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The Victim Becomes the Aggressor: Moral Relativism and the West’s Long-Festering anti-Semitism

As a result of its ubiquity in higher education, postmodernism bears considerable responsibility for turning once-prestigious colleges and universities into bastions of uncritical thinking and myopic scholarship.

The basis for this, of course, is that postmodernism posits that objective truth is an illusion. Right and wrong are culturally relative, the product of one’s personal experience that no one has the right to question (particularly if a perceived victim ranks high on the intersectional hierarchy). As the late philosopher Richard Rorty contended, truth is made rather than found. The halls of Ivy resound with the voices of professors and students who openly proclaim “their truth” rather than simply “the truth.”

Nowhere is this line of reasoning (or lack thereof) in world affairs on greater display than in relation to the State of Israel.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops during a military parade
(Iranian Presidency Office)

According to the majority of Western academics as well as mainstream media and heads of state, the blame for any and all Middle Eastern suffering can and must always be cast upon a single culprit: Israel. Yet, despite endless attempts to paint the world’s only Jewish state (and the Jewish people more generally) as the fountainhead of every diabolical plot ever devised, there is a perpetual dearth of actual evidence to support these allegations. This lack of evidence is especially prominent when it comes to three ongoing charges against Israel at this time, namely the targeting of weapons transferred from Iran to Hezbollah, the suffering of Arab Muslim civilians in Gaza, and the killing of Iranian Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi in Damascus.

These three accusations constitute a microcosm of the West’s ideological animus toward the Jewish homeland and capture the zeitgeist of the postmodern world by declaring Israel the aggressor and Iran and its proxies the victims. However, even a cursory examination of the facts proves such indictments to be embarrassingly short-sighted.

Concerning the flow of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, Western elites are outraged by the fact that Israel works to prevent this by intercepting weapons shipments and targeting storage facilities. This enmity has only grown due to airstrikes by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on the aforementioned arms transfers, which have become deadlier and more frequent since October 7, 2023.

If these same Western individuals had even a perfunctory knowledge of history, they would know that Hezbollah was formed in 1982, when Shia Muslim terrorists began an unprovoked attack by launching rockets into Israel from south Lebanon. The group’s 1985 manifesto specifically calls for the destruction of Israel and pledges allegiance to Iran’s ayatollah.

Rather than charge Hezbollah (and Iran) with committing terrorism, the prevailing mindset is to blame Israel for striving to cut off the transfer of weapons from Iran while targeting facilities that house said weapons. If these academics, journalists, and politicians deem Israel the aggressor for attempting to preserve its very existence, it stands to reason that there are NO circumstances under which they believe the Jewish state has a right to exist.

The deaths of civilians in Gaza constitute another major talking point in intellectual circles across the West, with the implication that Israel advocates the wholesale slaughter of innocent people due to an ideology rooted in tribal depravity. Accusations of genocide by the Israeli government permeate lecture halls, newsrooms, and political chambers across North America and Europe.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
(Mehr News Agency)

This smear is not merely myopic – it is malevolent. On October 7, 2023, Hamas terrorists shot, beheaded, and set fire to Jewish men, women, and children in what became the worst act of violence against Jews since the Holocaust. The attacks included violent rape, with collaboration among the perpetrators and sometimes conducted in front of witnesses, including family members. Unlike the Nazis, who attempted to hide their crimes, the Islamists filmed their subhuman actions and proudly broadcast them for the world to witness in raunchy detail.

On the basis of such unbridled depravity, Israel has every right to level Gaza without regard for the life of any man, woman, or child. Yet as always, the IDF exercises restraint, giving the residents of Gaza time to evacuate in order to eliminate only members of Hamas and their weaponry. Hamas, however, cares nothing for the lives of Arab Muslims.

Rather than evacuate them to safety, the terrorists (per their modus operandi) repeatedly use women and children as human shields to defend their strongholds (a practice prohibited by the Geneva Conventions), hoping that Israel will strike and allow Hamas to play the victim. Such practices also apply to the distribution of supplies to the region, as Hamas routinely kills aid workers in order to manufacture the Gaza food crisis.

Merriam-Webster describes a useful idiot as “a naïve or credulous person who can be manipulated or exploited to advance a cause or political agenda.” If Hamas apologists in the West don’t want to deserve this moniker, they can place the blame solely on the shoulders of the Islamists to whom it rightfully belongs.

The final source of indignation in the Western world pertains to the killing of Iranian Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi at the beginning of April in Iran’s consular offices in Damascus. Despite Zahedi being instrumental in the massacre of 1,200 Jews in Israel on October 7, this is of no consequence to Islamists and their non-Muslim supporters. Tehran was outraged by the killing, calling it tantamount to a strike on Iranian soil. This statement is particularly rich given how blatantly hypocritical it is. Iran routinely targets actual Israeli soil through the terrorism of its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah. Furthermore, Iranian violation of diplomatic immunity goes back decades.

The targeting of American and Israeli embassies around the world by Iran and Hezbollah has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people, including the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 (63 dead) and the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 (29 dead). Moreover, Iran was behind a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. in a car bombing in Washington, DC in 2011. And, of course, Iranian citizens stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took civilians hostage in 1979.

Finally, it should be noted that, unlike Israel’s targeting of Zahedi (a member of the military on par with the vilest members of the Nazi Party), Iran’s decades-long strikes against sovereign American and Israeli territories have purposely targeted innocent civilians.

Yet in a classic example of blaming the victim, Western academicians, media pundits, and political leaders project the crimes of Islamic terrorists and their ideological benefactors onto Israel and its people. Unable to support their claims based upon concrete facts, they hold fast to the postmodernist belief that they are simply speaking “their truth.”

In the words of historian Victor Davis Hanson, when truth is relative, political expediency becomes the truth. If one wants to comprehend the violent Jew hatred bursting forth on America’s college campuses, it is imperative to understand the tenets of postmodernism and how they have fostered the development of 21st-century brownshirts at once-prestigious universities like Yale and Columbia. There is no objective truth. People have become their own gods, beholden only to their appetites and intentions. And if God is dead, as Dostoevsky noted in The Brothers Karamazov, then everything is permitted.

Including the wanton destruction of innocent Jews and the world’s only Jewish state.