Israel's Real Crime

It didn't take long after the latest round in Israel's effort to uproot Hamas' infrastructure of terror for the Israel-haters to take to the streets with their litany of allegations against Israel. We have all heard these many times before: Israel the apartheid state doing worse things to Palestinians than ever the Nazis did to Jews; Israel engaged in war crimes, committing "massacres" against the poor Palestinians; Israel stealing land inhabited by those same poor Palestinians "since time immemorial". When it's time for a new one, they need only look to the normal state of affairs in much of the Muslim world to find something they haven't alleged before; there are more than enough of these problems to keep the industry supplied for years to come. Each time an allegation surfaces, Israel refutes it, but they come back again as if whether they are true or not is immaterial. A thoughtful person might wonder why.
 
Part of the reason these allegations keep surfacing was captured by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in a morally obtuse, and logically incorrect statement: “How can the whole world be wrong and Israel right?” This reasoning, whether Annan is aware of it or not, depends on two conditions being met. First, each party rendering a judgment must be doing so on its own. Second, the judgment must be based on their understanding of the facts rather than the needs of the party rendering it.  

Consideration of these conditions turns out to be very beneficial for Israel, because it points to Israel's real offense against those who participate in the campaign against her. Israel's crime against them is very rare, so rare it doesn't even have a name, so I will invent one: I'll call it paradigmocide, destroying the intellectual basis for cherished beliefs that are empirically wrong. One well-known incident of this crime was some four hundred years ago when Galileo committed it against the Catholic Church by producing evidence for a heliocentric solar system. 
 
Kill a man's child, rape his wife, drown his dog; many men can forgive these offenses. Present him with evidence that his most deeply-held beliefs are wrong, and that he cannot forgive. And if those beliefs are the basis for his standing in life, the evidence that they are wrong will send him into a rage, a murderous rage, seeking to avenge his sense of hurt. This is what Israel has done for certain prominent segments of society, and since they cannot acknowledge the real source of their pain without admitting that it is really they who are in the wrong, they raise whatever allegations they can think of and throw them at Israel.

Once Israel's crime has been named, it is a relatively straightforward matter to show why each of the groups participating in the assault has chosen to do so. There are four such groups:
 
1. Paleo-conservatives (call them the "Whites") oppose Israel because they have always been anti-Semitic, and Israel is clearly a manifestation of the Jews. Merely by being different, Jews are a symbol of change, and "Whites" oppose change. "Whites" don't need anything else to be hostile to Israel, the current conflict just offers them an incentive to be more vocal. 
 
2. The Left, call them the "Reds", opposes Israel because, like the Jews before the establishment of the State, Israel refuses to behave according to the Left's power paradigm and has repeatedly demonstrated that much of that paradigm is simply wrong. Since the Left seeks power and believes it is entitled to that power because of its superior intellect, knowledge, wisdom, and morality -- think of them as the mirror image of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz -- Israel's evidence that they are simply wrong about their self-assessment along each of these dimensions is personally offensive and infuriating, not to mention that it undermines the case they make for why they are entitled to rule. That the current conflict provides further evidence that their claim to be the party of "Peace" is also false simply exacerbates the situation.
 
3. Religious groups – these are mainly Muslim, so call them the "Greens", but including certain Jewish groups and a well-defined segment of Christians -- see the existence of Israel as a violation of their eschatological beliefs. For better or worse, Jews are the only people whose fate figures in the "end-times" beliefs of all three revealed religions. When reality has deviated from their expectations, these religious groups chose to see Israel's very existence as a sin, rather than consider that their theology might be wrong.
 
4. Academics and journalists, call them the "Blacks", have been burned by Israel repeatedly. The problem starts in academia, where social scientists seek to ingratiate themselves with the Left because the Left presents itself as more intelligent and well-informed, which is how academics regard themselves, and offers then an opportunity to imagine holding power, however vicariously. There is also the matter of oil money available to any institution or academic who is prepared to be bought. Journalists add a few elements of their own, especially safety concerns: Criticize Israel and you get angry emails and letters; criticize the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims and you're lucky if the only consequence is being denied access to the sources who provide the lies that bring attention to your work, and thus promote your career.
 
"Black", "Red", "Green", and "White", are the colors of the Palestinian flag. This makes Palestine the perfect cause for these groups to make their stand against dealing with a reality they find unwelcome.

And they know they're wrong, even if they won't admit it. If they thought they were right, they would make the case using reasoned arguments and supportable facts. Instead, the effort has focused on seeking, or provoking, an emotional response that leaves no room for actually thinking about the issues at hand. Addressing the reality of the situation is not in their interest because it exposes that their power paradigms are wrong.
 
A key consideration is that if you reject the idea that self-appointed elites are entitled to rule, the only basis for legitimate power remaining is consent of the governed, a principle so central to the American creed that it appears in the Declaration of Independence. This may be why those segments of the American people who believe in this ideal, and similarly-minded people around the world, invariably support Israel. Israel is a symbol of the principle that the consent of the governed is the only legitimate basis for holding power and is thus anathema to members of elites who see themselves entitled to rule without accountability.
 
One last general note: while Israel's existence is evidence that these groups' paradigms are wrong, it does not make that the case. Even if these groups succeed in destroying Israel, their paradigms would still be wrong, only the evidence will have been removed. Logic holds that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so destroying the evidence no more restores the validity of their paradigms than a fire destroying the evidence against a criminal makes him innocent. It may not be possible to prove the case in court, but he is still guilty.

