As an example of what the insight-ful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book, “The World Turned Upside Down,” since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge some four weeks ago, the streets of American and European cities have been crammed with activists intent on expressing their collective indignation for Israel’s perceived crime of defending its citizens from slaughter from the genocidal thugocracy of Hamas.
Rowdy demonstrations have taken place in Berlin, Paris, Toronto, London and Madrid, where blatantly anti-Semitic chants of “Death to Jews!,” “Hitler was right!” and “Gaza is the real Holocaust” could be heard, with similar events taking place in majot U.S. cities.
Joined with Muslim supporters of those wishing to destroy Israel and murder Jews were the usual suspects of peace activists, Israel-haters, social-justice advocates and labor unionists. These radical, Israel-loathing groups include the corrosive ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), the Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine.
What was particularly chilling about the hate-filled rallies was the virulence of the chants and messages on the placards, much of it seeming to suggest that more sinister hatreds and feelings were simmering slightly below the surface. Several of the morally self-righteous protestors, for instance, shrieked out, to the accompaniment of drumbeats, “Long live Intifada,” a grotesque and murderous reference to the Second Intifada, during which Arab terrorists murdered some 1,000 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others.
That pro-Palestinian student activists could publicly call for the renewed slaughter of Jews in the name of Palestinian self-determination demonstrates quite clearly how ideologically debased the human rights movement has become. Activists on and off U.S. campuses, who never have to face a physical threat more serious than getting jostled while waiting in line for a latte at Starbucks, are quick to denounce Israel’s very real existential threats and the necessity of the Jewish state to take counter measures to thwart terrorism. And these well-meaning but morally blind individuals see no contradiction in their calls for the renewed murder of Jews for their own sanctimonious cause.
When pro-Palestinian activists and critics of Israel repeat the claim that Palestinians somehow have an internationally recognized legal “right” to resist occupation through violent means, they are both legitimizing that terror and helping to ensure that its lethal use by Israel’s enemies will continue unabated. Those who lend their moral support to terrorism have helped introduce a sick moral relativism into discussions about radical Islam and Palestinianism. And the notion that Israel cannot, or should not, retaliate against these rocket attacks until a sufficient number of Israelis has been murdered is equally grotesque.
That these activists are willing to sacrifice the Jewish state, and Jewish lives, in the name of social justice shows how morally corrupt and deadly the conversation about human rights has become.
Richard L. Cravatts is president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.