What do you do when a cause you deeply cherish betrays you?
What do you do when you spend a lifetime fighting for the Palestinian cause, and then, overnight, it becomes associated with the butchering, beheading, rape and mutilation of 1,400 people, including infants, women, the elderly, entire families?
How do you spin that?
You might try to deny and downplay, but with all the graphic and gruesome videos out there, that’s not easy. And as much as you’d love to erase the word “Palestinian” next to the word “Hamas,” you know the connection is a fact.
No, the only real option is to make so much noise that you drown out the horrible news about the mass murder of Jews.
That’s why immediately after Oct. 7, we saw global protests against Israel and in support of Palestinians. This was before Israel launched its counterattack. And naturally, when Israel did go after Hamas, the attacks against Jews only accelerated. On streets around the world and across college campuses, Jew haters are now out in full force. The slaughter of 1,400 Jews is all but forgotten; now it’s all about Israel’s reaction to the massacres.
Whether it’s the media jumping to (falsely) blame Israel for the bombing of a Gaza hospital, or the global cries for a “ceasefire” before Israel has even entered Gaza to eliminate the terrorists and deter future attacks, the world is doing all it can to downplay the narrative of “Palestinians as butchers.”
The world’s most popular victims, after all, cannot be allowed to be butchers.
For half a century, Palestinians have managed to charm the global elite with the seductive narrative of glorious, helpless victimhood. In a world that worships the oppressed, especially when they’re not white or western, Palestinians became the forever oppressed.
The influential Palestinian scholar-activist Edward Said’s 1978 book, “Orientalism,” which portrayed the West’s view of the East as demeaning and ignorant, helped shape and popularize the Palestinian narrative. As a revisionist movement began to associate the West strictly with the sins of colonialism, imperialism, racism and capitalist abuse, Palestinians became the Swiss army knife of causes for the virtue signaling set. Accurate or not, they had it all.
Amazingly, Palestinians have managed to hold on to their elite victim status despite decades of terror attacks against Israel. No matter how many Jews they killed, victimhood has defined them. You could have millions of genocide victims somewhere in Africa, or millions of oppressed slaves in China, or millions of refugees in Syria—no group of victims has been able to dislodge the Palestinians from the top of the victim food chain.
Of course, the Palestinians have always had an ace in the hole: the Jews. As long as their enemy was Jewish, Palestinians knew they would continue to have the world’s undivided attention. Have you noticed that we rarely hear about those millions of other Palestinians who live in much worse conditions in Jordan and Lebanon? Why should we? There are no Jews involved.
The world’s oldest hatred, in short, has fueled the remarkable run of the world’s most coddled victims.
Oct. 7 introduced 1,400 complications.
Suddenly, for one gruesome day, Jews were the oppressed and Palestinians were the oppressors. This was no garden-variety Palestinian attack where a few Jews get killed, or a few hundred Hamas rockets are neutralized by Iron Dome and bomb shelters. We’ve gotten used to those. No, this was the mass slaughter of Jews by Palestinians, in the most barbaric way possible. This was evil in concentrated form.
Put it this way: In Israel, when one Jew dies from a terror attack, the whole nation mourns that one life.
Now go to Oct. 7 and do the math.
Oct. 7 has become the biggest wake-up call in modern Jewish history because the horror reached unimaginable proportions. It’s the worst of the worst of the worst. It’s impossible to find words in the English dictionary that would go too far to describe the horrors.
That’s why I’ve seen Jews from the left who usually instinctively take the Palestinian side go eerily quiet. Like many of us, they’re numb. They’re dizzy. They’re disgusted. As a friend says, it’s Jewish primordial rage.
Fox News war correspondent Trey Yingst was so repulsed by a video of the bloodbath he couldn’t share details with the audience.
The furious backlash we’ve seen against university presidents, Hollywood celebrities, politicians and many others, including Jews, who have failed to unequivocally condemn the atrocities of Oct. 7, or, worse, joined the anti-Israel brigades, is due precisely to the unspeakable nature of the atrocities.
How could any human being not condemn the ghoulish, intentional slaughtering of 1,400 human beings? The need to even ask that question is why so many Jews these days have such a short fuse.
Indeed, Oct. 7 was so horrific it threatens to undermine the Palestinian cause itself. These activists are not stupid. They’ve seen the videos. They know what happened. Because the savagery was done in the name of Palestinians, they saw the danger to their cherished cause.
So what did they do to save the world’s most popular victims? They did what people have done for centuries: They changed the subject and blamed the Jews. That always works.
Originally published by The Jewish Journal.