Friday, July 29, 2011

Puzzling realignments

In June of 1967 I was living in England when the Six Day War broke out between Israel and Egypt. The Israeli forces quickly prevailed.

At that time the BBC took its cameras into an old-fashioned Tory club, one that had a "restricted" membership, meaning that no Jews need apply. As the Israeli victory had become unmistakable, the reporter expected gloom to prevail among the members, but instead they were whooping it up. When asked why, they exclaimed: "We're winning, we're winning!" (What do you mean by "we" I asked myself?) At all events, the reason for the jubilation seemed to be that dislike of the Arabs was intense and, with many old British Forces types present, there was admiration for the military spirit and discipline of the IDF.

As it happened, this shift turned out to be the harbinger of a far-reaching realignment on the international right. In France Marine Le Pen, head of the National Front, professes admiration for the state of Israel, while in Alaska Governor Palin displayed the Israeli flag. This historic shift has gone hand in hand with a growing conservatism in the Israeli citizenship as well.

What I do not understand is the contrasting realignment in the international left, where Muslims have become poster children. This despite such horrors as the subjugation of women and the persecution of homosexuals. Any criticism of Islam on this and other well-founded grounds is immediately denounced as "Islamophobia."



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