There is a chilling familiarity in all this. One of the world's oldest stories is playing out before our eyes: The Jews are being scapegoated again.
"World opinion" labours mightily to make Israel look like South Africa looked in its apartheid era -- a nation beyond the moral pale. And it projects onto Israel the same sin that made apartheid South Africa so untouchable: white supremacy. Somehow "world opinion" has moved away from the old 20th century view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a complicated territorial dispute between two long-suffering peoples. Today the world puts its thumb on the scale for the Palestinians by demonizing the stronger and whiter Israel as essentially a colonial power committed to the "occupation" of a beleaguered Third World people.
This is now--figuratively in some quarters and literally in others -- the moral template through which Israel is seen. It doesn't matter that much of the world may actually know better. This template has become propriety itself, a form of good manners, a political correctness. Thus it is good manners to be outraged at Israel's blockade of Gaza, and it is bad manners to be outraged at Hamas's recent attack on a school because it educated girls, or at the thousands of rockets Hamas has fired into Israeli towns -- or even at the fact that Hamas is armed and funded by Iran. The world wants independent investigations of Israel, not of Hamas.
One reason for this is that the entire Western world has suffered from a deficit of moral authority for decades now. Today, we in the West are reluctant to use our full military might in war lest we seem imperialistic; we hesitate to enforce our borders lest we seem racist; we are reluctant to ask for assimilation from new immigrants lest we seem xenophobic; and we are pained to give Western Civilization primacy in our educational curricula lest we seem supremacist. Today, the West lives on the defensive, the very legitimacy of our modern societies requiring constant dissociation from the sins of the Western past--racism, economic exploitation, imperialism and so on.We are weenies. Pathetic guilt-ridden weenies. Weenies who have convinced themselves (must've been something in the purple Kool-aid) that the guiltier we feel, the more virtuous we are. Weenies whose overwhelming sense of guilt has rendered them bonkers. Irrational. Nuts. And, oh yeah, weenies whose guilt has made them easy-pickings for a civilization that is on the offensive, that doesn't pause to doubt its own legitimacy, and that never feels guilty about anything. (Jews having to die for the world's sins--now where have I heard that one before?)
The last time six million Jews disappeared from the earth, it was because of a malevolent megalomaniac who thought he was doing the world a favour by ridding it of the Jewish contagion. This time around if six million or more are wiped out, it could well be because of people who love trees, buy organic food, keep tabs on their carbon footprint and march in solidarity with Pride paraders. For the Jews, of course, it matters not a whit if the people who want them gone harbour the worst of intentions, or the very best.