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I think this article (written in the context of HamasAttackOnIsrael2023) is pretty good. And I agree wholeheartedly with the complaint that the left gets too infected by right-wing Arab ethno-nationalism : CategoryCopyrightRisk

For decades, the Israeli government’s knee-jerk defenders have sought to equate opposition to the occupation with contempt for the security of Jewish Israelis. Now, a loud minority of Palestine’s self-styled champions are blithely affirming this smear, insisting that solidarity with Palestine requires callous indifference toward (or, at the very least, silence about) the mass murder of Jews. In so doing, they are making it easier for their adversaries to discredit and marginalize the broader cause of Palestinian liberation


What we actually witnessed was not “the Palestinians” mounting a violent struggle for justice but a far-right theocratic organization committing mass murder in the name of blood-and-soil nationalism.


More broadly, the notion that an ethnic group can boast the exclusive right to occupy any stretch of land is not a left-wing one. Virtually all land is “stolen land” if one rolls the tape back far enough. Individuals who were dispossessed of property as a result of their ethnicity have a right of return and reparation. But ethnic groups do not have a right to cleanse any geographic area of outgroup members, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian.

For these reasons, it is a moral imperative for progressives to condemn Hamas’s atrocities, affirm the human rights of Jewish Israelis, and reject the ethno-nationalist claim that Palestinians have a unique right to reside in the region. And it is also a political imperative for them to do so.


If we posit that some ethnic groups have a unique claim to specific stretches of land, and that they also have the right to commit war crimes so as to secure this heritage, then we will do the Israeli far-right’s ideological work for it. When supposed leftists embrace calls for the expulsion of all Jewish “settlers” from “the river to the sea,” they pit one group’s account of why its historical victimization gives it carte blanche to commit ethnic cleansing against another group’s account of the same. In a contest between competing visions of ethno-nationalist domination, the Palestinians cannot win. Their primary strength is the moral force of egalitarian universalism; in other words, of the idea that all people are entitled to security, self-government, and equality under the law. The moment that Palestine’s western supporters treat this idea as negotiable, they kick the legs out from under their own movement.


A precondition for a durable peace in Israel-Palestine is an Israeli government that honors its commitments under international law, ends its occupation of the West Bank, and forswears collective punishment as a tool of war against Hamas. To assert this is not to pretend that Hamas is an eager partner for peace. But that organization owes much of its popular legitimacy (and power) to Israel’s crimes.


To celebrate the slaughter of Jewish children as “decolonial” struggle, or to refuse to condemn the “military strategy” of far-right war criminals, is to place the performance of radicalism above the demands of moral integrity and political efficacy.

On the whole, I'm with that article.

However I disagree that the "solution" to this is to start "condemning Hamas" and other symbolic acts. (Simply asserting one doesn't support them should be sufficient. See more on HamasAttackOnIsrael2023.)

And I'm not as convinced as the author that "Palestinians cannot hope to prevail in a contest of brute force".

But the basic points are quite right.

Disturbing thought: is that this is PalimpsestHateHypothesis in action?

Are left-wing Palestinian supporters sliding towards genuine LeftWingAntiSemitism? Pulled by NeoEurasianism?

I still don't buy left-wing support for Palestinians is the same as anti-semitism. But there are examples of the line being blurrier than I'd like. And given the other ways the right co-opt the left (CrunchyToFarRightPipeline) it would be strange for this not to happen over Palestine.

More criticism from within the pro-Palestianian Jewish left :

And useful and explanatory pushback :

One way of understanding Israel ... is to say that it is a machine for the conversion of grief into power ... what it means is that it is not possible to publicly grieve an Israeli Jewish life lost to violence without tithing ideologically to the IDF—whether you like it or not. ... It is this context—the already-political grief at the core of the Zionist adventure—that makes so many on the left so reticent to perform a public shedding of tears over Hamas’s victims. They are, we might darkly say, “pre-grieved”: that is, an apparatus is already in place to take their deaths and give them not just any meaning, but specifically the meaning that they find in the bombs falling on Gaza.

The Israeli government doesn’t care if you, a principled person, perform your equal grief for all victims: it will gobble up your grief for Jews and use it to make more victims of Palestinians, while your balancing grief for Palestinians will be washed away in the resulting din of violence and repression. ... The impulse, repeatedly called “humane” over the past week, to find peace by acknowledging equally the losses on all sides rests on a fantasy that mourning can be depoliticized. If only it were so—but this would be the end of Zionism, after all. More tragically, the sentiment of those who want peace and justice for all and express this by chastising those in the West whom they see to be reacting with insufficient grief and excessive politics have only given amplification to the propaganda machine that is now openly calling for the blood of the innocent and the silence of doubters.

Who can begrudge tears for those lost to violence? Nevertheless, how to grieve, what meaning to give those tears, is cruelly a political question whether we like it or not.

Maybe. But there seems to be a lot of claimed helplessness here. For people who hope to change the world, claiming that they have zero power to assert control over what their words mean, feels a bit disingenuous. Yes, it's true. Anyone from the left who raises a criticism of the pro-Palestinian left and demands more condemnation of Hamas will quickly be seized upon as an exhibit by the right as evidence for how terrible the left have become.

And yet. Come on! Words are power. TheWorldBelongsToStoryTellers and the rhetorical flourishes in that article are great. Why is such verbal power and subtlety being used to insist that the speaker is incapable of expressing something when clearly if they put their mind to it, they probably could? (See more on LanguageIsHolistic)

Original author pushes back here :

To frame as inevitable and inexorable the instrumentalization of Jewish grief in service of apartheid, rather than working to demonstrate that it need not be, is to abdicate our moral responsibility to Israelis and Palestinians alike. The right to grieve is no less a human right than the right to live.

Transcluded from PragmaticsAndCommunication

A recent example with a different political polarity is the fallout from the HamasAttackOnIsrael2023 where after the Hamas attack, many Jews were hoping for an expression of solidarity for their suffering and fear. And instead, a large proportion of the left, internationally, immediately started asking about the Palestinians.

Again it's not that Palestinian lives don't matter. Or that it isn't true that Israel has killed far more Palestinian children than Hamas has killed Israeli children. But it's also understandable how many people could feel that, immediately asserting questions of the Palestinians after the Hamas attack was very similar to the people who started saying "All Lives Matter" in response to BLM.

Many on the left made impassioned and sophisticated arguments as to why, despite all lives mattering, All Lives Matter in response to BLM was clearly a "bad faith" response, a genuinely hostile and oppressive move. (I myself wrote arguments like this on Quora.)

So why don't the equivalent arguments hold for immediately talking about Palestinian lives after the slaughter of Jews? (There's a lot more about this on TheLeftAndArabNationalism. But I don't want to have that specific argument here. My main interest is in noting it as another example of this pragmatics problem, that it's very hard for us to say only what we want to say, and not be saying something beyond that.)