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Many of Hollywood and Silicon Valley’s Jews are silent on Israel

Mark Zuckerberg has largely kept out of the Israel-Palestine discussion in recent weeks. Credit: Getty

October 30, 2023 - 7:00am

Back in the early days of California’s ascendancy, the state was described as “the Jews’ early paradise”, a place where the lack of social norms, and enormous opportunities, were ideal for enterprising people unmoored from conventional business ties. In the years ahead, Jews spearheaded much of California’s banking, garment and later entertainment businesses.

In the ensuing years Jews have also become prominent in real estate and in Silicon Valley. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, is Jewish, as is Mark Zuckerberg. Both Russian refuseniks and venturesome Israelis have played key roles in the Valley. Yet in the Valley, outside of refusals to attend a conference organised by an entrepreneur who criticised Israel, very little has been said about the massacre. 

Overall there isn’t much identification with Jewish causes from people like Zuckerberg, whose tribal commitments are tiny compared to his massive efforts elsewhere, notably in influencing elections. Meanwhile gentile executives, like Apple’s Tim Cook, have been particularly reluctant to weigh in too heavily — perhaps not to offend his pro-Palestine Chinese backers — with anything like his passion on climate and other “social justice” causes.

Much of this passivity stems from the reflexively progressive politics that dominate the Bay Area. This makes many Jews wary of groups like AIPAC, the powerful Israel lobby with strong Republican ties. “A lot of them are more concerned with their social justice profile than their Judaism,” longtime Jewish activist and Palo Alto native Nickolas Targ tells me, in an area where “secular progressivism is part of the air.”

The very tech companies that prated most about issues like transgender rights, climate change and George Floyd seem to have become less loquacious when it comes to slaughtering Jews. “A number of leaders who were outspoken for #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo are amazingly quiet on this,” adds Rony Abovitz, a Florida-based tech entrepreneur who has worked closely with firms like Google and competed against Meta. “The PR people pressure CEOs to say nothing (or very vanilla things) so as not to offend global customers.”

This occurs in part to not upset customers who might be sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, despite Hamas. It also reflects their fear, as the Bay Area Council’s Jim Wunderman suggests to me, of their own activist employees, who breathe the same progressive air. In addition, three-quarters of the Valley workforce is foreign, and includes many from Muslim-majority countries like Egypt and Pakistan as well as Palestine.

Ironically this is occurring, as Abovitz argues, as ties between Israel’s “startup nation” and big companies have been expanding. Yet ties to Israel and Jewish entrepreneurs have had little impact on the big shots not only in Silicon Valley, but even in Hollywood. Organisations like the Writers Guild, quick to embrace every fashionable Left-wing cause, have remained noticeably neutral in the current struggle. 

Some Hollywood elites — including Maha Dakhil, co-head of motion pictures at CAA — have accused Israel of “genocide”, leading at least one client, star writer Adam Sorkin, to break ties. But Hollywood remains in the grip of progressivism: two thousand actors signed a statement outlining  Israel’s “war crimes” with no mention of Hamas’s atrocities.

This weak California response contrasts with that in the more traditional realm of investment banks, notably hedge funds, law firms and Jewish-controlled companies on the East Coast. Jewish donors such as Limited founder Les Wexner, Idan Offer, Mark Rowan and Bill Ackman have pulled away their commitments to the Ivies. This may reflect in part that, unlike the tech oligarchs, these people actually own their companies and can avoid genuflecting for progressive approval.

What happens next to California’s 1.2 million Jews is hard to predict, but a lot of the indicators are less than friendly. The state’s adopted ethnic studies programme is openly anti-Zionist and largely dismisses Jews as yet another group of white oppressors. Like the tragic children of Gaza, Californian youth are being groomed to hate Israel, and along with it perhaps the people who live there.

Some think that groups like Democratic Majority for Israel, with considerable financial resources, can halt the pro-Palestine trend and keep their acolytes from gaining more power. One should hope they are right, but trends in California politics seem to be drifting further to the progressive Left, which is good news for Hamas and bad for the future of this most celebrated Jewish community.


