There Are No Liberals in a Foxhole

It may be true that there are no athiests in a foxhole, but I think that you can add that there are no liberals in a foxhole either. (For my younger readers who may not understand the expression, a foxhole was a trench used in World War I. The fact that there are no athiests there refers to the fact that even people who claim they do not believe in G-d get religion very quickly when fearing for their life.)

I thought of this yesterday as I listened to the news in Israel. When I heard about the Syrians tearing down part of the fence in the Golan and entering by the hundreds, and the fact that the IDF fired at them and killed at least one, I expected the usual liberal wringing of hands at the death of a (supposedly) unarmed man. Instead I heard most of the radio personalities express over and over, “How could this happen?” or “I don’t think we have ever seen something like this!” It took me awhile to understand what I was hearing, but after about an hour it clicked.

These radio announcers (almost all left-wing, to varying degrees) were scared. They were not concerned about the death of the Syrian, they were frightened that the IDF was not prepared for this incident. Underneath the fear there was a bit of anger too.

I guess when you know the IDF has your back, you can afford to criticize and harp on every incident and take the sides of your enemies, in the self-righteous belief that you are only concerned about human rights.  It is really easy to bash the soldiers when they keep the wolves from the door, but if those wolves get too close for comfort, then things begin to look very different.

As I posted in my series about the change to the right in Israel, being right-wing and pro-Zionist is becoming more popular and more accepted for a variety of reasons. Waking up to the fact that there is a real threat is one of these reasons. It seems that even our left-wing media is starting to get there.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brooke R.
    May 16, 2011 @ 19:40:42

    I don’t understand. What about peace? Why do we all resort to violence of all kinds? Why can’t we change the paradigm from might being right to being able to look at each other and doing the hard thing – talking to each other, finding the common humanity in each other and finding ways to live together. As I have read about the history of the land you live on, I have learned that Jews and Palestinians lived side by side, as brothers and sisters, before 1948. Why do you have to hate as you do? The Jews, the Zionists, and the Palestinians are the same people – both semitic people, and as far as religion – all 3 religions that consider the land you live on as a holy land descend from the same father – Father Abraham. I really don’t understand. And yes, I am safely here in one of the safest communities in the USA, so it may be easy for me to say that, but when my own government strikes out (which it does continuously) I don’t understand. I really don’t understand why everyone says they want peace, but they drop bombs instead. Can you help me understand why hate continuously overrides love? If you can’t do that, can you help me understand why you, at least how I read how you write about “the Arabs,” hate them? I mean this sincerely. I really do want to understand the hate, the bomb dropping, the use of force, the power-over instead of the power-with tactics taken. If I can understand from a perspective not mine – mine being a pacifist perspective, it will make me a better person.

    Thank you.

  2. Neshama
    May 16, 2011 @ 19:44:01

    Let’s hope it becomes a stampede to the right, because I believe this was a “dry run”, a testing to see the world’s reaction to the infiltration and Israel’s defending it’s borders. I feel that this summer we will chv’s witness a greater breach in our borders. Just imagine if at Iran’s instigation that the Arabs should stream across ALL the borders and just flood Eretz Yisrael bodily. Just how many could Israel shoot at and stop them before the world hollers “HALT!”

  3. westbankmama
    May 17, 2011 @ 08:40:26

    Brooke – I don’t know what you have read so far, but your assumption that we all lived as “brothers” side by side before 1948 in completely wrong. There have been Arab terrorist attacks against Jews for as long as there have been Jews in Israel – the Hebron massacre is 1929, where the Arabs rose up and slaughtered their Jewish neighbors is just one example. The fact that the Mufti of Jerusalem sided with the Nazis in World War II and vowed to build death camps to exterminate the Jews is another. Yes, there were places where Jews and Arabs coexisted, but this was inevitably shattered by violence started by the Arabs.

    As to me personally – you may find this hard to believe, but I do not hate Arabs. I think that there are probably many who would like to live in peace with me, but I also know that there are many (if not most) who want to kill me, just because I am a Jew. I have no way of distinguishing between one and another, because those who want peace with me are afraid to admit this. They are afraid of their own Arab brothers. Do you know that if an Arab is caught selling land to a Jew he will be killed? Yes, they kill those who sell to Jews! You cannot make peace with people like this.

  4. Robert
    May 17, 2011 @ 22:57:31

    Brooke..obviously you have never heard of the Arab revolt in the 30s or the massacre at Hebron.

    Here is just a small taste:

  5. elisheva
    May 20, 2011 @ 04:59:49

    Brooke – the Arab leaders who would have made peace with the Jews were all tidily dispatched by other Arabs prior to the founding of the State of Israel. Cooperation/friendship where it existed was a death sentence.

    Pacifism is a nice doctrine to espouse. It sounds fabulous and wouldn’t it be nice if the world ran that way? It doesn’t. I’m happy for you that you don’t live with any threats to your very existence. For the people of Israel it’s another story completely.

    I’m curious: do you bring your pacifist message to the blogs written by Hamas sympathizers? What response do you get?

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