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Why does the left hate Israel – it seems counterintuitive?

  • November 8th, 2017

A Quora answer to that question was so crisp I wanted to record it somewhere I would remember.

I don’t know anything about Tostig Godwinesson who answered, but it chimed with what I recall from being a young leftie, and when alongside them in Parliament.

You will undoubtedly get lots of complex and detailed, thoughtful answers to this question, but in my mind it boils down to a very basic situation.

The left defines the human condition as a struggle between “oppressor” vs. “oppressed”. Every situation, country, conflict, and political or social issue can be and is seen through that lens.

The left sides with the oppressed, for many reasons: genuine heartfelt belief that the oppressed of the world need support, virtue signaling, etc.

Perceptive, though it still does not explain why they take that approach and not another.

The thing to grasp is that theirs is a 100 %  coherent world view. It makes total sense to the left. It has the intellectual rigor and coherence of applied Marxism, in a way that has tremendous power for people who view the world that way. The Marxian world of oppressed vs oppressor is taught and reinforced at universities, and then reinforced through peer pressure, social shaming, and clique formation.

If you don’t question the premises, including that humans are perfectible under enough coercion from moral and intellectual superiors.

It has given us everything from “white privilege” to “intersectionality” to just about every other cause of the modern left. EVERY leftist cause has oppressor vs oppressed at the core. Black lives matter, rights of illegal immigrants, you name it, and oppressor vs oppressed is what it’s about.

Israel has been defined by the left as the oppressor, and Palestinians the oppressed. Absolutely nothing can ever shake the left loose from this characterization of the problem. If, tomorrow, a Palestinian lobs a missile onto a school bus full of 3rd grade girls, the western left will see it as another example of how the oppressor (Israel) forced the oppressed (Palestinians) to take extreme, and sadly regrettable – but necessary action, for one must fight oppression, and the oppressor bears the brunt of responsibility. The more Palestinian rockets that fall on elementary schools in Israel, the more evident it is that the oppressors must change their ways in order to end the violence. The oppressed cannot really be blamed for their actions, and never are by the western left, because their actions are borne of desperation.

There was a time when Israel was seen as oppressed by western liberal elites – back in the kibbutz days, through the ’67 war, and maybe to ’73. The western left kinda liked Jews when they were powerless and at the mercy of others; not so much when they have a powerful military and control of a thriving state. Why? Because then they are no longer ‘oppressed’, and in the Marxian worldview, the only other thing you can ever be is an oppressor. It is binary.

The Palestinians and their media enablers have done a superior job of framing the conflict in simple, Marxian terms for a western audience. How well has it worked?

Well, we have “gays for Palestine” marches in San Francisco, rooting for the side that would just love to blindfold all gays and throw them off tall buildings, rather than the side that is one of the most LGBT tolerant societies on the planet. That kind of puzzling behavior is easily understandable once you process it through the oppressor vs oppressed lens. The LGBTQ folks feel they are sticking up for a fellow oppressed group, when what they are really doing is supporting the people who want to slaughter them. It sounds like a paradox, but it isn’t, once you evaluate it in classic Marxian oppressor-vs-oppressed terms.”

To the question – “why?” I’d try some psychological stereotyping. Whether it is backed by research, I do not know.

Crudely simplifying the world into goodies and baddies has always been a comfort to those deeply threatened by the paradoxes, compromises and complexity of reality. Manichaean duality appeals to teenagers and zealots. They get an excuse for cruelty and indifference that is not available to those who can’t divide the world into good and evil, sinners and angels.

Or perhaps it is that many sense that they cannot compete on their usefulness to others, on their ability to create, to build and to nurture. Too many of those may instead turn left, where they will find comrades who define themselves by what they hate, by who they oppose, and by constant fine-tuning of the categories of those who are by definition outside their tribe.


  • Paranormal
  • November 9th, 2017
  • 7:51 am
  • Rob
  • November 14th, 2017
  • 4:52 pm

Historically the status quo was for children of peasants to die and be replaced by children of nobles. There was evolutionary advantage in adolescents, particularly poor and 2nd, 3rd etc sons pursuing high risk lifestyles, supporting underdogs and revolutions to potentially lift them higher in the social/reproductive stakes than they could otherwise hope for. It didn’t pay off often, but was in game-theoretic terms the more optimal strategy for them to overcome their birth disadvantages – just ask Ghenghis Kahn’s 20million male descendents.

So young low-status men have an evolutionary programmed inclination towards violence and underdog causes – and sophomoric attachment to Manichean dualities as rationalisations for them. While young low-status women are similar with an attraction to the violent bad boys who might end up on top. In our modern world that becomes support of fringing political causes, aided by immersion in the prolonged adolescence of the modern world (and particularly academia).

But every revolutionary is a closet aristocrat (Frank Herbert). Just trying to manoeuvre themselves to the top.

  • Stephen
  • November 14th, 2017
  • 4:59 pm

I love the economy yet vast scale of this theory.

  • Brendan
  • November 14th, 2017
  • 6:40 pm

This is the same reason the left sides with Islam. An ideology than when dominant is happy to throw gays of buildings and slaughter the unbeliever.

Muslims in the west are a minority and therefore qualify for victim status in the mind of the progressive left. it wouldn’t matter how many of us they slaughter in our streets, the main thing is to protect them against an Islamophobic backlash that usually never eventuates.

It’s perverse and it’s inexplicable until you understand the power/powerlessness paradigm.

  • powderburns
  • November 19th, 2017
  • 6:18 am

Yes sir. I too think it is a simple theory of arrogance applied to everything: “All who have took from those who haven’t. Hence I am justified in taking from you and breaking all traditions down, as everything we have came from those who have.”

They present a scorched earth policy, but no coherent idea of what to replace it with, other than more virtue signalling. Post modernism is the credo of Cane. The institutionalizing of jealousy. It’s of the biblical stories. The ones of whom we were warned about.

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