Joel Kotkin is the Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and author, most recently, of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class (Encounter)

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Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

They’re silent for two reasons:

They’re afraid of angering their tribe / customer base / employees.
They’re terrified that the mob will come for them.

Personally, I think if you find yourself in bed with people who feel perfectly fine chanting ‘gas the Jews’ and celebrating the death of Jewish civilians, you really need to hold your own moral compass up for inspection. What’s informed it? How did you get here?
From what I can tell, those in support of Palestine appear motivated more by hatred of Jews than compassion for Palestinians.

Last edited 8 months ago by Julian Farrows
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You don’t think the thousands of Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli bombs deserve the same sympathy as those Israelis murdered by Hamas? Why do you believe one is driven by compassion and the other by hatred

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Hamas attacks Israel with thousands of rockets and butchers1500 Israelis and kidnaps over 200. Hamas knew that Israel would have no choice but to retaliate by attacking Gaza
Hamas intentionally launches its attacks against Israel near to schools hospitals and mosques. It places its soldiers, arsenals and terror network under hospitals, schools, apartment blocks. Hamas does this because uses those civilians you mention as human shields to protect themselves and to use their mangled bodies for propaganda purposes.
Every single one of the dead men, women and children would all be alive today if Hamas hadn’t attacked Israel and Hamas did not use civilians as human shields. Will you put the blame for those dead Palestinians on Hamas?
I would have sympathy for any civilian killed that had denounced Hamas and entirely disassociated themselves from the attacks on Israel. Hamas would still hold responsibility for their death. But unlike those who support Hamas, they didn’t bring their own death upon themselves.

Last edited 8 months ago by Marcus Leach
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They have my sympathy as do all that die in war and conflict, but Israel’s reaction to Hamas is completely understandable.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree

Paul T
Paul T
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ask Hamas first, record their answer, then come back. Stop selling your soul for terrorists.

John Tyler
John Tyler
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Because one side warned civilians to leave the war zone; the other deliberately murdered, mutilated and kidnapped civilians. One side uses targeted fire power to try to hit specific combatants; the other indiscriminately murders or use as human shields Jews and Palestinians alike.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I think they’re silent in large part because their Jewishness is a relatively small part of their personal identity. In some combination they do not believe in Jewish religious commitments… do not engage with the religious community, or do so modestly or perfunctorily… are married to Gentiles and view themselves as spiritual rather than religious… think of their Jewishness as a matter of ethnic heritage rather than a set of beliefs and practices with a robust impact on their personal futures… etc.
Their progressivism – as nebulous a concept as that is – is more important to them than their Jewishness. They have switched tribes, as it were.

Last edited 8 months ago by Kirk Susong
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

I’m going to bet that you are wrong, even if not actively practicing. Jewishness is almost always a large part of one’s personal identity.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
8 months ago

You are correct Lesley.
My biological parents were Jews, but I was orphaned, and raised by light-touch CofE parents from the age of about 3.
For all intents and purposes I am a Christian, but these attacks still feel like a personal blow.
I can’t explain it, it’s just a gut feel.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

But are you otherwise a dyed-in-the-wool progressive? I doubt it… That would be the key fact to distinguish your case from these Hollywood secular Jews.
I feel a similar reaction to you about this situation, even though I have no connection with Israel or Jewishness, just because of our common humanity, and the disgusting level of evil evidenced by the attacks.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

I take your point, but it’s more than that.
I’m not proud of it, but I feel like I want revenge.

Last edited 8 months ago by Philip Stott
Katalin Kish
Katalin Kish
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

The acts of 7 October feel personal to me too, and I have no Jewish blood.
I can’t get over the barbarity of the Holocaust, the Yugoslavia conflict 30 years ago, or what Australia’s rogue Victoria Police officers routinely get away with still.
There are absolute wrongs unrelated to one’s genetics beyond being a human..

