The Perverse Leftist Principles That Lead to Enthusiasm for Murder

To many Jews (and a few Gentiles) on the political left, it has been shocking to see those they saw as political allies rush to excuse or even to endorse Hamas’s recent atrocities. Often, they accuse these leftist apologists for terror of betraying their principles. Jonathan Chait—a writer of the center-left himself—has a very different analysis:

I believe, to the contrary, that Hamas defenders are applying their own principles correctly. The problem is the principles themselves.

The left-wing historian Gabriel Winant has a column in Dissent urging progressives not to mourn dead Israeli civilians because that sentiment will be used to advance the Zionist project. Winant sounds eerily like an old Communist fellow traveler explaining that the murders of the kulaks or the Hungarian nationalists are the necessary price of defending the revolution.

Concepts like . . . treating the self-appointed representative of any oppressed group as beyond criticism, are banal on the left. Yet for some progressive Jews, it is shocking to see it extended to the slaughter of babies, even though that is its logical endpoint. The radical rhetoric of decolonization, with its glaring absence of any limiting principles, was not just a rhetorical cover to bully some hapless school administrator into changing the curriculum. Phrases like “by any means necessary” were not just figures of speech. Any means included any means, very much including murder.

Both [the progressive Jewish writers] Julia Ioffe and Eric Levitz have pointed out that decolonization logic ignores the fact that half of Israel’s Jewish population does not have European origins and came to Israel after suffering the same ethnic cleansing as the Palestinians. This is correct. But what if it weren’t? If every Israeli Jew descended from Ashkenazi stock, would it be okay to shoot their babies? . . . That they feel compelled even to contest this point underscores the barbarous premises of their opponents.

The aforementioned Levitz—a journalist named by Chait as among those shocked by leftist apologias for terrorism—has spent much of the past few days splitting hairs over whether finding infants without heads is evidence that infants were, in fact, beheaded.

Read more at New York Magazine

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Gaza War 2023, Hamas


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security