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Contentions

Re: The Logic of the Left

Jonathan ably takes Larry Derfner to task for Derfner’s reprehensible justification of terrorism as an “anti-occupation” tactic–one that Derfner says Israel invites and is thus responsible for. But the key part of that to me was the recognition of Derfner’s “logic” when approaching the situation from extreme leftist ideology.

There are two reasons leftists have stopped getting elected in Israel. The first is, their policies have plainly failed. But the second reason is, leftists started being honest (though I doubt Derfner’s bloodlust is shared by his ideological compatriots, many of whom are true pacifists). Once upon a time, revered Israeli peaceniks spoke of the indivisibility of Jerusalem. Once upon a time, Ehud Barak criticized peace deals brokered by Benjamin Netanyahu from the right, even as Bill Clinton’s campaign strategists were preparing to help Barak oust Netanyahu. It was all a game–but apparently the game’s over.

Now, there is no place for Barak in the Labor party. It’s admirable that many in the Labor party would rather criticize Israel from the sidelines than get elected; it is a more honest expression both of their priorities and of the Israeli public’s outright rejection of those same priorities. To be sure, Derfner is in the minority here. I do not believe large numbers of Israeli leftists think blowing up an Israeli school bus, for example, is appropriate or deserved.

Derfner has created two categories of action: good and bad. Thus, Israel’s stewardship of land the Palestinians want for an independent state of their own some day is “bad.” Murdering innocent children is “bad.” There’s no gray area. So Palestinians in the West Bank have to go through checkpoints to make sure they’re not armed; this is “bad.” As such, they respond by breaking into the home of a Jewish family and murdering them in cold blood, including slitting the throat of an infant. This, to Derfner, is not only logical but acceptable. It’s in the category of “bad,” sure–but it’s called for, and anyway, it’s Israel’s fault.

Derfner’s blog post is rotten to the core. It’s reassuring, however, that Derfner is left to offer such moral corruption from his own personal blog site–an indication that few share his values, or lack thereof.


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