As the fight rages between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza, those supporting Israel shake their heads at progressives around the world. How can a movement which boasts of its dedication to tolerance, feminism and LGBT equality endorse a terror state founded on thuggery and theocracy?
Israel is a modern, multicultural nation in a sea of medieval misery. Women can vote, gays can marry, and Arabs can serve in government. Just over the security fence, women are subjugated, gays are lynched, and there isn’t a Jew to be found (unless he has been kidnapped).
How can the Left be so enamored of the Palestinians? Are they simply immoral? Yes and no.
The Left has a morality, but it is different from that of most conservatives.
We on the Right tend to view struggles as “Good vs. Evil.” Our less religious allies might rephrase this as “Right vs. Wrong,” “Civilization vs. Barbarism,” or, more broadly, “Order vs. Chaos.” Nevertheless, when we see two sides duking it out, we tend to support the Good and the Civilized.
The Left mocks these tired notions of “good” and “evil.” And what is “civilization” but a Eurocentric justification for racism and colonialism? While it’s tempting to call progressives immoral — or at least amoral — the Left has replaced traditional morality with a morality of their own invention.
Progressives have dropped “Good vs. Evil” for “Weak vs. Strong.” The oppressor in any conflict is considered, for lack of a better term, “bad,” while the oppressed victim is an underdog who is worthy of support.
By viewing conflicts through this lens, progressives make several bizarre alliances. They will root for a gun-wielding murderer if the object of his crime was a cop. They will pat the back of a Yippie bomber if his quarry was the Pentagon. And they will support violently homophobic theocrats in Hamas over pluralistic secularists in Israel.
A substitute morality of “weak vs. strong” has a facile appeal since most of us enjoy cheering on the underdog. But if your morality is based on this paradigm, you’ll soon find yourself rooting for a genocidal Hamas over a truly liberal Israel.