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

According to Jewish law, you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

Then it’s probably not your latent ‘Jewishness’ stirring, mate. Just boring old garden-variety human narcissism. We all fall prey to it from time to time. Here in Australia lots of really rather white, culturally Eurocentric types have started jumping on the ‘Indigenous Aussie’ bandwagon lately, too. Special victimhood has its seductive attractions in our age, I guess, although given that a steely refusal to wallow in it was once one of the fundamental pillars underpinning Judaism’s astounding historical and cultural durability, it’s a bit dismaying to discover that so many of the Diaspora’s ‘progressive, cultural Jews’ are no more immune to the moral vanity of solipsism than the rest of us.
Anti-semitism truly is one of the great, confoundingly-irrational intellectual ills of our age. From many different angles. No-one who’s spent any time in Muslim countries, especially in the ME, can be in any doubt that Jews live in a world populated by large numbers of frightening, prone-to-violence types who want them and Israel obliterated. No-one who grew up in predominantly goyish parts of the West can deny the latent Jew-baiting that simmers away in many such places still, always primed to boil up. And no-one – no-one honest – who lives in globalised, cosmopolitan cities with significant Jewish populations can deny that many successful, privileged and powerful members of those communities make a hysterically extravagant meal of both those two distinct kinds of antisemitism (the difference is qualitative, far beyond merely quantitative). For a variety of reasons, of wildly varying legitimacy. An awful lot of reverse-engineered misappropriation of Judaisms’s and Israel’s real and ongoing trauma does tend to flourish at times like these, an awfully long way from the action. To illustrate this dubious intellectual posing in its most farcical form, one is inclined to cite the ridiculous, contrived pantomime made by Christopher Hitchens of his last-minute cultural awakening to his ‘true roots’. (‘Taking the absolute p*ss, mate’ being the apt precis.) That his great – and equally Anglo, middle-class, Oxbridge-clubbable, lifelong-privileged insider – chum Martin Amis expressed mild ‘jealousy’ at Hitch’s late-emerging ‘Jewishness’ is a pretty useful hint at…well, something.
What, exactly, is tricky to articulate, but it’s definitely something shabby and unsavoury, perhaps even ghoulish. One is invariably underwhelmed by anyone who harvests any kind of ‘victimhood bounty’ in adulthood without having done any of the bitter, growing-up preparatory work. Never copping the childhood discrimination and exclusion; never enduring the taunts (and worse); never having to navigate the real barriers or transcend the real hatreds and hurts. Never having had to do so…while explicitly and stoically embracing – honouring – one’s identity anyway, to buggery with them all.
So maybe…maybe…(one hesitates, but it needs to be suggested): maybe if you want to get an authentic ‘gut feel’ for your ancestral Jewishness, Philip, you should go to synagogue every now and then. And if you really do ‘want revenge’…then one option would be to whip over and do your IDF national service. The last thing Israeli Jews need right now, I think, is yet more freeloading, faraway ‘fraternity’. I think that such, from the Jewish Diaspora and its gentile supporters alike, is a not-insignificant part of the fuel load that keeps the Holy Land tragedy aflame.
In that context, I’d suggest that the relative silence of prominent ‘Hollywood and Silicon Valley Jews’ might be the most moral and helpful – and honest – contribution they can offer Israel. Rgds.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

Large… just not as large as their progressivism.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

“I think they’re silent in large part because their Jewishness is a quite small part of their personal identity.”

I dont think Hamas would care about that.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
8 months ago

We have a young left wing Jew on a news channel in UK who boasts about going on ‘pro-Palestinian’ marches. He no doubt thinks his anti-Israel virtue-signalling will save him.

The cure for anti-Israel sentiment is to go there. See who creates and who seeks to destroy, who provides for its citizens (Jew, Arab and Christian) and who debases and deliberately martyrs its own people.

In the Holy Land you can go back in time, from a flourishing Western democracy to medieval living conditions by simply crossing a border. It’s the best advert for civilisation you’ll ever see.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

I went to Egypt once over Xmas, and travelled overnight from Cairo to Aswan (@20mph) on the sleeper train. I awoke on Christmas morning and looked out the window to see three men riding camels on the Nile embankment and it was as if nothing had changed in 2000 years.

