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An excellent op-ed piece by Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal laying out the moral surrender of Western society and civilization that is occurring and the scapegoating of Israel and Jews in general as part of that surrender.  In it he describes how the “sanctimonious and meddling voice known as “world opinion” ” has now given legitimacy to the silliest condemnation of Israel and provides those who do so an opportunity for self-congratulations.  

But what is more troubling is that the world has lost it’s moral compass…rather than condemn Hamas for firing rockets into Israel they condemn Israel for the isolation and blockade of Gaza.  Rather than show outrage for Helen Thomas’s virtriolic language for Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and to “go home” to Germany, Poland, and America “world opinion”, in a CNN poll and subsequently in reader comments, said that she should not have retired.  Rather than examining the recent flotilla incident from a dispassionate perspective and examining the evidence objectively the world pounces on Israel and ignores the truth that the flotilla consisted of legitimate humanitarians as well as individuals who sought violent conflict with Israel.  No, the world has definitely lost its moral compass and seeks to actively de-legitimize Israel as never before.  Is it any wonder why Israelis feel under siege?  Their enemies are lauded and given free passes on anything they do against Israel, Israelis and Jews in general and when Israel defends herself she is chastised and told that she is the illegitimate product of an event that many in the Muslim world deny ever occurring.  Whereas in the first half of the 20th century the sentiment was “Jews out of Europe!” or “Jews to Palestine” today the sentiment in Western societies seems to be as Helen Thomas spat the words out: Jews – “get the hell out of Palestine.”

Shelby Steele sums up the situation quite well – the West suffers from a “deficit of moral authority” – we are:

“reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist.”

(Steele, Shelby, “Israel and the Surrender of the West”, Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2010)

The West refuses to accept the fact that Israel wishes to live in peace with its neighbors and that Israelis seek to be accepted among the family of nations as has not happened since the Biblical times.  The West also refuses to accept that the entire conflict has twice come close to being resolved but in the end it was the Palestinian leadership who turned their backs on the extended hand offered to them – first by Yassir Arafat in 2000 and then by Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 – simply because the offer was not everything they wanted.  The Palestinian Authority has followed in the footsteps of Khartoum:

  • NO peace with Israel
  • NO recognition of Israel
  • NO negotiations with Israel

The West simply refuses to accept the reality that Israel’s actions are not the sole obstacle to peace but that the Palestinians, their actions and their refusal to relinquish their hatred of Israel and Jews are the real obstacles to peace in the Middle East.  The West needs to stop this abdication of its moral authority and regain its moral compass if the is ever to be a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

March 2020

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