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The Woke Jihad | Gene Veith

The Woke Jihad | Gene Veith
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A puzzle about the campus protests in support of Hamas and in condemnation of Israel is the strange alliance of the woke left (feminist, sexually permissive, pro-LGBTQ+) with Islamic jihadists (suppressing women, sexually strict, death penalty for gays).  How can we account for that?

Robert Cherry at RealClearReligion gives part of the answer, seeing it as a tenet of the critical theory taught on university campuses:

The hard left’s support for Hamas is understandable. They have long embraced a double standard by which the oppressed cannot be held responsible for their violent behaviors. They remain silent on the black-on-black murders that result in 10,000 homicides annually or on the periodic massacres of Israelis perpetrated by Palestinians over the last decade, whether suicide bombings of civilians or Hamas’s October 7th onslaught.

Abe Greenwald, writing in the Jewish journal Commentary, goes into more detail about this seemingly unlikely alliance.  He also gives a name for it in the title of his article:  The Woke Jihad.

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by Islamic jihadists, drawing us into a long, multi-front war, Greenwald observes.  Now we are being attacked from within.  Leftwing radicals sought to overturn America’s political and cultural order, as in, I suppose, the George Floyd riots and the left’s capture of so many American institutions, from schools to corporations.  Now they have joined forces with another enemy of America.  According to Greenwald,

The union of radical leftism and jihadism on display across American campuses is a marriage born of necessity—and of love. The necessity is reciprocal. Three-plus years after the George Floyd revolution, the left had found itself adrift. With the liberal rank and file no longer interested in police-defunding, the public turning against DEI schemes, whistleblowers revealing the horrors of “gender-affirming care” for trans kids, and the term woke a source of liberal embarrassment, what was there to constitute the vital work of social justice? A revolutionary cannot live on microaggressions alone. The left needed a new animating theme, and jihadist fury would prove more than bracing enough.

For their part, the jihadists needed the American left for tactical purposes: to propagandize for their cause and fit anti-Semitic terrorists—alongside gays, the transgendered, and African Americans—into the intersectional left’s pantheon of victims. . . .

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The love between the two camps, however, is not reciprocal. Leftists love the jihadists. They love them for their ferocity and exoticism as much as for their bottomless self-pity. Those are the constituent elements of social justice. It’s why we see protesters trying to shape-shift into war-ravaged Palestinians, asking for humanitarian aid, claiming chemical attacks on students, grasping to bask in the reflective glow of the nobly oppressed. But no properly chauvinistic jihadist could feel anything but disgust for the unchecked females, sexual libertines, heathens, and even Jews he’s been forced to instrumentalize in the cause of Islamist domination.

Yet while the love is not reciprocal, it is in other aspects mutual, or shared. The leftists and jihadists both love violence and victimhood. They both love destroying the good things of the West. And they both love anti-Semitism. Up until recently, most of the anti-Semitic left was inclined to costume its Jew-hatred in anti-Zionism. Their alliance with plainly exterminationist jihadists has changed that.

Allies don’t have to be compatible to fight a common enemy.  During World War II, the free and democratic West joined forces with Soviet Communists to defeat Hitler.  When that conflict was over, those two belligerents turned against each other in the Cold War.  So it would be if America and the West were brought down, with advocates of an Islamic Republic contending against secular anarchists and socialists.

 

Photo:  Joe Piette, Students March, Encamp for Palestine [University of Pennsylvania April 25, 2024] via Flickr, CC by 2.0 

 

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