This site is not the only place to find my writing; I have been published at numerous other outlets across the web. In this recurring series, I’ll post some choice passages from these outside pieces and show you where to find the rest. Think of this as a mere tasting of the full smorgasbord. Without further ado, here’s Compendium #3, covering October 2023 through early December 2023.
Accusing Israel of Genocide Is a Moral Outrage, National Review, October 26, 2023
In this piece for National Review, I discussed the bogus claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians in its war with Hamas, as well as the idea that it was a state founded on that infamy. In reality, Israel is the target of a genocidal ideology, not the perpetrator.
Far too many observers of the Israeli retaliation against Hamas see war as a theoretical construct, not a battlefield reality.
The famed Union Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman is widely credited with popularizing the phrase “war is hell.” And he would certainly know, seeing action at some of the war’s bloodiest battles and captaining the controversial March to the Sea, where Union soldiers would run roughshod over Confederate lands from Atlanta to Savannah. That march, replete with the utter devastation of civilian infrastructure, farmland, and property, helped break the back of the Confederacy and has remained a textbook example of total war. The term ‘total war’ itself was a product of World War I, which saw entire societies mobilized for what they all saw – and some experienced – as existential combat. The sequel, which killed even more people and included the most heinous act of genocide in the modern era, was the last of these sorts of conflicts – or so many thought.
After the end of the Cold War – which was itself something of a totalizing rivalry – the mood in the West was triumphant, not just over Soviet Communism, but over History itself. Gone were the days of existential conflict, replaced by a world of progress where genuine alternatives to the liberal democratic capitalist world order were nowhere to be found. These naïve optimists were, however, flat out wrong. Alternatives to the American order have reared their ugly heads: from the CCP’s brand of techno-totalitarianism, to Vladimir Putin’s throwback imperialism, to the militant antisemitic Islamism of Tehran and Hamas, oppositional ideologies abound. And those ideologies are more than happy to engage in totalizing, existential conflict. We have seen that in Ukraine for the past 600-plus days, and we are seeing it in Israel now.
Make no mistake, the Hamas terror of October 7, combined with its genocidal ideology and the support of regional powers like Iran, poses an existential risk to the Jewish state. If Hamas is not utterly annihilated, Israel will face a future of constant attack from all fronts meant to eradicate the nation itself – and massacre its population in the process. Hamas and Iran have made this into a total war; Israel has recognized that reality and is responding in kind. And that’s where we run into problems.
When it comes to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, media warps cause and effect through misrepresentation and decontextualization.
Anti-Israel bias is rife in the media and international organizations like the United Nations; this has been the case since the founding of the Jewish State in 1948. This truth was humorously depicted by the Israeli statesman Abba Eban, who said “If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.” This prejudice is especially prevalent with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where media and anti-Israel actors paint Israel as the aggressor when it is far more often the respondent. The false presentation of the conflict is not only in the realm of history, but current events as well. Through decontextualization, differential treatment, and outright prejudice, a false picture of this thorny issue is painted. This has been clearly displayed in the past week, as violence – blamed on Israel, but stoked by Palestinians – has flared during the Ramadan and Passover holidays.
To put these recent tensions into their proper context – which the media is loath to do – Israel has been dealing with a wave of terror attacks over the past year, including stabbings, car attacks, and rocket assaults from Hamas in Gaza. This has boiled over in the past few days, sparked by an incident that has been blatantly mischaracterized by most coverage. On Wednesday April 5, Israeli police entered the Temple Mount compound – the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam – to disperse an illicit gathering and remove fireworks and other stockpiled non-traditional weaponry from the al Aqsa Mosque. This was described by almost all media coverage as a violent Israeli “raid” that was unprovoked and brutally targeted peaceful worshippers. This could not be further from the truth, and ignores critical context that puts the Israeli reaction into perspective.