It didn't take long after the latest round in Israel's effort to uproot Hamas' infrastructure of terror for the Israel-haters to take to the streets with their litany of allegations against Israel. We have all heard these many times before: Israel the apartheid state doing worse things to Palestinians than ever the Nazis did to Jews; Israel engaged in war crimes, committing "massacres" against the poor Palestinians; Israel stealing land inhabited by those same poor Palestinians "since time immemorial". When it's time for a new one, they need only look to the normal state of affairs in much of the Muslim world to find something they haven't alleged before; there are more than enough of these problems to keep the industry supplied for years to come. Each time an allegation surfaces, Israel refutes it, but they come back again as if whether they are true or not is immaterial. A thoughtful person might wonder why.
 
Part of the reason these allegations keep surfacing was captured by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in a morally obtuse, and logically incorrect statement: “How can the whole world be wrong and Israel right?” This reasoning, whether Annan is aware of it or not, depends on two conditions being met. First, each party rendering a judgment must be doing so on its own. Second, the judgment must be based on their understanding of the facts rather than the needs of the party rendering it.  

Consideration of these conditions turns out to be very beneficial for Israel, because it points to Israel's real offense against those who participate in the campaign against her. Israel's crime against them is very rare, so rare it doesn't even have a name, so I will invent one: I'll call it paradigmocide, destroying the intellectual basis for cherished beliefs that are empirically wrong. One well-known incident of this crime was some four hundred years ago when Galileo committed it against the Catholic Church by producing evidence for a heliocentric solar system. 
 
Kill a man's child, rape his wife, drown his dog; many men can forgive these offenses. Present him with evidence that his most deeply-held beliefs are wrong, and that he cannot forgive. And if those beliefs are the basis for his standing in life, the evidence that they are wrong will send him into a rage, a murderous rage, seeking to avenge his sense of hurt. This is what Israel has done for certain prominent segments of society, and since they cannot acknowledge the real source of their pain without admitting that it is really they who are in the wrong, they raise whatever allegations they can think of and throw them at Israel.

Once Israel's crime has been named, it is a relatively straightforward matter to show why each of the groups participating in the assault has chosen to do so. There are four such groups:
 
1. Paleo-conservatives (call them the "Whites") oppose Israel because they have always been anti-Semitic, and Israel is clearly a manifestation of the Jews. Merely by being different, Jews are a symbol of change, and "Whites" oppose change. "Whites" don't need anything else to be hostile to Israel, the current conflict just offers them an incentive to be more vocal. 
 
2. The Left, call them the "Reds", opposes Israel because, like the Jews before the establishment of the State, Israel refuses to behave according to the Left's power paradigm and has repeatedly demonstrated that much of that paradigm is simply wrong. Since the Left seeks power and believes it is entitled to that power because of its superior intellect, knowledge, wisdom, and morality -- think of them as the mirror image of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz -- Israel's evidence that they are simply wrong about their self-assessment along each of these dimensions is personally offensive and infuriating, not to mention that it undermines the case they make for why they are entitled to rule. That the current conflict provides further evidence that their claim to be the party of "Peace" is also false simply exacerbates the situation.
 
3. Religious groups – these are mainly Muslim, so call them the "Greens", but including certain Jewish groups and a well-defined segment of Christians -- see the existence of Israel as a violation of their eschatological beliefs. For better or worse, Jews are the only people whose fate figures in the "end-times" beliefs of all three revealed religions. When reality has deviated from their expectations, these religious groups chose to see Israel's very existence as a sin, rather than consider that their theology might be wrong.
 
4. Academics and journalists, call them the "Blacks", have been burned by Israel repeatedly. The problem starts in academia, where social scientists seek to ingratiate themselves with the Left because the Left presents itself as more intelligent and well-informed, which is how academics regard themselves, and offers then an opportunity to imagine holding power, however vicariously. There is also the matter of oil money available to any institution or academic who is prepared to be bought. Journalists add a few elements of their own, especially safety concerns: Criticize Israel and you get angry emails and letters; criticize the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims and you're lucky if the only consequence is being denied access to the sources who provide the lies that bring attention to your work, and thus promote your career.
 
"Black", "Red", "Green", and "White", are the colors of the Palestinian flag. This makes Palestine the perfect cause for these groups to make their stand against dealing with a reality they find unwelcome.

And they know they're wrong, even if they won't admit it. If they thought they were right, they would make the case using reasoned arguments and supportable facts. Instead, the effort has focused on seeking, or provoking, an emotional response that leaves no room for actually thinking about the issues at hand. Addressing the reality of the situation is not in their interest because it exposes that their power paradigms are wrong.
 
A key consideration is that if you reject the idea that self-appointed elites are entitled to rule, the only basis for legitimate power remaining is consent of the governed, a principle so central to the American creed that it appears in the Declaration of Independence. This may be why those segments of the American people who believe in this ideal, and similarly-minded people around the world, invariably support Israel. Israel is a symbol of the principle that the consent of the governed is the only legitimate basis for holding power and is thus anathema to members of elites who see themselves entitled to rule without accountability.
 
One last general note: while Israel's existence is evidence that these groups' paradigms are wrong, it does not make that the case. Even if these groups succeed in destroying Israel, their paradigms would still be wrong, only the evidence will have been removed. Logic holds that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, so destroying the evidence no more restores the validity of their paradigms than a fire destroying the evidence against a criminal makes him innocent. It may not be possible to prove the case in court, but he is still guilty.