Truth vx. lies
Truth vx. liesMatanyahu Arad
Does truth really matter anymore? The world’s treatment of Israel since October 7th suggests it does not.
The Biden administration and European Union were equivocal from the start regarding Israel’s response to Hamas’s genocidal pogrom. Despite initially offering moral support, the Europeans immediately began exhorting Israel to respond “proportionately” while voices from the White House imperiously demanded an untenable two-state “solution.”
Joe Biden at first spoke sympathetically about Israel’s need to eliminate terrorists and destroy their infrastructure, but administration mouthpieces soon began to blather about the need for restraint, citing as justification false Gaza casualty statistics lifted directly from Hamas propaganda.
And despite his initially supportive words following Iran’s air attack on April 13th, Biden immediately demanded caution and implored Israel not to retaliate, though it was his own weakness, appeasement, and attempts to disrupt Israel’s campaign to destroy Hamas that emboldened Iran to attack.
These attempts included VP Kamala Harris’s threat of “consequences” in the event of an incursion into Rafah and Biden’s collusion on a feckless UN ceasefire resolution (to the benefit of Hamas) and proposal to require the labeling of goods produced in Judea and Samaria which will facilitate anti-Israel boycotts. Most recently, he announced a "pause" in arms shipments to Israel in a clear attempt to placate anti-Israel Democrats ahead of the 2024 election, and in the process encouraged Hezbollah to step up missile attacks from Lebanon.
Biden was supported in this policy madness by Senator Chuck Schumer, who had previously called on Israel to oust its duly elected government and accede to a two-state solution that most Israelis believe is impossible.
In trying to placate anti-Israel progressives, prominent Democrats clearly have no compunction against undermining an ally and sacrificing truth to do so.
Real truth, however, is neither relative nor subjective, but rather implicates immutable fact; and the truth regarding the attacks perpetrated against Israel is neither ambiguous nor reinforced by false comparisons to alleged Israeli conduct, as many on the political left – including Barack Obama – disgracefully asserted before Israel could even bury her dead in October.
Truth is not acquitted by unprincipled ideologues hawking moral equivalency, but by eyewitnesses and survivors – particularly those speaking from personal experience about what they saw and heard. And this was demonstrated in a recent program at a synagogue in Stoughton, Massachusetts, in conjunction with the organization StandsWithUs, featuring two young Israelis who witnessed firsthand the horrors of October 7th.
The first speaker, Aviv, was from Kibbutz Re’im before moving to Yesha, several miles from the Gaza border. He served as an IDF battalion medic while on active duty and, like many young Israelis, did some travelling after his service ended, before returning home for work and school.
He recounted how his family was together during the Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah weekend when Hamas attacked and how they had to rush for shelter. His younger brother, who had served in special forces, was killed by terrorists while protecting civilians in Yesha, and Aviv found his body – along with those of several friends – who had fallen together near a synagogue. Aviv described in sharp detail how he and his father guarded over them while the battle raged until they could be moved and prepared for burial. He then joined his reserve unit.
The second speaker, Avital, is an eighth-generation Israeli on one side of her family and grandchild of Holocaust survivors on the other. Avital explained that she served as an IDF company commander and was visiting her parents that weekend. She knew war had broken out by the sound of sirens on Shabbat/Yomtov. Both she and her older brother were called up, and her job upon activation was to manage the growing missing persons list, determine who was wounded, dead, missing, or kidnapped, and notify families.
She told of curating phone calls from witnesses and distraught people looking for news of missing loved ones, and said it was difficult learning who would not be returning home but having to maintain strict secrecy before notifying families.
These speakers’ words were direct, emotional, and deeply profound all at once. Despite their military backgrounds, they came across as just a couple of young Israelis who were intensely affected by what they experienced, and they told their stories straight and without political varnish. They also spoke of how Israeli society, which had seemed so fractured before the attack, was unified by a sense of common heritage and national resolve thereafter.
