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Yes it’s such a profound disappointment to see the mental gymnastics of many IDW and other conservatives and Dems collapse into the same tired cliches about Israel I’ve heard my whole life.

Israel for many of these people is just right. Always. Period. It’s a provincial special pleading. A kind of country club rooting interest. Sure they may quibble at the margins of Israeli behavior but fundamentally they are with Israel no matter what. All principles go out the window. This is likely due to both a membership in or cultural affinity for Jewish culture as well as a deep animosity toward Muslims as primitive cartoon villains. The most extreme prove the majority. See Sam Harris on this subject. He says he’s against ethno states and Zionism yet he never criticizes Israel because the barbarian alternative in Muslims is worse in his tortured bigoted logic.

Bari Weiss always struck my as fraud on cancel culture because of her work as a campus activist spent trying cancel professors who broached any criticism of Israel. Not to mention her Joan of Ark schtick. Indeed, pro Israeli folks are the OG’s of cancel culture. See Norman Finkelstein as exhibit A. There is a great book called They Dare to Speak Out by former senator Paul Findlay where he chronicles story after story of cancellations of academics, politicians, and civic leaders for offering the slightest pause on green lighting all manner of Israeli human rights abuse.

Most importantly, the histrionic projection of anti-semtism on anyone, even Jews, for criticizing Israel is a “me thinks he doth protest too much” tell. Israel is indeed an ethno state and the rights, laws, and privileges are accorded first and foremost to Jews from the right of return to treatment of Palestinian citizens of Israel as second class citizens.

Put simply, Israel as constructed, necessarily discriminates against non Jews not just culturally but by law. Indeed they are legally obligated to do so. Take a look at their flag if you’re confused. Israel is incompatible with any of modern notions of a liberal democracy. The fact that so few people know that is really one of greatest and most prolonged mind fucks and PR triumphs of the last century.

So thanks Michael for pointing out vacuousness of so many of this IDW types. I was equally disappointed to see so many conservatives revert to tribal identity rather conservative principles than try to deal squarely with a conflict that has never been more dangerous to the world.

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Well except for the Squad. I see it sort of opposite. Those who were the most ardent BLM supporters very much into dividing people by race are on the other side - I'm not seeing any pro-Israel virtue signaling. In fact, I'm seeing exactly the opposite. Israel is now the police and Palestine is BLM to the minds of many on the left. The only pro Israel people I see are on the right. Maybe I'm just not seeing the same things.

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Is Omar part of the Squad? You can find plenty of criticism of her elsewhere, including the nonsense criticism that Michael Tracey pointed out vis a vis Israel. As far as Israel being "the police" you need to wake up. Here's why most demonstrations REALLY turn violent and/or destructive:

https://notmytribe.com/2017/police-body-cameras-reveal-colorado-springs-law-enforcement-used-arrests-to-infiltrate-a-student-socialist-group-850392.html

That's a group of TWENTY college aged "socialists" and the police infiltrated them, tried to provoke violence and then laughed about it. If you don't think that the same thing happened during BLM/George Floyd protests (or pro-Palestinian protests now), then you're willfully ignorant.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/french-police-clash-with-pro-palestinian-protesters-paris-2021-05-15/

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Good point Sascha. There is a wide gap though between the blm activist types and the institution ensconced Dem power structure. You’d be hard pressed to find a single law or statement from congress that offers and criticism of Israel over the last fifty years. That consensus is bipartisan but perhaps may be changing.

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The trauma of the holocaust ( and other concerted efforts to destroy the Jews for no other reason than that they are Jews) remains fresh and very real. This is not identity politics for many Jews, but genuine fear for Israel's existence. Many of Israel's actions are no doubt worth criticizing and many, if not most, ordinary Jews and Israelis (Jew and Arab) do not support what the Israeli government or Hamas is doing. But the continued tension interspersed with violence - for decades - is driven by political actors that ordinary citizens cannot control (very similar to our never-ending wars in the U.S.). Please try to understand this: Individual Jews feel an existential threat for real reasons: The Left's (and what is more and more becoming mainstream and international) denouncement of Israel threaten Israel's existence and will (actually, already has) engendered anti-Semitism in the West (it never ceased in most of the East). Believe it or not Michael, and rightly or wrongly, many Jews see Israel as their only defense against history. From their perspective, without strong American Jewish support, Israel may not stand as a refuge. That is not identity politics.

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Well said, mori. As a Christian (Roman Catholic) and human being I have great sympathy for Jews and the Israeli Jewish state, for the same reasons you mention. Given European history over the last century a safe haven is needed. I do want to see a resolution that will allow Israel and the Palestinians to live peacefully and productively. But that will never happen unless the Palestinians acknowledge Israel's right to exist.

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Jeff, the Palestinian Authority did so in the 1990's. Peace deals have failed as Israeli settlers have carved up the West Bank into many different pieces. So every Palestinian in the world could sing a song of love and praise for Israel, the state that made millions of them refugees, and they would still be where they are now-stateless, under occupation, impoverished. Indeed, Israel help spawn Hamas and encouraged other extremist groups to battle more moderating forces among Palestinians in an effort to forestall any peace deal because they are still busy increasing the land mass of their country in the West Bank.

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That is, explicitly identity politics, no different from the identity politics happening based on the trauma that black Americans feel from generations of slavery.

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Wrong. Black Americans have no fear of becoming slaves. Jews have a palatable (and perhaps valid) fear of anti-semitism leading to genocide or deadly persecution with no refuge. This nuance makes all the difference.