As for your lefty Jew; well that’s just the triumph of youthful idealism over (our) bitter experience.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

I think people are beginning to realize that the pro-Palestine leftists are actually anti-West more than anything else. They view Israeli society as the embodiment of colonialism – Western civilizers who immigrated to backwards lands and improved them by forcing locals to adopt better practices and norms – you know, things like the rule of law, civil rights, free markets, etc. The implicit racial overtones make this completely impossible to accept on the Left, and the logical consequence is that they can’t find it in themselves to condemn raping and torturing women and children.
What’s really being fought over right now is the legacy of the West. Should we be ashamed that we’re racists? Or proud that we’re civilized?
(The vast numbers of people desperate to move to the West, legally or not, should answer that question quite easily.)

Last edited 8 months ago by Kirk Susong
Jane Watson
Jane Watson
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

I’ve taught them – Muslim girls, in the aftermath of 9/11, who tried to persuade me that Sharia was preferable to British law.

Absolutely bizarre that all these girls were in 6th form education and hoped to go to University to pursue careers. That they would have been indoors and powerless where their parents came from seemed to escape them.

More baffling of course are the not-stupid 20-30yr old white Brits who have absorbed anti-West propaganda and seem to have no appreciation of the privileges they enjoy and why they are so precious.

What happened, so soon after our parents generation went to war to preserve our freedoms?

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

“What happened, so soon after our parents generation went to war to preserve our freedoms?”
Of course this is a complex question with many possible answers… but I think the world’s horror at the Holocaust led the pendulum to swing wildly against anything that smacked of racism. Racism became not only the new Eighth Deadly Sin but also the chief sin, and the only one for which forgiveness was not possible.
Since a society with “freedoms” is one in which only individual choices can be blamed for disparate outcomes, and since the outcomes remain racially correlated… freedom just had to go, in favor of implicit bias, systemic racism, anti-colonialism, anything that would allow these myopic children to blame their ancestors for the (perceived) faults and problems of non-white races… including Palestinians.
Obviously the deep irony, one that will be relished like an after-dinner delicacy in future histories, is the fact that in their desperate guilt at the Holocaust, these white progressives have simply turned a blind eye to ethnic cleansing violence committed by Hamas.

Last edited 8 months ago by Kirk Susong
Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

I think you are absolutely right on this. Anti Israelism is a facet of anti Westernism.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 months ago

Alas, just like ‘Friends’, Facebook (the digital b*****d) with its value-free, non-judgmental, relaxed, open, interconnected, supportive, happy future turned out to be a pipe-dream.

Unsurprisingly, it’s all about the money (just like the movie business – the ‘art form’ of the 20th century which clearly didn’t live up to the early hype).

And Facebook (fronted by that transparent bot Zuckerberg ), far from linking us all up, has in fact driven us all into smaller and smaller lonely virtual silos.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
8 months ago

Dear Unherd, it’s either ‘Waiting for Approval’ or ‘Awaiting Approval ‘.

Didn’t you go to school ?

starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Thank you. For a forum dedicated to intellectual discussion, this level of linguistic ignorance is truly grating. Language matters, which is why the global elites are so intent on distorting, debasing and mangling it relentlessly.

Last edited 8 months ago by starkbreath
Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
8 months ago

Tech company titans are, and have always been, moral pygmies. Cowards and worse. There is a special place in hell reserved for them.

William Hickey
William Hickey
8 months ago

Jews view themselves as White when it suits them and non-White when it suits them. America, including the “Judeao-Christian” American Right, has let them play that double game.

(Israeli diplomats notoriously appear on right wing talk radio to enlist votes in the morning and appear the same night at private dinner parties with left wing progressives to raise funds.)

But the Woke progressive Left does not. Jews, who like to claim exception, are shocked by this betrayal. “We’ve been such good allies,” they cry.

Not surprisingly, the first response is, as Joel Kotkin makes clear, to use their money to bludgeon wavering institutions back into line.