The truth they conveyed provided stark contrast to the pro-Hamas propaganda, anti-Israel vitriol, and racist Jew-hatred that are driving the narrative in the US – where classical stereotypes and conspiracy theories abound and atrocities against Jews are legitimized as “resistance” without shame or embarrassment in colleges and universities, city and town councils, Hollywood, and even the halls of Congress.
Emblematic of the banalization of antisemitism were the red bloody-hand pins worn by actors and artists at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, who claimed the pins were a humanitarian symbol advocating ceasefire in Gaza, though the image they bore actually commemorated the murders of IDF soldiers Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami by a bloodthirsty mob in Ramallah in 2001. The graphic motif used depicts the hands of terrorists covered with blood from the two Israelis they murdered and is recognized for its odious symbolism throughout Gaza and the territories – where most people surveyed support Hamas and its atrocities.
Though this imagery was originally used to glorify the savage murder of Jews, it was embraced by fatuous Hollywood “A-Listers” who can always be counted on to promote any and all progressive causes without demonstrating the slightest capacity for critical thought, moral decency, or just plain common sense.
As antisemitism in the US continues to skyrocket unabated, with Jews suffering more abuse than any other minority, the Biden administration’s response is to soft-pedal or claim beyond reason that Islamophobia is an equivalent (or greater) threat to moral order. Considering US law enforcement statistics showing that Jews are victimized by hate-crimes far more frequently than any other ethnic or racial minority group (including Arabs and African-Americans) and are at least six times more likely to be harassed than Muslims, the premise is ludicrous and insulting.
It also begs the question of why most Democrats refuse to concede the existence of virulent Jew-hatred on their side of the aisle. As a collective, Republicans are not bowing to pressure from anti-Israel, antisemitic zealots who dictate party zeitgeist. Democratic leadership is. Prominent Republicans are not publicly denying that Hamas terrorists raped and brutalized Jewish women and girls. Notable Democrats are.
While Congressional Republicans have condemned antisemitism and commenced investigating its ubiquity on college campuses, radical Democrats have belittled these efforts in order to appease antisemitic progressive and Islamist elements within their base. For his part, Biden will not chastise progressive party members by name for egregious anti-Jewish rhetoric or stop taking campaign contributions from donors who are also funding anti-Israel, antisemitic campus riots.
But minimizing antisemitism only encourages it.
The administration’s cognitive dissonance (or artifice) has international ramifications, as evidenced by its recent support for a UN resolution on “Measures to Combat Islamophobia,” which implies that anti-Muslim animus fuels the most pervasive forms of religious, ethnic, or racial hatred, persecution, or strife. It also implicitly prioritizes Islamophobia over global antisemitism, which in contrast truly has religious, ethnic, national, and racial overtones and is indeed the world’s oldest hatred.
Perhaps the resolution was intended to obscure the plethora of human rights abuses and acts of aggression committed by Islamist terror groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, and the Houthis, and by oppressive regimes like Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran.
Or perhaps it was intended to trivialize the reality of antisemitism, of which the UN is the most significant global facilitator.
Whatever its motivation, the Biden administration refuses to acknowledge progressive responsibility for the wave of antisemitism pervading leftist academia, liberal political society, and allied identity communities, where rioters champion Hamas and its genocidal aims.Biden has failed to identify the progressive instigators or the complicity of radicals from his own party. These failures are stunning in their implication that Jewish lives do not really matter; and the liberal tendency to draw moral equivalency between Hamas’s barbarism and Israeli self-defense is positively obscene.
George Orwell once said that some ideas are so absurd only intellectuals could believe them. That sentiment still resonates today, particularly when amended thus: “Some hatreds are so twisted that only persons with preconceived, intellectualized biases could accept them.”
And so it is with those who mock truth by supporting Hamas, degrading its victims, calling for another Holocaust, and cheering on Iran with chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.”
Matthew M. Hausman is a trial attorney and writer who lives and works in Connecticut. A former journalist, Mr. Hausman continues to write on a variety of topics, including science, health and medicine, Jewish issues and foreign affairs, and has been a legal affairs columnist for a number of publications.