The Twisted Morals of Anti-Israel Jewish Students
It takes a certain kind of moral distortion to stand against Israel nowadays — the kind of moral distortion that comes with rebellious youthfulness, an overinflated ego, and misplaced progressive values.
Jewish students, ones who come from pro-Israel homes with pro-Israel parents, announce with pride that they have “overcome the pro-Israel media bias” and have “come to see the conflict objectively,” meaning that they have rejected their parents’ political views and have fallen prey to hateful anti-Israel rhetoric.
Friends and colleagues succumb to the campus religion of human rights, and consequently, join the movement to protest alleged Israeli violations thereof. They pride themselves on their newfound progressive “objectivity” that allows them to make rash, uninformed judgements without ever having done any research.
Aside from trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions, the new fad is human rights and objectivity. Young people love to feel enlightened — and as typical privileged university students, the world affords us that indulgence.
As I was reading recently in the news, Jewish and formerly pro-Israel youth like Tair Kaminer, the latest “conscientious objector” to Israeli army service, preach about “questioning what you are taught in school” to the jubilation of radical anti-Israel groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and the BDS movement.
But, since when does the Arab World question what it is taught in their schools? Since when do anti-Israel activists question what they are taught in school? Why are Jewish and born-and-raised Zionists the primary target of “seeking objectivity?”
Most young people, per tradition, know remarkably little, and what they do know is thanks to the wildly biased reporting of AJ+ (the Al Jazeera outlet appealing to young people) and the Daily Kos. While many adults may regard this generational media shift as bizarre, we must remember that it is part of youthful rebellion. When one’s parents receive information from sources as capitalist and seemingly biased as the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, why follow suit? The defiant child of pro-Israel parents believes that shifting to ultra-liberal (with a lowercase L) media will ease the transition into a more objective outlook.
And that objectivity comes at a price. Any student supporting Israel is now believed to have a bias — an intellectual disability, if you will — that requires “treatment.” And thus, formerly pro-Israel students do their best to overcome their “difficulties.” This transformation appears to be a heroic triumph over prejudice, and thus merits the accolades and appreciation of the anti-Israel campus scene.
If one were to challenge their newfound convictions, one would easily find that they are based on the shoddy reporting of their “progressive” Qatari-funded media. Their intellectual “triumph” is little more than a joke masquerading as political soul-searching.
Not long ago, a friend of mine said to me that “stabbings are regrettable, but they happen because of Israel’s actions.”
She spoke with an eerie sense of calm and confidence in her silent support for terror. When I asked her if she knew about “Israel’s actions” — its numerous peace propositions, its vibrant democracy, and its status as a haven for all Jews — she responded by calling the state “racist” and “genocidal.”
When I told her that Muslims, Druze, Circassians, Christians and Jews co-exist in Israel, she told me that the media is lying to me, that Israel is committing a genocide, and that I need to reexamine the views I grew up with. I later saw her reading AJ+ on her phone.
Of course, my friend is entitled to her own opinions, but what alarms me is that her opinions are more common that one would hope. What used to be a fringe minority is now a powerful group on college campuses (and liberal spaces) that seeks to limit debate and defame Israel whenever possible, regardless of facts that, in their eyes, are subjective.
But, again, it takes willful ignorance to stand against Israel nowadays — the kind of oblivion that allows you to distort history, disregard facts, and rebel against the truth.
Moral certainty in the absence of facts is prejudice. This kind of prejudice — some of it well-intentioned, some of it antisemitic — is what confronts Israel today.
By the same token, it takes moral clarity to stand by Israel– a kind of moral clarity that is getting harder and harder to find.