To get those institutional minds right.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago
Reply to  William Hickey

Com’on everyone. Let’s get this straight. Jewish is not a race, it’s not an ethnicity, either. Jews come in all sorts of colors; there are African Jews, Scandanavian Jews, South American Jews, etc,etc. Most of the Jews in the US are from Central and Eastern Europe. The majority of Israeli Jews are from the Middle East.
And, (you should probably sit down for this part) race is nonsense, especially the silliness about skin color. It’s a self-serving concept made up of whole cloth; like witches can fly, hurricanes are getting more frequent and children should be seen but not heard. The less we hear about it, the better.
So, y’know, enuf-already!! Find something else to tweet about!

Lcv1125
Lcv1125
8 months ago

Laurence scaduto, you seem like antisemitic to me. Did you ever tried to do some research to find out why are the Jewish people are everywhere? Are you Italian btw? Roman’s (Italian?) occupation in Israel and other occupiers l the Ottoman Empire displaced them. ITALIAN (Roman’s?) . And people like you showing your true colors and other antisemitic ignoramuses spewing all lies against the Jewish people . Hitler was an Austrian was so jealous and bitter about the Jewish success and well educated contributed so much in the German Econmy, migrant Hiller planned their annihilation with the help of the Israel Arab Grand Mufti ( Israel was renamed by your Roman ancestors, occupier of Israel to Palestine). Back to Ottoman Empire ( Turks who spread Islam around the globe) after they lost the battle in Palestine ( Israel) they left their Arab workers there in Israel, then the Palestinian tribes were invented. Back to why Jewish people were everywhere? Of course intermarriage just like your ancestors, you might have Arab blood since Ottoman Empire occupied Europe as well. Inform yourself blinded!

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
8 months ago
Reply to  Lcv1125

Whoah there! Hold your horses, buck-o!
Jews can be found around the globe because they moved around a lot. Sometimes under extreme duress, but many of the families I grew up with had come to NYC pre-emptively. An ancestor had smelled trouble, picked up his family and left (Russia or Ukraine or France or…). And I’m glad he did ’cause some of his descendents were my friends growing up. The families of other of my friends escaped later, by the skin of their teeth. These friends had a very limited supply of grandparents, aunts and uncles. In fact, most of my friends did.
And yes, I am of Italian descent. But that has comically little to do with the Grandeur-That-Was-Rome.
And yes, Jews do inter-marry. The old men try to stop it but , typically, they have little success.
Your hateful accusation is just too silly for words.

Last edited 8 months ago by laurence scaduto
Mike Doyle
Mike Doyle
8 months ago

Blaming ordinary Palestinians in 2023 for the actions of Hamas is like blaming ordinary Germans in 1943 for the actions of the Na3is. Discuss.

Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

Most Germans were fully complicit with Nazi policies as countless studies and memoirs attest. The phenomenon of large- scale suicides in the final days of the war in Europe across Germany speak to their total commitment to the Hitlerian vision and their terror of the coming retribution from the Russians.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
8 months ago
Reply to  Mike Doyle

Who do you think voted for them….in both cases?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

Gaza hasn’t held elections for 17 years, and a majority of Palestinians are under 18

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

Why must every Jew show solidarity with Israel? Why should Americans who’ve never visited the Middle East have to feign a connection with a country situated thousands of miles from their home, friends and family just because the people there happen to share your religion?
If I was a more religious man (I was christened as a baby) would I be expected to show solidarity with every Christian country in Africa every time there was a regional flare up?

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The Islamists aren’t going to stop at the Jews, you know.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Which Islamists are you most afraid of? The strongest two Islamic countries militarily are probably Iran and Saudi, and neither of those are strong enough to take on NATO.
You also didn’t respond to my comment. Why should American Jews have to show solidarity to a country they have no ties to, just because they share a religion?

