applicable, it is now.
Free speech lawyer Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argue that many of these problems have their origins in three “great untruths” which have become prominent in extreme liberal environments:
“What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.”
“Always trust your feelings.”
“Life is a battle between good people and evil people.”
Ultimately, Lukianoff and Haidt believe that these three “great untruths” contradict modern psychology and ancient wisdom of many cultures. They contend that embracing these untruths — and the resulting culture of safetyism — interferes with young people’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are capable of navigating the ups and downs of life.
Many social trends — amplified by social media, extended by the corporatization of universities, and misgoverned by the dysfunction of politics — have intersected to promote and spread these untruths.
Identity politics, which has grown steadily since the 1970s, serves as a distraction from issues that are so much more important, such as the growing income gap between the rich and everyone else, the shipping of jobs overseas, and the abuse and corruption in financial systems.
The Israel-Hamas war is the most recent proliferation of absurd “liberal” reactions, which go against every grain of justice, rationale, intellectual honesty, and human decency. For example:
People in Israel were massacred by Palestinian terrorists as part of a pogrom on October 7th, yet since then, you haven’t seen Jews parading the streets and calling for violence against Palestinians or Arab countries, or storming airports looking to lynch Muslims. More than 1,000 Jews were massacred, others taken hostage, and it’s the Jews around the world who are feeling unsafe.
The United Nations has become a patented mouthpiece for Arab states and their paid-off or equally antisemitic sympathizers.
People are throwing around accusations of “war crimes” by Israel as if war is suddenly supposed to be kind, gentle, and pleasant. I don’t think most people in Israel are advocating for indiscriminately killing civilians (the way Palestinian terror groups do business). But c’mon now, war is war. You don’t get to butcher our people and then lecture us about “proportionality” and “restraint” when we respond.
Speaking of war crimes, more than 8,000 rockets have been indiscriminately fired at Israel since the start of this war. In other words, that’s more than 8,000 war crimes committed by folks who claim to represent the Palestinians. But Israel appears to be the only side being accused of war crimes.
So many people are overtly or covertly supporting Palestinians in Gaza and Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization that governs said Palestinians and generates over $700 million per year in “revenues,” making it the third-richest terrorist organization (behind the Taliban and Hezbollah). Yet Hamas’ leaders don’t live in Gaza, instead opting for luxurious lives in Qatar and Turkey.
“From the River to the Sea” is the new “Heil Hitler,” only that the former waxes much more poetically.
Palestinian individual and collective development is “the least” of the Palestinian Authority’s concerns, according to Mossab Hassan Youssef, who grew up in Ramallah and used to be a member of Hamas. He added that “the suffering of the Palestinian people is the outcome of” the Palestinian Authority’s “selfish political interests.” If Israel did not exist, he said, the Palestinian Authority “would have no one else to blame.”
Youssef claims that the Palestinian Authority “misleads the international community” and “misleads the Palestinian society to believe that Israel is responsible for the problems” it creates.
It is no surprise that the majority of the countries which support Israel are the ones that champion democracy, freedom of speech, equity, diversity, and progressive values. It is also no surprise that the countries which support Hamas do not.
People now seem afraid that Gaza will be occupied by Israel. Those same people were already saying that Gaza was occupied by Israel. Which one is it, exactly?
It’s true that more Palestinian Arabs have been killed than Israelis. It’s also true that more Russians than Ukrainians have been killed, and more Germans were killed than Americans during World War II.
Only when Jews are involved does the son of one of Hamas’ founders need to make countless appearances on mainstream TV channels to explain how horrific Hamas is. (He escaped Gaza and converted to Christianity.) Do you recall ex-al Qaeda, ex-Taliban, ex-ISIS folks needing to assure the world just how monstrous those organizations were? Or is terrorism always so obviously evil, except when it’s against the Jews?
There are American hostages, British hostages, French hostages, Thai hostages, Russian hostages — and people are marching, not in support of the hostages, but in support of the hostage-takers.
A few Jews are claiming to be “anti-Zionist,” saying that Zionism is a betrayal of Jews’ historical struggle against persecution. Mind you, this is like an African-American person proclaiming, “I’m an anti-Africa African-American. Africa is a betrayal of our historical struggle against persecution.”
Virtues like “freedom of speech” are being used to justify chants like “Gas the Jews!” and other blatantly antisemitic demonstrations. “Freedom of religion” is being used to overlook Islamic Jihad and its obvious intentions to kill as many Jews as possible. And “democracy” is being used by politicians to tolerate grossly incendiary behavior and flagrant double-standards, in fear of defeating backlash during the next election cycle. So much for liberal ideals.
Amos Oz, the great Israeli novelist and author, famously wrote: “When my father was a boy in Poland, streets of Europe were covered with graffiti. ‘Jews, go back to Palestine.’ When my father revisited Europe 50 years later, the walls had new graffiti. ‘Jews, get out of Palestine.’”
