Although I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Trump last November, I did not disguise my hope for his victory. His presence provided an imperfectly powerful impetus to critical and skeptical political analysis, one with which the establishment was visibly eager to dispense. Accordingly, the Biden Administration would be, and has since been, tasked with suppressing and discrediting such analysis. Under this technocratic regime, we are presented with the establishment’s singularly narrow vision of what human life can and ought to be, and we are instructed to dismiss every dissenting interpretation as the psychic outcropping of stupidity and bigotry, which might or might not be the same thing. Either you support the American government in its mission or you are “the enemy”, formed in a most contemptible crucible.
Perhaps the most important element of this mission is the program of American imperialism. While the masses are still heavily influenced by the mindless ideology of jingoistic pride, an increasingly large number of people, most of whom are struggling financially, are beginning to question why their taxed income is being spent on foreign military conflicts. Why, for example, do we have to finance the Israeli military? The libertarians have been asking that question for years, but now the progressives have emerged to ask a different question: what is the moral justification of our support for the Israeli military? Does the Israeli military behave in an ethically acceptable manner? What does the Israeli military do, anyway?
All of these questions, if pursued with diligence, lead to the same conclusion: namely, that the Israeli military is pursuing an imperialist project of its own, one which comes at a violently tragic price. Our patronage is indispensable to this project’s “success”, for lack of better term, and if we are to pursue an upright mode of living, then we must abandon the project immediately and commence to atone for our history of wrongdoing. This is very straightforward, but the Biden Administration must obscure it and seek to justify the project through dishonest, pseudointellectual means.
The simplest and most popular method is to demonize critics of the Israeli government as vulgar anti-Semites. The Israeli military is a righteous organization, we are told, one that has never been guilty of a single wrongdoing in its entire history. The only reason anyone would take issue with that glorious entity, we are repeatedly warned, is because one hates Jews and wishes to indulge one’s propensity to hatred. Although this argument is only a massive ad hominem attack, it is also, as we have mentioned, the most popular method of defending the Israeli military in the court of public opinion. Its purpose is not necessarily to cultivate positive, outward support for the Israeli military, but to discourage people from researching the history of the Israeli military, the Israeli government, and the Israeli state. We are instructed to accept what we are told without scrutiny or question.
This speaks to the broader phenomenon of intellectual suppression in the political realm. We were told that only a misogynist would take issue with any of Hillary Clinton’s policies, and we are being told now that only a racist misogynist would take issue with any of Kamala Harris’s policies. In 2018, Senator Mazie Hirono made the demand for intellectual uniformity explicit when she said that men needed to “shut up” and support the Democratic Party. However, what is interesting about this variation concerning the Israeli military is that the Right is probably even more vocal in its commitment to this interpretation than the Left. In recent years, especially, we have seen the Right speak with increasing indignation and exasperation about Democrat representatives who criticize the Israeli military. Right-wing media is proliferated with war hawks who accuse the Democratic Party of encouraging antisemitism among its members, a charge previously delivered against British left-wing politicians like Jeremy Corbyn. We must bear this in mind each time we hear the Right complain about identity politics and critical race theory, because the Right indulges in these destructive philosophies through its own dishonest defense of the Israeli military.
In anticipation of the disrespectful counterargument, critics of the Israeli military have been obligated to bend over backwards to preemptively disavow antisemitism. However, the emergence of critical and skeptical political philosophy, and the development of electronic spaces in which people can contribute thereto, has eliminated much of the need for these tedious disclaimers, explanations, and clarifications. In such a space, everyone is expected to have already acquired a basic understanding of the violent history of the Israeli military, and everyone is expected to have already learned about the dishonest tendency to demonize critics of the Israeli military as anti-Semites. Accordingly, these misguided and unproductive arguments about antisemitism have no place within these spaces, and informed people are learning not only to disregard them, but to move beyond them.
We are speaking of intellectual emancipation, at least on this single issue, and this poses a serious threat to the strength of the Israeli lobby. If the Israeli lobby is to be denied its trump card, one that has consistently terminated discussions before they begin, then the future of the Israeli lobby, and the future of popular support for the Israeli military, will be uncertain. The Biden Administration is attempting to convince progressives that it assesses the Israeli military with an open mind, in clear contrast to the Trump Administration’s unambiguously zealous support for Israel, but this ruse is proving to be unsuccessful. The appointment of Antony Blinken, a committed cheerleader for the Israeli military, as Secretary of State was a pretty obvious indication of the Administration’s partisanship; but more importantly, the violent history of the Israeli military, once learned, cannot be forgotten with platitudes and press conferences. Those who know the truth want the American government to sever ties with the Israeli military, and nothing less is acceptable, nor should it be.
Ergo, it is with visible desperation that the establishment has modified its approach and attempted to warn us that, even if our criticisms of the Israeli military are legitimate, and even if they are demonstrably uninfluenced by antisemitism, even still we must not voice them, lest they be mistaken for anti-Semitic falsities. Last week, CNN published an article in which it declared that, “for many Jews those words”, meaning apartheid and acts of terrorism and ethnic cleansing, “have become loaded phrases that are offensive and cloaked anti-Semitism and that are tossed around without explanation of what is meant by the allegation”. This is so, the article declares, even if the critic is attempting to deliver “legitimate criticisms”. Of course, the author of this article neglects to observe that it is news organizations like CNN that, per the government’s instruction, conflate legitimate criticisms of the Israeli military with anti-Semitism and perpetuate the cyclical nature of propaganda.
These organizations also conflate the Israeli state with Judaism itself. The Israeli government was not created by Yahweh, and Naftali Bennett was not appointed by the Abrahamic God. The Israeli government does not speak for all Jews, nor is it somehow the political embodiment of the Jewish religion. On the contrary, there is a very convincing argument to be made, in accord with the lessons of the First Book of Samuel, that the Israeli government is only an elaborate form of idolatry. Ergo, the idea that criticism of the Israeli government even could be anti-Semitic is far from certain, no matter how vehemently the establishment insists that it is settled fact that all criticism of the Israeli government can be reduced to simple bigotry.
That, however, is a discussion for another time. For now, let us recognize how far we have come on this issue in the last few years alone, and let us prepare for the establishment to intensify its war on critical and skeptical political analysis.