Last edited 8 months ago by Billy Bob
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You won’t ever get a coherent answer, Bob. Like so many, he’s afraid of whatever justifies his prejudice.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

For my part, it’s not so much prejudice, but wariness. I fear much of the West’s reluctance to condemn Hamas atrocities is based on fear of Islamic retaliation, which is understandable considering the terrible misdeeds we have witnessed in places like Sweden, France and Germany.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

the West’s reluctance to condemn Hamas atrocities is based on fear of Islamic retaliation

I’m afraid that if you think you can avoid dealing with this by keeping schtum then you’re somewhat deluded, to put it mildly..

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Oh, I agree with you. The West seems almost willfully blind in this matter.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Islamic retaliation?! As a random westerner you have almost zero % chance of being harmed by Islamist’s. I presume you drive a car?

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago

Your ignorance of the threat is mind boggling.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Just cause you fear something doesn’t make it likely to happen.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago

This is what we’re facing: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1356225/. I don’t want scenes like this to become normalized in the West, nor do I care if it makes me racist in saying so.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 months ago

Yes, I’m afraid of Islamism. So should you be. It’s a barbaric ideology worse even than Hitler’s and needs to be eradicated.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Whenever anyone uses ‘Hitler’ in an argument they have immediately lost the argument.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Why should American Jews show solidarity…” Because Israel is the homeland of the Jewish ethnicity, and it is natural and normal – although not, of course, compulsory – for members of that ethnicity to “show solidarity” with their ethnic homeland. But ethnic loyalty does not weigh heavily on everyones shoulders.
We could certainly argue that the Jewish homeland should never have been founded in someone else’s country, but it was and there is no turning back now without another Holocaust. (Perhaps California would have been a better location had it happened back in the early 19th century?)

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
8 months ago

But was it ‘someone else’s country’? There have always been Jews in ‘Palestine’ and they were migrating there in ever increasing numbers prior to the post war declarations.

The irony to me is that the very people who would claim Australia for the Aboriginals, New Zealand for the Māori, and weep for Native Americans and Canadians, would deny Israel to the Jewish people.

Last edited 8 months ago by Jane Watson
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

I think think the Jews in Israel are more analogous to western immigrants to Australia, New Zealand and the US

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

The left are criticised (correctly) because they abuse any ethnic minority who is right wing, believing that all those ethnic minorities should vote and act as a homogeneous bloc and anybody that deviates from that is basically a traitor.
The right now are doing the exact same thing. Any Jewish person in the west who is critical of Israel’s policies is branded a traitor, with the right claiming that all Jews should be uncritically supportive of Israel simply because they share a religion, even if they have no ties to the area.
Likewise the right (correctly) berating the left for censorship and cancel culture, while demanding punishment and censoring of those waving Palestinian flags over the last couple of weeks.
The online left and right, two sides of the same coin!

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I didn’t say Islamic countries. I said ‘Islamists’. Islamists in Africa are carrying out atrocities like 7th October on a weekly basis. Eventually, when they have the numbers, they will do the same in Europe and the US every chance they get. It’s not just someone else’s war, it’s yours too.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Jews have much stronger familial and historical ties than do Christians. Have you no Jewish friends?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

They don’t need to take on NATO on the battlefield. They’re already winning by stealth. Hence the capture of the Labour Party by Islamists, the fear of the police of being accused of Islamophobia as they attempt to control 100,000 people on the streets of London calling for jihad, the establishment of self-contained ghettos in major towns and cities where Sharia law rules.
Haven’t you noticed this happening near you?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Muslims have a much more nefarious plan to spread Islam–its called immigrate and procreate.

Viernes Luz
Viernes Luz
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Since you’re not practicing Christianity, you don’t feel the connections. Judeo-Christian intertwines since Israel is the birthplace of both religion. There’s no Christianity if there’s no Judaism that’s why “we” Christians care so much about Israel.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Viernes Luz

Amen! Thank you.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“Why should Americans who’ve never visited the Middle East have to feign a connection with a country situated thousands of miles from their home”
Do you mean by chance Ireland?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
8 months ago

I’ve never understood the yanks obsession with saying they’re Irish just because their Great Great Grandad once owned an Irish Wolfhound

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Explains a lot about your worldview.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I thought it was because they had once been abused by a catholic priest

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“If I was a more religious man (I was christened as a baby) would I be expected to show solidarity with every Christian country in Africa every time there was a regional flare up?”
Of course. If you were a believing Christian, then you would view yourself as having been adopted into a new family, with brothers and sisters across the globe. It’s a remarkable thing, as a Christian, to go around the world to someplace I’ve never been, no one knows me or is like me, and to have the instant connection and solidarity of our faith. It’s beautiful.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Then why do you care now?

