Leftist antipathy for Israel – the whys and wherefores

Many articles have examined the reasons for the hostility of the left towards Israel.  But this one from a while back (2004) by Richard Baehr expresses the reasons for the antipathy in a clear and useful manner.

Baehr identifies 7 reasons, and goes on to discuss them in some depth.

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.

Now what’s a good mnemonic to remember those 7 reasons.  We’ll start with  HAJ CHUM CREW  (any better mnemonics are welcome)

HAJ  (Hatred of America;  The Jewish anti-Zionists lending credibility)

Chum (Churches expiating the Holocaust, some with intrinsic coldness; Muslim aggression with leftist cowardice)

Crew (Colonialism;  Religious Settlers and antipathy to Religious right in the U.S.; Western target)

Bahr’s discussion is worth reading, and he concludes with “The evidence I believe is clear today that Israel faces far greater threats from the left than the right. The left is reflexively anti—Israel and has established important beachheads in significant American institutions— academia, the media, and the  old line Protestant ‘high’ churches, as well as in the very seats of government power in many Western European countries, and their intelligentsia. It is not surprising that Israel seems unable to get a fair shake from college professors, the BBC, Reuters, NPR, or liberal churches. Being anti—Israel has become part of their religion.”

Besides being the co-founder and Chief Political Correspondent of American Thinker, Baehr has also written for the Jewish Policy Centre and has been referenced in Campus Watch.

Interestingly, American Thinker ran a recent article on Edward Said, the darling of the post-modern left and a major contributor to its anti-Israel sentiment.  The article by Jack Cashill, recounts how Edward Said indulged in creative accounting of his supposed Palestinian/Jerusalem upbringing.

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