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Mori, I appreciate your explanation of the Jewish mentality as seeing Israel as a last refuge for Jews. Yet, what puzzles me is how Jews can be understood as anything but successful fully vested citizens of many countries all around the world. Why is their need for a refuge for Jews only, particularly if involves denying a refuge, rights, or full citizenship for Palestinians

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Jews were successful fully vested citizens in Germany pre-Hitler. There is a very long history of Jews being blamed when things go wrong. (It is even today happening in some countries, e.g., France.) As I said in my first post the memories are fresh and feel very real. Of course, no one can predict the future so Jews must rely on history. As to your other point, the question has to do with political actors (on both sides) catering to their respective extremist factions. I feel quite certain that the majority of Jewish and Arab-Israeli citizens would like nothing more than peace and full rights for Palestinians. But the truth , as always, is not so simple as that. Still it takes nothing away from my point that rather than identity politics as MT argues, rather this is an existential question for many, if not most, Jews around the world.

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The Holocaust was 80 years ago. How much time would need to pass without a persecution of Jews before Israel could be a country for all citizens not just Jews?

Is Israel really making Jews safer around the world? Seems like their actions have only increased animosity for Jews.

Do black Americans need a state just in case someone decides to bring back slavery? Or Armenians? Or Kurds? Or you name the group?

Talk about identity politics!

In the end, as the world gets bigger and more globalized, our only chance as a species is to put our faith in multi ethnic liberal democracy, not ethno states.

I agree, most people there want peace. That’s why I support a binational state. It’s the perfect solution. Imagine the possibilities of such a state.

But the path israel is on is suicidal and risks dragging many others into the fray. I pray they come to their senses.

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Two things: first: demographic shifts in the US caused by immigration mean the increase of dual loyalty. This is increasingly common and not unique to Jews. Arguably Omar herself criticizes Israel because of her own dual loyalty. Same for Rashida Tlaib. Second: Jews have historically enjoyed the benefits of identity politics especially in relation to Israel within the left ergo the term PEP “Progressive except when it comes to Palestine” common among us Palestinians to refer to leftists who self-check when it comes to Israel because of loyalty or because of fear of being accused of being anti semitic. Third: the current popularity of woke politics is partly due to the rise of immigrant intelligentsia in the US that have taken on the protections of identity politics that Jews have historically enjoyed. Fourth: people like Ben Shapiro and Bari Weiss long for a period when “Wokeness” was unique to Jews (and blacks). This time has passed not to be returned to. I myself prefer for it to be overturned. I am Palestinian and I want progressives to support me on grounds outside the language of identity politics, a language that is able to be supportive and nuanced at the same time. Fifth: the problem with woke old and new is it sees things in good and evil terms and not as always overdetermined. I want to live in a world that phenomena are recognized to be complicated always which I see Tracey as doing in his writings especially on BLM

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I remember the days when you were discussing the IDW a lot. I never quite got your opposition, as I thought it was great and remains so, although the term isn't used as much these days.

As for Israel, I'm not blind to the problems of the Palestinians, but, bottom line, "stop firing rockets into Israel" seems like a very low bar. They can't refrain from doing that, so my level of sympathy is low. That said, it's not an issue I much think about one way or the other.

As for Bari... she does seem to focus on her identity group to an extreme degree.

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The Ineffectual Dork Web was a joke from the start. This episode cemented it. If I remember correctly, they offered comedian Owen Benjamin a spot, but he has a joke that the Holocaust was really 9 gay guys in a rollerblading accident. The usual pearl clutching and 'denialist' wailing ensued and they rescinded the invite.

I had some sympathy for Brett and what happened to him at Evergreen, but after this went down I had none.

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Thank you. Great piece. And let me add something - there ARE numerous US politicians, appointees and powerful lobbyists who ARE ADAMANTLY DUAL LOYALISTS. Period. There is nothing anti-Semitic about pointing that out. Israel is a wannabe ethno-nationalist religion-based state, no different than what the average American considers Iran to be.

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Ha I kept re-reading the title like "wait that conflicts w my stereotypes is that really what he means?!"

I don't like Omar and, to the extent I belong to any tribe (barely), I'd belong to the one you're criticizing here.

But I dig this piece, I appreciate you rising above any single tribe to hold anyone & everyone accountable when they behave poorly.

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I'm a 40-something "nobody" but I've offered to debate Ben Shapiro MANY times and on SEVERAL subjects. He invariably ignores me while his fanbois all insist that I'd lose in a heartbeat. Don't hold your breath, Michael, and if/when he does debate you, prepare for a barrage of lies and have the facts ready to refute them.

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It's funny what passes as fandom. Michael points out, rightly, that her comments are not anti-semitic. That's it. You can disagree with her without calling her a racist or a "sharia-loving piece of shit". While I don't agree with her on BLM and many other issues, I'm not sure l need understand her as an anti-semite. Of course she practices identity politics like most democrats, and many republicans for that matter, but Michael is pointing on the hypocrisy of all these IDW types who raison de etre is fighting against identity politics and cancel culture. Omar has never represented herself as any such thing.

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So the logic would be that because nobody likes her, except apparently the people who keep electing her, means she can’t be defended on the charge of being called an anti-Semite? You sorta lost me there.

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Alright. You win. She’s evil. Nice work. Now what, just call everyone who critiques Israel an anti-Semite.

It’s really amazing how people avoid actually making real arguments and instead demonize individuals. But maybe when it comes to defending Israel’s murderous deeds, that’s all you got.

So, my condolences.

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