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago

 …climate change and George Floyd seem to have become less loquacious when it comes to slaughtering Jews

Jews are always ‘slaughtered’. Palestinians simply ‘died’.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

Correct. Because the way they were killed is different.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Yeah because Hamas don’t have fighter Jets, guided bombs, tanks ect

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

No, because if Hamas had those weapons, they have already stated they would use them to kill more, not fewer, Israeli civilians. Their goal is to forcibly eliminate the Jewish state.
The false moral equivalences on this site always seem premised on the unspoken assertion that “Israel does it too” – but show me the time when Israeli soldiers crept over the border to cut the heads off babies and rape housewives in their homes?
The one time when an Israeli soldier was found to have used a Palestinian child as a shield he was arrested by Israeli military police and convicted by an Israeli court. But this is common practice by Hamas, explicitly celebrated by Hamas as a way for all civilians to participate in their noble martyrdom.
How is the moral difference between these two groups not transparently obvious to everyone? I don’t get it.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Its clear now that the only difference is the level of fire power

You’re jumping through all kind of hoops to pretend otherwise, but its all BS

You’re totally deluded

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Always good to have someone respond to my critique that they failed to provide an argument, with a response which fails to provide an argument.
In a way, I’d be interested in having a conversation. In another way, thanks for proving my point!

Last edited 8 months ago by Kirk Susong
D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Because its all BS

If Hamas had an Air Force, would they use it to bomb civilians, yes they would

Israel has an Air Force, and yes they are using it to kill civilians. And they do not care

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Even if that were true (it’s not), you’d be ignoring the key fact that Israel is dropping bombs in response to Hamas’ atrocities, to get them to stop.
The intellectual gymnastics these apologists have to go through would be impressive if they weren’t so depressing.

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

There are no gymnastics, I don’t support Hamas

And I don’t support Israel

Its you who is doing the intellectual gymnastics

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Me neither. The only thing I do get is that the West is fracturing into two wholly distinct ‘realities’ that are almost the complete opposite of each other – and neither can permit the other to live.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

That is the unfortunate reality here. Both sides are being fed completely opposite information. One is being told that the grass outside is green and the other is being told that the same grass is purple. And both are not actually looking out the window to see for themselves.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Just imagine if they did?! The Biden/Obama administration is desperately trying to make that happen too.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The ‘way’ they were killed?
They are being buried alive in rubble, they are being burned to death, they are having limbs blown off. The rest are huddling in darkness, cold and hungry, awaiting one of the above ‘ways’ to occur.
If you can somehow justify this as a moral way for thousands of civilians to die, then I think you have lost your way.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

And I think you have lost your way! If you have some better way for Israel to protect itself from Hamas, the world awaits your insights….

D Walsh
D Walsh
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

How does killing children protect anyone

starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Bombing Berlin, Tokyo and other German and Japanese cities was essential to the Allies’ victory in WWII. It was incredibly brutal but necessary. War doesn’t often allow for easy moral choices.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

Firebombing civilian areas such as Dresden and Tokyo were war crimes. As was dropping the second Bomb. It had no justification. History is written by the victors.

starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago

Dresden was a major transportation hub for the Nazi war machine. As American forces started to gain the upper hand in the Pacific, the Japanese moved their arms production to Tokyo. Hirohito refused to surrender after Hiroshima. It’s very easy for non combatants to moralize about events decades after the fact while enjoying the freedom that others fought and died for.