Palestinian terrorists broke a ceasefire on October 7th when they attacked Israel in the most sadistic, barbaric ways the modern world has ever seen. Now they want a ceasefire. That’s not how it works.
Certain politicians across the world are using this situation to bolster their humanitarian profiles. One politician said she met with families of the hostages, then bragged about it on Twitter to “promote a ceasefire” that would likely result in the death of most or all of the hostages. What great humanitarian work.
Jews aren’t mad that people are advocating for Palestinian freedom and safety. We are mad at their hypocrisy. We are mad that, after our deadliest day since the Holocaust, we have once again been excluded from their activism.
One of the most important aspects of the media-obsessed conflict between Jews and Arabs is the press themselves. The media has become less a reporter of this conflict and more of a supporting actor in it, “a role with consequences for the millions of people trying to comprehend current events, including policymakers who depend on journalistic accounts to understand a region where they consistently seek, and fail, to productively intervene,” wrote Matti Friedman, an Israeli journalist and author.
For Jews who are saying this war is “not in my name,” they are absolutely correct. This war has nothing to do with you. Imagine how self-centered you have to be to think that something which is happening thousands of kilometers away from you has anything to do with you.
Folks are so pro-Palestinian, rooting for the “innocent Palestinians” whose decades-long attempt at leadership has been belligerent governance by terrorist organizations (Fattah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad) which can barely take care of their people’s basic needs, and which are funded by state sponsors of terrorism (Iran and Qatar).
I sometimes wonder if the Palestinians are really aspiring for their own state, or if they’re just interested in relentless revenge against Jews who they thought they could wipe out, yet disastrously failed to do so time and again.
It seems that what they call “self-determination” is really just a ploy to rid the Middle East of Jews and, in the meantime, scapegoat the Jews for their long list of insufficiencies, unfortunate miscalculations, and pathetic infighting. But sure, go on and tell us how poor, innocent, and good-hearted the Palestinians are.
People were silent while the Kurds and coalition forces bombed Mosul, Iraq to destroy ISIS — killing more than 9,000 civilians in one battle — but they somehow find the time and energy to condemn Israeli bombing to destroy Palestinian terrorist organizations.
It’s always interesting how extremist Islam encourages Muslims to kill Jews. And I get it, most Muslims are probably peaceful. But that’s not the point. If there are one billion Muslims in the world, and let’s say 90-percent of them are peaceful, that means 100 million Muslims want to unleash violence in the name of Islam. This isn’t an exaggeration, or paranoia. This is math.
It’s also interesting how some of the most worst state-sponsors of terrorism and violators of human rights (e.g. Qatar, Russia) have found the wherewithal to take the “moral high-ground” during this Israel-Hamas war.
In 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and began occupying more of the country, and European countries opened their door to Ukrainian residents. In 2023, after thousands of Palestinians invaded Israel and Gaza became a war zone, not a single one of the 22 Arab countries and 49 Muslim countries were willing to give shelter to even one Palestinian.
If someone has to explain to you that some of the Israeli hostages are “black” and “brown” for you to sympathize with Israel, you’re the “color consumed” that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned us about.
Many countries in our world despise Western values. They’ll do business with Western countries and say all the right things at the right times, but they refuse to subscribe to Western values. Since the 1960s, Palestinian leadership has largely been anti-Western. This doesn’t mean that all Palestinians are anti-Western, but many are, and that’s not a problem. The problem is that there’s a massive disconnect between what many people in the West think the Palestinian cause is, and what many Palestinians think the Palestinian cause is.
It might be true that people across the world who’ve been “living on stolen land” their entire life are simply projecting their shame and guilt on Israelis for, in these people’s words, “living on stolen land.”
It might also be true that many people who profess to be “pro-Palestinian” are not so much in favor of the Palestinians themselves. They just can’t stand the idea of Jews demonstrating the ability to fight back with great force and fury.
Those who condemn war at all costs are the same people who don’t realize that a ceasefire would, for the time being, allow Palestinian terrorists to regroup and reload, enabling them to commit more unimaginable war crimes against both innocent Palestinians and Israelis.
People seem to forget that the Holocaust happened because of propaganda. On a similar note, nothing says “Jews don’t count” like tearing down posters of people who’ve been taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists.
There’s a significant group of people who have never been to Israel or the Palestinian territories, yet who think they know way more about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict than people and their families who’ve been living it firsthand for more than 75 years.
For weeks, respectable media outlets have been retracting their libelous reporting about Israel, and people have been deleting their antisemitic-riddled social media posts. Don’t you wish we Jews were better at, as people have accused us of doing for decades, controlling the media?