I think I’ve underestimated the degree to which Palestine-fetishism has penetrated American universities. This young woman, who most likely has little to no real-world acquaintance with the Middle East, feels empowered to walk into someone’s store and lecture them for supporting their homeland. She starts with the usual hectoring rhetoric on diversity and inclusion, but near the end, she slips a bit: “You really are Israeli.”
A few thoughts on the video and the situation:
* Cui bono from the Jewish/Arab conflict in the Middle East? I’ve always been perplexed by the “Israeli issue” for one simple reason: it would be trivially easy for any of the major Arab players to give the Palestinians an amount of land equal to, or greater than, the state of Israel. After all, Israeli is only slightly bigger than New Jersey, and roughly twice the size of Ted Turner’s personal land holdings. The fact that none of the neighboring states seem particularly interested in giving the Palestinians anything besides weapons indicates to me that they are more interested in seeing the slaughter of Jews than they are interested in having local peace. Clearly the Israel/Palestinian conflict benefits someone. But who?
* The hard left and the hard right are united in Jew-hating; they just hate different Jews. Go to Heartiste or any of the alt-right sites and you will hear all sorts of complaints about Jews in America and Europe, usually laced with suggestions that they should leave the West and go to Israeli. Go to any “progressive” site and you’ll hear all sorts of “BDS” agitprop, culminating in the demand that the Jews either abandon Israel entirely or reduce their holdings to, let’s say, the distance it would take Egyptian tanks to cover in a leisurely afternoon’s drive. Both sides can make what they feel are compelling arguments: certainly much of what normal Americans dislike about the media and its pervasive influence on our culture comes from Jewish artists and executives, while at the same time Israel has not been shy about using violence in the cause of self-preservation. But there’s something odd about the idea that you find Jew-haters on both ends of the American political spectrum.
* Bullying people in the cause of social justice is great fun and very low-risk besides. What is it with these women and their desire to bully defenseless people. Whether it’s Melissa Click calling for black “muscle” to attack a slightly-built Asian-American or the girl in this video claiming to speak for the University of Michigan in her attempt to silence the owner’s unacceptable sign, it’s always about bullying. You get the sense that social-justice warrior types saw the Tienanmen Square video and decided they’d rather be on the side of the people with the tanks.
* The girl who made this video shared it deliberately and willingly. From her perspective, she was out there doing good work. She wanted people to see how she behaved. I’m reminded of the infamous Annaliese Nielsen hula girl video. The women who do this stuff aren’t ashamed of their behavior. They walk away feeling that they’ve clearly gotten the better of their targets. For me, that’s more worrisome than the actions displayed in the videos.
There are times when I feel like a genuine Apatosaurus of THE_CURRENT_YEAR. I was brought up to think of Israel as the ally of the United States. I was brought up to think of our country as the proverbial “city on the hill”, the last stand of genuine democracy in a world overrun with Stalinist, authoritarian repression and violence. No, we weren’t always perfect — William Calley, anyone? — but we were the closest thing to a force for good out there. Perhaps I was wrong. I’ve been wrong before, you know.