Last edited 8 months ago by starkbreath
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

Targeted bombing of factories is completely different from using incendiary munitions with the specific intention of creating an all enveloping firestorm. The decision to drop two Bombs was already decided prior to dropping the first. As for your ‘moralise decades after’ comment- Bomber Harris was deeply maligned in the immediate aftermath of the war and not decades later. But presumably you know all this?

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
starkbreath
starkbreath
8 months ago

You’re leaving out some key points here:
1) As they continued to be pushed back to the mainland, the Japanese increasingly switched their arms manufacturing from large factories to small workshops and private homes, thereby necessitating the large scale assaults on Tokyo and other cities.
2) Yes, Truman authorized the dropping of both atomic bombs but waited three days after Hiroshima for a response from Hirohito, which never came.
3) Criticism of Harris’s actions during the war was not universal. Even if he did go too far in his campaigns, that doesn’t negate the strategic necessity of attacking Berlin, Dresden, etc.
4) Japan was defended by an estimated 350,000 Japanese troops backed by at least 1,000 kamikaze planes. The American invasion would have entailed the use of nearly 800,000 American assault troops and an enormous naval fleet. The amount of casualties, including Japanese civilians, would have been huge. And underpinning all of this is the fact that:
5) Neither Hitler or Hirohito were willing to surrender, despite the fact that both countries were mostly defeated by November 1944. Both leaders called on their citizenry to fight til the bitter end.
As I said in my initial post, war doesn’t often afford us easy moral choices.

Last edited 8 months ago by starkbreath
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

I appreciate the detailed response, but as ever in these situations there are always endless ‘reasons why we had to do something this way’ after the fact, that end up becoming more and more convoluted. There is always such surety in ‘we had no choice’. But this is based purely on speculation of the alternative outcome. Japan would never surrender is the much touted line. But they did surrender! So this implies that they may have also surrendered in another scenario. You then say Hitler would never surrender. But we didn’t nuke him, did we? Tough choices have to be made in war, but as I have said, History is written by the victors and more often than not there are always ‘reasons’ after the fact why something had to be done. However, when you dig into them, it is clear to see how inconsistent these reasons are.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
8 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

If you shoot at me and my family and then shield yourself behind your children while I defend myself, you have only yourself to blame if your children get hurt. If people broke into my house and tried to kill my wife and children reacting ‘proportionately’ would be the last thing on my mind.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

So to continue your analogy, if you then went and killed 5 times the number of innocent civilians to get at the killer (and the civilians he was hiding behind were unable to leave the area because you built a fence around them) that’s acceptable, is it? How about 10 times the number of casualties?
How about 20 times?
It doesn’t matter- just as long as you get your man, right?
It all begins to sound a bit mad. And make no mistake- in your analogy, you are a part of that madness.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

Again… no alternative is offered… just “let Hamas shoot at Israeli children while hiding behind their own children…”

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Israel could wait, take stock of the situation and come up with a plan. It’s not as if the fenced in Gazans are going anywhere.
With great power comes great responsibility. Israel has the bomb. Israel has the world superpower on its side with carrier groups at the ready. Israel has a vastly more powerful military. There is no imminent existential threat to Israel that justifies an immediate ‘whatever it takes’ response.

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
8 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Perhaps, get your leader to avoid playing complex games of Realpolitik such as allowing funding to flow to Hamas to ensure that a two state solution becomes an impossibility.
When you have a leader like that- who needs enemies?

Last edited 8 months ago by Alex Colchester
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
8 months ago

Umm… it was Gazan civilians who elected Hamas, not the Israelis (or Americans). It was Gazan civilians who said, “Hamas is our government, they are our leadership.” And in opinion polls, the majority of Gazans favor armed conflict with Israel over negotiations (per the PCPSR). That puts the West in a demmed-if-you-demmed-if-you-don’t position – money intended to ‘help’ Palestinian civilians is necessarily going to ‘help’ Hamas.
The reality is that anti-Semitic hatred has spread throughout the Palestinian civilian population. Only 28% of Palestinians want a two-state solution (PCPSR again).

Last edited 8 months ago by Kirk Susong