Jonathan Freedland, for instance, in the Guardian (“We condemn Israel. So why the silence on Syria?”), notices that there’s something not quite right about the silence of the left when it’s Muslims, and not Jews, killing Muslims. “Syrian deaths,” he observes, “are not worthy of artistic note,” since neither Caryl Churchill nor Tom Paulin has reached for their keyboard to express outrage at the continuing slaughter.
Freedland almost makes the final logical connection – almost: “It’s not simply a bias against Jews that regards an Arab or Muslim death as only deserving condemnation when Israel is responsible,” he writes. “It is demeaning of Arabs and Muslims themselves – implying that when members of those groups kill each other it somehow carries little moral weight.”
That phrase “bias against Jews” is a neat way of avoiding saying “antisemitism”, and it is antisemitism that nestles in the very heart of contemporary leftism, often conveniently describing itself as being just anti-Israel or anti-Zionist (it’s also a baffling irony that so many western Jews take part in this activity). The silence of the left is down to the fact that since Israel is not involved there is no Jew-bashing to be done and therefore no political capital to be gained. Without the Israeli bogey writers such as Churchill and Paulin are left without a target; the oppressors and the oppressed are of the same victim group.
Muslims (whether Arab or not) are of use to the professional left for two reasons: the first as a means to attack Israel and the Jews; the second as a means to undermine western culture, under the guise of multiculturalism and anti-colonialism. Muslims are otherwise of no importance and therefore their deaths carry no “moral weight”.
Freedland has yet to make the connection that the left’s hypocrisy in this matter is not an aberration but an expression of its essence.